The 10 yard red dot zero

One of the downsides to the modern trend of adding optics to pistols is the need to zero those optics. It can be a long process of shooting a group, walking downrange, check the group, making adjustments, and starting again. But thanks to Modern Samurai Project, there is another way: the 10 yard red dot zero.

The 10 yard red dot zero is pretty simple, but it does require the shooter to be able to shoot 3 shots that all touch each other or almost touch each other at 10 yards. To zero your gun using this method, you’ll need a target with a small reference point, like a 2 inch circle or a 1 inch square. A 4 inch circle or a 3×5 card can work too, but are on the upper end of size you want to use.

One you get your target set for the 10 yard red dot zero, go to 10 yards and shoot a 3 shot group. Like we mentioned, the goal is to get all three shots to touch, or almost touch. I recommend shooting the group standing unsupported, because that’s how you’re actually going to use the pistol. Shooting off a rest can actually change your point of impact slightly. Once your group is dead center in the target area, you can move on to the next step.

The next step is confirmation. Opponents of the 10 yard red dot zero always bring up “but what about longer ranges” as if shooting at 25 yards wasn’t part of the process. It’s always part of the process. At 25 yards, shoot another 3 shot group unsupported, and your point of impact should be centered on the target. When I do this method these days, I’ll shoot my 10 yard groups at a 1 inch square, then my 25 yard group at a B8. This is easy if you have Langdon Tactical Targets which have all of those target areas on them.

When you’re at 25 yards, you shouldn’t need to adjust your sight further. If you got everything nailed at 10, you should be in business at 25 yards. If you want to make some minor tweaks and shoot one more group, this is the time to do it, but be careful. At 25 yards shooting unsupported your margin of error is a lot more, and it’s quite possible to start chasing your zero around. If your zero at 10 was good, and your hits at 25 are in the 10 ring on a B8, you’re good.

That’s it! The 10 yard red dot zero is a simple process that takes very few rounds and very little time. I just recently used it to zero the Modern Fighting Revolver, and I was able to get it duty ready in less than 10 rounds.

Caleb Giddings
Caleb Giddings is a scotch enthusiast with a writing problem, which is apparently common for writers. He also shoots some guns or something, and is a Master Class shooter in IDPA and NRA Action Pistol. You should definitely follow him on instagram