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  • Post last modified:October 26, 2023

There are 3 ways to sight in a red dot sight without shooting to save bullets and time zeroing. We're going to share these methods but we highly recommend live firing to refine and confirm the zero afterwards.

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How To Sight In A Red Dot Sight Without Shooting

Cowitness Iron Sight 

Trijicon MRO on CZ Scorpion

Set the iron sight based on past range visits. Then, match the red dot sight to the iron sight. This can be done fast without shooting, either at home or on the range.

After setting the iron sights, use them as a reference point.

If you change red dot sights, adjust them near the iron sights without firing.

Zero New Optics To A Previously Zeroed Optic

romeo5 pov red dot reticle on steel target

If you have room on the rail, attach the new sight behind the one already set. Try to line up the dots closely.

Turn down the brightness of the red dot to see it clearly. Do the same for ring-shaped reticles.

It's best to use a red dot magnifier scope to make small adjustments. After that, check the setting with real bullets.

Laser Boresight

midten 223 laser boresight eotech pov

Laser boresighting quickly zeroes in a new optic that's way off target, making it easier for the shooter to hit the mark without wasting time and ammo searching for shot groups on paper targets.

This method is helpful for pistol red dots.

Read More: How to use a boresight 

midten 9mm laser boresight for zeroing


Why Confirm The Zero With Live Ammo?

Confirming that the point of aim matches the point of impact is crucial for ensuring the accuracy of the firearm. It allows the shooter to have confidence in their weapon system, and it's a responsibility that every shooter should take seriously.

Firing rounds downrange when there is a difference between the point of impact and point of aim can be extremely dangerous, especially in personal defense or real-world situations. The consequences of bullets hitting something other than where the dot is pointing can be a matter of life and death.

It's essential to setup your optic and always confirm the zero with live ammunition.