Deryck Poole

How To Mount a Red-Dot Optic to a Pistol

Deryck Poole
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Duration:   7  mins

Many pistols now ship from manufacturers optic ready, and many shooters consider a red-dot sight an important piece of their self-defense gear. As a result, we’re getting more questions about how to properly mount a red dot to a pistol. PDN Contributor Deryck Poole of Echo 5 Training takes us step by step through the process.


First, check the manual that came with the pistol to see if it has instructions on mounting a red dot optic, including torque specs.


Gather these items before starting:

– Nail polish remover. This contains acetone, which you need to degrease the gun and make sure there’s no residual oil on the threads or mounting surface before installing the optic.
– Driver. Deryck prefers a T-handle driver because it’s easy to use and gives the user a lot of control over the amount of torque.
– Torque driver insert. Put this inside the T-handle. Use it to determine what kind of torque you’re putting on the screws.
– Thread locker. Deryck uses Vibra-Tite VC-3, which is designed for use on firearms.
– Oil-based paint markers. For indexing and extra adhesion.


Clean the gun thoroughly and then wipe down the mounting surfaces with the nail polish remover. Deryck uses a q-tip for this.

Prep the screws. Coat the threads of the screws with Vibra-Tite and let them sit for 15 minutes.

Insert the plate (provided by the handgun manufacturer) and place the red dot on top of the plate. Get the screws started on both sides, just until they touch the face of the optic. Then insert the torque driver and continue screwing in the screws until you reach 10 inch pounds of torque.

Draw a circle around the screws with a paint marker. This provides extra adhesion.

With a different colored paint marker, make an index mark on each screw. Use these marks to monitor if the screw loosens over time.

If you haven’t decided whether to add a red dot to your pistol, check out our video discussion: Pistol Red-Dot Sights for Self-Defense.

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