A gun cleaning mat built with a quality that will survive generations.
I have a confession. I’ve watched (and enjoyed) nearly every episode of the Fox comedy, The New Girl. Now, I would understand if you stopped reading right now due to my forfeiture of my “man card” and all personal credibility. For those of you who are giving me a bit of slack in the rope—maybe just to see if I end up hanging myself with it—you might also be wondering why I would start a review of the Sage & Braker Gun Cleaning Mat with a seemingly irrelevant pop culture reference.
That’s an excellent question.
There is a scene in one of the earlier episodes of The New Girl where the immature ne’er-do-well character, Nick, meets his roommate’s new boyfriend, Mr. Fancyman (not his real name). Mr. Fancyman is an older, distinguished, uber-classy type of guy. He has a good job, enjoys fine sweaters, and leather wingback chairs. As the episode progresses, Nick ends up with a sort of man-crush on Mr. Fancyman, admiring and wanting to imitate his manliness.
For those of you who are still reading, I mention this because at one point Nick tells his friends that Mr. Fancyman’s study smells like “Shakespeare, strong coffee, and seeing a man about a horse.” When I first got my hands on the Sage & Braker Gun Cleaning Mat, that description was honestly the very first thing that popped into my head.
This is by far the most epic gun mat I’ve ever laid my eyes on. It’s constructed of heavy wool, thick leather, and 12 oz. waxed canvas. Believe me when I say that Sage & Braker did not skimp on anything. This is the kind of gun mat you will be passing on to your great-grandchildren.
When I first began to unroll the mat, I was blown away by how far it rolled out. 69 x 16 inches! It begins as a deceptively small package, rolled and buckled up with thick leather straps. But in addition to a ridiculously large cleaning surface, it also has four over-sized canvas and leather pouches at one end to hold gun cleaning supplies. I can easily carry brushes, multiple bore snakes, CLP, rods, picks, and rags. And I should mention that Sage & Braker makes legit boresnakes and a solid CLP product as well.
Up until this point, I’ve been cleaning my guns on a 1/8” thick, green felt and foam deal. The Sage & Braker Gun Cleaning Mat is at least 1/2” thick and covered in quilted wool. It’s the quality of wool you’d be glad to have on the inside of your jacket. As I said, Sage & Braker is not messing around. They’ve paid attention to every detail and created a product that you’ll feel bad to put in the closet between uses. But who am I kidding? You’re not going to put it in the closet. You’re going to place it on the mantle or a shelf in plain view so your houseguests will be magnetically drawn to it. Don’t be surprised if they start putting their noses on it to inhale the sweet smell of leather and waxed canvas, rubbing their faces on the wool, and quoting Shakespeare.
Simply put, Sage & Braker has built the last gun cleaning mat you’ll ever need to buy. It retails for $179.95. While it might not be cheap, it is a showcase of American craftsmanship. And it’s just flat-out beautiful.
Chet Hervey is the Managing Partner of Business Affairs at Northwoods Collective. He lives in the chimney of northern Idaho with his wife, son, and their Braque du Bourbonnais. Chet spends his falls chasing pheasant and quail, his winters coaching youth hockey, his springs chasing turkey, and summers tenkara fly-fishing and/or boating on the Snake River.