The interior of a rifle’s bore is a mystery to most shooters. When a professional gunsmith wants to take a look inside the bore of a rifle, he usually turns to tools costing $1500 or more. This is out of the reach of most shooters. When Lyman contacted us and asked us to take a look at their Borecam Digital Borescope, we jumped at the opportunity.
The Lyman Borecam Digital Borescope consists of a camera rod, control box, power cable and wall outlet adapter. The rod is sized to fit .20 caliber bores and is 20″ long.
Using the Borecam is a very simple process. With only two USB cables to connect, the unit is ready to use in seconds. Lyman even had the forethought to use different connectors on the camera and power cable to make it impossible to reverse them. The power cable is a standard USB. The camera cable is permanently attached to the rod. Once the cables are connected and the power adapter is plugged into a wall outlet, one press of the power button turns on the unit and displays a live feed from the camera.
The latency (delay) of the camera is minimal and makes it easy to point at what you want to inspect. The rod is marked with an inch scale and the handle end has a line indicating which way the camera is pointing. This makes it simple to orient which direction and where the camera is pointing in the bore.The Borecam camera is equipped with a 45-degree mirror. This directs the camera’s view to the side of the bore, not directly down it as some cheaper bore scopes do. The Borecam has an included light that turns on with the camera. The camera is pre-focused and gives a relatively clear view of the condition of the bore on the included color monitor.
The Borecam is not without some issues. It does require external power. Several cheaper brands of bore camera include internal, rechargeable batteries. The Borecam does take its power from a standard USB port, so it can be used with USB battery packs. Another issue is that the photos that it captures are only 320 x 240 pixels. This is tiny. While they may be sufficient to email to your gunsmith, for content creators or YouTubers the photos are far too small. Finally, there is no video capture. Again, cheaper units offer standard definition video capture. Unfortunately, those units also use a much larger probe and are not suitable for inspecting 6mm or smaller bores.
After inspecting several barrels, I am impressed with the value of the Lyman Borecam. While it is not perfect, it will give you a much better idea of what is going on inside your barrel. At less than the price of one barrel blank for a match rifle, I think the Borecam is a worthwhile addition to a high-volume shooter’s toolbox.