How To Bore Sight A Rifle Scope Without Any Tools?

Whether you are a shooting professional, a competitive shooter or a recreational one sighting in your new optic can seem a bit daunting. You are anxious to get it all sighted in, but not so anxious to burn through your precious ammo.

What’s the solution? Bore sighting.

Getting a new scope dialed in can be frustrating but knowing how to bore sight your rifle optic can reduce this frustration. First, it cuts down on the amount of time you spend trying to get on paper when you first begin sighting in your scope. Additionally, it can also reduce the amount of ammo that you use getting your scope sighted in.

All of this means a much more streamlined and cost-effective process. There are several laser bore sights on the market, but fortunately, you don’t need a laser to bore sight your rifle scope. Whether you choose to utilize a laser or do it the good old-fashioned way, here are a few simple steps to help you get it done.

How To Bore Sight a Rifle with No Laser

Step 1: Make sure everything is prepared. Before continuing with the process, your rifle scope should already be mounted on your rifle and set for proper eye relief and your rifle should be securely fixed. If you have a gun vise, this is an excellent tool to use, but it is not a necessary tool. If you do not have a gun vise, you may situate the rifle on a shooting bench or on the ground in the prone position, using bipods and a rear bag to stabilize it. Remove turret caps so that you are ready to adjust your scope at the appropriate time. Place a target with a clear bullseye a short distance (approximately 25 yards) from your rifle.

Step 2: If using a bolt action rifle, remove the bolt from the rifle. If using an AR-style rifle, you will need to break it down and then remove the bolt.

Step 3: Look down the barrel of the rifle and line it up on the bullseye of the target.

Step 4: Adjust the elevation and windage on your scope. Your crosshairs should be lined up on the same bullseye that you centered your barrel on.

How To Use a Laser Bore Sight

When using a laser bore sighter, the first two steps are the same as stated above. For step 3, instead of looking down the barrel to line it up, you place the laser bore sight into the chamber or muzzle of the rifle. Whether the laser is placed into the chamber or muzzle of the rifle, will vary depending on which bore sight you buy. Make sure you read all instructions that come with your laser bore sight. Once the laser is in place, you will adjust your scope so that the crosshairs are centered up on the laser.

After these four steps have been completed, it’s time to finish zeroing your rifle scope. Place the bolt back into the rifle, back up to your desired distance, and shoot at the target to refine the zero on your rifle scope.

Laser Bore Sighting Vs. Using the Naked Eye

While both methods are effective, using a laser bore sight will usually yield marginally more precise results. If bore sighting is not something that you do relatively often, you are likely just as well off to save your money and use the no-tools method to bore sight your rifles. If you find yourself changing scopes or rifles relatively often, investing in a quality laser bore sight is probably a sound idea.

There are many kinds of bore sights on the market, so make sure you do due diligence and find the best bore sight to meet your needs.

How Often Should You Bore Sight a Rifle Scope?

While it’s certainly useful to know how to use a bore sight, fortunately, it’s not something that needs to be done often. Bore sighting a rifle is only necessary when you change a major component in your setup. When you buy a new scope, rifle, or change ammo, a bore sighting can be a helpful tool.

Tips To Properly Bore Sight a Rifle Scope

To further streamline the process, here are a few extra tips to consider when bore sighting your rifle:

  • Gather all the items/supplies that you need ahead of time.
  • Make sure you are familiar with how your scope works and how to properly adjust it. Take some time to read the manual that came with your scope before you remove any turret caps or make any adjustments to the scope.
  • If using a laser bore sight, make sure you read the instructions that come with it and understand how to use it properly.

The Bottom Line About Bore Sighting a Rifle Scope

Bore sighting your rifle scope is an easy and effective way to start the process of zeroing your rifle scope. While you cannot expect bore sighting to refine the zero, it can help streamline that process and reduce the frustration that comes with it. No matter what your budget, bore sighting is a great tool that anyone can utilize.