How to Zero Red Dot Sight – Step by Step Guide 2023

How to Zero Red Dot Sight - Step by Step Guide

How to Zero Red Dot Sight – Step by Step Guide 2023


A red dot sight is nothing but a type of optic that is used by beginners and trainers. Red dot sights are used for close to moderate ranges like around 100 yards or maybe less than that. Red dot sight uses a simple red dot as a reticle. They make aiming very simplified and because of this, it is ideal to be used by first-time shooters as they can acquire their target easily. However, to make the most out of this tool, it is essential to zero the sight accurately. Zeroing ensures that the point of aim matches the point of impact, resulting in precise and consistent shots.

This article will be going to reveal some crucial steps to zero a red dot sight for optimal accuracy. But before that, certain important points need to be understood.


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As the name indicates, the red dot sight employs a red LED, aligning the red dot reticle with your gun. This red dot helps you aim accurately with your gun, no matter how you position your eyes. The red dot has a special spherical mirror that’s slightly tilted. This mirror reflects the red light from the LED. The mirror has a special coating that only lets the red light go through, which is why we call it a “red dot” sight. In simple words, LED creates a beam of red light that strikes the titled spherical mirror, the reflected beam of light will create a reticle for you.

This sight is versatile because the red dot stays on target even if you are shaking your head. When you aim your gun, you will see the red dot pointing where your bullet will go. It’s clear against dark backgrounds or in green woods. The LED uses very little power, so the red dot can last a long time, even thousands of hours, depending on how bright you set it.

The way the mirror is positioned, only you can see the red dot when you aim, but someone looking from the other side won’t see it. This is great because it won’t scare animals away since no light is visible from the other side.


Understanding MOA is extremely important if you want to zero your red dot sight accurately and make precise adjustments to ensure your shots hit where you aim.

The size of the red dot is measured in MOA which is a minute of angle and how much it will cover distance.1 MOA is equal to 1 inch at 100 yards. a 2MOA red dot means that the dot covers a 2-inch diameter on the target at 100 yards. This means that if you use a 3MOA red dot sight at a target 100 yards away, all your shots will hit within a 3-inch circle. For larger and fast-moving targets at a closer range always choose a large red dot. However for highly precise shots at long-distance always use smaller red dot MOA.

MOA, or Minute of Angle, is your go-to tool for making fast and precise adjustments to your red dot sight when zeroing at different distances like 25 yards or 100 yards. It simplifies the adjustment process using a straightforward formula, ensuring accuracy and ease of use regardless of the distance you’re working with.

The formula is:

Distance between the point of impact and point of aim (inches) / [Distance in yards / 100]


When setting up a red dot sight, start by choosing your desired aiming distance. It depends on the type of gun and what you’ll be using it for.

If you’re putting a red dot on a pistol, a good starting point is to aim for a 25-yard zero. This works well for most uses of a pistol.

But if you’re putting the red dot on a rifle, a 50-yard zero is often a better choice. 


Step 1: Gather All the Necessary Equipment

First of all, gather all the necessary equipment that you will need during the process of zeroing the red dot sight.

Red-dot sight Make sure it is properly mounted on your firearm

Stable shooting platform for a comfortable zeroing process. A sandbag or bench will be effective for a stable shooting platform.

TargetsàChoose paper targets and ensure that it has clearly defined bullseyes for precise adjustments.

Step 2: Maintain suitable distance:

it is recommended to stay 25 yards away from the target while using rifles whereas 15 yards away while using pistols. Remember, you have to maintain the same distance throughout the zeroing process.

Step 3: Target the bullseye:

Now, using any stable and comfortable position of your choice, aim your firearm at the center of the target(bullseye). Take a few shots and determine the point of impact

Step 4: Record the Initial Point of Impact:

Now carefully examine the shots on the target and the area they have landed. Measure the distance from the bullseyes to the place they have landed. Now record the distance from the desired point of impact.

Step 5: Calculate and make adjustments:

in Step 4, you have got your point of aim and point of impact, measure the distance in inches and convert them into MOA using the formula:

Distance between the point of impact and point of aim (inches) / [Distance in yards / 100]

Now, with the help of adjustment knobs on your red dot sights, make adjustments based on the calculations you have done.

Step 6: Test the adjustments you have made:

Fire a few more shots on your target and observe the adjustment you have made.

Repeat this process until your shots consistently hit the center of the target. Now you have successfully zeroed your red dot sight.


Red Dot sight is an extremely useful tool especially when it comes to beginners and trainers. For accurate and consistent shoots, zeroing a red dot is an extremely crucial process. With the help of the above-mentioned steps for zeroing a red dot sight, any level of shooter can easily optimize his firearms for perfect accuracy, either for shooting sports or for self-defense.


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