May 29th, 2019

Borescopes & Borecams — What They Reveal Inside Your Barrel

Hawkeye borescope POV lens
Lyman BoreCam borescope digital endoscope

Hawkeye borescope POV lensEvery serious shooter shoot have a borescope — whether an classic optical unit, or the newer type with digital camera and viewing screen, such as the Lyman Borecam.

A quality borescope or Borecam lets you look inside your barrel to check the effectiveness of your cleaning and determine how the barrel is wearing. To learn how a borescope can help you diagnose barrel issues, you should read a Rifle Shooter magazine feature story, What the Eye Can See.

In this article, writer Terry Wieland explains how to inspect for defects in new barrels, how to recognize different kinds of fouling (in both barrels and brass), and how to spot throat erosion in its early stages. Terry uses a Gradient Lens HawkEye BoreScope. The current generation of HawkEyes can be attached to a still or video camera to record digital images of your bore. The most interesting part of the article is on the second page. There, author Wieland provides photos of various types of internal flaws that can appear in barrels. This will help you spot pitting, excessive land wear, rust damage, and damage from corrosive primers.

Wieland notes that BoreScopes aren’t just for barrels: “The borescope has other uses as well. It can be used to examine the interior of a cartridge case to look for the beginnings of a case separation or to examine the interior of a loading die that is giving you trouble. When you consider the number of tubular objects that play such an important role in rifle shooting, it is a wonder we were ever able to function without such a method of studying bores.”

This Gradient Lens video shows how to correctly borescope your barrel:

Lyman BoreCam
CLICK HERE for REVIEW of Lyman Borecam.

Permalink - Videos, Optics, Tech Tip No Comments »
March 25th, 2019

Bargain-Finder 183: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Graf’s and Creedmoor Sports — Peterson Brass

peterson brass

Peterson Brass is quickly becoming a leading cartridge brass producer for good reason. Peterson offers good quality, long-lasting, American-made brass at very competitive prices. For PRS and other disciplines not requiring one-hole accuracy, Peterson brass may be up to the task. Plus some Peterson brass varieties come pre-sorted by weight and length — that saves time! Along with popular cartridge types, such as 6.5 Creedmoor, 6mmBR, and .308 Win, Peterson offers brass for cartridges with fewer brass options — such as 6XC, .300 Norma Magnum, .375 CheyTac, .408 CheyTac, and others. Peterson’s CheyTac brass has found favor with the ELR crowd. Purchase Peterson Brass from Graf and Sons or Creedmoor Sports. Both vendors offer competitive pricing and great customer service.

2. Amazon — Digital Flex-Cord WiFi BoreScope, $32.99

digital borescope

borescope endoscope wireless digital camera wifi wirelessHave you wanted a high-end optical borescope but couldn’t bear the price (as much as a complete rifle)? Here’s an incredibly affordable alternative. For under forty bucks you can get a high-tech, digital endoscope that sends video, via WiFi, to your Android or iOS smartphone, or other mobile device.

This is a great value. Pick up one of these digital borescopes for only $32.99. These digital endoscopes feature a 5.5mm-diameter camera head so you can scope just about any barrel from .22 caliber up to .50 caliber. NOTE: A buyer reports the mirror extension increases the end diameter to 6.5mm so that limits 90deg views with smaller diameter barrels. The unit sends the image wirelessly to your phone, and charges with a USB connection. Watch in real time or record for future viewing. Along with bore-inspection chores, you can use this versatile gadget to find parts you drop behind the bench or even inspect your vehicles.

3. Bruno’s — Berger 7mm 184gr Hybrids, $45.70/100

berger 184gr hybrids

If you’re a competitive shooter, you know how important it is to get all the components you need for the entire match season or risk running short at the worst time. Topping the “must have” list of many F-Class competitors are the record-setting Berger 7mm/.284 184gr Hybrid Target bullets. Brunos Shooters Supply now has these Berger 7mm 184gr Hybrid Target Bullets in stock. These will, no doubt, become very hard-to-find later this year. So don’t miss out while they’re available or you’ll be sorry later. Bruno’s HERE: Berger 7mm Hybrids $47.30/100.

4. March Optics — All Scopes on Sale

March Optics Sale

Every time we head to a match we see more and more March Optics on the line and there’s a good reason why. March offers some amazing scopes, offering incredible clarity, sharpness, and magnification ranges you won’t find on other scope series. If you’re looking to upgrade to a serious, competition-grade optic, here is your chance to grab a March scope at up to 30% off.

5. Amazon — Howard Leight Impact Electronic Muffs, $35.99

Howard Leight Ear Muffs

All firearms enthusiasts need to protect their hearing. Even a single shot can damage your hearing. We like to use double coverage, with plugs under electronic muffs. This provides outstanding hearing protection, AND you can still hear range commands. The very popular Howard Leight Impact Sport ear muffs are now on sale for just $35.99. With that attractive price, there’s no excuse for not having ear protection in your range bag. These Impact Sport muffs are without question the most commonly-used electronic muffs because they offer great performance for the price.

6. Natchez — Lyman Auto-Advance Target System, $109.49

lyman auto advance target

Target cameras and electronic targets are cool but of course that all comes with high prices and technical hassles. Now there’s a smart, affordable solution that lets you quickly change your targets without moving from your firing position. The Lyman Auto Advance Target System holds multiple targets on a motor-advanced roll. With the push of a button, you can command new targets to roll up into view. The wireless controller lets you place the target frame up to 200 yards away. Lyman sells a variety of target rolls. Each has enough targets to keep you shooting all weekend without changing. We really like this unit for rimfire shooting. The unit is easy to set-up and adjust for different heights.

7. Midsouth — Assorted Hornady Gauge and Comparator Tools

hornady comparator tools

Bullet seating depth is a key variable in precision reloading. For best accuracy you really need to know LENGTH to LANDS, i.e. the point at which your bullet will first touch the rifling in the barrel. Adjustment of cartridge base-to-ogive length (from “jam” to “jump”) is a critical method of optimizing rifle accuracy. With some barrels, cartridge types, and bullets it may be best to seat into the lands. With other barrels and bullets you’ll want to “jump” the bullets 20, 30, or even 40 thousandths (or more). To determine your length to lands with repeatable precision, we recommend the Hornady Comparator tools. Grab the straight OAL gauge and either the basic set with 6 inserts or the full set with 14 inserts and start collecting real data about your chambers. You can also grab an extra comparator body on sale.

8. Amazon — Pop Packs Color Burst Targets, $28.91

pop sacks bursting targets

Do you love reactive targets but don’t live in an area that allows exploding targets? These colorful Pop Packs liquid-filled splash targets offer a safe, cost-effective and fun alternative to exploding targets. Now you can grab 48 Pop Packs bursting targets for just $28.91. There are also 12-packs, 24-packs, and even 96-packs of these bursting Pop Packs targets. The more you buy the lower the cost per sack. Keep in mind these make a messy splatter and should not be used without permission of your range owner or managers.

9. Palmetto State Armory — Multi-Brand Scope Savings

scope sale

If you’ve been looking for a feature-laden riflescope for your next gun, check out Palmetto State Armory (PSA). This vendor has some lesser-known brands, such as Eotech, at great savings. And PSA has the new Trijicon zooms. Trijicon, famed for its reflex optics, now makes very high quality zoom optics. This week’s PSA Scope Sale saves you money on brands such as Trijicon and EOtech that rarely go on sale. In addition, there are big discounts on Burris and other big names.

This week’s Deal Selections sourced by F-Class John.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gunsmithing, Hot Deals, News, Optics, Reloading 2 Comments »
July 16th, 2018

BargainFinder 147: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze, you lose.

1. Creedmoor Sports — Shooting Coats $50 and $100 Off

Creedmoor Sports Hardback shooting coat custom sale discount

Hard-holders and position shooters, this deal is for you. Creedmoor Sports has long offered some of the very best American-made shooting jackets. Creedmoor coats have been worn by legions of top shooters including Smallbore, Service Rifle, and High Power National Champions. Now you can enjoy big savings on Custom and Off-the-rack Creedmoor shooting coats. Custom shooting coats are $100 off, while the Original Hardback and Deluxe Hardback are $50 off.

2. CDNN — Colt Competition AR15 Kit, $549.99

Colt AR AR15 match rifle upper lower kit discount CDNN
The Colt Kit does NOT include barrel, bolt carrier group, charging handle, or magazine.

This affordable Colt AR15 Kit includes upper, complete lower, handguard, and Magpul stock. To this, add your choice of barrel and optic. We like this option because the barrel is so important to accuracy and overall performance. This Colt package costs $549.99. Add a match-grade, finish-chambered barrel from Criterion or Krieger, plus bolt carrier group, and you’re in business. The Magpul PRS stock features a quick-adjustable cheek-piece and butt-plate — allowing you to easily adapt head position and LOP for your discipline of the day. The straight-toe PRS stock works great in a rear bag. This is a good platform for a PRS Gas Gun Division rifle.

3. Grafs.com — Lyman Summer Sale, 10-22% Off Select items

Grand sons Graf's lyman 15% Off sale trigger gauge tumbler borecam

Lyman has brought out some fine products in recent years, tools that offer excellent performance for the price. Now you can get a serious discount on a variety of Lyman products, including the popular Lyman BoreCam, and the Lyman Trigger Pull Gauge, our “go-to” tool for measuring pull weights. Here are some of the best Lyman Summer Sale deals at Grafs.com now:

Lyman BoreCam Digital Borescope — $199.99 (marked down from $229.99)
Lyman Turbo Pro Magnum Tumbler — $69.99 (marked down from $84.99)
Lyman Trigger Pull Gauge — $42.99 (marked down from $47.99)

4. Smith & Wesson — Summer Savings Program, Save $30-50

Smith Wesson Summer Savings

Not you can save up to $50.00 on new Smith & Wesson revolvers and semi-auto pistols. Now through September 2, 2018, S&W is offering cash back rebates (via prepaid Mastercards). These deals are available from Brownells and other leading online retailers, as well as S&W authorized dealers nationwide. To qualify, submit rebate form via Smithandwessonrebates.com before October 1, 2018. Proof of purchase required.

1) $50.00 Rebate for new M&P Pistol or Performance Center M&P Pistol in calibers 9mm, 40 S&W, or 45 Auto only (excluding M&P SHIELD Pistols).
2) $30.00 Rebate for new S&W or Performance Center Revolver (excluding M&P BG38).
3) $25.00 Rebate for any new SD or SDVE pistol.

5. Grafs.com — Free Precision Mount with Nikon FX1000 Scope

Nikon FX1000 free mount cantilever PRS AR15

Nikon has a summer promo for its FX1000 scope series. Order a 4-16x50mm or 6-24x50mm FX1000 optic and get a free precision mount. NOTE: This applies to both MOA and Mil versions, regular and illuminated. Even without the free precision scope mount, these FX1000 scopes are a very good value. At $799.99, 6-24x50mm FFP MRAD model is a solid choice for PRS competition. With good glass, lifetime warranty, nice controls, and good reticle options, the FX1000 optics compete well with scopes costing hundreds more. This offer runs through August 26, 2018. OFFER DETAILS HERE. Other vendors may offer this promotion along with Grafs.com.

6. Brownells — Howa Barreled Actions on Sale, Starting at $259.99

Memorial Day Sale Brownells Monday deals sale

Right now, Brownells is running a big sale on Howa Barreled Actions, in a wide variety of chamberings. You may want to pick up one of these barreled actions, which start at $259.99. We like Howa actions — they are smooth, and they feature an excellent two-stage trigger. Howa also offers a unique Mini Action, which is great for a small-caliber varmint rig. Here are some of the Howa Barreled Actions currently in stock at Brownells. NOTE: This is just a partial sample — there are many other varieties:

.223 Rem, 20″ Heavy Barrel, $399.99
6.5 Grendel, Mini Heavy Barrel, $389.99
6.5 Creedmoor, 24″ Heavy Barrel, $399.99
6.5 Creedmoor, 26″ Heavy Barrel, $429.99
7mm-08, Std Cerakote, $579.99
7.62×39, Mini Light Barrel, $259.99
.308 Win, 20″ Heavy Barrel, $289.99
.308 Win, 24″ Heavy Barrel, $299.99
.30-06 Sprg, 22″ Sporter Barrel, Cerakote, $349.99
.300 Win Mag, 24″ Heavy Barrel, $279.99

7. EuroOptic.com — Leica CRF 2000, $399.00

Leica 2000-B Rangemaster Laser LRF Rangefinder Sale Eurooptics.com

This may be the best deal we’ve seen on the Leica 2000-B Laser Rangefinder (LRF) with 7-power optic. This unit is rated out to 2000 yards on reflective objects (in real-world use it will laze a deer well past 800 if you can hold steady). The Leica 2000-B features air pressure and temp sensors, on-board inclinometer, plus angle Angle correction with the true hold-over displayed in both MILs and MOA. The compact Leica CRF 2000-B weighs just 6.5 ounces and measures 4.5″ L x 2.25″ H x 1.25″ W. Here’s a verified buyer’s report: “Was torn between the SIG Kilo 2200MR and the Leica. Compared the Leica and a SIG. Leica’s glass blows the SIG Kilo out of the water. Got readings on everything the SIG would read. I’d recommend it.”

8. Amazon — Signature Zee High Rings (with Pos-Align Inserts)

Amazon.com Burris Signature Zee Rings

Burris Signature Zees are our “go-to” rings for use with benchrest rifles. Right now Amazon has the 1″-diameter High Sig Zee rings on sale for $37.69 (Black) or $37.39 (Nickel) with FREE shipping. Burris also offers medium height 1″-diameter Sig Zees. The 30mm Signature Zee rings are somewhat more expensive (about $54.00), but still well worth the price in our view. This Editor uses 30mm Signature Zee Rings for his personal 6mmBR rifle. The polymer inserts allow you to pre-load elevation, and also eliminate the need to lap your rings.

9. Amazon — Howard Leight MAX NRR33 Earplugs, $8.22/50 Pairs

accurateshooter.com review Max-1 Howard Leight ear plugs

20 Pairs
50 Pairs

These Howard Leight NRR33 Max plugs are your Editor’s favorite foam earplugs. Between shooting, motorcycling and mowing lawns, I probably have Max plugs in my ears 2-3 days a week. This is a very good price for a bulk pack of 50 pairs. And if you act soon, you can get free shipping to boot.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Reloading No Comments »
February 27th, 2018

Lyman Borecam Video Review by UltimateReloader.com

Lyman Borecam Video UltimateReloader.com Shilen Match Barrel

Our friend Gavin of UltimateReloader.com has a new tool — the second generation Lyman Borecam. This upgraded version features higher-resolution 300K output so you can better see details inside your barrel. This digital borescope can also be used to inspect the interior of dies and other tools. Illumination, via LED, is adjustable. Record still images with the push of a button. The screen resolution for the latest Lyman Borecam is now 640×480, roughly 300,000 pixels (300K).

CLICK HERE for Full UltimateReloader Lyman Borecam Review »

Gavin created a very thorough 15-minute video putting the Lyman Borecam through its paces. He uses it to scope a number of firearm barrels as well as some reloading dies. If you are considering buying a Borecam or other borescoping device, you should definitely watch this video. We have included time references to make it easier to “fast forward” to the subjects you want to see:

Lyman Borecam Video Timeline
1. 1:15 — Lyman Borecam Unboxing (All Components)
2. 4:00 — Shilen Match Barrel Blank Inspection (Brand New Barrel)
3. 6:16 — Thompson Center Compass .223 Rem Barrel Inspection (Used Barrel)
4. 9:08 — Smith & Wesson 686 .357 Mag Barrel Inspection (Used Barrel)
5. 10:30 — Glock 20 Polygonal Rifling Barrel Inspectino (Used Barrel)
6. 11:45 — M1911 Barrel Inspection (Defective Barrel with Bulge in Chamber)
7. 13:12 — Sizing Die Internal Inspections (Lee .223 Rem, Redding 300 BLK)

Lyman Borecam Video UltimateReloader.com Shilen Match Barrel

The Lyman Borecam comes complete with everything you need. Shown in photo are:

1. Borecam Wand (includes handle, rod, mirror, and digital lens/camera) with length indication scale. An inch scale runs the full length of the rod. That tells you where the lens is positioned inside the bore. Note the wand scale marks when recording screen captures.
2. Borecam Digital Display. The 600×480 display can record stills with included 128MB SD Card. A USB SD Card adapter is included.
3. Borecam Mirror Protector and cleaning kit.
4. AC Power Adapter (not shown, international plug adapters included).

UltimateReloader offers three key tips for the Lyman Borecam:

— First, before you start, make sure the mirror is clear and free of dirt, lint, or solvents.
— Use the Up and Down Arrows to adjust the illumination to suit your barrel.
— Experiment with how close you hold the mirror to the wall of the bore. This affects both brightness and focus.

YouTube Viewer Comments on UltimateReloader Lyman Borecam Video:

“Great review, Gavin. Your video capture of the display looks better than what they show in Lyman’s own product video.”

“Price is getting low enough to think I need one on the short ‘To Buy’ list. Have some milsurp rifles with horrid bores that should be very interesting to view. Don’t waste $$ on those $20 things on Amazon, I did and thoroughly wasted my money.”

NEW and IMPROVED — Lyman Higher Rez Borecam

Lyman Borecam Video UltimateReloader.com Shilen Match Barrel

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review, New Product, Optics 5 Comments »
October 22nd, 2016

Borescope Basics — How to Diagnose Problems in Your Barrels

Hawkeye borescope POV lens

Hawkeye borescope POV lensA quality borescope is a pricey tool, but once you get to use one, it’s hard to imagine how you ever did without it. To learn how a borescope can help you diagnose barrel issues, you should read a Rifle Shooter magazine feature story, What the Eye Can See.

In this article, writer Terry Wieland explains how to inspect for defects in new barrels, how to recognize different kinds of fouling (in both barrels and brass), and how to spot throat erosion in its early stages. Terry uses a Gradient Lens HawkEye BoreScope. The current generation of HawkEyes can be attached to a still or video camera to record digital images of your bore. The most interesting part of the article is on the second page. There, author Wieland provides photos of various types of internal flaws that can appear in barrels. This will help you spot pitting, excessive land wear, rust damage, and damage from corrosive primers.

Wieland notes that BoreScopes aren’t just for barrels: “The borescope has other uses as well. It can be used to examine the interior of a cartridge case to look for the beginnings of a case separation or to examine the interior of a loading die that is giving you trouble. When you consider the number of tubular objects that play such an important role in rifle shooting, it is a wonder we were ever able to function without such a method of studying bores.”

This Gradient Lens video shows how to correctly borescope your barrel:

Permalink - Videos, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
March 17th, 2016

Grafs.com Has Lyman Borecam in Stock Today for $259.99

AccurateShooter Deals of Week Lyman Grafs.com Borecam Digital Borescope.

The Lyman Borecam is an electro-optical borescope with a digital display. You can record “stills” on a SD card. This is one of the hottest products on the market right now — so hot that it has been sold out for weeks. But Grafs.com just got a shipment of Borecams (item LY04055), and the price is more than competitive. Right now Grafs has the Borecam in stock for $259.99 with free shipping (after a single $7.95 handling fee). That price is $40.00 less than some other online vendors are charging.

This is a good product. Guys who purchased the Lyman Borecam are very happy. If you don’t have one yet, now may be the time to “pull the trigger”. After this article goes live, we expect Grafs.com to sell out quickly. Graf’s inventory may be gone by end-of-day today.

Our British friend Vince Bottomley did an extensive review, giving the Lyman Borecam high praise. Vince says serious shooters should definitely acquire one of these tools: “In my opinion, this product is one of the very best to come along in recent years and I predict that the demand for these [Lyman Borecams] will be very heavy. I would advise you to place an order as quickly as possible if you want one.” Vince adds: “If I were to replace my [Hawkeye optical borescope] today with another Hawkeye, it would cost me well over £700 [$1015 USD]. Stick on a video adapter and we are looking at four figures. That’s what makes the new Lyman digital borescope so attractive — at around [$260.00 USD] including a monitor — it’s an absolute steal!”

Vince Bottomley BoreCam Lyman review test borescope Hawkeye

The system really works. Many of our Forum members have the system and they say it functions very well and is “very easy to set up and use”. Here’s what an Optics Planet Borecam buyer wrote: “I have used Hawkeye borescopes and know their quality. The Lyman worked as advertised and is a great tool for checking for leading, cleanliness of bore, and bore wear. The compact size, ability to take pictures, and store them are a big plus.”

Permalink Gear Review, Hot Deals, Optics 1 Comment »
January 19th, 2016

Lyman BoreCam Review by Vince Bottomley

Lyman borecam Vince Bottomley Review Target Shooter Magazine

Lyman’s digital BoreCam is one of the hottest rifle/gunsmithing accessories on the market right now. The product sells out quickly whenever a vendor gets a few in stock. Make no mistake, this is a good product that works well, and, at around $300.00, is it affordable for most shooters. The BoreCam provides vital information about your bore and chamber, and has the ability to save images to an SD card.

Our British friend Vince Bottomley recently obtained a Lyman BoreCam and put it through its paces. Vince came away very impressed. He says it is an easy-to-use and very capable bore inspection tool at a fraction of the cost of a high-end optical borescope (such as the Hawkeye). Vince says serious shooters should definitely acquire one of these tools: “In my opinion, this product is one of the very best to come along in recent years and I predict that the demand for these [Lyman BoreCams] will be very heavy. I would advise you to place an order as quickly as possible if you want one.”

READ Full Review by Vince Bottomley for Target Shooter Magazine

Here are highlights from Vince’s review of the Lyman BoreCam: “If I were to replace my [Hawkeye optical borescope] today with another Hawkeye, it would cost me well over £700 – stick on a video adapter and we are looking at four figures. That’s what makes the new Lyman digital borescope so attractive – at around £250 including a monitor – it’s an absolute steal!

But £250 – with a video attachment and photo-capture facility – can this really be a useable borescope? Trust me it is! But what use is a borescope. Why do you need one? Well, whatever you shoot, the condition of your rifle’s bore is critical. And I’m not just talking about a bore that’s ‘shot-out’ – maybe you just aren’t cleaning it thoroughly. Or maybe some defect within the chamber or rifling is preventing your rifle delivering the kind of performance you expect. Even at £700, a borescope can be cost-effective – if it saves you the cost of just one new barrel.”

Lyman BoreCam Review Vince Bottomley

Vince explained how the BoreCam can quickly diagnose problems in a barrel: “A customer started to have difficulty chambering rounds in his 308 Target Rifle…. The borescope quickly revealed the problem – a hard ring of copper and carbon had built-up immediately in front of the chamber. When you use a bore-guide (and you always should do) it can sometimes ‘protect’ this first bit of the bore from the cleaning-brush. Although the rest of the bore was spotless, this tiny section was not. Once we knew where the problem was, it was simple matter to carefully clean it up.”

“A borescope will tell you if your cleaning regime is effective, or inspect for throat-erosion and the general condition of the rifling. In addition, it’s very useful to the gunsmith for inspecting newly-cut chambers – making sure they are free from scoring and other machining defects.” Vince also recommends using the BoreCam to inspect barrel crowns: “Tiny burrs can often be present on newly-cut crowns and even the minutest of damage to a crown… can play havoc with accuracy. For the serious shooter, you could say that a borescope is the equivalent of a doctor’s stethoscope.”

CLICK HERE to Read Full Review (with detailed Specs and more photos).

The Ugly Truth Revealed
Here are some inside-the-barrel photos Vince took with the Lyman BoreCam. Vince notes: “This barrel came out of the scrap-bin, but someone had actually been shooting this rifle before he finally gave up and came in for a new barrel. Shooting a barrel in this condition is really throwing good money down range! Buy a borescope and stop shooting long before your barrel gets into this state!”

Lyman BoreCam Video barrel photo

Permalink Gear Review, Optics 4 Comments »
October 14th, 2015

Barrel Care and Maintenance — Expert Advice

Shooting Sports Lohman Barrel

Ask 10 shooters about barrel cleaning and you’ll get 10 different opinions. This reflects that fact that different fouling problems demand different solutions. For example, solvents that work well for copper may not be the best for hard carbon (and vice-versa). To come up with the right solution, first you must understand the nature of the fouling in your barrel.

Chip Lohman, former Editor of Shooting Sports USA Magazine, has authored an excellent article on barrel maintenance and cleaning. Chip’s article, Let the BARREL Tell You — Match Barrel Care, can be found in the Shooting Sports USA digital archives. In this article, Chip shares the knowledge of a dozen experts including barrel-makers Frank Green (Bartlein Barrels), John Krieger (Krieger Barrels), and Tim North (Broughton Barrels).

CLICK HERE to read Full Match Barrel Care Article.

The debate about the proper care of a match barrel is a hot one, spiked with folklore and old wives’ tales, Lohman said. He and his staff set out to set the record straight: “We tried to interject some science into the discussion of cleaning a match barrel,” he explained. In his article, Lohman writes:

Why worry about a little barrel fouling when the throat is subjected to a brutal 5,600° F volcano at 55,000 PSI? To investigate these and other questions about taking care of a match barrel, we spoke with a dozen experts and share their knowledge in this first of a series of articles.

After listening to folks who shoot, build barrels or manufacture cleaning solvents for a living, we concluded that even the experts each have their own unique recommendations on how to care for a match barrel. But they all agree on one thing — the gun will tell you what it likes best. Because the life expectancy of a match barrel is about 1,500 to 2,500 rounds, the objectives of cleaning one should include: preserve accuracy, slow the erosion, and remove fouling — all without damaging the gun. This article doesn’t claim that one cleaning method is better than the next. Rather, we set out to interject a little science into the discussion and to share some lessons learned from experts in the field.

For more Shooting Sports USA articles, visit www.ssusa.org.

John Krieger Interview with AccurateShooter at SHOT Show:

Permalink - Articles, Tech Tip No Comments »
November 30th, 2014

New Lyman BoreScope with Digital Screen and Output to Laptops

Every rifle shooter should have access to a borescope. These devices reveal the condition of the inside of your barrel. Do you have a carbon ring problem? Is there jacket fouling near the muzzle? Are the edges of your lands worn away? All these common conditions can be revealed by a quality borescope.

UPDATE: MSRP will be under $300.00 and the unit should be available in March. Lyman told us: “We expect to have these available in March 2015. The price is expected to be $299.95. We will have this available for pre-order via our website in early 2015.”

And now new digital/optical technology makes the borescope easier than ever to use. For 2015, Lyman will introduce a new, affordable borescope that employs digital imaging (with a micro-camera). You no longer have to peer into an old-fashioned eyepiece. With the new Lyman borescope you can view the inside of your barrel via a small portable display screen. That’s handy. In addition, the borescope images can be displayed on your laptop or mobile device. Lyman provides a USB cable and software that allows you to view the borescope’s image output on your computer (plus you can record images for future reference). The unit fits bores .20 caliber and larger.

borescope digital lens viewscreen USB ipad computer camera micro-camera

Sorry, we don’t have an exact price yet, but we’ve been told that this new product will be less expensive than current, conventional precision borescopes with glass-lens eyepieces. Here’s what Lyman says about it’s new product:

Lyman’s new Borescope provides active shooters with the means to carefully inspect the bores of their firearms for wear, throat erosion, tool marks, and other rifling or chamber damage, as well as for checking for fouling. The scope will fit 20 caliber and larger barrels and works with miniature camera technology. The display will show a clear image of the inside of the barrel and also allows you to take a photo of the bore. The image will storage on a standard SD card and can later be viewed on a computer or lap top. A separate cable (with USB connection) and CD are also available so that the Borescope rod can be connected directly to your computer or lap top. If you prefer to view only on your computer or lap-top, the Borescope rod is available separately (without the display unit) and plugs into the computer with a USB connection.

New product tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink New Product, Optics 12 Comments »
October 30th, 2014

How to Wear Out a Barrel in One Afternoon…

Can sustained rapid-fire shooting with no cool-down period wear out a quality barrel more quickly? The answer is “Yes” according to Forum member LCazador, who recently did an interesting comparison test with two .243 Win barrels. He started off with two, identical, match-grade HV taper stainless barrels. Both were NEW at the start of testing, and LCazador shot the same load through each: 95gr match bullets with 38 grains of Hodgdon Varget. After giving both barrels the same, gentle 20-round break-in, 300 rounds were then fired through each barrel — in very different ways. Barrel condition and wear were monitored with a borescope.

Barrel One — Slow Fire, Cool Down Periods, Cleaning Every 50 Rounds
At the end of the 300-round test, Barrel One looked brand new. There was none of the severe fire cracking found in Barrel Two. This barrel was shot no more than 10 times without a cool down and firing was done at a much slower pace. Cleaning for this barrel was done every 50 shots.

Barrel Two — Fast Firing, No Waiting, Cleaning Every 100 Rounds
The second barrel, which received hard use and minimal cleaning, was severely damaged with severe fire cracking at the leade and throat. As a result, the barrel had to be re-chambered. This barrel was shot 100 rounds at time without cleaning and was shot up to 20 times in succession without a cool down.

Don’t let your barrel get too hot, and keep it clean. One afternoon can ruin a barrel!

Hawkeye Borescope imageMonitoring Barrel Wear with Borescope
Some folks worry too much about what their borescopes reveal — many barrels do not have to be “squeaky clean” to perform well. In fact some barrels run better after ten or more fouling shots. However, a borescope can be very helpful when your barrel starts losing accuracy for no apparent reason. Forum member FdShuster writes:

“A borescope is a positive way of backing up your suspicions when the rifle starts to throw an occasional (soon followed by more frequent) wild shot. Using the scope is also an excellent way to determine that the cause is barrel wear and not simply a need for a concentrated cleaning session to remove built up copper and more importantly, carbon fouling.

I’ve had a few barrels that gave every indication of being shot out. But I ‘scoped them out and found the cause to be nothing more than requiring a good cleaning. They then returned to their usual performance. There’s no guessing involved when you are able to get ‘up close and personal’ using the scope. The borescope also provides an excellent view of the all-important condition of the crown. My borescope is one of the most valuable investments I’ve ever made.”

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October 10th, 2014

Beyond the Bore-Scope — BEMIS Laser Bore Inspection Machine

Do you think your borescope is a state-of-the-art bore inspection device? Well think again. There is now something way more advanced than any optical borescope. A new laser-equipped scanning device can map the entire interior surface of a barrel bore. With this new technology you can now examine every land and every groove, millimeter by millimeter, from the chamber to the tip of the muzzle. The most minute flaw in a barrel can now be revealed.

Chesapeake Testing BEMIS laser bore scanner barrel inspection machineThe new device is called the BEMIS-SC™ (for Barrel Inspection Machine Small Caliber). Operated by Chesapeake Testing and Laser Techniques Company (LTC), BEMIS-SC performs non-destructive laser-based mapping of gun bores. The BEMIS-SC currently works with .22 caliber to .50 caliber (5.56 – 12.7 mm) barrels. The BEMIS captures thousands of highly accurate data points over the full length of a barrel. The inspection can be completed in mere minutes, with scan results displayed in graphical, tabular, and 3D visual formats. Here is a barrel cross-section, as scanned by the BEMIS-SC:

Click for Full-Screen Version
Chesapeake Testing BEMIS laser bore scanner barrel inspection machine

Until the 1980s, gun tube inspection had to be conducted by hand using a manual “star” gauge, a process that would take hours and provide minimal data. Electronic gauges were eventually developed along with the video bore scope, but these systems were still limited to very few, low-resolution data points. That has all changed with the BEMIS™, a huge leap forward in technology that is capable of rapidly capturing thousands of precise data points.

BEMIS-SC (Small Caliber) Barrel Inspection Machines
Chesapeake Testing BEMIS laser bore scanner barrel inspection machine

Chesapeake Testing commenced BEMIS-SC barrel inspection services in September 2014. Testing is performed in Chesapeake’s commercial barrel inspection laboratory, located in Belcamp, MD, minutes from the U.S. Army Aberdeen Proving Ground. While testing is currently limited to .22 to .50 caliber barrels, Chesapeake Testing will accommodate both smaller and larger calibers in the future.

“We have always focused on building our company around very unique technologies. BEMIS™ has changed the industry in regards to the inspection of weapon systems. We are excited to be an exclusive partner with LTC in this industry and look forward to contributing to the future of this technology,” says Jim Foulk, founder and president of Chesapeake Testing.

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August 27th, 2014

Borescopes — What They Reveal May Surprise You

Hawkeye borescope POV lensA quality borescope is a pricey tool, but once you get to use one, it’s hard to imagine how you ever did without it. To learn how a borescope can help you diagnose barrel issues, you should read a Rifle Shooter magazine feature story, What the Eye Can See.

In this article, writer Terry Wieland explains how to inspect for defects in new barrels, how to recognize different kinds of fouling (in both barrels and brass), and how to spot throat erosion in its early stages. Terry uses a Gradient Lens HawkEye BoreScope. The current generation of HawkEyes can be attached to a still or video camera to record digital images of your bore. The most interesting part of the article is on the second page. There, author Wieland provides photos of various types of internal flaws that can appear in barrels. This will help you spot pitting, excessive land wear, rust damage, and damage from corrosive primers.

Wieland notes that BoreScopes aren’t just for barrels: “The borescope has other uses as well. It can be used to examine the interior of a cartridge case to look for the beginnings of a case separation or to examine the interior of a loading die that is giving you trouble. When you consider the number of tubular objects that play such an important role in rifle shooting, it is a wonder we were ever able to function without such a method of studying bores.”

This Gradient Lens video shows how to correctly borescope your barrel:

Hawkeye borescope POV lens

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July 31st, 2008

BoreScope Story Shows Different Types of Fouling

Hawkeye borescopeA quality borescope is a pricey tool, but once you have the opportunity to use one, it is hard to imagine how you ever did without it. Rifle Shooter magazine has an excellent article about using a Gradient Lens Corp. HawkEye BoreScope.

In this feature, What the Eye Can See, writer Terry Wieland explains how to inspect for defects in new barrels, how to recognize different kinds of fouling (in both barrels and brass), and how to spot throat erosion in its early stages. The current generation of HawkEyes can be attached to a still or video camera to record digital images of your bore. The most interesting part of the article is on the second page. There, author Wieland provides photos of various types of internal flaws that can appear in barrels. This will help you spot pitting, excessive land wear, rust damage, and damage from corrosive primers.

RifleShooter Magazine Borescope story

Wieland also explains that BoreScopes aren’t just for barrels: “The borescope has other uses as well. It can be used to examine the interior of a cartridge case to look for the beginnings of a case separation or to examine the interior of a loading die that is giving you trouble. When you consider the number of tubular objects that play such an important role in rifle shooting, it is a wonder we were ever able to function without such a method of studying bores.”

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February 10th, 2008

Midway Offers Discounts on Hawkeye Borescopes

Hawkeye BorescopeIf you’ve ever used a borescope to inspect a rifle barrel, you know how valuable these tools can be. No other device lets you see the true condition of your barrel’s lands and grooves, from the throat all the way to the crown. For many of us the question isn’t whether we want and need a borescope, but whether we can afford one. Luckily, MidwayUSA has made it easier to acquire a quality Hawkeye borescope. Currently, MidwayUSA is offering a special 17″ Hawkeye Borescope “Limited Edition Kit” for just $639.99. That’s about $110.00 less than the regular price for the Deluxe Kit. The more expensive model comes with a fitted aluminum case while the Limited Edition Kit ships in a cardboard box.

Hawkeye Borescope

Standard features of the economical Limited Edition are a 17″ precision stainless steel optical tube with advanced fiber optics, 25x magnification, high intensity (H.I.) light source with batteries, and 90-degree mirror tube, which provides a full 360-degree view of the bore’s interior. This borescope accommodates 17 caliber and larger with the standard mirror tube, and 22 caliber and larger with the 90-degree mirror tube. Optional accessories are a 90-degree eyepiece, and a rechargeable Nova light source which is 8 times brighter than the standard H.I. light source. NOTE: the Limited Edition Kit does have a 90-degree mirror, but not the 90-degree viewing eyepiece. You don’t want to confuse these two components.

Hawkeye BorescopeMidwayUSA has the Deluxe Hawkeye Borescope Kit on sale for $719.99 through the end of February. This is $30.00 off the normal $749.99 price. The components are similar to the Limited Edition Kit, but the Deluxe Kit includes a high-quality, lockable aluminum hard-case. The 90-degree angled eyepiece, Midway item 181455, costs an additional $274.95, and fits both Deluxe and Limited Edition models.

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