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  • Post last modified:April 9, 2023

One of the most common debates in the firearms community is whether you should zero your red dot pistol at 10 or 25 yards.

Some argue that a 25 yard zero is necessary for all practical applications, while others believe that a 10 yard zero is sufficient for most self-defense situations.

The reality is, both options have their pros and cons, and the choice ultimately comes down to your personal needs and preferences.

When To Zero For 10 Yards 

trijicon sro FOV

If you're primarily using your red dot pistol for self-defense, a 10 yard zero may be more appropriate.

When To Zero For 25 Yards 

fn509 trijicon sro pov in action

If you're a competitive shooter or are using your pistol for long-range shooting, a 25 yard zero may be necessary.

Master Proper Shooting Fundamentals

While zeroing your red dot pistol is important, it's not the most important factor when it comes to accuracy. Marksmanship is key. This includes your grip, trigger press, and overall shooting technique.

ruger 57 grip right

No matter how well your pistol is zeroed, if your fundamental is lacking, you won't hit your target. That's why it's important to prioritize marksmanship over zeroing.

Make sure you're practicing good shooting technique and focusing on improving your marksmanship before worrying about zeroing your pistol.


For example, if your grip is too loose, it can affect the recoil of the gun and cause you to miss your target. If your trigger press is too hard or too soft, it can also affect your accuracy.

Therefore, it's important to practice proper technique and perfect your grip, trigger press, and stance.

Handgun Design Matters Too

1911 lapg sliderail xwl grip

Another important factor to consider when zeroing your red dot pistol is the pistol itself. While most pistols are capable of accurate shooting, some are more accurate than others.

For example, a 1911 or 2011 may be more accurate than a Glock due to its lockup.

Olight pl pro valyrie control switch top view Glock 17

While you can still achieve accuracy with a less accurate pistol, it may require more effort and practice.

If accuracy is a top priority for you, consider investing in a more accurate pistol.

Ammo Quality

9mm winchester 124 gr

In addition to choosing the right gun, it's also important to choose the right ammunition. The type of ammunition you use can affect your accuracy and overall shooting performance.

For high volume practice, standard ball ammo do just fine. But when it comes to personal defense ammo, you have to zero them and make sure the zero for the ball ammo isn't too different for the self defense ammo.

steel target bullet impact

There are several factors to consider when choosing ammunition, including the type of bullet, the weight of the bullet, and the velocity of the bullet.

The type of bullet can affect how it performs when it hits the target, while the weight and velocity of the bullet can affect its trajectory and accuracy.


mantis x10 elite on Glock 19

The more you practice, the better you will become. This includes practicing your marksmanship, choosing the right gun and ammunition, and perfecting your technique.

It's important to practice regularly and consistently to improve your accuracy and overall shooting performance. For this, we recommend the Mantis X trainer.

This thing goes on the pic rail of the gun, and it synch to your smartphone app. One of the best feature it has is to dry firing practice with data feedback, so the shooter knows exactly what to work on.

mantis x10 elite shooting tracker