Gun Digest

Need Backup! Secondary Iron Sights for AR-15s

A competitor engages short-range rifle targets utilizing RTS sights from Dueck Defense.

Ever since tactical and practical shooters began putting glass on rifles to serve as the primary sighting system, they began to search for better ways to back up the optics with iron sights.

In the tactical community, and in 3-gun events, flip-up iron sights became en vogue—out of the way when you didn’t need them, there in a flash when you did.

As Open shooters have known for some time, putting the secondary sighting system in a usable position is much more advantageous to the shooter. Today there are several different makes and models of sights hanging on seemingly every position in which one can be hung on an AR-15.

Dueck Defense RTS

Barry Dueck’s Rapid Transition Sight (RTS) has become one of the more popular secondary iron sight systems in 3-gun. Dueck, a veteran of the Marine Corps and top 3-gun competitor, used his combined experience and took the old A2-stype sight from the M16 family, developed a mount to handle it at 45 degrees—just as Open shooters do with optics—and the RTS was born.

Samson Manufacturing’s Upgrade Kit features offset iron sights, along with the company’s extremely popular Evolution rail system.

Because he used a military aperture and front sight post, the RTS is capable of accurate fire to surprisingly extended ranges.

So, while the RTS is intended for use hosing closing-range targets, should the primary optic go down over any distance, shooters are still in the game with the RTS.

“A must-have for 3-gun shooting,” said Practical Shooting Academy’s Keith Garcia, a law enforcement officer and two-time 3-Gun Nation Shoot-Off winner. “The best back-up sight available anywhere. These sights are so sturdy I put a second set on my SWAT entry rifle.”

Samson Competition Rifle Upgrade Kit

At a retail price around $550, the Samson Manufacturing Rifle Upgrade Kit is touted to contain everything a shooter needs to get their rifle match ready.

The kit contains a 15-inch Evolution Rail, Quick Flip Front and Rear Sights, Enhanced Low Profile Gas Block, Evolution QD sling point, and Samson Field Survivor tool.

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