How to Sight in a Red Dot Scope Without Shooting?

Before we dive deeper into the topic, let’s talk about hunting which is a hobby and pretty entertaining too. When hunting, you want something simple, precise, and with good speed. A red dot scope dominates in high-speed shooting and is fast.

If you are a shooter of handguns, shotguns, or riffles, you can benefit from the red dot. For a beginner, it may not be easy having a perfect sight on your target without jerking and pulling the trigger.

It can be overwhelming, and to succeed; you need to use a red dot scope. In this review, we’ll dig into everything you need to know about how to sight in a red dot scope without shooting. Read on.

What is a Red Dot Scope?

A red dot scope is simply an optic that magnifies an object before shooting. It is mostly used when shooting at close range.

The red dots will place the reticle and target at the same optical line and allow them to stay on a single focal point. It thus allows you to focus your attention on your target for precision and speed.

Most often, users call it an optic since its power to the boundaries, and you won’t be able to zoom with it.

Typically, it’s not practical to sight without shooting. What one can do is to bore sight, generally referred to as Boresighting.

In this article, we shall look into this basic approach.

Types of Red Dots

Red dot scopes are easy and straightforward to focus on your target. If you are a newbie, the red dot scope is the best choice since you only need to point to the target then shoot.

Red dots are versatile, and you can use them on different types of weapons. They are several types available, and each has its own function.

Are you looking for an affordable scope? Here is our detailed review of rifle scopes under $300.

We also have scopes within $100 which are great in quality and price. Don’t forget to check.

Standard Rifle Optics

Standard rifle optics looks more like a tube and is designed for the standard size of an adult’s hand. Their design will allow for shooting on an average range.

Other features include a 2 or 3 MOA red hot and you can also use a magnifier when you want to shoot a wider distance.

Miniature Red Dot

The miniature red dots are tiny and are mostly used on small pistols. They are also suitable for use in a standard rifle.

Most manufacturers are designing small sizes of a miniature red dot.

How Does a Red Dot Sight Work?

Using the red dot scope is easy, and therefore anyone can use it through practice. Before using it, you must understand light technology since the red dot relies typically on the reflection of light from the mirror. A beam strikes the spherical mirror to produce a reticle.

Usually, a red dot is suitable for use on medium distance ranges. Other than speed and accuracy when shooting, you also benefit from parallax. Parallax is all about the movement of the scope when your eye is focusing on the dot.

When using a red dot, you need to set the red dot to zero when focusing on your target. The target is the most central point, and the most important thing is to aim at it successfully. Failure to aim can lead to shooting any item around the target.

Below here are two techniques of sighting in scope without shooting.

The Boresighter Tool

The first is by use of a Boresighter. This tool points a laser beam directly to the target. A beginner can practice how to red dot using the Boresighter.

To sight, a red dot means aiming at the middle point or zero. A shooter can easily aim the center through practice, and a Boresighter helps in sighting your target.

Boresighting helps you sight your weapon without shooting. It makes the entire process easy and faster. It will only take you a few minutes to complete the whole process.

You can do some tweaks to position your weapon right on the target. This approach offers convenience and saves you money since you won’t need any ammo.

To be successful in using a Boresighter tool, you must ensure your gun is not loaded, and the rifle should be still with no movements. The target should be visible at the center and large in size.

On the market, you’ll find three types of Boresighter tools, and it’s essential to get to know each and how it works.

Laser Boresighter

A laser Boresighter is the most popular option available on the market. Most shooters prefer this tool due to its effectiveness.

It’s shaped like a bullet, and the process of installation requires reading the guidelines. If you are new to shooting, you can get an expert shooter to help you in fixing it.

Once you are set and the laser is in perfect position in the gun, look inside and spot the red dot. Next, control the red dot with your eye looking directly at the center point of the red tor.

The laser method is high-tech and involves rotating the crosshairs to spot precisely. There are some dials at the corners of the red dot, which will assist a great deal.

Optical Boresighter

The optical Boresighter is a bit complicated to use when you compare it to the laser Boresighter. In this approach, you need to connect it to the base of the barrel and ensure there is proper alignment to its lenses.

This method works just like the laser options, where you’ll only need to mount at the tip of your weapon. Next is to line the lens together with the scopes.

When viewing the red dot, you can direct your sight through the grid on the lens. Next, keep on rotating the crosshairs to achieve the center point on the red dot.

Visual Boresighting Tool

The next process is the use of the visual Boresighting tool, which is classic yet basic. There are Red dot scopes that offer benefits when shooting at long range and with precision.

Once you install the scope, the next step is to sight. You can achieve this without shooting. Although Visual Boresighting is an old method, it’s fast, easy, and very effective.

Before using this method, you start by removing the rifle’s bolt to enable the use of visual Boresighting. The installation is easy for experts; however, there are guidelines you can follow.

Afterward, aim the target via the rifle’s barrel and the red dot’s middle point.

Steps in Sighting a Red Dot Scope without Shooting

Using a shotgun fitted with a red dot may be a challenge more so if you lack the necessary skills.

However, the following steps will help you sight a red dot scope like a pro.

#1. Learn Everything on Paper

There is a need to do the paperwork for new shooters. An intermediary or expert shoot may skip this step. Paperwork is like learning everything on paper about the red dot, how to choose a rifle, and align the gun.

Also, you’ll read about balancing your eyes and fixing a pattern for practicing with a rifle with a red dot.

#2. Measure Your Distance and the Target

Balancing and aligning are essential skills, and before shooting, you need to know your target.

Also, measure the distance, a range of 100 yards is the minimum requirement when it comes to an experienced shooter. A rifleman can cover up to 250 yards comfortably.

However, if you are new to this topic, it may take a few days before you can shoot at the range of 20 to 25 yards. On the first day as you practice, once in a while, you may miss the target.

#3. Preparation 

Preparation also involves gathering tools when installing or mounting. Most often, you’ll need some accessories for installation, such as a mounting plate.

There is a need for precaution to prevent injury or accidents when using the red dot scope. In the preparation stage, you need an open place to practice, such as the file.

Secondly, your gun shouldn’t be loaded, and an eye rest is an essential requirement. Use a board as your target and practice during the day.

#4. Mounting the Scope

While mounting, the entire setup should be stable. Ensure the scope is on top of the receiver and tighten it to minimize any movements. A Loctite will help you in ensuring the stability of the sight when recoiling.

#5. Have a Proper View of the Target

The next step is to set your target and ensure the range does not exceed 25 yards. This position is known as a close-range, and in this case, you don’t need a magnifier.

Basic Boresighting Guidelines

Ensure the rifle is steady; it’s a crucial step as it enables an accurate pattern of shooting. Shop for the nest Boresighter.

You may find reviews on the internet and do comparisons in terms of price, customer satisfaction, and quality. Before shooting, remove the Boresighter failure which can result in damage to the barrel.

If the Boresighting is not sighting, you may need to fire some ammo to achieve sight. Lastly, it’s not recommended to hit more than one range per month.

Therefore, for hunting to be successful, hit at least once a month.

Tips When Using a Red Dot Scope

Red dots scopes have brought tremendous changes when it comes to shooting. They offer massive benefits in sighting, especially during competition or when on a hunting expedition. They are useful in skill-building.

Red dots sights are a big improvement when it comes to speed without affecting accuracy. They ensure you aim at the target through magnification.

To optimize the speed, you must master where it’s coming from and use the scope to your advantage.

The Following Tips Are Useful When Using a Red Dot Scope

For starters, you need to focus your attention on your target. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean changing the focus. You can still keep your eyes open.

Ensure the rifle is close or touching your cheek. However, refrain from lowering your head towards the rifle.

Likewise, your head should stay stiff while you focus on the target. Next, position the stock in the middle of the test.

While still focusing on your target and with your eyes still open, the reticle will appear right in front when your rifle is close to the cheek.

You can achieve this before releasing the trigger and shooting. With this method, your speed significantly increases by the use of red dot sights.

The Common Uses of the Red Dot Scope

One unique feature of the red dot scope is that it can run to a maximum of 50,000 hours. Other devices may only last for a maximum of 1000 hours.

The red dot scope has a 2 MOA middle dot, and when using a magnifier, you can achieve a 6 MOA. Therefore, with a tiny window like that of a pistol, you can still achieve a better view of the target.

Challenges of Using Red Dot Scopes

Red dot scopes are undoubtedly easy to use and pretty fast; however, when shooting at close range, it can get complicated. The dot may not direct you where the target will be hit.

Although light travels in a straight and clear path, bullets may assume a curvy movement. It may cause you to miss the target.

Expert shooters may not have a problem with this; however, new users must practice more to gain confidence. Understanding how the red dot scope works is the first step in learning how to use it.


Most users fear that a red dot scope may not be useful when it comes to shooting at long range. Contrary to opinion, these can be used in long-range by use of a magnifier. Also, when mounted behind the reflex scope, you can achieve more range.

The red dot scope is a personal choice; however, you can have one and follow the steps above to enjoy a perfect, accurate, and better shooting. Red dots are suitable and are becoming popular every day.

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