How To Aim With A Red Dot Sight? [With RDS Video Instruction!]

How fast and accurately you can take the shot determine how badass shooter you are. That’s why people call the shooting accuracy as the most vital skill that you should have if you want to hit the target every time you aim.

It will be your all-time favorite companion once you know how to use it. It will make you a trained shooter in no time! Since it’s invention in 1970, it keeps amazing people from various shooting fields.

If you are a beginner in shooting, it will take some time to be a badass shooter. That’s where a red dot sight comes into play. It reduces the learning gap significantly and helps you achieving the target in the shortest possible time more precisely.

And it does it by simply using the RDS as the reticle. You have seen it in movies, right? An LED light pointing to the target?

How To Use And Aim With A Red Dot?

mounting a red dot sight

It’s easy and there is nothing complicated about it. Just point it at the target you intend to shoot and you just take the shot! It’s pretty straightforward, right? This article will help you a lot to understand the rest of using it just like a pro. Here is the step by step guide to follow:

Handle The Firearm With Care

This goes without saying, you must know how to handle your firearm before you learn how to use the red dot. This will prevent a lot of unforeseen incidents. Check your firearm carefully to understand whether it is in good condition.

Gather Necessary Tools

To install it on your gun, you will be needing some tools like the Picatinny rail and other tools to mount it. But don’t worry, when you buy a new red dot, it will come with almost everything for the complete installation. However, you may have to buy the mounting plate and manage an Allen Wrench to do the installation.

Installation may be a little different based on the type of gun. Some are intended to use with larger guns like the rifles and some are meant for the smaller guns. Bigger guns like AR rifles come with the Picatinny rail. That makes installation pretty easy.

Time To Mount It!

You need better stability to have the most accurate shot. To have the greater stability, mount a scope atop the receiver while mounting the red dot sight. Even a little movement will compromise the stability. To avoid or minimize the movement, tighten the scope. During the recoil, the scope may loosen up. Use the blue Loctite to prevent loosening.

Set The Target Carefully

As a beginner, you are recommended to set the target up to 25 years only. That way you won’t be needing any magnifier.

Positioning & Co-witnessing

You should co-witness the sight. Most precision shooters carry an iron sight. If you do so, you can use that as your co-witness tool so that you can zero in. But of course, your rifle has to have the iron sighting fixture. And if it does, you will be in a much better position than your peer groups.

Your sighting optics have elevation and windage features. Adjust them to get the dot sitting on the top of the front post of the iron sight.

Eyes On The Target & Stay Focused

You have to make sure your target is lined up on the top of the post. To do so, look at the reticle and make sure to focus on the target.

Eyes On Reticle Movement

Make sure the dot to sit without any movement. If it does not sit atop of the post directly, do some horizontal/vertical movement.

Finish The Aiming Step

Look through the reticle at the target. Now point the red dot at your target. Keep yourself steady and make sure you follow all the above processes. Once you followed all the processes, you will get the dot on the target.

Shoot Confidently!

You may have to do some test rounds after you centered the dot. The actual target will be somewhere nearby it. Until you can shoot the target precisely, adjust the dot accordingly.

Know Your Red Dot

As a proud owner of a red dot, learn all the functionalities and true power of your gadget. A good quality red dot can be used for up to 50,000 hours whereas, a holographic sight can be used 500 – 1000 hours. All the red dots have 2 MOA center dot. You can easily have 6 MOA if you add a magnifier in front of it.

Clear The Misconception

You will find a lot of misconceptions saying a red dot can’t be used for long-range shooting. This is not necessarily true. Yes, red dots are ideal for short-range shooting but if you mount a scope on the back of it, it can cover a pretty long distance.

Also, the color of the dot doesn’t necessarily have to be red. It can be green as well which depends on what model you choose.

Now, you may be wondering which sight to get, right? Well, it varies from person to person. You may have your own preferences. Assess your necessities and preferences and get yours from any reputed brand.

Additional Considerations To Mount A Red Dot Sight

I know a lot of shooters love to include a magnifier. If that’s the case, pay extra attention to make sure you don’t get limited on space while performing the mounting procedure. Mounting it further forward may solve the issue.

Whether you should mount it closer or further to your eyes – largely depends on you. If you mount it closer to your eyes, you will get wide Field Of View (FOV) but the problem is when you look around, you will see less.

Mounting the sight further from your eyes will let you have smaller FOV. Now you will have more viewing areas. If you are onto long-range shooting, you will be needing a wide FOV and vice versa.

Safety Tips

When you use a firearm, you should be extra careful. Along with yourself, you have to keep people nearby you safe. Your gun will produce loud gunshot noise and if your ears are not protected, there will be serious damage. To prevent the damage, wear earplug and earmuff for ear protection.

Always place your firearm on your left/right shoulders. And don’t freak out if you notice the red dot is not centered. Since they are parallax free, you have nothing to worry about. Here are some vital tips to keep in your mind:

  • To prevent injury, always practice in a wide and open area.
  • There is a possibility that a bullet can bounce back. So, there should not be anything/anybody surrounding you.
  • To be extra safe, you can practice aiming the dot with an unloaded gun.
  • Some people are not fond of the open-eye shooting method. If you are one of them, use a lens cover as the screen for your red dot.


Red dot sights are already popular and getting more popularity day by day among shooters. You should have one too and learn how to use it effectively. With the guide provided above, you should have a clear understanding of how to use it. Here is an RDS video instruction for the noob shooters!

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