This is the first of a few review posts I wanted to write, but could not find the time. I decided to write a few short test articles about the equipment I use. As all of us, over the years I bought some good and useful stuff as well as wasted money on complete crap… I also acquired many items that fill somewhere in between, they can be useful, but I do not find them essential. I usually use them a few times and then they end up somewhere on the shelf or bottom of my gun cabinet… I often find them after the years surprised I bought something like that, they get shifted on eBay, only to buy another more or less useful gadget… This review is about one of these items I bought a few years ago, used a couple of times, then forgot about it and now rediscovered it covered in the dust on the top of the shelf. 😉
Bushnell Laser Bore Sighter
I cannot really remember when I bought it, but it must have been at least 4-5 years ago. I think I used it to zero my then newly acquired Steyr Mannlicher Pro Hunter rifle. I remember placing a zeroing target in our back garden and playing with the laser bore sighter from the window upstairs. When I bought a new rifle a few weeks ago I used this item to bore sight it and zero new rifle scope.
There is not much to write about as the idea is pretty simple. The Bushnell Bore Sighter is basically a red laser mounted on a few inches long rod. Different caliber adaptors can be screwed on the end of the rod. You simply select the largest adaptor that fits the barrel and screw it on using provided allen key. As you tighten the screw the adaptor expands fitting inside of the barrel nicely.
What is in the box?
- Laser Bore Sighter
- .22 to 12G caliber adaptors
- Set of screws
- Allen key
- Manual + Warranty card
Bore Sighting test
I used my newly acquired Tikka M595 in .223 Rem with Minox ZA5 2-10×40 rifle scope to test the bore sighter. I used the smallest arbor for the .223. Screwing in the adapter can be a bit flimsy as you will have to use allen key to expand it to fit the barrel tightly. It has to be done as trial and error and is quite annoying at first. I also think it is easier with bigger calibers than with the .223. The arbor has to fit the barrel tightly and when inserted into the barrel it can be tightened twisting the whole bore sighter (if it makes sense… for better explanation watch the video at the bottom of the page). I placed the target at about 30m. This can be quite crucial for vertical alignment, as laser beam is well visible at 20-35m distance, them it is not very well concentrated. Depending on the rifle and caliber the bullet should cross the path between the target at about 30-50m and the be back at zero somewhere at 100-200m. I would not be too bothered if the laser dot is not at the target as long as horizontal alignment is ok. As long as it is somewhere within a few inches it might be easier to correct at 100m with a few shots that needs to be fired anyway. In my case this even makes less sense when using moderator as bore sighting with a moderator is one thing, but then the rifle might have different POI with a moderator on. My A-TEC CMM-4 will shoot to the same POI as unmoderated rifle, but the T8 will not… Bore sighting procedure is very simple. Put the bore sighter into the barrel, turn on the laser and use your scopes windage and elevation turrets to bring cross hairs to the laser dot on the target. Then move your target to 100m, remember to remove the bore sighter (!!!) and fire a shot. You should need only a small adjustments to be on the bull. After setting the Minox scope cross hairs on the laser dot I fired a shot at 30m just to check if it is close. It was exactly on the spot, a bit low though, but horizontal alignment was spot on. Then I fired 4 more shots at 100m. It was pretty much the same spot as at 30m. Only a few clicks up and the rifle was shooting where I wanted.[flickrset id=”72157628805348153″ thumbnail=”thumbnail” photos=”” overlay=”true” size=”large”]
I found Bushnell Laser Bore Sighter quite good and useful tool. Is it essential bit of my kit? No. Would I recommend it? Yes, I think it can be useful for bore sighting and some people say it can be used for checking if the rifle holds zero. I would not do it personally, as I think it is always better just to shoot one round, but I can understand other may find it a useful feature. From my experience though, I would not trust myself to be able to screw in and insert the adapter exactly the same way every time. I believe it can be done repeatedly, but as I said earlier there might be some tiny variations and it depends on your manual skills (or lack of them in my case 🙂 ).
The bore sighter is quite good to horizontally align you rifle scope, but without knowing ballistics at short ranges, vertical alignment is not as easy. But it is just a bore sighter and will not always take you to the bull with a first shot. However, I does save you a few zeroing shots. When I am not using a bore sighter I simply look through the barrel and scope to get the cross hairs on the target, but it is not as precise as Bushnell Laser Bore Sighter.
I also only tested it with two adapters on my .308 and .223, but I do not see why it cannot work with other calibers.
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