Sighting in Laser to correct for parallax?


February 15, 2013, 10:33 PM
Just curious to know if any of you with laser sights have chosen to aim your laser directly parallel with the bore, rather than aiming it so that the beam intersects with the bore at a given distance?

It seems to me that since I have no idea at what distance I might need to take a shot, I would prefer to have the dot always be the same distance below point of impact--roughly 1/2" low on my Ruger LCR--at all likely distances (i.e. 50 feet or less). This of course ignores bullet trajectory, but I wouldn't expect the trajectory of a .38 +P bullet to drop much within 50 feet anyway. So long as I aim the laser dot 1/2" below my intended target, I should be pretty much dead on whether the target is 10 feet away or 50 feet away.

The alternative is to sight in the laser so that it intersects with the bullet trajectory at a specific distance, say, 25 feet. The problem there is that in a high-stress situation, I would have to first estimate the distance to target prior to the shot, then attempt to correct where I need to aim the dot based on whether my distance estimate is less than or greater than my "sighted in" intersection point.


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February 15, 2013, 11:44 PM
Thoughts?I think you are over-thinking it by a whole bunch!

Sight in a laser POI at 10 yards or so and Fuggedaboutit it.

You can't see it any further then that in broad daylight anyway.

And at typical SD range in dim light?
1/2" - 1" either way from bore axis is 6" - 12" closer then you or I can shoot under pressure & stress while jerking off shots in the dark anyway.

Until you actually use a laser, you won't understand that it is in no way a cure for jerking the trigger or flenching under pressure.

A crack shot with a handgun?
It will not make you one just because you have a red spot on the target that is shaking around worse then you think are, or can possible be.

Again, if it is sighted in on a dinner plate at 50 feet it is way closer then you can shoot it at 50 feet under SD stress I betcha.


February 15, 2013, 11:49 PM

Zero the laser at the furthest distance that you can fathom using it, or can see it. Anything between you and there will be on target, within a couple of inches.

February 15, 2013, 11:56 PM
Lose the laser.
Such a helpful response... :rolleyes:

February 15, 2013, 11:58 PM
Actually, I've had lasers on three of my handguns for quite a while now, and I shoot very well with them. I can see a green laser well past 50 feet. And I've been shooting handguns for well over 20 years. I'm well beyond trigger-jerking and flinching.

My question was just about sighting in parallel to the bore (which i hadn't considered before now) vs. attempting to intersect the bullet path at a given distance (which is how I have all three guns sighted in currently). A quick Google search suggests that the former is preferred, which makes sense to me. I'd rather aim 1/2" low ALL the time and hit my target than have my point of impact be a function of just how close my target happens to be to 10 yards away.

Carry on.

February 16, 2013, 01:49 AM
either way it is going to be a function of distance. pick your poison and get good at it.


February 16, 2013, 04:30 AM
I think you are forgetting that the bullet trajectory is always a curve and a laser is always straight. They will always intersect somewhere if the laser is below the bore. You only get to choose where they intersect.

M2 Carbine
February 16, 2013, 06:42 AM
I sight in handgun and shotgun lasers at 25 yards and rifle lasers at 50 yards.

This way the handgun bullet strike is within a inch or two of center from arm's length to 40-50 yards. (my home defense distance is out to about 50 yards)

Just sight in your laser at the distance you expect to use it. I guess for most people 10 yards is good.

Standing, two hands.
By the time I shot the 40 yard target it was so dark the target was just a gray blur, but still, with the laser, it's easy to keep all the shots near center.

February 16, 2013, 10:11 AM
Found a nice video comparing the two options on the same firearm. I'll definitely be sighting in my lasers parallel to the bore.

M2 Carbine
February 16, 2013, 11:17 AM
in a high-stress situation
You are making the mistake of thinking you use the laser the same way in "a high-stress situation" as you do when "aiming" with the laser.

"a high-stress situation" means rapid target acquisition and immediately shooting, probably several shots.

In this kind of shooting you want to shoot as soon as the barrel points at the target. The way you do this is,
rapidly raise the gun to point at the target, (point shooting)

as you raise the gun light the laser, (this usually throws off experienced shooters and slows them down)

as you point the gun the laser dot will come into your vision, YOU DO NOT LOOK FOR THE DOT, you keep your eyes on where you want to hit,
you will automatically pull the dot to center. If you can point shoot decent the laser dot will already be very close to center,

as you "pull" the laser dot to center you are taking up the slack on the trigger,
as the dot hits center the gun fires.
This whole thing takes place in a split second, about as fast as you can pull the trigger.

If you watch someone, that knows how to properly use the laser equipped gun, you won't see the dot actually stand still between rapid fire shots.
The dot will appear to be rapidly moving around and across center but the hits will be good.

Personally the only time I "Aim" with a laser is beyound about 15 yards.

Another advantage of the laser is you can shoot well weak handed.

February 16, 2013, 11:56 AM
For me - when it's an option - parallel to the bore as the diverging angle after crossing the point of aim bothers me a bit.

February 16, 2013, 12:18 PM
I'm with M2 I sight mine in at 25 yards. for the life of me even being a very good shot I'm not sure if I could tell that the center of my group was 1/2" low. I'll also add that making 1/2" adjustment to the damn thing will have you pulling your hair out.

February 16, 2013, 06:47 PM
I use a laser boresighter and superimpose the sight at around 10 yards.

February 17, 2013, 05:49 AM
I sight my laser in at 19 feet or just over 6 yard/meters. I use a (red) boresight and a (green) laser and superimpose the green on the red at that distance. Regardless of parralax, on a handgun and shooting center mass a few inches off where you put the laser compared to where the round lands will make minimal difference.

February 17, 2013, 10:59 AM
with Lasermax guide rod laser is that up to a certain distance you can't even see the dot because it's below the sight line if you try to use the sights and the laser together. If you sight from below the bore parallel to bore, you won't see it in the sights. It's a point and shoot thing, IMO, not a combination thing (iron sights and laser), at least that's what I learned.

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