The best bore sights to improve your shot placement

Because close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.

Best Overall

Laserlyte bore sight kit

Laserlyte bore sight kit

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Best Value

MidTen .223 laser bore sight

MidTen .223 laser bore sight

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Honorable Mention

XAegis bore sighting kit

XAegis bore sighting kit

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So, you picked up a firearm or slick new optic. Now is the time to sight that bad boy in so it can do more than look cool and take up room in your gun case. There are many ways to do this, but one of the easiest is to use a bore sight. For what you’d spend on a box of ammunition, you can reduce the amount of time and money you’ll spend walking your shots onto a target at the range. Most rifle shooters will establish zero at either 25, 36, or 50 yards. The Armory Life has a solid breakdown of this information if you aren’t familiar with the reasoning behind each approach.

Once you’ve got your sights dialed in, you can use the same bore sight to work on trigger control. That’s right; snapping in is one of the best ways to improve as a shooter. Dry-firing lets you pile up repetitions without firing a shot or driving out to the range. By adding a bore sight to your routine, you can watch what happens to your point of aim throughout your trigger pull and diagnose poor execution before it becomes a habit. Tiny movements that are hard to spot on your sights become easy to spot when they’re ratted out by a laser beam sweeping across your wall with every trigger pull.

Bore sights that cost between $20 and $50 tend to offer the best balance of features and price, but even budget bore sights can get the job done. Low-cost options tend to be caliber-specific. That’s fine if you only have firearms chambered in one or two calibers, but individual bore sights can get expensive if you own a larger collection.

Laserlyte Bore Sight Kit

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MidTen .223 Laser Bore Sight

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Feyachi 9mm Laser Bore Sight

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XAegis Bore Sighting Kit

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EZ Shoot Laser Bore Sight

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Strong Tools Bore Sight

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Why should you trust us

I’ve had the privilege of firing everything from an antique bolt-action .22 to the incomprehensibly awesome MK19, and got to use a slew of military and civilian optics (but yes, I did qualify on iron sights so keep the old man jokes to yourself). As any shooter worth their salt will tell you, no weapon system can be employed properly if it isn’t sighted in correctly. That isn’t complicated or hard to do, but it does require a little bit of homework and some discipline. Whether I was shooting for fun, competition, or work, I always took establishing my zero seriously. You should, too.

Different kinds of bore sights

Bore sights use either a laser or physical reticle to show roughly where a round would impact. They are designed to fit inside the muzzle of your weapon or be chambered like a real round. Both types assume a perfectly flat trajectory and will need to be used at a specific distance to achieve your desired results. Use this reference point to get your optic close enough to put your first shots on paper when you do go to the range. At that point, a few three-round groups should be all it takes to perfect your zero.

Muzzle-mounted lasers

Many laser bore sights attach directly to the business end of your weapon for easy installation. A short probe will be inserted into the barrel, and a removable adapter will be used to secure it in place. Each kit comes with enough adapters to work with common barrel diameters. At the muzzle, the flared body creates a snug fit. The result is an alignment that projects straight out from your weapon’s barrel.

The main advantage of this style is compatibility with nearly all firearm calibers. If you want to make one purchase and be done with it, this is the way to go.

Chambered lasers

Caliber-specific bore sights are shaped like an actual round and are chambered to direct the laser all the way through the barrel and out to your target. Power comes from a stack of small batteries that are commonly used in small devices like hearing aids. This style is very affordable and compact, and many shooters swear by it. 

The downside of this style is that a given bore sight cannot be used for firearms of different calibers. If you only have one firearm or a small collection, the cost savings are worth it. Collectors will want to spend more to get a universal bore sight. 

These bore sights also tend to be brass, for some reason. Dummy rounds are generally brightly colored to differentiate them from live rounds, and it’s strange that the same logic isn’t used here.

Muzzle-mounted optical systems

Optical bore sights ditch the laser and batteries altogether. This style still mounts to the muzzle but uses a glass lens with a reticle to indicate where your optic should be placed. As with high-end laser bore sights, optical bore sight kits include adapters for a vast array of calibers and barrel diameters.

With this style, you’ll get a lens with a crosshair reticle that will align with the reticle on your optic or your sights when a zero is achieved. Kits include rods designed to fit snugly in specific bore sizes for an accurate reading.

These kits cost more than laser alternatives upfront but they’re basically universal, never need batteries, and should last longer than you do if you take care of them.

What to consider when buying a bore sight

As with many products, your budget will largely determine what kind of bore sight you buy. Quality options can be found for less than $20 or more than $50. With a higher price comes a longer list of features, so you’ll need to prioritize your needs to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck.

One of the things that sets more expensive bore sights apart is versatility. Unlike entry-level lasers that are designed to work with a single caliber, higher-end options are compatible with almost anything you’re likely to encounter. Even if you own a .17-caliber rifle for plinking and a .50-caliber behemoth for making epic YouTube videos, many of the bore sights on this list will be compatible with your whole collection.

Lastly, you’ll need to choose between laser and optical systems. Battery-powered bore sights use a laser to provide a point of reference that can guide you toward a true zero. Optical systems mount a reticle above your barrel and in line with your sights or optic to achieve the same goal. 

The advantages of owning a bore sight

Time is money, and so is ammunition. Bore sights save you both by reducing the number of live rounds you’ll need to fire in order to properly zero your sights or optic. With no firing involved, you can even close in on a proper zero at home. 

Because the visible laser of most bore sights displays a constant visual reference, they can sometimes be used to practice marksmanship fundamentals when dry-firing (pro tip: If you aren’t sighting in regularly, you aren’t taking your marksmanship seriously). We recommend setting up your phone and recording the laser against a flat surface so you can see how it moves throughout your trigger pull. If you have a flinch or other bad habits, this can help you find them. As always, put safety first and only dry fire after clearing your weapon. 

  • Spend less time establishing an accurate zero
  • Improve your starting point before setting foot on the firing line
  • Save ammunition
  • Practice trigger control while dry-firing with a compatible model

Pricing ranges for bore sights

  • Less than $20: Budget bore sights are certainly capable. Because they tend to be caliber-specific, you might have to buy a few to suit your various firearms.
  • Between $20 and $50: Mid-range bore sights tend to be the sweet spot. You get quality construction and compatibility with a wide range of calibers.
  • More than $50: Surprisingly, premium bore sights often don’t use lasers. Instead, you’ll get a battery-free system that uses its own reticle.

How we chose our top picks

We’d love to spend a day at the range testing each of these bore sights (and a week confirming the results with gratuitous amounts of live fire, you know, for science), but logistical constraints have a habit of getting in the way. Fortunately, the thousands of consumers who own these products are happy to share their experiences in the form of online reviews. We combed through dozens of products and hundreds of reviews, referenced our past experiences, and decided on a handful of products we’re confident in recommending to you. Fire away.


Scott Murdock Avatar

Scott Murdock

Commerce Reporter

Scott Murdock is a Task & Purpose commerce writer and Marine Corps veteran. Since 2020, he’s selflessly committed himself to experiencing the best gear, gadgets, stories, and alcoholic beverages in the service of you, the reader.