Tips For Gun Sights | Co-Witnessing Your Sights

Feature | Pointing Rifle | Tips for Gun Sights | Co-Witnessing Your Sights

Co-witness your iron sights to simplify aiming and zeroing of your firearm. Read on and improve your aim in the field!

In this article:

  1. Working with Your Gun Sight Types
  2. What Is Co-Witnessing?
  3. What Types of Co-Witnessing Are There?
  4. Do I Use Both Sights at the Same Time?
  5. What If I Get New Iron Sights?

Tips and Techniques for Your Iron Sights

Working with Your Gun Sight Types

Having your gun accessories fitted correctly and your sights on your firearm zeroed-in can be the difference between a tight or a wide group. This also goes for if you are in a situation where you need to defend yourself or a loved one in a matter of life and death.

I know that may seem a bit extreme but it is always best to be prepared for any possible situation. This is why we want to give you this gun sight trick so that you will always have your sights zeroed in and ready to go under any circumstance.

Here we explain how to co-witness with the help of aligning iron sights with your sights. You just need to zero your iron sights or your red dot, one or the other, and go from there.

This is a technique to simplify your aiming, not complicate it.

What Is Co-Witnessing?

Co-witnessing is how a red dot aligns with iron sights for rifles or pistols, to zero in your sights. I would recommend learning to use both sights as having a red dot sight or EOTech is a luxury.

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There is always the chance for them to break or run out of power while at the range or in the field.

CVLIFE 1x22x33 Reflex Sight Red and Green 4 Reticle Dot Sight with 2mW Gun Sight Laser
  • Material: high strength aluminum; Obj. aperture: 33mm; Magnification:1x; Power of the gun sight laser:2mW; Class of the laser: ClassIIIA
  • Special 2 in 1 design: Built with the red sight laser and dual illuminated reflex sight with four reticle types, it will help you aim and shoot accurately
  • Tubeless design with 33mm reflex lens aperture provides a wide field of view, suitable for rapid-firing or shooting of moving targets besides normal shooting
  • Coming with the switch button and the pressure pad switch, you can choose one of them towards different situation to operate the laser more easily
  • This laser dot reflex sight scope fits standard 20mm weaver and Picatinny rails

How do you do this? You head to your preferred range with your zeroed in iron sights and you mount your dot sight and bolt it on. Since you just put it on, your dot will probably be off.

All you need to do is leave the iron sights up and adjust the dot until it is sitting right on top of the front sight—like an apple on a fence post. Now the dot sight is zeroed.

What Types of Co-Witnessing Are There?

Types of Co-Witnessing | Tips for Gun Sights | Co-Witnessing Your Sights

Absolute or Lower 1/3 Co-Witness Photo by The Professional Gunfighter

Some people like to have an absolute co-witness which is where everything lines up when looking down sights. Others prefer to have what is called the Lower 1/3 co-witness where the iron sights only take up 1/3 of the bottom of your red dot or EOTech sights.

CVLIFE 1X22X33 Red Green Dot Gun Sight Riflescope Reflex Sight for 20mm Rail
  • Screen Size: 22mmx33mm;Weight: 130g; Length: 82mm
  • Reflex Sight Reticle Type: Circle Dot, Cross, 10 MOA & 3 MOA(Red and green illuminated)
  • 4 reticle patterns offer unlimited eye-relief and corrected parallax
  • Allen Wrench included helps you adjust elevation and windage easily.
  • Made of high grade Aluminum Alloy, the dot sight is durable and Light weight.

RELATED: Gun Fight Myths: You Can’t Use Your Sights In Battle

Do I Use Both Sights at the Same Time?

If you don’t have foldable types of iron sights you will always have the red dot lined up with your front sight. If you do have foldable iron sights you simply put them down and continue using your firearm.

I prefer using the absolute co-witness as I have foldable iron sights, but many who don’t have foldable sights like to use the lower 1/3 co-witness.

What If I Get New Iron Sights?

If you end up changing your rear sight you do not have to head back to the range to zero it in. Simply adjust your rear sight to where the red dot is on the top of the front sight again.

That’s it, and your sights are all zeroed in again and you didn’t have to go to the range.

CVLIFE 2.5-10x40e Red & Green Illuminated Scope with 20mm Mount
  • Magnification: 2.5-10X with 40mm objective; Field of View:100 yards of 32.5' @ 2.5x - 8.9' @10x; Laser: 2mW, Class IIIA, reaching 100 yards
  • Clearer Image: multi-coated green lens boast much higher light transmittance compared with blue lens
  • Illumination Modes: red & green (5 intensity)
  • Durable: made of high strength aircraft aluminum


Check out this video by CarryTrainer on how electronic and iron sights work together:

It’s good to have your sights zeroed-in like the absolute co-witness. However, there are instances when your firearm undergoes some changes especially when you’re in the mood for customizations. You want to be always ready to use your gun when the situation calls for it. With that said, knowing how to tinker over your gun sights is a piece of valuable knowledge.

Do you have some co-witnessing methods to share with us? Tell us about it in the comments section below!

Up Next: Weapons Retention During Close Quarters Gun Fighting

Tips For Gun Sights | Tips for Gun Sights | Co-Witnessing Your Sights
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on October 12, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.



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