Swab-Its Review: Surprised, Mixed Feelings
In this review I tested Swab-Its foam tipped gun cleaning swabs and bore whips. They’re providing a new take on gun cleaning products by giving the buyer a cleanable/reusable foam swab mounted on a plastic handle as a replacement for the venerable Q-tip , bore mop and bore-snake. They vary in price for packages of tips of different sizes, but they’re all around 10 dollars directly from Swab-its.
To test the usefulness and effectiveness of the Swab-its , I brought out my competition AR , which had just been run ragged for a few hundred rounds of some dirty production ammo. It certainly needed a good cleaning. I went through my cleaning procedure just as I would with Q- tips and other bore cleaning items and replaced my usual bore-snake and Q-tips with the Swab-Its. I use Mpro7 greaseless cleaner which was key to keeping the bore tips clean and usable throughout. I kept a shallow cup of Mpro that I would clean the swabs with and let them rest after using them. I wouldn’t recommend using a grease based CLP or cleaner with them as it seems they would absorb it and be harder to clean off.
My review is a bit of a mixed bag. I really liked the gun cleaning swabs. They had more surface area to catch dirt and carbon, and the foam structure pulls it into the interior and allows you to gather up more crud before cleaning them than a Q-tip would allow before tossing it. They clean easily, which I was surprised by, as you’ll see in the before and after pics.You won’t get every little bit fouling out of them, but after submerging in Mpro, squeezing dry and using a towel after, they came out more than clean enough to use again at least once, if not a few times. The rigidity of the plastic handle also helps cleaning immensely. We all know the annoying game of trying to get into dirty crevices with Q-tips without them bending GAHHH! That’s the worst. In this respect, Swab-its really do have a superior product. For the gun cleaning tips, it’s a definite buy for me. However, I wouldn’t mind them to be a bit cheaper, and if there was the option to buy only handles, and replaceable tips, further reducing the cost. They offer this with their bore tips, maybe they can do the same for the gun cleaning swabs in the future.
As for the bore-whip, I can’t recommend this product as a buy. I didn’t find that it did a better job than a bore-snake, and especially not as effective as the classic brush and patch method. The foam just isn’t hearty enough to stand up to cleaning a bore , and on the second pass started to fray, as you can see in the pictures.
So, my overall thought is: awesome idea, and an improvement over using the old guard Q-tips and rags (Though I’ll always have rags). The gun cleaning tips are fantastic! I’ll be using them in the future. I would also use Swab-its for chamber cleaning, however, I’ll be staying with my tried and true bore-snakes and brushes/patches for my bore.