How to Use a Laser Bore Sight

Figuring out how to sight in a scope with a laser bore sight isn’t easy, but it’s an essential part of maintaining your firearm if you intend to be an effective shooter. Plenty of different options exist, including universal bore sights and those more specifically tailored to a certain firearm. Most laser bore sights are useful for saving time and money, as they allow you to sight in your scope with only a few shorts. With the help of the right laser bore sight, you can save yourself some precious ammunition and time when you next visit the range.

how to use a laser bore sight

What is bore sighting?

Laser bore sights are pretty straight forward – bore sighting your laser sight is nothing more than matching up the regular sighting of your firearm to the new laser sight you’ve added since your purchase. Many laser bore sights can be found for as little as $30 or $40, while more expensive options exist to help you achieve greater precision. A good laser bore sight will help you get started on the range faster than ever before, so be sure you’re scouting out brands that have positive reviews from your fellow shooters.

Boresighting the old-fashioned way just requires you to look down the bore of a rifle towards a target, but your laser bore sight works differently. Certain guns simply can’t be boresighted in an old-fashioned manner; the popular AR-15, for instance, can be a nightmare for some people to stare down with the naked eye. For these firearms, you’ll want to search for an in-chamber laser bore sight that fits neatly into the chamber of the gun in question. In-chamber options are inherently safer and will prevent you from having an unhappy accident while trying to innocently sight your firearm.

You should really strive to find a laser bore sight that fits into the chamber rather than the bore. This may seem contrary to reason; after all, they’re called “bore” sights for a reason! As a matter of fact, however, I’m confident that in-chamber options are simply safer to operate than bore options. If you’re an inexperienced shooter or simply someone who’s never had the opportunity to operate a laser bore sight before, finding an in-chamber option is a surefire way to mitigate the chances of harm or an accident occurring.

The main benefit of an in-chamber option is that it’s literally going to be impossible for you to mistakenly chamber a round before shooting with something still in the bore. That may seem crazy, but you would be astonished at the amount of foolish, amateur shooters over the years who have destroyed an otherwise pristine firearm – or an otherwise functioning human hand – thanks to their clumsiness and forgetfulness. Remember that safety should always come first, and that laser bore sights that are in-chamber could be the difference between having 5 fingers and having 4.

Save Ammo By Using a Laser Bore Sight to Sight In Your Gun

The reason you’re using a laser bore sight in particular is to save ammo – done properly, laser boresighting can help you zero in your new sights without even firing a shot. The only challenge of having an in-chamber laser bore sight option is that it must be caliber-specific; if your laser bore sight doesn’t have the exact same dimensions and specs as the cartridge of the caliber you normally fire, it likely won’t line up properly. They’re quite simple to use – simply turn them on, and pop them into the chamber of your firearm much in the same way that you would a regular bullet.

Certain brands like Sightmark have in-chamber bore sights that include a set of screws to ensure that your laser doesn’t wobble about and mess up your accuracy. While such screws aren’t necessary for proper boresighting, they’re a useful edition that can be particularly helpful to newcomers who are boresighting for the first time. I’ve seen plenty of people manage a laser bore sight without the help of such screws, however, so don’t think you need to splurge and buy the extra accessory unless you’re hands are shaky or you’re particularly nervous about your firearm.

It’s important to test the accuracy of your laser bore sight after putting it in-chamber. You’ll want to find a flat surface, as uneven surfaces won’t reflect the light properly. Similarly, it’s ideal to find something wait to play your laser upon, as that color is most suitable for laser testing. Finding a flat surface and laying a normal sheet of white paper over it should be suitable for most laser bore sights. Roll the laser along the flat surface, keeping a close eye on the dot that appears as you do so. If the laser stays straight along the surface as you roll it, everything is fine. If your dot rotates, your diode is canted, and you need to take it out and put it back in again until it’s smooth.

Stabilize your firearm

Next, you’ll want to firmly stabilize your firearm. Having a shooting bag will be immensely helpful during this section of using a laser bore sight, but a bench rest or makeshift platform that keeps your firearm secure will also work in a pinch. As always, ensure your firearm is unloaded before you begin tinkering with its inner components or step downrange!

Next, you’ll hang a target about 20 to 25 yards out. The white sheet of paper you used earlier will likely be ideal here, as it will keep reflecting your laser in a bright, easily-detectable fashion. If you’re struggling to make out your laser at this range, you’ll need to either go indoors or wait for nighttime. After you’ve opened your bore and placed the laser bore sight in the chamber, line the laser beam to the center of your target.

Now, you simply need to look through whichever scope you’re using. Whether you’re using iron sights, a classic scope, or a red dot sight, you simply need to peer down your scope and adjust your windage and elevation knobs until the crosshairs or dot of your regular scope line up with the laser dot emanating from the lase bore sight in your gun’s chamber. You’ll quickly see that a laser bore sight is incredibly easy to use and can be affixed and removed from your gun in only a moment’s notice.

Video on How to Use a Laser Bore Sight

Check out this video by one of our favorite gun YouTubers on how to use a laser bore sight.

Other bore sights

Not all laser bore sights are built so that they fit in-chamber. Some universal bore sights in particular attach to a gun barrel or are inserted into the front of the barrel. Others will even attach directly to the barrel via a magnet. By and large, you want to stick to in-chamber options because of how easy and above all else safe they are to use.

Don’t forget to remove your bore sight before firing! It may seem like a bad joke, but you’d be amazed at how many gunowners have purchased a laser bore sight only to destroy it by accidentally discharging their weapon before removing it. If you’re struggling to sight in your gun, don’t fret – just take a deep breath and start over from the beginning. As you’ll soon discover, the entire process is quite simple, and you’ll soon become adept at laser boresighting on the fly. Before you know it, you’ll have improved your accuracy and precision with the help of your new laser bore sight!

Also, if you’re interested in buying a laser bore sight, make sure to check out our post on the best laser bore sights.