View Full Version : AR 15 Open Sights

December 3, 2009, 09:52 PM
I'm new to the AR 15 field. I just purchased an DPMS Panther Classic with 20" barrel. What yard distance would the sights be set at from the factory? I'm shooting about 100 feet and can't hit a damn thing. I also have to use the bigger peep sight, can't see through the smaller one. Is a shame to this firearm cost so much and can't hit anything. I pulled out my M44 and have no problem hitting targets on a worn out old rifle. Hope someone can help me.

December 3, 2009, 09:55 PM
Are you on paper even? How big is your target? It might help to get a large blank sheet of paper to hang up at first. At only 100 feet though, you shouldn't be more than a foot off in any direction no matter where the sights are from the factory. Also, have somebody else shoot it and see how they do.

December 4, 2009, 07:53 AM
Is the front sight base canted? There is really no reason you shouldn't atleast be on paper from so close and really no reason that you can't see the front sight post through the small peep either. Need more info.

December 4, 2009, 07:56 AM
Something is not right, AR sights are pretty fool proof. You should be one paper out of the box. Google the "25yd M16 zero" that well help you get it set.

December 4, 2009, 08:08 AM
Use this thread for a reference.... BTW, lots of people including myself prefer the 50 yd. zero for most applications.


December 4, 2009, 09:17 AM
^^^^ I have done this, it works very well. After setting up at 25 yards, I had to move the rear sight 2 clicks left at 100 yards. As long as you remember to count clicks from the bottom or the 8/3 reference, you're good to go out to about 400 yards, after that to difference between yards and meters becomes to great.

December 4, 2009, 10:42 AM
Here's what I would try:
Return your sights to "Mechanical Zero". The base of the front sight post should be flush with the part that has the arrow and "up" on it. The rear sight ought to be centered up in the hash marks. The elevation ought to be bottomed out and then up one or two clicks to the "8/3" or "6/3" (whatever the fractional looking number is). Now shoot the rifle at 25 meters onto a target. Adjust your rear "Right & Left" knob to get the bullet impact in line right and left with where you are aiming on the target. Now, use your front sight to raise or lower your rifle to point of impact. You can combine those steps as you learn to watch and "walk" your rounds to where you wish them to be, but until you become more familiar with sighting in procedures- You might stick with doing it one step at a time.

Another tip would be to look on line or where ever for a military M-16 Operators Manual. Those little manuals have diagrams and simple/straight forward directions.

You have a very reliable, fun, and accurate rifle. I hope things work out- Keep us posted. Enjoy and stay safe!

Also- Your front sight base is NOT canted or else your complaint would have been that you have a single shot rifle. There is a small hole in the top of the barrel and it must align with a small hole in the bottom of the sight base. If'n it don't- then gas fails to go from the bbl, into the sight base, and into a gas tube and so on.

December 4, 2009, 11:18 AM
The AR like most rifles have little knobbie things so you can adjust the impact to shoot where you want them to shoot.

I think most manufactors test fire their products for function but dont sight them in for the simple reason they dont know the range the end user will be shooting.

Assume the manufactor sights the rifle in for the piece of paper at 100 ft. and the one buys the rifle to shoot 1000 yard service rifle matches. Should the shooter sue the company for selliing a poopy product.

I would recommend you take your gun to the range, find someone who looks like he knows what he is doing and have him show you how to sight in a rifle.

I know my local gun club has a free sight in day before hunting season. We always have someone knowlegable to assist if needed.

Its like the idiot that stopped in a gun store during his lunch break and bought a scope, he tells the dealer, "Sight it in for me, I'll put it on the rifle with I get home."

December 4, 2009, 11:49 AM
True about the test firing. I wondre if his rifle wasn't tinkered with by a store employee or a customer. I saw a kid crank away at sight knobs on an AR-10 at Academy. The factory ought to leave them close. The last purchase I made (DPMS M-4ish looking thing) was only 1 inch low and 1 inch right at 25m.

Also, I wonder about the OP's eyesight. He/she said "cant see through the small hole sight" Glasses, bi-focals? Not getting close enough to the rear sight? Could be a size/form issue also. I've seen youngsters have trouble getting close enough to the rear sight. Who know- oculd be lots of things. I'd like to see Kemassy come back as those are serious troubles and I'd like to see them resolved. It would be a bummer to get burned out on AR's before even getting broke in with them.

December 4, 2009, 08:39 PM
Update. I have a piece of 4x8 pressboard set up so I can see where I'm shooting. If warm enough tomorrow I will work on sighting it in. I plan on shooting about 30 yards cause it isn't safe to shoot any farther. I did cheat and purchased a laser bore sight but have not tried it out yet. I just have not taken the time to actually sight in the rifle. I've only used it twice. I will update about tomorrow. Thanks for all the good input and advice.

December 4, 2009, 09:07 PM
Since you have already dropped the cash on the laser bore sighter I almost refrain from telling you but you can easily bore sight by looking down the barrel. Put your rifle in a solid position, bipods and bag or some other contraption, then look down the bore from the back. Center on a suitable spot then adjust the sights to the same point. Works great and the price is right. Might help someone else.

December 4, 2009, 09:14 PM
If you're using the large aperture while trying to zero at 25 meters you're probably hitting very low. If you adjust your stock and cheek weld so your nose is touching the charging handle the smaller aperture should work fine for you. The small one should be used for normal use, the large one is for low light or for very quick target acquisition.

Sounds like the board you have will tell you where you're hitting, if not get closer until you see where Point Of Impact is.

I would use the IBZ method linked above, it works great! After you make the mod to the A2 elevation wheel, if you can't zero at 50 yards, you still can zero at 25 meters with the carry handle set to "z" (for the 20" barrel, not 16"), then crank down 4 clicks under 6/3 or 2 clicks under 8/3 depending on which sight you have - and be set for POA is within 2.5" of POI from 0-220 meters.

If you don't think the IBZ will be of use then of course zero for 25 meters with no mod to the elevation wheel.

December 4, 2009, 09:19 PM
Since you have already dropped the cash on the laser bore sighter I almost refrain from telling you but you can easily bore sight by looking down the barrel. Put your rifle in a solid position, bipods and bag or some other contraption, then look down the bore from the back. Center on a suitable spot then adjust the sights to the same point. Works great and the price is right. Might help someone else.

Thanks for that, hodaka. I've got to play with that some and see how it works. Got a new chopped carry handle that adjusts differently than my full handle and want to play with the front sight and both elevation wheels before taking it to the range.

December 5, 2009, 02:43 AM
Just curious. Thinking of changing to white dot sights or iridium sights. Don't know if one will help over the other. I know that the front sight hasn't been moved at all. The rear sight has been moved left or right. The girlfriend was messing with it so don't know which way it was moved. What is the 8/3 or 6/3 settings? Do I need a special tool to adjust the front sight? Thanks for the help.

December 5, 2009, 02:53 AM
...What is the 8/3 or 6/3 settings? Do I need a special tool to adjust the front sight? Thanks for the help.

If your DPMS has a standard A2/A3/A4 carry handle there is an elevation wheel with those markings. Doesn't sound like you have that.

There is a front sight tool that does make it easier but you can use a bullet tip, a small punch, etc. to depress the retainer then turn the post with needle nosed pliars.

December 5, 2009, 03:24 AM
Sighting it in is simple. Sight it in at 25 meters into a 1.5 inch circle. The rifle will now have a 300 meter sight in. You can google the 200 meter sight in, I don't have experience with that one.

Not too long ago I had to do this method. I had a broken rear sight that always shifted one notch above 300 meters. I aimed at bottom of the target for 50 and 75, 1/3 up from bottom for 150-175 target, and shoulder to 2/3rds down for 250-300 meters targets. Managed to hit 38/40 and 37/40 targets during qualification.

December 5, 2009, 10:10 AM
I have the standard carry handle that came with the gun. It is a removable handle also. I have not messed with the elevation sights yet.

December 5, 2009, 10:40 AM
I have not messed with the elevation sights yet.

For Crying out loud, crank the thing up (rear sight) until it hits where you want it to hit, thats what the damn thing is for.

If you get it sighted in at what ever range you want, and its (the rear sight) too high then screw out the front sight until you can have the rear sight at a reasonable level.

An example, I dont shoot my service rifle under 200 yards, I have the rear sight bottomed out, and the front sight adjusted so my zero (with the bottomed out rear sight) is at 200 yards. It works great to 600 yards (by coming up with the rear sight), then at 1000 yards, I use my 600 yard zero and screw the front sight down 4 full revolutions.

Regardless, to sight in a rifle, any rifle you have to start by cranking the sights, (or scope).

December 5, 2009, 07:30 PM
Lots of good advice here.
I've got to ask....What does the manual that came with the rifle say about sighting in? About the use of the two apertures? About 8/3 and 6/3?
I sounds like it wasn't very helpful.
Put that small aperture up and put your nose - as already noted - on th charge handle. That's the way small apertures are used (and then there's the aperture on the old Springfield 1903 ladder sight, but that's another story).
If you are really serious about using iron sights and being accurate, you may want to invest in a National Match Hooded rear....there are a number of quality choices available.


December 5, 2009, 09:42 PM
Puting your nose to the charging handle helps keep the same sight picture. I never used it, I would like to see my way vs. nose to charging handle on paper to see the difference.

December 5, 2009, 10:40 PM
^^^^ It's a matter of having a "Consistent" cheek weld.

December 6, 2009, 09:01 PM
Ended up being to cold to shoot on Saturday. Thanks for all the good info. Maybe will have a better day before winter hits.

December 7, 2009, 01:45 AM

follow the instructions and if you are able to shoot a nice tight group you should be able to zero in 6 shots unless military zero puts you in the ring...

Also record your adjustments from military zero and use them on the next black rifle with open sights you buy. it might not put you dead center but you will be close.

good shooting!

National match sights are good....However, the standard sights will work just fine. I purchased a preban Colt Heany Barrel H Bar back in the day and the standard sights worked fine. I know that we shot a 600 yards and I was amazed at accuracy of that rifle with standard sights.