ARMS #40 L-F/#40 L Combo: The #40 L-F/#40 L Combo from ARMS comes with low-profile front and rear sights that fold flat on top of your AR’s rail. The front sight has protective wings, and the rear sight has dual apertures. When needed, the sights spring up and lock in place via a quick release lever that also ensures the sights are not accidentally deployed.
AT Flip Up Combo: The American Tactical Flip Up Combo sight is an all metal front and rear sight set design for use on AR rifles. The rear sight of the combo has two apertures and is fully adjustable. The front sight of the system has an adjustable post. Designed to mount to any Picatinny/Weaver style rail, both sights stow flat.
Blackhawk Folding Sights: Delivering top performance with minimal bulk, the Blackhawk folding sight system delivers when it matters. With a push of a button the AR-15 folding rear sight springs up when needed. The front sight, which has an adjustable center post protected by side wings, springs into place just like the rear. Both are constructed with a polymer base and aluminum posts.
Command Arms FFS & FRS: When folded, the Command Arms FFS (Flip-up Front Sight) and FRS (Flip-up Rear Sight) are low profile so they will not snag on gear. Made of polymer and steel, these sights bolt onto any Picatinny-style rail using a square lug so they won’t wiggle when they’re mounted. Both sights can also be adjusted without tools, and the FRS features three aperture options and is adjustable for windage. The sights are spring-loaded and deploy rapidly using ambidextrous buttons. Each sight also weighs less than an ounce.
Diamondhead D-45 ISS: The D-45 ISS sights from Diamondhead deploy at a 45-degree offset so a shooter can slightly roll their rifle 45 degrees to use these backup sights in close quarters. In other words, you won’t have to remove an optic or co-witness it with your sights. The rear sight stows under the eyepiece of a scope and features dual apertures with 0.5-MOA adjustments. The front sight accepts all standard A2 front sight posts.
Diamondhead ISS: The sights in the Integrated Sighting System (ISS) feature patented diamond-shaped apertures for faster target acquisitions and centering. These sights are made of metal and bolt onto any Picatinny-style rail. A push button instantly deploys or stows the sights. The ISS is available in black or Flat Dark Earth.
Dueck Defense RTS: Designed by top 3-Gun shooter and IPSC Grand Master Barry Dueck, the Rapid Transition Sights (RTS) are built for the rigor of competition or the abuse of law enforcement/military tactical scenarios. These offset sights enhance a shooter’s ability to quickly hit near and far targets. Made of 7075-T6 aluminum, these sights are durable and mount to your rifle’s top rail without interfering with a mounted optic.
FAB Defense Tritium Flip-Up Sights: These backup sights are made of lightweight yet rugged polymer and stow very flat along a Picatinny top rail when folded. Both sights also feature tritium inserts for quick aiming in any lighting condition. The front sight is adjustable for elevation, and the rear sight is adjustable for windage.
GG&G 45 Degree Transition Sights: Engaging targets at close range is easier with GG&G’s 45 Degree Transition Sights. The front and rear combo set are offset at 45 degrees so all an operator does is cant the rifle or carbine to quickly get on target and continue firing. The sights install on most Picatinny/Weaver rails. Made of 6061-T6 billet aluminum.
Guntec Thin Profile BUIS Sight Set: Made of lightweight yet rugged T6 aluminum with steel inserts, the Guntec Thin Profile BUIS Sight Set features a push-button design that locks the sights to prevent them from folding down during use. The set installs on any flattop receiver and Picatinny rail and is designed for same plane rail height.
Magpul MBUS: Magpul’s front and rear MBUS sights are super lightweight since they are made from injection-molded polymer. The sights are also spring-loaded and flip up by pressing the top from either side. Protective wings shield the spring-locking A2 front sight post, and an elevation-adjustment tool is included with the front sight. The rear sight features dual apertures. MBUS sights are available in black, Flat Dark Earth, stealth gray or olive drab.
Magpul MBUS Pro LR: The adjustable, all-steel MBUS Pro LR rear sight features an elevation-adjustment wheel to accurately engage targets from 200 to 600 meters in 50-meter increments. No tools are needed to make the adjustments. Positive detents keep the MBUS Pro LR at standard AR sight height when deployed and low profile when stowed.
Magpul MBUS Pro Offset: Magpul’s MBUS Pro Offset front and rear sights deploy to standard AR height at a 45-degree offset on the right-hand side of the weapon. These backup sights can supplement an optic or one that has been damaged beyond use. They will easily mount to any Picatinny-style rail.
Mission First Tactical Sights: The BUPSWF (Backup Polymer Flip-Up Front Sight) and BUPSWR (Backup Polymer Flip-Up Rear Sight) from Mission First Tactical are designed with shrouds that shelter the front post blade and rear aperture from dust and debris as well as damage from impact when in the closed position. These sights are made from though polymer and mount to any Picatinny rail.
Promag AR-15/M16 Flip Ups: The Promag rear and front sight system features a spring-loaded release for quick access. The rear sight has two apertures and is adjustable via a knob and the front sight has a wing-protected adjustable post. Made from T6 aircraft grade aluminum with a black phosphate mil-spec finish, both mount to most Picatinny/Weaver rails and are secured with a knurled thumb screw.
Troy 45-Degree Folding Battle Sights: Troy Industries’ durable, practical 45-Degree Folding Battle Sights position the aperture at a mil-spec height and deploy effortlessly. The front sight is an HK-style unit with rounded protective wings.
Troy Folding Battle Sights: Troy offers a number of sighting optics, including its Medium Battle Sight Set, which includes a folding front sight and a folding Di-Optic Aperture (DOA) rear sight, which are made with aluminum and steel components. The rear sight’s diamond-shaped apertures—for 300- and 500-meter engagements—center your eye for faster target acquisitions.
UTG Low-Profile Flip-Up Sights: UTG’s new Low-Profile Flip-Up front and rear sights are made of tough, lightweight aluminum. Just press the spring-loaded side releases to deploy these sights or fold them down when not in use. Both sights are hardcoat anodized matte black.
XS Sight Systems XTI Set: The AR-16/M16 Xpress Threat Interdiction (XTI) sights are fixed offset sights that employ a big dot on the front sight and a shallow V-shaped rear sight with a vertical post. The dot and post use tritium so they are visible in low-light conditions. These sights attach to any rail.
XS Troy Battle Sights: XS Sight Systems offers upgraded Troy Folding Battle Sight sets where the front sight uses a tritium stripe that glows in low-light conditions. The rear sight features the CSAT aperture, which was pioneered by master shooter Paul Howe.
YHM Front Flip Sight Tower: A combination flip-up front sight and gas block, the Front Flip Sight Tower from Yankee Hill Machine (YHM) has a built-in gas block. The two-piece design allows it to be mounted on firearms with pinned and welded muzzle accessories.
YHM QDS Same-Plane Sights: The QDS Same-Plane sights from YHM flip up or stow with the press of a button. Made of aluminum with a black anodized finish, the QDS rear sight is adjustable for windage while the front sight is adjustable for elevation.
What’s your backup plan? Backup iron sights (BUIS) allow you to stay in the fight should your primary optic fail. Most backup sights today are designed to be deployed instantly via the press of a button, locking into position. Along with being a redundant sighting system in the event your glass fails, backup sights are also ideal for close-range engagements where a high-magnification optic might be a liability. So, without further ado, here are a few failsafe backup iron sights for AR shooters.
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For more information about the backup iron sights featured in the gallery above, visit the following sites.
ARMS #40 L-F/#40 L Combo
AT Flip Up Combo
Blackhawk Folding Sights
Command Arms FFS & FRS
Diamondhead D-45 ISS
Dueck Defense RTS
FAB Defense Tritium Flip-Up Sights
GG&G 45 Degree Transition Sights
Guntec Thin Profile BUIS Sight Set
Magpul MBUS Pro LR
Magpul MBUS Pro Offset
Mission First Tactical Sights
Promag AR-15/M16 Flip Ups
Troy 45-Degree Folding Battle Sights
Troy Folding Battle Sights
UTG Low-Profile Flip-Up Sights
XS Sight Systems XTI Set
XS Troy Battle Sights
YHM Front Flip Sight Tower
YHM QDS Same-Plane Sights
This article was originally published in “Black Guns” 2018. To order a copy, visit outdoorgroupstore.com.
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