How do you adjust red dot sights?


June 23, 2008, 10:56 PM
Ok...I'll just admit it...I'm stupid or something. I just bought this NCstar compact red dot tactical sight for my Ruger Mark III and took it to the range. I adjusted the sight (using screw adjuster) to shoot as high as I could but still couldn't hit the target at 15 yards. Red dot was centered right on bullseye but the pistol shot 1-1.5 feet below target. The guns accurate as I've sighted it it with the stock adjustable sights (I have the "Target" model) and it hits whereever I aim it. So the guns not the problem...nor is the shooter. This dang sight just can't be adjusted down enough to sight in on where the pistol is shooting.

I'm assuming that if you want the pistol to shoot higher you adjust the sight higher (just like the rear sight). Right?

OK...go easy on me boys...I'm a newbie at pistol shooting

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June 23, 2008, 11:20 PM
well, first sandbag rest that thing. second, read the instruction manual. if the pistol is going below the dot, and raising isn't working, try the opposite direction. 22lr is cheap enough to keep shooting till it's right on target. third, if you spent less than $100, it's probably not very accurate anyways.

just remember that red dots can be pretty high to the bore centerline depending on the size of it, so if you center it at 25 yards, you may have to change your point of aim to drive a tack at half that range.

June 23, 2008, 11:26 PM
Also double-check to make sure that it's properly mounted.

June 23, 2008, 11:33 PM
Red dots scopes adjust just like traditional scopes Have you rechecked your scope base and mounting rings for tighness ? I put a red dot on my MKIII678 and found the scope base/rail loosened after a couple of shots. I first tried finger nail polish on the screw thread and that didn't help; finally used blue locktite. Red dot [Simmons] dialed in easily after that and now works great for 50 yd plates.

June 23, 2008, 11:33 PM
Is it a tube type or a reflux (window in a frame) type? I've had poor luck with cheap reflux red dots, great luck with cheap tube type.

As said above try turning the opposite direction, the translation from the Chinese is 50-50 with up referring moving point of impact or point of aim.

If its a tube type and you weren't adjusting to the wrong direction you can always shim the rear mount to tilt the line of sight down to the point of impact.

Another thing to remember is red dots won't work worth beans if you focus your vision on the dot as if it were the front sight. You have to look thru the dot and focus your vision on the target, it takes some getting used to especially if you switch back and forth between dots and irons.

Also make sure there is not FOD under your scope rail than might be tilting the front up higher than the rear.


June 24, 2008, 01:15 AM
I had to shim mine and it really pissed me off.

June 24, 2008, 02:17 AM
It's a cheap reflux ($59). I checked the weaver mount and it was solid. I think shimming the dang thing will be the only way to get it to work right. I forgot that when I first starting shooting with it, I don't think I even hit the target backboard (about 2 ft below bullseye) at 25 yards. Adjusting the sight screw "up" (in this case turning the screw clockwise) allowed me to at least hit the backboard and nick the target sheet when I aimed high.

I may try and just get my money back and save up for a good reflux or tube sight. Hopefully, the dealer will be reasonable. It's still in top shape having only shot with it once.

BTW...good joke about chinese instructions! My wife and I just went over to China to adopt a baby girl this past year and we had the time of our lives reading their attempts at English on products they sold or in hotels. Talk about cheap entertainment :)

June 24, 2008, 07:26 AM
you will probably enjoy readying then, lol.

June 24, 2008, 08:17 AM
bench rest your pistol and start off with the target at short distances (like 15 feet), shoot a few (like 3 or 5) shots, adjust the dot, and shoot again--if the hits land where the dot is, push the target out twice as far and do it again, until you get to the distance you're trying to shoot at.

This worked pretty well for me, and only took me about 20 or 30 rounds (per gun) to get my dot'ed/scoped/open-sighted pistols zeroed at 150 feet. With .22LR being as inexpensive as it is ($12 for 550 at wally world), I could afford to shoot that many to zero the sights...

June 24, 2008, 08:23 AM
Benchrest + bolt assembly removed from gun = paper sight... Look down the bore from the rear of the gun and adjust the dot to the approximate location of what you see through the bore. You will be on paper then you can adjust accordingly. (This is why it is called "Bore-Sighting.")

June 24, 2008, 12:50 PM
It's a cheap reflux ($59)........

My Simmons was only ~$30 on sale at Midway ! :eek:

June 24, 2008, 10:45 PM
When everybody's good advice fails, borrow or buy a laser bore sighter, and bore sight the pistol at the distance you'll be shooting. I had friends who were "knowledgeable" about guns that screwed everything on my sights all over the place and never even got on the paper. I took my bore sighter, one adjustment, and started tattooing the bullseye. It ain't rocket science.

Read the information that comes with your sight and see what they recommend FIRST, and then show off how knowledgeable you are with the screwdriver. As my grandmother used to tell me, "when all else fails... read the directions".


June 24, 2008, 11:42 PM

June 25, 2008, 10:11 AM
Read the information that comes with your sight and see what they recommend FIRST, and then show off how knowledgeable you are with the screwdriver
I'm a firm believer in reading instructions. I learned that from my wife :) . however the instructions that came with this sight had nothing to say about sighting it in...only on how to install the battery--along with a great set of "Engrish" sayings. Sigh...

Some great advice from all of you. Before trying shims I want to try some of these suggestions and another one from a good buddy with alot of experience with scopes. THIS time, I'll hook the gun up to a stand rather than trying to do it all with a standing hand shot. My buddy pointed out that instead of turning the scope screw "up" like I was doing (treating the optic like it was a rear sight aligning with the front sight), I should be screwing the sight adjuster in the direction to adjust the red dot DOWN to where the bullet other words sight the scope in to where the bullet hits. :o

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