I recently met Jerry Williams, Vice President of Sales at OTIS Technology, Inc. of Lyons Falls, NY. He was kind enough to give me a complete run down of the company's current line of military-oriented cleaning gear. The highlight of the conversation was the M40A1 cleaning kit now being issued to Marine snipers, which is also said to be offered for Army use and the M24 SWS. In both cases, in my humble opinion, this in an improvement because this kit far exceeds the old options available to the military marksman.
I am going to describe two kits in this one review for they are virtually identical except for one thing. The DMR-M14 kit (NSN 1005-01-451-5119) can only be used with a .30 sniper rifle. The M40A1 Kit has a second rod able to pass through a 5.56 (.223 Rem) bore. All other items are the same and for the purposes of the review, I will simply refer to both kits as the M40A1 kit.
The M40A1 kit, NSN number 1005-01-453-3783, comes in the typical OTIS ballistic nylon black soft case. The case has a heavy duty nylon zipper and has options of being attached to a belt via standard military load bearing equipment clips or via a nylon strap. The LBE clips can be easily removed if you so choose. The soft case has four basic compartments. The first, found on the inside of the front cover, consists of a small pocket which holds CLEAR SIGHTS TM silicone-treated lens cleaning paper. Room exists for additional flat items.
Between this cover/pocket and a central compartment is a flip out strap. OTIS created an elastic web type strap which holds the following: a bottle of evaporative lens cleaning solution and a lens cleaning brush in a plastic case. Remove the cap on this case and twist the body. The brush rises out of the case. Neat! The capped body keeps the brush free of debris when not in use. Also on the strap you will find cotton swabs and a disassembled chamber cleaning tool which is made up of a brass rod, a toothbrush attachment, and a small pick for getting into tight spots of hard carbon. A fourth loop in the strap is available for additional tools.
The central compartment is made of a hard plastic disc to which is glued a medium density foam disc topped with a felt or velour-type material. Cutouts in this foam disc are shaped to hold the following tools: two different size bore brushes, a T-Handle, a small stiff brush, a barrel obstruction remover, an eyelet rod tip, and a scraper tool.
The final compartment takes form in a pocket found on the inside of the rear cover. Located therein is the 7.62 dedicated 32" OTIS Memory Flex cleaning rod (and an additional 5.56 rod in the M40 kit), a short 8" section of Memory Flex rod, a stack of OTIS 3" cleaning patches, instruction sheets, a bore reflector tool, and a NATO adapter for adapting NATO spec 8-36 brushes and tools to the commercial 8-32 thread. You will not have much use for this last tool, but it is a nice addition to the kit and may bail you out of a bind if you lose the standard 8-32 tools provided in the kit while in a training or combat zone where NATO spec tools abound. Finally, a bottle of bore cleaning solvent is included.
All the tools are made of forged brass and are Teflon coated an anti-reflective Matt black. They will not damage your bore if they should happen to contact it, but by design they generally will not come into contact. The OTIS memory flex cleaning rod is covered in a heavy coating of black material similar to what you find on any high quality, one-piece coated cleaning rod.
In use, the kit is quite simple and allows you to perform all necessary cleaning chores in a field environment. Its compact size will not take up much room in your drag bag, field pack or butt pack. It can be attached, via the LBE clips, to your ruck or bag. The self-centering pull-through nature of the cleaning system will provide years of rub-free cleaning to your bore without the risk of damage found in solid push-through rods. The kit tools can be used to effectively clean the chamber, shoulder and throat areas of the rifle and by the simple fact of their use, will keep cleaning solution out of the magazine well and trigger area.
As with all OTIS systems, you feed the rod through the bore from the breech. You may attach the T-handle once the end of the rod emerges from the muzzle, or you may forego this depending on the state of cleanliness of the bore. A heavily-fouled bore will require more pulling force and the T-handle helps overcome tight spots in the pass. As an aside, you can file down the crimp on the T-handle and remove it from the brass drum. This will allow you to affix the drum to the cleaning rod and pass it through the bore, requiring that you only reinsert the tapered "T" back into the drum before pulling. On civilian kits, this is how the T handle comes - a two part system. This allows you to avoid having to screw the T-handle tool onto the rod. Unfortunately, to make this mod of the military kit requires the exorbitantly typical amount of paperwork required for all RFCs to rectify the system and frankly, it just was not worth the effort. Jar Heads will just have to screw on the T-handle or file the tip off the "T" when their CO ain't looking...
In all, the M40A1 and DMR-M14 sniper rifle cleaning kits provide a much better solution to field care than the old M60/.30 caliber kits issued to troops in the past. You will experience little if any stuck patches due to the pull-through design, and you will NEVER have to use a segmented steel rod again!
Sniper Country HIGHLY recommends these kits for anyone conscientious enough to maintain their rifles in the field, be they high-dollar sniper systems or hunting rifles. This kit, while small, packs a load of features that allow you to take it all with you in a small 4" round package.
Kits are available for the general shooting public as well as for specific firearms. All kits are available to the public, including the M40A1 kit and the M16 cleaning system. OTIS may be contacted at:
OTIS technology, Inc.
PO Box 582
Lyons Falls, NY 13368
or by calling 1-800-OTIS-GUN
You may purchase OTIS products direct or through one of their many distributors, of which the Sniper Country PX hopes to become one, because I feel their kits are simply the best of their type. This is one of those excellent products that simplify the life of the field shooter, and Sniper Country is happy to recommend it.