How to Bore Sight a Scope Quickly and Easily 2023

How to Bore Sight a Scope

Bore sighting is a true game-changer in the world of precision shooting. It’s the art of aligning your rifle barrel’s centre with the sights on your scope. But it’s more than just alignment; it’s a sanity-saving tool.

Imagine this scenario: You’re at the shooting range, ready to hit the bullseye, but your shots are all over the place. Frustration level? Through the roof. Bore sighting is your ticket to maintaining your cool and improving accuracy.

Here’s the secret: when I mount a new rifle scope, bore sighting is my holy grail. It paves the way for pinpoint accuracy when zeroing in at 100 yards: no more guesswork, no more wasted rounds.

But it doesn’t stop there. Each hunting season, I make it a ritual to give my scope the bore sighting treatment. It’s like a pre-season health check for my trusty firearm. Ensuring that my point of aim and point of impact are perfectly aligned is the key to maintaining consistent accuracy year after year.

So, if you’re looking to eliminate the headaches and hit your target with spot-on precision, embrace bore sighting. It’s the unsung hero that ensures every shot counts.

Equipping Yourself for Bore Sighting Success

When it comes to bore sighting, having the right equipment can make all the difference. Let’s dive into the essential gear and the steps to get you on target.

The Core Gear

To start, you’ll need a stable workspace—a gun vice is your anchor, ensuring precision. Additionally, you’ll require a clear field, approximately 25 yards long, to perform the bore sighting process. Now, let’s focus on the stars of the show: bore sighting tools.

Standard Bore Sighter Kits

These are the Swiss Army knives for bore sighting. They come with various rods catering to most standard rifle calibres, making them the go-to choice for their versatility.

Laser Bore Sighters
Bore sighting

If you prefer speed and ease, these are your go-to tools. They come in two options: one slides into the chamber of your rifle, and the other attaches at the muzzle. Your choice depends on your rifle’s configuration. A pro tip: if your rifle has a muzzle brake, opt for the chamber-mounted laser to minimize inaccuracies.

The Bore Sighting Process

With a standard kit, attach the rod to the bore sighter and place it at the end of your rifle’s muzzle, just in front of the scope. Set up a visible target 25 yards away, complete with a bullseye. This target will guide your alignment.

Before proceeding, it’s time to prepare your scope. Remove the turret caps, and if your scope has a ballistic turret, follow the specific instructions in your owner’s manual for exposing the zero stop and adjustment mechanisms. It’s a step that’s well worth the effort.

Now, let’s get into the heart of bore sighting.

First, remove the bolt of your rifle. Take a look down the bore to align the target with the centre of the barrel. This initial alignment is crucial.

But remember, we’re not shooting yet. This is all about getting the scope and barrel in harmony.

For those using a laser bore sighter, the laser beam will align with your target. With a standard kit, adjust the scope’s windage and elevation until it lines up with the target’s bullseye. Keep fine-tuning until you’re satisfied with the alignment.

Now, reassemble your rifle, ensuring the bolt is back where it belongs, and you’re good to go. Bore sighting has saved countless rounds and headaches when it comes to zeroing in my scope. It’s the secret sauce for ensuring your point of aim and point of impact are in perfect harmony.

Precision through Adjustment

How to Zero a Scope

With the basics covered, let’s move on to the crucial windage and elevation adjustments. Fine-tuning the reticle is the key to hitting your target with precision.

Windage Turret: This turret allows you to move the reticle left or right, ensuring your shots align horizontally.

Elevation Turret: The elevation turret lets you move the reticle up or down, aligning your shots vertically. The goal is to centre the reticle on the bullseye.

Techniques for Adjustment

For standard bore sighter kits, you’re dealing with grids on the reticle. Adjust your scope until those grids align precisely with the grids on your target. It’s all about making those lines meet in the middle.

On the other hand, the laser bore sighter simplifies the process. You’ll see a laser dot on your target. Adjust your scope until that dot rests right on the bullseye. Quick and easy, just the way we like it.

The Importance of Bore Sighting


Why go through all this hassle in the first place? Bore sighting at 25 yards is a game-changer. It’s the secret sauce to ensure that when you’re shooting live rounds at 100 yards, they hit the bullseye. It’s like setting the stage for the main event and saving time and ammo in the process.

Here’s a pro tip: when bore sighting, aim for a point of impact about 1 inch low at 25 yards. This is ideal for most rifles with a sight height above the bore. It’s like finding the perfect balance, maximizing accuracy when it counts.

So, why bother bore sighting? It’s a time and money-saving marvel. Whether you’re looking for a new rifle scope or maintaining the accuracy of your trusty old one, getting it right at 25 yards will pay off when you’re nailing those 100-yard shots—Bore sighting – is your shortcut to precision shooting.

With this comprehensive guide, you’re now armed with the knowledge and techniques to master bore sighting and take your shooting game to the next level. 


At what distance should I bore sight?

Bore-sighting at 25 yards is the sweet spot for most deer rifles. When you aim for a point of impact about 1 inch low at 25 yards, you’re setting yourself up for success. This trick makes finalizing your zero at 100 yards a piece of cake, saving you time and ammo.

How accurate is bore sighting?

Bore sighting could be pinpoint precise, but it’s a game-changer. It gets you close enough that fine-tuning becomes a breeze. Just remember, always make sure your firearm is unloaded and pointing in a safe direction before you start.

Can you bore sight without a laser?

Absolutely! If you’re in a bind without a bore sighting tool, and your rifle has a removable bolt, you can still bore sight. Set up a target between 15 feet to 50 yards – the further, the less elevation you need to adjust.

Is it better to sight in at 50 yards or 100 yards?

Starting at 50 yards is a money-saver. It’s tough to zero your rifle when there are no bullet holes in the target. Hitting the mark at a shorter distance is more straightforward and more forgiving. Any errors at 50 yards are doubled at 100.

How far should your scope be off the barrel?

For the ideal setup, keep your scope as close to the centre of the bore as possible. I aim for a clearance of 0.030″ to 0.050″ between the scope’s front bell and the barrel. Experiment with different base and ring heights to find that sweet spot.

Can you zero a red dot with bore sight?

Yes, just like a rifle scope, you can begin zeroing your red dot with a laser bore sight. It’s a fantastic way to reduce the amount of ammo you’ll need to achieve that perfect zero.

Are cartridge bore sighters accurate?

Cartridge bore sighters are incredibly handy for getting a close-to-accurate point of impact at any target under 25 yards. Just remember to remove it before firing to avoid damaging your firearm or risking injury.

What is a boresight error?

A “boresight error” is the angular discrepancy between the electromagnetic axis and the mechanical axis of an antenna. When they’re not parallel, you’ve got a boresight error on your hands. A “boresight measurement” is simply measuring that angle.

What is the average scope height above the bore?

Most scopes typically sit about 1.5 to 1.8 inches above the centre of the bore. It’s a standard range for sight heights.

What bore sight does the military use?

The U.S. Military and various law enforcement agencies rely on SITELITE Mag Laser Boresighters. You’ll find them in use on helicopters and ships, ensuring precision in high-stakes situations.

Is green or red laser better for bore sighting?

If you’re bored sighting outdoors, the green laser is the way to go. It’s brighter and more visible, but it can cost a bit more—laser intensity matters, especially for ranged bore sighting.

What is the best distance to laser bore sight?

When using a laser boresighter, aim it at a target about 25 yards down range. Always ensure you’re pointing it in a safe direction, and you’re good to go.

What is the difference between laser boresight and boresight?

Boresighting is about aligning your scope with the barrel. Laser bore sighting, on the other hand, is all about fine-tuning your aiming point and point of impact, ensuring they match perfectly. It’s the finishing touch to precision shooting.

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