Believe it or not I miss writing articles. Back in the late 90s I wrote several firearms and firearm accessories reviews (They were never published). Before that I wrote several short stories and some poetry (that was published). In 2001 I began writing technology articles for local newspapers (in the Ozarks area) and then began a web site (www.TheWeeklyGeek.com), and a newsletter. With 2 jobs plus the writing, something had to give, unfortunately it was the one thing that did not pay, writing.
Back in 2012, I decided to start writing on various topics, not just technology. Today will hopefully begin a series of reviews of “stuff”. I have never received sample items and probably never will. Besides the people I know who do, don’t get to keep the items but for a few short days so a true review is impossible. I plan on writing about items I have purchased and have used, maybe even for months.
In this article, I will discuss the Firefield Laser Bore Site.
This is a device shaped like a bullet that goes into the empty chamber of a rifle. When turned on it projects a laser (just like a laser pointer) out the end of the guns barrel. By doing this you can see where the gun is aiming and then adjust your sites and or scope to that point.
Normally you would site in most rifles at either 100 or 200 yards. Thus I would think you would use the laser to get a red dot on the paper target at either of those distances and then adjust the sites / scope accordingly. This would save the cost of ammunition (which is going up by the day it seems) and time.
The old school way of sighting is was at 25 yards, shoot 3 rounds of ammo then site in the sites, then move to 50 yards, repeat, now to 100 and eventually 200 yards. If at one point you lose the impact (location of where the bullets hit the target paper), you would need to back down to the previous yardage and try again.
This device is supposed to replace that. This allows you to not only “get on paper” without firing a shot but allows quick and closer to aim sight alignment.
I have the 30-06 and 223 models (PN FF39001, UPC: 810119011510).
With that said, these units suck! I attempted to get on the web site where I purchased them from, and enter a review but failed to find a way. The web site had the product rated at 5 stars, however upon reading a handful of the 18 pages of reviews, no-one had taken the product out and actually used it. This is the reason for my real world and extended test of products.
I sent in a question to the company I purchased these from. I received an email from back from them. Apparently you can only review items if they send you an email link right after you buy the item, and not everyone receives such a link. This explains why no-one had used the devices. I had also purchased these in 2009 so they would not / could not be warrantied. Yes, I did not take them out until now, my bad.
I do believe that I am not perfect (don’t tell my ex-wife or kids that though) so I had my friends try out the 223 unit. I had a total of 6 other people with me, and we tried to use this bore site. Yes, the site did fit into the chamber and yes the laser came on. The product is made of metal. These are the good qualities. The bad is the laser just cannot be seen in daylight or even on shadows during the day.
It was about 7:30 pm when we began our test, and being June, that meant that there was plenty of sunshine, with shadows covering areas. We were at the Springfield Benchrest Club on the rifle range. We had target stands available at 75, 100, 200 and 300 yards on the range we were using. We could not see the laser when pointed to the ground 25 feet from the barrel. Yes there was sunlight, yes the day was clear, no, there is no excuse for this.
The hand held laser pointer and multi-mount weapon laser pointers I bought in or about 1997 were visible on the 100 yard backboard, this was not. We tried the 75 yard back board that was totally in the shadows, still we could not see the laser.
We did have an idea where the laser beam should be because the iron sights were set for 100 yards and correct for the rifle I was using.
The included “manual” states “Range for Sighting: 15-100 yards”, so the laser should be bright enough to see. The manual claims the laser is “<5mw”). Who buys a laser sight, in 223 and expects to use it for short distance? I would think 200 yards would be a good distance to still see the beam.
Just last week I decided to test out the laser again, it was a cloudy day so I was hoping to get better results. I put it in a rifle that I know was sighted in at 100 yards and had my Trijicon TX30 mounted.
Using my rangefinder I found the longest distance in my house was 17 yards, the laser was visible at that distance. The “dot” was blurry and about 2″ in a rectangle pattern.
Next I went into the yard and put the laser on my fence at 25 yards, no luck. My 3rd attempt was at 50 yards and on a metal building. The laser could not be seen. For both the 25 and 50 yard test, I pulled out my trusty 4x binoculars and scanned the area where the laser should be.
Since this is the only brand I have used, I cannot make a general recommendation on using laser bore sites in specific, however, I would not and cannot recommend the purchase of the Firefield brand.
Until we meet again, have a ND free week!