Having the best Iron sights in your arsenal is essential for an AR 15 owner. With the market teeming with the latest and advanced optics, it’s often a good idea to leave it to the old reliable irons sights when things go awry with your new digital reflex sight.For one thing, your iron sights help you aim in any situation, albeit not as accurately as a modern red dot or reflex sight but is a reliable alternative if your main scope is damaged and/or is malfunctioning.
Today, we’ll be talking about why you need an iron sight on your gun and how it might come in handy in different situations. Moreover, we’ll be looking at some of the best ar 15 iron sights on the market and compile a comprehensive rundown of the top ten iron sights for your AR15. Finally, we’ll look at what makes for a good iron sight for your personal arsenal.
Let’s get started…
In a Hurry? Here is Our Top Pick
What is an Best Iron Sights For AR 15?
Iron sights were around long before modern optics were built, and they helped gunmen and hunters aim at their targets without fancy optics. These days, however, the use of iron sights has fallen in favor of modern optics which provide more features, better aiming experience, and overall make for better aim assistance out on the field.
Despite all this, the iron sight is still an old reliable friend in all situations, often serving as your backup aiming aid. Experts will go so far as to argue that, when starting your gun training with a AR 15, you should start your practice runs with plain old iron sights as it helps you tremendously in developing proper gun skills and allows gives you ample practice for situations wherein you will not have a scope or sight in your arsenal.
Some of the major benefits of using plain iron sights include:
Our Top 8 Best AR 15 Iron Sights Reviews
1. Magpul MBUS Flip-Up best backup iron sights
The MBUS Flip-Up Back Up Sights are constructed from an impact-resistant which provides enough durability to overcome shoves and bumps. Although it is not as it would be if it were made from steel or aluminum material, it gets the job done. To activate the sight, you only need to push a single button and the sight will flip into an upright position almost immediately and fold it down when not needed to avoid the sight from snagging cloth or other artifacts.
To calibrate the sight, there is an included elevation adjustment tool. Additionally, with the detent knob on the rear sight, you can easily adjust the windage as well. Another A2 tooling for the front sight can also be used to make adjustments to the elevation.
- The polymer material used in the construction of the sight allows it to resist abrasions and hits and ensures that the sight does not get damaged from repeated abuse
- The sights are spring-loaded, so they are ready to jump into action when you need them
- Compatible with any MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny/STANAG 4694 rail, and so can be mounted and most rifles without installation hassles and incompatibility worries
- Comes with an additional protective shield which keeps the spring-loaded mechanism safe
- Polymer material not suitable for very harsh conditions
- Sights sometimes fail to flip-up
2. Troy Industries Folding Battle Best rear sights for ar 15
Battle sights are often referred to as the sights which are mounted on a gun without front sight. The name originates from the fact that iron sights are more attuned for close quarter combat, hence, battle sights. The battle sight we have at hand now, the Troy Industries Folding Battle Sight runs 0.5 MOA of adjustment per click and is a MIL-SPEC TYPE III. Additionally, the battle sight is constructed from T6 aircraft-grade aluminum and is hard coated.
As the name suggests, the sight is fordable. That is, it can lie flat on your rifle at the press of your button. This convenience, in addition to the ease of installation and configuration, gave the 0.5 MOA dial, makes this sight the best iron sight for your AR 15. With no moving parts and solid construction all around, the Troy Industries Folding Battle Sight is a tough contender to beat.
- No moving parts, hence no wobble or looseness
- With Zero Cant calibration and 0.5 MOA of adjustments with each click, you will be able to quickly adjust the sights to best fit your needs
- MIL-SPEC Type III Hard Coated and T6 Aircraft-grade aluminum construction for prolonged operation and longevity
- Is extremely tough and can withstand plenty of abuse
- The sights come with a lifetime warranty
- More expensive than other competitors and only offers a rear sight, no front sight
3. OZARK Armament 45 Degree Offset Best Backup Sights for Railed Rifles Picatinny Mount
This is yet another 45 degrees offset iron sight, and these are often popular among close-range hunters. The sight comes with all the standard features you would expect a backup iron sight including the quick transition between your main optic sights and back up sights, compatibility with most Picatinny rails, and standard height overbore. In addition to this, the sight comes with a one-year full warranty.
Finally, elevation and windage adjustments are convenient and quick. Therefore, the OZARK comes off as a standard backup sight choice for beginners who do not want to invest in more expensive equipment.
- The sights serve as reliable backups sights which quickly spring into action when called upon
- Does not get in the view of your main optics sight and is always ready when you need them
- Standard height overbore, so you do not have to worry about incompatibilities and obstructions
- Adjustments knobs are known to be tight and hard to work with Some adjustments require disassembly
4. Tacticon Armament Flip Up Iron Sights For Rifle
The Tacticon Armament Flip Up Iron Sights bring a lot to the table in terms of quality, functionality, and usability. First off, with this Tacticons, you will get front and rear iron sights constructed from an aircraft-grade aluminum alloy making the irons sights an effective choice for those looking for a durable solution. Moreover, with the spring-loadedpop-up action, the irons sights are quick to deploy when in need with the simple push of a button.
The Tacticon Armament Flip Up Iron Sights are compatible with any hunting or tactical rifles and can be mounted on almost all Picatinny and Weaver rail sections. For further adjustments, Tacticon has ensured full windage and elevation adjustments for the rear sight, and only elevation adjustments for the front sight with an included tool. Overall, the sight is perfect for newbies as it comes with all things packed together.
- A tool for front sight adjustment is included in the box, saving you some money from having to buy an additional adjustment tool
- Sturdy build with the use of hardened aircraft-grade aluminum alloy in favor of polymer which ensures that your sights reliably serve you for several years
- Comes with extra ammunition in the box, so you don’t have to fumble around to get started with testing the new sights
- The sights come with an easy-to-reach push-down button which let the flip-ups spring into action when you most need them
- Hard to focus once zeroed in
- The push-button for the rear sight is known to come off when not handled carefully
5. Magpul MBUS PRO Steel Sight Set MAG275 & MAG276 Black
With another Magpul MBUS Pro on the list, it goes without saying that when it comes to making backup iron sights, Magpul knows how to get things right. This particular MBUS Pro is designed to provide the best in terms of quality and durability with the Melonite finish on the all-steel body.
For professional users, the front sight has been designed with a narrow width to ensure compatibility with most infra-red aiming lasers and light installations. Additionally, with the positive detents, the front, and rear sights flip up to the standard AR height when insure and go back down low enough to not be noticed when stowed away.
Finally, the rear sight has a dual aperture and has windage capabilities letting you get adjusted to all 1913 Picatinny rail mounting applications which include rail-height gas blocks. This sight is great for outdoor and sporting purposes and will serve you well for many years.
- The Melonite finish on the sight allows it to resist corrosion and abrasions
- The sight is structurally sound as it has been crafted purely from steel with no polymer used anywhere
- The front sight is removable making room for a railed gas block if necessary
- Flexibility in terms of mounting onto MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny rails by taking minimal rail space
- High durability and strength
- The rear sights support toll-free windage adjustments letting you adjust precision shots while out on the hunt
- The front sight does not offer much in adjustments
6. Diamondhead USA Front and Rear Combat Iron Sights – Integrated Sighting System
This Integrated Sighting System comprises of the Diamondhead USA Front and Real Combat Iron Sights and serves to a place on the barrel of your AR 15 as backup iron sights.
The unique diamond-shaped housing found on both the rear and front sights allows the user to quickly place the front sight post in the center of the rear aperture, thereby improving the aiming experience significantly when aiming down the sights.
In addition to allowing the rifleman to focus quickly on the front sight, the diamond shape allows for increased light capture and faster target acquisition.
- When you’re out for a hunt the sights will flip up quickly when you need them to
- Both the rear and front sights feature a patented diamond-shaped aperture which allows for faster target acquisition and centering
- The sights bring along proprietary reference posts and horizon bars, this aids in target acquisition and allows you land shots right on the target
- For easy and accurate adjustment, the sights feature 0.5 MOA windage adjustments.
- When not in use, the sights are stowed away mostly out of sight for easy hunting with your standard optic sights
- The sights are larger than standard sight sizes, and so your accuracy takes a hit when aiming
- The sights are known to fail to flip on immediately sometimes
7. Ade Advanced Optics Front and Rear 45 Degree Rapid Transition Buis Backup Iron Sight
The Ade Advanced Optics Front and Rear offers excel in quick transitions when switching between your main optics and your backup sights and with the 45 degrees offset, ensure that the backup sights are out of your way when you are acquiring a target using your main optics.
Moreover, the sights are compatible with most Picatinny rails, you simply just have to pop it onto your rails and it rests easy at 45 degrees off-center.
Ade has used lightweight aluminum in the construction of the sight which ensures long term durability and maintains a low profile, only extending .2” above the top rail to not interfere with the view of your main sights.
- Created using Mil-spec hard anodized 7075 aluminum that ensures that the sight will stay undamaged on your rifle for year
- Same above bore height as standard sights and low-profile sights to ensure that the sight can fit onto any rifle with Picatinny rails you have
- Accurate adjustments can be made with the 0.50 MOA elevation and windage adjustments
- Back sight is known to wiggle sometimes
- Takes time and many rounds to calibrate
8. DAGGER DEFENSE –Combat Vet Owned Company- 45 Degree Flip-Up Sights
No list for the best iron sights for an AR15 is complete without the DD Dagger Defense Tactical Backup Iron Sights. These sights have been constructed from aluminum material for longevity and durability. Additionally, the 45 degreed canted sights lock into a resting position when not in use, and have spring-loaded deployment options at the press of a button.
In terms of compatibility, the Tactical BUIS will fit on any standard 1913 Picatinny rail ready for deployment. As for adjustments, the Dagger Defense BUIS comes with its tool for front sight elevation adjustments and windage adjustments knobs for the rear sight.
These buttons are retention buttons, which can be turned clockwise, counterclockwise, or locked in place in the horizontal position when making adjustments. Therefore, given the 45-degree angled optional sighting experience, durability, and adjustment conveniences, the Dagger Defense45-degree angled BUIS is a great option for users looking for a great backup iron sight.
- 1913 Picatinny rail mounted BUIS 45 Degree Angled allowing you to jump into combat without iron sights obstructing the view of your main sights, and when in need, just turn the barrel over and use your backup sights
- The sight is constructed from aluminum allow, which adds to the durability and lifetime of the sight
- When required, just hit the button and the spring-loaded flip-ups will be ready for action
- Comes with adjustment and installation tools right out of the box
- Recommended to add oil before use as buttons are stiff
- Requires both hands when retracting the sight
How to Use It with an AR 15?
With the use of modern sights and scopes, using your AR iron sights can seem a little foreign at times and there are some nuances when getting up and ready with the iron sights on your AR 15. Moreover, there are some misconceptions in regards to the view provided by the sight as well, which will prevent newbies from adjusting the sights properly.
First off, clearing out the misconceptions planted by modern video games and simulations. Often in these games, the first-person focus in the game in regards to the plain iron sight is incorrectly portrayed, and in reality, you will not be able to focus on the front-sight while keeping tabs on your target without blurring out some of the front-sight.
That is, the picture-perfect “blur everything out and focus on the target” we often see portrayed in these games are unfortunately not possible in reality due to the way the human eye functions. Therefore, using iron sights with an AR 15 requires educated calibration and ample practice to get used to aiming down iron sights.
How to Adjust AR Sights?
So, the question remains, how to adjust the iron sights on your AR 15 to land the perfect shot?
Follow these steps to the tee when setting up your iron sights so when you do find yourself in a situation wherein you have to rely on them, your shot is accurate and hits the target.
- Ensure that your iron sights are properly installed on your AR-15 and mounted firmly. If your sight is loose or you can move wiggle using just your hand the sight is not securely mounted and will only become worse as you use your gun more. Therefore, the first order of business is to get it securely, and tightly mounted onto your AR-15.
- Next, you should ensure a mechanical zero of the iron sights. As you already know, there are two main sights, the rear and front sights. You will have to zero these individually. Firstly, for the rear sight, ensure that the aperture is exactly in the middle of the main body, or housing, of the sight. This can be done with simple math. Adjust the aperture to the right or left. Next, move it to the other end and count the number of clicks it takes to get it there. Finally, just halve the number of clicks and you will have the number of clicks you need to adjust the aperture by, to center it within the main housing. Next up is the front sight. Here, you only need to adjust the base of the front sight until it is level with the main housing of the sight. You can either use a depress the detent on the front sight and turn the post at the same time. Using a special tool is recommended in this case.
After these steps, your sight should be mechanically zeroed in, and you are ready to get some test shots in.
As with any standard sight adjustment procedure, aim for a target about 25 yards away from the rifle and shoot multiple times consistently, while keeping your body and shooting arm relaxed. Ensuring that there is little variation between the shots will help you adjust zero quickly. After firing the initial rounds, head over to the target, take your measurements and adjust your iron sight accordingly.
To adjust the aim and move the impact of the bullet upwards or downwards, you will need to adjust the front sight. And in the case of left and right adjustments, changing up your rear sights is the way to go. Therefore, use the adjustment knobs on your sights purposefully to adjust the direction of your sight accordingly. The most critical aspect when adjusting the zero of your rifle against your iron sight is the MOA adjustment values.
Firing your rifle from different distances will have an MOA to bullet impact ratio, which varies from rifle to rifle. Therefore, it’s important to experiment with your rifle first, adjust clicks accordingly, and then fire your calibration shots before ticking away at the front and rear sight settings. Once all the calibration is done, fire once more at a test group to ensure that your rifle is zeroed in and you are good to go.
What to Consider Before Buying an Iron Sight?
The material of the sight is very important if you want to use it for a long time in rough conditions. In the case of polymer iron sights, you will get a cheaper deal but the sight will not live through touch impacts and rough operations. The iron sights are made from steel or aircraft-grade aluminum and offer the highest amount of protection from rough usage. Therefore, consider your usage when deciding on the material of your backup sights, while polymer serves as a cheaper beginner option, a steel or aluminum sight will be a companion for your AR15 for many years.
Gas Block vs. Same-plane
Gas blocks sights are designed to accommodate the fact that gas blocks raise the front sight by about a quarter of an inch, and the backup iron sight configuration has to compensate by raising the rear by that amount as well. If you do not need to mount your iron sights on a gas block, you are well-off with a same-plane sight. Here, the rear and front sights are mounted on a plane rail, which means they will always be in the same height without requiring additional adjustments.
Fixed vs. Folding
Fixed sights bring no additional moving parts on your rifle, and so, adds to the sturdiness of your AR 15 as you do not have to worry about anything coming loose through continuous use. Additionally, you can just set them once and never have to worry about configuring them again, which means they are always ready for action. Folding sights play on the ‘backup’ aspect of iron sights and are not always protruding out of your AR 15. Call them into action when you need them, and tuck them away when you don’t. The decision between the two comes down to how often you will be using your irons sights. For frequent usage, fixed iron sights are better and for rare usage, all the best irons sights come with quick folding mechanisms
Ease of use depends on the build quality and skill level. When picking out the right sight, take into consideration how long you will be using it for and for what purpose, as it will dictate how comfortably you will be able to carry it out on the field and your enjoyment when using it during lengthy hunts. For newbies, getting used to a lighter, cheaper sight is not uncommon before investing in a heavier more durable long-term solution for your sighting needs.
Although the co-witness position comes down to personal preference, it’s important to distinguish between the two. With a lower third co-witness position, your backup sights will be mostly out of the field of view of your main optics, however, they still serve as a minor form of distraction, and users often have trouble focusing on the target when the backup sights are in the lower third position. In the case of an absolute or 100% co-witness position, you have the advantage of always having your backup sights in the field of view of your main optics, and, you will be able to rely on them the instant your main optics fail. However, given that flip-up optics are more widely used, professionals rarely take a second to switch their back up iron sights from an erect to resting position and vice versa. In these cases, trading off better accuracy in favor of lower third co-witness comes off as redundant. Therefore, if you want higher accuracy and the sight supports folding, choosing the one that supports absolute co-witness is often recommended.
The last consideration is often between the inline or offset views. In an inline view, the iron sights take a co-witness position. Therefore, as long as your main optics lens does not get damaged, you will always have a clear view of your iron sights as well. In the case of an offset sight, they are positioned 45 degrees off the main axis of the barrel and serves their purpose as backups once your turn your rifle around a bit.
That concludes our rundown of the best iron sights currently available and what you should consider when buying them. The most important factor here is the use-case. Trying to match the use-case of your iron sight will yield you the best bang for your buck and leave you satisfied with a great sight for your AR 15. Therefore, put some forethought into whether you will be using your iron sights often, or leave them as an occasional backup and purchase the best sight for you accordingly.