A bore sighter is a tool you’re probably not going to find in a box of equipment at a gun shop. It looks like an expensive piece of gear, but it’s really just a small metal disc that fits on the muzzle of the rifle and points the barrel at the correct distance from the intended target when the shot is fired.
In order for a rifle to be accurate, it must be zeroed for specific distances. These distances are based on the ballistic characteristics of the cartridge and its ability to create maximum energy as it leaves the barrel. The range of distances can vary depending on the type of cartridge, the weight of the bullet, the rifling on the barrel, the length of the bullet, the muzzle velocity of the bullet, and the length of the barrel.
You probably can’t tell this difference, but at any distance past 25 yards, the shooting scope is off by 1/100 of an inch. Not so bad? Well according to rifle shooting experts, at 150 yards it turns a bullseye into a flower shape.
To provide an analogy from sports, a boresighter is like a golfer focusing on his alignment to ensure it’s perfectly set before swinging. You can think of a boresighted rifle as a golfer who lines up properly before making the shot.
There are many laser bore sights on the market to choose from, but only a small handful are worth considering.
A bore sighter is designed to save you time at the firing range. It shoots out a laser that represents where your bullets should be hitting, and it takes some trial and error to line up the scope reticle with where the laser is showing.
Understanding what laser boresighters do is simple enough. But once you’ve bore sighted, there might be some parts of the zeroing process left unfinished. Some of this has to do with bullet physics and some to do with moving targets when you can’t see exactly where they are in relation to your gun when firing.
A laser light sight will not work for shooting precisely at what you’re aiming at. However, it does mean that a laser will hit the bullet before the bullet hits your target, and since the bullet is moving much faster than the laser, the laser will be off-line.
It is very hard to find a bore sighter that shoots perfectly straight out of the barrel because these items are not perfect. A cheaper bore sighter will shoot off to one side or another, but your best bet is to choose a more expensive model because it will be easier to use and less likely to misfire constantly.
Laser bore-sighters also have some design flaws and don’t always shoot straight. Most models can be just as expensive as a laser bore sighter, so it’s a good idea to look into these before you go for the cheaper ones. The hope is that these tools will save you time, and make it easier for you to get a first draft that’s perfect for your needs.
So, to recap, laser bore sighters are handy as a way to save you time and frustration when you are bore sighting in a new scope. Just make sure that the type of laser you buy actually has the features needed to save time or it might be best just to take your scopes out for an informal sight-in process beforehand.
Here are our recommendations for the best bore sight you will find anywhere online
1. SiteLite Ultra Mag Green Laser Professional Boresighter
To start this review, I’ll talk about what I consider to be the best laser bore sighter that’s currently available on the market – SiteLite Ultra Mag. It works with most guns and gives you a level of flexibility that is unavailable from other models.
This scope is made to fit any rifle and comes with inserts that make it fit snugly. It also has a strong magnet that keeps it straight during the process.
The SiteLite Ultra Mag is a class IIIa laser. Green lasers are often used so that the beam is easier to see. This high-quality laser bore sight makes a perfect addition to any gun enthusiast’s arsenal of state-of-the-art features.
This is an in-muzzle bore sighter, which means it can easily be used on different firearms. This is one of the most important pieces of equipment to have on hand for any person who plans to shoot a gun, or who wants to learn to do so. If you find yourself frequently bore sighting in scopes on rifles and handguns of different calibers, you will want to invest in one of these sighters.
2. LaserLyte Universal Laser Bore Sight
The LaserLyte emits a red laser that may not be as visible during the day, but by rotating to a reflective target, you can ensure accuracy no matter the lighting conditions. This bore sighter is an affordable alternative to the SiteLite, but it does have some accuracy issues. It doesn’t fit quite as snugly in your barrel and has a bit of wiggle in it. Having a little bit of wiggle in your bore sighter can really affect the accuracy of your site.
This laser pen uses red light, so it won’t look as bright in daylight as the green laser pens. However, because it’s a Class IIIa laser pen, it will still give you sharp, precise results. It is also known to be “the brightest beam allowed by law”. This laser pointer comes with a powerful 5-milliwatt laser that shines a bright beam, and is suitable for use with all ages and abilities. It’s a great tool for outdoor activities like camping, fishing, or target shooting.
I’d also suggest using a new barrel sighter to sight in your new firearm. If you’re sighting in a new rifle or a red dot on a short barreled pistol, you’ll need a barrel length of at least 4.5 inches for this laser bore sighter to work.
3. SightMark Laser Boresight
This is the first laser bore sighter we found that fits into your chamber. The fact that it can provide a perfect alignment without having to put anything on the end of your gun provides certain advantages and disadvantages.
The laser designs of in-chamber boresighters are often cheaper and they can be a lot more affordable than with universal ones. Theoretically, with the rifle fitting like a cartridge in the chamber, you’d also expect it to be more accurate.
I’ve had the pleasure of using SightMark bore sights in the past and I can say that they are without a doubt among the best. They allow you to get on target quickly, while avoiding sight misalignment. These are well-made products that work really well. The Sightmark bore sight is also lightweight, easy to use, and accurate.
One disadvantage of using in-chamber bore sights is that they’re hard to see. Normally they also have a reddish color, the same as stepped brass. This makes them look spent and can jeopardize safety when mixed up with live ammo. For better accuracy during calibration, don’t just paint your lasers with white, black or red. I recommend using a boresighter that can be identified by color, so you know which one is which.
One of the best things about in-chamber sights is they are not compatible with muzzle brakes or other modifications. This makes it easy to decide which one you want to buy because they only work with certain guns.
4. Wheeler Professional Laser Bore Sighter
Wheeler, in contrast to Sight Mark, uses a clamp and external attachment rather than an internal one. The Wheeler sight does not require that you take your firearms apart or similarly fiddle with the instruments on the inside of your barrel so it makes for an easier on-the-spot setup.
The Wheeler bore sight may be a little more affordable than SiteLite, but that’s mainly because it’s also a little less effective. In-chamber and universal boresighters are cheaper. If you use an alignment tool & torque wrench, the job goes much easier. And sometimes hardware stores sell firearms very inexpensively too.
You can choose between two colors available – either green or red. While the red variety is less visible in daylight, it is cheaper, which makes it a better option for those on a budget.
The Wheeler Professional laser bore sighter is another option if you don’t want to mess with other traditional boresighting methods. This way, you only need it if you often install new scopes on your weapon or you don’t mind paying a premium for laser sighting in the convenience. If you only take a new scope out once every few years, then it’s not as important to start off at 10 yards and then work your way out. However, if you’re someone who shoots a lot and is already confident in their field of view/holdovers, the starting point isn’t as much of an issue.
The Wheeler bore sighter uses a magnetic connection to attach itself to any gun, and this is the strongest one I’ve seen in my years of using laser sights. The power output is as powerful as it can go without breaking the law, and you get a lot out of its battery thanks to it having more batteries than other brands. The SiteLite Mag is a laser boresighter that comes in handy when sighting in your gun. It helps you sight into the barrel and make sure that you have it all lined up before taking a shot. There are no caliber specific models, so you can use it to sight any of your guns in by simply picking the right ammunition for each bullet weight or diameter.
5. Bushnell 743333 Boresighter
The Bushnell is one of the better ones for beginners because it has no laser, and works differently than any other bore sighter on this list. It’s a bit more expensive than the others, but it will last longer.
The Bushnell is a very interesting and innovative set of optics that are designed to work in conjunction with your existing rifle scope. The Bushnell have a target adjustment system so you just line up the grid reticle with your scope’s reticle, which is already zeroed, and then adjust your hold for windage/elevation until both cross hairs are superimposed on the grid. After you get the hang of it, I‘m sure this set up would be extremely effective for holding for windage/elevation and putting rounds down range quickly. You could even sight in one stage and fire from that point forward if you wanted! The Bushnell will not replace your existing optic but they do offer some pretty cool features that should definitely be considered when purchasing optics for your rifle.
The Bushnell has a great battery life and the buttons are conveniently located. It also has excellent visibility in daylight that other models may not have. A boresighter comes as a small grid, which you can insert directly into your rifle barrel. It’s designed to be very close to the one you need and comes with different arbors to fit any calibers from .17- all the way up to .45.
The downside with this type of scope is that the grid may not be visible when it is used for long-range scopes. However, there are many benefits to using this type of scope which you will have to decide on based on your own preferences.
6. MidTen Bore Sight Cal Bore Sighter
The MidTen is a relatively new option and can be an alternative to the SightMark. The first significant difference is the price: the MidTen is much more affordable and gives us three extra batteries as well as its increased accuracy.
I haven’t personally tried out all the different sizes of MidTen but they’re all made of high-quality materials and are very affordable considering the reviews I’ve found. If you’ve built up a weapons system that depends on a specific cartridge, then it can often be as effective and sometimes more affordable to pick up another of those than to try and change your system with something new.
It’s much easier to use these. You just stick it inside and then you’re ready to go without any of the fiddling with the frame and whatnot that people normally do. When I first started shooting, I found it very frustrating to re-zero my firearm after every shot. One way that helped me immensely was to turn this boresighter so that the same side remains up after each adjustment. Not only does this avoid confusion over which way the rifle is pointing, but it also saves time by not requiring you to re-zero your position after.
7. StrongTools BoreSighter
If you are up for trying out new brands that might not be as established as other reputable brands, you should give StrongTools a chance. They have the potential to offer really good products. The LaserLyte is very similar in design and function to the TruGlo, with the only difference being that it does not have an illuminated front sight, so it is no longer required. It also has better reviews than this option, which makes it more attainable for a variety of use cases. You can either get a Red or Green laser color depending on your preference.
It has a durable aluminum case that holds calibers in a range from .17 to a 12 gauge shotgun. The kit includes twelve different adapters for versatility in use. When it comes to laser pointers, the laser is on par with most of the other options available. In most cases, it will work best if you’re not in a well-lit environment.
The majority of affordable taclight options, such as the Planted SiteLite Ultra Mag, will have an aluminum casing constructed out of an aluminum alloy. The StrongTools can hold 1.5 hours of charge, which should be more than enough to get your scope zeroed in at whatever yardage you plan on shooting at.
It takes a lot of skill to use a laser bore sight safely. Before using a laser bore sight make sure that your expectations are realistic and are aligned with reality. A laser bore sight will be very helpful when you’re trying to improve your accuracy. You won’t have to shoot any rounds to get close. The purpose is to make sure you are getting on the same point of impact, not perfect.
In addition, you should remove any muzzle devices like a flash hider, muzzle brake, forward assist, sound suppressor, etc. before you use a boresighter on your muzzleloader. You’ll need to do this to make sure that you’re using your boresighter on the barrel of your muzzleloader.
For me, my best gun shoots better if I just use the factory iron sights, then take them off and use a scope on top. So, when I’m setting up a new rifle, I first put the factory sights on it. Once I’ve done that, I set it up and sight it in with the factory sights, then I take those off and put a scope on it. That way, when I get a new scope, I can just swap them in and they won’t be mucked up or misaligned.
If you have a scope with a very large field of view, it might not be lining up with any of the bore sighters. You can try to remount the scope and use something like a SRLS to make sure it’s mounted properly.
Boresighting is a process where your rifle or gun scope is adjusted to the exact distance and line of sight, so it makes your rifles and scopes much more accurate. That’s why most bore sighters are designed to work with some type of ballistic targeting system, which is just a cool way of saying “reflective target”, but why not, if they work well, then let them call it whatever they want, right?
In-Chamber Vs. End-of-the-Barrel
Yes, this isn’t as polarizing as the 9mm vs. .45 debate, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t differences in opinions. After some study, I’ve noticed that people who like to shoot with scopes at the end of the rifle (versus say, the stock) favour that model. The bottom line is that it doesn’t necessarily make them objectively better at shooting, but personally they prefer it over other styles.
You often find when you work in different fields it keeps the job interesting. The more you do a certain type of work, the more likely your working environment will be changing. If you’ve got a fairly standard set of firearms like a .308 for hunting, an AR chambered in 5.56 for home defense, and a 9mm for concealed carry then you can buy some great sites from some brands that cover all three calibers – the best part is these sights are more affordable than SiteLite!
I’m sure if you are someone who is prone to changes their rifle more often than they change their underwear, then this is something you might want to invest in. But otherwise, I think this is an expenditure that probably doesn’t make any economic sense if you’re happy with the same rifle and optics set-up year after year.
The Hard Differences
An in-chamber bore sight isn’t universal because you can’t find a green laser. It doesn’t make sense either, because all the lasers I’ve seen in an in-chamber bore sight are red.
Recalling your firearm and loading it back up can be a pain, but an in-chamber sight is quick and simple. With end-of-the-barrel laser sights, you don’t need to remove the muzzle brake or flash hider as you would with most types of sights. Still, you’ll need the right adapter and some time to get it aligned perfectly.
If the main reason you need to use a bore sight is efficiency, then in-chamber ones are what you should be using.
How Does A Laser Bore Sighter Work?
Some rifles are fitted with bore sights, which are lasers that come in blue or red colors. They are inserted into either the chamber or the barrel of your rifle so you can see a visible laser dot on your target. You then adjust the crosshairs on your scope until they correspond with the laser dot to aim at your target precisely.
A laser boresighter can be constructed for a specific caliber or even have adjustable adapters so it provides the best accuracy possible. A multi-caliber kit is a good choice for many different reasons. For one, it can be used on more than one firearm. And with such a versatile kit on hand, you’ll be able to improve the accuracy of multiple guns with just one purchase!
Each type of sight needs to be properly adjusted when it is mounted on a rifle or gun. A universal model can save you time by adapting to everything from a red dot sight for short ranges, right up to long range optics.
Are Laser Bore Sights Accurate?
Well-made laser sighters with clear sighting optics can give you accurate results so long as you go through the necessary laser bore sighting process. Some of the best bore sights will have a bright green laser and work with either a daylight target or even just regular targets. A good sight alignment is vital, especially when your shots are off. But it is influenced by a lot of different variables.
Some shooters may find it difficult to line up a bore sight without the help of a laser. With a bolt action hunting rifle, you can simply remove the bolt and look through the barrel to see what’s visible on the other end and match up with the scope. It is best to align it with your eye-line and not over-look, so you don’t hit what you’re shooting at. Semi-automatic rifles limit the accuracy of your weapon. This is where a bore sighting device comes in handy.
Bore sights differ in accuracy depending on a number of factors, the main one being if the laser is pointing in exactly the right direction. In addition, high accuracy is also affected by dot size, whether your bore sight has a red or green laser and laser specs.
You can have the most impressive target sight, but if the dot isn’t bright enough, or you can’t see it well then it won’t help you.
A lot of people think that laser boresights are for rifles only. But in reality, a laser bore sight can be used to double check any weapon – even a pistol or riffle of a different calibre. It’s perfect for sighting-in the gun correctly and the accuracy it provides is unmatched.
We have covered what you need to know about purchasing a bores lighter in our guide. Hopefully, it has helped you decide which type is best for your needs! Whether you prefer green or red laser lights, if you’re looking for one-hit accuracy, be sure to use some good gun gear. These options are some of the best out there.
Accurate rifles don’t just happen. It takes precision, skill, and a lot of practice to build a rifle that will consistently shoot well.