How to Install Iron Sights on AR 15

How to Install Iron Sights on AR 15?

The firearm and its accessories sales are increasing in the past few months. Forty percent of the sales went to first-time owners. They find the tool as their best weapon in defending their family and properties. Since they have less experience using the gun, they are not yet confident about installing its accessories. This has led us to write this how to install iron sights on AR 15 guide to help new gun owners install the sights properly.

Let’s start this guide by providing some information about iron sights and its advantage and disadvantages.

Understanding Iron Sights

Many first-time gun owners might be asking, do I really need iron sights for my AR 15? The answer is yes. Your AR 15 may have a built-in scope, but not all are accurate. So, you need iron sights to help you aim at your target accurately.

Rear iron sight is divided into two systems – the Peep and the Ghost Ring.

The Peep

The peep is a precision aperture used for daylight shooting and precision out far or up close. You need to understand the concepts of aperture, focus, and depth of field to understand well how the peep works.

The Ghost Ring

The ghost ring is a quick alignment tool helpful for low-light shooting and for aiming close-range targets.  The size of the hole in the ghost ring makes it essential for the shooter to center the front sight. It is usually used with a target focus, which means you should focus on the target.

Steps on How to Install Iron Sights on AR15?

Installing iron sights on AR15 is easy. Just make sure you have prepared the right tools to complete the process.

What You Need

  • Soft cloth
  • Cotton buds
  • Adapters (if needed)
  • Target
  • Screwdrivers
  • AR 15
  • Iron sights
  • Ear protection
  • Eye protection or goggle

Step #1 – Safety First

Safety is the optimum priority when dealing with a gun. You need to empty the barrel first before you start working. Place the bullet in a safe place.  This will prevent you from getting into an accidental shooting. Double-check the barrel before you start the installation.

Step #2 Determine Where to Install the New Sights

Assess where to mount the new sights and check if it requires MLOK or other adapters. Clean the area and the anchoring locations using a clean and soft cloth. Dirt on the mounting site could loosen sights in the future or cause frustration from migrating between the point of aim and impact. Make sure you do this job well so you will not regret it in the future.

Step #3 Scrubbed Anything Attached to MLOK

Clean and scrub the rail strips attached to MLOK. Use cotton buds to clean tight corners. Make sure it will not leave any cotton tuft on the protrusions or sharp edges. Even the smallest cotton tuft can result in problems when anchoring the sights securely. Clean and inspect all the contact areas, both the front and rear sights.

Step #4 Check the Manufacturer’s Manual on Positioning

Proper positioning is included in the manufacturer’s manual, but typically a gun owner would want to create a long-sight radius by positioning the sights as far from each other as possible. This will improve usability for new gun owners and an advantage for veteran enthusiasts.

Step #5 Install the Front Sight

After installing the needed MLOK or other adapters, you can start mounting the first sight. Start at the front sight, but you can do so if you want to start with the rear. It’s all about your personal preference. As you tighten the sight, apply firm forward pressure to prevent shifting under recoil.

Step #6 Install the Rear Sight

Find the perfect location for the rear sight and repeat the step in #5. Keep in mind, not all iron sight manufacturers recommend a thread-locking compound, and most sights come with pre-applied bolts.  

Step #7 Boresight

Boresight is done to estimate the bullet’s point of impact with an empty barrel before you even shoot the gun. The principle for boresighting an AR15 includes removing the upper receiver and place it on a steady rest without the bolt and carrier point to some distant reference object.

With your weapon firmly in position and pointing at the target, you can move your sights to ensure all are lined up with the object without moving it from its place. Position your target at 25 yards and try to hit it as close as possible to the center of the target.

Step #8 Get the Gun on the Paper

Push down the take-down pin on an AR15, rotate the lower and upper receivers apart, take out the bolt carrier group and charge handle and adjust until you finally see the target when checking on the barrel’s bore. Position the gun on a solid rest and adjust the position until you see the target’s center when looking down at the bore.

Step #9 Adjust Windage and Elevation

Before tightening the rear sight, move it in the direction you want your shot goes. If your rifle shoots low, raise it to the point of impact to hit the target’s center, raise the rear sight. In case it shoots high, lower the rear sight to lower the point of impact. Tighten the rear sight and test fire again. If you think you are still off the target, repeat the process until you are in the right setting.

Step #10 Tighten the Screws and Reload the Barrel

If upon testing, you hit the target at the center or one to two inches away from it, you can tighten the screws. Be careful when tightening the screws, as a slight movement can change your settings. If that happens, you need to redo the bore-sighted and the adjusting of windage and elevation. It is better to test fire it again to check.

Final Thoughts

We hope you have learned a lot from this how to install iron sights on AR 15 guide. Mounting iron sights and setting its aim requires patience. You might have a hard time installing it because it’s your first time. But once you do it again, you will surely have a good grip on it. If you decide to do the installation on your own, make sure you have the rights tools and follow the instructions carefully.  If you have any questions or want to share your thoughts about the topic, feel free to comment below.

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