Iron sights are designed for use with firearms such as the AR 15. These sights are a system of alignment markers, which are typically fabricated from metal utilized for a sighting device to aim the firearm at targets. These sights are not the same as those sighting devices such as scopes using optics, holographic sights, reflex or reflector sights, or telescopic sights. When zeroing in on a target to shoot, iron sights for an AR 15 allow the shooter to aim through the use of visual means that allow them to pinpoint a spot to shoot at.
Iron sights are usually made up of two components, both metal blades. One of these components is a rear sight that is mounted in a perpendicular fashion and a front sight that is usually a ring, bead, or post. Some sights are known as open sights, and they utilize a rear sight that is a notch of some kind. Aperture sights use a rear sight that is circular, with some type of hole. Hunters and police typically employ open sights for their firearms, while the military usually uses aperture sights.
How to Aim Your Firearm with Iron Sights
Most handguns and rifles come standard with iron sights, and if you don’t have any other equipment available, you will need to learn how to use them effectively. It can be somewhat difficult to learn how to use iron sights to achieve pinpoint accuracy, so it is recommended that you spend quite a bit of time practicing and finding out for yourself. Since it can be tricky to master the use of iron sights, we put together a few tips you should use when you are getting the techniques down before you go out into the field or bush and actually start using them. Let’s take a look at these tips here:
- Align the three sides of the sight, the two rear sides and the front side
- Focus on only one point: where the crosshairs meet the target
- Practice consistently and often
- Develop a feel and sense of shooting
- Measure your shots and monitor, analyze, and evaluate the characteristics of your weapon
Your shooting practice sessions should be conducted with a pre-session safety check of your equipment. If your equipment is not working properly or you have identified broken or damaged sights or other issues, do not proceed with your session. Firearms are not toys, no matter how much fun you are having with them, so please be safety conscious at all times. Never point a gun at someone, whether you know the gun is loaded or not.
More Facts About Iron Sights
In many cases, iron sights are used in combat situations, such as when AR 15 iron sights are utilized. These iron sights for AR 15 rifles are for self-defense or are used by some law enforcement agencies and military personnel for the protection of citizens and civilians. There are many situations that are appropriate for the AR iron sights to be used, but one should know if iron sights are the best for the job, or more traditional or advanced scope technology is more appropriate. There are also many different types of scopes available that are superior in accuracy to iron sights, although for many close-range applications, iron sights will perform quite well and more advanced scopes and other optical equipment are unnecessary.
Facts of interest about iron sights that you may be wondering about include:
The alignment between the front and rear sights and the target is known as the “point of aim” (POA). This measurement is calibrated by distance to the target and the bullet’s trajectory to form the point where the bullet hits the target, otherwise known as the “point of impact” (POI). Iron sights will furnish vertical and horizontal reference points that permit the shooter to aim the weapon.
The rear sight is typically mounted on the barrel or receiver of the weapon (dovetail mounting) close to the shoulder area where it is immediately seen by the eye. The front site is again mounted in much the same fashion, either by screwing, soldering, or other means to attach them to the barrel of the gun at the front of the firearm. Some of the assemblies for front sights have detachable hoods which are used to reduce glare or to shade from sunlight. These front hoods are usually circular and provide the shooter with a natural reference point to aid which creates more accurate aiming.
Even small errors within the angle of the sight alignment can cause serious failure to hit targets. It is helpful sometimes to increase the distance between the rear and front sights as this helps reduce the alignment errors that can come when sight parts are placed more closely together. Iron sight can also be used on shotguns with a great deal of overall effectiveness.
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