How to Sight a Rifle Scope Without a Boresighter

Sighting a rifle scope is one of the hardest things to do when shooting. That’s where bore sighters come in; they help focus a rifle’s bore axis with the target to make the perfect shot. Without a bore sighter, it gets tricky, especially for people with little experience with firearms. However, people still manage to speed-up the sight-in process without the bore sighter. This article will clearly show how you can sight a rifle scope without a bore sighter.

Boresighting Definition

Boresighting is the process of aligning a gun’s bore by zeroing a distant point through the bore. It allows you to aim at a target accurately. You can use your naked eyes or a bore sighter.

There are two different times of boresighting. Optical boresighting and laser boresighting. Optical boresighting is also known as eyeball boresighting. You use your naked eye and the bore axis of your rifle to dial in the sights.

The process of optical boresighting varies with different rifles. For the AR rifles, the upper receiver can be dropped from the lower receiver, and the bolt carrier group can be removed by revealing a clear line of sight through the barrel. This way, you can visually align the bore axis with the sight on your specific target.

With the bore axis and the sights properly aligned, you can make accurate shots and hit the desired targets. This optical boresighting can be frustrating, especially when you are using long-barreled guns, and also, it can frustrate a shooter due to blur vision and little brightness. But you can use a collimator boresighter; it is fitted on the muzzle end of the barrel.

The method of laser boresighting is now one of the most popular methods. The laser bore sighter is shaped like a cartridge; it is inserted in the chamber projects or attached to the barrel’s muzzle. It will ensure accuracy when making a shot.

Is Boresighting Necessary?

You don’t require a boresight to make shots accurately or to sight in your scope. You can do away with it and still become an excellent shooter. With training and using alternative methods to sight-in and zero a target, you can sight-in a target without a bore sighter. Conversely, you should be ready to purchase more bullets before you can be a pro.

A boresighter will help you save time and money. Shooting downrange for long takes up a lot of time and uses too many bullets to waste money.

Learning to boresight a rifle scope will allow you to sight your target, and you can also aim at your target accurately, even at a distance. With a boresight, you will keep on improving on your shooting, even with the long-range rifles.

If you can afford to a boresight, get it and walk toward becoming a perfect shooter even as a beginner. It will make your life easier, and the boresight can be used on different rifles.

Setting up a Boresight

When setting up a boresight, you need to have an unloaded gun and a solid rest. The solid rest is meant to reduce the rifle’s movement when setting a boresight.

Here are the steps for setting up a boresight

  1. Place the rifle on a solid rest. You can use manufactured rests or heavy rests. Just make sure the rifle settles in a stationary position.
  2. Set up a target at a distance that will be used to align the sight. Choose a distance you are most comfortable with.
  3. Make sure you can see down the barrel from the back receiver. When using a bolt action rifle and the bolt is blocking the way, you can remove it.
  4. Look through the rifle’s bore and sight in the target and adjust the rifle to bring it to the bore’s center. When the bore is in line, then you can stabilize your rifle on your target and secure it to avoid movement.
  5. When the rifle is in place, you can move your head up and look through your scope to find the target.
  6. Next, modify the scope’s windage and elevation until the reticle is at the target’s center. The crosshairs should zero in on the center of the target.
  7. After the adjustments have been made, you can fix the bolt back in to fire your shot.
  8. After taking the first shot, examine your target closely and take note of where the bullet hit. You can choose to make more adjustments for better accuracy.
  9. After all, adjustments are made, you can center your rifle scope on the target again and take another shot. And go on making adjustments for better results.

Alternative Methods on how to sight a rifle without a boresight

Above, we have seen that a boresight is the best way to sight a rifle. However, not everyone owns or can afford a boresight. Some of the alternative methods of sighting a rifle without a boresight include:

  1. Ensure your rifle scope is set correctly to the rifle and the eye relief and reticle focus are correctly set.
  2. Ensure your shooting spot is on solid ground. Unless there is solid rest, then you cannot have a successful sighting process.
  3. Ensure the shooting location is safe and that there are safe backstops that help stop fired rounds safely and serve as visual points of reference. These visual points of reference determine where the rounds will be hitting hen focusing on the target.
  4. Also, define the range you want to use for sighting in. If you are a first-timer, then put your rifle at close range. With practice in the short-range, you will get the hang of it, and you can sight in longer ranges.
  5. You can also do a manual boresight. The manual boresight works perfectly on bolt guns. To do a manual boresight, you remove the bolt from the rifle to see the barrel. Then place the unloaded rifle towards the target; after this, position your head so that you can see the down barrel and through the scope.
  6. Aim at the smallest part of your target. And fire your shot.
  7. Assess where the first three impacts the target area and make alterations for elevation. You can choose to make one shot and then make changes. Make adjustments you can handle at a time.
  8. After you have focused on the target, move the target back to your desired distance.
  9. Fire some shots to see how well you have performed on the new distance. Keep on adjusting the distance to get better, even on longer distances.

You do not need a boresighter to aim at your target or shoot accurately. With adequate practice and knowledge of all other alternative ways to sight in a rifle, you can get better at shooting with the different varieties of rifles. Following the instructions above, you will focus and accurately shoot your target without wasting too many bullets.

About the Author Steve

I'm Steve & I've been handling firearms and hunting most of my life. I'm passionate about sharing what I've learnt with anyone who is interested, from beginners to seasoned marksmen and hunters. Riflescopely helps me do just that!