I've never paid anything CLOSE to $40 for anything related to cleaning a gun.
go with a Hoppe's Boresnake for $16 works like a dream on AR's
my most expensive cleaning rod was my Dewey Rod and I think it cost me like $27 or something like that.
the military issue cleaning kit has decent cleaning rods and runs about $25-$30 usually.
*edit* for the record, I still use my Dewey Rod with barrel guide exclusively on my remington 700. works incredibly well