Project Bore Snake

August 8, 2008 8:37:00 PM PDT
From the beginning of the Iraq war, soldiers have found ways to get around equipment that didn't perform well for them in the terrain of the Middle East. Take for instance the crews that welded makeshift armor onto their Humvee to better protect the occupants and the exposed gunners. These days many troops are keeping their weapons clean using common civilian hunting device. In the middle of a fire fight you want your 50 caliber weapon working smoothly; in fact you want any weapon you have to fire on demand. In a country with talcum powder-like sand that takes constant cleaning...

Five years ago, when Madera county resident Jim Kochheiser learned that troops were issued a time-consuming cleaning kit he chose to take action. The avid hunter and gun enthusiast believed they needed something better; a one piece gun cleaning tool called the Bore Snake. So he called the company who makes them. "Jim Kochheiser, project bore snake: They made a deal with us on the phone in 30 minutes" The deal? A very low cost for any caliber cleaning kit.

Then he enlisted fellow NRA member and Bay Area website guru Mike Hass who didn't hesitate to volunteer his service to construct and maintain an official website "Mike Haas, Project Bore Snake: I said: 'You betcha! Yes, Sir." Five years later the non-profit business providing absolutely free bore snakes to troops via the internet -- is booming says Jim: "We thought we were pretty hot potatoes when we shipped three boxes the first week and now we regularly ship 50 to 60 boxes a week."

Why do soldiers want them? The Department of Defense issues a multi-piece kit that can take 15 minutes to clean the barrel of a gun. The one-piece Bore Snake takes as little as 15 seconds! That says Mike Haas is a good thing for every soldier: "He takes this with his hand pulls it through and he's got an immaculate barrel ...one guy told us that they call 'em life-savers in his platoon."

Fresno Marine Reserve Captain Terry Slatic will tell you safety and time count in a firefight. His wife Kim had a Project Bore Snake kit sent to him last October when he was serving in Iraq. Slatic confirms they save time and keep weapons at the ready. And that's what Jim's wife Judy is: READY - to pack and ship eight different bore sizes to any soldier, free of any charge. "Judy Kochheiser: If you come close to my house and you'll stand still for five minutes, you'll work on a box ... I feel like I'm sending them off to my kids, 'cause I've got to grandkids and a son-in-law that are in the military right now." All three have spent multiple tours in Iraq.

Jim has high praise for the troops and for his East Fresno Kiwanis club. It fosters the project under its non-profit foundation. That makes all donations tax deductible. Contributions can me made on the Project Bore Snake website and are directed to the Kiwanis Club not to Jim Kochheiser or his small army of volunteers. His expenses to purchase and ship this handy item 'free' to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan are reimbursed by the Kiwanis Club.

To date the effort has put a quarter of a million individual Bore Snakes into the hands of U.S. Troops.

www.projectboresnake.org

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