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Posted: 8/27/2008 10:13:21 AM EST
I only use factory irons.
Am I at a significant disadvantage?
Do I want optics, yes.
Do I need optics


Link Posted: 8/27/2008 10:33:32 AM EST
I use irons only on my Bushmaster M4. Just finished a build for one son and starting one build for other son soon. They will both have an ARMS 40L. If they want optics they can foot the bill. I will tell them they should become proficient with the irons first.

Having said that I use mine for shooting paper targets at the range and the occasional crappy dvd player and such. If I needed it for a SHTF situation Im confident enough with my irons that I can hit center mass. An aimpoint would look cool on it but for me is it really worth the $$$ for what I would get out of it? Plus, I often think of it and Murphy's Law together. My .02
Link Posted: 8/27/2008 10:37:19 AM EST
I have shot mostly with irons. Some with a traditional scope. Very little with an Aimpoint. (brother has one). For some stupid reason, I prefer irons. But a scope is nice for further out shots. A red dot is fast, but I don't know at 25 meters or less if it makes a whole heck of a lot of difference for me. But I have not shot extensively with red dots of any sort. So some would probably say I'm on crack.
Link Posted: 8/27/2008 10:38:26 AM EST
If you can shoot well with irons, you are doing just fine. A lot of people have difficulty when their rifle isn't sporting a scope or red dot. Iron sights are the most basic sighting device you can have, and incidentally, the most robust. No batteries to change, or glass to scratch.

Are you at a disadvantage? Maybe. Red dot's allow for quicker target acquisition, scopes afford more precision at long range.

So, no you do not NEED optics, but they can help.

Link Posted: 8/27/2008 10:41:28 AM EST
I shoot only irons on my AR's and always have. I currently have an A2 NM style, an M16A2 clone, and a 10.3" SBR with A1 sights. I never liked using carry handle scopes and have never owned/used a flattop with an optic. I don't see any disadvatage to the AR's irons myself.
Link Posted: 8/27/2008 11:10:47 AM EST
I started with an A2 upper, then swapped it out for a Flat-Top. I mounted a couple different scopes and finally settled on an Aimpoint. I was messing around last night with a detachable carry handle I just got, and realized how nice the irons really are.

I could go either way on a regular rifle or carbine.
Link Posted: 8/27/2008 11:13:20 AM EST
I use irons on my home defense gun. Reasons: (A) in a close range situation I'll probably be more looking over the gun and pointing rather than aiming, (B), in a moments notice situation I probably don't have time to remember to turn on a red dot type site. My home defense gun is a M4 barrel on an A1 upper with only a light on the FSB.

For my hunting guns I have one with a high powered scope, because at the ranges I shoot at I can't tell the difference between a coyote and a dog without a manified optic, I also keep another gun with a 1X red dot for shooting critters in the hen house at night.
Link Posted: 8/27/2008 11:21:15 AM EST
Sometimes want makes need.

The only AR I have that is Iron Sight only is my RRA DCM.

The others have either a fixed BUIS, or are A-1 uppers.

That said I do have M2's on my M4gery and my Mid-Length Carbine.

I find the RDS is a bit faster close in and I can "see the dot, be the dot" more consistently than just using irons.
Link Posted: 8/27/2008 11:26:44 AM EST
On my Bushmaster M4 w/A2 carry handle - Iron sights

The 24" varmint/target - well thats another story
Link Posted: 8/27/2008 11:37:18 AM EST
I LOVE the K.I.S.S. rifle !
Link Posted: 8/27/2008 11:39:50 AM EST

Originally Posted By Jimmy_Hoffa:
I use irons on my home defense gun. Reasons: (A) in a close range situation I'll probably be more looking over the gun and pointing rather than aiming, (B), in a moments notice situation I probably don't have time to remember to turn on a red dot type site. My home defense gun is a M4 barrel on an A1 upper with only a light on the FSB.

For my hunting guns I have one with a high powered scope, because at the ranges I shoot at I can't tell the difference between a coyote and a dog without a manified optic, I also keep another gun with a 1X red dot for shooting critters in the hen house at night.


With an Aimpoint you just leave the dot on, the batteries last for years no need to turn it off. You shold always aim!
Link Posted: 8/27/2008 11:42:18 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/27/2008 11:44:12 AM EST by MillerSHO]
I have for about 7 years now.

I'm getting my first red dot in a few weeks, an EOtech 512.

I love irons though, the AR's Irons are top notch and are fully adjustable meaning you can really get those irons dialed in to your gun.

I don't like how the AK doesn't really allow you to really dial in your irons for your barrel/rifle.
Link Posted: 8/27/2008 11:46:59 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/27/2008 11:47:44 AM EST by RustyKnight]
I'm a newbie to ARs, however, being old-school at heart, I love iron sights.

I'm up to ONE AR build (20" barrel, flat-top, floating aluminum tube) but I made sure that I put folding front & rear iron sights on it. The optics (red dot or scope) each occupy a raised swappable picatinny platform. This gives me optimum sight flexibility.

Whether the optics get damaged, or I just want to shoot iron, I'm set.

I love the fact that ARs are hardy...iron sights personify that best.
Link Posted: 8/27/2008 11:50:14 AM EST
That would be me.
Link Posted: 8/27/2008 12:00:35 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/27/2008 12:01:00 PM EST by MTUSA]
I use this rifle for plinking, HD, and SHTF up to 50 yards anyway.
Guess I really don't need red dots for this application.
Plus I don't have the 5 bills anyway
Link Posted: 8/27/2008 12:05:50 PM EST
Irons Rule...KISS
Link Posted: 8/27/2008 12:10:01 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/27/2008 12:11:04 PM EST
I have promised myself that i would get proficient with irons before i put on an eotech. Is it hard to not go buy a sweet lil eotech? YES Is the experience with the irons important? I think so.
Link Posted: 8/27/2008 12:45:59 PM EST
Master the irons then move to optics

David
Link Posted: 8/27/2008 12:47:20 PM EST

Originally Posted By Aimless:

Originally Posted By tbougie1:
Irons Rule...KISS


Unless it's dark out, then they suck.


Or even kind of Dark, or if you are shooting at a dark target in fron of a dark back ground.
Link Posted: 8/27/2008 12:49:11 PM EST
I only use optics on my flats and target/varmint rifles. All my A1/A2 uppers with 16" bbls are iron only
Link Posted: 8/27/2008 12:49:26 PM EST
Irons all the way...
Link Posted: 8/27/2008 1:37:21 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/27/2008 1:42:06 PM EST by tbougie1]

Originally Posted By Aimless:

Originally Posted By tbougie1:
Irons Rule...KISS


Unless it's dark out, then they suck.


Every hear of a tritium post???????

EDIT: unless you are using NVG, optics are useless in the dark.. it's just a point of aim anyway..if you can't see your target what's the diff???
that's what flashlights are for...
Link Posted: 8/27/2008 1:44:12 PM EST
Irons rule!! I do have a scope on an A2 with a rail adapter for the long stuff and an A3 with a carry handle(which will remain irons). I quess you can tell I like irons. EVERYONE who shoots a gun should become proficient at using iron sights before they are allowed to use anything else. I know guys who shoot who don't even know how to use iron sights. I feel sorry for them....<><....:(
Link Posted: 8/27/2008 1:50:38 PM EST
Irons here as well.

I was spending to much money on toys, Eotech 552, 557, Magnifiers, etc. etc.

I realized then, my fundamentals sucked and have been using a Carry Handle + Flashlight only. Definitely have become a better shooter as a result. Optics will cover many novice mistakes. Disregard of course, if you are a badass marksman.
Link Posted: 8/27/2008 1:59:36 PM EST
I have both set ups. As much as I like optics, at 100 yards I shoot as well if not better with irons. I believe you should know irons before you ever touch optics. I have heard a school of thought that kids learn better with optics. Who knows. I do know my 12 year old grand daughter shot her first AR with a 3x10 scope and hit the bull most of the time. But she listen carefully to what I tell her.
Link Posted: 8/27/2008 2:04:54 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/27/2008 2:22:16 PM EST

Originally Posted By tbougie1:
Every hear of a tritium post???????

EDIT: unless you are using NVG, optics are useless in the dark..



What experience have you had using your AR in low to no light?
Link Posted: 8/27/2008 2:25:10 PM EST
Tritium works well, provided you haven't screwed up your night vision with any kind of light. I agree that an eoTech or similar works well provided the target is verified and highlighted by a light. As for home defense I am old school, 1911 with a Surefire. Even without the Surefire I know I can hit at my point of aim. Set a target out to 7 meters and practice shooting with you eyes closed. You are correct though, irons in a total dark enviroment are difficult as best to acquire your target. As in cars, whiskey and women we all share our own opinion, I like a bright front sight...
Link Posted: 8/27/2008 2:36:37 PM EST

Originally Posted By Lumpy196:

Originally Posted By tbougie1:
Every hear of a tritium post???????

EDIT: unless you are using NVG, optics are useless in the dark..



What experience have you had using your AR in low to no light?


WE would practice live fire in low light and no light indoors and outdoors. Outdoors, unless you are away from the cities you never get to experience what dark is. Dark is not being able to see your gun. I continue to dryfire practice in my basement with lights out and a Surefire. Draw, point of aim, light on to see where I am on target. Wife thinks I am crazy. Real world use, none, and hope I never have to.
Link Posted: 8/27/2008 2:43:35 PM EST
At least for handguns, that's why I feel the most comfortable handgun is the best handgun.
The amount of rounds and the overall caliber are 2nd to this IMO.

The one that naturally points the straightest for YOU will be your best option in a CCW or home defense.

Link Posted: 8/27/2008 2:55:27 PM EST
My 1911's are like, after 10's of thousands of rounds it's like pointing my finger, can't afford to shoot the AR like that though. Too expensive. Time for a dedicated 22lr upper. BTW my Sabre Professional (Ayoob version) came with a tritium post and 2 dot
tritium aperature.
Link Posted: 8/27/2008 2:57:51 PM EST
I shot only irons on my AR. I guess Im handy capped, I know Im deadly on my weak side out to 100 yards.
Link Posted: 8/27/2008 3:09:26 PM EST
height=8
Originally Posted By Aimless:
height=8
Originally Posted By tbougie1:
height=8
Originally Posted By Aimless:
height=8
Originally Posted By tbougie1:
Irons Rule...KISS


Unless it's dark out, then they suck.


Every hear of a tritium post???????

EDIT: unless you are using NVG, optics are useless in the dark.. it's just a point of aim anyway..if you can't see your target what's the diff???
that's what flashlights are for...


Have you used your ar with just irons in the dark? I have and in my experience they suck big time, however that was without tritium. What brand of illuminated sight are you using and are you only using it on the post?

I had assumed that one was using a light in either case



FWIW, trijicon has front post only or front/rear packages for the AR. i believe tru-glo or meprolight also has them. if you're interested, opticsplantet.com has the best price i've found, and the purchase includes a front sight tool (at least with the trijicons.)
Link Posted: 8/27/2008 3:20:00 PM EST
My HD AR is Trijicon irons + M961. I'm not willing to pay the prices demanded for worthwhile red dots, so they are simply not an option.

Something to consider: I initially tried the front post only, as recommended here on ARF. I found, however, that I had no idea where my front post was in relation to my rear sight. Is it in the middle? Off to the side? Outside the ring entirely? I would only know when I flashed the light, which you can only do when you're not trying to conceal your position.

This test was done in a solid black room where you couldn't see your hand if you literally touched your own nose with it.

The two dots on the rear sight blur significantly, of course, but they show up enough to tell me where I'm aiming. Anyone thinking of going with a front post only should seriously reconsider.
Link Posted: 8/27/2008 3:22:41 PM EST
Nice how it all works out. Most people don't have enough $ to buy the gun and optic at once. I had the gun for two years before i started buying crap to hang on it. I got alot of time on the irons. Shootnig accurately at night is almost impossible at night with the irons. Just my .02.
Link Posted: 8/27/2008 3:30:43 PM EST

Originally Posted By Squid1:
Nice how it all works out. Most people don't have enough $ to buy the gun and optic at once. I had the gun for two years before i started buying crap to hang on it. I got alot of time on the irons. Shootnig accurately at night is almost impossible at night with the irons. Just my .02.


My tricked out AR was stolen and right now funds dont let me go grab an optic. I am running irons with a white light. However I will put an optic ASAP
Link Posted: 8/27/2008 3:54:40 PM EST

Originally Posted By Ahiodsohi:
My HD AR is Trijicon irons + M961. I'm not willing to pay the prices demanded for worthwhile red dots, so they are simply not an option.

Something to consider: I initially tried the front post only, as recommended here on ARF. I found, however, that I had no idea where my front post was in relation to my rear sight. Is it in the middle? Off to the side? Outside the ring entirely? I would only know when I flashed the light, which you can only do when you're not trying to conceal your position.

This test was done in a solid black room where you couldn't see your hand if you literally touched your own nose with it.

The two dots on the rear sight blur significantly, of course, but they show up enough to tell me where I'm aiming. Anyone thinking of going with a front post only should seriously reconsider.


My 6920 upper came with Trijicon post & aperture, which I have come to love. After a couple Aimpoints and Eo's, I've been back with the Trijicon irons for a couple years. I agree with the above, in that when the rifle is mounted, the rear dots don't really do anything -- you basically can't see them (other than a very dim and diffused glow) however, the rear dots are very valuable in mounting the weapon, as they naturally line you up as you bring the weapon up to bear. Once you're lined up properly, the very faint glow of the rear dots keep you lined up.
Link Posted: 8/27/2008 4:05:16 PM EST
I have irons only.

I want to get as good as I can with irons before moving to optics. I also want at least two more AR's in the collection before I start adding accessories.

Link Posted: 8/27/2008 4:16:43 PM EST
I forgot to add, I also use the Trijicon front and rear sights.
Link Posted: 8/27/2008 4:19:58 PM EST

My SHTF AR has irons and a flashlight. I like my guns light and simple.

ZM

Link Posted: 8/27/2008 4:35:21 PM EST
My last three AR's have been a mix. I had an IDF carbine with the A1 upper and loved it. I also had a Rock River M4 that i switched between an EoTech 512 and Trijicon TA33. I've since sold both and now own a bone stock Sabre Defence M4 with the detachable carry handle and love it. I'm sticking with irons for now, and will soon be building up a National Match A2 gun.
Link Posted: 8/27/2008 5:04:46 PM EST
Ive got a red dot with my a2 but I rarely use it. The iron sites are good for the ranges I shoot in.
Link Posted: 8/27/2008 5:27:41 PM EST
I only have irons on my M4 because I don't have the money for an Aimpoint or an EOTech yet. I've trained on both for CQB, and agree with the majority who can get over something that's new, that the red dot reflex sights (no magnification) are much faster at close quarters ranges than irons if the shooter is equally trained in both.

Yes a shooter well trained with irons will be better than someone with little training in a red dot. Big deal. A well trained shooter will do better with a .22 than a poorly trained shooter with a whatever your favorite rifle/cartidge combination is.
Link Posted: 8/27/2008 5:35:01 PM EST
I tried a Clonepoint on my carbine to see if I wanted to buy a Aimpoint. I ended up back with irons again.
Link Posted: 8/27/2008 5:51:42 PM EST
I have irons on my AR currently. Not because I want them, but I just dont have the cash to buy an aimpoint. People are right about the dark, I was doing a mock house clearing drill after my wife went to bed and I couldn't see shit.

My brother just has a cheap bushnel red dot and even it makes target acquisition much faster. So yes, I have irons but will have a red dot sometime. From even my limited experience they seem way better than irons.
Link Posted: 8/27/2008 5:58:00 PM EST
3 of my 4 AR's have iron sights the other one has an aimpoint.

Link Posted: 8/27/2008 6:09:15 PM EST
I would love to have a decent red dot, but I just don't have the funds. I am happy with how I shoot out to 100 yards with irons, so as long as I'm happy thats all that matters. :)
Link Posted: 8/27/2008 6:15:44 PM EST
I am building my 1st AR currently and I am going with irons only. Mostly because its a Light Weight/KISS/SHTF build. Irons, light, sling and thats it. I also want to get another nicer AR before I start buying expensive accessories. The 2nd AR will be tricked out through.

I have a fairly limited amount of range time with ARs in general. Though I have shot irons only and red dots side by side. Under 100 yards with slow aimed fire I did not notice much of an accuracy different, but the red dot would certainly be quicker for CQB and better for low light.

I will likely add tritium sights to my AR and be content until I can get a Larue or Noveske.
Link Posted: 8/27/2008 6:17:42 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/27/2008 6:20:51 PM EST by Bob1984]
After playing around with various optical setups over the years, I keep finding myself going back to irons. For some reason, I am actually more accurate with irons than with any optic. This applies to all guns, not just AR's.

I've found that I prefer red dot type optics over magnifying scope type optics.

If low-light "serious" use were a consideration, I'd pick a red dot over all others, preferably one that uses a "QD" mount and co-witnesses with the iron sights.
Link Posted: 8/27/2008 6:38:09 PM EST
I have 2 ARs and one Aimpoint. I find myself using both with aperatures only as they handle faster and better without the Aimpoint. With a little testing with both rifles to about 200 yards, I see no difference as to accuracy either way. And at home, I use my 1911 .45, and a surefire flashlight. Anyone want to buy a slightly used ML2 Aimpoint?
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