Sometimes it's the simple things that can mean the most. Many of you who have been readers for a while know that I recommend a process that I refer to as "deep cleaning" for the bore and choke of your shotgun. It's a very simple process that requires no complicated tools, just a little time and a few simple helps.
One of the most important and most overlooked simple things is a high quality bore brush. All too often I see people using bore brushes that were not of high quality when new and now are badly worn. No only do these brushes make work harder but they really just don't do the job.
A high quality bore brush should have dense and pretty stiff brass/bronze bristles. If the bristles on your bore brush feel like those on your toothbrush, they are too soft.
Another simple tool is a stiff cleaning rod, jointed or one piece, that was designed specifically for shotguns. When you attach a good bore brush to a rod and begin the cleaning process by inserting it into the chamber of your barrel, you will encounter some pressure. That pressure will only increase as you slide it further down the bore. A slender rod may bend or worse yet, break and damage your bore.
Cotton patches are also quite simple but nothing I've found works better to distribute solvent or gun oils and to scrub the bore. I use 10-12 gauge sized patches for both my 12 gauge and 20 gauge guns.
I use a lot of Hoppe's #9 bore solvent. It works very well, it's widely available and it's also very inexpensive. It's another simple product but if you allow the chemical action time to do its work, I can't find anything that works better.
I also believe in using simple gun oils and I use them very, very sparingly. I will oil pivot points and rails but sparingly and wipe off any excess. I wipe the fingerprints from the exterior of barrels, receivers, etc. but never coat them with any kind of oil.
A few years ago I discovered Rusty's Rags which are really a piece of sheepskin that has a silicone on it. That sheepskin can really get into nooks and crannies that you might miss otherwise. When new however, they can really put a little too much lube on surfaces and need to be followed-up with a dry cloth.
Lastly, a product that has been around for years, in one form or another is vapor technology, that keeps metals from oxidizing (rusting) or corroding. When you purchase a new gun and see that brown paper in the box, that's one method of distributing vapor technology. You may also have seen some zip lock bags of various sizes or some snap caps that do the same thing.
Personally, I like the Zerust products because you can move them from you gun cabinet or safe to your gun case or they are inexpensive enough to buy a bunch and put them pretty much everywhere to keep your guns safe. That vapor can penetrate the stock or action and get to places that you'd never be able to oil.
Pretty simple things but sometimes, the simple things are best.