How to Sight In a Red Dot on a Shotgun: Mastering Precision


Sighting in a red dot on a shotgun can transform your shooting accuracy, making you more lethal in the field or at the range. Whether you’re a seasoned shotgun enthusiast or new to the world of red dot sights, this comprehensive guide will walk you through the process step by step. Discover how to sight in a red dot on a shotgun like a pro, ensuring every shot finds its mark.

Understanding Red Dot Sights 

Red dot sights are non-magnifying optics that project a red dot or reticle onto your target. They are prized for their rapid target acquisition capabilities and are increasingly popular among shotgun users for various applications, including hunting, competitive shooting, and home defense.

Selecting the Right Red Dot Sight

Before diving into the sighting process, you must choose the appropriate red dot sight for your shotgun. Key considerations include the type of shooting you’ll be doing, battery life, reticle style, and durability. Ensure your selected red dot sight is compatible with shotguns and can withstand the recoil forces generated by these firearms.

Mounting Your Red Dot Sight 

Properly mounting your red dot sight on your shotgun is the first crucial step to accurate sighting. Follow these steps:

  • Choose the Right Mounting System: Depending on your shotgun, select the appropriate mounting system, such as a Picatinny rail, Weaver rail, or a specialized shotgun mount.
  • Secure Attachment: Ensure the mount is securely attached to your shotgun’s receiver or barrel. Use the right tools and torque specifications to prevent any loosening caused by recoil.
  • Align the Red Dot Sight: Attach the red dot sight to the mount, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Ensure it is level and correctly aligned with the shotgun’s bore.

Zeroing Your Red Dot Sight 

Zeroing your red dot sight is the process of aligning the point of impact (where your shots land) with the center of your reticle. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  • Optimal Range Selection: Begin at a suitable range for your shooting discipline. For shotguns, starting at 25 to 50 yards is typically recommended.
  • Set Up a Target: Place a target at your chosen range with a clear aiming point, such as a bullseye or a target with a grid.
  • Secure Your Shotgun: Position your shotgun securely on a rest or sandbags to eliminate any human error.
  • Boresight Your Red Dot: To get close to the target, boresight your red dot sight. Look through the bore (the shotgun’s barrel) and adjust the red dot’s windage (left/right) and elevation (up/down) settings to align it with the target.
  • Fire Test Shots: Fire a series of shots at the target. These initial shots may not hit the bullseye.
  • Adjustment Iteration: Based on where your shots impact, make incremental adjustments to your red dot sight’s windage and elevation settings. Most red dot sights have audible and tactile click adjustments.
  • Repeat and Confirm: Continue the process of firing and adjusting until your shots consistently hit the target’s center.


Sighting in a red dot on your shotgun is the key to unlocking enhanced accuracy and target acquisition speed. By choosing the right red dot sight, mounting it securely, and diligently following the zeroing process, you can ensure your shotgun and red dot sight work in perfect harmony. The result? Confidence and precision for every shot, whether you’re hunting, competing, or protecting your home. Master the art of red dot sight alignment and elevate your shotgun’s performance to new heights.