Offset Iron Sights
Over the past few decades, optics have become an integral part of any capable rifle setup. Various types of optics are available on the market, all of which have pros and cons. However, having a set of backup iron sights can be quite beneficial for any rifle, especially if they are offset at an angle.
What are Offset Sights?
As the name suggests, offset iron sights are offset from the rifle's main line of sight. Instead of being on top of the rifle, like typical sights, offset sights are mounted on a slight angle, usually about 45 degrees. This is why they are also called 45-degree iron sights.
They are mounted on the rail on top of your rifle but are offset, usually on the right side, but you can also find sites that are offset on the left side, which are suitable for left-handed shooters. Offset iron sights allow shooters to switch between medium to long and short-range targets very quickly and effortlessly by simply tilting their rifles and getting a closer sight picture.
Why Use Offset Iron Sights?
For instance, if you install a red dot or holographic sight, you are set for short to medium-range engagements. However, making a shot over 450 or 500 yards can be a little challenging. Moreover, suppose you have an AR chambered in larger calibers than .223 Remington. In that case, your rifle may even be capable of up to 1200 yards or even more, and making shots this long without a long-range variable scope is very challenging. If you install a long-range scope on your rifle, engaging short-range targets is very difficult.
This is why offset iron sights are very beneficial. They allow the shooter to engage targets at multiple ranges. With offset sights, a shooter simply needs to tilt the rifle, and they can use backup iron sights to accurately shoot targets at short ranges even if they have a medium or long-range optic mounted on their rifle.
Are Offset Sights Worth It For AR-15s?
The AR-15 is a versatile rifle that can be used for engagements at various ranges. Depending on barrel lengths and several other factors, an AR-15 can be effective up to 600 yards. However, making shots that long can be difficult with standard iron sights. Changing the sights on your AR-15 can allow you to perform optimally at specific ranges, but it limits your potential for others. Therefore, for a versatile AR rifle that is capable of shooting accurately at multiple ranges, you need to find the right combination of sights.
Are Offset Iron Sights Adjustable?
Yes, most aftermarket offset iron sights can be adjusted for windage and elevation. With some offset sights, you can also adjust the offset angle. This allows you to ensure that the sight picture of your offset sights isn't obstructed by the elevation knob of your main scope.
Offset Iron Sights Vs. Offset Micro Red Dot Sights?
Some shooters also use offset red dot sights instead of iron sights. They can also be great for short-range targets. However, the benefit of having offset iron sights is that they don't require a battery for operation and are better suited to work as a set of backup sights.