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  • Post last modified:January 13, 2024

Learn how to use a laser bore sight to set initial zero for an optic at home. Avoid the frustration of off-target shots at 50-100 yards at the range.

Our selection of top laser bore sights enables fast and accurate scope reticle adjustment without using any ammunition. Below, use the 5-step guide for zeroing your scope.

Check Out:  5 Best Picks for Laser Bore Sights

5 Steps - How To Use A Laser Bore Sight

1. Chamber Safety Check

firearm safety checks

Before beginning to zero your scope from the comfort of your living room, it's crucial to check that your rifle's chamber is empty. This step ensures you don't unintentionally fire your rifle indoors or at the shooting range. 

Remember, safety should always be your top priority.

2. Setup The Laser Bore Sight

There are two main kinds of bore sights used for aligning a rifle's scope. The first kind is a chamber laser bore sight, which is designed to fit snugly into the chamber, just like loading a bullet. This type is highly accurate because it's specifically tailored for a single caliber.

midten 223 laser bore sight packaging

The second type is the arbor-based laser bore sight. To use this, you need to choose the appropriate adapter for your rifle's caliber. Then, attach it to the end of the laser sight using the correct screw. This creates two points of contact: one inside the barrel and the other fitting around the muzzle, ensuring proper alignment. Once you turn on the laser, this step in setting up your bore sight is complete.

While I prefer the chamber bore sight for its precise fit and caliber-specific design, both types are effective in helping achieve accurate scope alignment.

3. Stabilize Your Rifle

Stabilizing your rifle is a straightforward task. You have the option to use either a gun vise or a combination of a bipod and shooting bags to ensure your rifle remains steady on a table or bench.

zeroing mk18 elcan specterdr

It's important not to hold the rifle by hand while zeroing the scope. Although a gun vise offers the most stability, it's not essential. I do recommend investing in some affordable shooting bags, as they provide a good balance of stability and convenience for this process.

4. Dial Your Scope To The Laser Pointer

First, set up a target at a distance, or use the reflective target that comes with your bore sight kit.

Then, adjust your scope's elevation and windage until the reticle line up with the laser dot. Doing this at a range of about 25 yards is ideal.

Remember, this only set the initial zero. Not the final zero.

midten 223 laser boresight eotech pov

If you're zeroing your scope at home and only have about 20 feet of space, this will help you achieve a preliminary zero, especially if your scope is significantly misaligned. However, you'll still need to confirm and fine-tune the alignment at a longer range later.

This step also provides a great opportunity to zero any offset backup sights or red dot sights on your rifle.

5. Confirm Zero With Live Ammo

After you've aligned your scope using the laser bore sight and feel confident about its accuracy, the next step is to remove the laser bore sight and head to a shooting range to test and confirm the zero with live ammunition.

zeroing red dot 100 yard

Remember: While a laser can project a straight line indefinitely, actual bullets will experience drop over long distances. So, when verifying your zero, especially for long-range shooting, it's crucial to account for bullet drop.

For those considering purchasing a laser bore sight, I recommend exploring options and getting informed advice.

Please check out Best Laser Bore Sights Buying Guide here.


Using a laser bore sight to zero a red dot sight is quite straightforward. For most calibers, including pistol calibers, the trajectory is essentially straight for distances up to 25 to 50 yards, which are typical zeroing distances for a red dot sight.

Therefore, it's advisable to set up your bore sight at a shooting range or even in your backyard. Once it's set up, simply adjust your optic so that the red dot aligns with the laser dot as outlined in step 4. This method simplifies the zeroing process, making it efficient and user-friendly.

How to Calibrate a Laser Bore Sight

When it comes to using a laser bore sight, the good news is that the laser itself naturally shoots straight, so there's no need for intricate calibrations on your part. The main aspect to focus on is selecting a high-quality product that fits precisely either onto the muzzle or into the chamber of your firearm.

midten 9mm laser boresight for zeroing a pistol

It's crucial to remember that a laser bore sight is just a tool for initial scope zeroing. It doesn't guarantee that your bullets will land exactly where the laser dot is pointed. The laser assists in getting you close to the target, but it's not a substitute for the real-world variables affecting bullet trajectory.

Boresighting VS Zeroing

Boresighting is a process that involves aligning the firearm's barrel with the optics. It's an initial step to ensure that your scope or sight is roughly in line with the barrel's direction.

midten 223 laser boresight unpackaging

On the other hand, zeroing is the fine-tuning of your optic to ensure that the point of aim (where you're looking through the scope) matches the point of impact (where the bullet hits).

Using a laser bore sight helps achieve an initial zero for your scope. This tool is valuable because it saves time and ammunition at the range by giving you a good starting point. It helps you figure out the basic settings for your elevation and windage turrets without firing a single shot.

midten 223 laser boresight red laser

An important aspect to keep in mind is the physical relationship between the scope and the barrel. The scope is mounted above the barrel, and this height difference, known as the scope-to-bore axis distance, affects aiming. The greater the distance between the scope and the barrel, the more pronounced this effect will be.