There are plenty of advantages of boresighting a rifle, the most obvious one being increasing the accuracy of your gun considerably. In fact, once you install a boresight in your rifle, you can expect your range of shooting to increase with about 20 meters while maintaining the same shooting accuracy you had previous to the boresighter installation. If you tend to prefer the old-fashioned way of shooting, just with the help of traditional iron sights, don’t worry: just choose a quick-release scope and you’ll be able to switch back and forth easily.
In this GunsmithU post, we will show you how to boresight a rifle in easy, step by step, safe to follow instructions. If you’re nervous about the first time you add a the sight to your rifle, just make sure you gather everything you need close, and read our guide a couple of times before you begin. Then, as long as you follow our instructions and are reasonably careful with how you handle the tools, sighting your rifle will be easy and safe and you’ll be able to repeat the process on all your future rifles as well.
How the Process of Boresighting a Rifle Works
First of all, it all depends on the type of rifle you are working with, but should be easy enough in any case. In order to install a scope on your rifle, you will need to mount the scope into brackets attached to the gun. Now, most modern rifles already come with a couple of screw holes already drilled and ready for a boresighter to be added later on, but older models tend to not have any. This is why you need to add them yourself.
After you install the boresight onto your rifle, you will need to look through it and onto a wall target, in order to adjust the scope position to its right coordinates. Our guide will show you how to sight in a scope manually, and it’s easier than you may think. In a nutshell, this is all you need to do in order for the rifle sighting process to be complete. As for equipment, this is what you will need: the scope itself and its mounting brackets, a couple of scope rings, a rifle rest to hold your gun tightly in place while you sight it, and a good wall target for adjusting the scope. If your scope is already installed on the rifle and all you need to do is adjust it, then you’ll only need the rifle rest and the wall target. We shall now move on to the actual instructions on how to boresight a rifle now.
Gunsmithing Tips and Lessons: A Step by Step Guide on How to Boresight a Rifle
Add the mounts for the scope on the rifle (if the model is old enough not to be equipped with mounting brackets already, then screw some holes carefully). Make sure you tighten the hardware really well when mounting the scope.
- After your scope is mounted, install a couple of scope rings on it and tighten them well, but leaving enough maneuvering space to be able to adjust their position further. After you mount the scope on the rifle, you will need to leave enough room to rotate the scope back and forth until you find its ideal position.
- After the scope has been installed on the rifle, it’s time to properly boresight (If your scope is already on the rifle and it just needs to be adjusted, feel free to skip steps 1 and 2 and start here instead). Position your rifle steadily on your gunsmithing table, facing the wall target through your scope. Remove the bolt screw on the scope and adjust it so that the center of the target matches the center of your scope as well.
- Make sure the cross hairs of your sight are rightfully aligned as well, both horizontally and vertically. You want things to be as accurate as possible. Be careful, since this can be confusing to a lot of beginners: you don’t want to move your crosshairs LOW and LEFT if you actually want them to be adjusted to the UP and RIGHT. The movement is backwards. It’s a little counter-intuitive, but once you’ll get the hang of it, all will seem easy enough. Once you reach the ideal alignment, screw the scope tightly in again, so that it maintains the good position you found.
- When adjusting the scope, you also need to consider eye relief (enough space so that the scope or any other part of the rifle won’t hit you in the recoil phase).
- Once you’re done, remove your rifle from the rifle rest and take it for a drive test. Fire a few shots to a target to see how it your boresighter performs and then see if there’s need for any extra adjustments (hopefully not). It’s important that you have experience with shooting the same rifle from before sighting it, so you can properly compare the results and realize if anything needs to be changed.
What to Watch Out For When Boresighting A Rifle:
- When installing and adjusting the scope, make sure you have enough space and eye relief that these new rifle parts will not touch you during shooting, due to the rifle’s recoil.
- If you want to be extra sure you’ve adjusted your scope into its finest form, double check its adjustment using a second wall target in a different setting. This way, if the results you obtain when looking through the scope are the same, you can be sure of a perfectly fit boresighter.