Top 13 Best Backup Iron Sights (BUIS): Review and Comparison

So, you want backup iron sights (BUIS) for your rifle but you don’t know which one to choose? Backup iron sights usually come in three main types: fixed front rear, flipped up front rear, offset sights. Iron sights are usually served to backup to your primary optic, whether it’s a red dot or an electrical one. And most optics have batteries and they will probably die in the middle of use. Plus, you cannot effectively aim at your target. So you will probably need backup iron sights to aim your target accurately. With so many types of backup iron sights out there, you probably don’t have any idea about which one to purchase. We have reviewed a wide range of backup iron sights and selected some of the most common ones with affordable price and suitable usage. So read on to find out which backup iron sights are the best backup iron sights for you.

best backup iron sights
best backup iron sights
best backup iron sights
best backup iron sights
best backup iron sights

Best high-end premium backup iron sights for shooting in medium and long range

Best overall backup iron sights for your money

Best affordable backup iron sights for mid-range price

Best overall backup iron sights for your budget

Best whole package backup iron sights

** Below, you will find our detailed reviews of the best backup iron sights, but you can also click these following links to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.

Top Best Backup Iron Sights Reviews 2020

Troy Industries Micro HK Style Front and Rear Folding Battle Sight

A bit pricier than the rest of the list, however, the Troy Industries Micro HK Style Front and Rear Folding Battle Sight is a great BUIS for its quality. Made with low-profile design, it is lightweight and portable. It is under 1.5 inches in length and weighs only a couple of ounces, so you can get it out of the way when needed. Its rugged and metal designs are made for those who don’t enjoy the polymer BUIS in your common BUIS.

They also clamp easily to the rail system when being folden down if not in use. The rear sight aperture can be flipped to choose the shooting distance: short to medium distance and long distance, which wil range about 300 to 600 yards.

However, you could use a bit adjusting on your M4 since this BUIS is a low-profile one. You can mount it to the Sig Sauer 556 carbine or the FN Scar. So we think this iron sights are the best backup iron sights for shooting in medium and long range.

PROS

  • Made out of metal
  • Low-profile and rugged design
  • Excellent quality
  • Perfect for low-light shooting

CONS

  • Expensive

Magpul Industries MBUS Generation II Sight Set Front & Rear Color BLACK

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Magpul is a trust-worthy brand that is popular in making BUIS. Made with durability prioritized, the Magpul Industries MBUS generation is both lightweight and can handle any damage during use thanks to its durable polymer. 

Therefore, you can avoid wear and tear which is a common problem if you use any products often. And the internal spring system included inside of the BUIS makes it sturdy enough against any impact such as bumps or knocks that can make it fold down during use.

The products are the same height as the A2 sights but you can make some adjustment to it if needed with the easy-to-use knob and a tool included to adjust elevation.

The Magpul BUIS is especially easy to use, if you have a rail system on your gun, you can mount it within a flick of time. If you’re like it simple, the Magpul Industries BUIS can be folded down so it won’t get in your way of aiming, which can be troublesome sometimes.

PROS

  • Durable and lightweight at the same time
  • Well known brand
  • Withstand against impact
  • Adjustable tool
  • Easy to install

CONS

  • Quite pricey but not too much comparing to others BUIS
  • Be careful of knock-offs or fake BUIS when purchasing online

MaTech Mil-Spec Back-up Iron Sight (B.U.I.S)

We think the MaTech BUIS are suitable to use with any kind of optics and can be paired  up with a front sight from another brand. The windage range can be adjusted (up to 600 meters). You can use it at a close range as well. However, its effectiveness is questionable if you use it in long-range. The build quality is solid and has been designed by expert MaTech engineers to be compatible with Picatinny rails.

The MaTech Mil-Spec Back-Up Iron Sight can be used as a stand-alone sight. But you can also use it in co-witness with an optic setup. It is especially built for an AR rifle. And it is very much durable and can withstand forces.

PROS

  • Durable
  • Can be use as a stand alone
  • Can use co-witness with another optic
  • Solid design

CONS

  • Not very effective for long-range

Magpul MBUS Flip-Up Backup Sights

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These backup iron sights from Magpul are a bit pricier than other BUIS. However, you’re going to get your money's worth if you’re purchasing backup iron sights made from Magpul.

We have already talked about how Magpul is a well-known company manufacturing firearms accessories, and the MBUS is not an exception. First, it is made from polymer - but a durable and heavy-duty one. This allows the BUIS to be both lightweight so you can carry it around and durable to survive impacts. The sights are spring-loaded, making it easy to deploy and you can adjust the windage and elevation using a tool. 

The BUIS is easy to mount and you can combine them with some standard Picatinny rails available. However, since it is made from polymer, you cannot mount it to a railed gas block as it will melt. This BUIS are the best backup iron sights for your budget.

PROS

  • Durable while being lightweight
  • Comes with a tool to adjust but you can adjust it with any tools available on the market
  • Easy to mount on a wide range of rail systems
  • Easy to deploy

CONS

  • Be careful of knock offs
  • Sights sold individually not in a set

Tacticon Armament Flip Up Iron Sights

Tacticon Armament Flip Up Iron Sight overall is a good choice for BUIS for rifles. Included with a front sight adjustment tool, it is the whole package BUIS for us. But let’s dig a bit deeper into its quality.

According to Tacticon, the backup iron sights are made by hardened aircraft aluminum alloy and not your usual polymer - which is what most budget BUIS manufactures will use despite the bad quality. The iron sights can be easily popped by pushing a button. 

The design of this backup iron sights are rugged and it comes with a wooden case alongside the front sight adjustment tool and the mounting wrench as well as some ammunition. So far, for just an affordable price, you can get a whole package, more than what you can get for a typical BUIS on the market. Tacticon is also a combat veteran owned company so we think they know what they 're selling!

PROS

  • Trust-worthy company owned by combat veteran
  • Comes in whole package (wooden box, adjustment tool, ammunition, mounting wrench)
  • Easy to pop up
  • Not so pricey
  • Lifetime warranty

CONS

  • None so far

SOUFORCE Premium Flip Up

Made with the intention of flip up and down easily to transit between iron sights and scopes, the SOURFORCE Premium Backup Iron Sights are a flexible choice for its money. During shooting, the position of this BUIS is fixed and it will retain from recoiling thanks to the spring inside this BUIS.

Most standard Picatinny and Weaver Rail System can be compatible with this BUIS; therefore, you can mount it easily and without effort. Also, it can co-witness with most of the available optics on the market. 

The BUIS are extremely durable because they are made out of high-density material such as the premium aluminium alloy. It also has a black matte finish. And just like other BUIS, its windage and elevation can be adjusted and has a low-profile design.

PROS

  • Durable
  • Made with hard materials
  • Avoid recoil with spring
  • Affordable

CONS

  • It doesn't come with a tool to adjust to front sight

Feyachi Flip Up Rear Front and Iron Sights

Feyachi Flip Up Rear Front Iron Sights are another good choice for the best backup iron sights in affordable price ranges. Despite the average price, its quality isn’t average at all. Not only is it easy to install, it is made with lightweight (about 1.5 ounces) premium aluminum to assure the durability of its backup iron sights.

To make it easy to deploy both sights, the BUIS uses a spring-loaded push-button and the rear sight’s windage can be adjusted. Elevation in the front can be adjusted as well. You can easily do this thanks to its tool included in the set. And since it has low-profile design, the BUIS won’t get into your sight picture.

PROS

  • Lightweight
  • Low-profile design
  • Made with same-plane mounting
  • Affordable

CONS

  • Hardware quality isn’t that exceptional since it is made for affordable budget

CHAOS READY Flip Up Iron Sights

Chaos Design Flip Up Iron Sights is your standard but whole package BUIS in an affordable price range for its quality. First, it is made with high quality aluminium, which allows it to be durable but incredibly lightweight at the same time so you won’t have much issues with keeping it by your side during combating. 

You can mount it onto just almost all kinds of standard optics and it can co-witness to your optics as well. It is specially designed to mount on the military standard 193 Picatinny Rails. It also includes a low-profile design so it can be flipped down to get out of your sights.

The BUIS are fully adjustable in terms of windage and elevation through ½ MOA clicks The BUIS comes with a CQB Aperture on the rear sight, so you can have an accurate aim.

PROS

  • Great durability but lightweight
  • Made with premium metal
  • Great customer service and warranty
  • Co-witness to most of standard optics
  • Accurate

CONS

  • Windage adjustment sometimes changes whenever you collapse and deploy it

Ozark Armament Flip Up Backup Battle Sights

The backup iron sights from Ozark Armament used the durable, heavy-duty aluminum to withstand bumps and impacts. The backup iron sights also allow you to adjust for windage and elevation. This can be a great alternative to your Magpul BUIS. Made with low-profile design, you can combine it with rifle scopes or other bulk optics. So we think this BUIS is the best backup iron sights for versatility. 

It can co-witness with your standard optics when you flip up and out of your picture sights when you push it down thanks to its low-profile design. You can deploy them quickly and comfortably. A spring-load button is added on each base. With a minor adjustment, at a local gun range, you can hit a target at about 100 yards away comfortably. Come with a one year warranty and great support, this BUIS is the best backup iron sights for you if you’re not looking for anything premium. 

PROS

  • Surprisingly lightweight
  • Accurate and precise
  • Easy to deploy
  • One year warranty
  • Low-profile design, fold much lower than an average BUIS

CONS

  • The front side is not a complete 90 degrees up
  • Needs a few drops of oil to make it pop up smoothly right after unboxing

FalconOptics Flip Up Sights Rear Sight and Front Sight Iron Sights for Picatinny Rail

Made with 6063 premium hardened aircraft aluminum alloy, the Falcon Optics backup iron sights will surely satisfy your need for a good BUIS. It is surely a reliable and durable backup iron sight. 

Easily made easy to deploy by using spring-loaded iron sights that can be activated by pushing a button. It is also universally compatible, being suitable for mounting on Picatinny Rail. The rear sights are also adjustable with the front sights can be adjusted for elevation and rear sights can be adjusted for windage. It provides two shooting modes with a dual aperture design for switching between CQB and Precision.

PROS

  • Affordable
  • Two mode of shooting
  • Easily adjust
  • Easy to install
  • Affordable

CONS

  • Doesn’t come with an adjusting tool

UTG Super Slim Flip-up Rear Sight

The UTG Super Slim Flip Up BUIS proved itself to be a true backup iron sights when you need it. It can co-witness with your long gun’s primary optics, accompanied by a low-profile design, it will serve you when the primary optic fails. Being incredibly lightweight, you can keep it by your side to use as a backup whenever you need it. 

It is not obstructive thanks to the low-profile design that helps it to be pushed upward by hand. The Posi-lock plunger will lock the sights in an upward position when being deployed and avoid any kind of unintentional folding. 

MNT-955 is equipped with both a large and small aiming aperture and its windage is easily adjustable thanks to an accessible thumb wheel. The MNT-755 front sight is equipped with a standard AR15 front sight post. The BUIS works great not just for MSRs, but for other weapons that have a straight sight line equipped with a 12 o’ clock Picatinny rail.

PROS

  • High quality
  • Low-profile design
  • Lightweight
  • Posi plunger lock 

CONS

  • None so far

MARMOT Flip Up Iron Sights A2 Front Sight & Rear Sight

If you use a handgun, the Marmot Flip Up Iron Sights works great with a handgun. It is fully adjustable for elevation and windage. Equipped with low-profile design just like any other backup iron sights on the market, it will lay flat folded down by pushing a button or you can manually push them down by hand.

It can work with a standard Picatinny Weaver Rail of 21.4mm and deliver both precision as well as CQB Apertures. The BUIS is made with premium and hardernded milled aluminum metal, allowing it to handle brutality. This will dramatically improve your shooting experience. It is easy to use, quick to read and easy to follow targets. 

You will have two modes to aim using this BUIS:  a dual aperture design for long range shooting and short range shooting.

PROS

  • Durable
  • Two Range Shooting
  • Easy to use
  • Adjust by button or by hand
  • Affordable

CONS

  • None so far

Dagger Defense Tactical flip up

Dagger Defense is a combat veteran owned company, so it is a good choice when it comes to finding the best backup iron sights. The tactical flip up backup iron sights that it offers are not short of quality as well. 

The BUIS are made with aluminum, not polymer, so you can assure of its durability against impact and heat. The BUIS are a low-profile set, so it offers orientation at the angle of 45 degrees on left and right. Another special feature of this BUIS is that you don’t have to use a tool to adjust windage and elevation, unlike others BUIS. 

You can use it for an AR-15 rifle and it works great with red dot optics, and you can't mount these BUIS on larger rifles. On the sideline, the black matte finish gives it a great look as well.

PROS

  • Don’t need a tool for adjustment
  • Work with large rifles and a wide range of optics
  • Aircraft-grade aluminum
  • Good customer service
  • Great quality for the price

CONS

  • A bit heavy (3.4 ounces) since it is made of good quality metal
  • Alignment of the rear sight is a bit off

What Should You Look For In Finding The Best Backup Iron Sights (BUIS)?

best backup iron sights

Fixed vs. folding BUIS

Fixed sights are tricky during use because they don’t have any moving parts, making it hard and difficult to get them out of the way. This means that your backup iron sights are not compatible to use with optics. 

On the contrary, folding BUIS, like the name implies, can be folded away when you don’t use them, which will provide better picture sights. But they can be a bit inconvenient to use. However, they make a great secondary sight.

best backup iron sights

Easy to use

Some sights will demand you to use an Allen wrench or a screwdriver if you want to make an adjustment to both the windage and elevation. And some sights are just simply difficult to mount. The best iron sights will allow you to quickly find your target and nail them. Shot adjustments can be made with little efforts if you use a proper BUIS. So you should look for backup iron sights that don’t need a lot of tools to adjust and are simple to mount since it is going to be much easier to use a BUIS in practical combat.

best backup iron sights

Gas block or same-plane

For the gas block backup iron sights, they will have a front post that is a bit longer than your back post. And this front post will be mounted higher just about 0.5 inch and it will be mounted close to the muzzle. 

As for the same-plane BUIS, they will be mounted at the same level. For the same-plane backup iron sights, it will help with accuracy since it is larger in size; therefore, making it useful to shoot accurately. But we think it’s all about personal preference, after all.

best backup iron sights

Durability

The last thing we want to mention is the durability of your BUIS. Our recommendation for picking your best BUIS is you should look for iron sights that are made out of aluminum metal, not Polymer ones. The reason for this is simple. Polymer ones aren’t particularly bad in quality – they are not heavy and convenient to install. Actually, some of the trustworthy brands like Magpul use the polymer version for their backup iron sights. Metal sights won’t break off easily and more than that, you can get the most out of your money since the metal BUIS can be usable for a long time compared to the polymers one. Plus, metal won’t melt like polymers when encountered with extreme heat. To put it simply, Polymers BUIS aren’t bad, but it is hard to put them at the same level of metal BUIS considering its durability, look and feel.

best backup iron sights

Do You Really Need Backup Iron Sights? Is It Essential For Your Guns?

best backup iron sights

Most veteran who used to use a gun in combat would agree on this: you need BUIS. The answer for this is the worst situation that can happen in a combat is your red-dot optic, or whatever optic it is, will be unable to use. Most of the optics used batteries, and during combat or battle, you don’t have batteries available in a large bulk, or your optics can go haywire. In this situation, you guns will be unable to use, so having another alternative to this can greatly help you during tough times like this. Therefore, it is safe to say that having backup iron sights are almost essential. Plus, it isn’t very heavy and incredibly easy to mount and almost compatible with any kind of gun out there so it won’t be a problem to carry it around or to use it at a quick pace. If the battery dies, you will have something alternative to your primary optics in a hectic situation. To sum up, we can confidently say that you need backup iron sights to work as a plan B in case your optics go haywire. But just how important is your backup iron sights? 

You can watch this video to find out how much it will change your shooting experience without it:

Conclusion: My Top Pick For Best Backup Iron Sights

Now having reviewed everything that you need to know about backup iron sights, it’s time to look through some of the backup iron sights that we think are the best backup iron sights for your money. We have carefully considered all the factors that made up the BUIS, its quality and ultimately, its price range so you can have a better idea on which backup iron sights are the best for you. All the BUIS listed below are your top picks for BUIS according to its different usage.

1

Best high-end premium backup iron sights for shooting in medium and long range

2

Best overall backup iron sights for your money

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3

Best affordable backup iron sights for mid-range price 

4

Best overall backup iron sights for your budget 

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  • Best high-end premium backup iron sights for shooting in medium and long range: Troy Industries Micro HK Style Front and Rear Folding Battle Sight although is the most expensive BUIS on the list, but its quality is not overpriced. Made with premium metal, not your regular polymer, these backup iron sights allow you to shoot effectively in a medium to long range (300 to 600 yards), which is far more than what your regular backup iron sights offer. Accommodate with all the standard features that you would normally find in a backup iron sights, this BUIS from Troy Industries is simply the premium option for you!
  • Best overall backup iron sights for your money: Magpul Industries MBUS Generation II is made from Magpul, which is already a reputable brand for making gun accessories, so you can assure of its quality. Although it uses polymer as the material for its backup sights, it is a durable and lightweight polymer so you can easily use, mount it and carry it around, suitable for quick deployment and combat. 
  • Best affordable backup iron sights for mid-range price: Overall, we think that the MaTech Mil-Spec Back-up Iron Sight (B.U.I.S) is the best backup iron sights in an affordable price range. Comes with almost everything you needed in a backup iron sights, it can provide a decent experience in shooting as well as can be used as a single sight or pair with an optic.
  • Best overall backup iron sights for your budget: The Magpul MBUS Flip-Up Backup Sights version has the same decent quality like the previous Magpul BUIS on the list; however, it comes in an affordable price range so for those who doesn't want to spend a lot on a BUIS still comfortably purchase this one as an alternative to the premium Magpul.
  • Best whole package backup iron sights: Tacticon Armament Flip Up Iron Sights not only has everything you need, but a plus to this backup iron sights is that it comes with a wooden box, a set of adjustment tool and some ammunition, which is something that most backup iron sights on the list won’t have. This allows convenience during usage and adjustment.

Honestly, in our opinion, every backup iron sights on this list are almost top-tier to each other and they all have special perks and features. But we know that every person will have their special needs of their preferred BUIS so this list will only serve as a recommendation. Also, be careful of knocks off online when purchasing online. We hope that after reading our review, you can already have a grasp of what you need in your best backup iron sights!

  • Don't forget to share your thoughts about best backup iron sights at the comment box below!

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