Why you should never buy a gun without a bore inspection. One of the most useful tools in my gun room is a borescope.
I have had this tool for many years and it has proven to be invaluable when checking on the real condition of a firearms most crtical area, the bore - and not just relying on the weapons external appearance.
Put simply, without a Lyman Borecam Digital Borescope, you are just guessing as to what is going on in that narrow hole. I would never purchase a firearm (either new or secondhand) without first examining the bore.
As part of any firearm review I always thoroughly examined the bore, and if it was faulty then back it went. I won't waste time on equipment that is not up to scratch. The borescope that I have was expensive, but I considered it worthwhile. Imagine my pleasure at being offered a new type of borescope which retails at about half of what I paid. It also sports some additional features.
The Lyman Borecam is just that - a borescope which also incorporates a viewing screen and a camera. Now that is a bonus, because one can take pictures of any issues in a barrel and send them to whoever it may concern without having to return the firearm. It can be used in bores from 20 calibres and up.
The box contains the borescope wand, a monitor screen, an SD card and cables to plug into a power source and to attach the wand to the monitor. There is also a thumb drive which doubles as a card reader and can be inserted straight into a USB port on your computer.
Setting up the equipment is an easy process. On the wand cable there is a micro USB plug which inserts into the monitor. The other cable has a micro USB plug on one end and a full size USB on the other. This cable carries the power to the monitor. It can be plugged into any AC power source from 100 - 250 volts.
The whole unit is very user friendly, and the only maintenance required is an occasional clean of the reflective mirror.
That's it - the unit is now ready for use. The monitor isthe hub of activity and the first step is to press the on/off switch on the top of the unit. On the front of the monitor there are three buttons. The 'capture' button activates the camera and will record a photograph of whatever is on the screen at the time. The 'mode' button allows one to access the Setup mode. This menu allows the formatting of a new SD card and the language set up, however at the moment only English is available. This button will also enable one to enter the review mode to examine previous photos. The up/down button can alter the brightness and in review mode will move photos forward and back.
The resolution of the photos is 320 x 240 which means that approximately 3600 photos can be stored on a 128M SD card. It is possible to operate the unit without the SD card inserted if that is your choice. But for the Lyman Digital Borescope sale price, why wouldn't you?
I selected some well worn and damaged barrels for examination and photographing with the borescope, as well as some of my best competition benchrest barrels. Having secured the barrel in a vice, I inserted the scope into the chamber end and moved it slowly into the bore.
The image on the borecam screen was remarkably clear and every little defect was there to see. The default setting is for the brightest image, but sometimes it helps to reduce this slightly for best viewing, especially in shiny stainless barrels. Refer to the photos shown in this review, and the 'dried lake' or crocodile skin' effect can be seen on well worn bores.
This usually happens right in front of the chamber where flame temperature is highest, and erosion occurs. What you see is not always visible to the naked eye peering up a barrel — the magnification is in the order of 20 times. On the wand itself there is a white plastic 'stop' which can be moved up and down.
This is useful when you locate something interesting in the barrel and need to return to that spot later. Simply set the stop against a fixed object, such as the muzzle if looking from that end, or perhaps line it up with the back end of the receiver if examining from the chamber end.
The whole unit is very user friendly, and the only maintenance required is an occasional clean of the reflective mirror using the lens cleaner and cotton swabs provided.
So what is a Lyman Borecam Digital Borescope good for? As ex-plained above, it will identify any damage to the bore of any firearm, and this includes normal wear and tear as the barrel ages. It can also be very useful to check if your cleaning regime is being done properly. I have scoped many 'clean' barrels and had to point out to the owner patches of copper fouling and powder residue. Often one may see what looks like pitting in a barrel, which after another clean has disappeared.
Usually it is little bits of carbon that need an extra scrub. Powder fouling can also build up along the edges of the rifling and be quite stubborn to get out. If left for too long it can be near impossible to remove. A borescope will identify any such problems.
Some of the damage shown in the photographs from the borescope may well be faults in the steel, tooling marks from the manufacturing or debris left in the barrel and hammered into the surface by bullets passing through. Just remember that a bullet may have around 50,000 psi behind it, and small bits of junk in the barrel just get bulldozed. Some of the pictures are scary, but remember they are magnified and you won't see this stuff with the naked eye.
Would I recommend the discount Lyman Digital Borescope for the keen firearms owner - absolutely! The unit I tested sells for $525.00 at my local gunshop and this is less than the cost of a stainless barrel blank these days. You should never wear it out, and it might save you a heap of money in the long run.
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