Whether you are cleaning a $400 Savage, or a $4000 custom 6mm BR Benchrest rig, you NEED a bore guide to protect your barrel from cleaning-rod damage. We've tried all the popular rod guides and we believe the best of the lot is Mike Lucas's Guide. Custom-fitted to your chamber, the Lucas Guide centers the cleaning rod perfectly, so it works better than off-the-shelf Delrin guides from Sinclair or MidwayUSA. The Lucas Guide, when used with coated or carbon rods from Dewey, Bore-tech or Tipton (MidwayUSA), provides the best insurance against barrel damage during cleaning.
Top gunsmiths often remind us that more barrels are ruined by improper cleaning than are worn out from shooting. With custom barrels running $250-$350, plus $200 for chambering and fitting, you're wise to spend the money for a Lucas unit. There's no need to spend any more--a $130 Nollan Barrel Saver guide is a fine product, but the Lucas Guide performs as well or better for one-third the cost. You can get a custom-fitted guide in week or two, or pay three times as much for the "Barrel Saver". The $55 you save will pay for a nice micrometer seating die, or a few thousand primers.
We've also used the $25 Delrin rod guides sold by MidwayUSA (EJS) and Sinclair. Both brands do a decent job. But the Lucas Guide has one VERY important advantage--it uses an insert closely sized to the diameter of your cleaning rod (specify diameter when ordering). This insert, which fits on the tail end of the guide, aligns the rod and eliminates free-play. Consequently, the cleaning rod stays centered as it enters the delicate throat of your rifle. The insert's tight tolerances also keep your cleaning rod from bowing as you push it through the barrel. (A rod which bows can abrade or shave its outer plastic coating on the rifling).
Lucas guides also feature an integral solvent port so harsh chemicals won't mar your prized walnut stock or $500 paint job. While plug-in solvent port extensions are available for the Sinclair and Midway rod guides, they cost $8 extra. For a few dollars more you can get the superior Lucas system. Call Mike for current pricing. The price includes extra o-rings for the chamber-end seal and the guide insert.