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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Midway had a clearance sale on Lyman digital bore scopes, so at 30% off with free shipping I took the plunge. I always wanted to be able to look inside the barrels of some of my guns, and briefly, many years ago, I'd had access to a professional grade bore scope that left me with a memorable impression of its capability. So, $203 put the economy model in my mailbox.

I tried it out last night on a variety of rifle and pistol barrels, some new, some dark and badly pitted, and a few in-between.

The jury is still out on how useful this is going to be, but so far it's been a sobering education on barrels. Some of the people who posted reviews of this product on Midway's website complained that they wanted higher resolution or wider field of view but almost everyone agreed that it was a great tool, considering that the price of a professional bore scope started somewhere north of $1,000.

I found the resolution to be perfectly adequate; the problem instead was in maintaining a sharp focus. Professional instruments are optical and have a eyepiece like a telescope that can be rotated to bring the image into sharp view.
The Lyman relies on a tiny digital camera on the end of a 20" rod; the image is projected in real time on a 3" square monitor screen. The camera is fixed at 90 degrees to the boreline and its focal length also is fixed. Thus a sharp image is dependent on maneuvering the tip of the rod sideways, closer or farther from the bore surface being examined. The rod itself is about 20 caliber; in a .22 barrel it is relatively easy to maintain a focal distance. But one size does not fit all: in a .45 barrel, it takes practice and a steady hand.

This much I can say after a couple of hours with this device: there are some things that are best left unseen if you want untroubled sleep at night. I have never before seen such lumpy, globular metallic fouling in all my life, or such chasm-like pitting. Walther pistol barrels were generally better-finished than most, but even those show distressing patches of crosswise chatter-marks on the lands of the rifling. And muzzles which I thought were pretty good are revealed as desperately in need of re-crowning.

This is not stuff for shooters with weak stomachs.

Merry Christmas, all.

M
 

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Any chance of making a centering gizmo for larger bore sizes?
Moon
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Any chance of making a centering gizmo for larger bore sizes?
Moon
Well, you see, that is the problem. The focal length is fixed, so putting the rod in the center of the bore virtually assures that the image will be out of focus. I'm guessing that a good distance is probably about .010" from the surface (extrapolation: a .20" dia. rod gives a good image in a .22" barrel; there's .020" total clearance, so if it's centered, there's half that all around). In a large caliber, the rod has to be manipulated sideways in the bore to get closer to the rifling. Holding the barrel firmly and letting gravity lay the rod in the bottom with the lens facing down is the basic idea, but it still takes a delicate touch to keep it there as you slide it back and forth from chamber to muzzle.

HOWEVER, as I write this--I have an idea: maybe fashion an eccentric o-ring to slip over the rod, with the fat side opposite the lens so the camera stays fairly close to the wall...

M
 
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