Otis Technology which has been synonymous with cleaning accoutrement for years, was front and center their newest line of products, the Defender Series. This line can best be described as a highly portable, in-the-field cleaning kits designed for either a single, or a combination of two calibers.
The Defender Series cleaning system has its DNA in the military.
It was originally developed for the soldier but the folks at Otis saw fit to make it available for hunters and shooters. Unlike their budget “Patriot” line of cleaning kits which is useful, but bare bones, the Defender has everything but the kitchen sink. Well, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration but let’s say it’s a comprehensive collection of gear in one pack so you’re prepared to do a full on cleaning, if that’s what’s called for.
Otis has dubbed this their Breech-to-Muzzle cleaning system which entails cables, bore brush, chamber brush (for the 5.56 and 7.62 kits), slotted tip, double ended brush (the size of a tooth brush), patches, solid rods to clean the chamber and remove obstructions, and an (environmentally safe) tube of CLP. The entire kit and caboodle are stored in a zip-up case about the size of a fanny-pack that has a snap on loop that can be attached to backpack. Pretty slick.
It also has one of my favorite Otis inventions, the “Ripcord”, a 21st century bore snake that I always bring on range visits. Just this alone is a huge help and I think it’s worthwhile describing in detail. I’ve been using the Ripcord for other rifles for a couple of years.
Essentially it allows you to clean the barrel while it’s still warm—before the carbon residues start hardening and your job becomes more difficult the next day. The Otis product differs from the standard bore snake in a number of ways.
It’s manufactured from Nomex fibers braided over a molded rubberized core/cable combination. (Nomex is a product invented by DuPont, first used for flight suits and later as standard fare for people who need flame resistant garb to protect them from burns such as firemen, racecar drivers, etc.) This stuff is not going to dissolve in a warm barrel. The Ripcord has 8-32 threaded ends so you can screw in accessories such as jags, brushes, etc, to assist in the cleaning process.
I call it a 21st century bore snake because it’s quite rigid compared to the old-style, flaccid bore snake. Consequently, it’s easy to poke it down a barrel than a standard bore snake which has to be “gravity fed” by tilting the gun downwards. Otis says the core has a “helix shape, which helps engage the rifling throughout the length of the barrel.
You can get it in various configurations including:
- .40 cal.
- .45 cal.
- 5.56/.40 cal.
- 5.56/7.62 cal.
- 5.56/.45 cal.
Why did I like about this kit?
It has everything and the parts work together flawlessly. It’s a case of the sum of the parts being greater than the whole.
By creating a one-caliber system it epitomizes the KISS or Keep it Simple Stupid concept. If I’m bringing out my AK or a handgun to the range I don’t want to schlep my entire crate of cleaning gear to find the right copper brush. With the Defender I have everything I need in one place to get the job done.
I had the chance to review both the 9mm and the 7.62 kits. I think they are a welcome addition to anyone who needs to clean their gear in a remote area or on the range. Prices range from $59.99 – $79.99.
New Bio Mix Cleaners
In addition to the above kits, Otis introduced a line of non-toxic cleaning products including an all-in-one Bio CLP, a protectant formulated to prevent oxidation, rust and corrosion; a lubricant designed to protect both internal and external metal parts from wear and corrosion, and a copper remover that targets copper buildup in a firearm’s bore. The containers come in two and four ounce sizes. The two ounce bottles are small enough to to add to the kits. Otis also sells a companion item, the Otis Precision Applicator which has four different attachments for the cleaners. It’s a good addition because you don’t waste precious lube by dribbling it all over your firearm.