How to Mount a Red Dot Sight on a Pistol?

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How to Mount a Red Dot Sight on a Pistol

If you are thinking of buying a red dot sight for your pistol, you must know why you need it on your pistol. The red dot sight gives a better performance in aiming and achieving the target. Red dot sights can use optical, laser, or visual boresighter. That is why mounting the red dot sight depends on the approach used in the pistol. Some people use a red dot sight with a custom slide, while others use the machined slide option.

So, it means that you must get all the information about your pistol and the instruments attached to it. If you will have a red dot sight for your pistol, here is a complete description in the article that will help you in sighting and mounting a red dot. To remove any confusion about the red dot sight, keep reading the article.

Things Need to Consider for mounting a pistol

If you have decided to mount a red dot sight on your pistol, you need to consider the following things. 

  • The technology used in dot
  • Size of Minute of Angle (MOA)
  • Mounting considerations

The technology used in dot

You can choose the dot technology for your pistol from the following.


This form of dot uses a LED light for sighting into the scope. It is adjustable and can adjust its brightness up to a suitable point. It is very beneficial in the daytime or the high light. This one is preferred by the experts and is considered more reliable than the other technologies.

Tritium dot 

In this approach, the dot uses an active element of hydrogen that enlightens the dot so that you can focus on your target. These dots are usually used in dark times like at night. Sometimes it may prove challenging to operate tritium in ambient light. That is why it is recommended to use LED primarily.

Hybrid technology

In this approach, both the LED and tritium are used in one. You can use this type of dot in daylight as well as at night. But using it will cost you more for the battery.

At the end of this section, it can be said that you should go with a LED dot technology that will be more comfortable. But if you can bear more cost, you can use the hybrid technology that provides you comfort in both the conditions with LED and tritium.

Size of Minute of Angle (MOA)

Red dots have various MOA sizes available in the market, and you can choose according to your choice. There are the following sizes of MOA:

  • 1 MOA
  • 3 MOA
  • 3.25 MOA
  • 6 MOA

The distance can vary with the length and the type of weapon you are using. You may find different recommendations in this context. Mainly it uses 3 MOA for pistols if the distance is close. But if you are participating in long-range shooting, you may need to use a different MOA. You can also switch from one MOA to another if you want. You need to check other available options of the sizes of MOA if you’re going to change MOA.

Mounting considerations 

Many people choose a custom slide because they want to do mounting work by themselves. You need to consider the following things if you are choosing a custom slide. 

  • It has various methods that depend on the cutting of the slide. 
  • There are limited dots, so if you want to apply a different thing, it will prove challenging to use. 
  • It will also cost you more. 

At present most of the pistols come with the optic that is already cut to fit. It would be best to buy Glock mounting plates that you can change according to your optic sight. It would help if you had the right plate for mounting a red dot sight. And you should use blue Loctite so that you can properly mount your sight and can tightly fit the screws.

How to Mounting Red Dot Sight on Pistols

As told earlier, most pistols come with already cut optics, so you need to know how you can mount a red dot sight on your pistol. The mounting process is essential in shooting as it can increase or decrease shooting accuracy. You should follow the below steps for mounting a red dot sight on a pistol:

Fix lower mounting part

First, you should fix the lower mounting part on the slide’s back portion. Now remove the rear sight if you have already mounted it, and then leave the cut-off area open. Then remove the screws from the lower mounting plate of Glock. Now place the lower mounting piece in this open area and then push it in when you have checked that it is properly centered.

Place mounting plate 

After completing the above step, it is time to fix the mounting plate on the slide. A thing that needs to be ensured is that the screw holes are aligned with holes of the lower mounting plate.

Tighten the base

When you have checked that the mounting plate is lined up, now it is time to fix the screws in the holes. First, you can use Loctite and then use the screwdriver to tighten them. You can also recheck the screws for their tightness with a torque wrench.

Fix sighting optics loosely 

When you have placed the mounting plate and tighten the base, you should move to put the sighting optics on the plate to ensure it is secure. Use Loctite and screwdriver to tighten the parts but make sure the dot sight is safe. When your sighting is over, you can tighten them again.

Sighting a red dot sight in a pistol

Make sure that you have perfectly mounted a red dot sight on your pistol. You can adequately use the red dot sight in the following manners.

  • First, you need to determine the point of the target distance that you want to achieve. If you are a beginner, you should start from 20 to 30 yards to get a zero-in. 
  • When you have found the zero-in point of your pistol, adjust the dials accordingly to make a balance. 
  • Make your pistol ready when you have achieved the zero that matches your requirements.
  • You can achieve your aim when you focus on the red dot, but there are more chances to quickly reach the target when you keep your eye on the target directly.  
  • Keep practicing, and you will indeed become an expert in the field. 

Benefits of mounting red dot sights on pistols

There are many advantages of using a red dot sight that urge people to use it on their pistols. It provides the following benefits.

  • It allows making perfect shots and increasing the chances to achieve the aim successfully. 
  • It will work for both low light and high light, so it improves accuracy. 
  • It is more significant than the iron sights. It has gained triple popularity in the market due to its accuracy. It has also extended the combat range of pistols. 
  • You can achieve double the distance with a red dot than an ordinary iron sight. 
  • Its capability can be more if you will practice using it again and again. 

Discomforts of mounting red dot sights on pistols

There are some flaws along with the benefits of using a red dot on pistols. So, if you have planned to buy a red dot sight, you must be aware of these drawbacks. In this way, you will be able to decide if your decision of buying a red dot sight is going to be right or not. It has the following disadvantages of mounting a red dot sight on pistols:

  • When you switch the lens from a cold environment to a hot one, it may get fog that can cause missing the aim. This is because you cannot see the aim. 
  • If you switch from short-range to long-range, it may cause a disturbance. 
  • If you use LED light, it might prove challenging to participate in an event with dark light. And tritium may cause some issues when operating in high light or daytime. 
  • Most of the shooters line up the iron sight more quickly than a red dot sight. 
  • If you do not practice using it, you may not achieve success each time you shoot with your pistols. 

The issues can be resolved, but it is still a concern when buying a red dot sight for pistols. 


By the end of the article, it can be said that you are now fully aware of how to mount a red dot sight on your pistol. The red dot sights are very popular and recommended worldwide in the weapon used in short-range, especially pistol, handgun, etc. So, if you have a pistol and want a red dot sight for it, then it will be a good idea if you go for it. But all you need is to practice shooting with it, and then you will surely win your shooting competition. So, what are you waiting for? Go and have the one that suits your pistol.

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