Otis Technology I-Mod and T-Mod Cleaning Kits
Article first appeared at Shooting Illustrated.
I have traveled throughout the world working with foreign militaries on firearms maintenance issues. I can say categorically that no military spends the money and takes weapons maintenance as seriously as the US military.
Early in the war on terrorism, the US military made a departure from the legacy of the metal cleaning rod to the Otis Technology Memory-Flex cable. This made sense, as the cable does not break or bend. There are no sections to break, bend or lose, and the cable can be rolled up and put in a cargo pocket. Otis started sales to the government with their buttstock cleaning kit (MFG-224) in the late 1990s.
Next was the Universal Cleaning System, which cleaned 5.56 NATO, 7.62 NATO, 9 mm, .45 ACP and .50 BMG. It even came with a Gerber multitool. That kit was replaced by the new and improve IWCK or Improved Weapons Cleaning Kit in 2008. This was a lessons learned update, replacing the Gerber tool with a different one. This kit was designed to be used at the squad level, so the .50 BMG was removed. The M16 Soft pack would become the standard issue for all troops.
The latest updates to the US government are the I-Mod and T-Mod. The I-Mod replaces the M4 Soft Pack and is in my opinion the finest kit in the world. Like the M4 Soft Pack, it has a pouch manufactured from tan anti-microbial material. It contains the 30-inch Memory-Flex cable, the new Ripcord, nylon all-purpose brush, 10 2-inch patches, bore brush, slotted tip and obstruction remover. There is a plastic bottle that permits the soldier to fill with whatever cleaning solvent/oil they choose. For the first time, the kit comes with a set of cleaning rods. This enables the user to properly use the chamber brush. Also, it permits removal of stuck cartridge cases if a failure to extract were to happen.
The T-Mod is the “Mac Daddy” of cleaning kits. It replaces the IWCK as the squad level kit. It contains the bore brushes to clean 5.56 NATO, 7.62 NATO, 9 mm and .45 ACP. It also contains Ripcords for cleaning guns chambered in every one of those calibers. In addition, the kit contains the cleaning rods, 2- and 3-inch patches, M16 chamber brush, plastic bottle for solvent and a nylon all-purpose cleaning brush. It has both 8-inch and 30-inch Memory-Flex cables for cleaning any small arm in the US military inventory. It contains specialized tools for cleaning of critical components and hard-to-reach areas of a firearm. Also, it comes with optics cleaning gear (brushes, lens cloth and fluid). It additionally has muzzle caps, pipe cleaners and Q-tips.
These kits are not only available to the US military. They are available to law enforcement and commercial markets. The T-Mod (MFG-211-TMod) has a MSRP of $235.90. The I-Mod (MFG-901-556-9) has a MSRP of $109.68. The I-Mod has a LE variation as well. The 5.56 NATO kit (FG-901-556) has an MSRP of $69.99. They come in combinations as well such as 5.56 NATO/9 mm, 5.56 NATO/7.62 NATO, etc for $79.99.