There are some guys who just want it all. As I sit here looking over the OTIS tactical rifle cleaning kit, I think this was the guy OTIS had in mind. Packaged in the same ballistic nylon soft case as found on the M40A1 sniper rifle cleaning kit, the tactical rifle kit has a new twist. It has enough tools in it to clean rifles from .22 caliber to .50 caliber. Because of the multiple nature of the tools, you can use these same pieces to clean shotguns from .410 to 10 gage AND pistols from .22 to .45 caliber. If that is not enough for you, the kit does all this and still fits in the above-mentioned 4 "x 2" carry case!
The case itself has one addition to the M40A1 case. The central compartment flap has medium density foam on both sides of the hard plastic disc. There are cutouts in this foam for all the necessary cleaning tools and enough bore brushes to cover all calibers mentioned above.
Not included with this kit are the necessary parts to clean optics as found in the sniper rifle kits. But the pouches and straps for this gear are still present. It would take very little effort fill these spaces, and one can order the necessary cleaners and tools direct from OTIS. Starting in the front of the case, the cover flap has a pocket large enough to hold lens paper or a small bottle of bore cleaner. Next you will find the elastic strap (much like a shotgun shell holder) that one can use to place items such as a lens brush, cotton swabs, a segmented tooth brush or other specialized cleaning tools. Since this is a universal kit, I believe OTIS left these items out to keep the cost down. What is missing in lens cleaning gear is made up for in multiple brushes and tools.
The center flap -- the one with the double-sided medium density foam -- holds five bore brushes on one side, nice tools on the other. The brushes are individually numbered. These numbers, when used with the OTIS instruction manual, indicates which calibers the brush may be used with. For example, the #30 brush will work for caliber's ranging from .30 to 8mm. OTIS provides decimal sizes in their guide which can be used as a cross reference when comparing bore sizes to brush sizes. Flipping the center compartment over, one finds the following: a T-handle with a removable "T". This allows you to affix the central drum of the T-Handle to the cleaning rod and pass it through the bore, negating the need to screw on the T-handle once the cleaning rod is passed through the muzzle. The "T" portion of the handle is tapered and locks into the drum under pressure. Next you will find a .50 caliber cleaning eyelet, a .30 caliber cleaning eyelet and a .22 caliber cleaning eyelet. These are sized in such a way as to allow them to be used for every caliber in between. The next two tools are obstruction removers. These can be affixed to the rod to tap out a stuck case or debris in the barrel. The last forged brass tool is a shotgun brush adapter. However, no shotgun brush is included with the kit.
Also found in the middle compartment are two soft durometer plugs called patch savers. Two sizes are provided. In use, these slip over a cleaning eyelet and a patch is affixed. This unique idea allows a standard patch to tightly fit a shotgun bore for cleaning purposes.
The final compartment, located on the back of the case, is a pocket which includes a surprising variety of goodies. First and foremost are THREE OTIS memory flex cleaning rods. The first is a thin 24" long .22 caliber flexible rod. Permanently affixed to the end is an eyelet. The second is a 32" flexible rod for 270 and above calibers. The last is a short 8" flexible rod which can be used for adding length to the .30 caliber rod OR for a pistol cleaning rod. Two additional tools are found in this pocket. A NATO adapter which allows you to use 8-36 NATO tips on a standard 8-32 threaded rod. The second additional tool is an adapter that will allow you to connect two cleaning rods together. Also included is a bore reflector (as described in the previous reviews), cleaning solvent, and a stack of patches.
My one nit on this kit: not enough patches are included in the initial purchase. Granted, by their design you can use each patch three to six times depending on what you are doing, but I still cannot shake the idea of having more patches than needed on hand. Of course, this is easily remedied. Just put more in.
All tools are polished forged brass. No effort was made to black out the tips and none is really needed. The M40A1 kit in the prior review did have blacked-out tips, but these may prove a hassle if dropped in the field. As a side note, the M16 kits are not provided with anti-glare parts, so one can surmise that common sense ruled when the proposal for that kit was submitted. I do like the anti-glare tools, but wonder whether this is just being overly cautious. After all, you are not going to be cleaning in the middle of a stalk... well, at least not if you haven't screwed up and filled your bore with goo!
For the person with multiple rifles and handguns who never knows which he is going to be using, or the person who takes several weapons to the range, the tactical cleaning kit offers a universal way to cover all bases. While I would prefer it had the optical cleaning gear included, these accessories are very inexpensive and easily added at the user's discretion. Overall, the kit allows you to invest in only one field grade cleaning kit for all of your shooting needs. In that way, it may save you money in the long run. ALL OTIS kits may be modified by the user for their personal needs. OTIS offers a complete line of accessories to supplement the kits.
Sniper Country is again happy to endorse the OTIS line of cleaning products. We are in good company. These kits are currently in service with the following agencies: the DEA, FBI, US Army, and the Marine Corps.
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:
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.