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March 10, 2024 - 5:57 pm
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Who has them?  Who likes them?  Who sees no use for them?

Up until a few months ago, I spent my entire shooting hobby career with zero experience with a borescope. That changed (see photo below).  It has been an education.  The long and short of it is that bores that I thought weren’t all that good – are REALLY not all that good.  And bores that I thought were quite favorable, are not as nice as I thought.  

This is all of course with regard to old lever gun bores (M1873, 1886, 1892 etc.).  In fact there are some bores I would have previously described as, “minty” that I could no longer, in good conscience, do so.  Yes, I feel good about calling them excellent, but not minty.

And those bores that I thought looked questionable?  Well, “horror show” comes to mind.  And the amusing part, these questionable bores I’m referring to – they shoot just fine!

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March 10, 2024 - 7:25 pm
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I bought a borescope several years ago and quite honestly the failure of the light was probably a good thing. I took it up to the orphanage to get a better look at some bores one night and it was very helpful. But yes, it’s been said bore scopes have sold lots of barrels. With our old Winchesters we don’t have the luxury of screwing on another barrel but like you I’ve learned even a “sewer pipe” bore will often shoot acceptably, especially if you’re in the club that can’t see well enough to take advantage of a very accurate rifle. I think they are useful for getting a better look at stubborn fouling, throat erosion, rings and other issues.

 

Mike

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March 11, 2024 - 9:47 am
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I couldn’t afford one as I was in the thick of my shooting days and that’s probably a good thing.  Then not too long ago (5 years?) I stumbled onto the Teslong line of endoscopes when I was needing to look inside an engine.  I use it primarily for seeing “fire cracking” in some of my modern rifles and getting carbon rings clean.  Pretty neat tool that isn’t “needed” but is pretty handy.

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March 11, 2024 - 4:42 pm
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I’ve had a Hawkeye, with gradient lens system for a good many years.  I no longer recall what it cost, but it wasn’t cheap.  Its been well worth it for me, whatever it cost.  An older friend convinced me to buy one and he also suggested I look at a lot of barrels before forming opinions.  That included looking at several new barrels by top of the line makers plus a few by factories.  The 20X eye piece illustrates the inside of barrels in the worst possible light as it shows every tool mark, scratch, hone lines, etc.  I watch several rifles of my own to see how the barrels are faring with the numbers of rounds put through them and occasionally look to see if all copper fouling is out or where it hides.  However, it is not good on the heart to look inside original lever action barrels that are over 100 years old.  As stated a barrel considered excellent for normal purposes will appear with small craters or roughness under the magnification.  Its all relative if you take it as such.  I do not use it every day, but when I do nothing else does as well.  Tim

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March 11, 2024 - 5:51 pm
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I have a $150 Teslong.  It will show you more than sometimes you would like to see.  These come with a screen about the size of a cell phone.  It will take pictures and videos.  You can use this tool to look into places other than just a barrel.  I recently had a problem with my primer tool.  Called the manufacturer and he said I probably dropped a primer into the tool body.  The bore scope proved him correct.  The things that you can investigate are endless.

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March 11, 2024 - 10:21 pm
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Chuck,  Some years back I had a question on a 413 cu in engine I had on a stand–totally rebuilt.  So, I used the bores cope in the spark plug hole to verify the piston was new and a flat top piston.  As you said–can look in many things and not all firearms.  Mine is rigid tho, and not as useful as the new, flexible ones out now with cameras and all.  WE have a lot to talk about at the gun shows!  Tim

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March 11, 2024 - 11:55 pm
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tim tomlinson said
I’ve had a Hawkeye, with gradient lens system for a good many years.  I no longer recall what it cost, but it wasn’t cheap.  Its been well worth it for me, whatever it cost.  An older friend convinced me to buy one and he also suggested I look at a lot of barrels before forming opinions.  That included looking at several new barrels by top of the line makers plus a few by factories.  The 20X eye piece illustrates the inside of barrels in the worst possible light as it shows every tool mark, scratch, hone lines, etc.  I watch several rifles of my own to see how the barrels are faring with the numbers of rounds put through them and occasionally look to see if all copper fouling is out or where it hides.  However, it is not good on the heart to look inside original lever action barrels that are over 100 years old.  As stated a barrel considered excellent for normal purposes will appear with small craters or roughness under the magnification.  Its all relative if you take it as such.  I do not use it every day, but when I do nothing else does as well.  Tim

  

Tim –

This was my experience.  However, there’s a lot of things in life that shouldn’t be looked at to closely.

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March 12, 2024 - 6:23 pm
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I find that there are two kinds of people in the world: those who are happy, and those who own borescopes.

Once an acquaintance who had a bore scope was getting ready to send his brand new, never fired, Anschutz back to Germany, since he had seen things in the bore scope that he was certain would make it a terrible shooter.  When I asked him how the gun actually shot, he looked at me as if I were a complete simpleton. He had NOT fired it, he said, for it could not possible shoot well, given what he had seen.  His case of “Borescope-itis” was more advanced than most, but I have seen so much hand wringing and weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth among the owners of bore scopes, that I resolved never to sacrifice my serenity buy ever buying one. 

BRP

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March 13, 2024 - 12:42 am
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Blue Ridge Parson said
I find that there are two kinds of people in the world: those who are happy, and those who own borescopes.

Once an acquaintance who had a bore scope was getting ready to send his brand new, never fired, Anschutz back to Germany, since he had seen things in the bore scope that he was certain would make it a terrible shooter.  When I asked him how the gun actually shot, he looked at me as if I were a complete simpleton. He had NOT fired it, he said, for it could not possible shoot well, given what he had seen.  His case of “Borescope-itis” was more advanced than most, but I have seen so much hand wringing and weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth among the owners of bore scopes, that I resolved never to sacrifice my serenity buy ever buying one. 

BRP

  

BRP –

Very insightful thoughts and advice.

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March 13, 2024 - 1:00 am
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 Refer to my comment my old friend made for me to look at a LOT of barrels before forming any opinions.  Sound advice as it will provide context then for what you may see.  Like sewer pipe looking lever actions that really have unusually nice bores.  20 power magnification makes many things look lots worse than they are.  If you can’t develop that initial context, stay AWAY from a bore scope.  Tim

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March 13, 2024 - 6:05 pm
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tim tomlinson said
Chuck,  Some years back I had a question on a 413 cu in engine I had on a stand–totally rebuilt.  So, I used the bores cope in the spark plug hole to verify the piston was new and a flat top piston.  As you said–can look in many things and not all firearms.  Mine is rigid tho, and not as useful as the new, flexible ones out now with cameras and all.  WE have a lot to talk about at the gun shows!  Tim

  

AH, a MOPAR guy.  That explains a lot.

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March 13, 2024 - 9:23 pm
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Chuck said

tim tomlinson said

Chuck,  Some years back I had a question on a 413 cu in engine I had on a stand–totally rebuilt.  So, I used the bores cope in the spark plug hole to verify the piston was new and a flat top piston.  As you said–can look in many things and not all firearms.  Mine is rigid tho, and not as useful as the new, flexible ones out now with cameras and all.  WE have a lot to talk about at the gun shows!  Tim

  

AH, a MOPAR guy.  That explains a lot.

  

It sure does… it clearly says that Tim has some “class” and liked to be a winner at the race track!!Cool

Bert – another MOPAR disciple

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March 13, 2024 - 11:08 pm
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tim tomlinson said
 Refer to my comment my old friend made for me to look at a LOT of barrels before forming any opinions.  Sound advice as it will provide context then for what you may see.  Like sewer pipe looking lever actions that really have unusually nice bores.  20 power magnification makes many things look lots worse than they are.  If you can’t develop that initial context, stay AWAY from a bore scope.  Tim

  

Tim –

I appreciate your experience and insights.  I will keep the borescope in reserve – in the event I find myself irrationally and excessively happy – and need myself down to earth quick – I’ll grab the borescope and a 140 year old rifle.

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March 14, 2024 - 5:26 pm
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Bert H. said

Chuck said

tim tomlinson said

Chuck,  Some years back I had a question on a 413 cu in engine I had on a stand–totally rebuilt.  So, I used the bores cope in the spark plug hole to verify the piston was new and a flat top piston.  As you said–can look in many things and not all firearms.  Mine is rigid tho, and not as useful as the new, flexible ones out now with cameras and all.  WE have a lot to talk about at the gun shows!  Tim

  

AH, a MOPAR guy.  That explains a lot.

  

It sure does… it clearly says that Tim has some “class” and liked to be a winner at the race track!!Cool

Bert – another MOPAR disciple

  

Me a long time ago.

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March 14, 2024 - 11:37 pm
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Chuck said

Bert H. said

Chuck said

tim tomlinson said

Chuck,  Some years back I had a question on a 413 cu in engine I had on a stand–totally rebuilt.  So, I used the bores cope in the spark plug hole to verify the piston was new and a flat top piston.  As you said–can look in many things and not all firearms.  Mine is rigid tho, and not as useful as the new, flexible ones out now with cameras and all.  WE have a lot to talk about at the gun shows!  Tim

  

AH, a MOPAR guy.  That explains a lot.

  

It sure does… it clearly says that Tim has some “class” and liked to be a winner at the race track!!Cool

Bert – another MOPAR disciple

  

Me a long time ago.

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Chuck – that is one cool car!

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March 15, 2024 - 7:06 pm
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steve004 said

Me a long time ago.

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Chuck – that is one cool car!

  

Thanks, I had a lot of fun with it.

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March 16, 2024 - 3:34 am
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I always thought I’d build one more car. My last job before retiring is probably the next best thing. One of our sideline ventures is engineering and building drivelines for restorations, resto-mods, race cars and off-road racers. It’s not a big part of the business but we smile when a job we worked on crosses the block at Barrett-Jackson or the finish line…or just cruises down the road making old car buffs smile.

 

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