Otis Technology AR-15 Rifle Cleaning Kits
by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn

August 24th, 2003




I was recently hanging out at McLain’s Firearms in Carlisle, Tennessee, talking with the proprietor about most anything gun related. As Mike’s primary business is gunsmithing, as we talked, he was cleaning a rifle barrel with one of the handy little pull-trough flexible cleaning rods that he always uses. I had seen him using these before, but never really paid much attention. For some reason, this time I noticed as he loaded a patch onto the slotted jag that the patch was not an ordinary cleaning patch. The patch for this little flexible rod has an odd arrangement of six slots cut into the center. Mike showed me the idea behind the system, and I was impressed.  The Otis system uses one size of patch for all calibers, and the unique method for installing the patch on the jag assures that it is properly centered in the bore. I bought one of the Otis Technology cleaning kits right on the spot.

Using the Otis system could not be simpler. The premise behind the flexible rod is that the patch or brush is pulled through the bore, instead of being pushed through as with an ordinary cleaning rod. With a standard hard cleaning rod, if the brush or patch is tight, as it should be, the rod will flex as it pushes the cleaning tool through the bore, rubbing against the rifling. This can do harm to a rifle bore in a short time, and be detrimental to accuracy. Also, some rifles and handguns can not be easily cleaned from breech to muzzle as they should be. Pushing a patch from the muzzle toward the breech can quickly ruin the crown of a barrel, and deposit gunk into the action of the firearm. With the Otis system, any cartridge firearm can be properly cleaned from breech to muzzle.

Investigating further, I learned that Otis makes several different cleaning kits. I was particularly interested in the kit that fits into the buttstock of an AR-15/M-16 rifle. I never liked the old military issue sectioned rod cleaning kit for the M-16. That jointed rod would rub the bore while cleaning, and I knew that it was doing the bore of the weapon no good. Otis has a neat little kit that fits into the buttstock that contains one of their flexible rods along with the needed accessories to keep an AR-15 clean and functioning properly. The kit even contains a small bottle of bore cleaner. The whole thing fits neatly into a vinyl case, which slides into the trap door of the butt plate, always ready when needed.

If your AR-15 does not have a standard A2 buttstock, Otis has a kit for you, too. Many AR-15s have the collapsible CAR-style buttstock without the trap door in the butt plate. Otis has a handy little cleaning kit that snaps into the hollow of the pistol grip. The whole kit fits into a plastic case, which then locks into place in the grip with a device provided with the kit. Installing the grip lock takes less than a minute. This grip kit is very handy, locks securely in place, and keeps the cleaning tools always with the rifle, which can literally be a lifesaver. I understand that the grip kit is now being issued with the US Army’s M-4 rifles. A dirty or wet gun can bring everything to a standstill, just at the wrong moment. Having the cleaning kit always at hand is a good idea.

Last winter, an uncle and his friend were hunting in the woods behind my home. It was cold and raining, but they had a covered stand so they were fairly dry. However, both of these hunters got their guns a little wet going in that morning. Both men missed good shots at deer later that day when their bolt action rifles failed to fire. Moisture had entered the actions, and had frozen hard. It was just enough ice around the firing pins to cushion the strike on the primer. If either man had brought along a cleaning kit, they would have been able to dry their guns and continue the hunt. Otis makes a couple of pocket size kits that would have had the hunters back on stand in no time, instead of taking the guns back home for cleaning.

You can buy Otis products at better gun shops, or directly from Otis Technology.

Check out the complete line of Otis products online at: www.otisgun.com.

Jeff Quinn

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Click pictures for a larger version.


Otis Technology offers several different kits based upon their nifty cleaning system.



Otis Technology's AR-15 Buttstock Kit.



The AR-15 Buttstock Kit neatly fits into the buttstock compartment, and easily extracts for quick use in the field.



Otis Technology's AR-15 Grip Kit.



The AR-15 Grip Kit, ready to insert into the grip.



Otis Technology's AR-15 Grip Kit easily installs into any standard AR-15 pistol grip.



Besides the obvious handiness of having your cleaning kit stored inside your AR-15, the Otis kits are quality rigs that make it easy to properly clean your rifle from the breech. Cleaning from the breech protects the rifling and chamber, helping  maintain accuracy. With the Otis kits, it's a snap!



Otis Technology's proprietary patch system assures that the patch is always properly positioned in the bore.



Using the Otis Technology products is not a difficult task, and Otis includes a video instruction CD with their kits. Jeff considers the Otis products to be some of the finest on the market, and a "must-have" for any AR-15 shooter!