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What are Jags used for in Gun Cleaning?




what are jags used for in gun cleaning

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Are you confused about what Jags are used for in gun cleaning? Look no further. We have you here! A jag is a simple attachment that is attached to the end of the cleaning rod. To get their job done, they tend to be sharp and pointed. They are tapered cleaner attachments and will hold stains while you clean your gun’s barrel. We carry jags for a variety of cleaning rods, including rifles, shotguns, and pistols.

The main function of the jag is to hold the cleaning patch in place as it moves up and down the barrel of the gun. There are many jag sizes that can be used with cleaning gun barrels, so be sure to select the one which is made for the diameter of your barrel.

Jags are made to accommodate every caliber of a gun. The jag is designed like a plunger and has a pointed tip that will securely hold a cleaning patch. When paired with a patch, the jag will fit tightly in the bore, removing fouling as well as excess solvent and oil. A fouled bore can be cleaned with just a jag and a good bore cleaner.

There are many jags on the market. The two most popular types are the Brass Jags and the Nylon Jags. We will explore the benefits and drawbacks of each to help you determine which is best for you.

Nylon Jags

The nylon jag is as soft as plastic, so you don’t have to worry about scratching the smooth barrel or metal parts of your gun. Nylon jags are also generally less expensive than brass, which is always welcome, especially with the increased cost of ammunition. Those are the positive aspects. However, there are significant disadvantages by using nylon jags. The nylon jag is more likely to break inside the barrel compared to the brass jag. The cleaning rod you are most likely using is a brass cleaning rod. The nylon end of the attachment can break off in the barrel if you use too many patches.

Brass Jags

Brass jags are more durable and last longer than nylon jags. Since brass is softer than steel, you don’t have to worry about the brass scratching your steel barrel. Brass jags cost a little more than nylon jags, but the difference is only a few dollars. You can find brass and nylon jag sets at very reasonable prices. Most importantly, the brass jag won’t break in your barrel like a nylon jag would. Because of this, brass jags are much more reliable than nylon jags.

Use and Importance of Jags

  1. The most effective reason for jags is that they make barrel cleaning more efficient.
  2. The barrel can be cleaned of dirt, sand, and debris accumulated in the bore because the patch fits snugly at the end.
  3. The jag rubs the breech and gun for a clean finish by moving the patch to hard-to-reach parts of the barrel.
  4. The top four reasons to use a gun jag cleaner are:
    1. Protection
    2. Inspection
    3. Unblocking
    4. Lubrication
  5. If you do all this, you will find that your weapon will behave and function better, safer, and as intended. But even if you have a gun cleaning jag, it won’t help you if you don’t know how to properly apply it to your gun.

What to Consider Before Selecting a Jag

Jags have sizes printed on them, so check before you buy. They come in two styles: slotted and unslotted.

The unslotted type cleans the patch by pushing, but the slotted type cleans the patch by pulling. If you have an open bore and can push the patch from the bore to the muzzle, that is best. However, if you cannot open the bore then it is better to insert the unslotted jab from the muzzle and put the patch on it in the bore and pull it out through the muzzle. We don’t want to push contaminants into the bore by using an unslotted jag in that case.

Be careful not to mix up similar-sized jags as it will be difficult to tell them apart unless they are branded.

Also Read: Best Gun Cleaning Gloves

How To Use a Gun Cleaning Jag

Before you start cleaning your gun, make sure the gun is disassembled. Remove all ammo from the firearm and check chambers and magazines to make sure they are empty. Failure to do so may result in injury or death.

For easy cleaning, remove the bolt or open the action. Clean the handgun from the breech if possible to avoid damaging the muzzle rifling. Attach the cleaning rod to the appropriate-sized jag for the pistol or rifle’s caliber. After opening the lid to the cleaning solution, saturate a cleaning patch with the cleaning solvent.

As the solvent-soaked patch passes through the nozzle, remove it from the jag. Leave the solvent in the barrel for a few minutes to loosen the dirt and start removing it. To remove dirt, remove the jag and run the solvent-soaked brush down the barrel several times.

Replace the cleaning rod with the jag and pass another solvent-soaked patch through the hole. Repeat this process until the patch is no longer dirty. To remove excess solvent, run several dry patches through the bore. Apply gun oil sparingly and run it down the barrel, leaving a thin layer of oil on the barrel.

Install the bolt or chamber lid after checking the barrel for blockages. Use clean cleaning equipment to remove all dirt and solvents. To prevent corrosion, lubricate the exterior of the firearm.


If you don’t often shoot and only need to clean the barrel occasionally, a nylon jag might be for you. Remember not to overload your jag with too many patches or it may get stuck. Anyone who shoots more often and thus cleans their gun more will often pay off in the long run by investing in a good set of brass jags. They last longer and have less chance of getting stuck in your barrel.

Nylon and brass jags will get the job done. Knowing that you are overloading your jag with two or three patches at a time increases the chances of your nylon jag to break. Worse than that, you could get the entire assembly stuck in the barrel. Jags are meant to have one proper size patch.

Watch this video ”OTIS – 3 Step Cleaning Process” to see how to use patches correctly for cleaning your gun.

Let me know in the comments if you have any questions about jags, patches, or anything else about cleaning your guns.


What is a JAG for gun cleaning?

A jag is a tool used in gun cleaning kits to attach cleaning patches to the cleaning rod. It ensures a snug fit and effective cleaning of the gun barrel.

What are brass jags used for cleaning guns?

Brass jags are attachments used with cleaning rods to push cleaning patches through the gun barrel. The soft brass material prevents damage to the bore while effectively removing fouling and debris.

What are spear pointed jags used for?

Spear pointed jags are designed for cleaning rifles and shotguns. The pointed tip easily pierces and secures the cleaning patch, ensuring efficient removal of fouling and residues from the barrel.

What is a shotgun Jag?

A shotgun jag is a cleaning tool designed specifically for shotgun barrels. It effectively holds and pushes cleaning patches through the shotgun bore for proper cleaning and maintenance.

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2 responses to “What are Jags used for in Gun Cleaning?”

  1. Don in TX Avatar
    Don in TX

    I never knew what those things were called, just how to use them. And you’ve inspired me to go to the range soon. Thanks Les!

    1. Les Waller Avatar
      Les Waller

      You are welcome! Thanks for stopping in and leaving a note! Much appreciated!!!

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