Bore scopes - can these be any good?

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  • Last Post 23 May 2020
Balhincher posted this 18 May 2020

While doing some online shopping while stranded at home, the helpful gnomes at Amazon popped up some suggestions of additional items I might be interested in adding to my order.  Included in the selection was an item that did catch my attention.  I’ve been interested in having a way to peer closely at the bore of my rifles for quite some time. The price of a borescope however has kept it from rising to the top of my list of “things I need.”  I guess I haven’t checked for some time but it appears that digital technology has advanced the affordability or a borescope by quite a jump.  Maybe.  

There were two or three brands and models of borescopes offered up by the helpful lads at Jeff Bezos’ Bargain Barn and they were an order of magnitude cheaper than I expected to pay for a bore scope. The selections started at about fifty bucks and ranged up to a bit over one hundred.  These scopes connected to a monitor of some kind such as a laptop, smart phone, or tablet and claimed to provide a good view of the inside of your rifle’s bore.  Of course, they were all made by our crafty Chinese friends so I’m not sure if they compare to a Harbor Freight gadget that lasts through one or two uses or may be a decent tool at an attractive price. 

I’m not sure why these scopes have flown under my radar so far but I’m intrigued.  Especially by the price. Have any of you forum readers used one of these scopes or known someone who has? I’d love to hear from anyone having experience with them.

 

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 18 May 2020

In the Mar/Apr 2020 Fouling Shot I wrote an article about one of these. It may be helpful. 

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
- Also deal in: Land, Banjos, Nails, Firearms, Manure, Fly Swatters, Used Cars, Whisky, Racing Forms, Rare Antiquities, Lead, Used Keyboard Keys, Good Dogs, Pith Helmets & Zulu Headdresses. .

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GBertolet posted this 18 May 2020

Mr. Reiss, I read your article in the Fouling Shot, and I was intrigued, and ordered a similar one from the same company. I ordered it direct from the manufacturer, but they are shipping it from an Amazon warehouse. I ordered the solid rod version, along with an extra mirror set. Total cost was around $100 for both. This was around a month ago, and they are finally getting around to sending the borescope. The mirrors were shipped separately, and came already. Teslong said Amazon is really backed up. Tracking says I should get it the middle of the week. I have an underutilized, 8" Dell Venue tablet, running Win 8.1, that I am hoping to dedicate for this device. I have been assured that this will work. We shall see. If not I will just need a longer cord to reach my Win 10 desktop.

There are video reviews of the Teslong borescopes out there. The video clarity of the grooves and lands of the rifle barrels demonstrated, are quite impressive. I hope my video will be that detailed.

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Wheel Weights posted this 18 May 2020

I have the Lyman one and it's quite good for the price. Find it hard to believe a 50 buck one will be any good.

Just be sure your barrel and chamber are squeeky clean as the slight POC will get on the mirror and stay there as if epoxied on.

Be aware that that bright shiny barrel you looked down at the gun show may be this !

 

 

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Wheel Weights posted this 18 May 2020

BUT I really want to hear GB's experience as those extra mirror heads that are close to bore size look impressive.

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gary0529 posted this 18 May 2020

Please allow me to chime in--I have a Lyman borescope(1st. Gen) that I purchased around 4 or 5 years ago-It worked although the resolution was not up to Hawkeye standards - but then again it was 10% for the Hawkeye cost.

It was used primarily to assess my cleaning techniques however it did cost me a new barrel on my old (1968 vintage Model 70 30-06) 

The barrel looked worse than the dirt roads around my home LOL. A real wake up, however, it was 50+ years old and only God knows the abuse I subjected it to in my youth.

Then I saw the hubbub about the Teslong scopes-got one in a straight shaft for about $50 and it hooks into my laptop--far superior resolution and great follow up and customer service from them. The Wuhan Red Flu did interrupt things but things seem to be better now. Since the straight shaft is only 24 or so inches I sprung for the wireless model that has a 40" flexible shaft and downloaded a free app for both my Apple tablet and iPhone 8 -easy-peasy - now I daily use the wireless model since I usually have my phone or laptop with me and I don't have to bring my laptop down to my reloading room in my barn. 

As I said in the review on Amazon-"It ain't a Hawkeye but it is close and for $50" I will probably give the Lyman to a shooting buddy.

If you don't have a bore scope you need to spring for one and at these prices it is a heck of a deal.

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45 2.1 posted this 18 May 2020

Word of warning..... unless you had a bench rest gunsmith show you barrels (my first experience was like this) with known amounts of wear and described what you should see, you will likely have trouble deciding what you're looking at and wondering about the quality of the barrel. Most new barrels look like a rough road. A worn eroded throat in a barrel will have you wanting to re-barrel as it looks like a dried cracked mud flat. Look at all barrels and judge between them.

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Wheel Weights posted this 19 May 2020

Correct I had a M70 Target rifle I bought cheap,  it was rebbled to 280 Rem. Had 5" of alligator throat but still shot sub MOA. Never touch a bbl until you shoot it with some premium ammo !

 

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John Alexander posted this 19 May 2020

Amen.

The roughest and worst looking bores sometimes shoot much better than a beautifully smooth and perfect looking bore. This sometime includes damage at the crown on rifles producing fine accuracy. 

John

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Clod Hopper posted this 19 May 2020

I ordered the borescope described in the TFS for $50 and got it in a few days.  WOW!  It works!  I did learn that most of my bores look like a mud road.  If you leave the mirror off you can look inside your black powder guns and see whether you got the breech end clean or not.  MIne has three mirrors at three angles plus straight ahead.  Well worth the $50 IMO.

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GBertolet posted this 21 May 2020

Mine came yesterday. I purchased the 26" rigid rod version, which costs a little more. I believe the optics are the same for all versions. Hooked it up to my Win 10 desktop, and it worked great. No software to download. Plugged in the USB, the computer recognized it quickly. Went to start menu, clicked on camera, and I was there. I tried it on a 572 Remington .22., Boy that bore is horrible. I am surprised that I could hit the broad side of a barn with it. I am anxious to examine other rifles.

You set the focus by screwing in or out the mirror on the end of the shaft. A little movement goes a long way. There is a lock ring to secure your adjustment. Also there is an adjustable brightness control, which helps you get the contrast right. It's amazing what this thing will do. And they are not that expensive.

I could not get the software to download right and work on my Dell Venue 8" tablet, running Win 8.1. This is the device I would prefer to use, as I can have it sitting by my gun vise on my workbench. More preferable than have the rifle laying across a chair, in another room, by my desktop. I have contacted Teslong tech support on this matter of the tablet, and am waiting for a response.

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4and1 posted this 21 May 2020

I am glad these Teslong scopes are out and cheap! I have always been a stickler on cleaning barrels, some methods work, some don't. Unfortunately, some rarely clean at all. So if one buys one of these, there are plenty of photos available that show what is right and what is wrong.

Then it will show you the condition of your barrel once clean. Idealy one would have a good look when the barrel is new, then use that to compare.

Then there is useful info for your brass. I have a piece of brass for every cartridge I shoot, drill out the primer pocket all the way into the case. You can out that brass in the chamber then run the scope through the case to see how your brass length is for your chamber.

I've had a Hawkeye for 15 years or more, but I have one of these Teslongs too!

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GBertolet posted this 22 May 2020

i guess you could look for a potential case head separation with one of these also.

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GBertolet posted this 22 May 2020

I finally got the borescope to work with my Win 8.1 tablet. The 3rd attempt was the charm. I checked several rifles, a pair of Krags, which I knew the bores were far less than perfect. I was not disappointed. I don't see how they shoot as well as they do. I then did my favorite cast bullet rifle, the 788 Rem, that I had rebarreled to 30-30, with a match chamber. This rifle had only ever seen two jacketed bullets, which were factory loads, to proof it. The last 4 inches of the barrel looked terrible, almost like barnacles in the grooves. First I thought it was pitting, but looking straight in, along the bore, not using the mirror, the pitting looks raised. Could this be leading? I tried some JB Borepaste, but it didn't come out. Why just the last 4 inches of the barrel? Insufficient lube? I will try to get some pictures posted. They are on the tablet. I did replace the default 22 cal mirror, with the 30 cal for this. Less flopping around, when you rotate the rod.

I am sure there will be much crying, when shooters put one of these borescopes on the barrel of their favorite rifle. WTF, I thought my barrel was perfect, would be the expected response.

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 23 May 2020

I am very happy that many of you followed my suggestion in the article and decided to purchase one. There are many others that have contacted me by email only with the same comments as in this thread. I knew that most would be pleased with them or I would have no suggested them or gave such a positive review. I don't think there is a better buy today.

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
- Also deal in: Land, Banjos, Nails, Firearms, Manure, Fly Swatters, Used Cars, Whisky, Racing Forms, Rare Antiquities, Lead, Used Keyboard Keys, Good Dogs, Pith Helmets & Zulu Headdresses. .

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JeffinNZ posted this 23 May 2020

Sometimes I think ignorance is bliss.  I remember looking at the bore of one of my rifles and being horrified.  That said, the rifle was oblivious and shot fine.  A bit like a bumble bee.

Cheers from New Zealand

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