Just over a month ago I had the chance to test out and review 300 Below’s new Tactical Triad firearms cleaning and lubrication kit, but it wasn’t yet actually available for purchase. This has since changed, and you can now purchase the entire kit as well as many of the individual components on Amazon. Links, details, a follow-up on the review (including a technical note and some comments from a TTAG reader on his experience with it) . . .
- The Tactical Triad kit is available on Amazon here.
- $5 off promotional code for TTAG readers, valid until 04/30/2014 at midnight (enter into “Gift cards & promotional codes” field in Amazon checkout): TTAGFIVE
- If you visit the official website (and I’m avoiding linking to the home page because of an auto-play video w/ volume), you can find more information on each product as well as a link to Amazon for just the Pristine cleaner. Links to the other individual products are coming soon. I think the coupon code only works on the whole Triad though, and considering the extras like the ammo can, Pure Scrub pads, spray bottles of Slip Mist lube, and possible “bonus” items like the cleaning mat and more I’d say it’s worth the cost difference and the individual Pristine bottle makes more sense as a refill later.
If you read my review or checked out the video embedded therein, I was pretty darn positive on the Tactical Triad. I found the Pristine cleaner to be very effective while also being as pleasant to work with as anything could be. I really liked the cleaning mat a lot, and the scrub pads were pretty sweet. I liked that I can create a bucket of cleaning solution to let parts soak and that this solution can be reused many times.
So far the Slip Mist is doing great, including in below-freezing temperatures, but I haven’t put enough rounds through my two primary tester firearms (since I know their behavior over the course of ~500 rounds with other lubes) yet for a final ruling. I recently purchased an ultrasonic cleaner so my next test with Pristine will be as a cleaning solution in the tank. Hopefully this will be the best method yet for cleaning suppressor baffles and other difficult parts.
I did receive a message from a TTAG reader whom I’ve seen post in the comments before, and he let me know that he purchased the kit to try out. This is what he had to say after using it:
“I actually went this afternoon and put 300 rounds through my PPQ and came back and used the Pristine and Slip Mist. I have to tell you though, I am pretty OCD about always cleaning my guns right away after shooting them (so not a lot of excess build up). I think the stuff worked just as good, if not better, than the Hoppe’s or Ballistol I have been using. The most noticeable thing (or lack of) was the odor. It had none, which is a huge plus around my house (wife and kids).”
There were some questions and concerns regarding the instruction in the user manual to rinse parts off with water after cleaning with Pristine. I had a chance to talk with the chemist who helped 300 Below create this stuff, and he explained that suggestion to me in more detail. Basically, Pristine is supposed to be cleaning carbon, dirt/grime/particulate, and whatever else off the surface of your parts and holding that stuff in suspension. If you rinse that suspension away with water, you are more likely to achieve a 100% completely residue- and particulate/dirtiness-free, clean surface as compared to wiping it away with a cloth or a patch. Wiping it away has the chance to ‘smear’ some of the dirtiness you removed back onto the parts as you’re wiping, plus you may completely miss places that would have been hit by the water. So it’s simply a best case scenario and wiping it clean is no less acceptable than doing that with any other cleaner.
As mentioned in my original review, some popular firearms cleaners contain actual neurotoxins that can cause permanent central nervous system problems just through exposure to your skin and/or through exposure to their vapors. Death through vapor inhalation and/or actual ingestion is on the table, too. Pristine is about as dangerous as hand soap, with the most severe safety suggestion after consuming it straight from the bottle being “drink water to dilute” as it may cause upset stomach. By way of example, I’m going to pick out Hoppe’s No. 9 since it’s so prevalent. Certainly it works well, but have you read the MSDS (Materials Safety Data Sheet)? Compare that to Pristine’s MSDS.
I’m sorry to harp on this if you don’t care, and obviously if you wear nitrile gloves and work in a very well-ventilated area you can use nasty solvents to your heart’s content without medical concerns, but I think it’s at least important to put it out there again as a reminder so folks do take the necessary precautions. The fact that you can use Pristine in an enclosed space and not be bothered by any smell or vapors is an obvious benefit, of course, even if we’re only comparing against the strong smell of other products and ignoring any actual heath concerns.
P.S. You should still wear gloves to limit lead exposure.
Neither TTAG nor myself is getting any sort of kickback for Tactical Triad sales or mentions. Then the feedback from a member of the AI and the note on the rinsing off thing sealed the deal. My review was my honest experience and I’m glad to see it being corroborated by other users so far. It’s so freakin’ pleasant to use that I was actually slightly concerned that I had some sort of fluke positive experience with it. I’m bullish on these products because they are working great so far and they are 100% non-toxic and wife-approved for indoor use.