- 1 Best Iron Sight For AR 15
- 2 AR15 Iron Sight Buying Guide
- 3 What Does The Iron Sight Actually Do?
- 4 How To Use The Iron Sight Perfectly And Effectively?
- 5 Best Iron Sight For AR15 Comparison Chart
- 6 Wrap Up
Iron sights provide the most reliable way of aiming your rifle. In spite of the technological advances in the last decades, iron sights are still the go-to sighting system for Armed Forces around the world. They are sturdy and durable, they can be used even in the harshest conditions and environments, and they don’t need anything else but a good technique to operate. But did you know that there are different types of iron sights, each having its own advantages and disadvantages? In the following article, we review the best iron sights for the AR15, and we provide our opinion on their best and worst features. Finding a suitable AR15 iron sight can be difficult and tiresome, so why should you do it without proper guidance? Read our comprehensive buying guide to find out which features you should look for when you decide to buy iron sights, and which type to use to your advantage.
All of us saw how iron sights are used in movies and video games, and it looks easy enough, but the reality of it can actually be different. Unlike electric sights which make taking aim and acquiring your target very easy, iron sights require some practice before you can shoot accurately. In the following article, you will find out what iron sights really are, how many types of iron sights are there, and what the advantages of using different types of sights are. Don’t know exactly how to use the iron sights once you buy them? Don’t worry, we have that covered for you. The last section of our article will explain how to aim with the iron sights, and we even throw some tips and tricks that should help your way. Once you read them, shooting with an iron sight will never seem as difficult as before.
Troy Iron Sights Micro HK Style
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Magpul Iron Sights MBUS Generation II
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UTG Model 4 Flip-up Sight
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Trinity Flip Up Iron Sight
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Best Iron Sight For AR 15
1. Troy Iron Sights Micro HK Style
These iron sights have a low-profile design, making them the perfect choice for shooters who like their sightline very close to the barrel. The sights will provide a low sightline and their black color will make them match your rifle. The sights have a heavy-duty feel, and they’re sturdy so you can put them through all kinds of tough shooting conditions and still find them reliable and accurate. They are made out of hard metal and you can rest assured that they won’t melt once your rifle barrel gets very hot. These iron sights won’t pop up automatically, so you will have to push the release button yourself. Whenever the sights fold down to the rail, they are very small even when you compare them with other low-profile sights.
- Metal Sights – These iron sights are made out of metal, so they will last a long time even if you put them through tough conditions.
- Low Profile – The iron sights are perfect for shooters who like their sightline close to the rifle’s barrel.
- Fake Items – Always make sure that your sights are exactly as they are presented in the specifications. There are many counterfeit items available on market, and sometimes these items slip past the seller’s verification
2. Magpul Iron Sights MBUS Generation II
These iron sights are constructed out of an impact-resistant polymer, providing a lightweight but durable set that will be able to withstand all the operational abuse you put it through. The sights can be mounted on Picatinny rails and they will offer the same sightline as standard iron sights. Both the front and the rear sights are spring-loaded, and they are easy to flip with a push of a button, or by pressing slightly on their top. The spring pressure will provide sufficient resistance to keep the sights erect, but it will allow them to fold easily under the impact, or when you want them to. The sights install easily, and the tight fit on the rail ensures that they will withstand the shooting vibration and recoil without moving.
- Reinforced With Glass Fiber – These iron sights are made out of plastic, but they are reinforced with glass fiber for increased durability and toughness
- Lightweight – These iron sights are lightweight, so they won’t affect the balance of your rifle, and they won’t tire you out unnecessarily.
- Cheap Knockoffs – Be very careful when you order these iron sights and only do it from a reliable vendor. Many people complained that they received cheap knockoffs instead of the real products.
3. UTG Model 4 Flip-up Sight
These quickly-detachable sights will fit any Picatinny-style rails. They have a flip-up design and a low profile, allowing you to use them with gas blocks or handguard rails. The sight’s elevation can be easily adjusted using a thumb nut with locking retention. The sights are made out of aluminum and they weigh just 3.1 ounces, maintaining your rifle’s balance. The mounting system and the tightening screw will lock this front sight into place, and it will keep it steady when you fire successive rounds. The flipping mechanism is reliable, and you can use it every time you want to switch between your sights and optics.
- Can Be Used With Gas Block Rails – This front sight was specially designed to be used with gas block rails or handguard rails. However, you won’t be able to use it if the gas block rail is too tall. If the block rail has the same height as the receiver rail, this unit won’t help.
- Metal – Since this sight is designed to go on your gas block, you don’t want it to melt because of the heat. The metal construction will protect the sight from the high temperatures.
- Not Good For A Straight Rail – You won’t be able to use this sight of your rifle has a straight rail because it will be too tall.
4. Trinity Flip Up Iron Sight
These iron sights have steel and aluminum construction, so they are durable and reliable, performing well in all kinds of tough shooting conditions. Both the front and the rear sights fold down, so they won’t interfere with your optics when you use them. The front sight is fully adjustable, so you will be able to choose the elevation level that suits you best. The sights have easy to install and adjust. The rear sight’s windage adjustment knob will allow you to change the windage with .5 MOA for every click. The front sight’s elevation can be adjusted with a standard adjustment tool. Both sights can flip up or down quickly, so you will be able to change between using them and the optics fast.
- Get The Job Done – These sights are easy to install and adjust, and once they’re adjusted, they’re accurate and reliable.
- Metal Construction – The sights are made out of aluminum and steel, so they will be more durable than other models.
- Can Fold At Recoil – The sights are sturdy, but some customers have complained that they can fold down on their own because of high recoils. This is not very common, and you should try mounting them properly if this happens to you.
5. UTG Model 4/16 Iron Sight
This rear iron sight is has a rugged aluminum and steel construction which makes it durable and steady when you fire, and the matte black finish will make the sight match the color of your rifle. The windage and elevation knobs are easy to control and the adjustments are made in MOA, each click making a change of 0.5 MOA to your sight. These adjustments are exactly the same as those on military-grade iron sights. The iron sight uses a spring-loaded detent, so every adjustment you make is repeatable and positive. The iron sight’s height is specially designed to co-witness most front iron sights available on the market, but most electronic red dot sights, as well.
- Solid – This is a well-made iron sight. Even though it does not weigh very much, the sight is sturdy and durable, and you’ll be able to use it with great results even in the harshest conditions.
- Very Tight – This sight mounts very tight on your rifle. This will allow you to shoot a lot of rounds without moving or shaking the iron sight.
- No Flipping – This iron sight does not flip up or down, so you will be able to use it with an optical sight only if you use high AR 15 scope rings.
AR15 Iron Sight Buying Guide
Finding the best AR15 iron sight is more difficult than it seems. Today’s market is filled with different models, each of them advertised as the best, but only some actually delivering good results. Some people only buy iron sights as a backup, should their optics run out of batteries or becomes unusable for some reason. Other people, especially those who served in the US Armed Forces prefer shooting with iron sights because they’ve been trained to do so accurately and it comes as second nature to them. The following guide will explain what features you should take into consideration when you’re shopping for iron sights.
- Type: There are two main types of iron sights, and each of them has certain advantages and disadvantages.
- Foldable Iron Sights – Many manufacturers nowadays choose to make their iron sights foldable. Using flip up sights for AR15 allows you to pop them open every time you want to use them, and close them when you don’t.
The main advantage of using foldable iron sights is that you can have them mounted on your rifle alongside your optics without them interfering. You will be able to switch between using your optics and the iron sights pretty fast if you need to, with just the push of the button or by pressing on the top of the iron sights. Another advantage of using this kind of iron sights is that they’re usually lightweight, and they won’t alter the balance of your rifle, even if you mount them forward on the gas block rails.
The disadvantage of using this kind of iron sights is that there is a possibility of them flipping down when you’re firing, leaving you with no accurate way of aiming. However, this can only happen rarely even when you buy cheap models, let alone when you buy one developed by a renowned manufacturer.
- Non-foldable Iron Sights – Once you’ve mounted these sights on your rifle, you will be able to acquire your target through them at all times. Switching between your optical sight and the iron sights will be done instantly, without losing so much as a second.
The advantage of using fixed iron sights is that they have less moving parts, so they’re generally more durable than foldable ones. Some of them can also be more resistant to vibration, so they will offer a steadier sight when you fire rounds in quick succession.
The disadvantage of using this kind of sights is that you won’t be able to use them on the same rifle with a scope unless you use high scope rings, which most shooters don’t prefer.
- Materials: The material used for the iron sights determines how the sights will behave when you use them. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of using iron sights make out of metal or plastic.
- Plastic – Many manufacturers rely on plastic for making their iron sights. Since the manufacturing companies understood long ago that most shooters prefer not mounting cheap plastic components on their rifles, they now advertise them as being made out of polymer but make no mistake, this polymer can be more resistant than other materials, but it’s still plastic.
The main advantage of buying plastic iron sights is the price. They are usually cheap, and most people choose to buy cheap iron sights because they generally rely on their optics, and only mount iron sights on their rifles as a backup solution for the optics not working for some reason.
The main disadvantage of using plastic is that you can easily break the iron sights. Some people have difficulties even mounting plastic iron sights on their rifles without breaking them, let alone using them in the field. However, if you’re careful not to bump them in every tree plastic iron sights can last as long as metal ones. Another disadvantage of using plastic iron sights is that plastic melts, so if you mount the sights on parts of your rifle which get hot to the touch, you might find them melted one day when you fire more rounds in quick succession.
- Metal – Metal iron sights are more durable and sturdier than plastic ones, but they are also more expensive than plastic iron sights.
The main advantage of using metal iron sights is that they are more durable than plastic ones, and they don’t melt, so you can mount them wherever you like without having to worry about them getting hot.
The main disadvantage is that they are usually more expensive than plastic iron sights and many people use them as backup sights, so the cost isn’t justified. However, if you plan on aiming with your iron sights and not a scope or an electronic sight, the iron sights you buy should be made out of metal.
What Does The Iron Sight Actually Do?
The iron sights are actually a system of alignment markers used to help with aiming your rifle without needing a power source as an electronic sight does, but without offering magnification, like scopes do. A typical iron sight system is made out of two separate components.
- A rear sight, which is usually larger and placed perpendicular to the barrel, on the rear of the rifle, close to your cheekpiece.
- The front sight can be mounted in different places on the rifle, depending on the shooter’s preference or the sight’s type. Most common front sights are designed as a post, a ring, or a bead, but different designs can also be used. Both the front and the rear models can be AR15 flip-up sights.
There are two main types of iron sights designs.
- The most common design is “open sight”. These sights have a notch of some kind as the rear sight, and you have to align the notch with the front sight’s bead or post in order to shoot accurately.
- “Aperture sights” don’t use notches or half-circles, but whole circles, making a hole. The hole has to be aligned with the front sight’s bead or post if you want to shoot accurately. This design somewhat limits your field of view, but it should help you focus better on your target and increase your accuracy.
- Open Sights: These sights are usually placed at a certain distance from the shooter’s eye. They provide a minimal limitation to the shooter’s field of view, but they’re not extremely accurate. They usually use a post or a bead as the front sight. To use the sight accurately, you have to align the bead or post both horizontally and vertically in the center of the rear sight. The sights are aligned vertically when the top or bead of the front sight is aligned with the rear sight’s top, or when the top of the bead or post is placed just above the base of the U or V-notch. Horizontal alignment is done when the post or bead is perfectly centered in the U or V-notch. If one of the alignments is not perfect, the shot will miss. A popular open sight design is the Patridge sight. Instead of a U or V-notch, this kind of sight uses a rectangular or square front post and a square notch rear sight. Most shooters believe using this kind of sights is more accurate because aligning the front post with the rear opening is easier, as they have the same design.
- Pros Of Using Open Sights – They are common and cheap, easy to understand and use, lightweight, and sturdy. They can be used in all kind of environmental conditions and don’t need batteries
- Cons Of Using Open Sights – They are not very precise and they’re difficult to adjust. Aiming with them is not done quickly, and you need perfect eyesight if you want to use them accurately.
- Aperture Sights: These sights are also named “peep sights” by shooters, and like the open sights, they too have more designs. Some of them use thin rings which nearly disappear from sight, and they’re named “ghost ring sights”. Others use thicker rings. It’s generally believed that the thicker the ring, the more accurate the sight will be, while a thinner ring will be faster.
- Pros Of Using Aperture Sights – They are very accurate, and most shooters will be able to find a ring that will allow them to shoot as fast as they want with greater accuracy than open sights. They help you focus better on your target, so you will be able to use them in poor light conditions with better results.
- Cons Of Using Aperture Sights – These sights are usually more expensive than open sights. Aiming with them is accurate, but not fast. When you use aperture sights, part of your field of view is blocked.
How To Use The Iron Sight Perfectly And Effectively?
Using iron sights might seem easy in movies and video games, but the truth is you need a lot of practice if you’re planning on using iron sights with great accuracy and efficiency. The following section will give you some tips and tricks to help you become a proficient shooter when using iron sights.
- Every rifle has a front sight and a rear sight. The front sight is usually designed as a post or a bead, and the read sight can be designed to look like a “V”, a “U”, or a simple flat-bottomed square.
- If you want to aim using iron sights, you have to align the top of the front sight with those of the rear sights and to make sure that the front sight is placed right in the center of the rear sight’s notch.
- When you aim, all your attention and focus should be on the front sight, making sure it’s aligned perfectly with the rear one. The rear sight should appear slightly blurred, but you should always have a crystal clear view of the front sight.
- For perfect alignment, you should bring the top of the front sight at exactly the same level as those of the rear sights, and the open space left and right of the front sight should be equal.
- While you learn how to properly use the iron sights, you should not focus on the target. This might be counter-intuitive, but if you focus on the target instead of aligning your front and rear sights, chances are you’re going to miss it.
- When your sights are properly aligned, look at the target and make sure the upper part of your front sight is precisely where you want to hit, and that the sights keep their alignment if you modify your position.
- Tips And Tricks
Some people might still have problems with aiming, even though they know the theory behind using iron sight rather well. If this is your case as well, check out the following tips and tricks to find out how you can improve your accuracy using iron sights.
- A Little Paint Didn’t Hurt Anybody – Many people have difficulties with focusing on the front sight. This is understandable since the sight is the same color as the rear one, and sometimes it even has the same shape. There is a very easy solution if you have this problem.
Take a thin object, like a toothpick or a needle, and dip it into the paint. Next, you have to put a little mark in the middle of the top of your front sight. This mark will help you focus on the front sight. Don’t worry if you make a mess of things, you can clean the paint anytime you like, and it will actually disappear with time, so you will have to remake it. Make sure you choose a color that stands out. If your front sight is black, you can use white, light green, bright yellow, or even pink. If your front sight is white, you can use almost every dark color, especially black, red, green, or pink again. You don’t have to worry about pink not being a manly color, you’re holding a rifle, nobody’s going to judge you for that.
- Training Is Essential – People say that practice makes perfect. This is true for shooting, as well. If you practice shooting with your iron sights, especially after you’ve put a little paint on your front iron sight, you will get better. You will be able to focus more on the sight and make more accurate shots.
Soon, you’ll notice that if you focus long enough on the front sight, the movements around you won’t matter, all that will matter will be the front sight and the target in front of you. This is what shooters call “entering the zone”. Once you reach this level, you will be able to make very accurate shots.
Best Iron Sight For AR15 Comparison Chart
|PRODUCT||PRICE||WEIGHT||SIZE OR DIMENSIONS||MATERIAL||DESIGN|
|Troy Iron Sights Micro HK Style||$$$$||3 oz.||11/4"||Steel||Rugged low-profile sight designed|
|Magpul Iron Sights MBUS Generation II||$$$||1.2 oz.||Height above rail, stowed: -0.51 in.||Impact resistant polymer construction||Spring-loaded flip up sight|
|Trinity Flip Up Iron Sight||$||4 ounces||2.6 x 2.1 x 1.6 inches||Aluminum and Steel||Fully adjustable|
|UTG Model 4 Flip-up Sight||$$||1.3 ounces||4.1 x 2.2 x 0.4 inches||Aluminum||Simple flip-up-to-aim design|
|SNIPER Tactical Smart Flip Up Sight for AR15||$||1.4 ounces||7/8"||Plastic||Two handed operation|
|UTG Model 4/16 Iron Sight||$$||Less than 6 ounces||3.9 x 2.2 x 2 inches||Rugged aluminum/steel construction||One-piece integral Picatinny mounting deck and Equipped with locking retention thumb nut|
We’re certain that after reading our article, you can look at iron sights in another light. They don’t use any cutting edge technology, but they are very reliable and if you learn how to shoot with them, you will be able to be accurate shooting up to 300 yards or more. Iron sights provide the most dependable sighting system available on the market, and they’re still used by Armed Forces around the world. They are lightweight but durable so you’ll be able to use them in all sorts of harsh conditions and environments without problems, and they can be used in all types of weather conditions, no matter if it rains, snows, or it’s sunny. The iron sights don’t need any power source, and they can even be mounted on the same rifle as other optics systems.
Finding the best tactical gear or accessories is not very simple. The first thing you should think about is how you’re going to use the sights. Certain types of iron sights are better suited to be used as a backup sighting solution than others, while if you want to use the sights as your primary sighting system, you will need different models. Some iron sights are specially developed to increase your rate of fire, while others are designed to increase your accuracy, even though your rate of fire might suffer. Different models have different advantages, so make sure you read out unbiased buying guide to find out which model suits your particular needs best. Keep in mind that whenever you go on a tactical mission, having a scope or a reflex sight is not enough, you will still need to have a backup in case your main aiming system fails.