Red Dot Sight Training

Although the Red Dot Sight (RDS) has become increasingly common, particularly on long guns, many questions - and misconceptions - about the pistol red dot remain.

Looking for more information?


Pistol Red Dot FAQ

Are red dots worth it?

Absolutely, if you are willing to put in the time. Many of us can remember when red dots were a new sighting system for carbines and now they are desired across the board for rifle work. RDS for handguns takes a little more training to be able to obtain good site picture because you don't have all of the points of contact that you have with a carbine. All too often we see folks get discourage because they "can't find the dot," so they give up. Youtube videos and online articles can only get you so far. It is best to seek out in-person instruction.

What does a red dot do? 

The red dot on a handgun will increase accuracy and speed, especially at distance. When you look at the fact that most front front sight posts on a handgun are anywhere from 6 MOA to 8 MOA and most popular red dots are 2-4 MOA and it's a single plane sighting system. With not having to concentrate on centering the front sight in the middle of the rear sight aperture and then concentrating on the clear tip of the front sight post, you simply focus on the threat, super impose the dot center mass of the threat and manipulate the trigger.

Is a red dot good for concealed carry?

Yes. The red dots have proven to be accurate and effective, which are two important points you need to have for self defense. 

Are red dots good on pistols?

Yes. Red dots are great for pistols because it enhances the capabilities of an otherwise short sight radius and short barreled weapon. Again, you can make the correlation between a carbine with a red dot and how it enhances that weapon and apply the same to how can enhance a pistol with a red dot. We teach RDS handgun classes shooting out to 100 yards, which is very often an unattainable shot for most people with iron sights. It becomes very easy with an RDS equipped handgun. 

Are red dots suitable for duty use?

Some red dots are suitable for duty use, while some aren't reliable enough for duty but are more suitable for recreation and competition. 

Do you leave your red dot on? 

Yes. Red dots should be left on a medium to high setting depending on your environment. You leave them on for the same reason you would carry your handgun loaded with a round in the chamber, because in a defensive situation you will not have time to turn it on before needing it. 

What distance should I zero my red dot? 

In my opinion this is a dual answer question. We should obtain a rough zero somewhere around 10 yards. A good tight 10 shot group will give us a good baseline and then obtain a final zero at 25 yards, because the RDS equipped handgun can be utilized at distance. The 25 yard zero will allow you to have a more accurate windage and elevation compared to a 10 yard zero. 

Do police use red dot sights? 

Over the last several years, we have seen red dot use for law enforcement become much more popular and it seems to grow every month. Red dot equipped handguns increase accuracy, ability and allow law enforcement to remain threat focused which are all major benefits and advantages for all. 


Red Dot Concealed Carry

Many responsible armed citizens concealed carry an RDS-equipped pistol every day. It is not an impossibility to do so, nor is it a disadvantage. Familiarity and proficiency with a pistol red dot will improve a gun owner's confidence in their chosen defensive weapon and improve performance on the range.

Red Dot for Duty Use

Red Dot Instructor Course

Victory First instructors have provided formal, professionally-recognized handgun red dot instruction to LE, military, and OGA personnel since before there was a Victory First. In addition to duty-use training, VF offers a "train the trainer" Red Dot Instructor course. 

BLUF: Students will learn to: justify the use of an RDS, select an appropriate optic, articulate and justify use on the stand, mount and zero the optic, and utilize the RDS-equipped handgun under stress.

Red dot sight training


"Red Dots for Cops"

The goal of the Red Dot Instructor course is to develop agency instructors capable of teaching departmental personnel how to use a red dot sight (RDS) and subsequently qualify that personnel for duty use of a pistol with red dot. 


~ Students will be able to develop a proper lesson plan.

~ Students will able to Instruct the proper setup, deployment maintenance of various pistol mounted RDS.

~ Students will be able to properly diagnose common issues with new or intermediate shooters using the pistol mounted RDS.

~ Students will be able to Implement a viable Pistol RDS syllabus.

~ Students will be able to pass and conduct pistol mounted RDS qualification course of fire. 



  • Safety
  • RDS Handgun History
  • Equipment selection and considerations
  • Mounting solutions / capabilities
  • Choosing your agencies Red Dot 
  • Building your program
  • Fundamentals
  • Reloads
  • Clearing malfunctions
  • Multiple threats / threat selection
  • Movement while shooting
  • Disabled / one-handed techniques
  • Using barricades; HOB
  • Lesson Plans
  • Teach backs
  • Evaluations - Record keeping
  • Qualifications - Developing, maintaining
  • Certifications

Related Items