Shooting Mystery is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

How to Use a Laser Bore Sight: A Complete Beginner’s Guide

How to Use a Laser Bore Sight

Zeroing is VITAL for a more accurate shot.

However, this old-school method relies on plenty of trial and error. It’s a waste of live ammunition and is a chore to get right.

Luckily, there is a solution!

A laser boresighter is a great tool that simplifies the process and allows you to align your gun’s barrel with the target, making it easier to adjust your sights!

Let’s look at the benefits of using laser bore sighting devices, how quick and easy the boresighting process is, and how basic bore sighting can save ammo and improve accuracy!

How to Use a Laser Bore Sight in 5 Steps

Armed officer with green laser sight

Using laser bore sights is an intuitive and simple process!

When done correctly, it ensures that your gun and sight are CENTERED. Your bullets will go where they should down range.

The main benefit of using a laser bore sighter is that it allows you to place your barrel DIRECTLY on target.

Before you run lasers down your firearm, let’s examine the important things to remember.

Step 1: Conduct Safety Check and Clear the Rifle Chamber

Before making any adjustments to your rifle, you must first aim the muzzle in a safe direction.

Afterward, place the weapon on safe, remove the magazine and clear your ammunition chamber.

Once this is done, you can open up your removable bolts and clear your bolt carrier. You want a clear, unobstructed view of the bore from the ejection port to the muzzle.

If you are using an AR-15, it would be best to detach the lower assembly and remove the bolt assembly. This allows you to run the wires of a muzzle-mounted bore sight through.

Using a laser bore sight shaped like a bullet, you will NOT need to disassemble your firearm beforehand.

Step 2: Power Up and Set Up The Laser Bore Sights

There are two main types of laser boresight available on the market.

  • These include the breech end sights, which are ergonomically designed to fit like bullets of the same caliber as the gun.
  • The other variation is muzzle sights, which require disassembling the rifle to use.

Both bore sighter variations project a red dot that aligns your barrel muzzle to the center of the target.

This ensures your boresighting lines are centered and that your scopes can be adjusted for MAXIMUM accuracy.

Before loading or mounting your bore sight, you must place the right batteries or recharge them, depending on the type.

Ensure your bore sight is calibrated, then attach it as per instructions.

Step 3: Mount Your Guns in a Stable Position

Once your lasers have been mounted, place your gun on top of shooting bags or screw it into a calibration mount to ensure it doesn’t jiggle around while you boresight.

By using lasers inserted into the bore or the front of the barrel, you can find the DEAD-CENTER of your target without needing to eyeball the point through your chamber!

All you need to do is fix your rifle in a stable position, point the laser at a target 25 yards away, and begin zeroing your reticle without wasting ammo guessing and checking.

Step 4: Zero Your Scope/Sight/Optic (Adjust Reticle to Align with Laser Dot)

If your red dot is now right on the target, you can now calibrate your rifle sight to align at the same point.

You must now adjust your rifle scope using the windage turret and elevation turret.

Even novice shooters who own firearms know the value and the struggle of zeroing your optics.

Bore sight lasers take the guesswork out, allowing you to dial your scope in on the dot!

You won’t need to waste 3 shots every time you turn your knobs. After using your bore sight, you will only need to fire once.

Step 5: Confirm Your Zero with Live Rounds

Once you’re satisfied that your scope and barrel meet at the same point on the target, you can gently remove or unscrew your laser dot bore sight and reassemble your rifle.

After re-inserting your bolt, it’s time to confirm your zero by loading in 3 rounds and aiming dead center.

You can’t confirm your rifle is zeroed without firing!

If your scope is off, it shouldn’t be by much. You can make mild adjustments and retest, using fewer bullets and making fewer guesstimates each time you need to zero.

How to Calibrate a Laser Bore Sight

Man shooting through scope

Laser bore sighters will send the laser down range from the moment you power it up.

The most high quality will allow you to see them clearly from your rifle scope up to a distance of 100 yards.

Whether you use a breech or muzzle laser on your gun, placing the laser in the center of your target is fairly easy! It then becomes an issue of aligning the reticle of your rifle scope.

Benefits of Laser Bore Sighting

Rifle scope

Most shooters are ignorant or unaware of using a bore sight for one reason or another.

However, they’re missing out on the benefits of using precision lasers in the calibration process.

Improve Accuracy

Whether you use a bolt-action or semi-automatic rifle, a laser dot bore sight will allow you to get the MOST PRECISE fix on the target.

Where the laser goes, that’s where your bullet goes!

You can hit the bullseye every time you pull the trigger.

Save Ammo

You use LESS AMMO in the long run by ensuring the highest precision before even dry-firing. A bore sight inserted into the chamber takes the place of rounds when you zero your gun.

Instead of wasting 9-12 rounds zeroing 3 or 4 times, you can have your reticle meet the barrel laser before you fire a shot.

With the price of ammunition nowadays, every bullet counts!

What’s an Effective Distance for a Laser Bore Sight?

Camouflaged person looking through scope

When using these laser devices, your effective distance will be between 25-100 yards. This range is close enough to allow you to see the dot clearly through your rifle scope.

However, its visibility greatly suffers as you increase the distance. It will be almost impossible to see in the day at over 100 yards.

A laser sight will go forever in a straight line. It is best to go no further than 25 yards from your aim.

Boresighting vs. Zeroing

Using a bore sight can be better seen as a step before zeroing in getting your gun or rifle scope aligned as accurately as possible from 25 yards.

Using a Laser Bore Sight

A laser sight is a tool that allows you to replace eyeballing with a more precise means of bringing your rifle scope and barrel in the same direction.

However, it doesn’t work if you don’t fire and re-zero afterward!

By only boresighting, you’re bound to lose your bead on the paper after your gun experiences recoil.

You will have to repeat the whole process or go back to manual zeroing.

Here’s how you can sight a rifle scope WITHOUT a boresighter!


Relying entirely on your scope reticle while guessing where your barrel is is a recipe for wasting ammo and the anxiety of making multiple inaccurate adjustments!

This is the main disadvantage of zeroing.

Boresighting and zeroing make the BEST COMBO because one checks and balances the other, giving you peace of mind and trueness of aim.


Armed soldier

This method allows you to keep your rifles’ barrels on the target’s center. It gets you accurate hits from the first shot to the last.

Laser bore sights are a MUST-HAVE for any rifle scope owner looking to prevent wasted ammo, as where the laser hits, that’s where the bullet will land.

It’s a great way to get your sights and muzzle on target!

FINAL TIP: You can also consider buying a collimator bore sight to help with your rifle scope picture!

About the author