Despite the popularity of optics as the primary targeting mechanism, shooters will also try to find the best iron sights for their rifles. That’s because these sights are very durable and of course will never run out of power. Besides, they are an excellent choice when you are looking for a backup sight. Electronic sights are great but… what if your favourite sight fails when you really need it?
Best Iron Sights for AR 15
Brand & Model Our Rating Price & Reviews
Troy Industries Folding Battle Sight Rear Click to see prices on Amazon.com
45 Degree Offset Backup Iron Sights Click to see prices on Amazon.com
Magpul MBUS PRO Steel Sight Click to see prices on Amazon.com
MaTech Mil-Spec Back-up Iron Sight Click to see prices on Amazon.com
FAB Defense Front and Rear Set of Flip-Up Sights Click to see prices on Amazon.com
Now, trying to determine the best iron sight for AR 15 can be truly challenging. Not only there are too many products to consider, but even experts online disagree with the definition of “best” when it comes to iron sights. In order to make it easier for you to find the best one on the market, here are some great tips:
→ What is it made of? If durability is your priority, then steel sights would be your best option although they can be very heavy. If you really wish to keep it light, then you’ll probably gravitate towards the polymer sights at the expense of its comparative fragility. And if you can’t really decide between the two extremes, you can compromise by choosing aluminum.
If you notice, it’s all about choosing what’s important for you. Getting the best of something means you have to make sacrifices in another area. This is a general trend when you’re trying to pick iron sights for your AR 15.
→ Do you want fixed sights or folding sights? Each choice here has its good news and bad news. With the fixed sights, you have to put up with its presence affecting your field of view, which can get annoying when you’re using your primary targeting mechanism. But at least it’s always on a ready position. With the folding system, you have to take the time to set it up when you need to use it, but at least you can put it down when you’re not using it.
→ Selecting the height of the sights. Your options here are gas block height, same plane and micro. The rule with iron sights is that the front and the rear sights ought to sit at the same height. If not, being on target can be a problem. You can use micro sights when you have to get smaller sights. When your rails sit at the same height, you’ll need same plane sights. You’ll also need a gas block height front sight if you’re going to mount the front sight on a gas block. The weapon configuration will dictate your choices here.
→ Choosing the peephole style. Now this is another feature that depends on your own preferences. (Some people prefer to call it aperture.) The standard peephole is round, and it comes in two different sizes. There are also diamond-shaped peepholes, which some say are better than the round peepholes. What do you prefer?
→ Visibility. Now this is a feature that can be assessed much more objectively. Some iron sights are simply better when it comes to offering a sight picture so that your eye can zero in on the target. Then, there are tritium sights which are regarded as the best for low visibility. They use illumination with the need for batteries to make the contrast. You can also use high-visibility sights that create a high contrast image, which lets your eye focus faster.
To cut a long story short, there’s really no such thing as the absolute best. It depends on your preferences and on what you’re used to. When you get the iron sights you really like, and it jives with how you trained, that’s when you know you made the right decision. Just make sure you get them as a backup for your primary target mechanism. Remember the rule that all soldiers know by heart: it’s better to have them and not use them, than to need them and not have them.