How To Aim With A Pistol Red Dot Sight [Tips Added]

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How To Aim With A Pistol Red Dot Sight
How To Aim With A Pistol Red Dot Sight (Image credit : Colion Noir)

Hey shooters! Welcome to my guide: How to aim with a pistol red dot sight?

Finding it hard to aim with your pistol red dot? You have landed at the right spot. 

There are lots of complaints about aiming with a red dot sight. Some young shooters abandon using a red dot because who will spend time learning?

Keep reading for the best way to know how you can and should aim with a red dot on a pistol. 

At scope and stuff, we develop solutions to your shooting-related problems, teach tricks to become a pro, and review products to pick the best shooting stuff. 

Trust us because we are a dedicated team working tirelessly to give you the most updated content. I am Hannah Anderson, and I have done days of research and worked with experts to bring this piece to you. 

Let’s start.   

Zeroing Your Red Dot: A Prerequisite For Aiming 

Before aiming, you have to zero your pistol red dot sight, ensuring that your point of aim and impact is one.

Learning and practicing aiming with a sight that is not zeroed is useless. 

So zeroing your red dot gives you the accuracy you need to perfect your aim. 

How To Aim With A Pistol Red Dot Sight: All Steps

Learn to aim with a pistol red dot with the following steps:

  1. Focus on target
  2. Find the dot
  3. Put the dot on the target
  4. Pull the trigger
  5. Keep practising

1. Keep The Focus On The Target

You must focus on the target to aim with a red dot sight. 

It’s advantageous because you focus on one point without oscillating between the front sight and the target. 

So, the first thing to learn about aiming with a red dot sight is to focus completely on the target. 

2. Find The Dot

Finding the red dot is the most crucial aspect of aiming with a red dot sight, but it’s not easy. 

Yes, you get all that speed with the red dot but only when you find it every time you draw your gun. 

I will explain later in this article how you can master the art of finding a dot every time you draw your pistol. 

3. Put The Dot On The Target

Once you find the red dot (hopefully), the next thing you do is put it on your target. When you place your red on the target, you have one point of focus: Dot On Target. 

4. Pull The Trigger

After finally finding the red dot and placing it on the target, pull the trigger. 

5. Keep Practicing

A red dot is as good as the shooter behind it. So, just using the red dot sight will not make you a better shooter. 

Keep practicing drawing your red dot-equipped pistol with all the important things I have mentioned in this article and anything that you know about aiming with a red dot.

I also learned much from Colion Noir’s experiences shooting with a red dot. You can do that too. 

Tips And Tricks To Find The Dot For Aiming 

Finding a dot is crucial in aiming with your red dot-equipped handgun. But learning to do it requires a lot of skills and practice.

Not being able to find your red dot can be frustrating. 

I will tell you all the ways I know of finding your dot every time you draw your pistol. 

1. Follow The 80-20 Method For Draw Speed 

Finding the dot has a lot to do with how you draw your pistol. There is a general method that the experts in the industry like Scott Jedlinski and JJ Racaza talk about. 

This rule says that you should divide the speed of your draw into parts. Be fast with the first 80 percent of your draw and slow with the last 20 percent. 

The second part is when you find your dot, and this part should be smooth. So, going slow will help you find the dot when you draw your gun. 

I learned this method for the first time in my shooting lesson with Scott Jedlinski. 

Also, the folks at Tier 1 Concealed explain how the 80-20 method works. 

2. Find A Natural Point Of Aim 

Each shooter has a different natural point of aim. And to find the dot quickly and efficiently, you need to find yours. 

But first, let’s find out what the natural point of aim is. A natural point of aim for a shooter is a spot in the air where their eyes align with the red dot sight and the target. 

The process of finding your natural point of aim is as follows:

  1. Close your eyes
  2. Draw your gun
  3. Once you open your eyes, ideally, you should see the dot in the center of the sight. 
  4. If you don’t see it, make corrections with your gun. You do it without moving your head. 
  5. Keep practising this process until it becomes subconscious.  

Continuous practice will make you better at finding your natural point of aim. Do not give up quickly. 

I learned to find my natural point of aim from Joe Farewell. You should also see the visual representation to find your natural point of aim.

I am cross-eye dominant, with a right-hand and dominant left-eye combination. So, to align my eye with the dot, I draw my pistol, move it to the left of my body and turn my head slightly.

One thing to keep in mind is to avoid too much movement. 

3. Keep The Muzzle In A Downward Position 

The dot in red dot sight sits high in its window. So when you draw your pistol and have your muzzle elevated slightly, you do not see the dot. 

The little trick here is to keep the muzzle down when you present. This might take a little practice, but you will improve with time. 


Learning to aim with pistol red dots is a time-taking process. No one trick can make you a pro at it, but a lot of little tricks will help you.

Remember that target is the focus; it is where you put the reticle and pull the trigger. 

But to do that, you need first to find the dot, which you can master using the 80-20 method for draw speed, finding your natural point of aim, and keeping the muzzle down. 

And lastly, practice is the key to mastering the skill of aiming with a pistol red dot optic, and your learning curve depends on how much you practice. 


Where do you aim on a red dot sight on a pistol?

You aim at the target with a red dot sight mounted on a pistol. This focus on the target helps you to shoot fast. 

Is shooting with a red dot easier?

Yes. Shooting with red dot optics is easier than iron sight. With iron sight, you have to align the front and rear sight to the target, but with red dot sights, you place the reticle on the target and press the trigger. 

How far does a red dot sight shoot?

Typically, red dot sights shoot up to 100 yards. 

Is it worth putting a red dot on a pistol?

Red dot sights give target-focused shooting. You don’t have to align front and rear sights to the target for a proper sight picture as you do with iron sights. This makes the red dot sights easier to use.

You can also co-witness your red dot sight to both your iron sights. Some shooters prefer buying a red dot which includes a rear sight notch, so if they remove the rear sight in the mounting process, they can still co-witness.

Also, most red dot sights have manual brightness adjustments, and some have automatic ones. These adjustments allow you to choose your red dot brightness according to the lighting conditions.

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Hannah Anderson is a gun enthusiast. She developed a knack for guns and ammunition when as a teenager she started accompanying her grandfather to his hunting ventures. Now, she shares her passion and immense knowledge on the subject with the readers.