How to Use a Cleaning Jag

How to Use a Cleaning Jag 300

A cleaning jag is a small metallic tool with a pointed end that is typically attached to a gun cleaning rod. The jag is made of solid brass, and its purpose is to aid in cleaning a gun’s barrel using a cleaning patch. 

The patch is usually attached to the jag. So when you move the cleaning rod up and down the gun’s barrel, the patch collects grime, dirt, and fouling buildup. 

Cleaning jags are efficient at helping remove powder residue and all kinds of dirt from a gun’s bore. You can buy them separately or buy a kit that comes with a jag. 

They are relatively easy to use. Just make sure that you have the right size for your type of gun, and of course, the right size patches. 

How to Clean a Gun Using a Cleaning Jag

assemble your cleaning equipment
Source: YouTube

The first thing is to assemble your cleaning equipment, that is, your gun cleaning solvent and lube, cleaning rod, cleaning jab, brush, and patches. Make sure that the cleaning jag is designed for your type of firearm. 

Start by attaching a patch to the cleaning jag and add cleaning solvent. Push the cleaning rod with the attached jag and patch through your gun’s bore. You may need to do this several times to remove all the powder residue and dirt.

Next, remove the jag and attach a cleaning brush. Make sure you dip the brush in your cleaning solvent first. Then run it up and down the barrel to remove all the fouling. Once that’s done, remove the brush, put back the jag, attach a patch, and push it through the barrel. The patch will collect the loosened fouling. 

You may need to use a couple of patches to ensure that you remove all the dirt. If the patch comes out clean, that means the bore is clean. Once you have done that, run dry patches down the bore to remove excess solvent. 

Check the bore for obstructions. If there are none, lubricate a patch with your gun cleaning oil and run it down the bore only once. The thin film of oil will protect the bore from rust or corrosion

Uses of a Cleaning Jag

A cleaning jag is mainly used for cleaning a gun’s bore. When you attach the right size patch onto the jag, it will easily remove grime, dirt, and fouling buildup. 

Since the patch fits securely on the cleaning jag, it will protect the bore’s interior from scratching since there is no metal-to-metal contact. 

The cleaning jag can also help you to identify any defects in the bore. If you run it down the bore and notice any tight or loose spots, this is a sign that there might be a defect. It is advisable to have any defects dealt with before you shoot your weapon.

Shooting a gun with defective parts can be dangerous and may worsen the damage, which may interfere with your gun’s functionality and performance. 

A cleaning jag will also help you remove a patch if it becomes lodged into the bore, and you can do this easily and without damaging the bore’s interior. Lastly, it also helps lubricate your gun’s bore, which is important as the oil will protect the inside of the bore from rust and corrosion.  

Brass Vs Nickel-plated Cleaning Jags

Nickel-plated Cleaning Jags
via @cactustactical

Most cleaning jags are made of solid brass, and they are pretty efficient at removing dirt and powder residue from the inside of the barrel of a firearm. They also protect it from dents and scratches, which affect the performance of the gun. 

 Brass cleaning jags are inexpensive, and they come in varying sizes for different caliber barrels.

Nickel-plated cleaning jags are just as efficient as brass cleaning jags but with one huge advantage – they prevent false bluing. This is a problem you get with traditional brass jags, and you can avoid it by simply using nickel-plated jags.

How to choose a cleaning jag


Mainly there are two types of cleaning jags: brass jags and nickel-plated jags. Although both jags do an excellent job at cleaning a gun’s barrel, brass jags sometimes can produce false bluing, which may indicate that the barrel is still dirty when it’s not. This is not a problem you get with nickel-plated cleaning jags. 

Source: YouTube

Cleaning jags come in different sizes for different calibers. So when you buy one, make sure that you get one designed for your type of firearm.


Cleaning jags are generally affordable. You could buy a gun cleaning kit that includes one, or you can buy one separately. They are pretty durable, and one can last many cleans if appropriately handled. 

Final Remarks

Now that you have an idea about cleaning jags and their role in gun maintenance, always make sure to use a jag designed for your firearm. Always use the right cleaning tools to prevent damaging your firearm.

How to Use a Cleaning Jag 1

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