How to Boresight a Rifle Scope

By Techwalla Electronics Editor

When you boresight a rifle scope, that means you're mounting the scope in a way so it is perfectly aligned with the sights of the rifle. By aiming your weapon at a fixed object through both the bore and the scope, you will be able to make fine adjustments that will ensure the accuracy of your scope, and give you more consistent results.

Things You'll Need

  • Boresighting tool
  • Rifle
  • Rifle scope

Boresight a Rifle Scope

Step 1

Mount the rifle scope on the gun using the supplied hardware that came with the gun. Be sure to position the scope so that no other components of the gun, such as a bolt handle, come into contact with it.

Step 2

Rest the gun on a firm surface, but one that will not mar the finish of the barrel or stock. Spreading a towel across the hood of your vehicle, or finding a large tree stump, are both perfect for this.

Step 3

Look through the bore, or barrel of the rifle, and focus on a nearby object no more than 50 feet from you. Make sure not to move the gun after you have aligned this object in your sights.

Step 4

Move your line of sight from the bore to your scope, again taking care not to move the rifle in any way. Reach up and carefully adjust the rifle scope until the crosshairs, or reticles, are focused on the same object.

Step 5

Continue to boresight your rifle scope by alternately looking at the same object through both the bore and the scope, making fine adjustments until you feel confident that the scope is properly aligned to the barrel of your weapon.

Step 6

Check your weapon by firing it and seeing how accurate your shot is. If your sight is improperly aligned, repeat the entire procedure. The gun may have simply shifted during the first boresight, and you didn't notice. Sometimes it is helpful to have someone observe you to make sure this doesn't happen.

Step 7

Consider purchasing a boresighting tool, which uses a laser to help you quickly and accurately boresight your rifle scope. These may be a bit expensive, but will save you a lot of time if you prefer to remove your rifle scope when you store your rifle.

Tips & Warnings

  • Most gun shops and sporting goods stores will boresight your rifle for you for a small fee, using professional boresight tools.
  • Before you boresight a rifle, make absolutely sure that it is unloaded, and that no one is in your line of fire while you are performing the alignment.