Product Review: Otis Tactical Cleaning Kit

Posted: November 26, 2013 in Product Reviews
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otisI’ve run patches through my shotgun and AR with a rod-based system (after a couple passes with a bore snake) and I simply do not like it.  So, I was rather enamored with the Otis breech-to-muzzle cleaning system, and especially with the compact size.  I’ve tried packing cleaning accessories into a small bag that could be quickly thrown into a range bag or even bug-out bag, and experienced limited success at best.

The Otis system provides the ultimate compact solution to the issues of cleaning rifles and shotguns (without disassembly).  I’ve used it on multiple AR-10 and 12ga shotgun cleanings and even a few passes through the barrel of my G20 10mm to see how the system works with the foam bore tips.  It works so well that a couple passes with a bore snake followed by a pass or two with a bore tip soaked in Rand CLP or FireClean leaves very little fouling left to extract with patches.

Your compact kit (with a belt loop on the back if you wish to carry it that way) arrives in a plastic package.

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As you can see, it looks pretty much like the product marketing photos, with everything you need to clean anything from .17 to big-bore shotguns.

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And, no one is exaggerating when they talk about compact size.  This kit is magnificently engineered.

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You’ve probably read from other reviews about the coating on the cable used to pull patches through the bore.  The system is very unlikely to cause any type of damage during cleaning.  And, in addition to the brushes provided in the kit, you can also use BoreTips, which is a nice bonus.

Now, let’s talk about the patches.  It’s important to get a near-cylindrical or spherical shape on the patch so that  it fits tightly against the bore.  Running a typical square patch through in a butterfly fold does not work.  Otis solves this problem for multiple bore sizes with circular patches that have small incisions at different locations on the patch.  You push the cable through the incision, then pinch, fold, and pass the patch through the slit.

Yes, it works fine and I’ve used the system to clean my Sig 716 after a long practice session and a long wait between the end of practice and cleaning.  The likely question on your mind is what happens when I run out of those special patches, especially since I can’t use square patches?

Well, the good news is that you can use square patches.  It does take some experimentation, but lay the Otis circular patch on top of your square patch and try to center the square patch inside the circular one.  Push a pen or marker through the cleaning slot for your caliber to make a mark on the square patch.  Since there is less area to work with on the square patch, you will have to move the incision closer to the center to get a tight fit, but after four tries, I was able to get it to work acceptably on my AR.  I keep one cut patch as a template and use it as a guide to cut small groups of rectangular patches.  I leave the circular patches in the Otis kit for emergency use.

There is another technique you can use with square patches that works almost as well.  Cut about 1/4 inch off any side of a 2 1/4″ square patch.  Fold it in a roughly butterfly fashion and pass one end about half an inch through the slit.  Press down hard and then fold the opposite end through the slit.  Next, pull both ends as far through as they will go.  While you can get this to work, it’s only really useful for larger caliber rifles.

Overall, this kit is well worth the cost and has been an invaluable addition to my collection of cleaning tools.  With the ability to use less-espensive, highly-available patches, I’m quite happy with the long-term cost of ownership and ease of use.

 Diligencia, Vis, Celeritas

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