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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.
Far away, the optic itself becomes "visible" to both eyes, and, any shrouding of the glass starts to shrink down onto the reticle/dot making FOV smaller. Dots and reticles get smaller and somewhat dimmer the further out they are.

It's really a try and see thing, but I was just pointing out some basics of having something at some distance in line of sight. There's no escaping it. But again, does one way or the other work better for the shooter? TBD for each person.
 

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Far away, the optic itself becomes "visible" to both eyes.
I think we might be talking about different things. I was only making a point that, rifle or pistol including fully extended stance like iso, only one eye, the one inline with a glass, can see the dot itself.
 
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Far away, the optic itself becomes "visible" to both eyes, and, any shrouding of the glass starts to shrink down onto the reticle/dot making FOV smaller. Dots and reticles get smaller and somewhat dimmer the further out they are.

It's really a try and see thing, but I was just pointing out some basics of having something at some distance in line of sight. There's no escaping it. But again, does one way or the other work better for the shooter? TBD for each person.
Farther away, more of the sight becomes visible to the non-dominant eye, it still doesn't get it lined up with the non-dominant eye to sight in.
The other stuff about shrouding, shadows, errors, yes I can see and agree. Any sight, scope, iron or red dot, too close and get imagine out of alignment. Getting the sight out further can help in these things.

Perhaps being farther out, making the sight more in the field of view (FOV) may help the brain keep track, filter and transpose the image for both eyes open.

I know with iron sights, its literally the sight is visible with one eye, and the other it is so far on the edge of the field of view, I have gotten into the sight disappearing and re-appearing, my brain was literally swapping back and fourth between images of each eye, saying which one do you want, the fact that concentrating gets the image to go back correctly, says to me, this is literally a brain thing, not about somehow seeing the sight line up with both eyes. Its seeing the sight picture while still collecting information with the other eye, which can be very handy in combat, not to mention return the peripherally vision on the other side, again very handy in combat.
 

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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
To the OP:
1. Use a target that will show your misses.
Shoot enough rounds to see where you hit.
A co-witness to your front sight may or may not be correct.
3. Depends on you, your vision, and your ability to see the dot and and the target.
 

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But when I concentrate to get the image of both eyes to steady and make the sight visible, I'm not concentrating on lining up with the target. It takes time away from getting off the shot. That is why you have to practice and get used to it. Train your brain. Personally, I've noticed it much easier to do this with a bright illuminated dot, than a dull sight that doesn't stand out much from the rest of the picture.
 

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....
2. Is your dot suppossed to sit dead on your front sight?
....
To the OP:
1. Use a target that will show your misses.
Shoot enough rounds to see where you hit.
A co-witness to your front sight may or may not be correct.
3. Depends on you, your vision, and your ability to see the dot and and the target.
I took what the OP said as he thinks you need to line up a RDS with another site, like you do with the front rear iron sights.

No, you just place the dot on the target, notice how when you tilt the pistol in pitch or yaw, the dot moves in the window. If your sight is zeroed correctly, when you have the pistol pointed at the target the red dot will appear over the target. Set your pistol in a block or steady it, notice when its pointed at the target, red dot on the target, move your head around, notice as the sight picture changes/moves around in the window from your head motion, the dot moves also and also stays on the target. That is parallax.

Like GOLDWINGS is saying about co-witness, no need to do it all, some people do some people never do it.
Personally, for me, co-witness sights mean they are my backup sights. If my RDS goes down, I can go back to my iron sights and aim lining up the front/rear iron sight looking through the window.

I may from time to time, sight in with the iron sights with the RDS on, witch the red dot should appear right on the top of the front sight and inside the rear sight. Just to check both sights are still lined up. This is co-witnessing, and you certainly can do it if you want. And notice the red dot is at the very bottom of the window, and it takes the longer time to acquire and adjust alignment of the very small aperture of the iron sights, thus defeating the purpose of the RDS.

And like I was saying before, if your iron sights are zeroed in, and they fit the RDS (they usually need to be Suppressor Height sights), you can do initial zero on your RDS by simply lining up the red dot to co-witness with the iron sights.

Especially if your iron sights aren't high enough to co-witness with your RDS, which a Sig Romeo 1 Pro very likely the sights aren't high enough to co-witness, trying to aim by putting the red dot on the front sight should have you way off target. You shouldn't even be able to do it and have the target in the RDS window, unless you have the zero way, way off.

You don't line the red dot up with anything, you simply put the red dot on the target.
 

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Backup irons serve a fairly important role on a defensive gun with RDS, and that is to make sure that dot's zero hasn't drifted. This has happened because of electronics failure and because of inapparent, or simply missed, loosening of mounting screws. I zero my backup irons independently and with the RDS off the slide. When I mount the optic, I zero the dot independently of irons, and then I observe the relationship between them. For me, and this has been validated by multiple guns and optics, the dot sits on the top of a right side of a front sight's blade. I check that this relationship is preserved every few days, although it really should be daily. My competition guns don't have irons, but that's mostly a technical issue.
When shooting a gun with a dot the irons aren't used for any aiming or help with finding a dot.
 

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....This has happened because of electronics failure and because of inapparent, or simply missed, loosening of mounting screws.....
I was under the impression that the RDS aiming of the dot is all mechanical, the shape of the window the position of the mirrors, window and LED. The adjusting screws are physically making tiny adjustments to the mirror LED. I don't know that for a fact, all I've read on RDS is the explanations of the basics on how they work.... ....so I could be wrong on this.....

There are definitely electronics, but I'm thinking they are more for controlling the LED intensity and provide all the different features, like automatic brightness, auto off, motion detection auto on, as well as power regulation to control the LED better, reduce battery power consumption, etc....

If I'm right, electronics failing could cause the Red Dot to fail, flicker, or features to fail, etc, but not cause the zero to drift....

And you don't have to have screws loosen to get off zero, just like dropping a rifle could nock out your zero, cause the shock can cause the pressed on/in sights to shift a tiny bit, it can do the same to a screwed on RDS even if the screws stay tight, or cause shifts inside the RDS itself, the window, mirrors, LED even the levers and adjusting screws. But yes, screws do loosen and the shock of the slide can easily cause that, and that definitely can get the zero off, the reason why you should put loctite on the screws for your RDS.

I have several pistols with threaded barrels, and the common complaint of the thread barrels is the thread protector always loosen and backs off from shooting, no matter how much you tighten it down. Its from the shock from the slide, moving it, unlocking and re-locking it. I put an o-ring on the end of the barrel and the thread protector has to compress it to squeeze it under the thread protector, that friction and pressure keeps it from backing out.
 

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I am not a technical type. My deep and personal belief that the dot sights of mine are homes to small gnomes, dwarves, and elves who make things happen inside those optics.
That said, one buddy GM of mine lost a zero on a Trijicon sight during a state match with all witness marks on screws aligned. Another couple, he is a GM and she is an A class, could not achieve a consistent zero on one Steiner unit and one SIG unit. My explanation to that was that dwarves and elves got into a fight while gnomes got drunk.
 

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Its completely new to me.... I dont understand why its so awkward to me
The red dot sight is similar to a scope in that it has an effective sight radius equal the the target distance. This large effective sight radius makes aiming more precise for the same reason that the relatively long rifle iron sight radius is more precise than the shorter handgun sight radius. It also makes them more difficult to hold on target.

When you are using iron sights, minute movements in you hands and arms only result in minute movements in the sights. The iron sights are in close proximity to your hands. When you are using a red dot (or also a scope), those same minute movements in your hands and arms are magnified by the distance to the target. The red dot can dance all over the target. This can especially happen if you are using your wrists to align the dot with the target. The wrists should be used to align the sighting system with itself. In the case of iron sights, this would be aligning the front and rear sights with each other. In the case of the red dot, this would be keeping the dot reasonably centered within the aperture lens. The alignment of the sight with the target should then be done with the arms, using them like a turret. This is not to say that you can't make aiming adjustments with your wrists. Wrist movements will just be much more magnified on the target and harder to control than arm movements.

For iron sights, there is the "wall drill" for dry fire training and practice. The purpose is to point the gun at a blank wall and concentrate only on holding the front and rear sights aligned while pulling the trigger. This develops good trigger pull and wrist control.

You can also use the wall drill to develop good trigger control with a red dot sight. In this case though, there is no pair of sights to align, just the dot and aperture lens. And depending on the parallax correction. the centering of the dot within the aperture may be less or more important. Anyway, center the dot reasonably well within the aperture lens and lock your wrists to hold it there. Then practice pulling the trigger without disturbing the dot.

Finally, while aiming at at a target, try using yours arms (again like a turret) to aim.

Hope it helps.

-
 

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I am not a technical type. My deep and personal belief that the dot sights of mine are homes to small gnomes, dwarves, and elves who make things happen inside those optics.
That said, one buddy GM of mine lost a zero on a Trijicon sight during a state match with all witness marks on screws aligned. Another couple, he is a GM and she is an A class, could not achieve a consistent zero on one Steiner unit and one SIG unit. My explanation to that was that dwarves and elves got into a fight while gnomes got drunk.
My guess would be something shifted or broke inside the sight throwing off the alignment of the LED and mirror or even the window itself.

Again, I'm a technical type, but I don't really know all the details on the RDS, so I could be totally wrong. You can find a youtube video, probably several, of guys that made a RDS out of cardboard, a soda bottle for the window, a chip of a mirror and led powered by a AAA battery. And it actually works, although obviously is not up to the rigors of being mounted on a slide. But the dot moves and stays on target as you move it around, etc.... So I think its a matter of mechanically and precisely projecting a red dot on the curved mirror, shape and alignment makes for the effect of how the dot aligns on the window. There are definitely electronics but they are doing other things, not actually aligning or zeroing the site. Someone please chime in if I'm wrong on that and explain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
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. View attachment 646025
@USMM guy my best friend is Merchant Marine! I am looking for another longslide 10mm! How do you like this Ed Brown???? I think this picture sealed the deal!!!!!! How long was the build?
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
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.
@YVK I appreciate all the input! I WAS pretty lost in this while process! Thank you to all the addicts whom helped!
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
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.
@1911_Kid is this supposed to be done on a bench/rest?
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
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.
@GlockLeg thank you very much! i unfortunately moved 3000 miles away from my comfort zone, friends and family! It is just me myself and I! I think this is the way to go now I just need to find some friends
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
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.

View attachment 646061
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.
@RickAnderson this is amazing! Thank you so much for the detailed breakdown and thank you for taking the time in adding so much detail
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
I wanted to thank each and everyone of you with a personal comment but holy heck!!!! I did not expect so much great feedback! I sincerely apologize If I did not respond to you directly! I mean no disrespect! I will reach out to those I did not tag I mean it in no way to offend anyone!

just to clarify the first time i lifted my red dot on target the dot was an inch above my front sight post which is totally throwing my mojo off!
 

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@1911_Kid is this supposed to be done on a bench/rest?
A bench rest helps, but its not necessary. If your rusty and your groups are all over the place a bench rest would probably help a lot and speed up the process. If you're shooting reasonably tight groups, just the center of the group is way off target, you have the info to make adjustments, just keep doing what you're doing as you move the group to the center of the target.

And even if you're not rusty and usually shoot reasonably tight groups, that's me, better than average but hardly a NM marksman, the sight being way off will rattle you enough your groups go all to hell. Overthinking it I guess, as you see how far off the last shot was. In that case the Bench Rest became very handy and started getting back to shooting groups well enough to figure out the adjustment needed.

With my 2 pistols that came with suppressor height iron sights, that I outfitted with the medium sized RDS that can co-witness with the RDS, simply doing initial zero by adjusting the red dot to co-witness with the iron sights (you can do this at home BTW) I was shooting reasonable groups right away and making 1-2 click adjustments to get the group centered on target.

It was my Sig P320 M-18, that the sights are normal height, and the rear sights is part of the Optics Cap (i.e. the rear sight goes away with the cap you take off to mount the RDS, plus there is no provision for mounting another rear sight). Then to mount the Deltapoint Pro that is so big sights can't see over it. You just have to start from scratch.

I tried a cheap laser boresight, it really didn't get me close. Perhaps a better one will work better.

The Deltapoint Pro has the provisions to mount a rear sight on the RDS itself, Leopold makes an iron sight designed to be mounted on their deltapoint pro, there is also a small company making a carbon fiber/polymer little gate that can be mounted like a rear sight. But there is no front sight that goes with it, but the mount on the deltapoint pro allows to move the rear sight mounted on it up and down a little bit to adjust the iron sights for co-witness. I just can't find a front sight tall enough to work with the Deltapoint Pro mounted rear iron site properly.

The Romeo 1 Pro looks almost identical to Deltapoint Pro, different enough that side by side they are not exactly the same, but close enough you've got to wonder did Sig have Leupold make them for them and make them just different enough they aren't identical. The have almost identical external dimensions and shape, just a few differences. IIRC, the Romeo 1 Pro does not have any provisions to mount a rear sight on the RDS itself, but it does have a notch in the body at the back that appears could function like a rear sight, if you had front sight you could mount that is the right height. Thing is the Deltapoint Pro and Romeo 1 Pro are so big, I haven't had any luck fining a front sight tall enough to work properly with them.

You don't have to have co-witness with iron sights, you can use the RDS just by itself just fine, once you get it zeroed. Depends on the application for your pistol, if you rely on it for your life, then iron sights as a back up are arguably necessary. Just recreational shooting no need. Also mentioned, iron sights to co-witness help to double check the zero of the RDS from time to time, and I use them for that as well.

One thing you don't do, which I think you had some misconception when you mentioned that, is use the left over front sight to line up the red dot with, that is not how a RDS works, and likely the front iron sight is a totally wrong height to work and won't work at all if the RDS is not zeroed.
 
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