Sighting in a rifle is a skill — one that takes time to develop — and one that can be made much easier with a few tools.
Boresighting is the process of lining up your sight with the axis of your gun’s bore and is a critical first step in sighting in your scope. Boresighting creates a starting point for you to sight in your gun, and the more accurate that initial boresight shot placement is the easier it is to get on zero.
It also saves time, ammunition, and some wear and tear on your shoulder.
In This Article:
Comparison of Laser Bore Sighters
Below is my list of the best laser bore sighters for 2022. I list the best choices in terms of value, performance, design, and cost.
Click on the name to head to the product page, read reviews and check prices or skip ahead to the list of bore sights.
|Wheeler Professional Laser Bore Sighter|
|StrongTools Laser Bore Sighter Kit|
|LaserLyte Universal Bore Sight Kit|
|CVLIFE Bore Sight|
|Sitemark .223 Boresight|
|SiteLite Ultra Mag|
Laser Bore Sighter Reviews
1. Best Magnetic Option: Wheeler Professional
- SPECS: Class IIIR with power output of less than 5mW
- EASE OF USE: Magnetic connection quickly and easily attaches to the muzzle of the gun and can be...
- RELIABLE: Laser module permanently secured for dependable performance and hand-tuned during...
Wheeler is a household name in gunsmithing, we love their toolsets and wrenches, and their Professional Laser Bore Sighter is as good as they get. It’s also, in keeping with Wheeler’s focus on quality, one of the most expensive.
The Wheeler Bore Sight is available in red or bright green laser, which is priced slightly differently (at the time of print the red will set you back $75; the green bumps the point of entry to $115).
The Wheeler Professional Bore Sight has a rugged aluminum body and operates a little differently from other laser sights. This laser bore sight works via connecting to the muzzle with a strong magnetic connection.
There’s a switch on the housing that you simply push to activate the laser. It’s powered by a CR123 battery, which is a little harder to find than a standard AAA or CR2032, but being lithium-based it’s far superior to an alkaline.
The Wheeler Laser Bore Sighter uses a Class III laser is a typical low-power laser common on almost any laser pointer, so there’s little danger outside of flash blinding someone within 530 feet so, as with any laser, exercise caution.
2. Best Cartridge Kit: StrongTools
- 【Caution】: Avoid the eyes to be exposed to the beam directly
- 【Contents】: 7 boresights include: 223REM, 9MM, 7.62X39MM, 30-30WIN, 30-06/.25-06/270,...
- 【Efficiency】: Increase the accuracy and speed to sight the bore for serious hunters, shooters,...
The Laser Bore Sighter Kit from StrongTools is a set of cartridge-variety bore sighters, so rather than buy a single caliber-specific bore sighter you’ll get a selection of 7 boresights from 5.56/.223, 9MM, 7.62X39MM, 30-30WIN, 30-06/.25-06/270, 243/308WIN/7MM-08REM, and 45 Colt.
These are brass cartridges that use a threaded cap to cover the battery. Screw the cap in partially to turn it on, all the way in to turn it off. It will insert in the chamber, but you may or may not be able to close the bolt. That said, you can seat the cartridge, and release the bolt slowly to apply pressure to the sighter. They will keep handguns out-of-battery, backing the slide out around a 1/2 inch.
These aren’t intended for dry-firing practice as there’s no rubber primer to protect your firing pin from wear.
3. Best Universal Option: LaserLyte
- BRIGHTNESS: Features a 5mW peak, 630-670nm, Class 3A visible red laser that is in conformance with...
- EASE OF USE: Bore sight fits into the barrel of the unloaded firearm using the included caliber...
- CONVENIENT: Includes daylight laser target for easy adjustments
I am, in general, pretty cheap, so I look for systems and tools that work with anything. The LaserLyre Universal Bore Sight Kit is a total sighting-in toolset, featuring the bore sighter, adapters for multiple calibers – it works for rifle calibers from .223 to .50 BMG, as well as 20 and 12-gauge shotguns – and even a scope leveling tool for proper installation.
The Laserlyte Laser Bore Sight is the plastic rod type, which you insert into the muzzle of the firearm you want to sight in. You then screw in the correct adapter sleeve for the caliber of firearm you’re zeroing and with a little trial and error you can get close to a filly zeroed scope relatively quickly.
I have found these muzzle insertion-style bore sighters to be pretty finicky, and since upgrading to a magnetic style haven’t looked back. That said, these can be had for half the price, and some of my shooting buddies swear by a simple universal laser bore sight like these.
It comes in a convenient carrying case, along with 3 393 batteries, again a common miniature. The price of entry is $65, but it’s a versatile enough tool to justify the spend.
4. Best 9mm Bore Sight: CVLife
- [ 9mm Bore Sight ] The CVLIFE bore sight is perfectly fit in 9mm chamber, caliber specific. Bore...
- [ Durable Brass Material ] The 9mm bore sight is made of high quality brass material, durable and...
- [Higher Accuracy ] Each CVLIFE 9mm bore sight laser has been continuously debugged to to ensure the...
The CVLIFE Bore Sight series is a lot like many other budget-focused brands made specifically for Amazon (you won’t find these in any outdoor retailers). CVLIFE makes a lot of outdoor products, and while not American-made, many of their products are a good fit for budget-minded folks.
The CVLIFE Bore Sight is similar to the StrongTools products above — they use a brass housing paired with a threaded end cap which activates and deactivates the laser by screwing in to complete the circuit. The red laser is billed to up to 100 yards of visibility and as with any laser sight will work best with a reflective target.
You’ll need to purchase the specific caliber of your firearm, but the good news is they go for as little as $12 each, so no need for a second mortgage if you need more than one.
5. Sitemark .223 Boresight
- <5Mw 532nm class IIIA red laser
- Precision accuracy due to compact and lightweight size
- <5Mw 632-650nm class IIIA red laser
The Sitemark .223 boresight is an example of a cartridge-shaped boresight in one of the most common AR calibers today.
A little note before we get started, this should work just fine in any firearm that chambers .223 or 5.56mm NATO: the cartridges are dimensionally the same but differ in pressures, but only the dimensions matter here as you’re not firing a round at all.
Using one of these is simple: all you have to do is make sure there’s a battery (one is included) in the boresight, load it into the chamber, and then zero the rifle to your dot. If you find that the cartridge doesn’t sit perfectly in the chamber, there are also adjustment screws that you can use to make sure that the sight is perfectly aligned with the bore, but chances are you won’t even have to do this.
It also comes paired with a .308 boresight and a handy carrying case, so we think this would be great for someone with an AR to simply keep in their range bag.
6. Bushnell Boresighter
In addition to single-caliber options, we also recommend that people with more than one firearm look into something like this kit from Bushnell. This boresighter is relatively simple to use: you put the appropriately sized rod into the muzzle (please make sure the firearm is unloaded) when it’s attached to the sighter itself.
The sighter, which sits on top of the barrel, then gives you, in effect, a target with several markings on it that you use to zero your scope before shooting it to confirm the zero. The kit comes with the rods you need to sight in everything from .22 to 45. Caliber.
We like these kits for people who have more than one firearm, as buying a large set of different cartridge-style boresights is likely to cost more than a kit like this one. The carrying case and included instructions are also handy and should help you both to keep everything organized, and also to get your guns shooting on paper in a hurry.
The boresight might be a little bit too high over the bore to use with iron sights, though, so this is likely better for people who plan on dialing in optical sights as opposed to iron sights.
7. SiteLite Ultra Mag
- Guaranteed superior accuracy with a lifetime warranty
- Fits all calibers from .22 to .50 cal. plus 20 & 12 ga. Shotguns
- Class IIIa Laser Product, less than 5.0mW power output
Taking the same general concept of a boresight to its highest degree, you have the SiteLite Ultra Mag. This works by attaching the appropriate rod and then, like the Bushnell before it, inserting the apparatus into the bore. Where this differs is that instead of an optical sight, this uses an extremely bright green laser, that you then point at a safe object to dial in your sight.
We like this for a few major reasons. First, the overall concept is simple even without the included instructional materials. Then, the fact that the laser is green as opposed to red makes it a lot easier to use for folks who have astigmatism that makes red lasers look like splotches as opposed to dots.
Quality-wise, this one is tough to beat, and apparently, it has been adopted by both the Navy and the Marine Corps for sighting in various kinds of weapon systems.
When it comes to most kinds of kit, if it’s good enough for the armed forces, it’s more than good enough for us. We’d recommend this to someone who has to sight in weapons often, or simply wants the best boresight they can find.
Why Use A Laser Bore Sighter?
A laser bore sight — or more accurately a laser bore sighter — projects a laser dot from either a module inserted or mounted to the gun’s muzzle or a caliber-specific cartridge you insert into the chamber. They’re available in rifles and pistol calibers, as well as for a variety of shotgun gauges.
Once you mount or insert the boresight, you activate the laser and point the gun at your target. The point at which the dot appears aligns with your bore axis — from there, you zero the weapon.
Speeds up the Zeroing Process
A skilled shooter, with a spotter, can zero a rifle in just a few minutes, and this is often true of one person operating along, assuming that your scope is somewhere in the ballpark of being on target when you mount it on the rifle. If that’s not the case, zeroing can take substantially longer, where most of that time is spent looking for the first set of impacts, or simply guessing and adjusting until you get it right.
A laser bore sighter simplifies this process: put the visible laser on the center of the reticle at 100 yards or some other known distance, and you’re nearly done.
After installing a new scope on your rifle, you’ll use a boresight to align the reticle with the projected dot at 25 or 50 yards. This gets you to the initial zero. You then remove the sight and shoot a group at 100 yards (or your desired zero distance) which should group within a few inches of one another.
Those of you familiar with the traditional bore sighting method of zeroing an AR at 25 yards (or 25 meters) for a 200 yard/200-meter zero will considerably cut down on set-up time with a laser sighter. Not to mention zeroing faster will save on wasted rounds, which are about worth their weight in gold these days.
You can also use a laser bore sighter to check alignment for pistols or shotgun sights, especially if installing new sights in a lateral (side-to-side) dovetail.
They’re a useful tool for rifle scope installation, as well as iron sight alignment or patterning a shotgun because the dot they project provides an unambiguous reference to where the bore is aiming. You get an idea of where the point of impact will be relative to point of aim, which is impossible to eyeball.
A laser bore sighter also eliminates the need to remove your gun’s bolt, which is a nice time-saver as well.
Eliminates Wasted Ammunition
If you’re considering a laser bore sight, it’s because you want to shoot accurately. To shoot accurately, you’d normally need to shoot several groups of five or more rounds to determine and fix your optic’s zero. These days, when each press of the trigger means, in some cases, several dollars going downrange, it can get expensive to zero a rifle.
This price consideration is especially important for folks who hunt for sustenance: each round you send downrange increases the total costs of hunting and providing meat for one’s family. Using a laser bore sight decreases these costs by conserving ammunition.
For a lot of us, our hunting rifle stays in a safe or case for most of the year. Assuming it doesn’t get bumped or dropped, and the humidity has been constant, there’s no good reason that the rifle ought to change zero over time.
Before heading out hunting, however, it’s not a bad idea to stick the boresight back in and double-check that the rifle is still zeroed: this might prevent you from missing the shot you want to take on a deer on the first day of the hunting season.
What To Look For In A Laser Bore Sighter
Laser bore sighters are simple tools that make this relatively challenging job much easier. They’re one of the most convenient tools for optic-equipped rifles — be it your home protection AR, hunting rifle or long-range bolt action — using one will both save you time and headaches (provided you remove it before taking your zeroing shots.)
These are ideal for checking your zero in the field or periodic checkups at the range. The first time you use one after installing a new scope, you’ll wonder what the hell you were thinking going without.
Oh, but it doesn’t stop with rifles; a laser bore sight is good for both rifle and pistol applications (especially if using a red dot) and even for shotguns, believe it or not.
The first thing we look for in a laser bore sighter is its brightness. Especially on sunny days in broad daylight and at outdoor ranges, it can be hard to see insufficiently bright dots, but it’s worth noting that most bore sights will struggle with distances beyond 100 yards.
Thus, we go for laser bore sighters with a laser beam that’s as bright as possible. The tradeoff with brightness is, of course, battery life, but that’s not something that we’re concerned with in terms of bore sights, as these are not sights intended to be used while shooting in high-stakes situations.
A spare battery is also a good idea to have in your range bag next to the sight.
The best laser bore sights are both stable and reliable. The answer to the question “are laser bore sights accurate?” depends on how well your bore sighting device fits with your firearm barrel. For a boresight to work well, it must remain stable in the bore and move as little as possible. This is why we tend to prefer options that are caliber specific, but the magnetic and universal optics can be made to work as well.
First and foremost, a boresight will only do its job if it can stay consistently locked into the same position while you’re working to zero your firearm.
If you only have a single rifle or caliber, this doesn’t apply to you: getting a caliber-specific boresight is the way to go and it will make your life and zeroing that much simpler. But if you have more than one caliber of rifle, then it might well make sense to get one of the universal options that can be used for more than one caliber and offer a target adjustment system to simplify zeroing across a number of firearms.
If that’s you, we think that a good universal kit is a good way to go: the cost savings over buying several caliber-specific laser boresights is worth the small loss in accuracy you might get from a universal kit.
4. Red or Green Laser
Red laser light is often the first thing that comes to mind when you think of lasers — which means red lasers are the most familiar to shooters and lots of products use them — meaning they can be the least expensive option.
Green lasers are often easier to see at a distance, making them better daylight or long-distance shooting options due to the higher laser visibility. Human eyes are much better at detecting green light than red, which is one reason traffic lights are green.
Red is used in traffic lights as well because that color stands out against all the green found in nature –despite the fact red is the least visible color at a distance.
Types of Laser Bore Sights
The best laser bore sighter is really dependent upon your needs and the laser specs. You’ll need to determine if you’d prefer a universal model — one that works with a variety of firearm calibers by sliding into or attaching to the end of the barrel — or a boresight designed for a specific caliber.
Many laser boresighters are universal: these have a laser module on the chamber end and a body that tapers down to a fine point. To use these, you’ll likely have to take the bolt out of the gun and then feed the insert into the barrel. These work best for bolt action rifles, as you might not be able to fit these into some semi-automatic weapons.
The fit with these might not be as precise as the caliber-specific models, but if you have several calibers of bolt action rifle, these may well be a good option.
The barrel-insertion boresights are essentially dongles on a rod that has a progressively larger diameter. The rod gets inserted into the muzzle of your barrel until the bore matches the diameter of the rod. These will often include an array of adapters to ensure the rod stays true to the bore axis.
While not a massive investment these barrel-insertion boresights are more expensive than the smaller caliber-specific variety, but given they are essentially universal you can use one for any number of firearms.
A lot of laser bore sights are made in the exact size and shape of the caliber rifle, helping them get perfectly aligned with the chamber. To use these, you load them in the same way that you’d load a cartridge: this means that the tip of the sight should be exactly in line with the bore.
To zero, then, all you have to do is set your reticle in the same place as the dot on the target. If you’re dealing with longer ranges, you might also need to adjust for bullet drop, but this can also be done with different kinds of reticles as well.
A cartridge-based laser boresight is similar to dry-fire training lasers. They are inserted into the chamber of your firearm which, once the action is closed, creates a tight fit between the cartridge and barrel, eliminating play between the two and providing a reliably accurate laser placement.
Cartridge-type bore sights are the more compact of the two and typically aren’t very expensive. They are, however, caliber-specific so you’ll need one for every caliber of firearm you own (luckily these are often available in sets that cover popular calibers from .22 LR to .45 ACP and larger.
While these are the most precise, the downside here is that they are cartridge-specific: for each caliber of rifle that you have, you’ll have to get another one. This can dramatically change the budget calculus for these, and it’s this something more than worth keeping in mind as you shop for a laser bore sight.
A third option is a magnetic boresight, which uses very strong magnets to provide a tight connection to the firearm. These are the easiest to use of all of the products we mention here as magnets affix to the end of the barrel. These may not be the most accurate as they depend on you mounting them exactly in line with the bore with the magnet, but they are quick and easy to use — plus they will work with multiple firearms.
Also, since these don’t take up the chamber, make absolutely sure that the chamber is clear to avoid an accident.
If you are sure, check again, then one more time.
These tend to be the most expensive option, but given the price point tend to be well-engineered and solidly durable. They’re also universal, so one boresighter to rule them all, if you will.
The one universal consideration is batteries and their resulting battery life. Ensuring your bore sight uses commonly-available batteries will avoid headaches down the line. Many of these are also available in multiple colors, so be it a green laser or red laser, you’ll generally have your choice between the two — each with the same battery life.
Pricing for Laser Bore Sighters
- Sub $15. Under $15, you’ll likely be able to get either a magnetic sight or one of the more basic universal kits. These might not be the brightest, but they are great beginner options for people who are budget conscious. For our money, a simple universal laser bore sighter can be a great tool, and we think these are a great place to start for people trying these out for the first time.
- Under $50. The sweet spot for caliber-specific models. If there’s only one rifle or caliber that you want to zero, we think getting one of these is the way to go, and we recommend going for the brightest one you can find. The key here is that you’ll have to buy one for each caliber, and thus the costs can add up somewhat quickly. You’ll find products like the Sightmark bore sight and many caliber-specific options in this range.
- $50 and Above. At this price range, you’ll be looking at either kit that contains multiple calibers or the nicest of universal sights. Depending on the person, there are also some features you might want to look for here. For instance, I have astigmatism, and thus if I can find a laser bore sighter that has the option of a green laser rather than a red one, I’d happily pay over $50 for it to clean up the image and make zeroing faster. You’ll also find better battery life and the most durable options in this price range, with products like the Wheeler Professional Bore Sighter and Sitelite Mag Laser Boresighter occupying this price range.
- Optics Planet, Steve Ledin, How to Choose and Use a Boresight – Expert Advice from Steve Ledin
- Youtube, Backfire, How to Bore Sight a Rifle in 2 Minutes Flat
- Laser Safety Facts, Safety of Class 3R visible-beam lasers
- Wikipedia, Out-of-battery
- Sciencing. (2017) What Are the Most Visible Colors From a Distance?
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