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Gunsmith hits bull's-eye with borescope

Of all the tools on Gunsmith Clay Spencer's workbench in Scottsville, VA, none is more important or used more often than his Circon ACMI borescope. He uses it to inspect every millimeter of every rifle barrel he makes.

Available in a variety of sizes, a borescope is a slender tube containing a combination of lenses, mirrors, prisms, and glass rods or fiber optics that allow the viewer to examine small, inaccessible areas.

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Clay Spencer uses a Circon borescope to inspect a rifle barrel.

Originally used exclusively in medicine, today's borescope technology plays an increasingly important role in industrial, non-destructive inspection and testing.

However, the benefit of using a borescope is nothing new to Spencer. "For about 18 years I used a standard medical borescope. It worked well enough, but I wasn't able to do everything I wanted with it," Spencer says.

About five years ago, he contacted Marie Capiris at Circon ACMI Industrial, Stamford, CT, and told her exactly what he needed in a borescope. Circon ACMI Industrial provides businesses around the world with a wide variety of borescopes and other equipment for diagnosis and inspection.

Circon offers more than 180 models of standard rigid borescopes, each providing sharp, accurate imaging. Complete with focusing eyepieces, the borescopes accommodate photographic equipment for documentation and enlarged displays, and allow viewing angles of 0, 45, 90 and 110 degrees.

"Sometimes even our more than 180 models of borescopes aren't enough. Some customers have very special requirements," says Capiris.

For several months, Capiris worked with Spencer to find the exact combination of camera, light source and lens that would work best for the gunsmith to examine rifle barrels.

"When I finally decided exactly what I wanted, the folks at Circon created it for me. I use it constantly to inspect the interior finish of my rifle barrels," Spencer says.

Circon ACMI created a 5 mm borescope, with a 45-degree viewing angle for Spencer.

Circon ACMI, Industrial Division, 300 Stillwater Ave., Stamford, CT 06902-3640. Phone: (203) 357-8300 or (800) 325-7107 ext. 7. Fax: (203) 328-8717 Circle 163


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This article was originally published in the October 1998 issue of Quality in Manufacturing.