Sighting in a new optic can be daunting. Why not pick up the best bore sight for your rifle or handgun and save yourself some time and money?
While a boresight may not get you exactly where you want to be in terms of accuracy, it gets you on paper and pretty close to where you need to be. If you have an EOTech, you know how far off they can be out of the box.
I say that from experience, dialing in can be a pain. I bought a Wheeler Professional boresight when I ordered my EOTech so that I didn’t have to waste rounds just getting on paper.
It did exactly what I needed it to do. And it also allowed me to make sure my 9mm was zeroed in as well. A boresight that can work with multiple calibers and allows me to place it in my range bag without taking up too much space? Win. Win.
There are a few different types of boresights; let’s jump in and find out what’s best for you.
Best Muzzle Mounted Laser – Wheeler Professional
|Laser||Green or Red|
Pros & Cons
- Comes with battery
- Built with great materials for longevity
- Works with virtually any firearm
- May need to take off muzzle devices for accurate sighting
- Some may find issues with centering
The Wheeler Professional was chosen as the top pick due to the build quality, the brightness of the laser, and the ease of use behind using the boresight.
While some boresights come with smaller batteries and sit inside the muzzle, the Wheeler Professional magnetizes itself onto the end of the muzzle device, so you don’t have to deal with potentially scoring the inside of your barrel.
The Professional can be a bit hard to center since it’s magnetized. I suggest marking the center on the magnet so you don’t have to fiddle with it on other weapons.
It comes with a plastic case like most Wheeler tools and is built with quality materials, so this is a long-term investment. You won’t have to worry about it falling and breaking on you.
It comes with two different color lasers. If you want to use it in the daytime, I suggest using the green laser, so you don’t lose it in the daylight. It is worth noting that the green laser is more expensive than the red laser.
Also, depending on the reticle’s color, I suggest using the opposite color. So you don’t confuse the two when sighting in.
Best Chambered – StrongTools Boresighter Kit
Pros & Cons
- Multiple calibers in one set
- Sits inside of bore for accurate readings
- Made out of high-quality aluminum
- May have more than needed
- No on/off button
- May confuse inexperienced shooters
The Strongtools Boresighter Kit comes with seven different caliber options, which may be overkill for some. It may be cheaper to buy them separately, but it’s always best to have what you don’t need just in case you or your buddy pick up a new optic and need it boresighted quickly.
The Kit comes in a hard case with (2) 10-piece batteries, so you don’t have to go hunting for batteries that will fit, and you can get straight to sighting in your optic.
The one thing I don’t like about the chambered boresights is how similar they resemble live rounds. Stranger things are known to happen, so I think it would be wise if they were a different color. Like a snap cap, you know?
I have owned a few chambered boresights in the past, and I often find that they are inconsistent in terms of laser quality. I haven’t had that problem with the Strongtools Boresighter Kit. It works when I need it to.
But for those who don’t want to fumble with batteries. The tiny batteries may not suit you fine shooters who have lost some dexterity in your hands.
Best Muzzle Mounted Optic – Barska Iron Boresighter Kit
|Laser Color||No Laser|
Pros & Cons
- No batteries or lasers
- Multiple arbors for different barrel sizes
- Great for bolt action rifles
- May move a bit inside of the barrel, big no-no
- Not good for handguns
- Some shooters have problems with their AR-15 and this boresight
For those who don’t want to deal with batteries and lasers, the Barska Iron Boresighter kit uses an optic attached to an arbor that sits inside the barrel. Inside the optic, there is a paper target that you align with your sight, and it is definitely good enough to get you on paper.
Many shooters prefer this method since you don’t have to worry about batteries and dead lasers that can have you running to the store to pick up more.
I personally prefer something with a laser since there is less confusion. I didn’t even know these things existed, and I’ve sighted in hundreds if not thousands of rifles, and it’s always been easy as sliced bread to get on paper with a laser.
Nonetheless, this is no less effective than a laser. Again, this boils down to personal preference and what you own. I haven’t seen this type of boresight used on pistols, so I wouldn’t use it for one.
Still, the Barska Iron Boresighter is built to last, so you won’t have to worry about it rattling around in your range bag. The case can be a bit big, so it can definitely take up a bunch of space.
Honorable Mention – Laserlyte Universal Boresighting Kit
Pros & Cons
- Multiple adapters for different barrel sizes
- Made from aluminum
- Strong 5mw laser
- Some shooters report inaccuracy
- Sits inside of bore, may (rarely) score bore
- Batteries are small, may not suit some shooters
Much like the Wheeler Professional, the Laserlyte Universal kit sits at the end of your muzzle. Instead of using a magnet, the Laserlyte uses a probe that comes with different adapters to fit perfectly in your bore.
This one has batteries and no on/off switch. I also don’t like putting anything through the bore of my rifle unless it’s a round, a Hoppe’s No. 9 bore snake (I love that thing), or oil.
So I put it in the honorable mentions for those who may not be as finicky about their rifles and pistols.
Nonetheless, this boresight uses a laser, like a few of the other boresights in this article, that you match the reticle on your optic to get on paper.
It’s made of excellent materials and comes in a small case that you can throw in your range bag, as well as 12 batteries to keep you from having to hunt for batteries that may be impossible to find.
I have heard from some people having their units arriving with dead batteries or some that have burst in the box, so it may be wise to order some batteries (3x 393 or g5a) in case you end up with a bad batch.
How We Chose our Top Picks
When we chose our top picks, I used some real-world experience and enlisted the help of a few other shooters that have spent a great deal of time sighting in.
I’ve had my fair share of boresights breaking on me, and so have they, so we wanted quality and durability to be at the forefront of these boresights. I also learned about a new type of boresight that I had never heard of, so there is a lot of experience behind these picks.
We all agreed that lasered boresights are king, and every shooter should own at least one per caliber or one universal so they can make sure they can easily sight in if needed.
When choosing a boresight, it all boils down to what you want or need. If you want to have a boresight that can work with multiple calibers or weapon platforms, you would want to go with something like a Wheeler Professional or a LaserLyte, so you don’t have a bunch of boresights rattling around.
Different Types Of Boresights
These types of boresights are shaped like a round your chamber is specified for and sit exactly where a round would sit. A laser protrudes from the front of the boresight and through the barrel where a bullet would land (to a certain extent).
These are specific to the caliber of your rifle. An example is the StrongTools Boresight Kit.
Muzzle Mounted Lasers
These boresights use a probe that sits at the front of your barrel (outside of the gun in question) and an adapter that is fitted into the arbor of the boresight, so you have two contact points for your boresight.
These are usually universal. An example is the Laserlyte Bore Sight.
Muzzle Mounted Optical Systems
Don’t want to deal with lasers and batteries? The muzzle-mounted optical systems rid you of both of those and use an optical lens marked with a crosshair that you have to align with your rifle scope as a reference point.
These are widely universal. An example is the Barska Iron Boresight Kit.
This is the real old-fashioned way. This doesn’t require you to take your wallet out or have any extra materials. Typically used on bolt action rifles, what you do is you take your bolt or bolt carrier group out and station a target in the distance, look through your bore at a point that you want to hit and adjust your reticle to that mark.
This is used for rifles, and I haven’t tried it on pistols or shotguns.
Which Is Best For Me?
You may not have to spend a bunch of money on a universal boresight if you don’t have a vast collection or don’t plan on owning more than a few of them.
Universals can be expensive, and it doesn’t make sense to spend more than what you need.
You can get a chambered boresight that is made specifically for the caliber of that handgun or rifle. Many shooters can vouch for the chambered boresight and won’t use anything else if you drop it in their mailbox.
It all depends on what you want to spend and what is necessary for you. If you have a vast collection, boom, get a universal. If not, then 2 or 3 chambered ones will do you just fine.
Are Different Types Of Boresights More Accurate Than Others?
Not necessarily. They are lasers at the end of the day. Some may say that chambered boresights are best because they are in the chamber and go where the bullet will go, but I haven’t seen any significant difference between them.
It’s all about what you want to have in your repertoire.
What Are The Advantages Of Owning A Boresight?
Being able to sight in a new optic quickly is the best advantage to owning a boresight. You don’t have to waste precious time and ammo on sighting in an optic since all you have to do to get on paper is match your optic with the laser, then fire minimal rounds to get exactly where you want.
Some boresights even allow you to practice with dry firing, like the Quantum XG, so you can practice at home. I wish these were not the same color as regular rounds, though; hey, weirder things have been known to happen.
Helpful Videos to Bore Sight Your Gun
How accurate is laser bore sighting a rifle?
Accurate enough to get you on paper, but you will have to fire live rounds and finish tweaking the optic so you can get exactly where you want it to be.
Is red or green bore sight better?
Depending on what color reticle your optic uses, it may be best to go with the opposite color. For example, if your reticle is red, use a green laser, and vice versa.
Do bore sights work for pistols?
Yes, they do! You can find some that come in the shape of a bullet and sit inside the chamber like a normal round, and others that look like a probe. Neither is better; it’s your preference.
That does it. If you’re in the market for a boresight, I hope this article has given you a better understanding of what they do and how they can help you. I stand by the Wheeler Professional since it can be used for multiple calibers, saving you money and space in the range bag. Don’t waste your brass. Save it and use a boresight.
That’s all, folks!