Skip to content
Top 10 Tips for Using a Rifle Borescope Like a Pro

Top 10 Tips for Using a Rifle Borescope Like a Pro

Mastering the Art of Rifle Borescope Inspection: Expert Tips for Enhanced Firearm Maintenance and Precision

A rifle borescope is a crucial tool in firearm maintenance and accuracy enhancement. It is a slender, flexible device equipped with a tiny camera that allows shooters and gunsmiths to inspect the interior of a rifle's barrel. This inspection is vital for several reasons. Firstly, it helps detect fouling, corrosion, or damage within the bore that may affect accuracy or safety. Secondly, it aids in verifying the condition of rifling, ensuring consistent bullet spin for precise shots.

Effective use of a borescope ensures that any obstructions, such as debris or copper fouling, are identified and removed, guaranteeing optimal bullet trajectory and minimizing the risk of dangerous barrel obstructions. Routine bore inspection also facilitates timely maintenance, preventing reductions in accuracy and extending a rifle's lifespan. In essence, a rifle borescope is an indispensable tool for firearm enthusiasts and professionals, ensuring their weapons perform reliably and accurately while maintaining safety standards.

Tip 1: Understand Your Rifle Borescope

A rifle borescope typically comprises three main components: a lens, a light source, and various connectivity options. The lens is a critical part of the borescope, usually a high-quality optical or digital camera, which captures detailed images or videos of the rifle barrel's interior. This lens is inserted into the bore to provide a clear view of its condition.

The light source is essential for illuminating the bore, ensuring visibility during inspection. It can be built-in LED lights or fiber-optic cables that transmit light to the camera's lens, illuminating the barrel's interior.

Connectivity options vary among borescopes, including USB, Wi-Fi, or smartphone compatibility. These enable users to view real-time footage on a computer, smartphone, or tablet, making inspection and analysis more convenient.

Reading the user manual is of paramount importance when learning how to borescope a rifle. It provides valuable instructions on how to properly insert the device into the barrel, adjust lighting, and interpret the images or videos. Understanding the functionalities and safety precautions outlined in the manual ensures effective and safe use, helping gun enthusiasts and professionals maintain their firearms and ensure optimal performance.

Tip 2: Choose the Right Borescope for Your Rifle

Selecting the appropriate borescope for your rifle is crucial for effective firearm maintenance. Two primary types of borescopes, optical and digital, cater to different rifle types and user preferences.

Optical Borescopes: These devices use lenses and mirrors to offer a direct visual inspection of the rifle bore. They are cost-effective and straightforward, making them suitable for traditionalists and rifles with longer barrels, like bolt-action rifles. However, they lack modern features such as image capture and measurement.

Digital Borescopes: Equipped with a camera, digital borescopes capture high-quality images or videos for detailed analysis. They are versatile and suitable for various rifle types, including semi-automatic rifles and handguns with shorter barrels. Digital borescopes provide convenience, allowing users to record, measure, and share their findings.

When choosing a borescope, consider these specifications:

  1. Resolution: Higher resolution cameras provide clearer images for accurate inspection.
  2. Length: Select a length appropriate for your rifle's barrel.
  3. Lighting: Ensure adjustable lighting for optimal visibility.
  4. Compatibility: Verify that the borescope connects to your preferred viewing device (e.g., smartphone, computer).
  5. Durability: Opt for a rugged, waterproof borescope to withstand tough conditions.

To make an informed choice, evaluate your firearm type, inspection needs, and desired features. Selecting the right borescope ensures effective maintenance, enhances accuracy, and extends the lifespan of your rifle.

Tip 3: Prepare Your Rifle for Inspection

Safety is paramount when handling firearms. To safely unload and clear your rifle before using a borescope, follow these steps:

  1. Ensure It's Unloaded: Confirm that your rifle's magazine is removed and that there is no round in the chamber.
  2. Safety On: Engage the safety mechanism if your rifle has one.
  3. Point in a Safe Direction: Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction, away from people and objects.
  4. Visually Inspect: Look into the chamber and magazine well to visually verify that there are no rounds present.
  5. Use a Clearing Rod: If necessary, use a clearing rod to physically check and clear the bore.
  6. Double-check: Reconfirm that the rifle is empty and safe.

Only after these steps should you proceed with inserting the borescope into the rifle's bore. Safety is non-negotiable when dealing with firearms, and these precautions are vital to prevent accidents.

Tip 4: Adequate Lighting and Viewing Angle

Proper lighting is paramount for clear and effective inspection of a rifle bore using a borescope. Here's why it's crucial and tips for adjusting the viewing angle:

Importance of Proper Lighting:

  1. Clarity: Adequate lighting ensures that the camera captures clear and detailed images or videos of the bore's interior. Without proper illumination, it's challenging to identify fouling, corrosion, or damage.
  2. Accuracy: Insufficient lighting may result in misinterpretation of the bore's condition, potentially leading to inaccurate assessments of rifling quality or the presence of obstructions.

Tips for Adjusting the Viewing Angle:

  1. Even Illumination: Ensure the borescope's light source is evenly distributed throughout the bore. Uneven lighting can create shadows that obscure certain areas. Adjust the light intensity as needed.
  2. Slow and Steady: When inserting the borescope, do so slowly and steadily, while gently rotating it. This allows for a thorough examination of the entire bore, including the lands and grooves.
  3. Multiple Angles: Vary the viewing angle by tilting and rotating the borescope to inspect different sections of the bore. This helps you spot imperfections or fouling that may not be immediately visible from one angle.
  4. Record and Review: If using a digital borescope, record the inspection, and review the footage later. This can help you catch details that might have been missed during the initial examination.

By ensuring proper lighting and adjusting the viewing angle as needed, you can conduct a thorough and accurate inspection of your rifle's bore, contributing to its maintenance and performance optimization.

Tip 5: Slow and Controlled Insertion

It's crucial to advise users to insert the borescope into the rifle bore slowly and gently to avoid any scratches or damage. Here are the benefits of gradual insertion for a thorough inspection:

  1. Prevent Damage: Slow and gentle insertion minimizes the risk of accidentally scratching or damaging the bore's delicate rifling. Rifling is critical for bullet stability, and any damage can affect accuracy.
  2. Comprehensive Examination: Gradual insertion allows for a methodical and detailed inspection. By moving the borescope slowly, you can carefully examine the entire length of the bore, including the lands and grooves, for fouling, corrosion, or any irregularities.
  3. Better Visibility: Slow insertion provides better visibility of the bore's condition. It allows the camera to capture clear images or videos, ensuring you don't miss any crucial details.
  4. Accurate Assessment: By taking your time during insertion, you can make accurate assessments of the bore's health, helping you identify any issues that may require cleaning or maintenance.

In summary, a slow and gentle approach to borescope insertion is essential to protect the rifle bore and conduct a comprehensive, accurate inspection. It ensures the safety and integrity of your firearm while facilitating a thorough examination for optimal performance and maintenance.

Tip 6: Analyzing the Bore's Condition

During a rifle bore inspection using a borescope, it's essential to look for various signs that can impact the firearm's accuracy and performance:

  1. Fouling: Fouling consists of residue left behind by fired rounds. Look for carbon buildup, copper deposits, and powder residue in the bore. Excessive fouling can affect bullet stability, leading to reduced accuracy and inconsistent shot placement. Regular cleaning is necessary to maintain optimal performance.
  2. Corrosion: Corrosion appears as pitting, rust, or discoloration on the bore's surface. It can compromise the structural integrity of the barrel and negatively impact accuracy. Severe corrosion may even lead to dangerous barrel obstructions. Address corrosion promptly through cleaning, rust removal, or barrel replacement.
  3. Wear: Inspect the rifling for signs of wear, such as flattened or eroded lands and grooves. Wear can result from high round counts or the use of corrosive ammunition. It diminishes the barrel's ability to impart spin to the bullet, reducing accuracy. Rifles with excessive wear may require rebarreling for improved performance.
  4. Obstructions: Check for any obstructions like debris, stuck bullets, or bore obstructions. Even minor obstructions can cause catastrophic failures when firing and pose safety risks. Remove obstructions immediately to ensure safe and accurate shooting.
  5. Throat Erosion: Look for signs of throat erosion near the chamber area. Excessive throat erosion can lead to pressure issues and affect accuracy. Replacement or rechambering may be necessary for rifles with severe erosion.

In summary, a thorough bore inspection using a borescope helps identify fouling, corrosion, wear, and obstructions that can significantly impact a rifle's accuracy and performance. Regular maintenance and timely addressing of these issues are essential to ensure your firearm remains safe and delivers consistent, precise shots.

Tip 7: Regular Maintenance and Cleaning

Maintaining the cleanliness and functionality of your borescope is vital for accurate inspections and long-term reliability. Here are guidelines on how to keep your borescope clean and well-maintained:

Cleaning the Lens:

  1. Turn Off and Disconnect: Ensure the borescope is turned off and disconnected from any power source or viewing device.
  2. Gentle Lens Cleaning: Use a soft, lint-free microfiber cloth or lens-cleaning tissue to gently wipe the camera lens and any exposed optics. Avoid using abrasive materials, as they can scratch the lens.
  3. Lens Cleaning Solution: If necessary, use a mild lens cleaning solution specifically designed for optical equipment. Apply a small amount to the cloth or tissue and wipe the lens gently.
  4. Blower or Brush: For dust and debris removal, consider using a camera lens blower or a soft brush designed for delicate optics.

Storing the Borescope:

  1. Protective Case: Store your borescope in a clean, dust-free, and protective case when not in use. This shields it from environmental contaminants and physical damage.
  2. Dry Environment: Ensure the storage location is dry to prevent moisture-related issues like mold or corrosion.
  3. Secure Cable Management: Keep the borescope's cable neatly coiled and secured to prevent tangling or damage.
  4. Regular Inspection: Periodically inspect your borescope for signs of wear, loose components, or cable damage. Address any issues promptly to maintain optimal performance.

By following these cleaning and storage guidelines, you can prolong the life of your borescope and ensure it consistently provides accurate readings during inspections. Proper maintenance safeguards the investment you've made in this valuable firearm maintenance tool.

Tip 8: Document and Track Findings

Keeping a comprehensive record of each inspection, complete with images or videos of the bore's condition, is an excellent practice for firearm maintenance. Here's why tracking changes over time can be so valuable:

  1. Identify Patterns: By documenting the state of your rifle bore after each inspection, you can track any gradual changes or trends in its condition. This includes observing the accumulation of fouling, identifying signs of wear, or monitoring any developing corrosion.
  2. Maintenance Planning: Regular inspections and detailed records allow you to anticipate maintenance needs accurately. If you notice a consistent increase in fouling or wear, for example, you can plan timely cleaning, barrel replacement, or other necessary actions to ensure the rifle's continued performance.
  3. Performance Optimization: Tracking changes enables you to fine-tune your rifle's maintenance schedule. You can tailor your cleaning and maintenance routines based on actual conditions rather than relying solely on a predefined schedule.
  4. Safety Assurance: Regular inspection records can help ensure the rifle's safety. Sudden or unusual changes may indicate a problem that requires immediate attention to prevent accidents or malfunctions.
  5. Resale Value: If you ever plan to sell or trade your rifle, a documented history of inspections and maintenance can enhance its resale value by demonstrating responsible ownership and care.

In conclusion, maintaining a detailed record of your borescope inspections, complete with visual documentation, is a proactive approach to firearm care. It empowers you to identify patterns, plan maintenance effectively, optimize performance, ensure safety, and potentially enhance the rifle's value in the long run.

Tip 9: Seek Professional Help When Needed

It's important to acknowledge that while regular inspections and maintenance are essential, some firearm issues may go beyond the expertise of the average firearm owner. In such cases, it is highly advisable to seek the assistance of a qualified gunsmith or firearm maintenance professional. Here's why:

  1. Specialized Knowledge: Gunsmiths and firearm professionals have specialized training and experience in diagnosing and addressing complex firearm issues. They possess in-depth knowledge of various firearm systems and can effectively troubleshoot problems.
  2. Safety Assurance: Complex issues, especially those involving critical components like the firing mechanism or chamber, can impact the safety of the firearm. Professionals can ensure that any repairs or modifications are carried out safely and in compliance with applicable regulations.
  3. Preserving Firearm Value: For valuable or collectible firearms, improper handling or DIY repairs can significantly reduce their value. Gunsmiths can perform repairs or modifications while preserving the firearm's historical or intrinsic worth.
  4. Legal Compliance: Certain firearm modifications or repairs may have legal implications. Gunsmiths are well-versed in firearm laws and regulations, ensuring that any work performed adheres to legal requirements.

In summary, while firearm enthusiasts can perform routine inspections and basic maintenance, it is crucial to recognize the limits of one's expertise. When faced with complex issues or doubts about the firearm's condition, seeking professional assistance from a qualified gunsmith or firearm maintenance professional is the safest and wisest course of action. Your safety and the integrity of your firearm should always be a top priority.

Shop Teslong Rifle Borescopes

Knowing how to use a rifle borescope is key to enhancing accuracy, performance, and longevity. Follow these tips: Choose the right borescope type for your firearm. Inspect the bore slowly and gently to prevent damage. Ensure proper lighting and angle adjustments for a thorough examination. Keep the borescope clean and well-maintained. Record inspection results over time to identify trends and plan maintenance effectively. Seek professional assistance for complex issues.

Applying these techniques to your firearm maintenance routine can result in safer, more reliable, and longer-lasting rifles. Shop Teslong for high-quality borescopes and accessories to aid in this critical task.


Explore Teslong Products:

Industrial Endoscopes

Ear Endoscopes

USB Endoscopes

WiFi Endoscopes

Automotive Endoscopes

Ear Otoscopes

USB Otoscopes

WiFi Otoscopes

iPhone Otoscopes

Android Otoscopes

Plumbing Inspection Cameras

Snake Camera With Light

iPhone Inspection Camera

Pipe Inspection Camera

Thermal Imaging Guns

Previous article Benefits of a Camera for Home Inspections
Next article Plumbers Rejoice: A Guide to Choosing the Perfect Plumbing Scope