I clean a lot of guns. So many, in fact, that it is hard to be brand loyal. I’ll use whatever is at hand. Some products work better than other, for sure, and occasionally, albeit rarely, a gun cleaning product does its job well enough to deserve a review all its own. Such is the case with RamRodz. A couple of weeks ago the folks at RamRodz sent us some of their new gun cleaning swabs to try out. These are caliber specific swabs. I used the .45, 9mm/.38 and the .22 sized swabs. They also offer them in .40 and .50 calibers along with some small diameter short ones for chamber cleaning and getting into tight spots.
When I first saw them in the packaging, I was a bit skeptical. They look like big Q-Tips, you know the things you stick deep in your ears, even though they say not to. My concern had less to do with their resemblance to the Q-Tip, and more with the very real possibility that RamRodz would leave a ton of cotton fuzz on everything they touched. I was wrong. Once you pull these out of the package, you can see and feel that the cotton tips are not the same as the ones you have in your medicine cabinet. They are soft and spongy but firm, almost like foam Nerf gun bullets. But they are cotton, absorbent yet not fuzzy.
The RamRodz come in a heavy plastic bag with smaller bags inside. There are 300 swabs in the .22 bag, 200 in the .38, 100 in the .40 and 75 in the .45 and .50 caliber sized bags. The only place that the caliber is marked is on the cardboard flap on the top of the bag. This is stapled on and comes off when you open it. Obviously you are not going to mix the .50 and .22 ones up but the .38 and .40 are close enough to get confused, so stay organized. That is my only criticism so far, and one that would easily remedied with a color coded touch of paint on the sticks.
So how do they work? They work really well. When pushing them down the barrel you can feel the swab grip the rifling and turn with it. They fit tightly and a couple of the 9mm swabs hung up on me with one of them coming completely apart. It was an easy fix. I just pushed the lost cotton ball out the breach with the stick. It didn’t leave any fuzz in the barrel. It could have been my fault for not having enough cleaner on the swab to lubricate it. I didn’t experience this problem with the .22 or .45 caliber sizes.
They advertise that with the flexible bamboo handles you can even clean your firearm without disassembly. This is true for the barrel at least. To truly clean a pistol, you need to break it down. But if you are at the range and need to do a quick swab down the barrel and clean up some residue these are incredibly handy. And faster than messing with a cleaning rod, jag and patches. That is the big advantage here : these are fast and a lot less messy than the conventional way.
In the end, I think that is the selling point. Most conventional cleaning set-ups require multiple small parts and pieces. They get filthy, and require constant manipulation. You don’t want to touch the crap you flush out of a gun barrel, and wearing gloves can be a hassle. Now you have something that is easy to use, requires no assembly, and is easy to dispose of. And best of all, a bag of RamRodz is selling for less than $9.