Firearm & Gun Forum -

Firearm & Gun Forum - (
-   AR-15 Discussion (
-   -   Concerning "Co-Witnessing" Optics: is it necessary? (

Rigor 07-26-2011 09:28 PM

Concerning "Co-Witnessing" Optics: is it necessary?
As much as I love adding extra weight to my rifle, I just can't decide whether or not it's really worth it to utilize an optical sight as well as BUIS. While I have little experience with the AR platform compared to most of you gentlemen, I understand the concept of "ounces are pounds, pounds are a pain." If you already have a reliable optical sight, is it really necessary to have a pair of irons on the gun as well, and vice versa? I get that people wanna be prepared in case the battery runs out or there's some sort of technical malfunction, but that can't be common at all! I personally would prefer having one designated aiming device instead of two. It saves weight and money, I can train twice as hard with it, and in my humble opinion the rifle looks more streamlined and sophisticated.

I'm sure co-witnessing or some form of it is quite common among you guys. Can someone please explain to me why it's so popular? Thank you.

Quentin 07-26-2011 09:34 PM

Comes down to the two is one and one is none philosophy. Things break and backup irons can save your butt. Of course the recent torture test of a Daniel Defense M4 also proved the Aimpoint micro is tough as nails and probably not going to break. Its batteries last forever too.

As far as cowitnessing, why not if you have optics and BUIS. I do on both my ARs. Irons are not heavy, especially the MBUS models.

JonM 07-26-2011 09:40 PM

im of the opinion optics are totally unneccessary in a combat rifle. just adds weight. i prefer iron sights as my personal training is oriented around their use. im also of the opinion optics are just a crutch for the untrained.

other folks obviously have a different opinion.

nothing wrong with using em if thats what ya want. how much weight and reliance you want on electronics is up to you.

Rigor 07-26-2011 10:05 PM

thanks for the replies. do you think the LWRC Skirmish Sights are a good buy, all pricetags aside?

JonM 07-27-2011 01:16 AM

they appear sturdy enough from the pics. never seen any in person. if you get a set of sights whatever the make make sure they are the right size for your front gas block height if you dont have a one piece rail. if you do have a one piece rail make sure they are correct height for the rail.

Sniper03 07-27-2011 01:25 AM


As Jon stated the number one most important sight on a tactical or self defense rifle is the "Iron Sights". If a person does put an Optic on the weapon it is my belief that they should have co-witness capabilities should the optic fail. We would like to think that it would never happen, but may I remind you Murphy is alive and well! And when least expected especially in a rigorous application it could happen to the Optic causing the OH SH--T response and could cost you dearly maybe your life. So Irons always on a tactical or defense AR and Optics if you can co-witness or if they fail you are able to implement the iron sights readily.


mjkeat 07-27-2011 01:57 AM

I disagree. Iron sights are very important and should remain on all firearms but from my experiences a good optic such as an Aimpoint is a vast improvement. A RDS is much faster on target and takes out the majority of the guess work making it more accurate in the long run. Not only that but a RDS allows both eyes open target acquisition allowing for better field of view making it faster to pick up your next target.

I would trust my life to an optic and have. With the technology they are very reliable and extremely rugged. I have personally never seen an Aimpoint or Trijicon fail. To add, a RDS in the hands of a trained person is a thing of beauty. As far as a crutch I strongly disagree. Is there such a thing as a crutch when your life is on the line? Why rely on old tech. when theres something stronger, better, faster available? Weight? How much does a H/T1 weight? Maybe a few onces? I hardly see that as a factor.

EW1066 07-29-2011 09:21 PM

If your rifle is just a range toy and nothing more, leave the irons off. If, however, you are going to use your rifle for self/home defense, it is my opinion that you should have irons.

I personally believe that the nomenclature of sights and optics is WRONG. Instead of optics being considered the "primary" sighting device and the irons being relegated to "backup" status. The Irons should ALWAYS be considered "primary" and the optics should instead be considered the "enhanced" sighting system.


Wambli 08-02-2011 07:21 PM

And here is the dissenting vote. If electronic sights are not that good an option then how come just about every military unit (SPECIALLY ELITE UNITS) run them. I personally have AIMPOINT, EOTECH and Trijicon red dots on my rifles and I have to say I can't recall the last time I saw a military grade red dot bite the big one. BUT IF IT DID, I guess BUIS would be nice to have (I have them in my SBR) but why not just practice shooting with the dot off. My drills all include dead red dot setups and it's not very hard to center punch anything within 50 yards COM by just centering the target in the optics. And while we are at it irons are all but useless as soon as the light gets a little dim, so you would not catch me dead with a HD setup that relies solely on irons.

BTW I hate truly co-witnessing sights. Anything that interferes with my clean sight picture on my red dots is just irritating to me. My rear BUIS fold down neatly out of the way and the red dot is on a rail elevated enough that my standard front sight is just barely on the bottom of my EOTECH.

JonM 08-02-2011 09:16 PM


Originally Posted by Wambli (Post 554757)
And here is the dissenting vote. If electronic sights are not that good an option then how come just about every military unit (SPECIALLY ELITE UNITS) run them.

thats a false argument. military weapon system history is replete with bad choices and ill thought out ideas. just two of numerous examples:

1960's air to air missiles almost work and the pentagon decides to take guns off aircraft as they are "no longer needed"

1940's m4 sherman gasoline engines are easier to service than safer non explosive diesal engines. earning the nickname ronsons for the tank design.

just cuz the military does it doesnt lways equate with a wise choice.

All times are GMT. The time now is 12:17 AM.

Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.