M16 & Iron Sights Fans?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by JCooperfan1911, Jul 22, 2021.

  1. RevolvingGarbage

    RevolvingGarbage Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2009
    Messages:
    1,364
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    When I decided I wanted an AR about five years ago I did the logical thing and just bought a PSA complete lower on sale. I went with a standard PA-15 carbine lower not having a particular plan for the rifle yet aside from being a long gun that could provide a little more precision than my 10” pistol AK. Later when I got the upper, they had 20” barreled flat top A3/A4 uppers on sale and that fit my idea of a rifle that would be better for precision so I went with it. I’ve always liked the AR sight picture so I was fine with the basic irons and the rifle definitely delivers on accuracy, or at least as much as I’m able to determine shooting at 100 yards max so far.

    [​IMG]

    Of course now years later it’s a weird combination of different parts. I’ve slapped an A1 handguard on it because it already had the triangle retainer ring and I like the feel. It’s also wearing the interesting See-All tritium open sight I got initially for my AK and a magpul stock I got from the spare parts bin at my old job, as well as a simple sling. Eventually I want to put a compact 3.5-4x scope on it and I’ll call it done. It has so far demonstrated excellent reliability and function despite the weirdo rifle upper/carbine lower marriage.

    3AEC2E74-B7D0-4C5F-BCD6-3A386C2DF4E6.jpeg
     
    ECVMatt and Mosin Bubba like this.
  2. trackskippy

    trackskippy Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2010
    Messages:
    485
    I still have my old Colt SP1, but thats the only AR in the house with just iron sights on it these days. Best thing they ever did was go with the flattop upper. At least you have some options there, and there are much better options.

    I still shoot the SP1 on a pretty regular basis, and I shoot the BUIS on the other guns I have that have them a couple of times a year, but the red dots have reigned for a couple of decades now, and a couple of the newer, AR type scopes have started to push into that realm now too.

    Other than a problem of some sort with the dot sights, which has yet to happen for me yet in the 20 years or so Ive been using them, I really dont see the irons having a whole lot of use, unless youre shooting a lot of the military or HP type matches.

    Nothing wrong with them, they work, and I do believe everyone should learn on them and know how to shoot with them, but if thats going to be your only gun, then you want something more current.
     
    mokin likes this.
  3. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2007
    Messages:
    2,900
    Location:
    Missouri
    I like have some type of iron sights on my rifles and carbines for one simple fact. Electronics can and will fail at the wrong time. And serving in the Army during the Cold War, an EMP blast was always a concern. EMP will destroy any electronic devices. Yes I know the probability of an EMP blast is slim to none but old trains still kicks in for me.
     
    ontarget likes this.
  4. taliv

    taliv Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2004
    Messages:
    28,263
    for a very long time, Essential Arms was the place to go for retro build furniture and parts http://essentialarms.com/

    sadly, they closed their doors in april and according to their website, sold their tooling to doublestar in Kentucky. If you're looking for old parts, and don't feel like standing around in gun shows, maybe give them a ring.

    my registered full auto lower was originally an investment cast Essential Arms receiver that had been "manufactured" by Bushmaster.
     
  5. d2wing

    d2wing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    4,605
    I shot them well when I was young and had excellent eye sight. I waiting to see how I do after cataract surgery in September. I placed second in a pistol match last week using iron sights. I was very pleased between my bad eyes and recovering from shoulder surgery. If only they could fix the arthritis in my hands. I may be done shooting high power pistol.
     
    JJFitch likes this.
  6. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2017
    Messages:
    4,842
    Location:
    McKinney, TX
    When I was in the '80's Army, all I was ever issued was M16A1's... and they sure worked well enough. After I got out, I bought a Colt A2 H-bar... which still remains relatively unchanged. I've got other AR's, only one has a scope on it... and was built that way, specifically. I'm fixing to build up another AR soon... it'll have irons on it. For that matter, almost anything that I can fit peeps to, have them... all my levers, my rimfires, pretty much everything with rare exception.

    I've done shooting drills with my AR's... and I've done some benchwork, too... I can shoot peeps as well as any red dot optic out to about 300yds, once you get past that the magnification of a scope takes over, of course, but that is not to say you still can't do it with irons.

    After I bought the A2, Colt released the A3... the convertible with removable carry handle. I lamented buying the A2, because at the time red dots were becoming the hot setup... and about 10 years later I finally built a flattop. I even put a red dot on it... for a while. But I quickly got tired of it... and put irons on it.

    As a rifleman's rifle, it's hard to beat a 20" A2/A3. No, it's not as fast handling as an M4, et al, but there is something to be said about a real rifle.
     
    ontarget likes this.
  7. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    Messages:
    12,180
    Location:
    DFW (formerly Brazos County), Texas
    "Dance with who brung'ya"
    20180526_020421.jpg
    Have a couple different tools on carry handle mounts when I tire of irons.
     
    Choctaw, ECVMatt and derek45 like this.
  8. theotherwaldo

    theotherwaldo Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    Messages:
    4,576
    Location:
    In the Wild Horse Desert of Texas
    I built one from an A2 parts kit.
    I kept it stock except for the receiver.
    One of my favorites.
     
  9. ontarget

    ontarget Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
    Messages:
    3,066
    Location:
    Michigan (Gods country)
    I have loved the A2 since the first time I touched one at MCRD. All of my ARs have carry handles with one exception. I have a carbine with a red dot. My A2 clone is my favorite.
     
  10. DMW1116

    DMW1116 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2020
    Messages:
    1,042
    As a whole related to iron sights, I am amazed at how sophisticated some systems are. Lately I tend to prefer, for entertainment reasons, older technology. Plain carbon steel knives, manual transmissions, iron sights, etc. I have a set of different sight posts for my A4 clone, and now I start hearing about front and rear aperture sights with different inserts and all sorts of things. Don’t think the lack of optics hinders the rifle. It might hinder the shooter but it also might not based on what I’ve seen some people do with iron sights.
     
  11. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2007
    Messages:
    2,900
    Location:
    Missouri
    The rear peep/front post sight system like on the M16/AR15 rifles is one of the most intuitive setups. Your eye will naturally want to center the top of the front post inside the rear peep sight.
     
  12. derek45

    derek45 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2007
    Messages:
    364
    6sacC7a.jpg
     
    ECVMatt and mokin like this.
  13. james nicholson

    james nicholson Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    Messages:
    27
    I have the same rifle, had it about 6 years now. From the bench, bowling pins at 200yds is easy..
     
  14. entropy

    entropy Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    13,349
    Location:
    G_d's Country, WI
    Ever since I shot them for a Post Rifle match in 1988, I have loved the A2. It is a serious rifleman's rifle.
     
    brasscollector likes this.
  15. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2007
    Messages:
    2,900
    Location:
    Missouri
    I didn't even get issued a M16A2 until I got to Germany in Jan 1992. I was always issued a M16A1 up to that point. The A2 was not as wide spread as some might think in the 1980's. It was the same with the M9's. I didn't turn my 1911 in until late 92/early 93.
     
  16. entropy

    entropy Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    13,349
    Location:
    G_d's Country, WI
    True. My issue rifle was an A1. I borrowed the A2's from HHT, 307th Ave. Bde., 7thID(L). The 7th's combat arms units were issued A2's shortly after I got to Ft. Ord, in Apr. 1986. The 7thID(L) was the 3rd RDF unit, behind the two Abn Divisions. Mine was a REMF unit, (56th Med. Bn., BCSB, 7thID(L) ) , so issued A1's, and at the level of 1 rifle per 2 enlisted, aviators (crewchiefs, etc.) excepted. They were issued S&W or Colt .38 Spl. revolvers until the M9 replaced both of those and the 6 M1911A1's and 1 M1911 in my Arms Room. (Spring of 1988.)
    Our HHD Supply Sgt. and I shared the M161A1 we were both issued, which means I carried it in the field, cleaned it, etc.; she just fired it once a year.
     
  17. mokin

    mokin Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2007
    Messages:
    2,194
    Location:
    Western Colorado
    I'm liking those M-16A1s. I was issued an M-16A1 in boot camp and and an M-16A2 once I got to the fleet. While the sights on the M-16A2 were a little easier to operate, although that drum bugs me, I liked the barrel profile, the lack of a brass deflector, and most of all, the slick, triangular handguards.

    But since this thread is about the iron sights, I like them. It took me a while to warm up to them but they work. Having the two apatures is handy once you learn how to use them.
     
  18. ECVMatt

    ECVMatt Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2004
    Messages:
    2,033
    I love iron sighted AR and rifles in general. I am very thankful that my eyes are still decently functional and allow me to shoot irons pretty well. This one is might be my favorite AR, and Eagle Arms ER-15 A2. At the time I bought it it was about as Mil-Spec as you could get. It is a registered assault weapon (this is a classification of rifles that is a hold over from one of the many attempts to bad semi-auto's) in my state so I can keep it all original. I love to shoot it at the range or out in the desert where I can stretch the legs about as far as I can see.

    I read about the history and development of the A2 over at AR15.com from the officer in charge of the program. It was really fascinating how they evaluated the A1 and incorporated the changes to come up with the A2. While I am only a recreational shooter, I will give him a enthusiastic two thumbs up for creating a great variation of an AR style rifle.

    A2.jpeg
     
    Choctaw likes this.
  19. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2007
    Messages:
    2,900
    Location:
    Missouri
    If I remember correctly his username is Cold Blue. And yes he is a wealth of knowledge.
     
    entropy and ECVMatt like this.
  20. bassjam

    bassjam Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2014
    Messages:
    2,016
    Location:
    Cincinnati
    I haven't been a fan of irons on my carbines, but I recently built an "A4ish" build, used it to go through a High Power clinic. It's had less than 200 rounds through it, but thus far I'm amazed how well I can shoot it at 100 and 200 yards compared to the AR's I have scopes on. I'm also really liking the rifle length gas system, it's a completely different recoil impulse to me.

    PXL_20210503_210317091.jpg
     
    Choctaw and ECVMatt like this.
  21. entropy

    entropy Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    13,349
    Location:
    G_d's Country, WI
    @Hummer70 here on THR was in on the development of the A2 also.
    Hope he's doing OK, haven't seen him post in about a year.
     
    ECVMatt likes this.
  22. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2007
    Messages:
    2,900
    Location:
    Missouri
    I wonder the same thing since I haven't seen him post on ARFCOM in a while either.
     
    entropy likes this.
  23. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    Messages:
    20,302
    Location:
    Deep in the Ozarks
    The front sight was one of the problem areas of the A1. Elevation was adjusted by screwing the front sight up or down, which necessitated a cylindrical front sight (actually a tapered cylinder.) In bright sunlight, one side of the sight may be illuminated and the other side in shadow. The eye discounts the bright side and considers the dark side to be the whole front sight.

    If the sun is shining from your left, for example, the right side of the sight will be dark, and this will cause you to shoot to the left.
     
  24. Jenrick

    Jenrick Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Messages:
    2,042
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    I think the A2 sighting system is one of the most versatile rifle sighting systems in existence. With very minor modification in models it can be anything from a 1/4 MOA target rifle sight, to a 3/4-1MOA combat rifle sighting system. It allows for almost tool less adjustment (yes I know you CAN change the front sight post elevation with two rounds, but lets be honest a front sight tool is way easier), and once initially zero'd it truly is tool less. I do think that certain elements contradict themselves in certain builds, for example dual aperture setups with 1/4 MOA adjustments.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2021
    ECVMatt likes this.
  25. Barman54

    Barman54 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2014
    Messages:
    57
    Location:
    St. Peters, Mo.


    I hear what you are Saying, I agree!!
    Kind of hard to compete against a Scoped AR in a LEG Match. I went back to using my M1A, with Iron Sights. I want to have fun.


     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice