How to bore sight a rifle

Simple instructions on how to bore sight your rifle:

How to bore sight a rifle by Chuck Hawks

If you are new to shooting and don’t know what bore sighting is then I recommend reading the article. Bore sighting allows you to more or less sight your scope (align the cross hairs with the point of impact at a certain range). Then when you get to the gun range you at least know you will hit your target. You can then adjust the scope by seeing where your shot went and changing the windage/elevation accordingly.

Laser bore sighting devices can be purchased to help with bore sighting:


Measure 25 yards, you may use a vice or gun rest to assist in holding your weapon on target. While the laser is on the bull’s eye, you can now observe how many inches your scope or iron sights off target (the laser will put you within 1.5 to 2 inches of dead center).

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.



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  • don morris

    The modern bore sighters are very good, but if you don’t mind spending about twenty minutes, you can do it the old fashioned way, and save the fifty or so bucks the bore sighter cost.

    I use my B & D workmate (padded) to hold the rifle level, place a target about 20 feet away, and look through the bore, adjusting the workmate until the bore is dead on the centre of the bullseye.

    Then I adjust the scope so it’s horizontally dead on, and vertically about an inch or so high.

    When I’ve taken the rifle to the range to do the final sight in, I’ve always found it to be within 2 inches, horizontally or vertically, of dead centre.

    As I said , the modern bore sighters are good, but not much better than the manual system, if you are diligent, and with the money saved, I can buy a couple of boxes of good ammunition.

  • william norris

    Just one comment about your instructions. Please carefully read the third paragraph, and tell us what is wrong with it.

    “Then I adjust the scope so it’s horizontally dead on, and vertically about an inch or so high.”

    Did you mean vertically dead on, and horizontally an inch or so high?? Vertical lines describes windage, left or right not high, right? You are referring to the cross hairs aren’t you when you say adjust the scope horizontally and vertically?

    Just trying to get clarification, I’d like to rely on your instructions so that I end up doing the job correctly, as I’m sure everyone else does as well.

  • blue bird

    For SKS or AK47 the old procedure was:
    Prepare a stand wood for the rifle. They are standard and very easy to build.
    Put a table 15 yards apart, with a normal white sheet of paper.
    You aim the rifle at the middle of the target.
    The helper, using a target shooting spoon, position a black circle, right, left, up or down, till you say stop.
    In this moment with a pencil the helper mark the target through a hole at the middle of the circle.
    The metallic spoon is removed and this procedure is repeated three times.
    The three dots have to be grouped inside a circle not bigger than 10mm.
    If you pass the test, then you can go to target shooting at 25 yards. Put the elevation at zero. If you miss the target try 10 yards.
    First adjust horizontal plane, using the compressor. As soon as you find the compressor tensioned move 90 degree the leverage.
    Shoot again and go only by 90degree rotation of the compressor.
    With the improvement of the accuracy increase the distance 50 yards and 100 yards.
    The goal is to group 3 inch at 100 yards with elevation set at “0”.
    This is the 100 yard “0” point set. GOOD LUCK.