Lyman Borecam Digital Borescope: Overview and Comprehensive Test Drive

Have you ever wondered what’s going on inside your rifle’s barrel? Is the bore in good condition? Is the bore clean? You may have wondered the same things about your pistol barrels. Until recently, borescope tools have been beyond the reach of everyday gun owners- not now! Since Lyman has introduced the Borecam Digital Borescope, this exciting technology is both affordable and capable. What’s more- the Borecam is digital, so you can watch what’s happening on the included display and even capture still images to an SD card. Check it out:

What’s In the Box

The Lyman Borecam digital borescope comes with everything you’ll need to start “scoping” with the exception of the firearm you wish to inspect!

Here’s what’s included in the Lyman Borecam box:

  1. Inspection instrument (handle, rod, mirror, camera) with length indication scale
  2. Display with included 128MB SD card
  3. Cleaning accessories, instrument cap (mirror protector), USB SD card adapter
  4. AC adapter (not shown, international plug adapters included)

Once you’ve unpacked the box, all you need to do is plug the power adapter into the wall, plug the cable from the power adapter into the display unit, connect the instrument to the display, turn it on, and start scoping!

Using the Borecam Borescope

The Borecam Borescope is simple to use- and there are really only a few critical “aspects” of using this tool in my experience:

  1. Ensuring the mirror opening and mirror are clean and lint/dirt free
  2. Dialing in proper illumination level (using up and down arrows)
  3. Inside the bore: getting mirror close to the inspection surface

Above you can see the tiny mirror which transmits light onto the surface being inspected, and reflects that light back to the camera sensor.

I had to experiment a tad in order to get the last factor (mirror/camera distance) optimized. If you get the mirror close to the inspection surface (typically lands/grooves in a bore) you’ll get optimal illumination and optimal focus. It takes a bit of fiddling, but in about 10 minutes you’ll most likely start to get “in the groove” (pun intended).

Sample Images

One of the things I showed in the video was the examination of a defective 1911 barrel chamber- and you can see here how clearly the chamber defect (recessed ring) is on the Borecam display:

Clear as day- now I know the first thing I’ll be doing when I get a new firearm or replacement barrel! Why not fire up the Borecam and do a quick inspection! I also learned that cheap barrels are just cheap. 🙂

In addition to what you see on the Borecam display, you can can also capture and store images on an SD card (including the 128MB card that’s included with the Borecam). Here are a couple sample images that I captured with the Borecam: (straight off the card with no adjustments)

Shilen Match-Grade 22 caliber barrel (unfired)

LEE 223 Sizer Die Chamber

Redding 300 Blackout Sizing Die Chamber

It’s interesting from the reloading die pictures how much you can tell about the manufacturing process. The Redding dies are polished – and you can see that all of the machining marks are polished out- leaving only the polishing marks.


The Lyman Borecam digital borescope is a welcome addition to my shop- in fact, I don’t know how I’ve gotten along without one for this long! I’m looking forward to using this new tool for the following:

  1. Inspecting barrels for condition and quality (new, used)
  2. Inspecting barrels while cleaning
  3. Gunsmithing (chambering, crowning, etc)
  4. Inspecting other tools (reloading dies, etc)
  5. Inspecting bores while machining (general fabrication)

And I’m sure there are plenty of other things I’ll end up using this tool for. That’s the way it goes- you never really know what you’ll do with your tools until a new need arises. The Lyman Borecam is a game-changer for me, and I hope you’ll subscribe and stick around for more stories that will utilize this awesome tool!

Do you have a borescope? Do you have a Lyman Borecam? What have you been using your borescope for, and what have you been discovering? Please leave a comment!




9 thoughts on “Lyman Borecam Digital Borescope: Overview and Comprehensive Test Drive”

  1. Hi Gavin …… That Lyman borescope seems to be too much of a hassle for the average shooter to want to see in the bore of his rifle .. I know I would have no interest in such a unit …. Doug

  2. When purchasing this, how can you know you are getting the new updated HD one announced at SHOT 18 versus the older one?

    1. Paul- the new version isn’t HD actually, the screen is 300K pixel resolution (640×480). I’ll ask Lyman about confirming “updated edition”. 🙂

  3. I own a Hawkeye bore scope, but after watching this, I would question whether one would need to spend the coin on a Hawkeye. Yes, the Hawkeye might have better resolution, but you have to hunch over to look through the eyepiece. With the Lyman you can luxuriate and do screen captures. One advantage of the Hawkeye is you can look straight ahead as well as 90 degrees. The straight ahead view is pretty useful.

    So while I’m not giving up my Hawkeye, if somebody who didn’t have a borescope asked what they should do I would recommend the Lyman.

    Also, don’t overlook the entertainment value of the Lyman during parties as you can look up people’s noses, ears, etc.


  4. I contacted Lyman customer service recently, they told me that were not releasing a new version of the Borecam. It is the same Borecam, there has been a few changes in the unit such as the kickstand is no longer fixed and can now be folded in as well as we are using better quality parts which does make the unit have a sharper image, but it is not a higher resolution.

    So, now if I order one, have to make it is new and not old stock many sellers are looking to get rid.

  5. My recent answer back from Lyman customer service was the following:
    “We are not releasing a new version of the Borecam. There has been some misinformation online in regards to this unit. It is the same Borecam, there has been a few changes in the unit such as the kickstand is no longer fixed and can now be folded in as well as we are using better quality parts which does make the unit have a sharper image, but it is not a higher resolution.”

  6. That is odd. (Referring to Joel Turner’s correspondence with Lyman.)
    At SHOT 2019, the rep told me that around mid-2018, the new, higher resolution units started shipping.

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