The 6 Best Backup Iron Sights (BUIS) for AR-15 in 2022


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October 3, 2022

Searching for the best Backup Iron Sight for AR-15s doesn’t have to be complicated when you know what you need. 

Below, we discuss the best AR-15 backup iron sights. Read on to learn about firearm optic basics, the benefits of using firearm optics, and the six best backup iron sights for using with an AR-15.

Best Back Up Iron Sights for AR-15

Ultradyne C4 Offset BUIS

ultradyne c4 offset buis

Ultradyne’s C4 Offset Front and Rear Sight RH Combo is a top of the line backup iron sight that is well worth the extra costs. This sight boasts a calibrated elevation system that adjusts from 50 yards to 200 yards. Themanufacturers designed the C4 Offset to enable faster sight acquisition and to improve shooting accuracy at any distance. 

The C4 offset BUIS is an excellent option for anyone looking to upgrade their backup sighting system from one of the other systems discussed here or a similar BUIS.

The Ultradyne C4 Offset sight features the following. 

  • Outer and Inner Concentric Circles
  • Wind Adjustment Tools
  • Tool-less Elevation 
  • Aperture Sighting 
  • Lightweight Design

The Ultradyne C4 Offset BUIS is a bit more expensive than some of the other options, however, shooters who use this sight agree that it is definitely worth the investment.

Magpul MBUS PRO Steel Back Up Iron sights

magpul mbus pro steel back up iron sights

Magpul’s MBUS PRO Steel Sight is one of the most popular and affordable sights on the market. It has a wide variety of built-in features, including the following.

  • Dual Aperture
  • Windage Adjustment Tools
  • Rear Tools
  • Front Tools 
  • All Steel Construction

The Magpul MBUS PRO Steel backup iron sight is a great option for AR-15 owners looking to upgrade their backup sighting system. The sight features narrow-width front sights and its solid steel construction is compatible with IR aiming lasers and light installations. 

This elevation adjustable sight has a low-profile design atop a Picatinny rail mount. Standard AR Height Sights make aiming easy no matter your shooting position.

The Magpul MBUS PRO Steel backup iron sight is reasonably priced at just under a hundred dollars and can be bought online or in participating retail sporting goods stores. 

Surefire Rapid Transition Sight – Dueck Defense DD-RTS-TRITIUM

surefire rapid transition sight - dueck defense dd-rts-tritium

One of the best features of Surefire rapid transition sights is that a 3-time gun champion designed them. Barry Dueck designed Surefire sights for ease of use, optimal target tracking, and ambidextrous applications. 

The Dueck Defense DD-RTS-TRITIUM Sights are some of the most innovative around. These rapid transition sights feature tritium inserts and glow-in-the-dark features for nighttime use.

Barry Dueck designed his RTS sights for daytime or nighttime use with the following features included. 

  • Glow-in-the-Dark Tritium Dots
  • Low-profile
  • Ambidextrous Sights 
  • Elevation Adjustments
  • Windage Adjustments

The Dueck sights are on the more expensive end of the spectrum. However, their revolutionary features and glow-in-the-dark technology make them an ideal choice. 

Daniel Defense A1.5 Back Up Iron Sights

daniel defense a1.5 back up Iron sights

The Daniel Defense A1.5 is a great option for shooters looking for a lightweight fixed rear sight for M4-type rifles. It features a simple one-piece design that makes it easy to install and easy threading through a self-locking insert. Shooters looking to upgrade their backup sighting system leave satisfied reviews for the Dani;e’s Defence sight. The sight features quality steel construction and an easy-to-use low-profile design. The three-dot reticle makes aiming easy no matter your shooting position.

Though the Daniel Defense A1.5 is slightly less expensive than the other options listed here. Order online or buy at local sporting goods retailers for around one hundred dollars. 

Ade Advance BUIS Offset Sights

ade advance buis offset sights

The Ade Advance Optics Front and Rear 45 sight is a rapid transition sight constructed of lightweight aluminum and it weighs less than a half pound. It features a Picatinny Mount and low-profile ambidextrous sights with options for elevation, windage, and rear sight adjustments. 

The Ade Advance Offset rapid transition sights are a great option for anyone looking to upgrade their backup sighting system. The sight features quality aluminum construction and an easy-to-use low-profile design. The three-dot reticle makes aiming easy no matter your shooting position.

Though the Ade Advance Offset Sights are more expensive than some of the other options, their quality and versatility make them well worth the investment.

Troy Industries Micro HK Style BUIS

troy industries micro hk style buis

The Troy Industries Folding Battle Sight comes in solid black and weighs less than one pound. It features a lifetime warranty and comes as an optional add-on for firearms with raised top rails. 

Troy designed this hunting sight for ease-of-use, durability, and reliability. Shooters who use the Micro HK Style sight rate it at 4.7 out of 5 stars. 

The Troy Industries Micro HK Style is a great option for anyone looking to upgrade their backup sighting system. The sight features an easy-to-use low-profile design and quality optics. The three-dot reticle makes aiming easy no matter your shooting position.

The Troy Industries Micro HK Style sights is one of the less expensive options among the options listed here. It costs just under a hundred dollars. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Is a specific type or optic style better suited for certain applications?

A1: There is no one specific style of optic that is better suited for every application. Each person’s eyesight and visual needs are different, so what may be perfect for one person may not be the best option for another. Optometrists can help you find an optic that will work well for your needs.

Q2: Is there a difference in accuracy between using an iron sight and a scope?

A2: Shooting accuracy largely depends on the shooter’s skills, experience, and environment. Iron sights and scopes offer shooters greater accuracy when shooting an AR-15.

Q3: What are some alternatives to using an iron sight when shooting with an AR-15?

A3: One alternative to using an iron sight when shooting with an AR-15 is to use a scope. Scopes offer shooters more remarkable accuracy and versatility than iron sights, making them the preferred option for long-range shooting. Additionally, scopes tend to be more accurate in high winds or if your eyesight is bad.

Q4: Are there any risks associated with using firearm optics attached?

A4: There are some risks associated with using a firearm with an optic attached. A significant risk is that if the optic is damaged, it could cause the gun to malfunction and increase your chances of getting injured or killed. Additionally, optics can block your view of target areas and lead to inaccurate shots.

What are firearm optics?

– A rifle optic is a device that helps you aim and fire your rifle accurately.

– It comes in a variety of shapes and sizes and is available in a variety of colors.

– Some common types of rifle optics are red-dot sights, telescopic sights, and night vision devices.

– A rifle optic can improve your shooting accuracy and protect your eyes from the sun.

A firearm optic is an attachment placed on a weapon to improve the user’s shooting accuracy. These attachments include scopes, monoculars, and night vision devices.

Optics are the lenses, mirrors, and other optical components that allow a firearm to fire accurately and reach its target. They also help to improve accuracy, range, and target acquisition speed.

Some popular firearms optics available today include scopes, red dot sights, and reflex sights.

Benefits of Using Firearm Optics

Firearm optics offer several benefits when it comes to firearms. They can magnify images, making it easier to see targets at longer distances, and provide split-screen views of different areas to assess a situation better. They may even feature laser sights that allow users to aim their shots precisely.

How accurate are firearms optics?

Optics can vary in their accuracy based on shooter experience and optics quality. 

Seasoned professional shooters and tactical weapons experts consider the best firearm optics to be at least accurate enough for personal self-defense purposes.

What type of precision can you expect from firearm optics?

Generally speaking, firearms optics can deliver accuracy down to approximately 25-300 yards (22-200 meters).

How do you mount an optic on a firearm?

There are a few ways to mount an optic on a firearm. Many tactical shooters use the built-in iron sights of the firearm, though other methods, such as scope mounts or offset mounts, can also be used. 

Not all guns have optics available for mounting; check the specifications of your particular firearm before making any decisions about mounting an optic.

What is an Iron Sight?

An iron sight or “bore sight” is a simple design comprising a post, usually made from steel, that projects into the barrel of armament to allow the user to align the gun’s sights with the intended target. Manufacturers initially designed iron sights for smooth-bored firearms like muskets, but they are also standard on rifles and shotguns. Using an iron sight eliminates reliance on optics, allowing you to shoot without them if necessary.

Offset irons offer shooters accuracy and flexibility not found with traditional rifles. They are easy to use for long distances and don’t require preparation to use

How Does an Iron Sight Work?

Iron sights work by projecting a post into the barrel of the gun. The shooter aligns their eyes with this sight picture, then pulls back on the trigger to fire.

Benefits of Using Iron Sights

Iron sights offer accuracy and flexibility not found with traditional rifle shot shells like rifled barrels or scopes; however, you can use optics if desired. Iron sights are easier to use in poor lighting than standard rifle shot shell sighting systems; they’re also good for

Using an AR-15 with iron sights has a few clear benefits.

  • Iron sights are incredibly accurate, even in poor lighting.
  • Additionally, they’re simple to use – you don’t need any extra equipment or training to use them effectively.
  • Finally, they offer shooters flexibility and control not found with other types of rifle shotshell sighting systems.

What are the Downsides of Using an Iron Sight on an AR-15?

There are a few potential downsides to using iron sights on an AR-15. First, they’re not perfect – they can be inaccurate in high winds or when the shooter’s eyesight is terrible. Iron sights don’t offer as much versatility as scopes and other rifle shotshell sighting systems. Finally, accuracy won’t be as good if you need to shoot at long range.

Is it Necessary to Use an Iron Sight When Shooting with an AR-15?

Each shooter must decide whether iron sights are necessary when shooting an AR-15. However, they offer tremendous accuracy and flexibility in a simple and easy-to-use system.

Is There a Downside to Not Using an Iron Sight When Shooting with an AR-15?

There is a downside to not using an iron sight when shooting with an AR-15. Without them, accuracy can suffer significantly in high winds or if your eyesight is bad. Shooters without scopes or other rifle-shot shell sighting systems may struggle to adapt to longer ranges.

Backup Iron Sights 

Backup iron sights feature magnified optics and an offset of 45 degrees. Manufacturers angled them for accuracy and easy shooting. They help shooters quickly locate the target by rotating the gun slightly to line up with the mark. 

AR-15 iron sights are a type of optical sight that attaches to the top rail of a firearm and serves as a secondary sighting system. Using another form of sight, such as an optic, allows for precise aiming at long range.

The best backup iron sight for an AR-15 will vary depending on your specific needs. However, some general tips may help include choosing a backup sight that is adjustable for windage and elevation (to allow for precision aiming in all situations. 

Ensure that the sight has plenty of eye relief so you can see over the top of your rifle’s sights without shifting your entire head and is compact enough to fit comfortably on a Picatinny rail or mount. 

Some of the more prevalent alternatives include a red dot or crosshair sight. These options offer shooters more remarkable accuracy and flexibility than standard iron sights, making them ideal choices if you need increased accuracy in specific situations.


No matter what your shooting needs, one of these top six options for backup sights will surely fit the bill. Each option offers unique benefits, from high-quality optics to easy-to-use designs, making it an excellent decision for any shooter.

Every product is hand selected by our editors. We may receive commissions on purchases from a link.

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