How to Use a Red Dot Sight (3 Ways You Should Consider)

Depending on what you need, a red dot sight can be a wonderful asset. Whether you have used it or not. There is a common misunderstanding that to learn how to use a red dot sight, you need to know a bit of highly tech-related information or that it is difficult to use.

But there is no such thing. In fact, it is super easy to use of these to increase your speed of target acquisition. And it doesn’t also compromise your accuracy. Read on to know how to use this handy tool in your shooting ventures.

How to Use a Red Dot Sight

What you’re going to need

This may sound like we are brewing up a recipe, but no. There are some important things you need to have close at hand, and most, if not all of them, are ones you have used or at least heard names of,

  1. Starting with the most obvious and important: a good red dot sight. This will be the red dot scope that you chose for your work. If you have trouble choosing, we will help you shortly.
  2. Next, get Allen wrenches for mounting your sight. You just have to mount the sight to the firearm.
  3. Drawing from the above, you will need your firearm. If you have a rifle and are thinking about how to sight in a rifle scope, the steps are the same as will be mentioned.
  4. Lastly, you will need a target set up to zero, within a 25 yd range.

Now let’s move on to choosing the sight.

Choosing your sight: All about red dot sights

Before that, what exactly are red dot sights? They are one kind of electronic optic which gives you an illuminated target or point of aim, within your view-field, through the lens. This is most certainly not lasers if that is what red dots are making you imagine.

They are a blend of light and some kind of a reflector. They are usually battery-operated. Another thing is that they do not have magnification power in them, so they are mostly meant for close-range. However, if you want it for long range shooting, you can buy magnification lenses at your own cost.

Most red dots happen to shock, weather and fog proof.

You will find 3 kinds of red dot sights

Reflex sights, which are the most common and easy to handle such that you can shoot with your two eyes open. Also, the reticle is on the same focus as the target makes it easier to shoot with the light even in poor lighting conditions. But it is not magnified.

Again, holographic sights, a little pricier and better, does the same thing and has the same drawback.

Lastly, Prism sights, which feature prisms instead of lenses. You have to focus with one-eye here and there is little magnification.

You can choose any one of these as you like.


Most red dot sights come with a Picatinny rail attachment and other tools go with it. Some may not have these, but they are as standard as Allen wrenches and hex keys. If you have a rifle, you would want to mount your scope directly on top of the receiver.

Learn How to mount a rifle scope. This is the point of equilibrium for both stability and balance to help you hold zero. If you like it a bit closer, totally up to you. If you need a magnification lens behind it, you would want the red dot sight to be far off the receiver.

How to use a red dot sight

To zero it in after you have it mounted, you can take the following steps to learn how to shoot with a red dot sight:

  1. Set up your target. Initially, you might want to set it up within a 25 yd range, since it is a good range to zero in. And, given that you don’t have yours magnified. Already I have discussed here how to zero a scope.
  2. Try to co-witness your scope. If your firearm has iron sights, you can use it as a witnessing tool for the confirmation of the fact that you are zeroed in. You need to look through your optic at your reticle to check that it is lined up directly and perfectly on top of your iron post that you have at the end of your barrel. Keep adjusting it through vertical and horizontal rotation to mix and match things so that the line-up is complete.
  3. Aiming should be super easy now. It is as simple as finding the target, putting your dot on it, and shooting. If you have done steps 1 and 3 properly, it should be an accurate hit.

Can red dot sights be used for long-range shooting?

As we did say earlier, of course, you can. Most of the red dot sights are non-magnified. So you usually work with a close range. But if you want to do some long-range shooting, you can use a scope that has an illuminated reticle or a prism sight that has a built-in small magnification.

You can also add on a magnifier scope behind a reflex or holographic sight that you may have, to give them more distance. But you can’t go beyond 100-200 yds. max.


We hope this article was enlightening and you learned a thing or two about how to use a red dot sight.

It also should have answered your basic questions regarding a red dot sight, how many types are they, which one should you choose, the different magnification levels or none, how to mount the red dot scopes, how to use a red dot scope and a little extra know-how for those who would like it that way.

The most difficult part that you will face with this, is probably choosing the type of scope you want to mount. But it totally depends on your personal preference and the need for purchasing the red scope. Once you have your sight, following the three easy steps in this guide and you will be left with an accurate, easy and fun shooting experience.

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