Boresighting is a method for sighting your rifle’s scope or iron sights before you even fire a shot. This is a method of getting your first shots “on paper” and allows you to save time, ammunition, and money.
The basic premise of boresighting is aligning the scope’s crosshairs with the points the barrel is aimed at. The simplest way to do this is to look down the barrel and match the picture seen with the scope’s crosshairs.
However, there is a specific technique that makes this easiest.
How to Boresight a rifle
1. Position yourself to point your rifle in a safe direction with a target that is about 50 yards away. You can use a closer target, but the closer the target, the less accurate your sight will be, and visibility becomes a problem when it’s further away.
2. Set your rifle up on a bench on the ground and point it down the range at the target. You must have a way to hold the gun steady, such as using a gun cleaning rack, sandbags, or shooting rest.
3. If you are using a bolt-action rifle, remove the bolt. For single-shot rifles, you only need to open the action.
4. Now, peer through the rifle’s barrel from the breech and move the rifle until the target is centered on the bore.
5. Finally, once the rifle’s barrel is pointed directly at the center of the target, adjust the scope so the crosshair is aligned with the exact point that you centered on the bore picture. It is important to make sure you do not move the rifle while you are doing this.
At this point, the rifle is boresighted at whatever distance you chose. This is not a stand-in for being sighted in, so you will still need to fire some rounds on paper and adjust your scope as needed, but at the very least, you should be able to hit paper when you fire your initial rounds.