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December 10th, 2019

Ultimate Reloader Reviews Hawkeye Borescope Systems

Gavin Gear Ultimate Reloader Hawkeye borescope video capture slide

Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com recently tested Hawkeye Borescopes from Gradient Lens Corp., along with the impressive Hawkeye Video Slide System. Gavin observed: “When it comes to gunsmithing, gun inspection, and gun maintenance, a borescope can tell you things that nothing else can. And that’s why a borescope is an invaluable tool for gunsmiths, competition shooters, and gun enthusiasts.”

UltimateReloader.com MUST WATCH Video — See What Hawkeye Borescope Reveals:

READ Hawkeye Borescope Review on UltimateReloader.com »

A good borescope reveals the reality inside your barrel(s). There’s no more guesswork. All the issues associated with barrel will be revealed — carbon build-up, copper fouling, fire-cracking and more. Within a few seconds you can judge the state of your bore, and diagnose problems such as copper fouling and fire-cracking. Check out these two images. On the left is a brand new hand-lapped barrel. On the right is a barrel with heavy fire-cracking.

Gavin Gear Ultimate Reloader Hawkeye borescope video capture slide

Gavin Gear Ultimate Reloader Hawkeye borescope video capture slideGavin tested both 7″ and 17″ versions of the Hawkeye Borescope. He tested straight versions, and both long and short borescopes with a 90° eyepiece. For most tasks we prefer the 90° eyepiece. In addition to these systems, Gavin tested the the Hawkeye Video Slide and video image acquisition system, shown below.

The features are: 1. Video Slide support system; 2. Pistol barrel being inspected; 3. Borescope with quick-coupler equipped Sony camera; 4. Windows 10 PC Laptop running Hawkeye App with VIDEO Feed; 5. LED illumination for borescope.

Gavin Gear Ultimate Reloader Hawkeye borescope video capture slide

“The Hawkeye Video Slide and video image acquisition system are not intended for consumers. They are primarily used by laboratories, gun OEMs, and other commercial customers,” Gavin notes. He used the Video Slide to provide the “next best thing” to viewing through the Hawkeye itself.



What You Can See with a Hawkeye Borescope

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

Hawkeye borescope POV lensA precision optical borescope is a pricey tool, but it performs critical tasks for gun-owners, and a Hawkeye’s rigid optic tube offers some important advantages over a cheap endoscope on a flexible cord. To learn how a Hawkeye 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 shows 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. 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.”

Hawkeye borescope POV lens

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October 2nd, 2019

$50 Teslong Borescope Works Great — Full Review with Videos

Teslong digital endoscope borescope windows android Mac video screen barrel inspection

Review by F-Class John
Do you know what the inside of your barrel looks like? Borescoping is a great way to diagnose a barrel problem or evaluate your cleaning regimen. Conventional optical borescopes work great but are expensive. Low-cost digitial borescopes have been on the market for a while, but many have have lacked the resolution necessary to get the job done properly. Enter the Teslong rifle borescope. We set out to see whether this new electro-optical borescope, priced at just $49.99, could do the job of conventional optical borescopes that might cost twenty times as much. We concluded that this little device is pretty amazing…

Teslong digital endoscope borescope windows android Mac video screen barrel inspection

Here is an actual video captured with the Teslong borescope owned by Forum member DMoran. This is the inside of a Howa factory .223 Rem Barrel:

Setting Up and Using the Teslong Borescope
The Teslong borescope comes in a handy, zippered case* with a mesh pouch on one side and an elastic strap on the other to help secure the cords. The unit employs two different cables. One is a flexible USB A/V cable which also thoughtfully comes with a USB/USB-C converter as well. The other piece is the mirrored borescope which is attached to a flexible but fairly rigid cable. The first thing I noticed is the generous length of the combined cable. Since the unit needs to be connected to a computer or other compatible device, the long cable allows you easily scope the entire length of your barrel while you keep your computer at a distance. I appreciated the way this works because it allowed me to continue cleaning my gun and checking the barrel without worrying about getting any cleaning supplies on my computer.

Teslong digital endoscope borescope windows android Mac video screen barrel inspection
NOTE: The Teslong borescope we purchased from Amazon in September came with the storage case shown. We’d been informed that some recent shipments have omitted the case.

Plug and Play — With Impressive Resolution and Image Quality
Once the unit is plugged into the computer all I had to do was open my photo program and the Teslong activated and displayed the bore image. For Windows at least, there are no Apps to install or anything else to do other than plug it in. Once it’s plugged in you simply slide the unit into your bore and start looking. The angled mirror along with the integrated light allows for easy viewing of the lands and grooves with little to no need for focal adjustment. I ran the scope down some newer barrels as well as one of my oldest, burned-out barrels and I was shocked at the detail and resolution I saw. Rust, copper, carbon and fire-cracking really popped out. If I was assessing barrel cleaning effectiveness, I could easily see how levels of fouling are being removed. I will use my Teslong to capture photos of my next barrel in brand new condition. Then I can reference those “Day 1″ images each time I clean that barrel.

As an owner of a Hawkeye and another digital borescope, both of which are fairly expensive, I have to admit I was skeptical of a borescope that costs a mere fifty bucks. But frankly, I was amazed at the image quality. Look for yourself. These are actual Teslong photos I took while inspecting one of my barrels.

Teslong digital endoscope borescope windows android Mac video screen barrel inspection

Teslong digital endoscope borescope windows android Mac video screen barrel inspection
NOTE: This is a fire-forming barrel that was not cleaned for 500 consecutive rounds.

Read Reviews from Teslong Borescope Buyers

Want to know what other Teslong owners think? You can read over five pages of Teslong Rifle Borescope comments and reviews by our Forum members in AccurateShooter’s Teslong Forum Thread.

Here are actual statements by Forum Members and Amazon purchasers

“Received mine last week, incredible quality for the price.” — PhilC

“There’s a couple of threads discussing these borescopes. It actually has the 45 degree mirror so that you can see the everything much better than with a standard endoscope.” — Mark W

“Most firearm borescopes are expensive… The Teslong Rifle Borescope is currently the best affordable borescope you can buy. With the Teslong Rifle Borescope I’m able to see the fire cracking in my rifle’s bore. I definitely recommend purchasing.” — Amazon Purchaser

“The price is right and the quality is first-rate. Plugs into USB-A or Micro USB port on PC, Mac, or Android (it doesn’t work with iPhones). Takes pics or HD video, stored using either native camera software or their Teslong Camera program. It has a very close focus necessary for a borescope. Other commercial ‘endoscopes’ may be the same diameter, but they have a 2- to 5-cm focal distance, making it difficult to use in a barrel and useless for 90 degree viewing except in, say, a 105mm howitzer. Probe diameter is 0.20 in/5.0 mm diameter and is ideal for use on .223/5.56. The removable 45° mirror allows viewing chamber walls and barrel lands/grooves up close and personal.” — Jim Schmidt

“I have tried it out on my 6.5mm and .223 rifles and it performed way beyond my expectations once you know how to focus it. Also, I have a Samsung Android and neither the USB plug nor the additional adapter would fit my phone (I thought). Teslong customer service reps told me that the plug for my phone is actually a part of the standard plug that comes with the unit. Heck, all I had to do was flip the male end of the plug down! Also, there is a light intensity adjustment on the little box-looking thing that is a part of the cable. It’s really small and easily overlooked.” — Barrbqn (Amazon)

F-Class Nationals Competitors Try the Teslong — And Then Place Orders
I gave the Teslong a pretty thorough testing on my bench at home, but I was also able to test it while attending the 2019 F-Class Nationals. It hooks up easily to a laptop (either Windows or Mac). It will also work with an Android tablet or smartphone (but not yet with an iPad or iPhone). I set the Teslong up for some fellow competitors to test. Each time someone stuck it in their barrel there was a collective gasp when they saw how clear and detailed the picture was. It wasn’t long before everyone in our housing unit wanted to try it.

Interestingly, one of the fellows in our housing pulled out the exact same unit. It turned out he loved it just as much as we all did. What really told me it was a keeper is when several of the people who also own Hawkeyes or other borescopes ordered a Teslong as soon as they were done playing with it. On a side note, we also ended up using it to look inside a seating die, inside a disassembled bolt, and under a refrigerator. I’m sure there are countless other uses for the Teslong.

CONCLUSION — Impressive Product — You Won’t Be Disappointed
The bottom line is that there isn’t anything on the market that can compete with this little gem anywhere near its $50 price point. I would say that if you’ve put off buying a borescope because of price or quality concerns this is the unit to buy — you won’t be disappointed. In the video below I show how to use the Teslong in your rifle. The Teslong Borescope is available right now for $49.99 on Amazon.

Software Functionality (Apps and/or Operating System)
Windows 7/8/10 or later (Desktop or Laptop Computer)
1. Use Windows Camera, the built-in Camera software of Windows10, only for Win10.
2. Use Teslong camera software or AmCap software

Android 4.4+ (Tablet or Smartphone)
Use Teslong Camera App, CameraFi, or USB Camera App

Mac OSX 10.6+ (Desktop or Laptop Computer)
Use Photo Booth or QuickTime Player

Notice: This Teslong model does NOT support iPhone and iPad! Teslong says: “WiFi version of the rifle borescope supporting iPhone and iPad is under development, and coming soon.”

Teslong vs. Conventional Optical Borescope (Such as Hawkeye)
The Teslong is not perfect. It does have some shortcomings when compared to a conventional optical borescope such as the Hawkeye. A borescope with a long, rigid metal shaft is easy to rotate within the bore. Therefore you can quickly inspect all 360 degrees inside the barrel. By contrast, the Teslong has a flexible cable that you have to twist to rotate the lens. That works, but it’s not as easy. Additionally, in a large-diameter bore, the 5mm-wide Teslong tends to flop to the low side. Again, with a Hawkeye, it is easy to maintain a constant distance to the bore wall.

Forum member Ned Ludd explains these considerations in a Forum post: “The [Teslong] is designed to fit into a .22 Cal bore. As such, there is quite a bit of play (lateral movement) of the camera head in a .30 Cal bore as you twist the cable to swivel it around 360 degrees. This is largely caused by the angle of the cable as you spin it, which is not perfectly concentric to the bore. This is not an issue of concern in a much more expensive borescope with a purpose-built swivel mechanism.”

That said, we still think the Teslong is a great device, well worth the money ($50 vs. $850+ or so for a Hawkeye). The cable rotation isn’t that big a deal, with a little practice. Overall, for regular visual inspections of your barrels, with easy photo/video capture, the Teslong is hard to beat for the price.

*The Teslong borescope we ordered from Amazon and tested came in the black, zippered case shown in the top-most photo. We have been informed that some Teslong units have recently shipped with NO case. We do not know if cases will be provided in the future.

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