Which hunting boresighters are best?
You can have the best equipment available, but if your rifle isn’t firing accurately, there’s a big chance you’ll miss your target. There are several ways you can make sure your rifle’s bore and scope are aligned.
The easiest way to do that is through a hunting boresighter. Like the StrongTools Red or Green BoreSighter, they’re easy to use and small enough to fit into your hunting accessories bag. You don’t need expensive equipment and your rifle will be deadly accurate in no time.
What to know before you buy a hunting boresighter
Kinds of boresighters
While they all perform the same function, there are different kinds of boresighters. Collimated boresighters have a small piece of paper at the end, marked with squares. You then look through the hunting scope at the paper and center the scope as needed. Laser boresighters project a red or green dot onto a target, and the scope is centered based on the position of the dot.
Check your mounting if you need to make large adjustments
The purpose of a boresighter is so that you can make small changes to center your scope on the target. To do this, you calculate the middle of the vertical and horizontal scope adjustments. Look through the scope and use the small vertical and horizontal dials to make tiny adjustments. If the scope is wildly inaccurate or you have to make large adjustments, there might be a problem with your mounting, and not the scope or boresight.
Just as there are different types of boresighters, so too are there an assortment of boresighters depending on the caliber of the weapon. A muzzle boresight, as an example, might not work with a shotgun. To test the latter’s accuracy, you’ll need a cartridge boresight that fits inside the chamber — much like a loaded round. A muzzle boresight is the best option if you have weapons of different calibers. The boresight has a tapered design, making it easy to use with small- and large-caliber weapons without having to buy a boresight for each.
What to look for in a quality hunting boresighter
Long-distance sighting for increased accuracy
When on a hunt, you won’t often find yourself in close range of the target, so it’s vital that your weapon is accurate over long distances. Depending on the caliber of your rifle, a quality hunting boresight can be used to adjust the scope’s position for 100 yards. With that said, it should also be able to center the scope at close to medium range.
It’s hugely counterproductive if the laser of the boresighter itself is inaccurate. Depending on the type of boresighter you’re using, a quality laser boresight is always accurate and won’t become unseated in the housing. There are some devices that you can use to check the laser’s accuracy, but most will be unchanged even after a few years.
A boresight doesn’t compensate for bullet drop
A red or green laser boresight is the most accurate way to adjust your scope and rifle, but it’s only accurate up to a point. A laser boresight is projected in a straight line at a distant point and doesn’t factor in the curvature of the earth or the weather. Even if you accurately center your rifle, you still have to compensate when aiming at a target for external factors that a laser boresight ignores.
How much you can expect to spend on a hunting boresighter
The average price of a boresighter depends on the capability of the gadget, who made it and what type of boresighter it is. Affordable boresighters can cost $15-$20. Collimated or long-distance boresighters run $100-$200.
Hunting boresighter FAQ
Can you adjust your scope without a boresight?
A. You can, but it won’t be nearly as accurate as with a boresight. If you can remove the bolt from your rifle, look straight through the barrel and point it at a target. Then, check through the scope to make adjustments.
What’s the best distance to use for a hunting boresight?
A. Most professional hunters agree that the best distance to use a boresight is about 25 yards. This gives you a good enough distance to make small adjustments, and since the laser remains accurate over a long distance, it’s a great middle ground.
What’s the best hunting boresighter to buy?
Top hunting boresighter
What you need to know: This is an excellent solution for quickly calibrating your hunting scope.
What you’ll love: This simple laser boresight comes with 12 adapters to fit into the barrel of most rifles, ranging from 0.17 caliber to 12-gauge shotguns. The boresight has a power button to switch the laser on or off. It’s available in red and green lasers and comes in a sturdy carry case.
What you should consider: Some users have mentioned that the laser they received was misaligned.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top hunting boresighter for the money
What you need to know: Try this boresight for magazine-fed rifles and chambered rounds.
What you’ll love: Unlike other boresights that go into the muzzle of the weapon, this laser-based boresight is used inside the rifle’s magazine or round chamber. By loading it like a regular round, it produces a straight laser line out of the barrel. It’s made specifically for 5.56-millimeter caliber rifles and comes with two replaceable batteries.
What you should consider: It can’t be used for other calibers, so you’ll need to buy another boresight.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This is a highly accurate boresight for scopes and gunsmithing.
What you’ll love: With a strong magnetic connection, it easily slips into the barrel of a rifle. It has been made to fit multiple calibers and handguns. It runs on a single lithium 123A battery, has a soft rubber body to protect your barrel and comes with a storage container.
What you should consider: Users have indicated that the red laser is difficult to see during the day, making the green laser the preferred option.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Charlie Fripp writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.