MAX Force Cleaning Rods – a Rod Revolution?
Russ Chastain 01.30.15
Cleaning rods. They are usually pretty basic, and there hasn’t been a whole lot of useful innovation in this area for quite a while–until now.
At the 2015 SHOT Show, I stopped by the Battenfeld Technologies booth to check out their new stuff. They have a bunch of brands and offer some cool new things, but what really jumped out and grabbed me was a new cleaning rod.
If you’ve ever used a long cleaning rod on a rifle, you’ve probably had trouble with the rod bending, your cleaning brush or patch jag bending, or both. Sometimes, we can’t push hard enough on the rod without the rod warping out of shape because the handle is two feet (or farther) from the point where the rod enters the bore. Sometimes, cleaning rods break.
They’re calling it the Tipton MAX Force cleaning rod, and it looks rather revolutionary (patent pending). The rod is long with 40 inches of usable length, and the handle slides along the length of the rod. A lever on the handle allows it to clamp onto the rod when you squeeze it–anywhere on the rod–so you can push the rod from just a few inches away from your rifle instead of trying to push on the end of the rod.
To release it, just let go. The lever springs up, the clamp releases, and you can reposition the handle anywhere you want. So you can push a stubborn brush or patch through in a series of short pushes instead of one awkward, long, rod-warping shove.
And get this: Even though the handle is locked onto the rod when you mash the lever, the rod is still free to rotate (on ball bearings in the clamp) with your barrel’s rifling!
Cue angels singing.
The unthreaded end of the rod has a brass cap that can handle some raps from a hammer or mallet when you need to drive tight patches through a barrel.
The MAX Force cleaning rod will initially be offered in two sizes: .17-.20 caliber with 5-40 threads (item 658540) or .22-.45 caliber with 8-32 threads (item 658539). MSRP is $84.99.
The rod itself is made of carbon fiber, so it ought to be pretty dang tough.
MAX Force is a brand new product, and my contact at Battenfeld tells me it will be at least a couple more weeks before they’re in stock. I’ve already placed my order for the .22-.45 caliber version, and I’m almost looking forward to swamping out some rifle barrels with it.
Can this truly be the one rod to rule them all? Well, the MAX Force rod can handle very long rifle and shotgun barrels or the shortest handgun barrels, so it has the potential to be the only cleaning rod you will ever need.