Can Iron Sights Be BAMF? Scalarworks Makes a Compelling Case

In the world of modern optics and the plethora of options available to the shooter, it’s understandable that iron sights have lost design and manufacturing momentum. With Magpul’s and other fully usable, though perhaps a bit flimsy, polymer sight options few companies have put work into creating beautiful and usable irons. I mean, it seems like the industry stopped innovating afters A.R.M.S.’ folding FSB.

Fortunately for us shooters with a deference to aesthetics, Scalarworks, known for their ultra-light optics mounts, is taking a break from optics and looking back to iron sights. Teased on their Facebook and Instagram pages, the named OPS/Fixed sights combine the ultra-light aesthetic with a bit of a modern twist – literally.

Instead of sticking with just the “standard” AR-15 front sight post, Scalarworks is using a thumbwheel adjustment so one can quickly and easily adjust their elevation. For windage, users are treated to a subset machined dish that deliberate fingers can move without the obnoxious “A2” style windage knob taking up critical vision. The rear sight aperture does look to be the standard O-2 open and precision part, though I will forgive Scalarworks for that choice as its a great design and part.

Prcing is still TBD, but I will preliminary give Scalarworks my completely arbitrary iron sight BAMF status.

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.

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


  • xebat


  • Major Tom

    Well iron sights are a BAMF. They’re simple to use, accurate and precise, are sometimes very difficult to lose zero, require no batteries or chemicals or radioisotopes to function, can be very easily repaired or replaced and best of all they come standard or inexpensively.

    Sure optics may do one or potentially several of those better but never all of them.

    • PK

      The advantage optics give is enormous, which is why military units around the world use them. Depending on the exact needs, private owners may or may not need optics.

      The empirical advantage aside, I’ll always have a soft spot for iron sights. Heck, they’ve been around on firearms for at least 700 years now!

      • nova3930

        I love my optics, but for CYA I’ll always keep a good set of irons on my rifles.

        • Wow!

          Or you can have both, as God intended.

  • DIR911911 .

    ED: Geez man you can’t use that language!

  • Spencerhut

    Those look good. I hope they use a standard front sight post and have only changed the adjustment method, that would be cool. Since we know the rear is a standard aperture I can’t imagine why the front would be some custom job. Being able to swap out the front post with tritium or fiber is a good thing.

  • MrBrassporkchop

    Damn I just bought an LMT rear sight.

    Oh well.

  • Offeet irons was a pretty good innovation in the last 5 years…

  • USMC03Vet

    I like to flip. Sorry, Bruv.

  • A.WChuck

    Any way to lock the dials once adjusted? Otherwise “fun” will ensue when you need the sights the most.

    • FOC Ewe

      Plastidip that sucker!

      • Russ Kell

        JB Weld for us hillbillies.

    • Anonymoose

      It looks harder to screw up than an A2 sight, and most people who use A2 sights have no complaints about them. I think the main reason a lot of BUIS setups are A1-derived is because they are easier to manufacture and present a lower-profile. Click-adjustable sights seem to work just fine for just about every military that uses modern AR15-based platforms (with the exception of old carry handle C7s and the HK416 with its diopter rear sight).

  • kregano

    If these had been on the market for $60 combined, I might’ve picked them up for my old man’s AR build, instead of getting an upper with a front sight block and an MBUS rear sight.

    • PK

      Agreed, if they’re anywhere around that price I’ll certainly try them.

  • PK

    I love the look and the designed function of these! If the price is right, I’ll have to try some out.

  • iksnilol

    But I like the obnoxious knob on the side.

    • Norm Glitz

      I had a hard time wrapping my mind around the remotest possibility that anyone could even think about finding such an unobtrusive bit of hardware obnoxious.

  • William

    I put irons on my “FU…that’s why” SBR and I deeply love the result. Its not the most “tactical” setup, but it’s a ton of fun to shoot.

    • PK

      I’m getting a real neo-90s feel from that. Nice setup, aesthetically!

      • JumpIf NotZero

        Weird because not much there even existed in the 90s.

        • PK

          Hence “neo”. I don’t know what it is, but something about that strikes me as early-90s in flavor. Today’s equivalent, perhaps, but the same rugged simplicity.

    • Core

      Iron sights are fast and precise. What do you think we used before those Aimpoints were built reliably? Iron sights are BAMF. And Scalarworks produces outstanding mounts. I might have to replace my rear Matech with one of these…

  • Uniform223

    I still have irons on my 6920. I have my red dot coalesce with my iron sights just in case. That being said…

  • Okay, now we just need a carrying handle front sight and we’ll be set.

  • int19h

    Is there really a need for sights to be finger adjustible? It feels like any system that allows for that also offers the opportunity to adjust inadvertently; and it’s not something that you’re supposed to do a lot anyway.

    A1 rear sight is pretty much perfect in that regard – no tool required other than a bullet tip, easy to adjust when you want it to, impossible when you don’t.

  • Threethreeight

    Ugh, irons are so passé. Just buy a 1-6 and move on with your lives.

  • Blake

    Ghost ring for me. Once you’ve spent an afternoon at the range blasting away with a dialed-in Skinner setup you start to wonder why you ever messed with any other kind of iron sights. I’ve never shot anything that felt more natural.

    It makes aiming my Henry small game carbine at 25yd steel popper targets feel almost like pointing a shotgun:
    – focus on front sight
    – cover target with front sight bead
    – bang
    – congrats, you hit the target. every single damn time, unless you weren’t 100% mentally dialed-in when you pulled the trigger

  • Today on TFB: Gluteal Degeneracy, Oedipal Complexes, and Iron Sights

  • Sledgecrowbar

    TL;DR: Clamp-on rear fixed irons that look like an FSB. If this week in gun news is anything to go by, it’ll be only $250.

  • mazkact

    Am I the only ole fart that had to google B.A.M.F ?

    • Tom

      Afraid not.

    • JT Wise

      Not even close

    • Wow!

      *raises hand*
      I don’t think I am that old, but I am out of the loop.

  • Norm Glitz

    Anyone who’s shot NRA or CMP high power service rifles before last year is familiar with very precision iron sights out to 600 yards. I was typically the only one on a range without some kind of glass optic and shooting offhand at 200 yards. Or maybe prone without a bipod or sandbag.

    Why before last year? Because that’s when the CMP caved and allowed scopes up to 4.5X. Why they didn’t specify military type optics is beyond me. They’re supposed to be “service” rifles after all.

  • Pistolero

    OK, I googled BAMF and didn’t see a single thing that had anything to do with gun sights.

  • Repoman3737

    I’m sick of people using these abreviations for things and assuming everyone knows what the letters stand for. Atleast once it should be mentioned what the acronym (think thats right) stands for. I hate having to stop mid story to google a new clever acronym or the newest milenial shorthand so I can understand what’s being talked about. I’m 43 but some days I feel 70 when I don’t get the kids language. Also if BAMF means Bad A$$ Mother F#c#er it doesn’t make sense describing a set of sights.