Ever use a laser bore sight for your pistol?

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing' started by Newmey, Apr 10, 2016.

  1. Newmey

    Newmey New Member

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    Has anyone ever bought a sub $100 laser bore sight for a pistol to verify the aim of the gun sights? Do they work? Have you used the cartridge type or the long skinny ones the drop into the barrel? Do you learn anything really useful? Have you used one to align a grip laser?
     
  2. Balota

    Balota Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    I got one very early in my short shooting experience. (Only been shooting for about 5 or 6 years.) It was one of the long skinny ones that fit in the barrel. If I was using it right (not a given considering my inexperience), it seemed to show that my sights on my XDm Compact 9mm were within about an inch at 7 yards. Don't remember which way it was off. I did try rotating the laser to be sure it was straight with the barrel. It was. Since I could not shoot within an inch of my POA at that time, I shrugged and set it aside. Spent my time trying to fix me instead of the gun.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2016

  3. VirginiaJohn

    VirginiaJohn New Member

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    I too have used one. It is good for getting an initial setting that can be refined by using a rest at the range.
     
  4. Newmey

    Newmey New Member

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    I am a casual hobbyist. I don't get to hunt squirrels or rabbits in my suburban yard in California's very gun controlled vistas. So, my thought was that if a bore sight laser can tell me where my point of aim should hit a target at the range, then I can spend my limited time better working on what needs improving: the gun sights or me. A bore sight seems like an easy, fast, inexpensive test.
     
  5. megafiddle

    megafiddle Member

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    Unless your sights are so far off that the shots are not even on the target paper (ie, you don't know where they are hitting), a bore sighter provides no useful information.

    All sight adjustment should be done with actual fired groups, generally 5 shot groups for handguns (3 shot groups for rifles). The only purpose of a bore sighter is to get the group on the paper so that the actual final adjustments can be made.

    Factory iron sights should be plenty close enough to not require bore sighting. For a laser sight, which could be off quite a bit initially, a bore sighter might be useful to get it close. But all sights - scopes, lasers, red dots, iron, all should be adjusted by firing groups and adjusting out the error.

    How is your group size? Is it small enough to have a well defined average point of impact (group center)? If not, then the first thing to do is practice until the group is reasonably small, say 2 in. to 2-1/2 in. at 7 yds. If you are working on your group size, don't even worry about where the group is in relation to the point of aim. Just keep aiming at one point consistantly (e.g. the bullseye or 6 o'clock position).

    Once your group is small enough to show a definite group center, then you can adjust the sights as necessary to move the group to the point of aim.
     
  6. Balota

    Balota Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    I wouldn't say "no useful information". Sometimes it shows that the sights are already right. That's useful if the shooter uses that information to decide that the thing that needs adjustment is HIM!
     
  7. megafiddle

    megafiddle Member

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    Handgun boresighting provides a theoretical point of impact. In reality there are other factors that affect the point of impact, like muzzle flip and the human hand holding the gun. So boresighting cannot predict where the point of impact will actually be. It can only approximate it.

    It may help to describe a couple of terms:

    1) Accuracy - the ability to place shots into a single point. Note that this has nothing to do with the distance from point of aim and point of impact. A tiny 1/2 in group 4 in left and 2 in down from point of aim is still considered accurate. It is accurate because the group is tiny; every shot went into the same place.

    2) Sight regulation - this is the point of aim in relation to the point of impact. A gun with well regulated sights will hit right where it is aimed. This is often confused with accuracy.

    Back to the subject and determining if it is the shooter or the sights, if the group size is small, it's not the shooter; the shooter is doing fine. The sights need to be adjusted.
    If the group size is not small, i.e. having no well defined center, then the shooter needs more practice.

    What the 'boresighter' says is irrelavent. ('boresighter' here refers to the device, not the person using it)

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    Last edited: Jul 30, 2016