Best AR-15 Iron Sights of 2020 – Complete Buyer’s Guide

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Just a few decades ago, iron sights were all a gun-owner had at their disposal. Although modern scopes have proven to be great at assisting in aiming, iron sights are still the most dependable sighting system currently available on the market.

These are used by the armed forces around the globe for their durability and reliable performance. So, it is only natural that you should get the best iron sights for your AR-15 as well.

In this article, we've laid down our reviews of some of the best iron sights for your AR-15 rifle in order to simplify your search. Let’s get started!

Comparison Chart of the Best AR-15 Iron Sights

  • Protective wings to keep the spring-lock shielded
  • Clamps provide the standard height as other A2 sights
  • Tough design with polymer construction makes this model the best overall
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  • Quick transition backup flip-up iron sights
  • 45 degree offset design for use with optic sights
  • Dual aperture front sight and heavy-duty construction
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  • A push-button mechanism for spring-loaded deployment
  • Rated as the best for the money and has an aluminum construction
  • Highly adjustable for sight elevation, according to the user’s demand
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  • Can be easily flipped by a push of a button
  • Front sight alignment tool to mark the perfection
  • Metallic construction
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  • Backed by a lifetime warranty to guarantee reliability
  • Cross-locking mechanism for stable performance under harsh conditions
  • Composed of aircraft-quality stainless steel, making it the best AR-15 front iron sights
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  • Two adjustable apertures to choose from
  • Metal construction to endure every harsh condition
  • Ideally designed for Picatinny rail mounting, making it the best AR-15 rear iron sights
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Are Iron Sights Accurate?

Iron sights are generally used as the precision equipment for multiple applications, including hunting or sniping. They are generally considered great for making accurate target acquisition within a certain range. Not only are they flawless in hunting down your prey, but they are also very fast in spotting your target.

However, they offer an effective accuracy within a certain range of 150-300 yards for skilled hunters. Since they have no magnification, they can’t be used in thick cover. It is generally recommended to take some closer shots, no longer than 300 yards, to have a reliable hunting experience. 

What to Look for When Buying Iron Sights

If you are fully determined to buy a great set of iron sights for your AR-15 rifle, then here are few features that you must consider before you make a valued purchase and avoid any regret in the future.


One key feature you must look for is the quality construction of the iron sights. They must be manufactured from heavy-duty materials, making them capable of enduring rough working conditions. It is recommended to go for an option that is reliable, strong, and adaptive to every harsh condition.


Although iron sights generally cost less, you should opt for a model that is relatively light on your pocket and equipped with all the essential features you need.

Easy to Install

Another significant feature of a commendable product is that it is easy to install. You shouldn’t have to struggle much while working with it for smooth operation.


Different manufacturers offer a certain warranty on their products. It is highly recommended to choose a sight that is backed by a lifetime warranty to ensure reliability and save yourself from additional expenditures of repairing or replacement.

Review of the Best AR-15 Iron Sights

Now that you are well aware of the essential features you should consider while picking an iron sight. Moving forward, this section will give you a detailed review of our top-listed products in order to help you get the ideal product you’re looking for.

Best Overall: 
Magpul MBUS Flip-up Backup Sights


  • Nice design with a shiny finish
  • Super-fast installation makes it user-friendly
  • Narrow, lightweight, and easy to carry around
  • Manufactured from heavy-duty polymer to mark durability
  • Can be easily adjusted, keeping in your mind your preference


  • Plastic may break if dropped
  • A bit pricey compared to other alternatives
  • Some complaints of poor customer service

What Recent Buyers Report

This model has made its way to the top of our list for being immensely popular among its users. Most customers are quite satisfied with its polymeric construction that is not only durable but also lightweight, thus making it easy to carry around. Moreover, the installation is a breeze that adds on to its user-friendliness.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Magpul MBUS Flip-up Backup Sights stands out from its competitors for multiple reasons. It is made from an impact-resistant polymer, which makes it a lightweight set. Similarly, the sight can be easily mounted on Picatinny rails to have the standard height just like other iron sights. Moreover, both the front and rear sights are spring-loaded and can be easily flipped by pushing a button.

Who Will Use This Most 

This polymeric sight is considered as an ideal backup sight in most demanding situations for its easy installation. Equipped with a durable design, it can be used even under harsh conditions to ensure lasting effectiveness. Similarly, this product can be used by military men to fulfill professional tasks quite efficiently. 

Bottom Line 

A powerhouse of features, the Magpul MBUS Flip-up Backup Sights is undoubtedly one of the most efficient sights you’ll find on the market. Its easy installation and tight fit on the rail ensure its capability to withstand shooting vibration without moving. All in all, this iron sight is a fantastic candidate, worthy of your serious consideration.

Black Hawk Tactical Front and Rear Side Sight Flip Up 45 Degree Rapid Transition


  • Fits 20 mm Picatinny rails
  • Tough metal construction with hard coat finish
  • Stable attachment using base mounted screws
  • Offers quick transition between precision and CQB
  • Switch between large or small aperture on the rear sight


  • Rear sight not fully adjustable
  • Not a quick attach/detach addon

What Recent Buyers Report

The fact most liked about this sight is that costs about a fraction of other similar but more expensive sights. The construction is solid and it mounts securely with absolutely no chances of falling out. Even if you get it snagged onto something. These are an absolutely affordable and necessary accessory for your rifle.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This is a durable and lightweight folding iron sight for use with optics. It has already been manufactured with a canted offset of 45 degrees and features very tough aluminum construction with a hard coat finish. The rear sight is partially adjustable and offers quick finger settings for ease on the field. Plus it features a dual aperture for short or medium range CQB. 

The rare earth magnet in the base of the rear sight secures the aperture tightly to the tower base. Windage and elevation adjustments can be made without tools which is an absolute plus. 

The sight has to be mounted using screws which is both a pro and a con. The dual aperture swings 180 degrees for absolute clarity. The sights flip when not in use to prevent snagging.

Bottom Line

These flip-up sights can be mounted on any 20 mm Picatinny base rail and can be folded when not in use. The rear sight has a dual aperture for different uses. The price of these sights makes them a complete no-brainer. But a durable and useful accessory for your tactical rifles.  

Best for the Money:
OZARK ARMAMENT Flip Up Backup Iron Sight


  • Ideal to stock up on as a spare
  • Backed by a one-year warranty
  • Quite easy to install, making it user-friendly
  • One of the most affordable sights on our list
  • Great quality build


  • Design can be improved
  • Aluminum is not the best metal out there
  • No installation tools included in the package

What Recent Buyers Report

Users have many positive remarks about this model for its exceptional set of features. The most admired aspect of it is the reasonable price tag that makes it suitable for budget-conscious people. Moreover, it is super easy to install and, therefore, saves the user from any unwanted struggle of calling for professional help.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The OZARK ARMAMENT Flip Up Backup Iron Sight mainly impressed us with its commendable features and very affordable price. It is made of aluminum and has a pleasantly sturdy appearance. Moreover, with this model, you can expect fully adjustable elevation and windage according to your choice.

Who Will Use This Most

This budget-friendly iron sight is an ideal choice for those who are on a tight budget and, therefore, can’t afford to spend much. Its simple push-button mechanism and straightforward operation make it suitable for professionals as well as beginners when they set out to do some hunting.

Bottom Line

An extraordinary product with a range of features, the OZARK ARMAMENT Flip Up Backup Iron Sight should not be missed. Whether it’s about its solid construction or smooth operation, this product has proven to be ideal in every way. You’ll honestly not find a better option at such a stunning price.

4. Tacticon Armament Flip Up Iron Sights


  • Matt finish for glare reduction
  • Very smooth and simple in operation
  • Solid mounting base to make it stable
  • Package includes a sight alignment tool as well
  • Made from high-quality metal to guarantee reliability


  • Might face some control issues
  • Wide base might cause interference
  • Screws break at times and require replacement

What Recent Buyers Report

Just like our best overall product, this runner-up sight is also well-received by customers. It is highly appreciated for its robust metallic construction that makes it durable. Similarly, it is user-friendly and requires the least struggle during operation. Another positive point is that it is backed by a lifetime warranty, which is quite appealing to some customers.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Tacticon Armament Flip Up Iron Sight is surely one of the most efficient sights, considering its affordable price. It comes with a metallic construction, which is complemented by a matt finish to reduce glare in the daylight. Moreover, it can be easily operated by merely pushing a button. Plus, you will get an Allen wrench as well as a sight adjustment tool in the package.

Who Will Use This Most

Another remarkable product, this is ideally designed to endure harsh conditions, which makes it a go-to choice of many people in the military. This backup sight can also be used by hunters to hunt down their prey effortlessly. Its easy installation makes it suitable for beginners as well.

Bottom Line

This iron sight from Tacticon Armament is packed to the brim with numerous features. Not only does it have a nice design, but it is also durable for its strong metallic construction. Similarly, it's very easy to use and is, therefore, used by almost everyone out there. Last but not least, manufacturers offer a lifetime warranty on this product to guarantee reliability.

Best AR-15 Front Iron Sights:
Troy Industries Front Sight


  • Installation is a breeze
  • Low footprint makes it user-friendly
  • Nice black design that matches your rifle
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Constructed using heavy-duty steel


  • Lacks any tools for installment
  • Might encounter some items on the market
  • Additional expenditure of tools for adjustment

What Recent Buyers Report

This beautifully designed iron sight is well-received by customers for its solid steel construction, which saves the user from frequent repairs and replacements. Moreover, this model is super easy to install and also backed by a 1-year warranty, which is quite attractive for many customers out there.

Why it Stands Out to Us

In case you are looking for the best front iron sight for your AR-15 rifle, you must get your hands on this one by Troy Industries. In terms of its design, it is made from heavy-duty stainless steel that is meant to last for a long time. You can easily adjust the rear by using some tools, plus it can be installed in merely 5 minutes.

Who Will Use This Most

The Troy Industries Front Sight is ideally designed for shooters working with an AR-15 rifle. Its quality construction makes it a suitable choice for shooters who like their sightline close to the rifle’s barrel. Moreover, since it is capable of enduring tough conditions, it can be used by professionals to complete their tasks.

Bottom Line

Equipped with a great design, this solid performer is meant to bring value to your bucks. Black in color, the Troy Industries Front Sight provides a low sightline and can easily bear all kinds of tough shooting conditions without compromising on the performance. In short, it is one of the most reliable and accurate iron sights you’ll find out there.

Best AR-15 Rear Iron Sights:


  • Capable of withstanding tough conditions
  • Solid metallic construction to mark durability
  • Easily adjustable for both windage and elevation
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty to make it reliable
  • Dual apertures to be used according to your choice


  • No stable mounting
  • No adjustable tools included
  • Users might struggle with the alignment

What Recent Buyers Report

Just like our above-mentioned products, this sight has succeeded in getting positive reviews from its customers. They mostly like it for its durable design that can easily withstand tough conditions without compromising on the performance. Moreover, you get to have a lifetime warranty, which saves additional expenditures for repairing. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The OZARK ARMAMENT Rear Iron Sight makes its way to our list for featuring a number of exceptional specifications, including a solid metallic construction as well as an attractive design. Moreover, it is easily adjusted for both elevation and windage in almost no time. Last but not least, you get to enjoy awesome customer support.

Who Will Use This Most

This sturdy-looking iron sight is an ideal choice for those who want top-notch features and durable design. It is specifically designed for Picatinny rail mounting, making it a great option for military men to fulfill their professional tasks efficiently. Moreover, you can easily hunt down your prey with its smooth operation.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a quality-built iron sight for your AR-15 rifle, then make sure to add the OZARK ARMAMENT Rear Iron Sight to your list. It features sturdy construction, which is complemented by easy installation. Plus, it's backed by a lifetime warranty for ease of mind. 

Pros and Cons of Iron Sights

Recently, iron sights have revolutionized many types of shooting. Whether you are in a battle or love hunting, you can always go for iron sights to enhance your potential. In this section, we have discussed the pros and cons of iron sights so that you can determine if you want to invest in these. 


By purchasing a quality iron sight for your AR-15, you’ll get to enjoy the following benefits:


Iron sights are relatively cheaper than other fighting optics. You can easily find a good set of iron sights, even if you are exceptionally budget-conscious.


These accessories are quite reliable for their durable construction and commendable performance. They are quite fast in operation and provide accurate target acquisition. Moreover, a great iron sight will enable the shooter to focus on the front sight to make a fine alignment.


Another quality of iron sights is that they are extremely lightweight and, therefore, can be carried around easily. They generally weigh a couple of ounces at most, making them an ideal choice for hunters who’ll be carrying their rifle for a long time. 


Like everything, iron sights also come with their limitations. These include:

No Magnification

One of the major drawbacks of iron sights becomes apparent in low-light conditions and at long ranges. The aperture is unable to capture much light and, therefore, is not suitable during hunting at dawn or dusk.

Limited Range

Although shooters are capable of making ideal shots at 1000 yards, this does not make iron sights suitable for hunting at such distance practically. The maximum hunting range of iron sights is generally considered to be about 300 yards only. 

How to Zero AR-15 Iron Sights

A good set of iron sights will serve you in the long run, only if you zero them accurately. One of the common errors people make these days is they never zero their iron sights at all and end up having ineffective results because of it.

The zeroing procedure ensures that the weapon is performing at a specific range to target as per the expectations. Read on to find the detailed process for zeroing your iron sights. 

Choose the Right Distance

First, place your rifle on a stable surface to avoid any awkward movement. Now, choose an arbitrary distance to zero for, including 25, 50, or 100. Figure out your desired point-blank zero according to your rifle.

Set the Target

The next step involves placing the target 25 yards downrange. It makes your sight adjustments quite easy.

Establish the Position

Now set your position by considering your shot hits. You can use a tool to adjust the front sight post up or down. Similarly, the rear sight windage knob is adjusted accordingly.

Fire Five Rounds and Adjust

Now shoot five-round groups and determine exactly how to adjust your sights. Do this until you get the desired point-of-aim.

Confirm Iron Sight Zero

The last step involves confirming the iron sight zero. Set the target to 50 yards and then 100 yards respectively and repeat the process to finalize your zero.


  • In case you face difficulty dialing in your zero, at least try to adjust the elevation and windage.
  • For beginners, start by putting the target closer, say at 10 yards and get a zero at that distance. Then go for 25 and 50 yards.

You can view the video below for a detailed understanding of what was just described.


Although iron sights do not use cutting-edge technology, they are still very reliable and, if trained properly, you can’t go wrong with shooting up to 300 yards. These lightweight accessories are basically designed to increase your accuracy. Therefore, it is recommended to take a few factors into consideration first while making a purchase. Different models have different advantages, so the ultimate choice definitely depends on your demands.

People Also Ask

Owners of AR-15 rifles often have some questions associated with the best iron sights available in the market. Different customers have several expectations according to their needs. In this section, we have tried to answer the common queries in order to improve your overall experience.

Do Iron Sights Need to be Zeroed?

Yes, iron sights need to be zeroed first whenever you take out your AR-15 for hunting. This is essential to do before starting your target practice or professional training. You need to be patient while dealing with this stuff and try to make it as accurate as possible.

Are Backup Iron Sights Necessary?

The quality construction of these backup iron sights makes them an important part of the weapon arsenal in a battle. Since they are easy to install and can be discarded whenever you want, they have been marked as quality fighting optics. Other than that, they aren’t considered to be necessary.

Can You Use Iron Sights With ACOG?

The base of ACOG is usually very high, which makes it difficult to use it along with an iron sight. Although there is a hole in the lower rail, it doesn’t serve much of a useful purpose. Moreover, the ACOG does not offer co-witness, making it more difficult to combine it with iron sights.

Can You Use Iron Sights With a Scope?

In case you have a magnified scope, you need to detach it before using iron sights. However, if the scope isn’t magnified, you can easily co-witness the iron sight with the help of a red dot. Generally, it is not recommended to use iron sights with a scope to avoid an awkward or uncomfortable experience.

Do I Need Backup Iron Sights?

Well, you don’t really need iron sights outside of combat. It is not necessary to spend money on these accessories unless by choice. They are lightweight and comparatively less expensive; therefore, they can be used by shooters for a precise hunt. It is generally not recommended to have them on-board; still, it completely depends on your desire.

Are Red Dot Sights Better Than Iron Sights?

Yes, red dot sights are relatively better than iron sights for a number of reasons. First of all, they help in fast and accurate spotting of the target when compared to iron sights. Moreover, with red dot sights, there is reduced parallax, which is a crucial factor for precision shooters.