How To Install M16A1 Iron Sights by MrGunsNGear

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I’ve got a build that’s been percolating through my brain housing group for the last year. I’m not all about the whole “retro” scene but some of the old guns truly had the right idea. With the veritable plethora of tactical accessories on the market, rifles designed for modularity have a tendency to get heavy through the items needed to mount said modular accessories.

I’ve been obsessed with Nodak Spud’s “retro” trigger-style AR-15 upper receiver, which puts the charging handle where it should have been on an AR-15 (at least prior to optics) but it uses an M16A1 style iron sight. The A1 style is perfectly usable, but I was not familiar with how to actually install the system, as my basis of reference is the A2 style found on our USMC M16A2 and A4’s.

Thus, I am thrilled to see the video posted by MrGunsNGear using one of Brownell’s A1 style upper receivers. Installation is actually quite easy, done in just a few minutes. With fewer parts than the A2 sight, the A1 is almost a snap, just needing a second set of hands to install the roll pin easily.

Tools needed include a:

  1. Vice
  2. Upper Receiver Vice Block
  3. Flat Head Screwdriver
  4. Punch
  5. Pliers / Vice Grips

Hit the video below and build up your ‘smithing knowledge.



Nathan S.

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

Nathan can be reached at Nathan.S@TheFirearmBlog.com

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


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  • Gary Kirk

    Yeah, the A1s are much easier than the A2s.. Make sure you use an A1 aperture though, gotta be legit..