Try Center Axis Relock Technique For Faster Dot Acquisition [Pistol]

  • Post author:
  • Post category:Blog Content
  • Reading time:5 mins read

There is a faster way to pick up the handgun red dot using the Center Axis Relock technique.

This technique isn't designed to replace the weaver or isosceles shooting stance, it's just a good skill to develop and try to acquire the sight faster.

2 Speed Tests With Red Dot Equipped Pistols

FN 509 With SRO

trijicon sro fn 509 center axis relock pov

Trijicon SRO's window is very large when bring it up close to the eye, so the dot acquisition is fast when using the CAR technique. Make sure to keep safe distance to the eye.

Sig P365 With 507K

Holosun 507K X2's field of view isn't bad at all. Even through it's much narrower than the Trijicon SRO, but it's still very fast when using the bladed CAR technique.

Who Developed This Technique?

The center axis relock is created by law enforcement trainer Paul Castle for close-range (5- 10 ft) self-defense or in confined space.

It's an alternative to modern weaver and isosceles stances to combat situations where you need more gun handling to save lives and prevent being disarmed.

It's not a one-size-fits-all technique, and here are the pros and cons when it comes to pistol red dot acquisition:


  • Minimize time between drawing the firearm and get sight on the target
  • Operating through narrow hallways and tight vehicle spaces
  • Less time finding the dot or lose the dot inside the window
  • Stay bladed to maneuver off line quickly with good footwork (Training required)
  • Use in high stress situation


  • May not work well for shooters with cross eye dominance
  • If too close, the handgun slide can smack into the shooter's eye
  • Not safe for high recoil firearms
  • Greatly reduced accuracy & slower follow up shots

How Does It Work

  1. Facing your body perpendicular to the target and place your supporting foot at 90 degree to the target
  2. Draw red dot equipped pistol up to the middle of your chest with a strong hand while tuck your arm in, and slightly extended elbows
  3. Point muzzle in the direction of the target and use the non-dominant hand to grip the strong hand
  4. Rotate support elbow downward as you bring the red dot up with your strong hand (Make sure strong hand is the side of your dominant eye)

Common FAQ

Does Center Axis Relock Work For Cross Eye Dominant Shooters?

Center Axis Relock works for cross-eye dominant pistol shooters.

If you're right-hand dominant but left-eye dominant, the CAR technical will work for you and simply just shift the sights over to the other eye.

What's The Safe Sight To Eye Distance When Using CAR Technique?

The slide kicks back! so be careful!

Keep the back of the pistol slide 6 - 7" away from the eye when using the CAR technique. 

A bigger size red dot will still be big enough to find the dot, but keeping your eye safe from the slide coming back & recoil protects your eye.

  • Lock the slide back and see what's a comfortable distance for you
  • Lock your elbow when shooting to prevent the gun from shifting
  • Highly advise NOT to shoot high recoil pistols in CAR without proper training or don't feel comfortable doing

Does Center Axis Relock Work For PDW & Rifles?

eotech 90 degree leaning left

Most of the conversations about center axis relock revolve around pistols. It does work for long guns operating in tight spaces such as getting out of the vehicle, going through tight hallways...etc.

For accurate close-range aiming, a green laser or an offset sight can assist the shooter with the CAR technique.

Optic height also matters when maneuvering the rifle with the center axis relock technique. If the optic sits too low in relation to the shooter's eye, then it becomes harder to acquire the dot.