Let’s say you are deep cleaning your HK MP5, you’ve spent easily over $5,000 on making the ultimate GSG9 clone and you’ve been shooting it a lot. You pull everything apart and give it a good cleaning in your ultrasonic bath. You really do have it all at the cabin. It’s beer-thirty and you have a beer and come back to the bench only to completely forget how to put your trigger group back together. Now you have an issue, how do you figure all this out without trucking back to phone service with a bag of parts. How will you figure out where the springs go and what orientation they are in? Keep reading to see how this gun cleaning mat answers all these short comings.
Traditional Gun Cleaning
Okay, maybe you don’t have the world’s most complex German roller lock legendary submachine gun, maybe you have a simple 1911 that your grandfather brought back from the war, and you clean it every time you shoot. Most folks use their shop bench, covered in tools and grit, as a cleaning surface, or maybe just the kitchen table. You can set down newspaper, paper towels or even a towel, but these can allow chemicals to soak through into the wood and definitely make the other owner of the furniture upset. This doesn’t even begin to mention the need to protect grandpa’s military 1911 from scratches and dings. What would be soft, chemical resistant, and readily available for setting down to clean a firearm?
When it comes to firearm cleaning, there has been little new under the sun for a long time. For decades we used patches, swabs, and barrel cleaning rods. In terms of the surface we cleaned it on, garage workbenches have been a staple for decades. If we’re lucky, or the mom/wife was not home, the kitchen table was a go-to spot for firearm cleaning. These surfaces have major drawbacks. First, there’s the chance of dropping a firearm part and damaging the table. Additionally, solvents can be hard on woods in particular. There’s also the chance of losing something. For instance, some lucky soul will probably find my 1911’s firing pin that I am fairly certain is still stuck between planks of an old barn workbench. The point is, where we clean our guns hasn’t seen much innovation in a while. Until Tekmat came along.
TekMat Has A Solution
Tekmats has these exact situations, as well as many others, covered. Tekmats uses a soft thermoplastic fiber surface that ensures your gun doesn’t get scratched while the extra-thick, .25” vulcanized rubber will protect your work surface and prevent the gun cleaning mat from sliding. This mat will also keep harmful chemicals, oil, and dirt from penetrating down to your desk, bench or work area where you normally clean your weapon. What this ends up meaning is that Tekmats uses a neoprene, wetsuit-like material that is printed with a full exploded view of every part of the firearm that is exactly like the one the company uses to help their assembly workers. These are also surge stitched on the edges so that there is no fraying and your mat can be used for many cleanings to come and provide you with a firearm specific cleaning mat that has information on it to help you reassemble the firearm. All of these designs and exploded views are printed using dye-sublimation printing, which is water-resistant, scratch proof, fade and oil resistant. This heat is a heat transferred printing the ink into the fibers for a lifetime of durability. A lot of manufacturers actually silkscreen their designs which can easily wear off, since this is the same process used for many t-shirts. As you can imagine this is not a great method if you have ever washed your favorite t-shirt too many times. If these were cheaply made, they would suffer many of the same problems as the old towel on a workbench. Instead, Tekmat makes a quality product that will last years, easily.
These mats are built for several purposes but regardless of size, they can be rolled up and stored in cleaning kits that Tekmat makes that are caliber specific. You can make sure that you have every bit of information you might need to reassemble an AR, all of the cleaning and lubrication tools for the weapon and a new brass brush. All of this stored in a neatly rolled up kit that can be placed in your carrying bag or pack to be ready to clean any weapon in the field.
When it comes time for a cleaning afternoon, I make use of two tekmats. The smaller one, sized for handguns, is handy for, of course, cleaning the handgun. But when it’s time to clean my long guns, the smaller mat stays out in addition to the larger gun cleaning mat. While I keep the large components, such as the upper assembly, on the big mat, smaller parts, for example, the firing pin and bolt, can go on the smaller mat, either with a coat of solvent working on the grit or just so I don’t lose them. There are mats made with diagrams of a lot of modern and classic firearms and the charts are often really, really useful in the assembly of the firearms. They also bring to mind the customization screens of many of our favorite video games, which a lot of us will like.
The company also sells basic cleaning kits, making them a handy stop for someone looking to either clean their own guns or gift a loved one a great present. These would be good for birthdays, or excellent stocking stuffers. Using the same technology, the company also makes door mats sure to get some fun reactions out of guests. A personal favorite of mine, with a touch irony, is a doormat that says “Don’t Tread on Me” despite, being a doormat and thus in for a life of treading. They also make branded coasters as well as t-shirts and morale patches. While the mats are the main attraction when you’re on the website keep a lookout for other cool gear as well.
Obviously, Tekmats are generally firearms oriented, but that’s not the only application in which a good rubber mat can come in handy. Aside from the gun mats, the company does also make political and lighthearted mats. Knowing the firearms crowd, a lot of us are also into watches, knives, and other EDC gear. If you have a table you want to preserve or just a fun way to keep your edc stuff well organized, a Tekmat would be a good home for your stuff at the end of the day that’s a step above simply dumping your pockets onto the table. If your household is all firearms enthusiasts, the mats would also make excellent placemats. Also, if you happen to be one of the folks who are into both firearms and instruments, these mats would be a great surface on which to place or repair brass, wind, or string instruments.
The company itself, based in Alabama, makes every effort at customer satisfaction. There’s a lifetime warranty on every mat as well as an actual, real, customer service line at which you can speak to a real human- a rarity today. Additionally, they have a growing online presence on various social media, as well as a blog that offers cleaning tips!
Basically, if you’re looking to keep yourself from wrecking your kitchen table, and want a great surface upon which to clean your investments, pick up a Tekmat today. I’ve had one since long before writing this post, and I consider it a core element of my cleaning routine.