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Old August 6, 2018, 05:57 PM   #1
stonewall50
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AR15 Iron Sights Only

Does anyone run iron only? I am going to be buying one shortly from a friend. I really prefer iron only to optics. Idk why. Just do. I would prefer tighter 3 dot style similar to some old school rifles. I haven’t seen any. But I like the idea of the HK Diopter style sights too. I’m not well versed in this stuff. I could use some help from people who have experience and have some recommendations.


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Old August 6, 2018, 06:11 PM   #2
lordmorgul
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IS are useful and good technique practice, but may not suit all needs. I like flexibility and options.

https://store.colddeadhands.us/produ...up-iron-sights
With an optic, provides ability to run magnified optic and still have elevation adjustable sights. These are cheap but adequately made.

Or https://aeroprecisionusa.com/ar15-fl...sight-set.html



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Old August 6, 2018, 06:34 PM   #3
PushPuller
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I love iron sights! My favorite AR has only iron sights. I use a Daniel Defense rear sight with the A2 front sight/gas block. You can change out the center post of the front sight with a vast array of different posts. My dads favorite is actually a small crosshair that looks very similar to a WW2 anti aircraft gun sights crosshairs. I prefer a tapered post, with a small ball on the end compared to the standard flat post.
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Old August 7, 2018, 09:35 AM   #4
stonewall50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PushPuller View Post
I love iron sights! My favorite AR has only iron sights. I use a Daniel Defense rear sight with the A2 front sight/gas block. You can change out the center post of the front sight with a vast array of different posts. My dads favorite is actually a small crosshair that looks very similar to a WW2 anti aircraft gun sights crosshairs. I prefer a tapered post, with a small ball on the end compared to the standard flat post.


Yea. My primary reason is that I live in Florida. This gun won’t be for hunting. It won’t be for shooting anything outside 50 yards. And if I did decide to do any hunting...I would use a scope. Irons have always been easy for me to shoot with a rifle.

And I think I’ve seen something that was like a mini crosshair peep sight. Idk how that would work. One big reason for me to do this is that I don’t want to have to worry about batteries or anything like that.


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Old August 7, 2018, 10:18 AM   #5
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I'm big fan of M1 style aperture+post, but the H&K diopter is also one of the best iron sight systems out there. My C308 doesn't have the diopter style and I really wish it did. Personally I don't think you can go wrong either way.
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Old August 7, 2018, 11:12 AM   #6
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The standard AR sights are very usable, if you learn how to use them.

But it does require practice and some knowledge.


I learned the old A2 sights and was able to make hits with 5.56 ball ammo out to 500yds on a man size target.


The front post can be replaced to allow for more precision, they make one that is slightly narrower, and that can improve group size. They also have many specialty posts, but I wouldn't use them in a rifle I might need for hard use.


Many modern irons are not as adjustable for extended ranges. If you are staying inside a couple hundred yards it's not a big deal. 233/5.56 shoots pretty flat

So a basic rear sight, zeroed at 50yds is usable out to 300yds without needing to adjust your aim. The bullet will land within 2in high or low out to 250yds, and drops like an extra 4in or so between 250 and 300yds... Still effective even without adjusting your aim. We are talking effective for defensive needs shooting center of mass on a man sized target.

There are several good quality siple rear iron sights available. If you are 100% sure you will never want something like a read dot... A fixed rear is the way to go.
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Old August 7, 2018, 04:31 PM   #7
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My first AR, purchased whole and not built, retains its iron sights. And I shoot it occasionally to remind me how much better I do with scopes or red-dot sights than with irons.
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Old August 7, 2018, 04:38 PM   #8
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Make sure to get a flatty so when you get over wanting to shoot irons, you can join the rest of us here in the 21st and rock an RDO tacdot.
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Old August 7, 2018, 04:42 PM   #9
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I have an "A2" style rifle with a handle, and other than a brief fling with a C-More Scout, it's been irons all the time.
I don't fancy a high-mounted optic on top of the handle, so will stick with the irons on that gun.
If I had a flat-top, I'd probably have some sort of low-magnification optic, as my eyesight is not what it used to be, and hitting at ranges beyond 100 yards requires that I can actually see the target.
I used to shoot clay pigeons at 200 yards, but I can no longer see a clay pigeon at that distance.
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Old August 7, 2018, 05:19 PM   #10
PushPuller
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Quote:
One big reason for me to do this is that I don’t want to have to worry about batteries or anything like that.
Other than I shoot very well with irons, this is my biggest reason! Iv killed many red dots because I forgot to turn them off, then got to the range and didn't have spare batteries. Secondly. If you know what were to ever ACTUALLY hit the fan, I don't want to trust my life to a rifle that has a broken scope because I as much as dropped it on a pile of rocks!
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Old August 7, 2018, 05:27 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by PushPuller View Post
Other than I shoot very well with irons, this is my biggest reason! Iv killed many red dots because I forgot to turn them off, then got to the range and didn't have spare batteries. Secondly. If you know what were to ever ACTUALLY hit the fan, I don't want to trust my life to a rifle that has a broken scope because I as much as dropped it on a pile of rocks!
Get real.

Virtually every Soldier and Marine uses a red dot optic!!

The ones available today are MILES better than the junk your were probably using!!
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Old August 7, 2018, 05:55 PM   #12
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I guess I'm old fashioned as I prefer peep sights with target apertures to red dots for shooting reactive targets like bowling pins, clay pigeons, or even apples out to about 200-250yds with my AR carbine. It's a mid-length gas, 16" carbine set up to be a lightweight (just under 6lbs) with irons.

So, why do I prefer irons to red dots? Because it's harder to shoot with irons as you have to concentrate on the fundamentals, not just place the dot or crosshair on the target and fire. I like the adage of "Aim small, miss small." for shooting as I like to challenge myself.

For longer range shooting at small targets, I also have a scoped AR A4. I love to take on medium sized apples at 400+yds with it, again because it's hard to do.
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Old August 7, 2018, 06:04 PM   #13
PushPuller
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Quote:
Get real.

Virtually every Soldier and Marine uses a red dot optic!!

The ones available today are MILES better than the junk your were probably using!!
I get that, but for one. I'm not a Marine with a supply line of alternative optics, firearms, or money if something were to go wrong and my optic broke in the given SHTF (unlikely) situation and I didn't happen to have at least one spare, I'm kind of screwed. I don't care how battle proven EOtechs and ACOGS are they can and DO still break.

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Old August 7, 2018, 07:41 PM   #14
Model12Win
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Originally Posted by PushPuller View Post
I get that, but for one. I'm not a Marine with a supply line of alternative optics, firearms, or money if something were to go wrong and my optic broke in the given SHTF (unlikely) situation and I didn't happen to have at least one spare, I'm kind of screwed. I don't care how battle proven EOtechs and ACOGS are they can and DO still break.
BUIS.

Look it up.
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Old August 7, 2018, 07:44 PM   #15
marine6680
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You know... Thats what back up sights are for right? Bad things happen, and you are not completely screwed.


Its like getting in a car race with high stakes and being offered a modern corvette to drive, and saying... "Nah... I will stick to this old caprice, its reliable and never let me down before. That new fangled corvette with all its gizmos might break down."

The chances of such a thing are extremely low. When you place bets, you place them on the most likely to win outcome, not the lowest.

"99.99% of the time a quality red dot will work great and give me a definite advantage over iron sights for speed at close range, but it might break that 0.01% of the time, so I better stick with iron sights only."

That makes no sense at all. You don't handicap yourself on an extremely low chance that doing so would be better in the right situation.


Iron sights can break too. Especially one that mount on typical flat top uppers. The old carry handle style are about the toughest on the whole, but not invulnerable.


An ACOG or an aimpoint comp is going to be about as tough as a good set of irons are.


An Aimpoint has a battery life measured in years... Turn it on and leave it on. You don't have to worry about batteries at all. Swap the battery once a year or two for peace of mind, and carry on. I believe the Comp m4 can get 8 years out of a single AA lithium battery.

If you can't buy a single battery and have it sitting around ready just in case... Something is wrong.


So if you buy a quality red dot sight with battery life measured in years... Like a Comp m4, T2, or MRO with a QD mount... And keep a spare battery on hand just for the optic... just in case... AND you have a set of quality backup iron sights on the rifle... You will be fine. (in fact the genuine MBUS sights are excellent low cost options for backups, and modern batteries have shelf lives of 10 years.) Should the unlikely happen and the optic go down, pop it off and run the backup sight.


I like shooting irons from time to time. Its good to keep in practice... But for a rifle used for defense, a red dot is what you want. For a SHTF rifle, red dot there too... With a spare battery in the grip.

If you are really worried about batteries, then an AGOG... the 1.5x model is handy for close range. Not quite a red dot though.


If you just want irons because you like them, and defense isn't a concern... then go for it.
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Old August 8, 2018, 12:50 AM   #16
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Does the rifle have the A2 gas block with integrated front sight? About six months ago, I decided, after years of being "meh" about AR's, to see how low-cost I could "build" one.

I watched and waited for sales and have $305 in mine with all shipping charges, FFL transfer fee for the lower, and taxes included, without rear sight or optic. (Disclaimer - A Magpul MOE lower build kit was gifted to me, so the total would have been about $100 higher if I had bought that same kit on sale)

I bought a complete upper from Palmetto State Armory for $199 on sale with a 16" barrel and A2 front sight/gas block because I really couldn't find the component parts for less.

Now it wears an MBUS rear pop-up sight and a Vortex Strikefire II red dot co-witnessed so I can use either, or both if I just wanted to for some reason.

I put the rifle together just to gain some experience with the platform. I purchased the red-dot because was on a good sale, it has a good reputation (for a non-combat sight) and I just wanted to see if I liked that style sight.

For my uses, the .223 AR is a less than 100yd daylight plinker, so I am still kind of partial to iron sights. I can always take the red-dot off if I like and use the backup iron sights.
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Old August 9, 2018, 09:37 PM   #17
tahunua001
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I run irons on my 9mm AR. I use a daniel defense A1.5 rear sight, and a truglo front post. the truglo is awesome because it matches the high visibility of a green dot sight or fiber optic sight(depending on lighting and preference), and the ability to still shoot even if the batteries run out. for my 45ACP carbine I just purchased, I am running daniel defense A1.5 front and back matched pair mostly because they were the cheapest option. they are the closest I've found to a true M16 set of sights without the high cost(still over $120), and without the extra bulk of slapping on a carry handle.
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Old August 9, 2018, 10:50 PM   #18
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Quote:
stonewall50 asked:
Does anyone run iron only?
Yes. Myself and both my sons.

The Mk 1 Mod 1 eyeball is a very sensitive instrument at the distances most SD shootings are likely to occur. Plus, they don't rely on batteries which may become "unobtainium" in more desperate times.

I've shot iron sights exclusively since I was first taught to shoot by my grandfather. Both of my sons learned to shoot using iron sights and neither have chosen to make the move to optical sights.
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Old August 9, 2018, 11:13 PM   #19
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Marine6680:
What is your favorite narrower sight post. I like to shoot irons, but that big flat block of hte front sight is a big clumsy. Or i"m a bad shot. Could be both. I'd like to find out.
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Old August 10, 2018, 01:15 AM   #20
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There are a few manufacturers of sight posts.

KNS makes various styles, and some others.

I prefer the sight to be the close to the same width through the whole thing, but I have seen some that only narrow at the top.

I don't want a tiny sight, but I want it to be about 60% the width of standard, give or take, based on whats available.

The Magpul MBUS Pro has a sight post that can be standard or narrow, and I like the narrow width they use.
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Old August 10, 2018, 05:26 AM   #21
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I have run irons for years. I have a Colt AR. I changed out the stock rear and installed a National Match version with finer windage and elevation adjustments and a hooded aperture.
I use it for prone target work (can’t do the standing stuff anymore. At 71 the arthritis in my lower spine destabilizes me too much even with a hardback jacket)
Prone works.
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Old August 10, 2018, 06:49 AM   #22
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I haven't found a red dot sight I like that is affordable. Acogs and eotech are way out of my price range so I stick to iron sights. After having tried MBUS and Troys and some other sights, finally settled on Daniel Defense fixed sights and I use a Blitzkrieg Components green luminescent front sight post. Works just fine for me and my old eyes.
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Old August 10, 2018, 09:17 AM   #23
Nathan
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Standard AR iron peep sights are very good. Most quality fixed AR peep sights are good.

I find I need optics to meet my speed and accuracy goals.
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Old August 11, 2018, 03:05 PM   #24
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My Windham carbine has the standard detachable carry handle sights in place. I swear they sighted the gun in at the factory. I didn't have to adjust the sights at all.

Normally I'd add a red dot and flip up rear sight by now but this one just shoots so good with those iron sights.

I recently went for a visit to Michigan to visit family. Figured we be doing some shooting and competition would be involved. Brought the Wyndham knowing it is right on.

Recently acquired an AR pistol that I need to bench and adjust the elevation on. Windage is perfect. It has a red dot and flip up rear sights. Left that one at home.
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Old August 11, 2018, 10:54 PM   #25
doofus47
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marine 6680: The Magpul MBUS Pro has a sight post that can be standard or narrow, and I like the narrow width they use.

I didn't know that. I have a pair. It doesn't seem to be more narrow. I will check out the options.

thanks!
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