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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I am a recreational target shooter. I usually shoot at 25 yards at an outdoor gun club. Sometimes shoot at paper plates at the plinking range.
My main squeeze is a SIG P220 in .45. I thought I would try/switch to 9mm, and picked a FN FNS 9LS.
With the SIG, I am pretty accurate. But, I can not hit the broad side of a barn with the FNS!
Shooting the FNS, point of impact is about 8" low, and a little to the left.
I tried shooting from a bench rest, same result.
Also had a problem with very weak ejection, sometimes brass in the face.

I thought maybe the problems were because the new pistol was not broken in.
So I've done things like leaving the slide locked open for a week, fired 500 rounds through it.
If I can hold it, putting the top of the rear sight at the middle of the front sight dot gets me closer to where the shot should be, IMHO.
After 500 rounds, the ejection is still feeble: ejection from a bolt action rifle is stronger, even if the bolt is pulled back slowly hahaha

So I called FN USA. They were concerned, immediately sent a pre-paid label to ship it to them (free).
After a few weeks, I got the pistol back.
Inside the case was a target with 5 holes, 1" to 2" below the 2" bullseye. The group was 1.67"
There was no indication of at what range the target was shot at.

So, I took the FNS 9LS to see if I could shoot it better.
Good news: ejection is better.
Bad news: Still hit about 8" low at 25 yards!
I am using 9mm UMC/Remington 115gn bulk ammo.

I called FN USA to ask what they thought.
The guy told me that my pistol was tested extensively. I was probably not using the correct sight picture. FNS uses a European sight picture where the dot covers the point of impact at 20 meters. After digesting this, thinking about it for a few hours, I can see where this is not a recreational or target gun, particularly in my situation.

In all the outdoor Texas shooting ranges I have ever been to, the shooters are in the shade. All the shooting ranges here have a cover. That helps a couple of ways. You are not in the hot Texas sun, so it is cooler for you. Also it helps the sight picture if you are looking at the outline of the front and rear sight in the shade (they look very black and crisp) against the black and white target.
However, in that situation, you can not see the white dots on the FNS. Or if you can see them, they are faint.

Another thing is that when using the FNS sights at 25 yards on the 25 yard NRA target, the width of the front sight completely covers the bulls eye. You HAVE to guesstimate where the bulls eye actually is if using the European 3 dot hold.

I asked the guy at FN USA if there was another front or rear sight I could buy to change the point of impact, preferably to the top of the front sight instead of behind/below the dot. He told me there are no other sights available, but I could maybe find aftermarket sights with different heights. When pistols come back to them, they see them all the time. What??

If I was shooting practical, or plates where you are not shooting under a cover, or needed just a pistol for combat or police work, this pistol might be a good choice.
But for me, as a recreational/target toy, it falls very short.

My second choice for a 9mm rec/target toy when I picked the FNS was a Walther PPQ. Out of curiosity, I called Walther USA and asked about their sights. Walther seems to have its' stuff together. They offer 3 front sight heights, for a 6 o'clock hold, top of the sights, and euro hold. Their front sights come in metal or polymer materials. The polymer sights can be changed by a user/owner in about 2 minutes, no special tools or gunsmith required. The rear sight is windage adjustable. WOW

So my alternatives are:
a) Sell the FNS right now and buy the Walther. I am not one who usually sells anything. I like to research, find the ONE, and keep it til I die. I did research the FNS, but did not see anything written about using it for target shooting, the Euro hold, width and height of sights.
b) Pay to buy new sights, then pay a gunsmith to install. FNS USA suggested buying night sights so I could see the dot in the shade. I dunno, Also, not that many other offerings. Williams does/did have an adjustable rear sight with fiber optic front sight.
c) Re-"Engineer" the sights on the gun. This would entail filing the front sight down, maybe up to .1 inch and/or ** build the rear sights up by putting JB Weld on the top of the rear sight, then filing the additions square and flat, then filing down until the rear sights are the right height for the point of impact to be the same as point of aim (my preferred hold). This would of course lower the value of the FNS because it might look ugly, but I usually don't sell my guns. If I did want to sell, it would cost me a new set of sights.

I think FN USA did not think through their marketing/engineering plans for this pistol in this market. Maybe they did not think about it, or they were lazy: did not want to spend a dime to machine/make alternatives for sights American shooters need in the American marketplace. I think it is a fine pistol, but not for recreational OR Target shooters just because of the sight situation. They have missed out on a whole market segment. If it is common for them to see aftermarket sights of different heights in their repair department, shouldn't have FNS USA realize the American shooters are used to different sight pictures than the Europeans?

What do you think?

What would you do about selling the gun or changing the sights or modifying the sights?

Thanks for reading

Auric
 

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If you sell the FNS9L and buy something else, you're going to be out a lot MORE DOLLARS than if you just buy a lower front sight or a higher rear from an aftermarket source. The solution can be quite cheap, as you only need to change one of your sights. A higher rear sight may be the easiest to find -- as you may not be able to find a front sight LOW ENOUGH for to compensate for the low POI you've described. Even if you have to pay a gunsmith, just doing one sight won't be THAT expensive.

NOTE: You do NOT need a gunsmith switch out sights when they are installed in dovetails. A small mallet/hammer and brass or nylon punch is all that's really needed. (A hardwood dowel can sometimes be used instead of a brass or nylon punch.) Be warned: some dovetails are tight!! A sight pusher (which many of us have) is better for night sights. One of your shooting buddies may have a sight pusher you can borrow. It's nice to have one with you at the range, or the mallet and punch, when you try out the new sights at the range.

Remember: rear moved in the direction you want POI to go to, front moved in opposite direction. (Some gun makers have dovetails that are directional -- in from the right, out to the left (or vice versa). I don't know if that is the case with the FNH line of guns or not. Someone here can probably address that question.)

The problem you describe is not UNIQUE to FNS. Its true of nearly all service pistols -- which are designed to shoot to point of aim at different distances ranging from 20 - 27.5 yards -- using what is called a COMBAT sight picture... with the dots aligned and aimed at a desired point of impact. Not all service pistol makers recommend the same sight picture... and almost nobody relies on the 6 O'clock hold with a service pistol. (The problem with THE 6 O'clock hold is that if you change your targets -- to a larger or smaller bull, for example -- you have to start guess-timating again.) Here's a recent discussion on shooting low from the FNX area -- same issue, similar gun. http://fnforum.net/forums/fn-fnx/74610-sights-shooting-low.html

Use the Brownells Sight Correction Calculator (below) to decide how much lower your front sight (or higher your rear) should be, and go from there. Click on the image you see when you go to the site, and it'll open a window you can use to enter your data. (I have an FNS-40L, but I'm not sure the measurements are the same. Everything is entered in INCHES. Here's a link:

http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/lid=13093/GunTechdetail/Sight_Correction_Calculator

You can go for a higher rear sight or lower front sight. Neither one should be THAT expensive, if you buy just one. (They won't be expensive if you buy both and they're not NIGHT SIGHTS!) You can also see if you can find an adjustable, which gives you more options on down the road. If you do have night sights, you can try selling them here on the forum after you've installed new ones. You'll probably find a buyer.

The FNS9C Shooting Low topic discussion in this part of the FNH forum addresses a similar issue. It's also discussed in the FNX area.

A couple of closing comments: you seem to be blaming FNH for features of the gun that you really didn't investigate thoroughly before you purchased. It is a shame that FNH doesn't have other sights available (some gunmakers do), but the aftermarket route should be relatively inexpensive and easily done. Service pistols aren't typically used for target/Bullseye competition or shooting. (If you try your SIG P220 with the same 25 yard target (NRA), I'd be surprised if you don't have similar "sight" issues -- although the rounds themselves might hit higher on the target.)

I haven't found a source, yet, for different recoil spring/guide rod assemblies... a lighter recoil spring could help with that anemic ejection, too. But I suspect trying other ammo might be more rewarding. The ammo you're shooting (115 gr UMC), while OK, isn't target ammo and not considered a hot load. Hotter ammo might help with ejection and slide speed issue, too and might even change the point of impact.

I buy my ammo in bulk, and there may be vendors near you that offer similar deals. The closer the better, as SHIPPING is expensive. Buying in bulk (500 - 1000 rounds minimum) can be pretty economical. There have been deals offered recently from Cheaper Than Dirt and some other vendors that included free shipping.
 

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Dawson Precision has lower sights and a calculator to help your sight correction. It worked for my fns9. There is a thread for this on page 3.
Try doing a search for "fns shooting low".
The Dawson sights are about $50. Some fitting is required.
I would send a link but I'm replying from my phone.
Hope this helps.
 

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So I seem to be having the same issue I'm a relatively moderate shooter and my shots from POI are down and to the left. Could it be a issue with grip/ stance I've seen targets that are suppose to correct your grip and I noticed that the results matching mine imply I'm curling or squeezing my fingers when shooting; any tips or pointers? Or could the issue be proper zeroing of the sights like the situation be discussed here? Thanks for any info awesome thread going on here!
 

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Too much finger (rather than the pad of the first joint) tends to push the gun to the left and down. It's very common for folks shooting the lighter polymer guns when they first START shooting. It can and generally does get better -- particularly if you pay attention to finger position. (It's not ALWAYS the cause of low/left, but a common one.)

Jerry Miculek has a series of great videos on YouTube about proper grip and trigger pull... well worth the time.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the info

Too much finger (rather than the pad of the first joint) tends to push the gun to the left and down. It's very common for folks shooting the lighter polymer guns when they first START shooting. It can and generally does get better -- particularly if you pay attention to finger position. (It's not ALWAYS the cause of low/left, but a common one.)

Jerry Miculek has a series of great videos on YouTube about proper grip and trigger pull... well worth the time.
Thanks Walt for the info.

As a target shooter I am used to dry fire practice to fine tune trigger finger placement. I use a dry fire cartridge. I have dry fired this pistol a lot to get familiar with it. I have found the FNS very stable i.e. not any movement of front sights when pulling the trigger.

Besides my SIG, I use a Smith Model 41 .22 for targets/recreational shooting. No problems like the FNS shooting either of those.
The SIG is not a polymer striker fire, but it is not heavy. I think it weighs in at about 28 oz. The FNS 9LS is supposed to weigh about 26 oz, but holds more ammo, so might be heavier when the magazine is full.

Most of my target shooting is with one hand.
To make sure the point of impact being so bad was not because of my handling I shot the pistol with two hands, at the range on the bench. I put a concrete cinder block on the bench, then old phone books to raise to a height so the hold would be at normal arm and eye position. I hold the pistol tight, can attain an excellent sight picture, then squeeze the trigger (same as dry fire). Still the point of impact was 8" low and to the left.

Ergo, I'm pretty sure it isn't me,
Glad to hear from the experienced people in this forum :shock:
 

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I would appear that you've got a good grip on grip (pun intended) and trigger finger placement. Sounds as though you know how to bench rest a new gun, too.

That's why I qualified my comments -- "It's not ALWAYS the cause of low/left, but a common one" -- I was trying not to offend an experienced shooter -- but keep other info in there that might help the less-experienced shooter.

Sounds like a new sight is needed -- and the "left" part of the problem can be fixed when the new sight is installed.

-------------------

The standard SIG P220 is 30+ ounces with an empty mag. I've had several 220s, a 220 Match, and a 220 Super Match. Nice guns, but believe it or not, I like my little Glock 38 (.45 GAP) better, and shoot it as well in gun game scenarios. I put a Ghost trigger in it -- not as nice as a SIG trigger, but better than stock Glock.

Re: triggers...

I'm not crazy about my FNS-40 trigger, but its better than some of the other striker-fired guns I've owned.

My FNS-40L had trigger work before I traded into it, and it's much nicer. That said, I shoot them both much better than I could shoot my Glock 35 or M&P Pro (.40), both of which had extensive trigger/action work before I got them. (The guy I traded with immediately set about shooting tiny little groups with both the Glock and the M&P Pro. That made me feel both disgusted with my shooting and even more glad that I had traded with him.)

My two FNS (and a CZ-40B) are the only .40s I've owned that I can (or in the case of the 40B, could) shoot well. I also traded away a SIG P226 X-Five Competition last year, because my groups looked like shotgun patterns when I was shooting it. I was about to give up on .40 S&W round.
 

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I would appear that you've got a good grip on grip (pun intended) and trigger finger placement. Sounds as though you know how to bench rest a new gun, too.

That's why I qualified my comments -- "It's not ALWAYS the cause of low/left, but a common one" -- I was trying not to offend an experienced shooter -- but keep other info in there that might help the less-experienced shooter.

Sounds like a new sight is needed -- and the "left" part of the problem can be fixed when the new sight is installed.

-------------------

The standard SIG P220 is 30+ ounces with an empty mag. I've had several 220s, a 220 Match, and a 220 Super Match. Nice guns, but believe it or not, I like my little Glock 38 (.45 GAP) better, and shoot it as well in gun game scenarios. I put a Ghost trigger in it -- not as nice as a SIG trigger, but better than stock Glock.

Re: triggers...

I'm not crazy about my FNS-40 trigger, but its better than some of the other striker-fired guns I've owned.

My FNS-40L had trigger work before I traded into it, and it's much nicer. That said, I shoot them both much better than I could shoot my Glock 35 or M&P Pro (.40), both of which had extensive trigger/action work before I got them. (The guy I traded with immediately set about shooting tiny little groups with both the Glock and the M&P Pro. That made me feel both disgusted with my shooting and even more glad that I had traded with him.)

My two FNS (and a CZ-40B) are the only .40s I've owned that I can (or in the case of the 40B, could) shoot well. I also traded away a SIG P226 X-Five Competition last year, because my groups looked like shotgun patterns when I was shooting it. I was about to give up on .40 S&W round.
What kind of work did you do to the trigger?
 

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Look into sevignyperformance.com should have some replacement sights for your application.

I too HAD a 9L, sold it couple of months ago. Pretty accurate for me. Although I did exhibit the same problems, just had to modify my hold. This firearm was mainly used for cover and shooting, practical shooting with more than 5000 rounds. I do miss it some times lol
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks geewhiz! I found the Dawson site for sights hehehe
Found the Brownells calculator. 0.061 is the amount it looks like I need to take off the front sight according to the calculator. That looks to be about 1/3 of the white front dot.
or another way is to find the front sight that is (.220 - .060 =) .160" tall

Sportsman Warehouse has free shipping pretty often.
Also some times I use ammoseek.com and slickguns.com to find deals.

I reload the .45, got the equipment last week to start reloading 9mm, got to get it set up still, can fine tune once I start that process.

Thanks for the help!
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Look into sevignyperformance.com should have some replacement sights for your application.

I too HAD a 9L, sold it couple of months ago. Pretty accurate for me. Although I did exhibit the same problems, just had to modify my hold. This firearm was mainly used for cover and shooting, practical shooting with more than 5000 rounds. I do miss it some times lol
How did you modify your hold?
Ooops, you meant the hold for your sight picture. I thought you meant the hold pertaining to the grip
 

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natethegr8 said:
What kind of work did you do to the trigger?
It wasn't me! It was someone who knew what he was doing! :idea:

Don't know what was done. The fellow I traded with/got it from is an airline pilot and he had the work done somewhere out West(ish)... Colorado I think. All I know is that the trigger is cleaner, crisper, and a little lighter. I'd have the other FNS-40 done if I could find out who did it. (I will try to contact the prior owner and see if he kept any records -- he lives nearby.)

I think I'm going to get a 9mm conversion barrel for the FNS-40, and leave the FNS-40L as a .40.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Hi again,

Took some pictures of the range, wanted you to see what I am looking at

ARC club pistol range.jpg
Pistol Range at ARC - covered shooters, also covered from rear so sights look very dark

NRA target at 25 yards.jpg

Standard NRA Pistol Target at 25 yards


Target vs front sight size.jpg
Target vs FNS 9LS front sight width. The front sight is not clear, but you can see that the dot on the front sight is larger than the bulls eye

FNS Sight picture.jpg
Approximate sight picture, but poor alignment on target, called at 3 0'clock out side of bulls eye if front and rear sights were level.

Sorry, holding the pistol steady, phone camera steady, snapping shutter on opposite end of screen was difficult.
But I wanted you to see how much of the bulls eye is not visible behind the target, and how the dot is not bright under the cover.

I called FN USA and asked if they would like to see the pics showing how much of the target is covered by their front sight,
they said no, this is a combat pistol only, not intended for using on targets. They also told me that when the FNS first came out, it was "set up" for a target market, but so many requests for the combat version led them to abandon the target version. But so far as I can learn, FN FNS has only had one front sight, and one rear sight available.
Like what ya'll said, FNS suggested going after market.

Shooting it again, brass not in face, but ejection not strong. HAHAHA, reminds me of popcorn popping, although popcorn popping would probably go higher, further. Brass ejects in small arc almost straight up, maybe 6-8 inches high, lands about a foot away.

With a lot of things, YMMV - Your Mileage May Vary.
Not all things work well for everyone. Maybe it just won't work for me.

Thinking about going ahead an buying Walter PPQ, see how I do with it, the decide what to do with FNS

Any suggestions or comments on the pictures?
 

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If other things about the FNS seems wrong, then certainly, try something else. But if the sights are the only issue, change out the rear sight and find one that lets you align them on TOP of the front and rear. (Black out the dots with a "sharpie" or just get a new front and rear. (Or maybe adjustable sights, for that matter.)

My FNS-40 has an OK trigger, but I'm not sure I'd want to use it for target work at 25 yards with such a small bullseye.

If money isn't an overwhelming issue, I'd look at a used SIG P226 X-FIVE in 9mm, or a used SIG P210. Or maybe a S&W 952.

Or, sacrilege, I'm sure, look at a CZ-75B based SA (single action) such as the SP-01 Shadow Target ($1550). I like CZs a lot, and it (or the guns above) might be a better fit for target. There are less expensive options, too. Here are two links: CZ Custom CZ Custom Pistols

Here's a link to the Shadow target: CZ-USA CZ 75 SP-01 Shadow Target II - (CZ Custom) - CZ-USA
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Walt,
That is the standard 25 yard NRA target. Black is about 5 1/2"

I think that if I had the $$$$ for the SIG P226 X-Five, I would buy a SCAR instead hahaha

I'll update soon, if I decide on the Walther and or mod the FNS. I might be more inclined to cut down the FNS front sight a bit (still have a dot), and build up the rear sight to get an impact at point of aim and still be able to use the dots for combat in a good lighting situation.

The FNS has a wider and taller sight than my SIG. The dot is much bigger.
These are approximate measurements

Width Height Dot diameter
FNS .131 .215 .110
SIG .119 .117 .084

I did try to move the rear sight a little using a block of oak and a hammer. Was not able to move the rear sight when hitting as hard as I was comfortable with, which seemed hitting it pretty hard to me.
 

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auric said:
I think that if I had the $$$$ for the SIG P226 X-Five, I would buy a SCAR instead hahaha
Can you use that with NRA 25 yard pistol competition?

What are the other guys you shoot around using? (And do any of them have a sight pusher you can get them to bring to the range?)

I have one, but there are cheaper ones... if you have more than one or two handguns, they pay off over time. Here's what available on EBAY:

handgun sight pusher tool | eBay

I have an earlier version of the B&J Machine P500 Pro, but it was a lot cheaper about 10 years ago when I bought it. It works with front or rear sights.



Around here (in town, in Winston-Salem, NC) there aren't that many places nearby that lets you do much with long guns. One range I can join is marvelous, but it's about a 45 minute drive (or more). My family with land suitable for long-guns live farther away than that.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for the link for the pusher!

I'm just a recreational / target shooter, I just shoot for fun, like the concentration, challenge and kick. I don't do competition. I use the NRA target because it's a standard commonly used, easily found for sale.

Most of the time when I'm at the range, I'm the only one there. That makes it nice, quiet, maybe a little safer. The club is pretty cool: pay a low yearly fee, then they give you a gate card. For me, it's about 15 minutes away. All members have access from dawn to dusk 365 @ year, as often as you want to shoot. 5 different "standard" ranges with pistol, plinking, centerfire rifle, .22 and silhouette. In the last few years they've added 5 or so practical ranges that host steel challenges, rent out for CHL classes, etc.

Most of the other guys I see shooting target for centerfire use 1911 A1 style .45s. I've never been a fan of the pistols with either a beavertail safety or a barrel bushing.

If I modify the FNS sights, I'll probably just do it while the sights are on the gun. Just have to protect areas not to be worked on. I can file the inside rear sight to correct the windage, as well as widen the opening so there will be a little more light between the front blade and rear sight. I'm sure you know this, but the further you hold the pistol away from the eyes (a one hand fully extended reach like for target shooting), the smaller the openings on the sides between the front blade and the rear sight.
 

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I use targets I download from various websites. Do a search and you can print out your own. (I found many, including the ones linked below, from this search on GOOGLE:
free handgun targets for download.)

Not free, of course, because printer ink (or toner) isn't always cheap, but these do-it-yourself targets tend to be quite a bit cheaper than ones you must buy. Pick ones with a BIG bullseye that fils an 8 1/2"x11" sheet, and they'll work on a 25 yard stand. I use some similar ones at 20 yards (I shoot mostly indoors), and an extra 15 feet isn't likely to make them unusable.

You may have to hunt until you find some that do what you want them to do. Here are a couple of different options:

Targets - Print your own bullseye shooting targets

http://www.accurateshooter.com/shooting-skills/targets/

Free Paper Shooting Targets

Free Targets
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Is there anyway to troubleshoot or figure out how your sights are on correctly or correctly sighted?
Hi nate!

Three ways I can think of offhand to check the sights:
a)Have another shooter shoot the pistol - though the other person might use a different sight picture, or grip, but if they can get a good grouping it will show that the pistol is not seriously at fault, it might be something you are doing differently than the other shooter. If they do get good groups, ask the other shooter to show you what they did.
b) Shoot the gun from a rest to see if it is grouping. The most important thing is the size of the group. A smaller, tighter group is what you want. If the group is too low, or too high, too far left, or too far right, then you know the sights need to be adjusted or changed.
There are places on the web that explain shooting from a rest, like Can someone explain how to benchrest shoot a pistol - THR
Always pull the trigger straight back with the trigger finger when shooting. Using snap-caps when dry firing practice helps fine tune your trigger squeezing.
c) Use a bore sight device. The device is a laser, either inserted into the muzzle, or a cartridge that is put into the chamber. The device will let you see if your windage is correct. But for elevation, the laser dot will be off if you sight closer or further than where the gun is sighted in for. Remember, the bullet leaves the barrel and does not fly straight, it arcs up, then down.
Bore sight
LaserLyte ? Bore Sight .22-.50 MBS-1
Cartridge bore sight
LaserLyte ? Trainer Pistol Cartridge
This cartridge sight is also a trainer. It is very sensitive to sound, so when the striker hits, hammer strikes, it triggers the laser for a second, long enough to see where you hit using your sights.

There are other bore sighting devices out there, besides this brand

Walt, or others here might have good input on this too
 
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