Carbon fiber is well-suited to the tough tasks assigned to cleaning rods. It combines the best features of stainless steel and coated cleaning rods, then adds valuable properties of its own. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, US military armorers called on Tipton to provide cleaning rods that would clean service rifles in demanding conditions. Carbon fiber is an ideal material for cleaning rods. Stainless steel rods can scratch or wear barrels if they're used carelessly - though they won't pick up potentially damaging small abrasive particles. "Coated" rods get part of the job done - they keep the stainless steel shaft from damaging your barrel's rifling, but the coating will pick up small abrasive particles, which means you're effectively running fine-grit sandpaper through your bore. Carbon fiber rods are the best of both: the carbon fiber can't scratch your bore like stainless steel, and they won't embed like coated rods.