Alright guys and girls;
A regular question that gets asked a lot is how to best set up your BAP’s with optics. There are several options, we’ll try and give you the pros and cons of each;
the first option is to run a Micro-type or RMR style sight directly on the rail. This gives you the the height over bore the gun was designed for and gets you real tight behind the gun (which might be good or bad depending on your shooting style.) The two biggest drawbacks are from co-witnessing of the sight. Depending on which optic you use ( Aimpoint micro, Vortex SPARC II, RMR) you may or may not be able to actually co-witness through both sights. You can use the front sight alone in a pinch, and the gun is pretty accurate out to at least 50 yards this way, even more if you know how to index the top of the rear sight with the front this way (called shooting the notch.) The other problem being that even if you can co-witness, you will find your field of view to be quite busy. There is no lower third co-witness with this gun; you will be looking directly through the front sight. Some guys have trained like this, and don’t find it much of a hindrance, but to each his own.
The next option is to run a low mount riser, which would still be lower than your standard AR height riser. the guys that want to run an eotech directly on the rail will fall into this category. Co-witnessing is out, but this will allow you to loosen up your cheek weld on the gun, which may be a more fluid position for shooting on the move. The sight picture is better than the previous version, but you might still find the top part of the front sight in your field of view, which might be an annoyance. If you think it might, we can also cut the top half of the front sight post to clear your field of view. This was a fairly common practice in the early days when optics and these guns were put together for the first time. Be warned however, regardless of how high we cut it, your front sight blade is exposed and my get damaged, and the open circle does introduce something else to snag gear on.
The last of the standard options to to run a 3″ over bore AR style riser with your optic. This allows for very fluid movement when shooting, and isn’t a huge hindrance since the mechanical offset is identical to your ARs. The front sight is of course blocked, but we have found a solution for that.Available as an option with our guns is an aluminum .83″ riser with a peep sight hole, that allows use of the irons if need be. The extra charge for this marvel is $19.95, and with the picatinny railed top will be compatible with anything you decide to run. For those of you that crave the reliability and price that name brands command, their is a daniel defense model that does the same thing. Its price is $69.99, and is only compatible with the Aimpoint micro, or another optic with an identical mounting pattern.
The only real downside to this set up is the need to adjust your cheek weld to use your open sights (which is a little slower than when your co-witnessing) and that an eotech style optic with an integrated riser height is going to put your optic pretty high, much higher than we prefer. But, if you can handle shooting 4″ low all the time and can adjust for it, this might be for you.
the last option worth mentioning is definitely a custom set up, but with its success in the AR world, might be the best fit for shooters used to it; the full length rail. We chop the front sight completely off, round out the base to give it a nice clean look, and run a full length rail from stem to stern, which would include not installing the rear sight base and consequently, the rear sight. From there, the sky is the limit. There are several models of flip up and fixed sights out there, and several of them with the diopter (ringed) front sight, and now you can run whatever optic at whatever height is your preference, with out any concern about blocking sight picture. Those of you shooting C-grip on your ARs with a light on top will love this set up, as it seems the gun was made for it.Of course, its not a perfect solution. One of course, is cost. We do charge a nominal fee ($50.00) for this set up, which is fairly small compared to our MSRP but worth considering. The main draw back is from the utilization of your back up sights; there is nothing on the market that will get you as low to the bore as the original sights do. That is something we are working on, but in the mean time it’s not an option. The other draw back is from the rear back up sight; There are no flip up barrel style sights on the market that we know of (again, yet.) All those back up sights are rifle sight, which will give you an unnecessarily small field of view, as this gun was never designed to shoot out to 200 yards (which it actually can fairly easily.) This shouldn’t be too much of an issue however, as many sights on the market have two apertures on them, which still work fairly well.
There is another option worth mentioning, however we have yet to try it. With a little machining, we can change the rear sight base to accept an RMR style sight, which could then be used as the rear in the event you want/need to run the irons. This will give you the same busy sight picture as the first one, but might be a perfect set up for some of you out there. We like the RMR concept, but personally are waiting for a few more years of development and testing to improve reliability.
We are always looking for other solutions to this conundrum, and are always interested in hearing your thoughts. Give us a ring or send us an email, we’ll try anything if it means getting you a better gun.
Here are some pics of the peep sight set up on my personal gun. I am a fan