How to bore sight a shotgun

Written by adam raphael
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How to bore sight a shotgun
Bore sight your shotgun. (Aimed shotgun, with depth of field image by cdbdi from

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.

Skill level:

Things you need

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

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  1. 1

    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.

  2. 2

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

  3. 3

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

  4. 4

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

  5. 5

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

Tips and warnings

  • Retain the spent shells to bore sight your shotgun again in the future.
  • Use caution when handling shotgun shells and loose primer.

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