Importance of AR-15 Sight Placement
Bottom line…if you have adjustable sights on your AR-15 make sure to get the placement of them right regardless of WHY the sights are placed a certain way. It doesn’t matter if you need to accommodate for accessories like lights, lasers, magnifiers, scopes, or whatever floats your boat…just make sure to appease the internet community by placing the sights exactly where they need to be.
Many of you know we are running a rifle giveaway. If you haven’t entered, do it here. In preparation for the giveaway, we took a quick picture of a complete rifle and installed a couple adjustable sights on it to give it a more complete look. Honestly, I didn’t even think about the placement of the sights because, well, we aren’t firing the weapon and, in fact, the sights aren’t even on the AR-15 anymore. Anyways, a few of you took notice and started questioning the sight placement. You can see how our “unique” sight placement is being critiqued here. Understanding that this is a big deal to some of you, I figured I would take a minute to talk about sight placement for your AR-15. As a quick disclosure, the picture referenced was purely for marketing and, lesson learned, we’ll make sure to pay attention to detail when taking future marketing pictures.
The question still remains, though, as to what and why sight placement is important. Specifically, we will talk about placement of flip-up iron sights as featured in our rifle giveaway. The placement of the sights is critical for accuracy. It will heavily depend on a number of factors including your own eyesight, accessories, and even use of the rifle. If you are looking to use a flashlight, laser, or some other pointing or illumination device, your sight placement will be different than someone who is purely using iron sights. The ability of your eyes and how they focus and see the front sight post on the target is likely different than other shooters. My point is that you’ve got to find what works for you that will give you a combination of accuracy and comfort.
Standard AR-15 Sight Placement
If you’re building or modifying your AR-15, it’s important to know what the standard sight placement is. Contrary to how the sights are placed on our marketing image, the ideal setup is as much distance between the front and rear sights. For greater accuracy, using a small aperture (peep sight) is ideal as it forces your eyes to focus better by allowing less light in. Knowing this and using this information as a general rule, we want to place the rear sight as far back as possible. Many times this means sitting in the last one or two slots on your rifle. The front sight, assuming no accommodation for accessories is needed, should be placed as far forward on the barrel as possible. Keep in mind, though, that there are things that you will need to take into consideration. Your depth of field and focus being a crucial consideration as well as the peep sights and even the length of the rifle. Without regurgitating information, this article from The New Rifleman goes into greater depth as to what the correct sight placement should be. If you need a further explanation then I’d suggest reading that article.
Incorrect AR-15 Sight Placement
When taking all other contributing factors out of the equation, the standard AR-15 sight placement IS NOT supposed to look like this:
Correct AR-15 Sight Placement
The correct standard placement of your AR-15 sights should look more like:
So there you have it – we admittedly placed the sights on the AR-15 wrong, not because we don’t know where and how to place them, but because it was simply a marketing image. Next time we’ll make sure to focus on the small details so as not to portray ourselves as incompetent. In all honesty, we had a good laugh about being called out but I want to make sure that if we are going to take pictures like that, lets make sure we are doing it right.