Back-Up Sights for Your Rifle

Back-Up Sights for Your Rifle
Back-Up Sights for Your Rifle
Back-Up Sights for Your Rifle
Back-Up Sights for Your Rifle

If you don’t own an AR-15 yet, I encourage you to put it on your Christmas list. Since there are dozens of companies who produce ARs (I like Rock River Arms and Colt), I’m sure somebody is having a Black Friday deal.

Of course, once you get an AR it becomes tempting to put a million bells and whistles on it and many folks end up spending more money on accessories than the actual AR itself. Personally, I’m a minimalist and believe the only things you truly need on an AR are a sling, light, and solid sights.

When it comes to sights for the AR, there are dozens of companies who make excellent optics. These include Aimpoint, EOTech, and if you really want to spend some money, Trijicon (get the ACOG or wait until the new year and get the VCOG.)

But even if you buy a quality optic…

I believe it’s extremely important that you have back-up sights on your rifle. The fact is, I’ve taught too many defensive rifle courses where a person’s battery has died on their optic and they have no back-up sights to rely on. Just imagine if you were using your rifle to defend yourself and the battery died and you had no other sighting option as someone was trying to attack you?

The good news is, if your AR doesn’t come with iron sights, they’re easy to purchase and install. For instance, Magpul makes back-up sights called the MBUS. These sights are made of polymer and you can get both the front and rear sight for about $100. Fab Defense is another company that makes polymer sights similar to the ones of Magpul. You can get a Fab Defense front and rear sight for around $75.

When most people think of the Blackhawk company they think of holsters. But Blackhawk also makes back-up sights that run around $100 for the combination. I could go on and on because many companies make back-up sights, but here’s the important thing to remember: Don’t be cheap about your back-up sights. Spending $75-$100 for a set of sights is nothing if your battery ever dies and you need those back-up sights to save your life.

Of course, if you decide to get back-up sights make sure you practice with them and that you also zero the sights. If you simply install them and never zero the sights they’re pointless because you have no idea if you’re actually going to hit your target when using them.

$599.99 (Reg.$ 799.99)
No Code Needed
Sig Sauer P365 9mm Pistol 12 Rd RTT Tacpac, Coyote

Sig Sauer P365 9mm Pistol 12 Rd RTT Tacpac, Coyote

The award-winning P365 has redefined the micro-compact pistol category, quickly becoming one of the most coveted firearms in the industry.

$449.99 (Reg. $549.99)
No Code Needed
Smith & Wesson M&p Shield Ez 9mm Pistol With Manual Safety, Black - 12436

Smith & Wesson M&P Shield EZ 9mm Pistol With Manual Safety, Black

The next evolution of the M&P Shield EZ pistol, the M&P9 Shield EZ encompasses all of the M&P Shield EZ features, now in the powerful 9mm caliber.

No Code Needed
3 Pack Of Blem Psa Stealth Ar-15 Lowers

3 Pack Of BLEM PSA Stealth AR-15 Lowers

These forged lowers are quality made using material is 7075-T6 and are marked "CAL MULTI" to accommodate most builds. The finish is Black Hardcoat Anodize per MIL-8625 Type 3 class 2.

1 2 3 17
Previous articleReasons to Have a Personal Safety Plan
Next articleThis Will Make You Cringe
Jason Hanson is a former CIA Officer and author of The Covert Guide to Concealed Carry. He is also the creator of the Ultimate Concealed Carry Experience, which allows you to take your concealed carry training without leaving home. For full details about this training, please visit Concealed Carry Academy. You can also follow him on Google+ and Twitter.
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
james lagnese

Let me see…Pay for food, mortgage, clothes for the kids or spend $1-2K on a rifle. Let me see…I have to wonder if we were ever in a recession. My 444 and .30-06 work well enough and make things just as dead and probably dead quicker.

Jersey John

Putting something on your wish list doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be considered a “good boy” and actually get one. There are a number of AR-15 that don’t cost $1-2k…the ones he recommended can be had for far less than $1k for a bare bones rifle. I’m sure you’re right about your current firearms working well enough, but how many can say they have all the firearms they want.
Merry Christmas to you and yours…hope Santa is good to you anyway


James, go look at the Mossberg MMR AR15 it’s a great AR for the 900 bucks.

james lagnese

If I was going to spend $900 on a rifle, I might buy something else. I’ve always like the 1886 Winchester.


James, can’t go wrong with a 1886 Winchester. I have an Original Henry Rifle listed on my bucket list.

Mike Brickman

Good article and information as usual Jason…One thing about polymer BUIS that concerned me was where the front sight is mounted…I was concerned a flip up polymer front sight mounted on the gas block might suffer heat damage from sustained rapid fire of the rifle, and have gone with steel instead…I never put poly sights to this test, so don’t know if it’s a real concern for most of us…Just a thought…Keep ’em comin’

James Van Valkenburg

Personally, I prefer a 7.62 anything over a 5.56. During my term in the Marines, I carried a M-14. A little long, but solid. My M-1 Garand is a better shooter than my M1A, civilian version of the M-14. All have great metal sights, no scopes, no optics but accurate.
If the day ever comes, and I hope it doesn’t, I would rather be holding a 30 cal.
I guess I never got over the scandals about the first generation Mighty Mattel’s or Mouse guns as we called them.


I like the 7.62NATO cartridge, too, and bought a SOCOM 16 when they first came out. I’m punching softball size groups at 100 yards, which is certainly minute of bad guy. And yes, the proprietary muzzle brake works incredibly well with that short barrel. Try one, you’ll like it, but not as much as your M-1 Garand if you’re like me.


I truly believe that Jason Hason is the least experienced firearm blogger in America. His advice is consistently a danger to all those in the industry.


Man you must have gotten up on the wrong side of the bed. So you don’t like or care for Jason Hason much. But you do read what he has to say. Jason’s article was very simple and to the point for those who may not have givin it much thought. You sir could have made your thoughts without being such an ass. You only showed to all of us the kind of person you are. A nasty & mean fool. I do hope you find a spirit in you sole some day.


The BUIS option is exactly the reason I have AR style rifles. My complaint with the standard bolt actions have been the lack of iron sights. You can place a scope upon them or have iron sights of marginal quality, but not both. My ARs allow me to have both without much in the realm of compromise.

Another plus is that I can build, modify, and customize the rifles without the use of milling equipment, or other expensive tools. Maintenance is very easy as well. There are very few few rifles out there that an individual with inexpensive tools replace the barrel successfully.

Except for my DPMS LR308, all of my rifles have been built from parts to meet my specific requirements. In any other platform this would have cost me $2,000 to $5,000 plus. But yet all of my guns including sights were less than a thousand. This modular system is great from my viewpoint, and has allowed me to own guns that exactly meet my needs.

My wife will shoot the 5.56 rifle and has done very well in learning how to effectively put rounds on target. The only bad part is that now she wants me to build her one with pink furniture. So here goes project #4, or is it 5, I lost count.

Anthony James

Fab Defense is another company that makes polymer sights similar to the ones of Magpul. You can get a Fab Defense front and rear sight for around $75.

Anthony James

These sights are made of polymer and you can get both the front and rear sight for about $100.


Amazing how disgusting this site is. They delete comments that are accurate, factual, technical sound and protect lives. Yet they promote the agenda of a ridiculous blogger who thinks himself an expert and devalues our trade.

lissa locke



Over time, I’ve procured a “few” AR platform rifles (carbines for the purists) and one true rifle. Its a 12 pound AR with huge optics (24X), bipod, etc., and is not designed to be shoulder fired. The others sport reflex sights, and all of them are co-witnessed. Battery craps out! No problem. I agree with the author. And oh by the way, that Bushnell Holosite that occasionally goes on sale for 250 bucks–same as an EOTech but without the rubber hardened case. Unless you foresee a stint in the 10th Mountain Division, or the Marines, you may not have to spend nearly what you think on “red-dot” sights.