Hunting Essentials: 3 Different Ways to Do Boresighting

hunting rifle with scope

Boresighting is a highly effective technique that allows you to measure and adjust your rifle’s precision and accuracy for long distances when out hunting. It’s a method that enables you to have a reliable reference point in sighting your gun to save you time and ammunition on calibrating it through test shots. Although boresighting isn’t useful for lever guns, semi-autos, and most handgun models, it’s an excellent precision adjustment technique for long-range weaponry, especially if you’re bringing one for a hunting trip.

Different boresighting methods

The basic principle came from removing a bolt from a bolt action rifle to look down through the bore, which is where it got its name. To do this, you’ll need to secure your gun in a stable position and adjust the elevation and windage turrets until your reticle is centered on the bullseye. With the development of modern hunting gear and rifles, boresighting can be used through different methods depending on your preference.

In this article, we will explain three different boresighting methods for you to try out:

Arbor and collimator calibration

Arbor and collimators are used to calibrate your gun through a mapping method. The collimator contains a grid that resembles a grid that’s seen through your scope. This is held in place by the arbors, which are inserted through your barrel’s muzzle end. These attachments are sized depending on your caliber and are connected through a spring or an expanding plug.

To calibrate your scope, adjust your windage and elevation turrets to match the center of the grid through your scope. Some collimating boresight builds come with multiple arbors. However, finding a caliber for a shotgun gauge or a .17 may be difficult as these sizes may not fit these models.

Laser boresighter calibration

For people who want to visualize their sights easily, laser boresighters project a laser beam from their arbor inserted through their muzzle. Depending on your cartridge case, they can be placed as close to your muzzle or even to your gun chamber for a more precise estimate. This method may require you to use a reflective target in calibrating your shots so that you can make proper adjustments to your positioning.

Magnetic boresighter calibration

The easiest method to adjust your gun’s sight is by using a magnetic boresighter. It conveniently attaches through your muzzle without the need of inserting arbors through your barrel. Although some people aren’t comfortable with putting anything in their barrels, magnetic boresighters have the benefit of being compatible with all gauges and calibers and require no other equipment to perform its calibration.


As a safety precaution, you need to remove your boresight arbor before shooting to make sure that the recoil won’t adjust it from firing. Forgetting to remove your boresight can lead to a damaged barrel.

Also, you should keep in mind that different ammo will have different points of impact depending on their weight, shape, and firing speed from your gun. The same calibration won’t work if you use a different model and a different gun. Learn to take your time in making the necessary adjustments to make sure that you can have an accurate shot.

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