Firearms of any type require frequent inspection and maintenance to operate dependably and safely. Inspecting the bore of any gun is an important part of this routine. The gun bore is subject to continuous wear and can be further compromised by rust, pitting and accumulated fouling. Inspection tools can help identify bore issues so you can take corrective measures. You can also use them to inspect used guns in order to make a buying decision.
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A miniature flashlight or penlight and small mirror, of the type used by dentists, can be used to look through the bore of a gun where both ends of the bore are accessible. This will not provide great detail, but may be enough for a cursory inspection to see if major issues exist. This kind of inspection is crude at best, and most suited for use with guns that have larger bores, like shotguns.
A bore light will more fully illuminate the bore, since the light source can be inserted into the bore. It will enable the user to see the most serious imperfections and damage, like scratches, pitting and fouling. It will not provide a close-up view of the interior surface detail, because the user is restricted to viewing from outside the barrel of the gun. Bore lights are suitable for examining large and small bores.
A borescope provides a detailed view of the interior of a gun bore. Originally developed for medical use, this type of scope has a light source and lens at the end inserted into the bore and an eyepiece at the outer end. They are connected by microfibers that carry the optical information. Some are equipped with camera or computer attachments for viewing and saving images. The image quality depends on the number of microfibers being used and the quality of the lens and eyepiece.
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