red dot sighting for target shooting practice

Step by Step Guide: How to Zero a Red Dot

- CreativeXP Brand Team

Red dot sights are gaining traction as one of the most popular accessories for both pistols and rifles. If you are wondering what zeroing your red dot means, or the methods on how to zero a red dot, you've come to the right spot!

What Does Zeroing Your Red Dot Mean?

If sighting in your rifle appears like a complex task, zeroing your red dot can be a perfect solution. Zeroing your red dot lets you focus on your target, eye position notwithstanding. Whether you are on a military mission or are on your hunting escapades, you can mount an HD red dot sight or the red dot magnifier on your rifle or pistol to boost focus.

When you zero your red dot, you create a point of aim that you can comfortably work with. You can then aim at your target with improved accuracy. With red dot sights, the reticle and the target are placed on a similar optical plane. This creates a single point of focus, thus improving your shooting accuracy. For better results, you can zero your red dot from a short distance, and then make adjustments when required.

In addition, a red dot sight has adjustable brightness to assist in your shooting skills. You can focus on the object you wish to shoot and adjust the brightness depending on the environment. With the micro red dot optics adjustment option lets you adjust brightness, either manually or automatically, to match the lighting around your immediate environment. For this reason, you can shoot accurately at any time of the day and also improve your night vision.   

To ensure that you never miss your target, plan to have backup iron sights. This lets you shoot your target even when the batteries fail. Also, you can control how you move your point of impact.

Benefits Of Zeroing Your Red Dot

Whether you own spotting scopes, pistol, or any type of rifle, zeroing your red dot gives you the following benefits:

  • Improved point of aim and point of impact.
  • Enhanced shooting skills
  • You get a faster target acquisition
  • You also get to improve your shooting accuracy
  • Zeroing your red dot also gives you a clear view of the target

2 Methods On How To Zero A Red Dot

There are various ways through which you can zero a red dot that cuts across different firearms. Here are the 2 most common methods for zeroing red dots:

1. The Unsupported Method

If you have enough shooting experience, you may consider using the unsupported method. You will aim your red dot at an object without resting your rifle on a bench. You will be better positioned to know the actual outcome when in the field. Ideally, you don't place your rifle on a bench or any other stable place when in the field. This will test your accuracy and speed of target acquisition.

However, you must be experienced and confident. You must have a firm grip, where slight adjustments won't affect your stability.  

2. The Supported Method

With the supported method, you must ensure that you get the least human error possible. This can be achieved by ensuring that your rifle or pistol is in a stable position. If you shoot three times and still hit the same spot, you are good to go. If you are new to shooting, the supported method would be a perfect choice. The laser bore sight is a great supporting method that can help you improve your shooting accuracy.

How The Laser Bore Sight Method Works 

If you are operating on a tight budget, the laser bore sight method can be a great way to save you some cash. Laser bore sights are designed in such a way that they can fit into the barrel chamber of your rifle or pistol.

With the laser bore sights, you get closer to the target. Therefore, you need less ammunition as you won't have to experiment for long. Also, you won't have to waste a lot of time trying to practice, so you can easily fine-tune your shooting skills.

In laser bore sighting, you align the center of your barrel with the sight on your rifle or pistol. Whether you are a beginner or have perfected your shooting skills, this method is easy to learn and apply. You will take just a few minutes to complete the process.

Here is what you need to do:

  • Unload your firearm
  • Ensure that the bolt is removed from the bolt action. If your rifle is in the AR category, remove the charging handle.
  • Place it on a firm place
  • Align the center of the bore with the center of the optic. This ensures that both the bore and the optic match perfectly. Ensure that you have a clear view of the barrel from the back of the rifle.
  • Place a target about 25 yards from your rifle and check to see if the target is in clear view
  • Place the gun in such a way that your target's center is near the middle of the bore
  • Fine-tune your point of aim and point of focus to ensure that your target is in range
  • Now, place your target at about 100 yards and test your rifle. You should be able to shoot your target with live ammunition without fail. Laser bore sighting ensures that you are close enough to the center, thus use less ammunition in your shooting practice.

If you can bore sight at 25 yards, this is a clear indication that your shooting accuracy will be enhanced. You won't have to waste your ammunition with too much practice.  You can shoot live ammunition from as far as 50 yards from zero to 100 yards with improved accuracy.

What Distance Do You Zero Your Red Dot?

The distance largely depends on the distance of your target as well as the type of your firearm. However, the recommended distance is 15-25 yards. This may vary depending on the reason for zeroing your red dot. Most rifle users can comfortably work at a distance of 25 yards. With this distance, you won't have to adjust your point of aim to get the desired point of impact.

However, you may have to establish your point of impact beforehand to ensure that the bullet hits the exact point of aim. 

The Takeaway

If you need to improve your shooting skills, zeroing a red dot can be a great option. In addition to giving you a clear view of the target, zeroing your red dot also gives you a faster acquisition of the target. This minimizes the time spent as you try to capture your target, thus boosting your shooting skills. However, you should select a method you will be comfortable with. If you are a beginner, consider the supported method as this will help you perfect your shooting without wasting much of your time. You will also spend less ammunition, thus saving you some cash. If you are experienced, you may want to consider the unsupported method. Besides helping you improve your shooting skills, you will boost your confidence.

For more information on how to zero a red dot, Creative XP has got you covered. We have all the resources you need to perfect your shooting skills and make shooting fun.

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