Mossberg Blog

The How’s and Why’s of Bore Sighting A Bolt-Action Rifle

What exactly is bore sighting? 

Simply put: it is aligning the crosshairs of your new scope with the barrel of your rifle. Yep. That’s it.

I am at a point in my life where I really want to learn more and more about firearms, shooting and all of the small details that go into the sport that I simply took for granted because I had someone else do them for me. I am going to be honest. I had heard about bore sighting, but didn’t really know what that meant or why this should be done. After attending the High Precision Shooting School at Branded Rock Canyon, I got a great education on bore sighting and have since done it myself.

When I first learned how to bore sight, I was somewhat confused. Isn’t that what sighting in your firearm is all about? Actually, the answer is no. Bore sighting your firearms is a quick maneuver to roughly align your scope and barrel without wasting excess time and ammunition in the true sighting in process.

Well, now that makes sense!

Bore sighting is simple and takes 15 minutes or less…

Here’s how:

  1. As always- Safety first. Ensure your firearm is not loaded.
  2. Select a target roughly 100 yards away. The distance doesn’t need to be exact.
  3. Remove the bolt from the rifle.
    The How's and Why's of Bore Sighting A Bolt-Action Rifle | Mossberg
  4. Select a solid surface for your firearm. Your best bet is to use a solid shooting rest or cleaning rest, but if you don’t have one just find something that does not move. Sand bags work well too.
  5. Set your rifle in the rest, aiming at the target object selected.
    The How's and Why's of Bore Sighting A Bolt-Action Rifle | Mossberg
  6. Step back and look through the breach down the bore of the gun. Align your target while looking through the bore. You should now clearly see your target through the bore of your rifle.
  7. Now, without moving the rifle, look at the target through your scope.
    The How's and Why's of Bore Sighting A Bolt-Action Rifle | Mossberg
  8. Adjust your cross hairs to settle on the target selected.
  9. Now, look back through the bore again. If you moved the gun, align the target through the bore again.
  10. Look through the scope again. If you need to adjust the crosshairs again, do so.
    The How's and Why's of Bore Sighting A Bolt-Action Rifle | Mossberg
  11. Repeat steps 9 and 10 until the crosshairs and the bore are both on the target.
  12. Set to zero so you don’t lose your scope adjustments.
  13. Replace the bolt.
  14. Sight in your rifle as usual.

Following the aforementioned steps is a huge time and ammo saver when you get down to the brass tacks of sighting in your bolt action rifle. As mentioned, I wasn’t really sure of the bore sighting process before. I have since done this myself and found it incredibly easy and it is, in fact, the key step to take when you mount a new scope.

Now I get it!

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