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Review of the C.A.T. M-4 cleaning tool
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  weaponeer

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Posted: June 16 2010 at 1:36pm | IP Logged Quote weaponeer

This is the second bolt carrier cleaning tool I have reviewed. for years I cleaned the bolt carriers the hard way, but now there are tools on the market designed to quickly remove the carbon buildup on the bolt and carrier of the AR15/M16 Series weapons (including M4).

The tool in this review is made by Combat Application Tool, INC called the C.A.T. M-4.

The first thing you notice about the C.A.T. M-4 is the packaging! They did a great job of designing a small package that not only holds the tool, but is also the directions for it's use, in the style of the Military PS Magazines.

This tool is the smallest tool I have reviewed so far at 3.5 inches long and weighs only 1.4 ounces, but it's large in features.

As you can see from the packaging, it cleans the bolt and the carrier, but it's also a 1/4 hex head for Larue mounts, as well as any common 1/4 inch screw driver tools, so it acts as a handle for added leverage.  It's also a large screw driver if needed.

when you open the packaging you get your first look of the tool

the tool is  very well made from investment castings using 300 series stainless steel , then CNC machined to mil spec., and it has no visible machine marks.  It's a good idea to apply a light coat of oil to the tool to prevent rusting during storage.

I was surprised by the unique means they use to clean the bolt. it just slides right on the bolt tail with nice close tolerances

so you just give it a spin and the carbon is removed really quickly.  very simple and effective.

for the bolt carrier you just turn the tool around and insert it into the carrier, and turn it to remove any carbon.

It really does work well at cleaning, and this tool does have one item the other tools don't, and thats a slot to insert a patch for cleaning the inside of the carrier.  it's a nice touch.

The firing pin cleaner really is not needed because the firing pins can be cleaned with a rag, but it's there if you need it, or it's a handy location for a lanyard.

Now the bolt carrier used in the photos is a JP rifles carrier, but any Mil Spec carrier can be cleaned with this tool pretty easy.  if you have one of the cheap slight out of spec bolt, with the radius at a different angle, then you will need to work a little harder to get those clean.

Overall I think it's a great tool, and if I was still in the army I would carry this on a keychain to keep with me at all times.  it's a great tool for a quick combat cleaning in the field, and it fits in the issue cleaning pouch, or small enough to stick a handfull of them in your pocket. it does not remove all the carbon, but it does remove 99% of it, and it will remove enough in just 2 minutes to clean a very dirty bolt and bring it back into spec (cleaning wise) to keep it running reliably until a more detailed cleaning can be done later, and when used it makes the process of an inspection clean much easier and faster.

They are MADE in the USA, and normally retail for $35, but at the time of this review they had them on sale for $29.95 plus shipping

and you can buy them from: http://www.catm4.com/

Best of all they offer a 100% MONEY BACK GUARANTEE. If you don't like the tool for any reason, send it back for a FULL REFUND. If you break it, send it back for a NEW TOOL.

RATING:

well made, light and compact and still does the job quickly and with little effort. A great tool for the money and one I recommend.

 

 

 

 

 

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  blurrededge

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Posted: June 16 2010 at 2:07pm | IP Logged Quote blurrededge

I wish I saw this before I ordered the other one, it's smaller and I've seen a pretty tough build up on the firing pin shelf sometimes (depends on the ammo I think). Also looks like it might fit in a storage grip.
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  weaponeer

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Posted: June 16 2010 at 2:21pm | IP Logged Quote weaponeer

blurrededge wrote:
I wish I saw this before I ordered the other one, it's smaller and I've seen a pretty tough build up on the firing pin shelf sometimes (depends on the ammo I think). Also looks like it might fit in a storage grip.

They both are great tools.  My favorate tool is the C.A.T. M-4, it's a smaller tool, but the CRT-15 fits and cleans a greater variety of bolts and carriers.

I use them both for a small compact cleaning system to cover nearly any bolt or carrier.  the CAT first for a quick clean, and the CRT to get it spotless.

The more I use the CAT M4 the more I really like it. If you have an AR, then you should also have this tool.

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  weaponeer

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Posted: June 16 2010 at 2:32pm | IP Logged Quote weaponeer

I would like to see a tool like the CAT M4 with reamers on each end.  one for the firing pin, and the other for the carrier key.

Wolf ammo is really dirty stuff, and the firing pin gets a good dusting.  if the firing pin is dirty, then it's always a good idea to clean the firing pin hole in the bolt, but the problem is there are no good tools to remove carbon buildup. pipe cleaner works for general cleaning, but not for carbon.

we always used worn bore brush to try to get them clean, but it's a hard job.

it would be nice to have a tool to spec for cleaning these.

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