Hawkeye Borescope from
Gradient Lens Corp.
When it comes to
cleaning rifles, I confess to a streak of laziness. I
usually put the chore off as long as my conscience will let me, but when I actually get
down to it, I try to do a respectable job. I clean and lightly oil bearing surfaces, then
scrub the bore with a succession of solvent-soaked patches and nylon brushes. When dry
patches emerge without that telltale shade of green, I call it a day and pass a lightly
oiled patch through the bore.
Holding the barrel up
to the light to peer down the shiny bore was usually a boon to satisfaction but as
I later learned didnt tell the whole story. A bore that looked pristine to
the naked eye was usually anything but!
A few years ago at a
prairie dog shoot, another hunter was examining the bore of his rifle with a
strange-looking device he called a borescope. When I borrowed the device for a quick
glance down the bore of my rifles just-cleaned but not yet oiled bore, I was
startled by what I saw. Instead of presenting a slick, shiny surface, the lands and
grooves looked like medical slides of some hideous disease viewed through a microscope. I
could hardly believe my eyes. Rough edges, faint signs of pitting and
unsightly flakes of powder and copper
fouling marred the magnified view. I went back to cleaning with a vengeance!
Ive since seen
the light (sorry) and purchased a borescope of my own. Let me warn you now that a good
borescope doesnt come cheaply! The Hawkeye Borescope was purchased from the Gradient
Lens Corporation after I grudgingly forked over the better part of $800.
After recovering from
the shock of writing the check, I soon learned how doggone valuable the new borescope was.
In addition to graphically showing me exactly how clean my rifles bore was (or wasnt),
it let me check the condition of the bore itself. When I used the borescope, every blemish
showed up with crystal (almost painful) clarity. Do reamer marks still remain, indicating
a need for some careful lapping? Whats the condition of the chamber and throat? Is
my bore cleaner really working, or do I need to try something else?
Time to buy a used
rifle or handgun? You can bet the Hawkeye goes along. What better way to see exactly what
that bore looks like not just at the muzzle, but deep inside the barrel.
discovered yet another advantage the Hawkeye offers. I use it to check inside reloading
dies for scratches that need buffing out or possible signs of cracking. Used cartridge
cases get the same treatment a look inside
may show early signs of failure while viewing the case surface under Hawkeye
magnification can be equally revealing. Incidentally, the Hawkeye comes with its own,
built-in illumination, so strong outside light isnt required. It also comes in an
elongated, briefcase-style carrying case.
Several Hawkeye models
are available in various lengths and sizes. Theres also an extra-bright lighting
system available as an accessory, and you can buy an adapter to let you capture what you
see with a digital camera.
For more information, contact Gradient Lens
Corporation, Dept. H, 207 Tremont Street, Rochester NY 14608; telephone toll-free:
1-800-536-0790; or visit the web site: www.gradientlens.com.