How To Install A Red Dot Sight On 1911 [The Easiest Way]

This quick read will show you how to install red dot sight on a 1911 pistol like Kimber, Colt and others?

Or should you buy a brand new 1911 with optic ready slide?

Can You Put A Red Dot Sight On A Classic 1911 Handgun?


kimber khx with trijicon rmr

Installing a red dot on a 1911 pistol is simple, and the gun can accept a red dot sight through 3 different methods:

  • Customized Milled Slide
  • Rear Sight Dovetail Optic Mount
  • Buy Optic Ready 1911 Right Out Of The Box

1911 Slide Milling For RDS

1911 Slide Cut For Optic

Milling the slide can be pricey, and it’s a permeant modification for only fitting one particular optic.

Once it’s milled for a particular RDS (Red Dot Sight), they are MARRIED for life.

Make sure you make up your mind on milling the slide before committing to this project.

The optic sits low on the slide and it provides the shooter the best target acquisition.

Use Dovetail Sights - Replaces Rear Sight

Using the dovetail sight is a non-permeant modification, and it’s more affordable.

Simply, remove the rear iron sight and install the dovetail optic mount adapter there.

There are many options out there, and most of them are for the Trijicon RMR, and the best one I found is the Trijicon AC32058 1911 Novak low mount.

  • Another option is to use the Dovetail mount for the Leupold DeltaPoint since it’s the 2nd most popular pistol red dot sight.
  • Another one is the Vortex Razor mount.

Top Optic Ready 1911 Handguns

sti staccato xc dawson precision mount
Check Prices On Brownells Today!

Optic ready 1911 slides allow you to mount red dot sight right out of the box without any modification.

The best part is you can also remove the sight and reinstall the cover plate back on.

There are not a lot of great optic ready 1911 out there, and here are just a few I like:

  • Kimber KHX Custom
  • STI Staccato, 2011
  • Springfield TRP
  • Nighthawk Custom

Which Company Does Slide Optic Cut For 1911 Pistols?

Out of all the services out there I find the following services that provide great service and quality without being too expensive.

  • ATEI
  • Primary Machine
  • CHPWS
  • Dawson Precision (Plates)
  • NightHawk Custom – Offers a slide cover plate

Which Top Red Dot Sights To Buy For 1911?

kimber 1911 trijicon sro

The top red dot sights for 1911 are:

Trijicon RMRcc

Trijicon SRO

Holosun 507K X2

Read what's special about these optics here

Wrap Up

Adding a red dot to a 1911 pistol provides the shooter faster target acquisition speed and accuracy. The inherent 1911 grip angle helps putting the dot right in front of the shooter upon the draw.

Rear sight dovetail optic mount is the cheapest way to go, but if you want a brand new optic ready 1911 right out of the box, the STI guns are highly recommended

Ying Xu

I was a former US Air Force ICBM operator, and now I'm a veteran creating fun firearm accessories content. I also work as the search engine expert for BadAssOptic.com