How to Bore Sight a Pistol

••• Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

Explore America's Campgrounds

Generally, bore sighting a handgun is impractical and is not a common practice. Handguns are close range weapons and are not typically equipped with optics. However, handguns used for hunting (usually revolvers) are often mounted with scopes; these handguns can be sighted in using a laser bore sighter. The procedure is similar to bore sighting a rifle, but at a closer range. The laser bore sighter must be end mounted and capable of accommodating large calibers.

Items you will need

  • Laser bore sighter (end mounted)

  • Scoped handgun

  • Small flat-head screwdriver

  • Paper target

Step 1

Prepare a paper target at approximately 50 feet.

Step 2

Adjust the boresighter to fit your pistol's caliber by attaching the proper sized plastic arbor (included with the laser boresighter) to the end of the boresighter with a screwdriver.

Step 3

Place the end of the boresighter into the handgun barrel.

Step 4

Turn on the boresighter.

Step 5

Use your scope to aim your pistol at the target and observe the location of the laser on the target.

Step 6

Adjust the pistol scope of so that the crosshairs center on the laser. Move the crosshairs by turning the dial on the side of the scope counter-clockwise for right and clockwise for left; turn the dial on top of the scope counter-clockwise for up and clockwise for down. When the scope crosshairs intersect on the laser, the scope is zeroed in.

Step 7

Turn off your laser boresighter and remove it from the barrell.


  • Before attempting to bore sight your pistol, check that the weapon is unloaded.


About the Author

Peter Timm has been writing since 2002 for both print and online publications. Timm earned a Bachelor of Arts from the New York Institute of Technology in 2008 and emerged a technically astute writer.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images