If you are out in the field and facing a bear attack, an ambush or other life-threatening situation your best AR15 iron sights are sure to help you defend yourself. With them, there’s no doubt that you’ll get the upper hand on your opponent & be able to do what needs to be done.
Iron sights are what you rely on in times of need. They are perfect for close-quarters combat and can be the difference between life and death. When other sights fail to hit the mark, switch to your iron sights.
When my father came home after World War II he made sure that I was trained to use the rifle just like any grown-up man. So, while I was still young, he taught me to use different sights: iron sights, peep sights and leaf sights among others. These were all examples of metal rifle scope.
As a child, I killed my first deer when I was nine years old. Two decades later, you could say that I never looked through a rifle scope again after that hunt. The only exception being the time I used them during deer season in fall of 1950.
The concept of practice makes perfect is proven by Simo Häyhä, the world’s deadliest sniper with 505 kills during the Russian/Finish Winter War. With modern weapons he would have needed 13,550 rounds of ammunition to match his body count.
Our sniper used a 30 cal M/28 bolt-action and iron sights. How did the best backup iron sight do when applied to the target? Because he trained! A lifetime of shooting in Finland’s woodlands and it shows what good discipline can do for you.
11 of the best AR15 Iron Sights Reviewed
1. Magpul MBUS PRO Steel Sight Set
Given the recent change in M-16/AR 15 protocols, this rifle has been used for a long time without much change. It has seen extensive combat and is a testament to the durable nature of American-made military equipment. Soldiers know that when they need something done right, the All American will be there for them.
One upgrade for the M-16 was glass sights which improved its performance including in military, police, and civilian shooters. It’s the gold standard among AR-15s around the world.
Magpul, a company that has been a leader in offering aftermarket add-ons, offers an AR-15 iron sight kit that can be quickly transformed from standard sighting to short range shooting. There are leaf style rear sights and new post front iron sights for this kit.
Instead of being utensils from plastic, these pieces are made from high-quality metal, which allows them to attach directly to a gun rail.
I’ve noticed that sights are secondary to most AR-15 users, which are typically found in competition or close-quarter combat competitions.
That is why, when you’re in need of something accurate, iron sights will become solid gold the moment one of your main rifles runs out of ammo.
The MAGPUL sights are made of premium steel which makes them strong & durable. This means it’ll stay securely mounted on your firearm without any issues, even during long-term use. The black finish (Melonite) provides extra protection against scratches so it’ll look new for longer too!
This makes it easy to use as it offers features such as a dual-aperture windage and elevation knob and windage adjustments on the BUIS. Plus, the thick blade reticle design of this rifle scope is compatible with lasered or magnified optics.
You don’t need to worry about interference or fighting with your optics when wearing your rifle. Even if your backup sights fold out of the way, you can easily fold them back down without any added issues.
2. Magpul MBUS PRO Offset Steel Backup Sights
The Tactical 45 caliber BUIS is a nice insurance policy for when your sights are damaged. This sight can provide an alternate set-up with ease and is perfect for combat situations.
You can use this BUIS for all sorts of shooting games, including three gun competitions. This steel BUIS is more rugged than any of the plastic reproductions you might find elsewhere.
This MIL-STD 1913 attachment turns on a 45° offset and is made from Melonite steel. It’s aesthetically pleasing and holds true to the AR-15 platform.
When you use a detent system when extending your lockup, it will lock in place and be in a solid position. That keeps the sight zeroed and ensures it is always working when deployed.
3. Magpul MBUS Rear Flip-Up Back Up Sight Gen 2
If you have a front sight tower, it’s not necessary to strap on an AR-15 with a set of BUIS (backup iron sights) because the single rear backup sight is more than enough!
Our fold-down devices are specifically designed so that they don’t interfere with the aperture on your scope or snag clothing during “get down” moments. They can be deployed to give you clear sight in seconds!
The sight is made from a polymer that is impact resistant and very lightweight. The spring loaded feature will flip up from either side of the primary leaf, providing protection for your sights.
4. FAB Defense Front and Rear Set of Flip-up Sights
Fab Defense was created to offer the best possible gear for AR-15 shooters, and they do so by manufacturing products that are both good looking and durable. One of their newest additions is a flip up rear sight which can be used as a primary or secondary sight. Products from Fab Defense will suit any shooter regardless of their requirements.
This BUIS features an angel-wing shaped shroud that helps you center your eye over the sight correctly.
The Sight has two sight apertures that are 3mm for low-light shooting situations and the second one is 1.5 mm for shots requiring more precision. You can decide on which size you want with just one touch of a finger.
The low profile design will not get in the way of gears or obstruct your field of vision. Adjustments are made without tools, and it is built to last for years under harsh conditions.
The BUIS can be mounted with any standard handguard, so there’s no need for a gunsmith to install it.
5. TroyIndustries Folding Battle Sight
Some people may refer to the secondary sight on an AR-15 as a “battle sight.” Judges, police officers, and military personnel looking for a close-range system use this style. This is better suited for harder encounters than your average optical system.
This sight is available in models with different adjustment increments, so it can be used by many people. Although the name may sound complicated, this design pattern is popular in most rifle sights. The custom features that are included make this an excellent choice for hunters and/or target shooters.
This BUIS “Battle Sight” uses no levers or springs and has a crisp, fluid operation for an outstanding user experience. With 0.460 seconds, it also has no cant adjustment meaning you can shoot from any angle. Made from blackened stainless steel, this may be a perfect choice for military experts too.
6. TroyIndustries Folding Style
This front sight is compatible with all the other sights made by this company. It can be used on its own or it can be paired with the rear folding sight that’s also available. The only tools needed are a screwdriver for installation.
The combat-proven Warne T6 Super Heavy Duty Bipod is made from T6 aircraft aluminum and has a black finish. Combined with its durability, hard-coat anodizing and mil spec construction, the Warne bipod is a perfect option for special forces or police personnel.
The BUIS on this rifle is not compatible with a lower mounting system that is too low and will not be mounted onto the rifle receiver.
7. TroyIndustries Folding
Sometimes the lighting at a certain location is bad or nonexistent, and a need to clear out a room, alley or even an entire building arises. In these situations, and more, this tritium-powered sight system may be advantageous.
This shooting system is designed to be mounted on a same plane rail system and is centered between two tritium points of reference light to allow for the correct reference regarding sight alignment.
Do not install or use it off of a riser system on your AR-15. You want the front sight to line up with the bottom of the mount at all times.
This Tritium sight is completely battery-free and has a long lasting light source that never fades. The H2 element emits a light that is twice as bright as a high-quality LED, making it stand out from the rest of the sights listed here. Crafted from the same material as its predecessors, this product is of top quality and well worth the money.
8. Daniel Defense A1.5 Fixed Iron Sights
The Daniel Defense rear sight is designed to support an AR-15 users more modern day optical sights. The sight does not get in the way of the charging handle used on many of today’s more modern rifles, meaning they can charge their rifle without any issues of the sight getting in their way.
This sight is machined from aircraft grade aluminum, tested to military specs. The anodized finish both protects it and gives it a sleek appearance. The knobs are adjustable without any need for tools, giving you the convenience you deserve.
9. Good Stuff Innovation Flip-Up Rear Sight
This is not one of those expensive rear optical sights. I like it because it resembles the old school Tang sight, which was sometimes used in the past for buffalo hunting.
This scope is designed to house the receiver near the mount – resulting in a clean, simplistic design that allows you to see over long ranges. Overall, this is a great sight.
This is a good iron sight for the shooter looking for more accuracy. It also makes a great addition to any Sunday afternoon plinker’s range kit. Durable and made of softer metal, this sight can stand up to some wear and tear with ease.
10. Diamondhead Polymer Diamond Sights
When things go south and you don’t have a viable solution in sight, a set of flip up sights may be your saving grace. Flip sights can help you in combat or when police chase after you. In some cases, there’s no other option but to “flip up” or go home.
When we talk about flip sights on rifles, most are designed with the AR-15 and AR-10 platforms in mind. This is our starting point.
Flip up sights are usually positioned at the back of a rifle’s receiver and centered with the bore. They fold down behind the rear of an optic. Different rifles have different design and purposes, meaning there is a variety in sight systems available.
A battle sight system consists of two pieces to complete the package. These sights come as a pair, with an easy-to-open design that lets you fold them out easily. That way, they’ll never get in the way of your other optics.
This sight is an exclusive working team in the field. This gives you a Diamond-shaped aperture, giving you faster target acquisition while under high-stress situations. Additionally, its casing doesn’t change shape either making it great for working conventionally.
The sight features a 0.5 MOA windage adjustment with two size apertures to choose from. It can be deployed & stowed with the small or large aperture activated for combat quality sights used in military, police or shooting competitions.
11. Strike Sidewinder AR-15 Iron Sight
The Si-Sidewinder was designed as a backup sight and can be used as a secondary side mounted sight, on same plane rail systems and as a primary first line combat sight. It’s very versatile.
This sight meets the MIL-SPEC requirements because it’s suitable for anyone who is part of a military, police force, or any other organization that employs firearms.
Made from aircraft grade aluminum and steel, the sight can handle any abuse you might throw at it. With tool-less windage and elevation adjustments, it’s never been easier to be accurate than with this combat proven design.
This sight is reversible for left- or right-hand use. Setting adjustments are also reversible for left- or right hand use.