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The 5 Best AR-15 Iron Sights – Tested & Reviewed

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Iron sights, put simply, is a device that helps you aim better. It helps you accurately determine where your bullet, arrow, or the impact location from where you’re aiming.

This device is usually used in place of optics. Where optics is not available, or the user is a fan of utilizing iron sights instead, this device comes in handy. Just like optics, iron sights work best when paired with matching weapons, and here we’ll be talking about the best AR-15 iron sights to use.

Iron sights typically have two separate gadgets, the rear aperture and the front sight post. The two will have to be aligned properly to give you the accuracy you need. Properly aligning the front and rear parts and ensuring the correct point of aim is on the target caters for the windage and elevation differences while peep sight prevents parallax differences.

If you’re an AR owner, the need for iron sights cannot be overemphasized, even if you already own an optic. Optics may be easier to use and more user-friendly, but when the environment and external factors get unfavorable, there’s one that’ll be still be standing; your iron sights.

This is why it is important to know how iron sights work and the best sights to use for your AR-15.

In this guide, you’ll not only be seeing the best iron sights for your AR-15 but also the reason behind these choices and how you can select the best one for you, depending on your particular needs.

Best AR-15 Iron Sights

AR-15 is a lightweight semi-automatic rifle that has been arguably the most popular in the United States for some decades now. Its popularity keeps growing by the day as AR-15 is fast, powerful, and looks great. I mean, badass.

Because of the nature of this rifle, its popularity, and its uses (it has become a popular hunting rifle), knowing the iron sights that will fit the rifle and ensure easy and accurate sighting is important.

Here are some of the best iron sights for AR-15:

In case you want to know about the AR-15 scopes, in brief, tAhis comparison table below is tailor-made for you.

Image Product
Magpul MBUS Pro Steel Sight
  • Melonite finish
  • Toll-free windage adjustments
  • Foldable parts
VIEW ON AMAZON → READ REVIEWS →
MBUS Pro Flip-Up Sights
  • Slim fitted
  • Fully adjustable sights
  • Highly durable
VIEW ON AMAZON → READ REVIEWS →
Blackhawk! 71BU05DK Hybrid Folding Sights
  • Affordable
  • Finger adjustable knobs
  • Dual aperture on the rear sight
VIEW ON AMAZON → READ REVIEWS →
Diamondhead Polymer Diamond Sights
  • Flip button
  • Lightweight
  • Presence of photo-luminescent inserts
VIEW ON AMAZON → READ REVIEWS →
Troy Industries Folding Battle Best Rear Sights for AR
  • Flip button
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Minimal moving parts
VIEW ON AMAZON → READ REVIEWS →

#1. Magpul MBUS Pro Steel Sight

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Magpul is one of the best iron-sight-producing brands, and as you’ll soon see, their products stand tall above many other brands in the industry. The Magpul MBUS pro steel sight provides all-around durability as its whole body is made of steel.

The Magpul MBUS pro steel sight is an AR-15 sighting device that consists of a foldable rear part which further enhances its ease of use. This way, you can store it away by folding it down when not in use. Making it light and easier to carry around difficult terrains. It can quickly come to the fore in adverse conditions and provide you with a quick and accurate sighting.

For the windage and elevation adjustments, it uses a dual aperture system located at the rear sight. The whole device is mounted on an AR Weaver-style rail which is a common AR rail and wouldn’t be a problem to find.

It has a melonite finish that is corrosion and abrasion resistant and a narrow front sight that enables compatibility with infrared lasers and other light aiming additions.

Pros

  • Melonite finish
  • Foldable parts
  • Highly durable
  • Toll-free windage adjustments on the rear sight

Cons

  • No adjustments on the front sight

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#2. MBUS Pro Flip-Up Sights

Magpul MBUS Flip-Up Backup Sights, Flat Dark Earth, Rear Sight

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The MBUS pro-flip-up sights is a close second on top iron sights for AR-15. As the name implies, these sights can be flipped up and down when not in use. There is, however, no pop-up button to raise and fold the sights, but this can easily be done manually. They can also be purchased as a pair or singularly. This way, you can easily replace damaged parts without having to spend an arm by buying the two parts.

This iron sight is an almost perfect fit for your AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. And just like the above-mentioned iron sight, this sight also has a QPQ melonite finish which makes it weather resistant. You can use it comfortably in harsh conditions and not worry about it getting damaged.

They fit well on the popular MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny rails and the /STANAG 4694 rails. This means you will easily find a matching rail. You may already have this rail available in your arsenal and will not need to purchase another.

The versatile sight post covering both the standard width of 0.060, which helps you achieve more visibility, and the matching width of 0.040, which provides you with better accuracy, will come in handy in specific circumstances.

The front sight is elevation adjustments and can be adjusted easily without tools. The rear sight, on the other hand, is windage adjustable. You’ll also enjoy the rail-height gas blocks and the low profile sights when it is not in use.

They are also made in the USA and are slim fitted to fit into your backpack or carrying bags.

Pros

  • Fully adjustable front and rear sights
  • Melonite finish
  • Highly durable
  • Slim fitted sights
  • Foldable sights

Cons

  • No pop-up button for the foldable sights

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#3. Blackhawk! 71BU05DK Hybrid Folding Sights

Blackhawk! 71BU05DK Hybrid Folding Sights FDE Pair On Gun, Box

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This is one of our best budget picks. Not only is this iron sight affordable, but compared to other scopes with similar features, it is quite under-priced. Shooting your AR-15 with the help of this beast is a joy to behold.

Its price is not the only thing about this iron sight that makes it an amazing choice for your AR-15. It’s sights are foldable, lightweight, and highly durable. All at an amazing price. Its durability stems from the use of durable aluminum materials to make its body and a hard coat finish.

The rear sight has a dual aperture that covers medium to short range. The rear sight is also partially adjustable with finger adjustable knobs making it easier to align. There is a rare earth magnet that holds the aperture firmly to the base of the rear sight.

Mounting the scope, however, will require the needs for tools likes crew fighters and screws. This makes it difficult and time-consuming to mount it also means the sight will be on your rifle.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Finger adjustable knobs
  • Dual aperture on the rear sight
  • Durable as it is made from aluminum
  • The quick transition between CQB and precision

Cons

  • Difficult to mount and unmount sights
  • The only partially adjustable rear sight

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#4. Diamondhead Polymer Diamond Sights

Diamondhead USA Front and Rear Combat Iron Sights - Integrated Sighting System (Sold as Set)

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Diamondhead, as the name implies, has a diamond-shaped sight head. It uses a diamond-shaped aperture that has been patented by the Diamondhead brand. This shape of aperture makes it easier to acquire your target in different scenarios.

This sight uses ½ MOA gradients to adjust its windage difference. This helps you adjust the windage to a fairly accurate level. The aperture can be switched between the available small and large systems.

It is made from a polymer which gives it a lightweight design while also ensures it retains a good deal of durability and being affordable. You can easily move the sight around and also carry it in your bag without weight issues. It has a push-button that makes it easy to operate, while the spring-loaded system further enhances its ease of usage.

This flip-up sight is located at the rear and centered to the bore of the rifle. And unlike the above-mentioned sight, Diamondhead sights are not sold singularly but as a pair. However, they are affordable, so purchasing them wouldn’t be much of a problem.

This sight can hold zero properly, and even though it may be a little bulkier than its steel counterpart, it is very easy to operate.

Pros

  • Matte black finish
  • Lightweight
  • Quite durable
  • Finger adjustable elevation dial
  • Flip button for easy handling
  • Presence of photo-luminescent inserts

Cons

  • Does not fit on gas block rails

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#5. Troy Industries Folding Battle Best Rear Sights for AR

Troy Industries Folding Battle Sight Rear (Black)

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This is a singular iron sight that does not need to be mounted with a front sight, thus the name; battle sight. It is foldable, as the name implies, which gives you room when it is not in use. It can rise and fall by the push of a button making it more attractive as an easy-to-use sight.

It is made from T6 aircraft-grade aluminum and is hard coated to give you a solid, durable, and effective sight able to see withstand harsh weather conditions and impacts from fall and recoil from your AR-15. Minimal moving parts and good production materials make this sight quite the buy.

It is made from T6 aircraft-grade aluminum and is hard coated to give you a solid, durable, and effective sight able to see withstand harsh weather conditions and impacts from fall and recoil from your AR-15. Minimal moving parts and good production materials make this sight quite the buy.

Pros

  • Minimal moving parts which ensure it is firm
  • ½ MOA adjustments for quick target acquisition
  • Made from aircraft-grade aluminum
  • Durable
  • Does not require a front sight
  • Flip button available
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • No front site
  • Hardly affordable

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Difference Between Iron Sight and Optics

You might be wondering how these two rifle gadgets differ from each other and which one you should be buying. Well, their working principles and mode of operation are almost from different ends of the spectrum, even though they serve almost the same purpose with varying degrees of effectiveness.

Here are some factors that differentiate these two devices:

  • Accuracy

It doesn’t matter the type of shooting you are taking part in; whether tactical or hunting, accuracy is an important aspect of shooting, even more so when it requires long-range weapons like the AR-15. Optics deliver better accuracy when compared to iron sight.

While the adjustments on most iron sights are basic with high MOA gradients, most optics, on the other hand, offer a wide range of adjustments which include parallax adjustments. Focusing on the front sight of an iron sight also causes blurry images, which reduces your accuracy.

  • Price

Iron sights are more affordable than optics. Some brands also allow you purchase singular sights, which makes it even more affordable for people looking to replace a damaged part.

This difference in price between the two devices may be the deciding factor for many people, especially if accuracy is not so much of an issue.

  • Ease of Use

You always want easy-to-use devices when shooting. This will save you time and resources as you’ll not need to spend time learning how to use the device.

Between these two, optics takes the lead as they are easier to mount and use. Iron sights, on the other hand, being predominantly two pieces, will have to be aligned properly before you can get a decent shot out.

  • Weight

Optics are predominantly heavier than iron sights. Since iron sight delivers fewer features and has no use of a lot of additional inputs, it is lighter and less bulky. They are easier to move around.

Optics are heavier as they have to carry several pieces like lens, reticle, and tube.

  • Durability

Iron sights can boast of having higher durability than optics as they have minimal features that can get damaged. They are also moisture resistant as they do not have parts that can be clogged or damaged by water.

Their settings are also more likely to stay that way and not loosing their set figures every time it brings against an object.

They also do not require batteries like their optics counterparts. This way, you can use them without the fear of running out of battery.

FINAL Verdict

So which should you go for? An iron sight or optics? Well, this depends on what your aim is. You can also decide to get them both and use the iron sight when the weather is harsh or when you’re out of battery.

You may even decide to completely switch to using iron sights on your AR-15.

About Author

James Towndrow, a NRA-certified Firearms Instructor. During a career of 18 years had won several shooting competition including major leagues. Taking all those experience down the road, is now a successful Shooting Instructor in Texas, US.


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