Best Offset Iron Sights of 2019 | Reviewed & Rated

If you're not familiar with offset iron sights, you may have wondered why shooters in three gun competitions suddenly tilt their rifle 45 degrees before shooting. You may have even seen videos of military or law enforcement doing it to engage close targets. Given the tilt, offset sights take some getting used to, but offer huge benefits.

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Ade Advanced Optics Front/Rear 45-Degree Rapid Transition BUIS Backup Iron Sight

Ade Advanced Optics Front/Rear 45-Degree Rapid Transition BUIS Backup Iron Sight

TACTICON 45 Degree Offset Flip Up Iron Sights

TACTICON 45 Degree Offset Flip Up Iron Sights for Rifle Includes Front Sight Adjustment Tool | Rapid Transition Backup Front and Rear Iron Sight BUIS Set Picatinny Rail and Weaver Rails

Magpul MBUS PRO Offset Steel Backup Sights

Magpul MBUS PRO Offset Steel Backup Sights, Rear Sight

Dueck Defense - AR-15 Rapid Transition Sight Set

What are Offset Iron Sights?

Offset iron sights are simply normal aperture sights arranged at a 45-degree angle to the bore so they do not interfere with a primary optical sight. They work exactly the same as in-line iron sights, except that you have to practice tilting your rifle while maintaining a good cheek weld to use them. They can be flip-up or fixed in position and generally come with all the same options that in-line sights have. Some are even ambidextrous.

Offset Iron Sight vs. Inline Sights: Pros & Cons

On modern AR-15 rifles, in-line iron sights more or less serve as a back up in case of the failure of your primary optical sight. They are usually designed to co-witness with the primary optic, meaning that the points of aim on both sighting options line up.

If your primary optical sight is damaged or obscured you will have to remove it before you can use your in-line backups. No one really has time for that in a sticky situation. As a backup sighting option, offset sights have the benefit of being totally independent to the state of your primary optic. If your primary optic is magnified it can be difficult to quickly acquire a target at a very close range. Offset sights can serve as your quick, short-range sighting option in this case.

These products do tend to be more prone to snagging and getting knocked around than in-line iron sights, which could damage them or knock them off zero. Folding offset sights go a long way toward alleviating this. If a rifle will be used by both right-handed and left-handed shooters, in-line iron sights will be a much more suitable option than offsets.

Review of the Best Offset Iron Sights

There are so many offset Iron Sights available in the market that choosing one is a task initself. So, to help you, we have picked some of the best offset iron sights and reviewed them in detail.

Ade Advanced Optics Front/Rear 45-Degree Rapid Transition BUIS Backup Iron Sight

Pros

  • Ambidextrous
  • Excellent Value for the Money
  • Solid Anodized High-Grade Aluminum Construction
  • Height Over Barrel is Equivalent to Mil-Spec M4 Sights

Cons

  • Best for Shooting Under 100 Yards

These are fantastic, highly versatile sights that offer everything you would expect from quality offset sights. The height above bore is exactly the same as those on standard AR-15 sights, aiding in the training and transition processes. The classic M1-style front sight will also be familiar to most users, as will the two aperture options on the rear sight.

You have a narrow precision aperture and a larger one you can flip between depending on whether you need to shoot long-range with precision or close-range in low light. The windage and elevation adjust at half MOA intervals and require the use of tools. The build quality is extremely good.

These sights are made of high-grade aluminum and have a minimum number of moving parts. They mount to a standard Picatinny rail with a flathead screwdriver. Luckily for the lefties out there, they can be mounted to offset to the left. At a total of 4.5 ounces, the sights are reasonably light.

Bottom Line

If you use offset iron sights mainly as a backup option, outside of training you will rarely, if ever, use them, which makes high-quality, low-cost options such as this very attractive. The highly standardized design, with the M1-style front picture, two aperture choices, and standard height make this a very easy option to get used to. Plus, they have very few extraneous features to snag or moving parts that can fail.

TACTICON 45 Degree Offset Flip Up Iron Sights for Rifle Includes Front Sight Adjustment Tool | Rapid Transition Backup Front and Rear Iron Sight BUIS Set Picatinny Rail and Weaver Rails

Pros

  • High-Quality Aluminum Construction
  • Flip-Up Design Keeps the Sights From Snagging or Getting Knocked Out of Zero
  • Sights Feature a Classic Design Familiar to Most Shooters Trained With AR Apertures
  • Comes With Both an Adjustment Tool for the Front Sight and an Allen Wrench for Mounting to the Rail

Cons

  • Imported
  • Not Ambidextrous

This is a great set of sights that provide a classic post and aperture pairing that has it's own no-nonsense design and sight picture. The sight picture is more like that of an Enfield than of an M4.

If you have used a classic two-size aperture arrangement with a front post, you have the transferable skills to use these sights. Windage is adjusted by a tactile knob on the rear site, while elevation adjustment requires a standard tool which is shipped with the unit, as is an Allen wrench necessary for mounting the sights on the rail. The sights flip up with a quick push of a button.

Bottom Line

The top features of this set of flip-up offset sights are the familiar design and hence, ease of training. The fact that they include the necessary tools is a great added bonus. They also ship in a handsome wooden box.

Most shooters are surprised that these offset sights are so effective for such an incredibly low price. It just proves that you don't need to pay big-brand money to get an impressive product. If you just want to have a set of irons in case the worst happens and your optical sight fails in the field, this is a very convenient option.

Magpul MBUS PRO Offset Steel Backup Sights, Rear Sight

Pros

  • Legendary Magpul Design and Build Quality
  • Flip-Up Sights Stow in a Low-Profile Position to Prevent Snagging
  • Familiar Features Like Standard Height Over Barrel, Choice of Two Apertures, and Tool-Free Windage and Elevation Adjustment

Cons

  • Sights do not lock into place, meaning they could be knocked out of position in a crucial moment

If you want to impress your friends at the range, or even on a tour of duty, Magpul is always a reliable option. Even though these MBUS Pros feature solid case-hardened steel construction, they are still on the lighter side of the spectrum, bringing you the best of both worlds. This also means that the front sight can be mounted on a gas block, unlike the polymer MBUS.

They do not, however, mount to the left for you southpaws, unfortunately. The height over the barrel, choice of two apertures, and M4-style sight picture are all completely standard and is easy to get used to for most shooters. The front side adjusts for elevation and the rear adjusts for windage, both with a positive, tactile knob.

Both sights flip down out of the way to prevent snagging or getting knocked off zero. One common criticism of this set is that they do not lock into place, meaning there is a chance that in an urgent situation you could need to fumble with your rifle to set things right.

Bottom Line

Magpul is a market leader in tactical gear for a reason. Buy once, cry once is the rule of thumb here. These are extremely robust, reliable and well-designed sights.

Pros

  • Made in the U.S.A.
  • Perfect for Use in Three Gun Competition
  • Top-Notch Build Quality and Design Backed By a Lifetime Warranty
  • Windage and Elevation Adjustment Knobs Conveniently Placed on the Rear Sight, No Tools Needed

Cons

  • Models are Either Right-Handed or Left-Handed But Can't Switch

We end our list with the crème de la crème, top of the line in offset iron sights. Dueck Defense was started by Barry Dueck, war veteran, former Marine, and national three gun competition star. Dueck doesn't settle or mess around and neither do these sights.

One major advantage these sights have is that every functional detail is easy to work with. They will not interfere with military-style laser sights. They mount on a Picatinny rail quickly and easily with a flathead screwdriver. Again, the basic design follows the established standard to keep the set easy to get accustomed to.

The height over bore is standard, the sight picture is standard M4 trident and the rear sight gives you a choice of two apertures. The windage and elevation adjustments take place on two parallel knobs on the rear sight. They adjust with very positive half MOA clicks. Specifically built left-handed versions can be ordered. Although they are not flip-up, they are relatively snag-proof.

Bottom Line

With these sights, it's the little details that make all the difference. The tool-free operation, the ideal sight positioning, and impeccable build quality make Dueck Defense king of the heap in offset iron sights. Whether for three gun or tactical applications, these sights can't be beaten.

How to Zero Offset Iron Sights

To zero your offset iron sighs, set up a target at 25 yards and get into the most stable shooting position available, probably prone. Shoot three to five rounds at the target and check where the group is located relative to the target. Most sights adjust elevation by having you rotate the front sight clockwise to raise the point of impact and counterclockwise to lower it.

Most rear sights adjust for windage with a knob. One click of the knob is usually a half MOA adjustment left or right. Shoot another group to verify your point of impact and adjust your sights again in necessary. In some cases, applying Loctite to the moving parts can help them hold zero. If in doubt, check the documentation that came with your particular sight or contact the manufacturer.

The video below provides a handy demonstration of the sighting process with one particular model of offset iron sight. Actual adjustment mechanisms will vary.

Aspects to Consider When Buying an Offset Iron Sight

Given the initially awkward angle that you have to tilt your rifle to use offset sights, keeping their design as standard as possible greatly helps you train and get accustomed to their use. Using a familiar height over barrel, sight picture, and choice of apertures can be a big help in this. Ensuring the mounting angle is exactly 45 degrees is also best.

If the sights are flip-up, it's ideal if they can lock into place so they don't fold down in the middle of a heated moment. Tool-free adjustments help you correct any aiming problems on the fly.

Build quality and a solid rail mounting system help ensure that your sight stays on zero. There is a general bias in the industry in favor of steel, but high-grade aluminum is almost as tough and much lighter. Polymer is also an option and has the benefit that it tends to bend and bounce back into place rather than break. A sleek design with few snag points helps ensure that your sights and gun are not damaged or knocked off zero.

Conclusion

Offset iron sights are a great way to give your rifle a backup sighting system and an easy way to aim at close range. They are a wise addition to many rifles, especially in the AR-15 family. We have provided you with some of the top quality and best value for the money offset sights to choose from.

If you're not familiar with offset iron sights, you may have wondered why shooters in three gun competitions suddenly tilt their rifle 45 degrees before shooting. You may have even seen videos of military or law enforcement doing it to engage close targets. Given the tilt, offset sights take some getting used to, but offer huge benefits.

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