Using Your Universal Boresight with an AK47
When people mount a scope or red dot onto their firearm for the first time, they do so with the full knowledge that they might need to waste ammo kicking up dirt because their shots are off paper. Some shooters have stories about sending two or three mags worth of ammunition down range only to get on the very edge of the paper.
In situations like this, there could be several things affecting your inaccuracy. You might have a poorly mounted optic, a misaligned mount, a loose screw on your rings, or a poor shooting technique. While any skill issues can be sorted out with range time and practice, the use of a laser boresight can at least eliminate the problem of scope/bore alignment.
A laser boresight, as its name states, emits a laser which should be pointed at a target 25 yards down range for zeroing. At further ranges, the tiny red laser might be harder to see, and besides that, an intermediate caliber like a .223 or 5.56x45mm, when zeroed via a laser boresight at 25 yards should still be accurate at ranges up to 100 yards.
However, one should also keep in mind that a laser’s path is perfectly straight, without taking things like rifling, recoil, wind, or terrain into account. With that in mind, a laser boresight can make a hundred year old Arisaka seem as accurate as a Bergara Premier Competition Rifle.
Every firearm platform has little intricacies and imperfections that affect its accuracy. Do not expect your firearm’s point of impact to be as dead-on as your laser boresight suggests. Take for example, the AK-47. This rifle is well known for its inaccuracy and cannot be expected to hold a sub-MOA group without serious modification. Of course, this is because the AK was never designed to be a sub-MOA rifle.
When the Russians designed it, they never envisioned the AK to be a precision weapon. This is evidenced by the fact that when an AK’s selector lever is brought to the next position after “safe,” the first firing mode notch is for full-automatic instead of semi-automatic as it is with the M4 and M16. Soviet tactical doctrine called for large numbers of infantry to overwhelm their enemies with massed fire from their AKs as they advanced. When stationary, a squad of riflemen was expected to lay down suppressing fire on an enemy from 800 yards away. A little bit of dispersion in the AK was considered a good thing.
Because of the AK’s ballistics, Soviet designers outfitted the AK with a unique canted compensator. Angled 22 degrees off center, it’s meant to offset the rifle’s natural recoil, which causes the gun to diagonally pivot away from the shooter’s shoulder.
While the Firefield Universal Boresight can be fitted to any weapon with a flat surface for a muzzle, some firearms such as the AK-47 have oddly shaped muzzle breaks or compensators. Fortunately, the slanted Kalashnikov compensator is completely removable. By pressing on a small pin at the 12 o’clock position on the AK’s muzzle, one can rotate the compensator clockwise to remove it.
Once the compensator is removed, the muzzle face should be flat, and a laser bore sight can be attached and used to zero the weapon – but once again, shooters should be warned that the AK does not have surgical accuracy by design.
To mitigate shooter error when zeroing, it would be wise to consider using a tripod or some other stabilizing device to reduce or eliminate muzzle sway and help with recoil.
In conclusion, achieving pinpoint accuracy with a firearm relies mainly on the type of rifle and the skill of the shooter. While employing a laser boresight can be a valuable tool to get your shots on target initially, it should not be the sole method relied upon for surgical precision. To consistently hit the bullseye, shooters must continue to hone their skills, select the right ammunition, and ensure their rifle is properly maintained and aligned. Remember, accuracy on target is a combination of craftsmanship and proficiency, and the journey towards becoming a sharpshooter involves dedication, practice, and an understanding of the limitations of the tools at hand.