It goes without saying that at some point and time every shooter has had a bottle of Hoppe’s No. 9 Cleaning Solvent in their cleaning arsenal. It has a remarkable 110 plus year history at this point, and while still just as effective as the day it was introduced Hoppe’s hasn’t been one to sit on it’s laurels. Case and point is their recently developed line of Black products which are designed specifically for the rigorous needs of modern gas-operated firearms that frequently see higher round counts and temperatures.
The new Black lineup includes gun cleaner, copper cleaner, grease syringe and oil, each formulated to function in temperatures from -65 to 540 degrees Fahrenheit. Basically, there isn’t a temperature or climate these products can’t handle. Individually wrapped lubricating cloth is also available.
Hoppe’s Product Manager Laurie Kokoruda notes that, “The Hoppe’s Black formula is designed for MSRs and other high-volume firearms, but will work with any gun.”
Hoppe’s Black Gun Cleaner is a CLP (clean, lubricate & protect) type product with an advanced cleaning formula engineered specifically to remove high carbon levels from high round count firearms. Black Gun Cleaner is safe to use on any firearm bore and delivers a superior clean. Currently it is available in 2.5oz and 6oz aluminum pump bottles as well as a 4oz aluminum aerosol bottle with extension tube.
The Black Precision Oil is formulated to manage the high heat temperature conditions created in high round count shooting situations. The Black Precision Oil boasts an extreme temperature range from -65°f to 540°f and includes rust inhibitors to further protect your firearms. It is currently available in 2oz and 4oz bottles with precision tip applicator as well as a 4oz aluminum aerosol bottle with extension tube.
Hoppe’s Black Copper Cleaner that is engineered to give your bore a complete clean and was specifically designed for modern firearms. Black Copper Cleaner is designed to remove high levels of copper and is safe to use on any firearm bore. Available in 4oz bottle only.
The Black Grease Syringe will help keep your firearm running in extreme conditions while decreasing the wear and tear on your firearm. Hoppe’s Black grease is a synthetic polymer formula that boasts extreme temperature range from -65°f to 540°f and the syringe applicator allows for precision application.
Last but not least, the Black Lubricating Cloth is perfect for a quick touch-up or wipe-down in the field. The Black Lubricating Cloth is coated with Hoppe’s Black Precision Oil and is safe for any type of stock including wood and synthetic and comes packaged in a resealable bag.
Hoppe’s was nice enough to send me out some samples of all the new Black products earlier this year and I have since been using them exclusively on a couple of my AR-15’s to see how they perform. Over the course of these past few months I have put roughly 300-400 rounds of a combination of factory and hand loaded ammunition through each of the two rifles and each was cleaned approximately three times with the Black products. I will also note that I typically run my AR’s fairly dry with just a light coating of oil on the tail of the bolt and a drop on the trigger engagement surfaces. The cam pins are always treated to a light coating of grease, as are the bolt carrier guide rails.
The Black Copper Cleaner proved to do a good job of getting the copper fouling out of the bore and seems to be just as effective as the copper solvent I normally use. Unlike many bore solvents out there, the Black Copper Cleaner has a fairly mild scent to it that is more pleasant than offensive to the senses. My only complaint would be that the child-safe cap on my sample bottle was quite difficult to remove.
Like the Black Copper Cleaner, the Black Gun Oil (non-aerosol) also has a somewhat fruity scent to it that’s quite pleasant. The oil seemed to maintain it’s lubricity quite well during testing, even with some extremely dirty shooting foreign FMJ ammunition. The oil also didn’t “gum up” or almost turn into a paste from the gas system fouling like some others I have tried in the past. Those of you who run your gas guns wet will know what I’m talking about here.
The Black Gun Cleaner (aerosol) reminded me a lot of carburetor cleaner, both in how it worked and how it smelled. Definitely no berry-fresh scent with this one. It did a pretty good job of cutting through fresh fouling on the bolt carrier group when applied to still warm parts and lightly scrubbed, but like most other cleaners I have used it required quite a bit more scrubbing with a heavier hand when I let the fouling sit for a few days before cleaning.
The Black Grease Syringe makes it easy to apply the grease right where you want it, and the lubricity seems to be very good. The grease is a little thinner in viscosity than the grease I normally use, but that didn’t seem to affect it’s ability to stay put or hold up over several hundred rounds of fire. Just take care with the ears on the syringe as one of mine broke off already, but to be fair I’ve had the same exact issue with most every other plastic grease syringe on the market.
The Black Lubricating Cloth is pretty straight forward, though it’s scent is a little less pleasant than the bottled oil. A good lubricated wipe is always nice to have handy for wiping down your firearms and magazines at the end of a range session. The Black cloth works perfectly fine and is about twice the size of most lubricated wipes on the market at 11″ x 14″, but packaged individually they are a bit pricey. Typically I keep a 60-count container of disposable 6″ x 7″ lubricated gun wipes in my range bag and I can purchase that container for less than the cost of two Black Lubricated Cloths. While the Black cloths come in a resealable bag and theoretically can be used more than once, in my experience they just get too dirty after the first use to want to hold onto them to use again. This is especially true when using them to wipe down semi-automatic gas guns, and even more so if you run them wet. That said I would only recommend the Black Lubricated Cloth if you’re very limited on space and just want a wipe available should you unexpectedly need to wipe something down during the course of a competition or training class. In any other situation the bulk pack disposable wipes are a much better buy.
Closing this up I think the new Black series of lubricants and solvents from Hoppe’s have hit their mark and from what I can summarize from my limited testing they work as advertised. The Black line is a little more expensive than the base line of Hoppe’s cleaning products and is comparable in price to their Benchrest products. Whether any benefits offered by the Black products justify the additional cost will be a matter of personal preference and opinion, but they have proven capable of doing the job so worst case scenario you’ll only be out a few extra dollars. If you’re someone who doesn’t like the harsh smell of most solvents on the market, the Hoppe’s Black products are definitely worth checking out.
For more information on the new Black line from Hoppe’s please visit their website.
Bushnell Outdoor Products
Overland Park, KS 66214