When it comes to firearms, boresighting is a common, simple process that every shooter should be able to perform with ease - but what is it? In short, boresighting is the process of aligning the center of the barrel (or bore) of a gun with the sights on your firearm. Boresighting should be carried out on every firearm as it aligns the optical sight on the top of the gun barrel with the bore's axis. The process of boresighting should be prioritized right after mounting your scope.
It should be noted that boresighting is not the same thing as zeroing your weapon. Boresighting is the method of adjusting your scope to match the barrel of the firearm, but knowing how to zero a laser bore sight is the method of adjusting the sight specifically, which is to say, correlating the aiming point and the point of impact.
The oldest way we know in terms of how to boresight a rifle is by removing the bolt on a bolt action rifle and looking down the bore. At this point, the gun is secured, positioned, and pointed at the bullseye of a target. Looking through the scope, without moving the gun, the elevation and wind turrets are then adjusted until the reticle is centered on the bullseye - it's that simple. Once completed, it has been bore sighted. Through some technological advances and progress, however, this method doesn't always work. For example, it is impossible to use this boresighting method on semi-automatics, pumps, lever guns, and most handguns. For that, we need to look at different boresighting methods.
Collimators and Arbors
Making use of a collimator and arbors for boresighting was the next advancement in technology. A collimator is a device with a graph-paper-like grid that can be viewed when looking through your scope. The collimator is held in place by arbors which are inserted into the barrel from the muzzle end. These arbors are caliber-specific and held in place by a spring or an expanding plug. To boresight, look through the scope and adjust the windage and elevation turrets until the crosshair is centered on the visible grid.
Although this method is the newest on the scene, it's still important to know how to use a laser bore sight. Laser boresighters are in-chamber devices that are typically manufactured from aluminum or brass and look identical to shell casings per caliber. Instead of having powder inside the casing, these devices house a laser diode. To set a laser boresighter, a target set some distance away is required to reflect the laser beam. It's imperative that the firearm remains steady during this process, and so the use of a gun vice may increase the ease of centering the crosshairs on the laser's dot.
Slightly different from in-chamber laser boresights, magnetic boresights still utilize laser diodes, however, they attach to your muzzle with strong magnets instead of arbors inserted into your barrel. Magnetic boresights are considered the best device for individuals with multiple calibers as they fit all calibers and gauges.
Boresighting Tips from ATN Corp
Although it's imperative that every firearm be boresighted, a couple of things should be remembered. One - no boresighter will sight a gun. That can only be done by shooting the gun with specific ammo at a certain distance. Two - always remember to remove your boresight before shooting. You'd be surprised to hear about the number of people who've completely forgotten this and have blown apart their barrels in the worst way. At ATN Corp we believe every shooter should own a boresight, and we invite you to shop our extensive product collection today!
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