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Old July 14, 2016, 02:43 PM   #1
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AR-15 National Match Apertures

Hi Folks,

I am a long-time reader of this forum, but a first time poster. A little about myself, I am an intellectual property attorney in Northern Virginia (working behind the hemp curtain in oppressive DC) in my 20s, I am a fanatical trout fisherman, I have my first kid (a daughter) due in three weeks, and am an avid AR shooter and author of The ArmaLite AR-10: World's Finest Battle Rifle.

For my AR shooting, and indeed with every firearm I own, I am die-hard on iron sights, and while this started as just being able to afford a good AR and not wanting to spend more than half as much again on a sight when I could stock up on ammo and mags, I have gotten so much practice with them that when I've tried red dots extensively I haven't seen any improvements in my shooting. My main two modern ARs were built over the period of 2010 to 2014, and for each I ended up settling on rear sights with the excellent DPMS .046" National Match A2 Aperture. These were way better than any other company's NM aperture (ArmaLite still sells theirs, but nobody else seems to do so), because instead of having two incredibly tiny apertures, this one had a standard A2 short range aperture that measured .2", but had the smaller long-range peep at the very small .046". This allowed me to get absolutely fantastic accuracy at long range, while still transitioning to the close-range aperture for low light conditions and hunting treks when passing through dense brush where I would need to shoot quickly at targets within 30 yards.

Well, I have settled on what my next few AR builds will be, and have set about collecting components and parts. I went on MidwayUSA to snap up three copies of the good ol' DPMS match aperture, and it turns out they are discontinued! I contacted DPMS and they informed me they have none left over and no plans to resume production. I have since been looking either for someone with used copies, or another company that makes something like it.

I wanted to inquire as to whether anyone has heard of a similar aperture setup with a standard large ring and narrow match ring. I am not interested in hoods, as they prevent one from using both apertures.

Thanks in advance!
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Old July 14, 2016, 04:43 PM   #2
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Spend 8 bucks and get a GI rear sight aperture from White Oak. I've seen too many great shooters wring amazing accuracy from rack grade M16s to believe that a 0.046" rear aperture is necessary for amazing accuracy.

You can always upgrade the rear sight later as your preferred part becomes available again (or an equally good alternative).

Machine guns are awesome until you have to carry one.
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Old July 14, 2016, 07:52 PM   #3
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Though expensive check out the Troy Industries, and less expensive check the aim sport rear sights.
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Old July 14, 2016, 10:32 PM   #4
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Not especially familiar with the AR-15/M-16 types, but I did have considerable experience shooting the Garand and Model 70 Winchester Target rifles in National Match type competition and also long range, 1000 yards. With the Garand,I regularly shot in the mid 90's on the old 5V 1000 yard target, possible score was 100. Did about the same with Model 70's in 30-06, and iron sights (Redfield Olympic and aperture front sight. Hardly any better with a Unertl Target Scope, 1.5" objective, 10-Power scope. With the 308, at 1000 yards, I might just as well have thrown rocks. At 600 yards, prone position, iron sights, I regularly held inside the 10 ring, usually well inside the 10 ring, which was 12" in diameter. Unfortunately, I usually blew a few points to windage, but even those "poor shots" were mostly inside 10 ring elevation. The Unertl scope was a great sight, though I always preferred iron sights.
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Old July 15, 2016, 11:14 AM   #5
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Jimro - Spend 8 bucks and get a GI rear sight aperture from White Oak. I've seen too many great shooters wring amazing accuracy from rack grade M16s to believe that a 0.046" rear aperture is necessary for amazing accuracy.
Jimro, you might have great eyesight so a target aperture may not give you that much added help, but don't discount them due to your ignorance of the optical benefit of the increased Depth of Field (DoF) obtained by sighting through a small rear aperture. Those of us who are more 'seasoned' and once had 20-12 eyesight but now don't can appreciate the value of an increased DoF.

There is a reason that target sights exist. Read Wikipedia's explanation of DoF before you make yourself look foolish again.

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Old July 15, 2016, 05:17 PM   #6
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Well that's mighty neighborly of you help'n to edumacate dumb hicks like me. Do you have any follow on tricks?

I suggested a GI sight to get the rifle running now and get a NM aperture later as needed or desired. I've used GI sights to lay lead on target in excess of 600 meters at sea level from a rack grade M16A2.

If you want to have a more in depth discussion about the parallax free zone of a GI rear sight verses a 0.052 or smaller rear sight that would be a fine waste of time for both of us, but not something the OP brought up so it would just be the two of us having a friendly chat about things we both already know. Or we could talk about how smaller apertures inherently reduce the circle of probability impact by reducing the field of vision through the sight picture, which is also interesting but not what the OP brought up.

The OP is a young guy in his 20s, according to his post, I'm sure he has a few more years until he is as "seasoned" as yourself before his eyes go bad. But you would know that if you'd actually bothered to read his post, to which so far you have not demonstrated (who knows, maybe you did read it but your "seasoned" brain forgot about it when you thought you could jump at the chance to play greyback gorilla).

Your response seemed quite arrogant, condescending, and unhelpful. To say you came across as a pompous windbag who couldn't be bothered to read the original post might even be an understatement.

So, to help you not sound like yourself so much, don't confuse brevity with ignorance. Although with your advanced seasoning you might want to write that down so you don't forget it.

But I do thank you again so kindly for the attempt at the edumacation.

Machine guns are awesome until you have to carry one.
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Old July 16, 2016, 12:17 AM   #7
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I use the Rock River Arms NM sights, I have the NM carry handle on one match rifle, and my old Colt A2 Match has the sight changed to the .040" (1/2 MOA) aperture, I replaced the rear sight assembly and the front sight post. I have been very happy with these sights.

I have not bought these in a couple years, but I assume they are still available because they are shown for sale on their website.

I currently have a hood on my A2 Match, but the hood can come off and flip the sight to the other aperture.
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Last edited by iraiam; July 16, 2016 at 12:46 AM.
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