Pull-Through Pocket Cleaners

A 1932 catalogue advertisement for field cleaning kit.

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Gunsmithing & Technical|September 2019

Cleaning instructions for shotguns, given by gunmakers to their customers changed over the years, as black powder gave way to 'smokeless' powders, like Schultze and E.C, around the turn of the century.

By the 1930s, smokeless powders were the norm and this 1932 catalogue advertises the type of products considered then necessary to clean a gun properly after use.

One item illustrated is something often found in old shotgun cases. It is a 'pull-through pocket cleaner', comprising a leather pouch with strap and buckle, containing a brass weight with attached cord, linking it to a stiff-bristled cleaning head with brass body and a loop for a cloth. The weight is dropped down the bore and the cleaning head pulld through. The bristles loosen fouling and the cloth wipes it away.

The pull-through is designed to be carried in a pocket and uses immediately after shooting to provide a basic clean of the bore, or could be used to clean-out any powder residue, or perhaps snow or mud in the case of an accident in the field. The price is listed as six shillings in best quailty and two shillings and sixpence in 'budget' form. Six shillings was the price of fifty decent 12-bore cartridges, so about twenty pounds in today's money.

As an aside, it is interesting to note the advertisement of 'cloth covered rods' for 'preserving the inside of barrels' at four shillings a pair. These are sometimes forund in old gun cases and people rarely know what they are. Actually, putting cloth covered rods in the bore is a terrible idea. cloth absorbs moisture from the air. In contact with steel, it imparts the moisture to that and causes it to rust. Storing a gun with cloth-covered rods in the bores would not protect them, it would more likely cause their demise. I wonder how many guns were ruined that way.



Published by Vintage Guns Ltd on

Gunsmithing & Technical|September 2019

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