Removing a stuck pull-through cleaning kit

Pull-through cleaning kits offer shooters a low cost and compact way to clean their firearms, unfortunately, they’ll often become stuck in the bore of a rifle. In this post, we’ll take a look at one way to remove a kit that a customer brought into my shop.

If you try to push a patch or brush that is too large with a traditional cleaning rod, you can usually pull the rod out and knock the obstruction from the bore from the opposite direction. This isn’t the case with a pull through cleaning kit since the cable isn’t rigid.

Before we get to the work, please take a look at the following disclaimer:

The contents of are produced for informational purposes only and should be performed by competent gunsmiths only. and its authors, do not assume any responsibility, directly or indirectly for the safety of the readers attempting to follow any instructions or perform any of the tasks shown, or the use or misuse of any information contained herein, on this website.

Any modifications made to a firearm should be made by a licensed gunsmith. Failure to do so may void warranties and result in an unsafe firearm and may cause injury or death.

Modifications to a firearm may result in personal injury or death, cause the firearm to not function properly, or malfunction, and cause the firearm to become unsafe.

This Remington arrived in the shop with an Otis cleaning kit stuck in place. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a better picture than this, but you can see what happened. The patch puller on the end of the Otis kit is threaded to the pull cable. I decided that the best course of action would be to begin by removing the cable. To do this, I secure the cable in a bench vise and start rotating the rifle counter clockwise to unthread the patch puller.

With the cable removed, I could access the patch puller. I used a cleaning rod from the muzzle to knock it free.

Here is a look at the patch that was stuck. These particular patches have a series of holes that you use depending on the caliber of the bore. In this case the mass of patch material was way too big for the bore.

You can see how much larger the patch is than the bore. Using a patch this size in a bore that size will never end well. The rifle’s owner was lucky that the removal was fairly straight forward. If this was something like a bore snake with a broken pull cord, the removal process could have been much more complicated.