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Best Laser Bore Sights: Saving Money & Time [2022]

Laser bore sights are a great tool in any shooter's arsenal (pun intended) but there's a lot of mystery and confusion surrounding them and how they work, and there are a lot of crappy ones out there that aren't worth the money. 

To help with both these issues, whether you're curious about if you might need one or curious about which one to buy, let's take a deep dive into the world of laser bore sights.

We'll cover what they are, how and why you might want one, and we'll go over the top options currently on the market right now. Let's start with the basics. 

WHAT IS A BORE SIGHT?

First off, let’s talk about what exactly a bore sight is, just so there’s no confusion.

A bore sight is a device that allows you to align the sights of your firearm with the point of impact of your gun, or at least get very close to aligning them, very quickly. Once you do, you can then dial things in with a firing test and have minimal adjustments to make. 

A handful of bore sights

They come in a few different varieties, but all of them allow you to quickly get your scope or sights zeroed with a minimum amount of effort and rounds fired. 

They're also really excellent for rifles where you can't simply look down from the bore to the muzzle and line your scope up that way, or for when you're installing new sights on a handgun. 

And they're still faster and more precise for most people than the old reliable “look down the bore” method anyway. They're perfect for sighting in both visible and IR laser devices as well. 

HOW EXACTLY DO BORE SIGHTS WORK?

Bore sights work by projecting a laser dot either from the chamber of the gun down the barrel and to the target or just from the muzzle to the target. This lets you simply adjust your sights to line up with the laser dot and boom, you’re on target.

The devices either include a kind of probe that you insert into the muzzle, or are shaped just like a cartridge for the round in question and are chambered as you would normally. From there, a laser shines out towards the target and you simply align your sights or optic with the laser dot. 

After that, all you have to do is confirm your zero, which usually takes only a shot or two, and you’re almost certainly going to be close enough to see your shots clearly hitting paper at 25 yards. 

WHY USE A BORE SIGHT?

Simply put, they’re a hell of a lot easier and quicker to use than most other traditional methods, especially if you can’t sight down the barrel of your gun to look at the target and line things up there. With something like a pistol or shotgun, a laser bore sight is definitely the way to go in our opinion.

They also make sighting your rifle much more manageable, though you can certainly still use the old-school method of sighting down the bore by eye, assuming you feel that your vision is up to the task.

BEST LASER BORE SIGHTS

Wheeler Professional Laser Bore Sighter

First up, we have what is probably my favorite bore sight to use, the Wheeler Professional Laser Bore Sighter. This is a product designed for gunsmiths and other firearms professionals, and as you’d probably expect from such a great company like Wheeler, it kicks ass at its job.

Unlike most laser bore sighters, the Wheeler Pro model uses a high-wattage green laser that is more powerful than just about any other bore sighter out there. The laser is clearly visible all the way out to 100 yards. You definitely don’t want to shine this guy in your eyes.

Wheeler pro bore sight

It uses a powerful rare-earth magnet at the base to attach to the muzzle, and the only problem we have with it is that magnets might be a little bit too secure. I could definitely see how this could scratch a barrel crown if you aren’t careful. A bit of masking tape or just a lot of care when attaching the unit solves this, though.

The fact that it attaches directly to the muzzle means you can use this with a huge variety of different firearms, making this a great one for anyone with a big collection.

On the accuracy front, we were able to get on paper at 25 yards with handguns and iron sight-wearing ARs, and then get on paper at 100 yards with scoped rifles within one shot, so performance-wise we definitely have no complaints.

Real Avid Viz-Max Bore Sighter

Next, we have another super-powerful bore sighter with a green laser that attaches right to your barrel with a rare-earth magnet (sound familiar?), the Real Avid Viz-Max bore sighter. 

This rugged little unit is my other personal favorite, and it works well with just about any rifle. It is also the most accurate laser bore sighter that I have personally tested, and it got me on within 1.5 MOA on paper on both of the hunting rifles I tested with, which was extremely impressive.

Like the Wheeler Pro model, it uses an extremely bright green laser that was very visible in daylight. Side by side, it’s maybe a touch dimmer than the Wheeler model, but that could be down to the individual units we got and the quality of batteries included. It’s that close.

I also love that it works off 2 AAA batteries rather than the tiny hearing-aid style batteries that no one actually keeps in stock in their house. The fact that it uses AAA and has an automatic 30-minute shutoff means you’ll get plenty of battery life out of this one.

LaserLyte MBS-1 Mini Laser Boresight

For a more compact boresight that you can easily toss in a range bag, or even leave in your range bag to double-check zero in the field, the LaserLyte MBS-1 is a great option. It fits into rifles and pistols that have a greater than 3” barrel but doesn’t work with shotguns.

It also has one of the brightest and most powerful lasers we’ve tested, and I had no problem spotting it in relatively bright sunlight at 25 yards, or 100 yards through a scope. Much past 50 yards, you’ll want to be shining it on something fairly reflective if it’s bright out, however. 

This is actually our preferred boresight to use with pistols to confirm the factory sights, and it’s the one that we typically leave in the range kit to confirm zeros on guns that haven’t been shot in a while, or for new optics that we might be testing. 

Sightmark Laser Boresight

Next up we have one of the most accurate boresights we tested, the Sightmark Laser Boresights. These are available in a few different popular calibers, and since it’s chambered like a normal round you don’t have to worry about fussing with magnets, or possibly scratching the crown of your rifle.

We found it very easy and intuitive to use, like most boresights of this type, and the laser was plenty visible through AR-15 iron sights out to 25 yards, making this a good one for our 5.56/.223 fans out there (so, most of you).

Sightmark Laser Boresight
Sightmark Laser Boresight

I will say that the laser in the .223 models isn’t terribly bright at longer ranges, so we definitely recommend finding a reflective surface or reflective target insert to sight things in if you’re going to be using this model outside in direct sunlight. 

That said, this was a very accurate little boresight, and we were able to get on paper instantly at 25 and 100 yards with it, which is really all you can ask for out of a boresight. It runs on three AG3 batteries that were more than sufficient for zeroing several rifles, and the laser didn’t dim at all during testing. 

Bushnell 740100C Laser Boresighter 

The Bushnell 740100C Laser Boresighter (and that number is important because Bushnell makes a handful of bore sights with primarily just model numbers to distinguish between the names) is a great option for short-range setups. 

If you’re looking to sight at a longer range, however, you’ll want to skip the Bushnell for something with more power.

Bushnell 740100C Laser Boresighter 
Bushnell 740100C Laser Boresighter 

In practice, this bore sight has a range of about 50 yards on white paper and in indirect sunlight. Obviously, with more direct light and a less ideal surface, the range would be less. With a reflective target, you could stretch the range out a bit more and I definitely recommend using one to get the best possible results out of this bore sight.

Putting in the bore sight can be a little bit finicky, but not enough to be a real inconvenience, and it features rugged, all-metal construction that should last you a good long time. 

It’s also quite versatile. 

It can be used for handguns and rifles in calibers from .22 to .50, plus shotguns in 10- and 12-gauge. The gun does need a barrel of at least 4.5 inches though, so you’ll need a different bore sight for those subcompacts and micro compacts. 

Bottom line: if you’re looking for a simple, all-in-one bore sight, this one is an affordable but still decent quality option that’s not too tricky to use.

LOOSE ROUNDS

Bore sights are kind of a luxury item, but they can save you a lot of time and money if you’re zeroing a lot of firearms or if you change optics often. 

Just remember that a bore sight is to get you on paper and give you a fairly close zero – they are not a replacement for actually shooting your gun and checking the final zero.

In the dozens of times I’ve used a bore sight, it’s never been perfect. But it is always pretty close.

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