It is no secret that ammo hasn't been easy to come by for a year now. If you are lucky enough to find it in the caliber that you need, it's gonna cost you. If you have been thinking about purchasing a new scope, or even for the range, the debate begins. Should you purchase a new optic or do you need to adjust your current one? There is a solution for using much less ammo to zero in your firearm. This year more than any other in recent memory, would be a great year for learning boresighting.


All shooters should know or learn how to zero or sight in their firearm. There is no need to take it to your local gunshop for this process, it's easy enough that you could do it in just a few minutes. Boresighting is a process of aligning the center of the barrel, AKA the bore, with the sights/ optics mounted on your firearm. In short, you need to make sure that your crosshairs or red dot and your fired ammo are aligned at the exact spot for optimal shot placement. Don't take for granted that a new firearm straight out of the box is going to hit its mark every time. Even some of the best firearms and optics need adjustments. Your eyesight, eye rest, and interpretation of your sight picture is not going to be the exact same as someone at the factory that sets your optics or firearms at an acceptable standard. You need to make it yours!

Sightmark 223 Caliber Laser Boresighter


While, there is not a perfect process, there are a couple of ways to sight in your firearm. I would say that there is the hard way and the easy way, but considering both are relatively simple, I will say that there is the old way and the new way to sight in your firearm using a more modern device. The most popular and traditional way to complete the process is what most of us already understand. Understanding that removing all movement while sighting in is imperative to accomplishing a successful process is first and foremost. You can do this by placing a vice or other weighted prop with your unloaded firearm on a level platform (table). The most important part of this process is to eliminate any and all movement by your firearm while adjusting the optic that you have mounted on it. After you have secured your firearm, you have to visually couple the center of your bore position to the center of your optic. Select a paper target with bright colors or sharp contrasts and set it 25 yards downrange from the muzzle of your secured firearm. Remove parts that act as obstacles from your sightline down the barrel. Usually, the bolt for bolt action or the charging handle and bolt for an AR-style rifle. If sighting in an AR-style rifle, put the upper back on the rifle with the mounted scope attached. You need to be able to see the center of the target while standing behind the rifle and looking down the barrel. If the center of the target is not in view, adjust the firearm to get it as close as possible to seeing the center while looking down the bore. By adjusting the firearm, I mean to physically move it for the first part. The next step must be done without moving the firearm at all. Adjust your optic to a point that puts the reticle in the center of the target. You may have to adjust some screws or other hardware to make sure that you are getting the correct vertical and horizontal alignment. If you can align your scope with your target at this point, without moving the gun, you should be able to look down the barrel again with the target still being centered. If the center isn't quite there, you can go back and forth between the bore and the sight to fine-tune it to your liking. Be sure to tighten all the parts back before removing your firearm from the vice, with your now sighted-in rifle.

Sightmark 7.62x39 Caliber Laser Boresighter


The above sounds a lot more complicated than it really is. And yes, you can sight in your firearm correctly at just 25 yards. If you are looking for a little more precision and a lot less ammunition with fewer headaches, there is an easy portable laser device that you can use for not only rifles including lever actions, but also handguns, shotguns, or any other firearm where a clear view of the bore is not achievable by looking from behind the firearm. Simply insert the laser into the end of the barrel of an unloaded firearm, position the firearm so that the laser light is in the center of your target. Looking through your optic, you should be able to see the red dot on the target. Adjust the reticle until the optic light overlaps the laser on the target.


There is not a perfect, foolproof way to zero in your optic and firearm, regardless if you are using your eyes or an electronic boresighting device. These techniques do, however, get you close enough to fire shots at the target and make minimal, manual adjustments until your shots are spot on. Since a boresighter is more precise, you won't need to use as much ammunition to hone in on that perfect shot. A little advice, sight in at dawn or dusk. Red dots tend to get lost in bright sunlight.

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