Zeroing any optic is one of the key factors that ensure your bullet will hit where you want it to. So, you will also be required to zero your red dot sight before you start using it for target shooting or defense. This is what makes it so important that you know the proper steps to zero your dot sight. And this article is all about it! Here you will get the info you need to zero a red dot.

However, before we move on to the “zeroing steps”, let’s address the all time debatable question, “From what distance should you zero the red dot sight?”

Well, we don’t know what you heard from others about it or what you personally believe, the fact is there is no right answer for it. This entirely depends on the shooter’s preferences and needs. But one thing is sure that you should zero the dot from a close distance.

Hence, if you want to zero the sight from 10 yards, you can. If you want to zero it from 25 yards, that’s also fine. There is no need to make a big fuss about it, just make sure you’re zeroing it from a closer distance and period!

But as we committed, you will get all the info for zeroing a red dot, let us inform you what many expert marksmen suggest. They say if you have a concealed carry gun or any sort of defense firearm, it is better to zero the sight from 10 yards. Whereas for target shooting guns, it will be better to make zero from 25 yards.

What Are The Steps For Zeroing The Red Dot Sight?

The good thing is the zeroing process for red dots is quite easy. You just need to be aware of the target distance, the MOA adjustment system of your red dot, and a bit of patience to go through the steps. Now when you’ve checked in with all these factors, let’s get down to the business!

Step 1: Hold your gun in a stable position. For that use something like “MTM PST-11 Predator Shooting Table”.

Step 2: Now bore-sight your gun. It helps to align the barrel and the optic to make perfect aim on the target. We will recommend using chambered laser boresighters or muzzle-mounted lasers for this step.

Step 3: Shoot a group of rounds and check where the point of impact of the bullets is.

Step 4: A bit of calculation is needed in this step. Because you need to find out the amount of MOA adjustments the red dot requires to make the shots nearer to the bull’s eye. To make the calculation clearer, we will discuss this part from a hypothetical situation.

25 Yards

Suppose you have made these shots from 25 yards with a 1 MOA adjustment system red dot. Now if you start with the elevation adjustment, you can see the point of impact is 3.75” lower than the bull’s eye. So in order to make the elevation adjustment upward, first find out how many MOA adjustments you need:

  • At 100 yards 1”= 1 MOA and at 25 yards 1”= 4 MOA
  • So to compensate 3.75” bullet drop at 25 yard distance, you will need: (3.75×4) = 15 MOA

Since 1 MOA adjustment needs 1 click, to make 15 MOA adjustments you will need 15 clicks. Hence, take a screwdriver and make 15 clicks clockwise for elevation adjustment. To better understanding; use this Scope Calculator.

Similarly, you can find the windage adjustment for the red dot. First, find out the amount of the MOA adjustment which is here 10 MOA (2.5×4). Then count how many clicks you need for the windage adjustment, in this case, you will be required to make 10 clicks. Lastly, with a screwdriver make 10 clicks counterclockwise in the windage adjustment.

Note that MOA clicks vary depending on the optic’s adjustment system. Here we have made the calculation assuming a shooter is using 1 MOA per click red dot. But if you have other types of MOA adjustment systems like ¼ or ½ MOA per click, your measurement result will be different than this one.

Step 5: This is the last step that you need to complete. After making the adjustments, shoot a group of rounds to check whether the adjustments have been corrected or not. If you see it still needs a bit of correction, repeat the adjustment process.

Pro tip: It is especially for the shooter who zeros their red dots from 10 yards of distance. Once you’ve zeroed your gun, you can do a drill named 10, 10, 10 drill. It mainly means you have to shoot 10 rounds from 10 yards, within 10 seconds.

This sounds a lot of fun but it is really helpful as well. Because it will give a benchmark of whether you can make shots in quick response moments or not. To do the drill, use a B8 paper target.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How accurate is a red dot?

Accuracy is one of the key features of a red dot. You can easily shoot from low to mid range distances with this sight. Plus, a red dot also allows you to shoot accurately in low light conditions.

2. Can you use a red dot with iron sights?

Yes, you can use them together. But it’s not necessary to use an iron sight with a red dot. Because the red dot itself is good enough to give you the precise shots you are looking for. In fact, in some instances using an iron sight with a red dot causes problems in aiming.

3. Where should you zero your red dot sight?

It is better to zero your red dot sight in a large range or backyard. This way you will be able to zero the sight more accurately. However, if you don’t have access to the large field you can also do it in your home. Check out this video clip, If you want to know how you can zero a red dot at home.

4. How far can you shoot with a red dot and magnifier?

With a red dot, you can shoot up to 200 yards. But using a magnifier along with a red dot will make your shooting at that distance more accurate and quick. The level of magnification varies (2x-6x) in different magnifiers. So, whenever you purchase a magnifier to use with a red dot, make sure it has perfect compatibility with your red dot.


To sum up, the zeroing process of a red dot is really important to ensure the accurate target acquisition. You can choose your own preferred target distance for this procedure but always start with close range distance.

Moreover, the steps are simple yet require a bit of patience to follow. So, we suggest you go through the steps carefully. Take your time to complete the steps, don’t skip anything. It will surely help you to make your red dot perfectly zero.

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