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XS Sights' Offset Iron Sights and BUIS Rifle Sights

Even if you have excellent electronic or traditional optics, there is no substitute for some good iron sights. XS Sights makes some of the best backup and offset iron sights you can find.

XS Sights' Offset Iron Sights and BUIS Rifle Sights

From ARs to lever guns, quality irons from XS Sights make every carbine better.

We live in an era when many, perhaps even most, rifle shooters have limited experience with iron sights. Optics reign supreme, and for good reason, but they only represent part of the equation. There is still a role to play for iron sights on a general-purpose carbine whether it is designed for self-defense or sport. Users unfamiliar with good irons would likely be surprised at how accurate, versatile, and fast they can be if properly designed. For two decades, one company has become synonymous with producing high-quality sights for rifles and carbines: Fort Worth, Texas-based XS Sights. I have long been a user of XS Sights on handguns after being introduced to them during a force-on-force class many years ago. During that training, many of the students in the course realized that under the stress of even a simulated combat scenario, it was easy to forget about sight picture. Unlike more traditional handgun iron sights, the oversized front dot found on the XS Sights was highly visible and led to better student outcomes. Weeks later, all my carry guns wore XS Sights.

This experience gave the company credibility in my eyes so, when I encountered their rifle sights, I took notice. I quickly realized that the company’s various long-gun products were as useful and well-made as what I’d used on handguns. XS carbine products range from duty-focused sights ideal for military and law enforcement to self-defense and competition and hunting needs. XS Sights’ CSAT is a product developed in close collaboration with special operations veteran Paul Howe. Howe saw the need for a sight that would allow rapid transitions between close- and long-range targets without the shooter taking their hands off the weapon. XS Sights’ solution was to combine a traditional carbine aperture with a slot milled into the flat top of the blade. For medium- to long-range shots, the shooter uses the aperture. If a close-range shot presents itself, the shooter simply uses the open rear notch. The visual transition takes a fraction of a second.

The CSAT is available in several configurations. On my go-to carbine, I chose the flip-up front and rear sights that combine the CSAT rear with a front tritium post. If your carbine already has iron sights, XS Sights builds an add-on solution that replaces your mil-spec front and rear sights with the CSAT rear and front tritium combination. The CSAT isn’t the only product designed for carbine use. XS Sights’ XTI2 sights provide an innovative solution for optic-equipped carbines. The XTI2 places a front and rear express-style sight system on the carbine’s rail, with the sight plane offset 45 degrees from the 12 o’clock position. For longer or more precise shots, the shooter uses the optic of their choice. For closer-range needs, or if the optic fails, the carbine is simply rotated slightly, and the iron sights become visible.

xs-sights-offset-rifle-irons-02
The express sight system combined with customizable front sights allows for fast target aquisition.

Nineteenth century British gunmakers devised the express sight system as the ultimate solution for the big game hunting needs of the era. Dangerous game hunters in Africa and India quickly adopted the shallow rear notch and large front bead as life-saving assets. This technology is still used today on rifles designed to stop the largest and most dangerous game animals on the planet. Using the same express sight principle, the XTI2 is lightning fast and simple to use, making it ideal for 3-Gun or tactical use. As a hunter, I use a variety of rifles and carbines depending on the game and terrain I’m dealing with. For more than a decade, my primary tool for thick brushy environments has been a Marlin 1895G Guide Gun chambered in .45-70. I immediately ditched the fragile factory sights and installed an aperture sight system from XS Sights. This setup combines an adjustable rear aperture with a white line front post. It is incredibly fast and accurate and ideal for bad weather where glass optics can struggle. The carbine has banged around in trucks and been dropped on rocks all over the U.S., yet the zero of its XS Sights has never wandered. Upgraded hunting sights are available for rifles and carbines from 20 different manufacturers, including Remington, Savage, Winchester, and Ruger.

If an optic is desired on a hunting carbine, a full-length Picatinny-style rail available from XS Sights provides a rigid and repeatable mounting surface. Due to the length of the rail, users can mount traditional magnified optics, unmagnified optics such as red dots, and even Scout-style extended eye relief riflescopes. An aperture rear sight fits into the rear of the rail so, even with an optic, there is still a durable iron sight system available. Today’s rifles, optics, and ammunition are capable of exceptional performance. In the hunting world, taking game animals at hundreds and hundreds of yards has become commonplace. To me, what’s lost in all this wonderful technology is the essence of the hunt, the art of the stalk. Ethically, we border on simply becoming killers instead of hunters. Instead of bragging about how far away we can take game, I encourage an approach where, as sportsmen, we see how close we can get. There is something inherently satisfying about stalking close to an animal and taking it cleanly with iron sights. On many of my rifles, those wonderful irons come from XS Sights. Iron sights don’t run out of batteries, they don’t fog-up, and they are extremely difficult to break. Today’s optics are fantastic, but they are far from infallible. Whether you choose irons as a primary or backup sighting solution on your hunting, self-defense, or duty carbine, XS has your needs covered. In my experience, the company’s CSAT, XTI2, and hunting rifle products have few, if any, peers in the marketplace.




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