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Hoppes No. 9 Synthetic Blend.

Product review: Hoppes No. 9 Synthetic Blend Bore Cleaner

Firearm maintenance is different for everybody. For some it’s a sacred ritual after every trip to the range or field, and for others it’s a chore that’s completed as quickly as possible. Either way, the products we use play a big part. I’ve always liked Hoppes No. 9. To be fair it’s not the best cleaner on the market, but it works – and has done so for over a century.

Development of Hoppes Bore Cleaner

However, according to the Hoppes, it’s this very legacy that has resulted in the new synthetic blend. I say new, but it’s been around for a couple years now. Compared to 110 years – it’s still fairly new I guess. While the original No. 9 was developed to deal with the corrosive nature of the, then, new smokeless powders on the market and used by the military. The new synthetic blend is claimed to be an advancement with the modern firearm in mind.

Hoppes’ website says that the new blend is safe on the materials used in modern guns – and let’s be honest, things have changed in the manufacture of firearms. The manufacturer also states that it is biodegradable and non-flamable – not what you’d expect from your average gun cleaner. It’s nice to know that not everything in your garage is harmful to your health and the environment – so that’s a plus. ¬†It even smells the same – and you know you love the smell of old No. 9.

Superior penetration is another claim made by Hoppes, and this is something that you should get excited about. I’m one of those gun owners that likes to run a wet patch through before storing firearms, and a dry patch through when taking them out – given time to work in the bore, you’d be surprised at how much more fouling will come out. So I really appreciate the fact that the new blend is thicker than the old one.

New and improved

The Synthetic Blend says so on the label - so you won't get confused.
The Synthetic Blend says so on the label – so you won’t get confused.

The higher viscosity of the new blend means it’s more cloying – it clings to the inside of your barrel better. A patch will still clean it out, but what I’m talking about is the ability of the cleaner to work it’s way into the grooves and stay there. You’ll notice when you wet a patch that your cleaner on your fingertips is thicker and stays there if not wipe off, whereas you’d barely notice the old No. 9 and it would evaporate or dry fairly quickly. You may also notice reside when you retract your cleaning rod – more proof that the cleaner sticks where you put it.

I do like Hoppes, and will continue to use the new synthetic blend. I’ll have to do another test against some other bore cleaners in the future, but in the meantime, this is one I’ll stick with.



Geoff is a shooting and reloading enthusiast who would rather be at the range, but is content to write about it. He is a member of Waiuku Pistol Club, and shoots rifle, pistol and shotgun in various disciplines, occasionally, managing to get out for a hunt.

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