I had an Uncle that was the superintendant of the small arm repair school at Fort Lee in Petersburg, Va. I was taught the same lessons about firearm maintantance that the GIs going through that school got. Putting the cleaning rod down the barrel by way of the muzzle was never an option unless there was no other way.Always.
I am also a big fan of the Otis system of vinyl coated cables and brass attachments. They work well for me in both my pistols and my rifles. I also like their patch system which forms a cone to get all parts of the barrel touched in one pass. They have one kit which is the size of a baseball that has all you need to clean an AR15/M16 in the field. It is my understanding that this is the kit the Army issues to the troops.Although I have two kits of rods that thread together to make different lengths I’ve been using a vinyl coated cable to clean my M1A I only use nylon brushes and soft brass connectors to avoid scratching the barrel bore and clean from the chamber to the muzzle, basically cleaning in the direction of bullet travel. This is after I use the M1A ratchet brush on the chamber. I’ve had success with this method so I stick with what works.