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With red dot sights mounted on handguns more popular than ever, people look for more efficient ways to get their red dot zeroed. Here’s an efficient way to zero a red dot sight at 10 yards.

Your Red Dot Zero Distance Matters

I​f you carry or compete with a pistol equipped with a mini-red dot sight (MRDS), the distance you choose to zero you optic is critically important. For example, a 25 yard zero means that rounds will be low at 10, 7, and 5 yards. However, if you choose to zero a red dot sight at 10 yards, it creates a zero that’s useful at all distances out to 25.

How to Zero a Red Dot Sight at 10 Yards

The 10 yard RDS zero does require one special skill – the ability to shoot 3 rounds inside a 2 inch circle at 10 yards. That’s step 1. Using a target like the Langdon Tactical Target, shoot 3 rounds at a 2-inch circle, 10 yards away. It’s important to shoot this group from the standing unsupported position. You shoot standing unsupported in the real world, it makes sense for your zero to reflect that. Observe the group’s impact, then adjust your optic according. Repeat until the group is centered in the middle of the 2-inch dot.

Trust but Verify

Once you’ve learned how to zero a red dot at 10 yards, it’s important to verify your zero. Accomplishing this means sending your target back to 20 or 25 yards, then shooting another group. It’s okay to use a supported position for this group, although an unsupported one gives you a more realistic idea of your group shooting skills. Still using the Langdon target from earlier, shoot this group at the B8 bullseye target. Keep all your shots centered and in the 8-ring or better, and you’re good to go.

Efficiency is the Goal

The point of learning how to zero at 10 yards is to get the boring task done. Zeroing a handgun and not training, seems like time wasted. More time training is always the right answer. However, it is important to bear in mind that this technique might not work for you, especially if you’re not the best at shooting good groups. If that’s the case, maybe a 25 yard zero off a bag is the right answer.

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