How to Zero a Red Dot Sight for Your Pistol

Okay, so you just picked up a new red dot sight for your pistol and you can’t wait to try it out. Unfortunately, a red dot isn’t exactly a “plug and play” option. Even after you get it attached to your pistol, you’re going to need to zero it in. That’s where we come in. In this post, we’re going to cover how to zero a red dot, including how to zero a red dot at home without shooting.

How to zero a red dot sight

How to Zero a Red Dot Sight for Your Pistol

To learn the best red dot zeroing technique, we went to the best: the people at Aimpoint. They’re the ones who first invented the electronic red dot optic way back in the 1970s, and they know a thing or two about how to zero a red dot sight for a pistol or rifle.

Aimpoint breaks it down into a five-step process. First, set up a target at 25 meters (we can use yards since this is America). Next, find a solid, comfortable rest for your pistol and aim your red dot at the target. Then, give your trigger a firm squeeze and send one bullet downrange.

At this point, you’ll need to adjust your red dot depending on where your shot ends up. Your red dot will have elevation and windage knobs or buttons. You’ll use these to dial your shots in. If your shots are too low, move your dot upwards.

how to zero a red dot sight

If they’re going to the left, move your dot to the right.

Adjust red dot sight

Once you’ve made your adjustments, fire another shot. If it’s on the money, you’re good to go. If not, repeat this process until you’re nailing bullseyes.

How to zero a red dot sight at home without shooting

How to Zero a Red Dot At Home - Without Shooting

Don’t have access to a range to get your pistol’s red dot sight dialed in? No problem. You can still learn how to zero a red dot at home without shooting your pistol thanks to a method known as “bore sighting.”

The method is fairly simple. However, you will need one specialized tool, known as a “bore sight.” This nifty item is essentially a laser pointer with a magnet on the back. You can use the magnet to attach the bore sight to the muzzle of your pistol. Then, when you turn on the laser, it will point in a straight line, essentially tracing the path a bullet would make.

To bore sight your pistol, set up a target about 25 yards away. Then, attach your bore sight to your pistol and turn on the laser. Aim the laser at your target. Finally, adjust your red dot so that it matches up with the laser pointer. Voila! Great success.

Unfortunately, bore sighting isn’t a perfect solution. This technique can get your pistol red dot sighted in well enough to be hitting in the same area code as your target. You’re still going to need to do a little bit of shooting to really get your red dot dialed in. However, bore sighting is a great way to get started sighting your pistol. And it’ll definitely save you some time at the range (and some ammo) if you zero your red dot at home without shooting.

Holsters for Pistols with Red Dot Sights

Zeroing your red dot is just part of the battle. You’re also going to need a holster that fits your pistol’s new footprint. Luckily, you’re in the right place. Check out all of Southern Trapper’s holster options to find out more.

red dot sight holster