How Do You Sight In a Laser Sight?

Learning how to sight in a laser sight is an important rite of passage for anyone who uses a laser-equipped firearm. After all, what good is a laser if it’s not targeting accurately? While an off-kilter laser might get you close to the mark, close isn’t good enough when you’re in a tough situation.

Fortunately, calibrating your laser sight is a fairly easy process. You might even have some fun doing it. Let’s start with the basics first, and then we’ll get into different methods.


1. Getting Started

Before you start the sighting process, make sure you’re in a safe place to shoot. 

How do you sight in a laser sight properly? Well, typically you should perform this task at around 25 yards. As long as you have at least 10 yards of distance to work with, you can get the job done. Try to choose a distance that’s relevant to your usual shooting range.

Once you’ve found an appropriate place to shoot, it’s time to make your target. Skip the colorful targets and make your own. A plain sheet of white paper with an X marked in the middle will work just fine. 

As you learn how to sight in a laser sight, you’ll find that keeping it simple is the way to go. After all, how do you sight in a laser sight if you’re not able to see exactly where your shot hits? You’re going to be making precise adjustments to your laser. So, avoid any designs that could be distracting. A keen eye goes a long way in getting it right.


2. Sighting 101

A person loading a pistol

Before we cover more in-depth sighting methods, let’s start with the most straightforward method.

  1. Aim your laser directly at the center of the X on your target. If you need help holding it perfectly steady when sighting, use a bipod or other stabilization tool.
  2. Fire one round.
  3. Examine the shot. Did the round hit above or below the X? To the left or to the right? If it hit dead center, congratulations—you’re good to go.
  4. If your shot was off, it’s time to adjust your laser’s windage and elevation settings.


3. Make Adjustments

How do you sight in a laser sight? At this point, consult your manual to determine how to sight in a laser sight using your specific model’s adjustment features. Most laser sights have a windage control that adjusts the laser’s horizontal position. They also have an elevation control that adjusts the laser’s vertical position.

For example, if your shot hit the target above and to the left of the X, you’ll want to adjust the elevation. This will bring the laser beam down and pull the windage towards the right.

After making your adjustments, fire another round. Repeat this process until your shots are hitting the center of the X. How do you sight in a laser sight? With these simple fundamentals, you should be able to calibrate your laser very accurately.


4. Practice Expert Sighting Strategies

A person aiming a pistol at a firing range

If you want to further increase your firearm’s accuracy, you can go more in-depth with the following methods:


Sight-High Zero

Adjust the laser so the beam shows directly above the front sight, regardless of distance. This approach gives you a clear line of visibility to see exactly where the laser beam is traveling.


Parallel Zero

This method is most commonly used with carbines and isn’t usually the first choice for handguns. In this case, you would adjust the laser’s beam so it’s parallel to the bore’s centerline.



How do you sight in a laser sight more efficiently? If you’re just learning how to sight in a laser sight with more complex methods, the spot-on approach may be a good starting point. With this method, you adjust the laser so the beam intersects with the round’s trajectory. This method can provide better short-range accuracy. But, the offset may be problematic at longer distances.


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The basic sighting method should be more than adequate for most shooters. The more complex methods will take time, effort, and practice. So, don’t worry if you’re not ready to tackle them just yet.

How do you sight in a laser sight for the best accuracy? It starts with using a quality laser system. LaserMax makes rail-mounted lasers and trigger guard lasers, as well as exclusive internal lasers integrated right into the firearm. We utilize proprietary technology that you won’t find anywhere else. 

Still have questions? Learn more about laser sights in our blog. Or, go ahead and contact us. Equip your firearm with a top-of-the-line laser that puts you on target right out of the holster.