Preppers: It’s Time to Ditch the Iron-Sights-Only Builds
A recent reddit post made me want to reach through my screen and shake the author. This particular issue comes up so often in survival circles, and it drives me batty:
For as long as I’ve had my AR, I’ve kept it equipped with iron sights only, on the theory that I didn’t want to rely on a battery-operated sight. That’s still true, but I’m rethinking my original choices and considering a scope or fiber optic sight. So, my question is two-fold:
- Would you recommend iron sights, some form of fiber optic sight, a scope of whatever type, or a combination?
- For scopes or fiber optic sights, what model do you recommend that performs well between 100 and 300 yards and won’t break the bank?
Good for this guy. He seems to have finally woken up to the fact that an iron-sights-only build for TSHTF is suicide.
Let’s stop and think about this for a moment — really think about it:
The batteries on many modern red dot sights last for 5 years of continuous use. If you somehow manage to survive for five years in a world that is so collapsed that common batteries are no longer in production, then congratulations, Snake Plissken, you now have your pick of iron sights that are laying around, as well as your pick of pretty much every other product of our once-advanced civilization.
And another thing: five years into TEOTWAWKI your gun is way more likely to be out of ammo than your RDS is to be out of juice.
I put it this way in an earlier post:
And for God’s sake just pick the best tools for the immediate job at hand without worrying about whether or not the batteries will last another 20 years. You’ll need every technological advantage, no matter how fragile and/or short-lived that technology may seem, to fight your way through this temporary phase. If you can afford some good night-vision equipment, then by all means add it to your Phase 1 load-out and quit worrying about whether your grandchildren will still be able to use it to defend the homestead.
People who limit their SHTF firepower options solely to weapons systems that they think will be fully viable 50 years from now have just handicapped themselves when it comes to surviving the first few years after rule of law breaks down. If society totally collapses, and there’s fighting in the streets, then you know who’s going to get the post-SHTF benefit of your ultra-durable, no-electronics-anywhere SHTF gun? The guy with the fully modern, electronically advanced, tricked out blaster who just ventilated you and looted your Rawhide relic off your corpse for a trophy.
Oh, what about an EMP, you say? Buy a Trijicon. Yep, I know the tritium fades after 5 years, but again, see the arguments above.
By all means, put some collapsible back-up iron sights (BUIS) on your gun if it makes you feel better. But if you plan to survive the initial breakdown, then you’d better bring your A game and the best, most advanced optics and accessories you can afford–anything to give you an edge over the other guy. Save the cowboy action for competitions and historical re-enactments.
Update: Just to be clear, I support the use of back-up iron sights, and I personally have KAC flip-ups on all three of my ARs. I’m talking more about iron-sights-only builds, and I’ve edited the title to make that clearer.