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@1911_Kid is this supposed to be done on a bench/rest?
What RickAnderson said.

To be super hands-off, a pistol that is clamped in a bench rest. But this should not be needed to zero in a RD, and, often times a zero'd item from a clamped bench rest will show bad when shot from holding it. There's human mechanics involved when you handle to fire it, and your zero'ing process will account for that.
 

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True, if you consistently do something wrong you can compensate with the zeroing the sight so that it corrects. If someone else shoots the pistol and their groups is off, it would be a clue, one of you is doing something wrong.
 

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@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?
The Ed Brown people originally told me eight months for the longslide build. but it turned out to be ready in three months. Not sure what they are saying now. They had also told me that they were going to discontinue the LS-10 as it was not a big seller for them. But subsequent to that I got an E-mail from them telling me that they actually had them in stock. So I am not really sure what is going on with them.
They are not exactly giving them away, but I think that it was money well spent on mine. My eyes are not as good as they used to be and this has given me a huge leg up. I have had a couple of RDSs on a couple of carbines for a while. This is my first handgun with one and I am sold on the effectiveness of them.
 

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True, if you consistently do something wrong you can compensate with the zeroing the sight so that it corrects. If someone else shoots the pistol and their groups is off, it would be a clue, one of you is doing something wrong.
Not one doing something wromg. The firearm and sight is setup for the person who uses it. No different than setting the car seat positions 1 & 2 for two different people, setting 1 fits me just right, setting 2 and I can barely reach the gas pedal.
 

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I'm still experimenting with red dots and I'm still on the fence about them. Speed-wise I'm much slower than with irons, but accuracy-wise, wow. My tiny little SIG P365XL can make accurate hits out to 50 yards if I take time to make sure I'm not jerking the pistol around during the trigger squeeze. I can't shoot like that with iron sights anymore no matter what pistol they're attached to.

Up close though, such as at "normal" defense engagement range I'm still sticking with irons as I'm much faster and can still shoot just as well.
 

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Good posts thus far on this. I will add that you need to dry fire practice repeated draws and/or low ready engagements to get the acquisition down and "find" the dot every time.

I mount RDS up with blue Loctite and let is sit for a day. Bore sight it at ~10yrds and go shoot a fresh splatter target at ~7-10yrds and see what kind of groups I get. Adjust windage and elevation settings to get you close.
Once I get it pretty close, I don't adjust unless getting decent groups. Zero it in to the distance you want.
I like 20yrds, but zero it at your whatever your preferred distance may be.
 

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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
I have never used those kind of sights I have seen others at the range using them some do good others not so good. Maybe they are hard to adjust. Some of my best shooting 1911’s don’t have adjustable sights just the old fashioned government style. If they hit the target where you aim what more do you need. I know just old school thinking.
 

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Distance to zero at? Since it was mentioned. That is a whole other rabbit hole we could run down and hi-jack this thread.

But, I suspect the O.P.'s Romeo 1 Pro is too big on his pistol for the factory sites to be able to co-witness. So he has no initial zeroing he can do. So without a laser boresight, his only option is too start at the range. In this case, you would want to start close, cause you could be missing the target altogether out at 25 yards or more. As you get it closer, you can start to move it out.

But, you've got an initial zero that is good enough to do a true zero, but at what distance should you do that.

The distance you shoot the most or only shoot exclusively? I can see that, if you intend to only use this pistol to shoot at targets at one single distance, then yes zero it for that distance. The drawback if you use it for any other distance the accuracy will suffer far more than doing some of the other techniques.

There are the gouge distances that conventional wisdom suggest work best. For Pistols 25 yards and 50 yards. Rifles 200 yards and 300 yards. The farther distance its argue produce better overall accuracy, but are also harder to do.

There is Point Blank Range zero, where the distance is depend on the ballistics of the round. I have to look it up again, it has to do where the round crosses back under the line of sight after firing. Which this would differ with how you elevated the barrel, so I'm not exactly sure how they determine this PBR distance, might be some sort standard for ballistics testing. But the argument is this is the most accurate way to zero a weapon and have the closest accuracy at all distances. For .45ACP I think that is 46 yards and 9mm is something like 56 yards, from memory.

IMHO, I wouldn't zero at anything less than 25 yards for a pistol. And then realizing the accuracy is going to drop off fast after 25 yards.
 

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I have never used those kind of sights I have seen others at the range using them some do good others not so good. Maybe they are hard to adjust. Some of my best shooting 1911’s don’t have adjustable sights just the old fashioned government style. If they hit the target where you aim what more do you need. I know just old school thinking.
I thought Red Dot Sights (RDS) were a gimmick also. But, I have reached an age where I need reading glasses, but my vision is still perfect more than 5' out. With Iron Sights, I need reading glasses to focus on the front sight, BUT, since my vision is perfect past the front sight and I'm wearing reading glasses, the target behind the front sight is even more unfocused than in the past when I didn't need reading glasses. My shooting scores went down from the past when my vision was better.

Then I try an RDS, the red dot is focused in the distance, so I quickly adjusted by taking off the reading glasses and now I can focus clearly on the target and the red is focused right over it. My shooting scores went back up immediately to the same as younger with better vision.

Shooting with both eyes open? In the past with Iron Sights, I never mastered it and even when I got barely proficient, I would quickly loose it and be back to being all over the place. With a red dot, I quickly picked it up and became far more proficient than I ever was both eyes open with iron sights.

The other advantage, the speed you can bring the pistol to aim when drawing or re-aim after another shot. True, till you've developed some proficiency with the RDS, you can waste precious seconds trying to get the dot to appear within the window, but it only took me a little practice at home dry firing and two visits to the range to develop this proficiency to pick-up the red dot as I raise the pistol to my eye line. Which is much faster than the iron sights. The RDS is just as accurate anywhere the dot appears in the window, this actually gives you range of positions between eye and pistol that gets it properly aimed. With iron sights, there is no range, just a single line of sight between eye, rear sight, front sight and target, thus taking longer to narrow down to that line after raising the pistol. The RDS you have 1/2 inch above or below, 3/8" left or right and if the dot is on the target, you're aimed in. Even bigger for some of the bigger window RDS like the Deltapoint Pro or Romeo 1 Pro.

Nothing wrong with using Iron Sights, and I can even see the argument that if just accuracy is your concern, nothing else, a good set of iron sights would do better than RDS. But the RDS is more flexible and is a big advantage for quick draw, rapid fire, combat type shooting, etc.....
 

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I thought Red Dot Sights (RDS) were a gimmick also. But, I have reached an age where I need reading glasses, but my vision is still perfect more than 5' out. With Iron Sights, I need reading glasses to focus on the front sight, BUT, since my vision is perfect past the front sight and I'm wearing reading glasses, the target behind the front sight is even more unfocused than in the past when I didn't need reading glasses. My shooting scores went down from the past when my vision was better.

Then I try an RDS, the red dot is focused in the distance, so I quickly adjusted by taking off the reading glasses and now I can focus clearly on the target and the red is focused right over it. My shooting scores went back up immediately to the same as younger with better vision.

Shooting with both eyes open? In the past with Iron Sights, I never mastered it and even when I got barely proficient, I would quickly loose it and be back to being all over the place. With a red dot, I quickly picked it up and became far more proficient than I ever was both eyes open with iron sights.

The other advantage, the speed you can bring the pistol to aim when drawing or re-aim after another shot. True, till you've developed some proficiency with the RDS, you can waste precious seconds trying to get the dot to appear within the window, but it only took me a little practice at home dry firing and two visits to the range to develop this proficiency to pick-up the red dot as I raise the pistol to my eye line. Which is much faster than the iron sights. The RDS is just as accurate anywhere the dot appears in the window, this actually gives you range of positions between eye and pistol that gets it properly aimed. With iron sights, there is no range, just a single line of sight between eye, rear sight, front sight and target, thus taking longer to narrow down to that line after raising the pistol. The RDS you have 1/2 inch above or below, 3/8" left or right and if the dot is on the target, you're aimed in. Even bigger for some of the bigger window RDS like the Deltapoint Pro or Romeo 1 Pro.

Nothing wrong with using Iron Sights, and I can even see the argument that if just accuracy is your concern, nothing else, a good set of iron sights would do better than RDS. But the RDS is more flexible and is a big advantage for quick draw, rapid fire, combat type shooting, etc.....
I will take your word that’s it’s better. I have never used one, might be a better shot with one. Got some new glasses coming in. Might have to get these cataracts taken care of as well.
 

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I will take your word that’s it’s better. I have never used one, might be a better shot with one. Got some new glasses coming in. Might have to get these cataracts taken care of as well.
Ouch, I'm sorry, hope its not to bad.

My case is not that unique, but for me, I had perfect vision my whole life, and I still have perfect vision, but with age my cornea have hardened and its difficult to focus close up for fine things. So I need reading glasses to read and do things like focus perfectly on the front sight while shooting.

But as we know, we focus on the front sight and use the unfocused blurry target behind it to aim. And in my case, while the reading glasses allow me to focus on the front sight, they throw off the focus for the target behind it that I do not need reading glasses to see. So now, the target behind the front sight is even more blurry and hard to see if I have the front post centered up on it.

This is where the RDS excels, for folks like us.

I think the purpose of the RDS is giving this bigger field of view for aiming so you can aim quicker and shoot both eyes open better. The unintended advantage is for folks with vision problems, by narrowing down the field of focus, the aiming can be easier seen and focused.

Vortex Venom, you can find them for as little more than $150. I have one and a Trijicon RMR that can't be found for less than $400, usually closer to $500. The Vortex Venom is 90% or more of the performance and reliability of the Trijicon RMR. So a Vortex Venom would be an excellent first RDS IMO.

You can find some toy RDS for as low as $60, I think people use them for AirSoft Toy guns. I've seen reports on them that they'll turn off after every shot and need to be turned on again, never holding zero, etc.... Your really wasting your money on these. Some of the $120 RDS seem to be few complaints. But the conventional wisdom is the cheapest RDS you can actually use with real firearms are some of the Vortex and Burris older models, cheaper than them, will probably be a waste of money.
 

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RD is more like peripheral, dot on target, squeeze.
Iron sights have two components (front and rear sight), it requires more coordination and more eye alignment before the squeeze.

It's often said, the iron folks have more skill.
 

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I totally agree, no matter how young you are, you should learn how to use iron sights.
I also am willing to believe, the best shooters in the world can shoot better with really good iron sights than RDS.

But like Garand Thumb likes say, "its already more accurate than the shooter".

And yes, more often than not, the older harder way, would force you too develop more skills. Iron Sights vs RDS, hmmm, I'm not sure, I don't disagree. Not sure, its not like learning to navigate off a map and compass vs using GPS. But I'd agree there is an argument that using iron sights and getting good at it, probably requires learning more about how to site in and aim a weapon, that might be lost if you start with and only use RDS.
 

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It appears to me that the RDSs are somewhat of a training aid as well. You can really see that if the dot is bouncing all over the place that you need to steady up. Something that is not usually so apparent with traditional types of sighting arrangements. You are effectively extending your sighting radius out to your target,
 

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...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.
...
1.
Digital camera Reflex camera Camera Camera lens Black

Air gun Trigger Gun barrel Gun accessory Metal

Air gun Trigger Gun barrel Wood Gun accessory


Good morning - I have several RDS on a couple pistols - only pics of this one are handy.

Anyway:

1. How do you properly zero your red dot (yes ive read other threads still cannot master)

Here's what I do and it works for me:
  • Correctly (right tools, right torque) install the plate and sight.
  • put the RDS adjusters in the center of their range - as in, if the range is 12 rotations, turn it to 6 rotations
  • Use a laser-cartridge (seriously - they are SO helpful!!) to adjust the RDS dot to directly "just above" the laser. How far above? If down the hall in your house is 15 feet, say an inch or 1.5" above.
+++ A common problem - you'll run out of adjustment. For about $10, there are RDS mounting shims available on eBay and Amazon and OpticsPlanet. Re-center the vertical adjustment on your RDS, remove and re-install with the shim in place, and then go back to your hallway adjustments as above.

At the range, start at close in, get it adjusted. I end up wanting to be exactly on at 25 yards - that means the bullets strike a little low from the muzzle to 25 yards....


2. Is your dot supposed to sit dead on your front sight?
+ Normally NO - not al all. Ignore the front sight relationship to the red dot. The BEST you can have is - with high profile sights - you can see the front sight through the RDS glass, and the rear sight is tall enough to see it over the RDS body, and you can use the front and rear sights THROUGH the glass - but no, I in any I've used, the red dot has never ever aligned with either sight. Ever.


3. Does the red dot actually improve your aim enough to warrant spending $300-$500 on a red dot.
+ Depends. In my opinion, yes. And then some. As I said, I have a few RDS on a few pistols.
++ Just sold the P210....but it was a dovetail mount anyway, not milled in.
++ The Springfield shown in the pics - has been highly tuned - I had the slide milled by C&H, which cost a couple hundred. Then the RDS added about $250. So the entire upgrade is about $450?
++ A Dan Wesson Razorback 10mm - I sent it to Nighthawk Custom for their IOS plate system - I can remove the RDS and install an iron sight, as often as I want, with only one screw and pin - and it returns to zero exactly. The machining is impeccable. It should be - if I recall correctly, the pistol work was $750-$800. Add $250 for the Vortex sight too. This one I sighted in at 50 yards.
++ A Dan Wesson Vigil (Commander size 9mm) - same package, same cost as the Razorback.

Am I foolish to spend that kinda money? Maybe - but I do know that I can shoot more quickly, more accurately, and at longer distance, in more adverse lighting with an RDS than without.

Good luck, sir.
 

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In over a dozen optics I've mounted I have never run out of any adjustments. I am going to say that if that happens either the gun is milled wrong way or optic is defective.
 
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I have a Vortex Venom on one of my pistols. Except mine is the OPMOD version, I think only offered by OpticsPlanet.com, its Flat Dark Earth color.
I also have Trijicon RMR II and Leupold DeltaPoint Pro.
IMHO the Vortex Venom is the best value RDS on the market.
Pretty much the same as the Trijicon RMR, you are really splitting hairs to find how the Trijicon RMR is better, and its less than half the price of the Trijicon.

I'd also agree, at the very least, everyone should try to find some sort of opportunity to try one. The value models are cheap enough, it is worth getting one even if you've never tried it, so you can experiment with it. Remember the pistol needs to have the provisions for mounting a RDS, and its pattern has to match the pattern of the RDS. There are adapter plates that can be mounted in the rear sight cut for the rear iron sight, so its possible to mount an RDS in a pistol that has no provisions for optics what so ever. But the mounting is something you need to figure out before you buy the RDS, not after.
 

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In over a dozen optics I've mounted I have never run out of any adjustments. I am going to say that if that happens either the gun is milled wrong way or optic is defective.
Yep, there are several options for mounting a RDS, and some of them are rather improvised, so what you say is possible, some of the more improvised mounting solutions could be off enough to run out of adjustment especially if you screw up mounting it to the pistol, or some 3rd party service could screw up the cut in the slide. But chances are, it most likely will work right, just need adjusting.

Without a doubt, the easiest most reliable way to mount a RDS is to get a pistol with the provisions to mount and RDS from the factory. But not an option for everyone to just get a new pistol if they want to try a RDS.

For those considering an RDS reading the thread, they do NOT have standardized mounting footprints, there seems to be three mounting footprint/patterns/profiles that 99% of the RDS adopt one of the three. Its important to figure this out before hand. You don't want to buy a RDS and after the fact discover it won't mount because the screw holes and alignment pins don't line up.

Pistols that come from the factory with the optics cuts, often have adapter plates available, some come with the pistol, some have to be purchased separately. Some pistols will come with one pattern intending to mount the RDS directly to the slide and not any other pattern. There are lots of aftermarket adapter plates, for all sorts of solutions. But there are so many combinations of RDS and patterns and pistols, there is not an adapter plate available for every possible combination, you can easily end up with a pistol and RDS that don't match and no way to mount. So do your homework ahead of time.

The Three mounting footprints for RDS:
  • Docter/Noblex (the value RDS, Vortex and Burris use this)
  • DeltaPoint Pro/Shield RMS/SMS (Leupold Deltapoint pro and Romeo 1 Pro use this)
  • Trijicon RMR (used by more than the Trijicon RMR)
There are more footprints, but these are three most common and one of the three will fit the most common RDS.
 

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And we haven't even talked about DOT size. Most are ~3MOA, exactly 3 or plus a fraction. But most have an option of for a ~6MOA dot, exactly 6 or plus a fraction.

I prefer the 6 MOA because of my eyes, but have no problem using a 3 MOA once I got used to using a RDS.
The larger dot is faster and the smaller dot is more accurate. Obviously if you have vision problems the larger dot is probably for you. In my experience, with perfect vision except for less than 5' needing reading glasses, the smaller dot I don't have a problem picking it up, but the degrading vision its takes more time getting it over the target and seeing the whole picture clearly as it is with the bigger dot that I seem to be able to contruct the whole picture faster, and that is likely because my vision is degraded.

I'm only aware of Holosun having innovative reticles instead of just a dot, things like a dot with a circle or crosshairs, or dot/circle/hashtags on the circle, to be kinda of a hybrid of accurate small dot, large features to be both quick and accurate. But Holosun is Chinese. It wouldn't be fair to call them Chinese Junk, they seem to be reliable and quality, but they are Chinese and I mean geopolitical sense, not a race/heritage sense.

My vision now in my late 50's is degraded, but its not a case of I have become far sighted or near sighted, I'm not the only one, the problem is with age the cornea hardens, like lots of things in your body, well except the one thing you'd like to get hard at the appropriate moment ;), that results in being unable to focus for fine details close up. Its not a shift in your vision like becoming near or far sighted. As well, the actual sensor in the retina of the eyeball degrade, its like I had a 27 megapixel camera as a young man, but those pixels start to burn out over time and I now have 7 megapixel cameras for eyeballs. Both pictures look great in most cases, but start to look close at tiny details in the lower resolution, they are blurry around the edges and less detail. A situation like looking at a 3 inch bullseye 25 yards away. The whole target looks fine, its focused, but those tiny details aren't as clear and edges as crisp as they were as a younger man and thus harder to see.
 
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