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Morning Everyone!

So I am a traditionalist and out of my entire collection of 70 pistols only 2 have optics....
1. I cannot zero the thing
2. I cannot find the dag on red dot
3. Ive been using my irons so long it feels unnatural.

My few questions are.....

1. How do you properly zero your red dot (yes ive read other threads still cannot master)
2. Is your dot suppossed to sit dead on your front sight?
3. Does the red dot actually improve your aim enough to warrant spending $300-$500 on a red dot.


thank you
 

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I got my first pistol with a RDS recently. An Ed brown LS-10. It came with a Trigicon unit. And I took it out of the box and I have a 12" steel gong hanging about 20 yards from my work shop. The gun also has traditional sights to cowitness. The dot appears slightly up from the traditional sights. It was ding, ding, ding on the gong from the get-go.
Play with it, it will come to you IMO. Dub gave you some good advice also.
Air gun Trigger Wood Gun barrel Everyday carry
 

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I use laser Wheeler sight to get a prelim zero at 25 yards. Then I use a high contrast small target ( 2 inch shoot and see circle) and do a walkback zeroing with 3 to 5 shots starting at 7 yards and that target gets me out to 50 feet. I'll change it there to 3 inch, and then continue to 25 yards. I confirm my zero at that distance using a noncontrast small target, and then USPSA target. All shooting done freestyle. I never call it fully confirmed until I do another verification session. If I zeroed it indoors, I will make sure to confirm it outdoors too.
There's plenty of opinions about what zero distance should be, some peope use 10, others 18. 25 has worked for me.

RDS improves a lot of things, beyond the aim, enough for me to have justified $3000 - $5000 or so that I have spent on what I have here. You do have to put your work in. I did ok without paying to teaching pros although I did pick a couple of helpful hints later.
 

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What YVK said, 100%.
Laser bore sight 1st, just adjust RD close to the laser. Go from there.
After the 1st-RD-adjust (live fire two rounds), make note of the diff on target between laser and your 1st & 2nd rounds. Then fire off another 10-20. Do the last few rounds fall into the same diff as the 1st two? This is a easy indicator to how stable the RD is on the firearm. If it shows solidly mounted, then start the process of target shooting, small distance with RD adjusting, step back 5yds fire a few more, adjust as needed, repeat, etc.

Also to note, if the 1st ~20 rounds are wild diffs from the 1st few, might be bad mount, might be a bad RD.
 

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1911s and AR-15. I like building and tinkering.
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Here's what you do:

1) Get a laser bore sight and put it in. Now, put the target at whatever distance you want to zero your pistol at.

2) Aim your red dot at the target, holding it as steady as you can. If possible, have someone there with you. What they'll do is put a pasty, or mark the spot, where the bore laser hits the target while you keep the red dot on center. You may be able to do this yourself somehow, but you got to make sure that red dot is aimed right.

Try to be as precise as possible.

Now, at this point, you might want to make copies of this target, with bore laser marked right where you want it in case you need an additional target or 2. This is a good reason to use cheap paper plates you can get at any store.

3) Now load up the ammo you want zeroed and aim again for the center of the target. Nevermind the mark you made earlier, just aim as you normally would. Try to be as accurate as possible to create a tight group, wherever it may hit. Do not adjust the red dot at any point until the next step.

4) Once you've made a tight group you're happy with, put the bore laser back in. Odds are, where the bore laser hit is going to be different than where the bullets hit. Keeping the bore laser right where you made the mark earlier, adjust the red dot until it's centered on your group.

Your red dot is now zeroed.

You can repeat this if you want, hone that zero just a bit more.

Now, this is key: Keep the target. Next time you need to zero a red dot at that distance for that particular gun with that ammo, that will be your zeroing template. Write everything you need to know on the target, the gun, ammo, distance, etc.. and file it away for later. Next time you need to zero, you won't have to fire off a shot.

Hope this helps.
 

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Lots of good ideas with a bore laser...will need to try it one of these days...

What I've done in the past (Holosun 507K and Romeo 1 Pro) is...

Find the dot on the screen...aim the dot on target bullseye...highly recommend to use a bench rest for this...shoot several times always aiming the dot at the bullseye. Where did the bullet hit the target...? Adjust accordingly, repeat...

It really doesn't matter if the dot is anywhere near the iron sights...for now...

Start with target at about 5 yards and repeat with greater distances until you are satisfied honing in.

All this time you should be using a bench rest...and placing the dot "around" the middle of the screen...for now.

You can make final adjustments later...
 

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RDSs are usually high enough that there is no co-witness with the irons on a pistol. However, such combos with unusually tall sights exist. The irons and the reflex dot sight are not to be used at the same time for shooting, although if you have the special pistol with the tall sights to match the dot sight, and the sights are on target, you can use them to rough in the dot sight by putting the dot on the front sight while having your usual target picture with the sights.
Otherwise, ignore the sights because they're too short to co-witness.
The bore laser is a great idea, but you can do it in the backyard or in a building that's big enough because no shooting is required. Just load the bore laser into the chamber and point it at something about 25 yards away. Now adjust the dot sight so the dot and the laser dot merge. You're done. The pistol is now suitable for any use although you might take it to the range and make fine adjustments at 25 yards if needed.
The thing that makes the reflex dot sight so valuable is that it doesn't matter where the dot appears as long as you can see it (after sighting-in), so think of it as a laser sight - wherever the dot appears, that's where the bullet is going. That's what makes it so fast to hit multiple targets - nothing to line up - shoot when the dot is on the target.
If you don't do the bore laser, you'll have to start by aiming at a point 10 feet away and firing. adjust the sight and shoot again, walking it in. Then try 30', then 45' (15 yds). Once you get it on at 15 yds you might just leave it like that depending on what you're going to do with it.
 

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The red dots have the dot focused in the distance, so you have to do the opposite of iron sights, focus your eye on the target and the red dot will be focused in front of it.

The red dot works off geometry and parallax, that is why it can acquire target so much faster than iron sights. You simply put the red dot on the target, it can be anywhere in the window, as long as its on the target the pistol is line up (if its zeroed in properly) no line up with other sights necessary. For at target less than 7 yards and putting the red dot on the edges of the window, error comes into play and it could be a little off. If your shooting targets close up, keep the red dot near the center of the window.

Rectangle Slope Font Parallel Pattern

Basically, the curve of the window reflects the dot projected on it, so that it will line up properly with the target, regardless of where you line your eye up in the window. But I have found you get a little off if you put the dot on the edges of the window.

You can practice at home, the muscle memory of raising the pistol level enough with the red dot to the eye level to acquire the red dot quickly over the target. At first I spent a lot of time hunting for the red dot each time I raised the pistol, after a little practice at home and developing some muscle memory, I can easily acquire the red dot right away.

In fact I have found the medium sized windowed red dots, like the RMR with a little practice I can acquire the red dot just as fast as the bigger windowed red dots like the DeltaPoint Pro and Sig Romeo 1 Pro, making the bigger window only result in getting in the way.

Remember, the arrows on the red dot are for moving the dot to the point of impact, usually 1/4 MOA. So if your hitting left of the point of aim, you want to turn the knob in the direction of right. It just takes one time reversing that in your head and adjusting the opposite to screw you up and it will be two more range visits before you get it back to close to accurate.

I have three red dots, actually 5 now, but the other two are for my 1911 80% frame projects that I am finishing the cerakoting yet to be mounted when the job is all done.

2 of the three, came with suppressor height sights from the factory that are perfect for co-witnessing with the smaller red dots.

So my FN FNX-45 Tactical with Trijicon RMR, the factory suppressor height sights were very accurate and co-witness with this red dot perfectly. I simply started by adjusting the red dot to line up with the iron sights as I co-witnessed with them. After that is very minor, one or two click adjustments.

My SA XD-M Elite OSP with a Vortex OPMOD Viper, the factory suppressor height sights were very accurate and co-witness with this red dot perfectly. I simply started by adjusting the red dot to line up with the iron sights as I co-witnessed with them. After that is very minor, one or two click adjustments.

No my Sig P320 M-18, the rear sight is in the optics plate and I mounted a DeltaPoint Pro on it, since it was designed for the delta point pro. The delta point pro is too big to be able to co-witness with suppressor height sights. I did get some sights big enough to co-witness, but they were not a matched set and they shoot high. I had a heck of a time zeroing the Deltapoint pro because of this.

Since the Romeo 1 Pro and Deltapoint Pro are so alike, this is likely your problem as well.

What I did to finally get it down, was get a rubber block bench rest and shoot from 7 yards out, just the red dot, forget the iron sights and co-witness, they were unreliable. I finally got it zeroed in and started walking out the distance of the target to adjust finer.
 

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RD's on pistol are a lot different than on a rifle.

FYI, the closer to you the more "stereo" you get with your eyes. When the RD is far away you get optic housing shrouding and less "stereo". Example, far away its hard to use just one eye through the optic because sight line converges rather quickly. For many, farther away the dot will appear to dupe itself because both eyes have it "in view", thus the dot appears "blurry". Easy to demonstrate: 1) hold you hand out one finger up, put finger in sight line with object on wall, but focus on the object, you'll see your finger "blurry" (duped, one per eye). 2) now hold your finger right in front of your dominant eye, and focus on object on wall, you'll see just one finger.

I prefer good "stereo" when I use optics (mono in this case, and closer to me), so I can keep both eyes open on the target and have one eye free from the optic. Lucky for me, I am a righty and right eye dominant. Mixed eye can be problematic. OP needs to consider eye dominance.
 

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I prefer good "stereo" when I use optics (mono in this case, and closer to me), so I can keep both eyes open on the target and have one eye free from the optic.
That is always the case with RDS, rifle or pistol, right? Only the eye behind the sight sees the dot, the second eye can't so its only role is to look at the target.
Or I am missing what you're trying to convey?
 
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That is always the case with RDS, rifle or pistol, right? Only the eye behind the sight sees the dot, the second eye can't so its only role is to look at the target.
Or I am missing what you're trying to convey?
Not when you hold a pistol stance, Weaver / Isosceles, etc. On a pistol a RD is way further out ("arms length") than say on a shouldered rifle.

Use my finger example, pretend that's the dot.

Right handed left eye dominant poses problems.
 

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Shooting both eyes open, pretty sure is more of a brain thing, combining the image of both eyes. When I don't do it right, my eyes go all goofing and its like I can see the iron sight blinking in and out of my vision, when you really should see the iron sight like you're looking at it with both eyes, despite it only being in the path of one eye. Even with a red dot, you're NOT looking through the window and at the dot with both eyes, its only lining up with one eye, your brain is combining the image so that it appears like you see it with both eyes. Its more of a train your brain type thing to shoot both eyes open than it is setting up sights so you look through it with both eyes. Until there are RDS with windows 50% bigger than your interpupilary distance (the distance between the pupils of your eyes) you not going to be able to look through the window with the same image in both eyes.

Now that I think about it, I do seem to think its easier to get fidelity in the image with both eyes open with the sight further than closer. But I think what really helps is the RDS having a bright red illuminated dot, much easier for the brain to pick and filter as that being the image to transpose as if both eyes were seeing it equally as opposed to dull iron sight.

Half the time with both eyes open with iron sights, the sight goes away and the image in the left eye I'm seeing, I have to pause and concentrate then, even shift my eyes a bit and then iron sight in the right eye appears and transposes by the brain. The RDS, the shiny light is easy to filter out by the brain as what to transpose as if it was coming from both eyes.

I think the advice about not having the eye right up against the holographic/RDS is about parallax than both eyes can't see through the window. People do both eyes open with iron sights, even rifle where the rear sight is very close to the eye.

Marines would require us to shoot with both eyes open on the combat range, cause that is the way you'd shoot in combat. I always cheated and closed my left eye. I wasn't infantry, they shoot enough they can get used to it, being a Marine Aviators, probably shot more than aviators of other services, but not enough that I could get used to shooting both eyes open with iron sights.

2nd time out on the range with a red dot and I was shooting both eyes open with total ease.

And for us older folks, that had perfect vision up to a few years ago and only need reading glasses for within an arms length....
Iron Sights are murder, need read glasses to focus on the front sight, but since just past the front sight my vision is still perfect, the reading glasses unfocused my far vision, so the target behind the front sight is even fuzzier and hard to tell if the front sight is centered on it.

The red dot is focused in the distance, take my reading glasses off (ahem, and put on clear safety glasses) and I can see both dot and target very clearly. My scores doubled with a red dot.
 

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For Rifles, they have holographic sights, the holographic site technology is not there yet to be miniaturized enough for a pistol.

My AR-15, the Holographic is mounted pretty much on the far end of the receiver, much better than at the back, its not an iron sight.
 
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