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How to Use a Laser Bore Sighter in 6 Easy Steps

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rifle iron sight_Edgar G Biehle_Shutterstock

A laser bore sighter is an outstanding tool that can save you time, frustration, and many rounds of ammo. But it’s only great if you know how to use it correctly — and this article breaks it all down for you here.

Also highlighted are the advantages and disadvantages of using a laser bore sighter to zero your weapon. It’s a great tool but it’s not perfect.

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The 6 Steps to Use a Laser Bore Sighter

Before we go over why you probably want a laser bore sighter, we want to break down how to use one. The good news is that it’s a simple process, and you don’t even need to fire any ammo!

1. Get the Right Laser Bore Sighter

This is one of the most common mistakes that people make. All laser bore sighters are not the same, and you need to ensure that the one that you get is the right size for your weapon.

Getting the wrong laser bore sighter will lead to less-than-desirable results and plenty of frustration.


2. Set Up the Range

Once you get the right laser bore sighter, it’s time to set up the range. You want to have it just like you were going to fire live rounds, even though you don’t have to with a laser bore sighter.

You can choose to move the target a little closer if you want, but you’ll need to fix everything again when it’s time to fire.

3. Keep Safety First

No matter what you do, take safety seriously. When you’re using a laser bore sighter, you’re not firing live rounds, so completely unload the chamber and the weapon. In fact, keep the rounds away from the weapon entirely. There’s no room for accidents here.

a hunting rifle on a tripod
Photo Credit: ddefillipo, Pixabay

4. Stabilize the Rifle

A laser bore sighter is only an effective tool if you keep the weapon stable, which is why it’s important to find a way to completely stabilize the weapon when using it. If you don’t, you’ll watch the laser sway all over the place while you’re setting it up, making it impossible to get accurate results.

5. Dial in the Scope

Once you have a stable rifle, turn on the laser bore sighter, aim the laser at the center of the target, and start looking through the scope.

Now that you have the laser set up on the center of the target, dial in the scope to the same spot.

Make all the adjustments necessary to line up the laser dot with the crosshairs in the scope. The great part about this process is that it’s not moving around, so you can make all the necessary adjustments for each direction the first time around.

Rifle bipod
Photo Credit: Justin-Kral, Shutterstock

6. Check With Ammo

After you line up everything, it’s time to fine-tune the results with live ammo. Laser bore sighters are never 100% accurate, so we highly recommend checking with live ammo and making any necessary tweaks from there.

The good news is that after using a laser bore sighter, you should only need to make minor adjustments.

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Advantages of a Laser Bore Sighter


There’s a reason that laser bore sighters are so popular. They do a great job of making a rough adjustment for a new scope, which means you can see it in much faster when you actually start firing rounds.

Not only does this save you time when zeroing your new scope, but it also means you don’t need to fire as many rounds. In the long run, a laser bore sighter can pay for itself, especially if you change out scopes frequently or zero out many different weapons.

Laser bore sighters are also extremely easy to use, and you can roughly zero out a scope without firing a single round. So, if you can’t get out to the range, you can still zero out the scope and have it ready to go when you need it.

Disadvantages of a Laser Bore Sighter

The primary disadvantage of a laser bore sighter is that it’s never 100% accurate. Between gravity and the barrel of your weapon, there are a few different things that can send the trajectory of your shot in a different direction.

Nothing quite matches up like the real thing, which is why you still need to fire rounds after using a laser bore sighter. Also, if you’re looking for an excuse to spend more time at the range, it can end your fun outing before you get the chance to fire much!

Finally, if you only need to sight in one scope, there’s a good chance that a laser bore sighter won’t pay for itself.

A laser bore sighter will certainly save you time and rounds, but unless you’re zeroing out a scope, you don’t need it. These sighters often end up as tools that sit out in a garage for a long time between uses.

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Now that you know how to use a laser bore sighter, all that’s left is for you to try it for yourself! It’s an extremely useful and fun tool to use, and if you don’t already have one, we highly recommend it for anyone looking to install a new scope on their weapon!

Featured Image Credit: Edgar G Biehle_, Shutterstock

About the Author Robert Sparks

Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.