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Carbine-Length Iron Sights On an AR? Good Enough?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by ZombiesAhead, Dec 22, 2008.

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  1. ZombiesAhead

    ZombiesAhead Member

    May 10, 2007
    I bought a Bushmaster HBAR 16" carbine-length gas system/FSB AR-15 last spring. I loved the rifle. I loved the accuracy. I loved the fast follow-up and low recoil. I loved the ergonomics and weight.

    I slightly regret the heavy barrel but this was a police surplus from a local gun store sale to a local PD and I figure they must sort of know what they are doing. Compared to my AK, this is still insanely light. I'm sure there are some SHTF-type-advantages to the HBAR that I can sacrifice the 6-8 ounces for...

    Here my question - I bought this rifle with a detachable A3-style carry handle. I wanted to get proficient with iron sights on a rifle that had good iron sights as I consider the post/notch on my AK very difficulty and unrewarding to use. I felt the irons on the AR were good enough I would not need (nor do I want) optics.

    However, I'm worried that the short sight radius with a carbine length gas-system/FSB is seriously harming my iron-sight accuracy. It's tempted me to buy a rifle-length upper, Bushmaster "Dissipator," or maybe a mid-length upper. I really like the design of AR-15 irons and I want to stick with them for now.

    Am I messing myself up by trying to become proficient with AR-15 irons on such a short sight radius? I'm still way more accurate with these short-radius AR irons than I am with a red-dot (PK-AS left-side mount) on my AK (WASR). What do you think? Were the carbine length AR FSB's more designed to have optics mounted or are they still fair for using the supplied irons?

    What does the military do? What do you guys think a few more inches of sight radius would help out with my accuracy? I'm not entirely against a 20" upper but I don't LOVE the AR platform and I'd rather not put too much money into it.

    I guess I question myself because I see so many horrible-iron-sighted bare-bones AK's out there and so many AR-15's with optics. It seems like people should be supplanting the horrible irons on the AK's with optics and leaving the nice irons of the AR platform alone... Is it a tacticool thing?
  2. nicholst55

    nicholst55 Member

    Mar 4, 2007
    37*55'N, 127*04'E
    Largely, at least IMHO. You're giving up a little bit of accuracy (or grouping power) with the 16" Carbine. Unless you're shooting High Power competition or trying for 600 yard accuracy, I say don't worry about it.

    The Army puts Aimpoints or ACOGs on probably 85-90% of their M4s. Cost is NOT an object to the Army; they're spending your (rather, our) tax dollars. If they run out, Congress will give them more.

    I say enjoy the iron sights on your Carbine; learn to shoot it well with them. Make your friends envious that you can outshoot their glass-sighted guns with your iron sights. But that's just me. :evil:
  3. KW

    KW Member

    Nov 20, 2003
    Optics make a big difference if you are trying to get hits as fast as possible against targets that are often small, fleeting, and low contrast. That's why the military is moving in that direction. That being said, good irons like what you have on your AR will serve you well. Do you need an optic? No. But they are nice to have and can help you shoot better. The carbine length setup will allow you to effectively shoot out to 500-600 meters. Yeah, it's not as precise as a rifle length setup but unless you are shooting in competition it shouldn't be an issue.
  4. H2O MAN

    H2O MAN member

    Dec 16, 2007
    IMO, the 16" barrel with a mid length gas system is the best general purpose AR upper made.

    Here is an example of what I'm talking about: N4 Light Recce Basic 16" Upper
    A mid length gas system gives you a longer sight radius and a smoother recoil impulse.

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