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How to use a boresighter to get on paper?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by dodging230grainers, Oct 12, 2008.

  1. dodging230grainers

    dodging230grainers Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    Houston, Texas
    Once again, being a total noob to long distance shooting, how would one use a boresighter after mounting a scope in order to get on paper when at the range, in order to avoid wasting tens of rounds guessing?

    Am I even right that a boresighter is the right tool?

    If so, how do I do it, and which kind would I use for a Savage .308 with a 3-9x Leupold mounted?
  2. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Elder

    Oct 14, 2005
    Northwest Arkansas
    step one

    remove boresighter from box

    Step two

    tape boresighter to a white piece of construction paper 25 yds away

    step three

    Shoot at boresighter taking note of bullet impact points and adjust accordingly

    I have one and have had scopes "professionally" boresighted apoun installation, I find their use to be a total waste of time as I've never had a "bore sighted" scope to even be remotely close to a piece of paper at an range farther the 25 yds

    PSST I'll share a dirty lil secret. You can boresight a rifle much more effectively by looking through the barrel with the bolt removed. Line the crosshairs up to be a bout 1.5" higher than the point you see looking through the barrel at a 25yd target. A good rest is critical for this operation however.
  3. hags

    hags Active Member

    Jan 21, 2007
    Chain o' Lakes, Illinois
    Laughed my ass off!!!!
    Yes, they are a waste of time in my opinion as well.
    What's worse is people sell them as all you need to "sight in" your rifle.
    Worse yet is apparently alot of people believe that. Sad.
  4. goon

    goon Mentor

    Jan 20, 2003
    You can often get on paper by just pulling the bolt out of your rifle, resting it solidly on sandbags, and getting your bore lined up with your target. Then carefully adjust the crosshairs to what your bore is centered on and try a few shots.
    I ran into a problem last week getting a .22 zeroed and this old trick really helped me out.
  5. Sunray

    Sunray Elder

    May 17, 2003
    London, Ont.
    "...right that a boresighter is the right tool?..." Yep, but it's not done on the range. It's done after the scope is mounted properly. They're good for centering the reticle to the bore, but that's all.
    "...step one..." Read the manual that comes with it.
    Krochus' poor man's method of boresighting works, but use something(light fixtures work well. Door knobs will do but are a bit too small) about 100 yards away. Don't even think about it in a residential area though.
    "...people sell them as all you need to "sight in" your rifle..." Absolutely not. They'll get you on paper, but nothing else.
    Buying one isn't a great idea for a one time use though. $84 and up for a Bushnell.
  6. aka108

    aka108 Participating Member

    Aug 26, 2006
    Tallahassee, FL
    Nver seen any use for them. Just start out at 15 or 25 yds, adjust sight then move out to longer distances and adjust sight accordingly.
  7. jmr40

    jmr40 Mentor

    May 26, 2007
    I agree that they are useless. With a bolt rifle there is no reason it should take even 1 more round to zero your rifle. With an action where you cannot look through the barrel it may take 1 more round to get zeroed.

    I put up a target a 50 yards, use a bigger piece of paper than usual. Place the rifle on a rest and remove the bolt. Place the crosshairs on the target and look through the barrel to see where it is pointed. Adjust the scope until they are together. My 1st shot is never more than 3 inches from the bullseye. Measure how far off and count clicks on your scope to adjust. Remember that most scopes move point of impact 1/4" at 100 yards so if you are shooting at 50 yards you will have to move it 8 clicks to move the point of impact 1 inch. 16 clicks per inch if you are shooting at 25 yards.

    After only 2 shots I move to 100 yards and fire 1 more shot and readjust my scope again. 9 times out of 10 my 4th shot is close enough to go hunting with at 100 yards. Only then do I start shooting 3 shot groups and begin fine tuning my scope. If you wish you can then move out to the longer ranges and fine tune further.
  8. Jeff F

    Jeff F Participating Member

    Mar 9, 2006
    Silver Springs NV
    Anybody seen the pictures of the guy that used the bore sighter at the range and forgot to take it out of the end of his barrel and put a round through it. The barrel peeled like a banana.
  9. Claude Clay

    Claude Clay Senior Member

    Mar 6, 2007
    A good rest is critical for this operation however.

    is the rest for you or the gun?

    i've been know to shine the laser pointer down the bbl and put the cross hairs the measured distance ( or about 1 1/2") above the red dot. gets you on paper at 100 yards.
    +1 AKA
  10. Floppy_D

    Floppy_D Member In Memoriam

    Jul 4, 2007
    NAS Pensacola
    That happened at the Little Creek range up here just a year or two ago.
  11. turbohardtop

    turbohardtop New Member

    Mar 20, 2006
    what about the laser boresighters? do they work well?
  12. Chuck R.

    Chuck R. Participating Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Leavenworth, KS
    I have a Leupold Zero Point Magnetic Boresighter which works pretty well, but what’s even better is it’s great for recording zeros. You can zero your rifle, record the reticle position on the boresighter grid (they supply a bunch with it), then if your scope takes a whack, you can verify if you’re still zero’d or not. The thing is about 5"x1" and weighs a couple ounces, so it’s useable in the field if needed.

    At first I was skeptical, but the boresighter doesn't have to be exact at the end of your muzzle and it doesn’t even have to be aligned perfectly, the optics of your scope does that for you. I tried it on several rifles and recorded the zeros. I own 4 rifles with QD mounts, a couple of which are Steyr Mannlichers with hand fit QD mounts and Swarovski scopes, very, very repeatable setups. To test, I mounted the boresighter and removed the scopes several times verifying the reticle position and it always returned to the same point on the grid.

    I zero'ed a couple rifles with it yesterday and they both were in the 2 MOA of being zero'ed.

  13. Janos Dracwlya

    Janos Dracwlya Member

    Dec 25, 2005
    So what about zeroing a scope (or a red dot sight) for something like an AR-15? Any tips?

  14. esq_stu

    esq_stu Active Member

    Mar 30, 2005
    I use a laser boresighter and it works. I aim at a far wall indoors and line up the sights with the dot. Gets me on paper at 25 yards. I then adjust from there.

    This approach has never failed me. I've done it with an AK, an SKS, an AR, a Mauser, a Ruger 10/22, a CZ452, and several pistols.
  15. plinky

    plinky Member

    May 23, 2008
    Yep, I have had one scope "boresighted" with the gizmo and it was about 1 foot off at 100yd. With a bolt rifle I use the krochus method. Only I'll usually do it at the range on a 100yd target. A paper plate on a black background is perfect although alost any distinct point will do. At 100yd you'll want the crosshairs slightly below where the bore is aimed. Did a M700 recently and was within an inch or two of dead on. OTOH, I have a Savage .22 that shoots 12 MOA to the right of where the barrel is pointed. :confused: Boresighting didn't work all that well with it.
  16. hags

    hags Active Member

    Jan 21, 2007
    Chain o' Lakes, Illinois
    I zero countless AR uppers to a Weaver T-24 during function, safety and accuracy testing before selling.

    At 100 yards I've been as far as 12"-20" off of the paper and hitting the dirt berm.

    I cannot remember the last time it's taken more than 5-7 rounds to get it zeroed even when it's off that much.
    This is a dedicated scope on leave on an Armalite mount and just bring it out for that purpose.
  17. dagger dog

    dagger dog Senior Member

    Jan 30, 2008
    SO. IN

    Get a cardboard box long enough to set the stock ON. You want the pistol grip to extend over one end of the box while the forearm end extends over the other end ,just around where the sling swivel stud is mounted. Cut two V's in the box watching how far down you cut them so the rifle is just about level in the box. This is going to be your disposable rest.

    Now that you have your rifle level in the box set a target at 25 yrds. Come back to your rifle and remove the bolt and the caps on the scope adjustment turrets stand behind the rifle at a little distance look down the bore and locate your target, move the box with the rifle in it until you can see your target and center the target in the bore ,in other words you want the target concentric with the bore.

    Now WITH OUT MOVING THE RIFLE OR BOX, adjust the scope crosshairs until they are centered on the target. Some times it's easier if two people do it one watching the crosshairs and the other making the adjustments according to the crosshair watchers commands,but it can be done with one person.

    After you're sure the scope is centered take a shot at 25 if you're on the paper move it back to
    50 yds, take a shot, once you see your on the paper at 50 then take it back to 100 and do your 3 shot final zeroing. Then recheck all the ring to scope and scope to base mounting screws until they are tight! Some time those sight in targets with a big orange cross (+) are helpful, it makes it easier to put the cross hairs over the +.

    After you have done this a few times you can darn near get it on the paper with the first shot.

    If you have problems then get a buddy to SPOT for you have him stand behind you and watch for the impact of the bullet, this is if you're not on the paper.
  18. dmazur

    dmazur Senior Member

    Apr 28, 2007
    Pacific NW
    I confess I've used a laser boresighter (cartridge type) for a Ruger .44 Mag Carbine. It did save a little time at the range, as the first shot was at least on the target. (Of course, this rifle design precludes removing the bolt and looking at the target down the bore.)

    However, the traditional method of starting at 25 yds, moving to 50, then 100 also works.

    The folks who think the laser is going to eliminate the sighting-in process are sadly mistaken...one of the main problems being that the laser is a straight line, whereas the bullet follows a curved path.
  19. NotSoFast

    NotSoFast Member

    Jun 26, 2008
    Bay Area, California
    I agree that they work best at 25 yards. Just don't forget to sight low so that you will be close at 100 yards as well. For instance, my Savage Mark II shoots 2" low at 25 yards but is right on target at 100 yards. An M1 Garand, on the other hand is 2/3" low at 25 yards.

    So what I do is sight it with the boresighter (you can't see through the barrel on semi-auto rifles), figure the rough ballistics of the cartridge I'm shooting, take it to the range and sight it low at 25 yards. Then I move to the 100 yard target and finish sighting it it there. All of that usually takes me less than 10 rounds.
  20. .38 Special

    .38 Special Senior Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Orange County, CA.
    The method dagger dog outlined above is THE classic method for the job. Why it is not more widely publicized is a mystery to me. Maybe the ammo companies are trying to suppress the information!

    I prefer to use a rifle vice whenever possible. A properly sandbagged rifle also works, as does a bipod. Regardless, the method is almost foolproof and makes all the gadgets and formulae worthless. I wish it could be stickied.

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