Iron sights are still fun.

LMT MARS-L lower with Colt SOCOM upper.

Every so often I get the desire to build or buy a carbine with an A2 upper so I would have fixed iron sights. But every time I think about it, I realize it would be just like throwing a carry handle on a current upper I own. Without the option of being able to take the carry handle off when I want to run an optic. So I started leaving a gun set up with a carry handle.

Maybe, someday, when I have more money and places to put stuff, I’ll get a carbine with an A2 upper.


  1. My favorite iron sights are on my M1A. I have the NM aperture and the narrow front blade. Kids are amazed at the groups I can throw down with that rifle.

    “But, but, we heard the M1A/M14 sucked!?”

    “But, but, it isn’t a scoped rifle!”

    “But, but… you’re an old guy!”

    • I think the M1A is best with irons. Back when I had M1A rifles it seemed like mounting a scope ended up making it just an awkward affair.

      • The M1A is my favorite 7.62 service rifle, because of how it fits me and how it handles.

        After a bit more experience working on the Garand-derived gas-operated rifles, I’ve come to an opinion that they’re a rifle that requires (not “likes best” but “requires”) the ammo for which they were designed, lest you have op-rod issues and so on.

        But when you’re using those rifles with the ammo that was issued with them, and you do your part, the rifles stand and deliver, the M1A especially.

        That said, a modern AR that is all slicked up can shoot more accurately than the Garand-type rifles. But that’s a whole ‘nuther topic… I just like the M1A because it fits me, I shoot it well, I like the way it handles. The other rifle that I like in .308 is a Browning BLR, but with buckhorn sights. It leaps to my shoulder and I can hit a ‘yote on the run with that rifle, like shooting a clay on a trap range with a shotgun. The older I get, the more particular I am about gun fit, and the BLR is the best fitting factory rifle I’ve ever held, followed by the M1A.

  2. I did one on an A1 upper like the GUU5P I used to carry. If it’s a dedicated, fixed sight carbine you can’t beat the old A1 uppers (w/ an A2 aperture) in my humble opinion.


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