How to Bore Sight a Shotgun

by Adam Raphael
Bore sight your shotgun.

Bore sight your shotgun.

Hunting requires a precise shot every time, so sighting your shotgun properly is a major key to a successful trip. Bore sighting a shotgun is a more refined method of sighting, because it employs the use of a laser sight. Laser sights allow for focused and accurate sighting and therefore a better adjustment of the scope and crosshairs. The use of spent shells keeps the cost of this project at a minimum and allows you to do it at home or anywhere that is convenient for you.

Empty a spent 12-gauge shell and a spent 20-gauge shell of primers. Use a small brush to loose the primer through the primer hole.

Slide the 12-gauge shell into the chamber of the shotgun and the 20-gauge shell into the muzzle.

Fix the barrel of the shotgun in a secure vise. It must be perfectly steady to properly bore sight the shotgun.

Look through the gun's scope and focus through the barrel. Line up the laser sight through the primer holes against a target.

Adjust the scope until the crosshairs are on the same area as the primer holes on the target.

Items you will need

  • Spent 12-gauge shell
  • Spent 20-gauge
  • Small brush
  • Shotgun
  • Vise
  • Target


  • Retain the spent shells to bore sight your shotgun again in the future.


  • Use caution when handling shotgun shells and loose primer.

About the Author

Adam Raphael has been writing technical and health-related articles for a variety of online sources for five years. His articles have appeared on a variety of popular blogs and other websites.

Photo Credits

  • Aimed shotgun, with depth of field image by cdbdi from