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Optics have become far more reliable in recent decades. And, these days, many shooters opt for a glass or battery powered optic.
However, iron sights still have their place either as backup sights or as a fail proof sighting system. Regardless of how the iron sights are used, every AR-15 deserves a decent pair of iron sights.
Our Best Choice
Daniel Defense AR-15 Lightweight Sight Set
SPOILER—if you’re here to buy rather than read, get the Daniel Defense AR-15 Lightweight Sight Set. They’re durable sights that work in conjunction with an optic, and won’t weigh your rifle down too much.
If you’re here for the info, keep reading, we’ve got tons of it. We’ll check out all the best iron sights for your AR-15, and help you get the sights that are best for your rifle.
The Top Iron Sights in the Market
The Best Iron Sights for AR 15 Reviews: Front Sight Focus
The best iron sights are up first. All the other sights will be lined up in order of price, from the most affordable priced to the most astronomically expensive (just kidding, even the most expensive iron sights are pretty affordable).
Let’s get zeroed in.
1. Daniel Defense AR-15 Lightweight Sight Set - Overall Best Iron Sights for AR-15
The Daniel Defense AR-15 Lightweight Sight Set gives you nearly all of the functionality of complete A2 sights, without the carrying handle and fixed front sight.
First, these sights are fixed. They don’t fold down. But, the matte finish reduces glare and makes it easy to co-witness with reflex, holographic, and red dot sights. And, the fixed sight design is exceptionally durable.
They may look bulky. But, these sights are skeletonized and made of aluminum to keep the weight as low as possible. They weigh just 2.8 ounces, which is a tad heavier than some flip-up sights. But, these are lighter than most other fixed sights.
The front sight is built with a narrower body. So, you can mount your front sight behind your laser or light. Then, rest your thumb on the side of your front sight to activate your light or laser. So, these sights keep your rifle configuration options open, even though they’re fixed.
The rear sight offers the standard windage adjustment. However, these are designed to be battle sights. So, there’s no elevation adjustment.
But, even without the elevation adjustment, these are still exceptionally capable sights that won’t get in the way of your other optics and lights.
2. A.R.M.S., Inc. AR-15 Polymer Sight Set - Flip-Up Sights for AR-15
The A.R.M.S., Inc. AR-15 Polymer Sight Set delivers the best long range capabilities of any flip-up sights on the market. They’re an excellent option for rifles that need to retain long-range capabilities even if the primary optic fails.
First, the elephant in the room: yes, these are polymer sights. However, the polymer is reinforced with steel to ensure that the polymer is never a durability issue. And, all the critical components are metal to reinforce any potential points of failure. This reduces the weight without compromising on durability.
The flip-up design is incredibly convenient. Simply press a tab on each sight to pop them up. Then press the tab and push the sights down to fold them up. These sights make it fast and easy to transition from your primary to your backup sights.
Additionally, when the sights are folded, they’re a mere 0.6 inches tall, which is low enough to be out of the way of almost any optic.
But, the rear sight is where these sights really shine. The rear sight offers the normal windage adjustment. There’s no elevation adjustment. However, there’s a slot on the top of the rear aperture with hash marks for holdovers. So, you can zero the sights at 300 yards, and use the hold over lines for longer shots.
These sights may not perfectly replicate the utility of A2 sights. But, they come close. So, they’re great backup sights for rifles with magnified optics
3. Midwest Industries, Inc. AR-15 Combat Rifle Folding Sight Set - Minimalist Iron Sights for AR-15
The Midwest Industries, Inc. AR-15 Combat Rifle Folding Sight Set gives you the minimum viable aiming system using the minimum amount of material.
The main benefit of the design is the weight. These sights weigh just 1.4 ounces. And, they fold down to just 0.437 inches. So, they won’t get in your way, and they won’t weigh you down.
Even though there’s not a lot to these sights, they’re fully functional battle sights. They meet the mil-spec standard dimensions. And, the rear sight is adjustable for windage with a knob that’s easy to turn. Up front, the front sight gives you a standard A2 front sight post.
Additionally, the rear aperture is an intermediate size that’s not quite as large as a standard A2 night aperture and not as small as a standard daylight aperture. This is a nice compromise that works for fast short-range shooting and long-range precision.
These sights are constructed from steel and 6061 aluminum to ensure that the minimal design is never a durability issue.
Both sights are covered in a matte black finish that reduces glare and makes it easier to locate and focus on your front sight in bright environments.
Lastly, these sights include a front sight adjustment tool for easy zeroing.
Overall, these sights are perfect for anyone who wants fully functional battle sights that take up the bare minimum space.
4. Magpul AR-15 MBUS Pro Offset Sight Set - Offset Iron Sights for AR 15
The Magpul AR-15 MBUS Pro Offset Sight Set offers a solution for those who have optics and magnifiers that make it impossible to mount traditional iron sights. So, you can use any optics you want without losing the assurance of backup sights.
Obviously, the main feature here is the offset design, which places the sights at an angle to get them out of the way of your primary optic. However, Magpul went one step further with these. The sights themselves are incredibly space efficient. They fold down to less than half and inch tall.
So, these stay out of the way of your optic. And, they don’t add any weird bulk to the side of your rifle.
However, they’re fully functional battle sights. The rear sight offers windage adjustment. And, there are two apertures for day and night shooting.
Additionally, the front sight offers toolless adjustment for fast and easy zeroing.
These sights are constructed from melonited steel for exceptional durability. And, the melonite finish is matte black to reduce glare in bright light. So, you can find your front sight quickly if you need to transition to your backup sights.
The only complaint about these sights is the protective wings on the front sight. They stand straight up, rather than angling out. So, depending on the length of your rifle, they might turn your round aperture into a square. Some shooters may not care for that.
5. Troy Industries, Inc. AR-15 HK-Style Front Sight Set - Precision Iron Sights for AR 15
The Troy Industries, Inc. AR-15 HK-Style Front Sight Set is designed to get the most precision from a pair of battle sights.
To be clear, these are standard battle sights. The rear sight has two apertures for short and long range (or day and night) shooting. There’s the standard windage adjustment. But, there’s no elevation adjustment.
The thing that makes these sights excellent for precision shooting is the front sight.
First, the front sight features a round cage that matches up with the ring of the rear sight aperture. Then, the front post is fitted with a self-illuminating tritium bead that makes it easy to locate your front sight. These two features make getting your sight alignment and sight picture fast and easy. And, the sight design helps you hold your sights on target all the way through your trigger press.
So, these sights are an excellent choice if you want to zero your iron sights are maximum range.
Additionally, these sights are made of steel. They lock in place with two locking detent balls. So, they’re super secure in both the up and down position. And, both sights are streamlined to minimize snagging and make it impossible to accidentally flip the sights up or down.
There are only two real drawbacks to these sights. First, they’re a bit expensive. Second, they’re a bit heavy. The total steel construction is nearly indestructible. But, it’s a bit on the heavy side.
Even if you’ve got a high-end piece of glass on your rifle, backup sights ensure that you stay in the fight no matter what. Of course, it’s best to get that do exactly what you want, without any frills or features that you don’t need. So, choose wisely.E backup sights
Daniel Defense AR-15 Lightweight Sight Set
If you want to make a wise decision without the work, get the Daniel Defense AR-15 Lightweight Sight Set. They’re capable and durable sights that work well with other optics.
Now that you know how to ensure there are no single points of failure on your rifle, get a set of iron sights, and rest assured.