Brass vs Nickel-Plated Cleaning Jags

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The article “Brass vs Nickel-Plated Cleaning Jags,” written by Victor Spratt, explores the differences between brass and nickel-plated cleaning jags used in gun maintenance. Cleaning jags are essential tools for gun owners, primarily used to clean the inside of a gun’s barrel. They work in tandem with cleaning patches to eliminate dirt, grime, and carbon buildup. The article highlights that cleaning jags come in various sizes to match different calibers and are made from different materials, focusing on the two most common types: brass and nickel-plated.

Brass cleaning jags are the most popular type, valued for their durability and rust resistance. Brass, being a softer metal, offers protection against scratching the gun’s bore and chamber. However, a significant drawback of brass jags is their tendency to produce false bluing. This occurs when a patch turns blue after coming into contact with a copper solvent, which can mislead shooters into thinking their gun is still dirty and lead to overcleaning. This false bluing happens because brass jags, containing about 60% copper, react with copper cleaning solvents.

In contrast, nickel-plated cleaning jags offer a key advantage over brass jags: they do not cause false bluing. This makes them a preferred choice among experienced shooters. Nickel-plated jags share the same beneficial properties as brass jags, including durability and resistance to rust and corrosion. In terms of price, nickel-plated jags are slightly more expensive than brass jags, but the cost difference is minimal.

The article advises that for regular firearm users, both brass and nickel-plated jags are effective and affordable. However, for those wanting to avoid the hassle of false bluing, nickel-plated jags are the better option. It recommends purchasing cleaning jags from reputable brands and ensuring the correct size for the specific caliber of the gun. The article concludes by emphasizing the importance of proper cleaning technique and tool usage to prevent potential damage to the firearm.

Brass Cleaning Jags

Brass Cleaning Jags

Brass cleaning jags are the most popular. They are used for brushing, cleaning, and lubricating a gun’s barrel. They offer some level of protection against scratching and denting to the inside of a gun’s bore and chamber. 

Brass is soft and durable. It is resistant to rust and corrosion, which is why its commonly used for making cleaning jags. 

However, there is one major problem with brass jags, and that is they produce false bluing. This is when a patch comes out with a blue tint. To a new shooter or a shooter who has never experienced this before, it is easy for them to assume that the gun is still dirty, which may lead to overcleaning. 

But what happens is that when you use copper cleaning solvents, they will leach the brass metal. Brass jags are made of 60% copper, some of which may come off when they come into contact with a copper solvent, and this the reason why a patch may have a bluish shade.

This in itself is not a problem. It simply shows that the cleaning solvent is working. However, shooters who are not aware of this could waste a lot of time and effort cleaning the barrel, thinking that it still has copper fouling. 

Nickel-Plated Cleaning Jags

Nickel-Plated Cleaning Jags

Nickel-plated cleaning jags can do everything brass jags do effectively with one significant difference – they do not produce false bluing. This explains why many expert shooters prefer nickel-plated jags to brass jags. 

They have the same properties as brass jags. They are durable and resistant to rust and corrosion. As for the price, nickel-plated jags are not that much more expensive than brass jags. The difference is marginal. 

Buying Cleaning Jags

If you use your firearm frequently, it is important to clean it regularly to keep it in good working condition. Both brass and nickel-plated jags work well. Both types are relatively affordable, but to avoid overcleaning your barrel because of false bluing, nickel-plated would be a more ideal option

nickel-plated would be a more ideal option

You can get cleaning jags from your local gun store or online. If you are going to purchase online, read the customer reviews first before making a purchase.

It is always wise to go with reputable brands even though they might cost slightly more than other brands because you know you are getting quality. In any case, it is better to spend the extra cash on a good jag that will last a long time.

Also, check to see that you are buying the right-sized jag for your caliber. These small tools come in different sizes, and you don’t want to waste time and money on the wrong jag. 

As for durability and other key properties, check to see what other customers are saying, that is, if you are buying the cleaning jag online.

Remember, it is always good to do some research before buying a gun accessory to know what to look for. This can save you a lot of time and money. 


We hope this article has been of some help. There are other types of cleaning jags in the market, but they all have the same function. Choosing which one to buy is entirely up to you. But remember, using the right cleaning tools can protect your gun from damage and will make cleaning your firearm easy. 

Sometimes it’s not the tools but the cleaning technique that can cause problems. So make sure that you know how to use cleaning jags and other gun cleaning equipment correctly. 

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