How To Zero A Red Dot [Canted Angles] – Best Zero Distance & Mount

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Learning how to zero a red dot sight at canted angle can be tricky if you’re not paying attention to the details.

When you do it right, it makes a long-range rifle close quarters ready without looking through a magnified scope. This is can be done instantly by tilting the gun to the side.

Before you do anything, we highly recommend the Trijicon offset mount as a 45-degree mount.

In this article, we’re going to talk about how to zero an offset red dot sight properly at the right distance when you tilt the rifle.

Save Up To 35% on Trijicon Red Dot Sights

Best Red Dot For Offset Angled Mount

There are many durable and affordable micro red dot optics on the market that are made for offset canted shooting.

We have uploaded a recommended Micro RDS list you can check out on our site here.

Best Zero Distance for Canted Red Dot Sight


The best zeroing distance for a 45 degree offset red dot sight is 25 yards as long as the angled sights are directly aligned with the barrel.

Having a centered red dot that aligns with the axis of the barrel eliminates offset, so the point of aim is as close to the point of impact as possible.

I like the 25 yard zero for close-range targets, and I shoot long-distance targets with my main magnified scope

It’s okay to have a slight offset red dot sight mount, then I recommend you to zero the dot as close as 15 yards.

Zeroing a red dot sight at a longer distance with a parallel offset is challenging because you’re dealing with bullet drop, offset and other ballistic behaviors.

We will recommend you some great angled Picatinny rail mount below in this article.

Benefits Using 45 Degree Red Dot For Close Quarter

holosun 510c on pcc gif

The biggest benefit of using an offset red dot sight is the speed for shooting close range targets. This add-on feature makes a long range rifle close quarter ready. Read more on how to shoot with combat red dot sight here.

It’s not recommended to aim at a 10-yard target through a 4X scope, but an offset red dot sight really helps.

Magnified optics such as the Trijicon ACOG and long-range power scopes have annoying eye relief distance. No matter how you like it, it’s difficult to get the sight picture quick.

  • Fast Target Acquisition
  • Makes Long Range Rifle Close Range Ready
  • Perfect For Competition Rifles

How To Zero A Red Dot At Offset Angles for CQB

Zeroing an offset red dot sight is the same as a standard sight.  Make sure the center of the sight with the bore when it’s canted at 45 degrees.

>>Click here to get the full guide on how to calculate MOA ( Minute of Angle) 

Always remember to zero the red dot straight leveled. Don’t adjust MOA relative to the sight being titled.

45 Degree Offset

It’s best to align the center of red dot sight to the bore, then all you have to account for is the vertical holdover. You will zero it just like normal as long as it’s centered.

45 Degree Offset aligns with bore

How Does Constant Offset Affect Zero At Close Range

The common question people ask is how to account for POA & POI offset. There are angled mounts that don’t completely align with the bore, and the solution is to account for the offset.

This is why zeroing at 25 yards is the best without worrying about bullet drop.

Point of impact offset combined with bullet drop will make offset aiming a lot harder.

MISTAKE TO AVOID: Don’t zero the point of aim as the point of impact

Just like zeroing a laser sight, please keep constant offset zero because the POI changes as the distance changes. 

Keep Constant Offset Red dot
  1. Measure how much offset between the center of the red dot sight to the center of the bore
  2. Zero the red dot as close as to the target and account for the offset
  3. Shoot the gun canted slightly to the left and right until you’re comfortable with the zero
  4. Test the zero from various distances until you’re comfortable with it

How To Zero Offset Red Dot On Side Of Scope

For those users who have offset red dot on the side of the scope such as the LaRue Tactical LT742 RMR adapter. You will account for the slight offset when you tilt the rifle. Pick an offset mount is to check if the angled mount is aligned straight with the bore when it’s tilted.

It means even if it’s 30 degrees, it could align with the bore depending on the height and position of the mount.

Who Uses 45 Degree Red Dot Setup?

There are 3-gun competition shooters, home defenders, and military who use it. The biggest advantage is to quickly transition from long range to close range without looking through a magnified optic.

There are a lot of great setups out there, and its mainly used as a back-up sight.

Sight Transition Speed – Red Dot Magnifier VS. Offset Red Dot

Shooters who are experienced with using red dot magnifiers should try the offset red dot. Red dot magnifier is great for making a fixed power red dot into a long-range scope, but it’s not as fast as the offset red dot. It’s not recommended for competition still shooting.

An offset red dot sight just requires you to tilt the gun transitioning from long range to close range, while magnifier requires your hand make the switch.

red dot magnifier vs offset red dot

The Best Spot To Mount Offset Red Dot Sight

The two most popular places are:

  • The top rail near your magnified scope – As close to the shooter for a bigger field of view and sight radius
  • Handguard – Place it further out on the handguard for faster aiming

Best Offset Sights For 3 Gun

The most practical setup for the competition is around $300. Holosun Optics and Vortex Venom are very popular on the market, so check them out below.

Most of those optics are made for rifle and handgun use, and they hold zero very well.

If you want a detailed list of the most popular micro red dot optics under $400 to be sure to check out the resource page here.

Please click on the banner below to pick your best affordable options

How Does Low Profile Offset Rail Mounts Affect Zeroing Distance

For all angled offset red dot, you need an angled mount that the center of it aligns with the bore. Below are some of the most popular offset rail mounts on the market.

Best Offset Mount For AR15

There are many offset mounts that don’t exactly line up with the bore, my favorite offset mount is the Trijicon AC32066 adapter. It aligns with the bore perfectly and it works great.

Best For High Height Over Bore Rifles

High height over bore rifles such as the SCAR, X95, and MCX are difficult to pair angled offset mount with because they don’t completely align with the bore.

In order to minimize POI offset, you have to test various mounts at various spots on the gun to see if it aligned as close to the axis of the barrel as possible.

I had found using 30-degree mounts or 45-degree mounts on the handguard rail section the best. This is the best way to minimize taking account for the bullet drop and offset.

Final Thoughts

A fighting rifle paired with a magnified scope and an offset red dot is very versatile for many shooting scenarios. The offset angled sights give the shooter faster target acquisition at close range without aiming through a magnified optic.

It completely changes the playing field for tactical and competition use.

The best zero for an angled red dot is 25 yards, and make sure the center of the sight is as close to the bore as possible to avoid dealing with offset.