How To Remove a Stuck Patch & How To Avoid Getting it Stuck in the First Place

Imagine this. You’ve just finished up a great day of bird hunting or maybe you went to the range for target practice. You get home and your tired but you bring your gun in and gather your gun cleaning supplies to give your firearm a nice clean because you know the importance of a well maintained firearm.

Reaching for your Otis kit, you pull out the Memory-Flex® cable and attach the slotted tip and obstruction remover. You grab a patch and tie it onto the slotted tip. A couple drops of solvent and you’re ready to pull it through. But just as you start pulling it through the barrel, it starts to get tight – real tight. No worries, you pull out the t-handle bar and slide it through the obstruction remover. With a little bit more leverage, you’ve got this. But you quickly realize you don’t. With a patch stuck in the barrel, you start to get frustrated. But then you remember this blog that offered troubleshooting techniques on removing a stuck patch and you relax. Here’s the lowdown on why this happened, techniques on how to remove the stuck patch and what you can do to avoid this situation in the future.

So what happened? Well, Otis patches provide 360 degree coverage inside your barrel. This is accomplished by a unique patch-tying method and allows for multiple calibers to be cleaned with one size patch. If you grab TOO LITTLE patch material, the swab is too loose inside the barrel and doesn’t go a great job cleaning; TOO MUCH makes it difficult to pull through and could result in it getting stuck.

Now, how to remove the stuck patch. A stuck patch can happen to the best of us. Take some solvent and apply a generous amount to the patch from both ends of the barrel. Don’t be stingy with the solvent – this is going to loosen the fibers in the patch and lubricate the bore, making it easier to remove. Let it sit overnight. Remember to keep your firearm in a safe place and out of reach of children. In the AM, go ahead and pull the cable out. It should break the stuck patch free. Should that still not work, it’s time to roll up your sleeves. Change your shoes to an old pair you are okay with solvent getting on them. With the muzzle end down, place the Memory-Flex® cable under your foot. Careful though, as solvent may drip out of the barrel (now the shoe change makes sense, huh?!). While firmly holding the firearm, pull it up and away. Voila, stuck patch removed. One more situation might occur though – what if the cable and slotted tip come out but the patch stays in the barrel? Take the cable and flip it around so the obstruction remover end is placed in the muzzle. Hold the firearm vertically and repeatedly tap until the patch breaks free. Be patient, as it make take several taps to loosen the patch. See this troubleshooting process in action with this video. 

All you wanted to do was give your firearm the proper cleaning it deserved and you ended up with a less than ideal situation. So how do you prevent this from happening again?

To avoid this in the future, check out these blog posts and videos on how to use the Otis 2” and 3” patches and properly creating the size swab you need for your firearm. When first starting out, err on the side of caution. Start small. Make a smaller swab and pull it through. If it isn’t tight enough, grab a little bit more material next time. Once you get the hang of it, it’s like second nature. Of course, you can always consult the blog and videos or the instruction manual that comes with your cleaning kit.

Otis products are designed to make gun cleaning quicker and easier. This is just one little bump in the road we’re sure you’ll quickly overcome. Of course, if you have further questions or would like further assistance, we’re happy to help – give us a call at 1-800-OTISGUN (684-7486).