You have a Magnifier and a red dot sight on your rifle, and you heard some awesome things about 45-degree iron sights. Yep, it is great to have them on your rifle as a backup sight! Today, we will talk about the advantage of having them and how to install 45-degree iron sights.
Why do OG shooters have 45-degree iron sight mounted on their AR?
If you take a look at an experienced shooter’s gun setup, you may see a 45-degree iron sight mounted on their rifle. And 45-degree iron sight is often a sight that stays on their rifle. This is why:
You can use 45-degree iron sights without removing your optics
Being able to co-witness your iron sights through your optic is a fantastic benefit. Unfortunately, it does limit you to a specific type of optic that falls within a particular mounting height to achieve this. Luckily, the 45-degree mounting concept allows for the rapid deployment of a secondary sighting system without removing your primary optic.
You are free to run your red dot at any mounting height or use the magnified optic of your choice and still reap the benefits of having quickly accessible backup sights. Is the optic fogged up? Your iron sights will never fog on you.
The standard 90-degree iron sights can still serve the purpose of a back up sighting system that will not co-witness through the optic, but it is essential to understand that this leads to a severe handicap if you wish to deploy your iron sights. You will have to remove your optic in order to deploy them.
Opting out for a QD mount is surely an option, but even then, the process is slower. In addition, you are limiting yourself from having access to a wider range of quality non-QD mounts. You will also have to account that you will not be able to train with both sighting systems in unison when utilizing non-co witnessed 90-degree irons. You will have to set aside time to train with your sighting system with your optic removed to remain proficient. If you’re anything like me, optics rarely come off my rifle after I zero them.
It NEVER fails you for electronic issues
Everything can fail, even iron sights. However, there are far fewer factors at play that have the potential to make your iron sight fail when compared to its battery-powered counterparts. Chances are, whatever kills your iron sights may kill you as well, which is how we like our equipment.
It allows you to switch between long-distance and short-distance shooting in 1 move.
Being able to stay dialed up on your optic and maintain a non-magnified option can be an invaluable asset even if you are running an LPVO.
Suppose you are in an environment where you are taking more shots at distance than up-close. In that case, it is a sensible action to keep your optic dialed up to a magnification that allows you to be most effective in engaging and identifying targets.
Having too much magnification for threats up-close is not ideal, and 45-degree sights are a fast, dependable option that can increase your capabilities as a shooter. Another plus about the 45’s is that you don’t have to relinquish a solid cheek weld like you generally give up with Piggyback style backup mounting solutions. Add some muscle memory to that roll of the shoulder you have been practicing, and you will find that the 45-degree sight is intuitive and very stable due to the solid cheek weld that is provided.
What about the downside?
Let’s be fair. We can’t only tell you how good it is to have one without discussing the liabilities of having them. Below are the disadvantages you might encounter:
Is the extra weight a downside? Sure, if we are splitting hairs here. The fact of the matter is that iron sights add a minimal amount of weight that will be hard to notice even on ultra-light builds. So go ahead, add that extra ounce. It won’t bite. If it does, perhaps it’s time to operate your local gym equipment tactically.
Unlike its 90-degree brother, the 45-offset will not protrude in line with the rail. When deployed and operating in an enclosed environment, this will increase the risk of your iron sights getting snagged or damaged. We find this to be negligible in practice but still noteworthy due to the profile of the design.
Training. Yes, you will have to train to become accustomed to a new angle of firing your rifle. This isn’t necessarily a negative, just something to be aware of before purchase.
Iron sights are not complicated or expensive to manufacture. So, it is a bit of a head-scratcher when some companies charge nearly 200 dollars for a front sight. While some high-end products can deserve their value, I wouldn’t necessarily put iron sights in that category.
While a 200-dollar iron sight most likely costs more to manufacture than more budget-friendly options, the difference in manufacturing cost is low. However, the consumer will see a dramatic price tag increase from those name brands that have been around a while. The verdict: Of all the things to break the bank on, expensive iron sights will garner you diminishing returns that will likely go unnoticed compared to a budget-friendly option. Don’t be afraid to give them a throw!
Now, moving on to how to install 45-degree iron sight in 3 steps.
You know the pros and cons. If you are still staying with me, I will assume that you have set your mind on getting yourself a 45-degree iron sight. And if I was right, I should start to talk about how to install 45-degree iron sight on your rifle. We can cut them into 3 steps: safety check, position-determined, and install and tryout.
Safety check: Clear the barrel, clean the chamber
Weapons safety rules should be ingrained in every gun owner’s head. But, just in case, here they are:
- Treat every weapon as if it were loaded.
- Never point a weapon at anything you do not intend to shoot.
- Keep your finger straight and off the trigger until you’re ready to fire.
- Keep the weapon on “safe” until you intend to fire.
- Know your target and what lies beyond and in-between
- Clean the chamber before you install. Use a cotton swab to clean the corner, and take a good look afterward just in case there’s tiny flocking got left behind.
So, before installing, double-check that chamber to avoid the big oops.
Position determines: Start with the front sight.
Longer sight radiuses are ideal—the sight radius means the distance of your front iron sight to your rear iron sight. I recommend having your front iron sight as far forward as your rail. This will maximize sight radius and afford more flexibility to the rear iron placement that may or may not be inhibited by the rail real-estate taken by your optic mount. Having your front iron sight as far forward as possible also decreases the risk of overcrowding your rail, leaving room for your ideal hand placement or other valuable accessories such as a pressure pad.
Install and try out: Make it tight, and ask for help from laser foresight
Flip-up iron sights are simple to install. Ensure to crossbar is fully seated in the desired slot on your Picatinny rail before tightening. Tighten until you encounter a fair amount of resistance (do not over tighten). There should be no play in the actual iron sight mount itself. After that, all that is left is to get these suckers zeroed. If you wish to simplify your zeroing process, check out this helpful laser bore sighter that can save you a headache at the range.
The perfect solution: Tacticon 45-degree offset flip-up iron sights
Tacticon is dedicated to providing high-quality products at a reasonable/affordable price. Even though 45-degree iron sight is not the most expensive accessory compared to optics, battle vests, and so on, however, these things add up! You don’t need to break your bank for one 45-degree iron sight! And this is what triggered our owner, Jake, to start Tacticon. You want budget gear and also low-weighted, we got your back!