When it comes to zeroing a new firearm, bore sighting an AR-15 can be an invaluable step. Bore sighters are useful tools that allow you to align your rifle's sights without having to fire a shot. Not only does this save time and ammunition, but it also improves accuracy on the first shot. In this blog post, we will discuss how to bore sight an AR-15 using a laser bore sight, its benefits, and alternative methods for boresighting.
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What is a Laser Bore Sight?
Laser bore sights are commonly used tools for boresighting rifles. They are user-friendly, fast, and relatively inexpensive.
The concept is simple: a laser is projected from the rifle's chamber onto the target, helping you visualize where the first round would land. Laser bore sights are available in red dot or green dot lasers, with green lasers being more visible and intense outdoors. However, they are generally pricier than red lasers. The effectiveness of the laser depends on factors such as color, manufacturer, and the specific distances you intend to use it for. One recommended laser bore sight is the Pinty Bore Sight Kit, known for its visibility and cost-effectiveness.
Two types of bore sighters
Boresighting an AR-15 rifle is a straightforward process that can greatly enhance shooting accuracy. This guide will focus primarily on using a laser dot as the main method of boresighting. By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your first shot is as precise as your last.
Step 1: Charge the Boresighter
Before you start, make sure your boresighter is fully charged. Boresighters on the market either have a USB port for charging or use batteries. A high quality laser can provide several hours of continuous use.
Step 2: Set Up the Target
Choose a suitable target distance that allows you to observe where your bullets are going. While the distance is subjective, setting the target at 20 or 25 yards is recommended for optimal visibility and accuracy. If you plan to shoot at longer distances, be mindful of the boresighter's laser strength and its effective range.
Step 3: Insert the Boresighter
To prepare your AR-15, retract the bolt by sliding it back. Unlike some other rifles, you won't have to remove the upper receiver to accommodate the laser. However, for larger rifles, you may need to completely remove the bolt due to the bore sight's size.
Ensure the chamber is clear before inserting the laser bore sighter. Simply slide it in, similar to how you would insert a round. Once inserted, close the bolt and secure it in place.
It's important to avoid applying excessive force during this process. If the bolt doesn't slide all the way or gets stuck, pushing it could result in damage to either the rifle or the laser.
Most laser bore sights, including mine, activate when the bolt is positioned at the rear of the bore sight. It's worth noting that the bolt doesn't have to be fully closed for the laser to function.
Pinty is my favorite, the Pinty Laser Bore Sighter is perfect for the AR-15 or any other rifle. It's durable, easy to install, guarantees accuracy, has muzzle maintenance, and the complimentary battery ensures that I can use this boresighter right away without having to charge it.
Pinty .22mm - .50mm Laser Bore Sighter/Bore Sight Kit
Step 4: Align the Laser
Adjust the position of your AR-15 until the laser dot aligns perfectly with the center of the target. Look through your rifle scope and make adjustments to the reticle to coincide with the laser. Take your time and utilize the windage and elevation adjustment knobs to align the crosshairs precisely with the laser dot.
Step 5: Remove the Boresighter
Once you are satisfied with the rifle scope adjustments and have confidence in the accuracy, remove the boresighter from the barrel. Simply pull back the bolt, remove the boresighter, and close the bolt.
Alternative Bore Sights
While laser boresighters are common, there are other options available. For bolt-action rifles, visual boresighting can be used as a reliable alternative. Additionally, optical bore sights can be mounted at the end of the barrel, providing an etched grid for precise accuracy.
Testing Your Rifle Scope
After completing the boresighting process, it's essential to test your rifle scope's accuracy. A 25-yard target should require minimal adjustments with a well-aligned scope. However, if you zeroed your rifle scope using a green laser boresighter at 100 yards, understanding the Minute of Angle (MOA) is crucial. Knowing your scope's MOA per click and understanding its impact on precision is vital for optimal shooting performance.
Always prioritize safety when handling firearms. Before mounting your new rifle scope, ensure that your AR-15 is unloaded and clear the chamber following the proper safety protocols. Take the necessary precautions, and with your scope mounted, take your first shot to evaluate the precision of the boresighting process.
By following these steps, you'll be on your way to achieving hunting success with your AR-15 rifle.