Red Dot Sights - Mounting & Sighting in
(Got this email from Tom, and it's a great question, so I thought I'd answer it as a post for everyone)
“I would appreciate your help. I just read your post about your Beretta Neos. I bought myself a U22-Neos DLX a few months ago. I have found it to be a pleasure to shoot – and damn good-looking to boot. I just received a BSA Shadow Red Dot Scope (30mm) as a gift. I’ve never sighted a scope before (I’m still a relative newbie). I was wondering how you go about doing it? Any suggestions, advice or pointers would be most welcome. Thank you in advance. ----- TOM
I make no claims to be an expert, but I’m glad to share what I do when sighting in a red dot sight. The first thing to do is to make sure the sight is solidly mounted onto the sight rail, and that the screws are firmly tightened. How tight? About a half a turn before the bolt breaks! (That’s a joke, son!!)
Anyhow, if you hold it up to the light and look under the scope, if it’s not solidly seated down on the rail, you can see the light through the gap. The two cross bolts have to fit down into the cross slots on the rail, and it’s fairly easy to get one of them not fully down into it’s slot, and the sight won’t fully be down on the rail. As you continue to shoot, the sight wanders around and won’t stay adjusted.
Once you’ve got it solidly mounted you’re ready to start shooting. I usually start at about ten feet, just to be sure you are at least close. I use a white sheet of paper with a vertical and horizontal line on it, drawn with a felt pen. (I'm not cheap, just thrifty!)
You will want to hold the gun as solidly as possible, so resting it on a sand bag on a bench is a good way to go. I’ve got a small table, a one gallon paint thinner can and a small sand bag that does the trick just fine. Not too classy maybe, but what the hell! Adjust the brightness to as low a level as you can comfortably see it. It makes the dot seem smaller.
When sighting in, try to center the dot as close to the center of the sight as possible. Even though they are supposed to shoot wherever the dot is, it’s not always so, particularly near the edges. It’s a good idea to practice shooting with the dot in the center anyhow.
Unscrew the two little plastic caps, and under each cap is a screw with a slotted head. The top one will have either a U or a D and a little arrow. The side one will be marked either L or R, again with a little arrow. If the top screw is labeled U, then turning it in the direction of the arrow will move the point of impact up on the target. Move each one a few clicks at a time until you are hitting at the cross point of the two lines, or at least really close. Then I’d move to about twenty-five or thirty feet, and do it again. Finally, adjust it for the distance you will be shooting at the most. After you adjust it vertically, sometimes they seem to move a bit horizontally, and vice-versa. Adjust one, then the other, until you get it where you want it. After several hundred rounds, you should re-check it from a rest. Sometimes they wander a bit before they finally settle down.
Since the sight is above the barrel centerline by maybe and inch and a half or thereabouts, it is absolutely impossible to be sighted in at all distances. The closer the distance you are sighted in at, the more you will have to allow for this.
Once you are sighted in, you might want to continue shooting from a rest, and try several different distances to get a feel for this variation.
Have fun with your Beretta, it’s a great little shooter……