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5 Best Iron Sights for AR-15 in 2021 — Reviews & Top Picks

Last Updated on May 15, 2021

Iron sight_TACTICON_Amazon

We’ve all been there: You invest in a high-priced sight or scope, only to have it fail on you when you need it most. Whether you’re looking for backup iron sights or a tried-and-true primary, we’ve got you covered.

We created reviews of five of the best iron sights for your AR-15. This way, the next time that you head out to the range or field, you can do it with the best iron sights on the market. If you’re unsure what you’re looking for, we’ve got you covered there too. Our comprehensive buyer’s guide will break down everything that you need to know, for beginners and experienced shooters alike!

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A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Magpul Industries MBUS Generation II Sight Magpul Industries MBUS Generation II Sight
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Durable construction
  • Spring-loaded flip-up design
  • Best Value
    Second place
    TACTICON 45 Degree Offset Flip Up Iron Sights TACTICON 45 Degree Offset Flip Up Iron Sights
  • Affordable
  • Lifetime warranty
  • 45-degree offset design
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Troy Industries HK Style Front and Rear Battle Sight Troy Industries HK Style Front and Rear Battle Sight
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Foldable design
  • Durable design
  • Magpul MBUS PRO Steel Sight Set MAG275 & MAG276 Black Magpul MBUS PRO Steel Sight Set MAG275 & MAG276 Black
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Steel construction
  • Flip-up design
  • Magpul MBUS Pro Offset Front and Rear Flip-Up Backup Sights, 526-525 Magpul MBUS Pro Offset Front and Rear Flip-Up Backup Sights, 526-525
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Flip-up design
  • 45-degree offset
  • The 5 Best Iron Sights for AR-15 — Reviews 2021

    1. Magpul Industries MBUS Generation II Sight — Best Overall

    Magpul MBUS gen II sight_Amazon

    When you’re looking for iron sights that expertly combine price and performance, the Magpul Industries MBUS Generation II Sight is what you want. It has a spring-loaded flip-up design, comes with a lifetime warranty, and has a durable construction.

    Our only problem with this sight is that Magpul used a ton of plastic instead of steel. While the plastic is incredibly durable, there’s no doubt that it’s a bit bulky. In the end, that’s how the company keeps the price down, but it’s definitely a factor that you need to consider if you’re going to be using this sight often.

    Pros
    • A great mix of affordability and performance
    • Spring-loaded flip-up design
    • Lifetime warranty
    • Durable construction
    Cons
    • Features plastic construction instead of steel

    2. TACTICON 45 Degree Offset Flip Up Iron Sights — Best Value

    TACTICON 45 degree iron sight_Amazon

    If you’re looking for the best iron sights for an AR-15 for the money, you want the TACTICON 45 Degree Offset Flip Up Iron Sights. They’re extremely affordable, have a convenient offset design, and come with a lifetime warranty.

    Even better, these sights come with all the adjusting and mounting hardware that you’ll need. However, they’re discount for a reason, so it can be difficult to adjust these sights, and they have a bulkier design that can make it difficult to see through them.

    For the price, you’re not going to beat them, but you can certainly do better if you’re willing to spend a little more.

    Pros
    • Affordable
    • Wooden case included
    • 45-degree offset design
    • Mounting and adjusting hardware included
    • Lifetime warranty
    Cons
    • It can be difficult to make adjustments
    • It can be challenging to see through to line up shots

    3. Troy Industries HK Style Front and Rear Battle Sight — Premium Choice

    Troy industry micro folding sight_Amazon

    If you’re not worried about how much your new iron sight will cost, the Troy Industries HK Style Front and Rear Battle Sight is an outstanding choice. While it’s more on the expensive side of things, it does come with a lifetime warranty, so it’s the last iron sight that you’ll need to purchase for your AR-15.

    The sight folds down and is extremely easy to use, features a low profile, and has an all-metal construction. However, keep in mind that this sight does not come with the necessary adjustment tools, so before you take it to the range, ensure that you have everything that you need.

    Pros
    • Lifetime warranty
    • Foldable design
    • Durable design
    • Easy to use
    • All-metal construction
    Cons
    • More expensive option
    • Adjustment tools not included

    4. Magpul MBUS PRO Steel Sight Set MAG275 & MAG276 Black

    Magpul pro steel sight_amazon

    An outstanding iron sight option for your AR-15 is the Magpul MBUS Pro Steel Sight Set. It’s definitely more expensive, but it comes with a lifetime warranty and is extremely easy to use. Magpul made this sight entirely from steel, giving it a slim and low-profile design that is great to use.

    Even better, you can make both windage and elevation adjustments without any tools, which is a huge perk. Keep in mind that you’ll need to purchase tools to adjust the front sight separately, and you won’t be able to properly sight this in at the range without it.

    If you’re looking for a durable and long-lasting straight-up iron sight, you could do far worse than this.

    Pros
    • Lifetime warranty
    • Steel construction
    • Flip-up design
    • Picatinny rail mounted
    • Tool-less windage and elevation adjustments
    Cons
    • More expensive option
    • Adjustment tools not included

    5. Magpul MBUS Pro Offset Front and Rear Flip-Up Backup Sights, 526-525

    Magpulpro offset sight_Amazon

    The Magpul MBUS Pro Offset Front and Rear Flip-Up Sights have great quality. They also come with a lifetime warranty and have a low-profile steel construction.

    Even better, you can make both windage and elevation adjustments without any tools. However,  keep in mind that it doesn’t come with front sight adjustment tools. That said, if you’re looking for a long-lasting 45-degree offset iron sight from a reliable brand, this is an outstanding choice.

    Pros
    • Lifetime warranty
    • Tool-less windage and elevation adjustments
    • Flip-up design
    • 45-degree offset
    • Steel construction
    Cons
    • More expensive option
    • Adjustment tools not included

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    Buyer’s Guide

    Iron sights don’t always get the same amount of love as the fancier red dots and scopes, but it’s still important that you get the right ones to get the job done. That’s why we created this comprehensive buyer’s guide to walk you through everything that you need to know before and after you make a purchase.

    This way, when you get your new sight, you’ll know exactly what you need to do and be able to get out to the range!

    Watching Out for Fakes

    First, we need to make you aware of what you need to check for as soon as you receive your new iron sights. There’s a popular scam out there where users will purchase a knockoff sight on eBay before ordering the real one through Amazon. They then return the knockoff sight to Amazon, and the warehouse doesn’t always notice the difference. Finally, the knockoff sight gets sold as the real thing, which means the next customer gets ripped off.

    The good news is that if you know what you’re looking for and spot the fake, Amazon is great at taking it back and sending you the real thing. But save yourself the headache, and research the product that you’re ordering before you make a purchase. This way, when it arrives, you can tell if it’s the genuine article or not.

    If you opted for a sight that utilizes a metal construction, one of the best ways to tell if it’s fake is to ensure that it’s actually a metal design. Most fakes don’t opt for the more expensive metal construction, and it’s a telltale sign that the sight is a knockoff.

    Offset vs. Straight-Up Iron Sights

    When you’re picking out the perfect iron sights for your AR-15, one of the most important decisions that you need to make is whether you want offset iron sights or a straight-up design. Offset iron sights sit angled on your AR-15, which is critical if you’re using a standard scope on top.

    Having both options allows you to hit distant targets with your traditional scope without sacrificing your short-range ability. Keep in mind that learning to shoot from an offset iron sight does take a little extra practice, but having both an offset iron sight and a traditional scope gives you the best of both worlds.

    If you’re looking for a straight-up sight, you won’t be able to use a traditional scope, but since these options feature a flip-up design, you can still use a red dot sight or a holographic sight. Having an iron sight on a weapon with one of these sights gives you a backup option in case your batteries die when you need your AR-15 the most.

    Sighting Your New Sight

    rifle iron sight_Bruno_Pixabay

    Image Credit: Bruno, Pixabay

    Just because it’s an iron sight doesn’t mean you don’t need to take it to the range to sight it in. If you don’t take the time to do so, you’re not going to hit a thing when you go to use it.

    Keep in mind that you’ll need an adjustment tool to sight in the front sights, and out of the options on this list, only the TACTICON 45 Degree Offset Flip Up Iron Sight comes with one. That means if you opt for a different sight, you’ll need to purchase the adjustment tool separately if you don’t already have one.

    While the tool itself is easy to use, not having it when you head to the range can be incredibly frustrating because you won’t be able to sight in your iron sights without it.

    Sighting in an iron sight isn’t any different from sighting in a different kind of scope or sight.

    Windage and Elevation Adjustments

    Just because you primarily use your iron sights for close-range targets doesn’t mean you don’t need to worry about elevation and windage adjustments. While it’s not as important, it’s still going to affect your shot.

    So, if you need precision, opt for an iron sight that allows you to make toolless windage and elevation adjustments. While it might not seem like a big deal now, you’ll be grateful when you need to make tweaks at the range or in the field.

    iron sight_Mario Hagen_Shutterstock

    Image Credit: Mario Hagen, Shutterstock

    A Note on Warranties

    While the options on this list aren’t the lowest-priced out there, they all come with a lifetime warranty. While every company is going to promise that its product will last a long time, those with a lifetime warranty guarantee that they’ll last forever.

    If they don’t, the company promises to fix it or replace it for you, keeping you from having to purchase the same product twice. So, while you might be spending more on these sights up front, they all save you money in the long run, which is why they’re a much better deal.

    If you are looking to save a little money, go with the TACTICON 45 Degree Offset Flip Up Iron Sight. It’s not much more than the cheaper options without a warranty, and it’s still the last iron sight that you’ll need to purchase for your AR-15.

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    Conclusion

    While it can seem overwhelming when you’re picking out the perfect iron sights for your AR-15, you can’t go wrong with the Magpul Industries MBUS Generation II Sight. It’s our top choice for a reason, and it’s surprisingly affordable.

    However, if you’re looking to save more money, the TACTICON 45 Degree Offset Flip Up Iron Sight is available for a phenomenal price.

    But if you’re not in love with either of those options, read through the reviews again. We’re confident that the perfect set of iron sights for your AR-15 is there.

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    About the Author Robert Sparks

    Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.