Laser Bore-sighters - no need to sight in at the range anymore?


January 27, 2012, 10:53 PM
Hey all,

Forgive me for my ever-going scope ignorance. Ya see, all of my scoped firearms were handed down, and sighted in by my great-grandfather, and my dad and so forth.

I'm still deciding on a scope for my Weatherby .30-06 for deer and some intermediate range shooting..

But.. I open up the Sportmans's guide or a Cabelas' catalog, and I see these laser bore-sighters (as opposed to the optical ones that the local sporting goods shop attached to the end of the barrel, and tells me its on paper, but needs to be zeroed)

I've seen more than a few times that they in a round-about way say that it is the way to sight in your gun without taking it to the range.

How effective and accurate are these devices, especially over the type that my LGS uses.. and my guess is, you still need to sight your deer rifle for 100 yards?


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January 27, 2012, 11:04 PM
They are better than nothing, but not sure they are worth the $50 or so bucks. They will get you on or real close to the target, but you still need to hit the range to zero it in. Or at least that has been my luck with those.

Deus Machina
January 27, 2012, 11:13 PM
Yes, you still need to sight in.

A good bore sighter is great to have, but the still have a tendency to cock a little to the side when a finger of the expanding piece slips into a rifling groove, or the rubber type--like mine--doesn't expand perfectly evenly.

January 27, 2012, 11:17 PM
saves ya ammo

January 27, 2012, 11:23 PM
So essentially just makes it a little quicker to zero it in at the range than the older generation of barrel mounted bore-sighters? Just less time and ammo in other words?

January 27, 2012, 11:44 PM
I have a Cabelas laser bore sighter which goes in the end of the barrel, plus I have 9mm & 45mm chamber laser bore sighters.

First, I believe that the one that goes in the end of the barrel is more accurate. The chamber ones are close but don't seem to be "right on" like the other when I get to the range. I use the chamber sighters for adjusting handgun sights with short barrels.

Second, the sights seem to be set right on, but for that distance, which probably won't be what you want. So for example unless you can see the laser dot at 50 yards distance, you'll be setting it for a closer distance. I set my handguns at ~30' at home (from a bathroom, down a hall & across the living room).

I set the scope on my Savage 22lr at the 30' distance at home, then went to the range today and checked it at 50yds (5x distance). I needed to adjust the sights a bit as it was shooting ~6" high & a bit to the right. L/R wasn't off by much but the vertical was.

I *really* like my bore sighter. One of the best $35 I've spent on gun stuff. Goes from 22lr up to .45 (and possibly larger). One of the reasons I really like it is because I buy quite a few used & new firearms and it's great for sighting in handguns as well as getting rifles "close".

January 28, 2012, 01:10 AM
I paid $30.00 for a BSA boresighting kit. It was some of the best money I've ever spent. I don't trust Cabela's or Academy or any other store like that to mount and boresight my scopes anymore. Now that I do it myself I am on the paper a lot quicker. I also have a tipton gunvise, Wheeler Torque screwdriver and a Wheeler™ Level-Level-Level. I don't enjoy it but it gets done correctly. Now that all the screws are torqued correctly I don't have to use loctite and they never come loose.

January 28, 2012, 02:51 AM
For a bolt gun, I just remove the bolt and set it on my cleaning stand pointed at something I can pick out 20-25 yards away. When the crosshairs are adjusted to the center of what I see looking down the barrel I'll be on paper at 50 yards and usually at 100 as well. I suppose you could do the same thing in the living room or something, but you'd have to allow for sight offset.

I don't know if I'd save enough on sighting in ammo to ever pay for a laser bore sighter. I don't use "the good stuff" until I'm pretty close to zeroed anyway.

And no, I don't think any type of bore sighter will ever eliminate the need to go to the range for dialing things in. Heck, I wouldn't want to eliminate it anyway as that's half the fun!

January 28, 2012, 04:33 AM
The boresighters are "ballpark." You need to put some lead downrange to tighten it up.

January 28, 2012, 04:43 AM
Laser light fires in a straight line "the beam". Bullets do not fire in a straight line "trajectory". So the bore sight method is close, but you need to fire and examine 3 shot group too.

January 28, 2012, 11:55 AM
Don't waste your money! As Sport45 said, just boresight it the "old" way. Then, put a couple rounds on the paper at 50 yards. After re-settling the rifle on the bench, align the scope reticule with your previous aiming point. Without moving the rifle even the tiniest amount, adjust the scope so the reticule moves to where the bullets impacted. Count the clicks so you can start over if you have to. Then, move on out to longer distances.

Ammo can be expensive, but you >need< to shoot your rifle. Gaining familiarity with your new rifle is a side benefit to sighting it in.

Eric M
January 28, 2012, 12:00 PM
Lasers fly straight and bullets don't.

January 28, 2012, 12:03 PM
they are close enough for government work

Zach S
January 28, 2012, 12:04 PM
You still need to shoot it to sight it in. A boresight will get you on paper though.

January 28, 2012, 01:31 PM
Very handy to get my Schofield on target.. I really need to file the front sight down to a proper range, but I've been doing more point shooting with it than anything lately.

The Sarge
January 28, 2012, 01:36 PM
Bore sighter will get you on paper @50 yards first shot.

January 28, 2012, 02:22 PM
I can only echo that which has been repeated numerous times: I use them, but its not a set and forget thing. You set the scope to the boresighter and typically you're on the paper when you get to the range, but you still need to actually dial it in.

Of course, a few years back I purchased a scope for a rifle. I was visiting my parent's house (it's on the way to the range) and one of the guys visiting him swore that the "new" scopes were "already set". Just attach it to the rifle and no further work needed. Its scary thing stuff that some people think about guns.

January 28, 2012, 02:30 PM
Gets you on paper especially helpful with semi autos and lever action, thru the barrell with a bolt is better.

January 28, 2012, 02:35 PM
Bore sighter will get you on paper @50 yards first shot.

That's the beautiful thing about a laser bore sighter: Theres no need to sight in on a 25 yard target. i install a lot of scopes and sight in a lot of guns: That laser boresighter saves me time and ammo.

January 28, 2012, 04:45 PM
That's the beautiful thing about a laser bore sighter: Theres no need to sight in on a 25 yard target. i install a lot of scopes and sight in a lot of guns: That laser boresighter saves me time and ammo.

I remember a time a friend of mine brought a rifle with a new scope to the range. It had been mounted and boresighted by a gunsmith. Missed the paper at 100 yards. We took it back to 25 yards and it was shooting a foot high. It had been shooting over the berm at 100 yards. No harm done due to the configuration of that particular range, but you can imagine the potential consequences. Now it could just as easily been the fault of the gunsmith and not the boresight, but regardless our conclusion was that it is well worth the extra time to take one shot at 50 yards or less before going to 100 yards. Safety first.

January 28, 2012, 05:38 PM
What good is a gun if you don't shoot it? chris3

January 28, 2012, 05:47 PM
Also the laser in a laser borsighter may not be perfectly aligned with the bore. They are not in perfect alignment, but very close. Still have to go to the range, but closer than the muzzle mounted optical boresighters can do.

January 28, 2012, 06:33 PM
I prefer an Optical Bore sight over a laser for more than one reason. The first being that it will in fact get you on paper very well at 50 yards. The second, I take it with me on hunting trips. After I have fine tuned my rifle with the scope, I will put the optical bore sight back in, and with a matching "graph" that I print up on the computer, I mark exactly where my scope is configured on the optic. When I arrive at a hunting destination in the evening before the hunt, I can just throw that on and reference weather or not my scope has gotten knocked off.

January 28, 2012, 07:50 PM
You can do that with a laser bore sighter as well. Use it to get on paper and after shooting it to set zero, recheck with the laser and take note where the laser hits at a specific range. A laser sighter isn't going to give you exact zero because it may not align exactly or the scope could be canted and there is that pesky gravity or some other issue but it is an indicator.

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