Cleaning a firearm, particularly a long gun, with a standard cleaning rod with brushes and patches results in a little bit of mess when dealing with wet and dirty patches and bore brushes.
Often when cleaning with the rod and patches / brushes, solvent is pushed out the muzzle and drips on the floor, ground, table, or whatever is under the muzzle of the gun during cleaning.
Also, the operator has to deal with the dirty patch on each pass through the barrel. Then there’s also the brush which flings particulates when it exits the muzzle, splattering solvent and debris in the local vicinity.
Sometimes people will clean outdoors, but many times, people clean in a garage, and sometimes even in the home.
In order to help keep things tidy while cleaning a gun, companies came out with “patch collectors” or “muzzle shields” which attach to the muzzle of the gun and collect dirty patches and debris that exit the muzzle during cleaning.
For those who want something dirt cheap and field expedient should look no further than an empty plastic water bottle.
More often than not, a plastic water bottle will fit over the muzzle of a rifle. Take above example where I have a water bottle, with a lateral cut on the opening to allow it to expand, over the standard A2 flash hider on an AR-15 rifle.
As the brush exits the muzzle, the solvent / cleaning solution (in this case MPro-7) gets flung into the bottle and not in the air and on the floor, table, etc.
The bottle can also collect the dirty patches by just pushing out the muzzle and pulling back to knock the patch off the jag and it falls into the bottle.
If you want to make the bottle ‘reusable’ by being able to empty it of dirty patches, just cut a small hole near the bottom of the bottle so you can shake the patches out into the trash.
As far as useful cheap / budget tips, this is something that many gun owners should find useful.