July 24th, 2007

BoreScope Video–Factory vs. Custom Barrels

In this video by Dan Lilja, you can see the difference between a factory barrel and a hand-lapped custom barrel with your own eyes. The borescope reveals the tooling marks, rough surface, and flaws in the lands that are not uncommon in a factory barrel. Conversely, the custom barrel (shown in the image below), shows sharp lands, a smooth surface (without excess machining marks), and rifling without scratches or cuts. If you haven’t watched this video before, you may be amazed.

You can learn more about borescopes by reading the Hawkeye Borescope Review by top UK shooter Vince Bottomley. Vince put a Hawkeye unit through its paces and concludes that it is an invaluable tool for diagnosing barrel problems and monitoring barrel wear. Vince writes: “With a borescope, you can tell immediately if your cleaning regime is effective, or inspect for throat-erosion and the general condition of the rifling. In addition, I have found that it is very useful for inspecting newly-cut chambers–making sure they are free from scoring and other machining defects and you can even have a good look at the muzzle-crown from the inside–one of the most important parts of any barrel. Tiny burrs can often be present on newly-cut crowns and even the most minute damage to a crown (often caused by careless cleaning) can play havoc with accuracy. For the professional gunsmith, you could say that a borescope is the equivalent of a doctor’s stethoscope.”

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