How To Boresight a Rifle Scope – Is It Really Necessary?

Is boresighting a waste of time?

That’s the question we want to answer and if it’s necessary to learn how to boresight a rifle?

You may have heard the term boresighting and wonder what exactly it means in the gun world.

And even if you know what boresighting is and how to boresight a rifles scope, you may have wondered if it’s a waste of time or how necessary it really is?

What Does It Mean To Bore Sight?

Some don’t even know what boresighting is, and before you can understand boresighting though, let’s talk about what it means to “sight in” or “zero in” a rifle scope.

When you go to the range and are shooting, or you are out hunting, you will want to hit whatever you are aiming at.

If your gun scope is not sighted, or zeroed in, it is a lot harder to do so.

Sighting, or zeroing in a rifle scope, makes it so that what you are aiming at in your sights, is where the bullet will end up.

Boresighting a rifle scope is referring to one technique of zeroing in your rifle scope.

It is a process where you line up the middle of the barrel (bore) of the gun, with the sights on the gun.

You then use a bore sight, typically with a laser attached, to provide a convenient, accurate, and cost effective method for sighting in rifles and shotguns of all types.

Laser boresighters are easy-to-use and there are a couple ways to do it:

  1. You just simply chamber the boresight like a regular bullet and a laser dot will show exactly where the rifle is aiming–without firing a single shot.
  2. You insert the boresight into the muzzle​, rather then chamber it like a bullet.

Once you learn how to boresight a rifle scope, you will find it is not very hard to do.

Other Ways To Zero

Yes, there are other ways to zero in a rifle.

Another popular way is when people shoot down range and adjust their scope according to where the bullets land.

They shoot and adjust over and over again until their scope is sighted in to their liking or they get a close enough grouping at a specific yardage.

For beginners, this process can take a while, but for experienced shooters, this can be done in just a few rounds.

So Why Take the Time to Boresight a Rifle Scope?

The answer to this question is a little complicated.

Boresighting is not required, or 100% necessary to sight in your scope.

But, it does save you a lot of TIME and MONEY, which is why I find find it necessary. 

Shooting down range over and over again can take a lot of time and for you to use of a lot of bullets, costing you more money.

Learning how to boresight a rifle scope allows you to sight your optic without wasting your time and ammunition.

How To Boresight Your Rifle Scope – 7 Easy Steps

Now that you know the reasons behind boresighting or why we think it’s necessary, let us get on to the actual steps on how to boresight a rifle scope.

Step 1: Mount your Scope

If you do not have a scope, you can not boresight it.

So the first thing you need to do is get some of the best rifle scopes that we recommend for your particular firearm and mount it onto your rifle.

Step 2: Post your Target

You will want to post a target about 100 yards away from where you would be shooting from.

On the target create a bright red dot, or something that is of high contrast to the rest of the target.

You will use this for an aiming point of reference.

You can use any basic target (bullseye, person outline) and add the dot, or whatever mark you choose, yourself.

Note: Since you are not going to be shooting your gun when you are bore sighting your rifle, you can do this indoors, as long as you have the room.

Step 3: Stabilize and Line Up Your Sight

What you need to do is next is stabilize your gun so it is not moving around when you are trying to sight it in. Like when shooting, this is a very important step.

When shooting, if your gun is not stable it is very hard to have accurate aim.

When boresighting, if your gun is not stable it is very hard to sight it.

You can use a bench, gun vise, or anything other else, as long as your gun is in a stable position.

Step 4: Line Up Your Bore 

Once the gun is stable, line up the bore of your gun with the X, or other marking you created.

To do this you will need to look through the barrel of the gun and make sure the mark is in the center of it.

You may need to move your gun position until this is so.

Step 5: Line Up Your Scope

Double check your equipment at this point.

Make sure your have secure and tight equipment.

Once everything is secure and stable, look in your scope and make sure the cross hairs on it are centered on the middle of the mark. 

You will have to adjust the knobs on your scope to get the crosshairs lined up as close as you can.

Step 6: Double Check Your Bore

Now you will need to look back down the barrel of your rifle to see if the mark is still centered in the middle of it.

If it is not you will need to adjust the position of the gun again.

Note: When you are doing steps 3-6 you will need to make sure you are looking into the gun the same way you would when you are shooting.

You will want to make sure your cheek is in the proper position against the stock of the gun.

If you do not do this you will be sighting your rifle to a position you will NOT be using and thus, your rifle scope will not be zeroed in.

Step 7: Repeat

You will need to repeat steps 4-6 until the barrel of the gun is centered on the mark, as well as the crosshairs of the scope.

Once you have accomplished this, your rifle is sighted in and your bullet should go where you are aiming.

Every time you go to the gun range you may need to adjust your gun.

Things change when shuffled and moved around and it will need to be adjusted.

It is smart to shoot off a couple of rounds to check your sighting.

You might need to do a quick bore sighting at the range to make sure your scope is in fact zeroed in. This will save you a lot of frustration and bullets.

Video – How To Boresight A Rifle Scope

If you need to see video instructions, YouTube has plenty of instructional videos on how to bore sight a scope.

I found the video below to be very good and informational. The specific laser bore sight used​ in the video is the LaserLyte 22-50 Caliber Mini Bore Sight

Final Thoughts – How To Boresight A Rifle Scope

Bore Sighting your rifle is a very easy process and will become easier and easier with practice.

Once you know how to boresight a rifle scope, you will be able to do it in minutes.

Having a zeroed in scope will make it so you aim a lot better and will make it so you hit the target more often. 

Stay safe and happy shooting!