How to Use a Bore Sight – Expert Advice

how to use a bore sight
Alfred Mendoza

A bore sight saves you time and money for sighting in a rifle. It cuts costs as you’ll have less ammunition expense, use lesser targets, and cut your range time in half. Bore sighting enables you to get on paper before getting to a gun range. Learning how to use a bore sight may seem tricky, but there are “tricks” to get you by. 

Here’s how you can get started on bore sighting.

1. Make Sure Your Firearm is Unloaded

You have to double-check to ensure that your gun is unloaded and at solid rest. You can use shooting bags or a stable gun vise. You have to remove any motions in the gun while performing the task.

As soon as the unloaded gun is ready and secured, you have to make sure that the bore center aligns at the middle of the optic that you have mounted.

Ensure that you have visually matched the middle of the boresights’ position with the middle of the optic.

2. Hang Your Target

Hang a target about 25 yards downwards from the area you have the rifle focused in its vice, and look through the scope at a distance you bore-sighted.

A shooter who owns a bolt-action rifle has to remove the bolt. AR-type of gun requires you to remove the upper and the charging handle as well as the bolt. It enables you to view the gun barrel and place the upper with the optic back in its original position.

Hang Your Target

3. Insert Batteries

Take off the shrink wrap around the battery and insert them into the bore sights. You need to carefully place the boresights stud towards the muzzle end of your unit.

Use a screw to tighten it with a wrench and adjust it accordingly behind the adapter. The bore sights will instantly turn on when you have appropriately inserted the batteries into the boresights.

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4. Chamber the Bore Sight

Like how you would chamber a live round, do the same with the boresights. There will be a convenient laser do that will help you project where the rifle is pointing, so boresights are more comfortable to use.

5.  Aim at the Center of the Bullseye

Make sure you are not moving the firearm when you are adjusting the optical sight. By doing this, the reticle focuses on the middle of the aim.  

In other words, you may have to loosen the screws the unit’s hex nut on the scope rings quite a bit, ensuring that the reticle and other marks are correctly in place.

If the marks of the scope are appropriately in line, but it’s not focused at the middle of the target paper, you may have to adjust the external turret to move the bore sights’ crosshairs accordingly.

Aim at the Center of the Bullseye

6. Align the Reticle & Make Adjustments

You will know that you have correctly aligned the scope without ever moving the gun by looking through the gun’s barrel and seeing that the sight is still centered.

Using the windage and elevation modifications, line up the reticle with the beam of the boresight. You have to aim at the target to use the boresights properly.

You can do this by viewing the aim through the gun’s barrel, moving up, and looking through the optic. Adjust as necessary to ensure the boresights are centered.

It means you have to go back and forth between the rifle’s barrel and optic, gradually making adjustments each time. After a few tries, you’re going to have the barrel locked and centered on the aim. 

Look out for any loose bolts and screws on the scope rings and tighten them securely as necessary. After which, reassemble the lever guns, move the aim accordingly to sight it in.

7. Fine Tune with Live Ammo

To ensure that everything is working well, continue the fine-tuning process using live ammo for a few rounds at your local range.

Using live ammo is the last of the many crucial steps for boresighters who plan to see long distances.

Also, it would help if you kept in mind that different ammo will differ in their point of impact. (1)

You may purchase laser bore sighting services and kits for greater convenience. Laser boresights are more precise and accurate than just using your eye.

Fine Tune with Live Ammo

It’s true that boresighting a firearm helps you get on paper at 100 yards, but laser boresighting places you closer to the middle and requires lesser ammo in the long term. 

A great thing about laser boresight is that you do not have to look down at the barrel to boresight your gun, which brings many conveniences. The laser bore is inserted in the muzzle, after which the unit moves, allowing the laser bore to hit the sight.

Using a laser diode, much like a laser beam of a red dot, means the only job you’re going to do is adjust the unit’s reticles to focus on the laser beam for a more accurate first shot.

One thing that makes using laser devices convenient is that the lasers can be utilized to boresight lever-actions. But, can you still sight in without a boresighter?

Final Thoughts

Boresighting gives you a reference point from where you can begin sighting in your rifle so that you can hit the paper at lengthy distances of 100 yards with higher accuracy and precision.

There are many ways of boresighting. One of the two popular boresights methods is using a collimator and arbor, often referred to as spuds for boresighters. The collimator comes with a graph-paper grid that you can look through the scope.

A laser boresighter projects lasers from the boresight arbor inserted into the muzzle. Some laser bore sighters have dimensions of a cartridge, which you can put into the gun’s chamber. A cartridge-type boresight is a good option for convenience, too.

Keep in mind that laser boresighters require a reflective goal set at some distance to reflect the lasers. You’ll see a red dot. What’s more, you need a steady gun vice as well. 

Following the process of how you can boresighting adds a lot of value to your hunting game. Bore sighters, regardless of boresight method, whether it may be cartridge-types or not, are easy to install and convenient to use.



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