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Should I Remove the Front Sight on an Ar-15? Pros and Cons

If you want to remove the front sight, there is a lot more to consider than just removing the sight itself. This article will break down some of those considerations and help you make an informed decision on whether or not removing the front sight on your AR-15 is right for you.

You can remove the front sight on an AR-15, but you won’t be able to put it back on. The front sight post and gas block are pinned together, so if you remove one or the other, you will have a hole where there used to be two pieces.

One of the most common AR-15 upgrades is to remove the front sight. There are pros and cons to this, as there are with any modification, so we thought we would take a look at some of them here:

The Pros Of Removing The Ar-15 Front Sight

  • Less weight on the front end.
  • Less bulk—especially if you are running a suppressor.
  • Clean up your line of sight.
  • Cleaner look.

Less Weight On The Front End

Less weight in the front means more weight in the rear. This is a good thing because it helps balance out your rifle and reduces recoil. A heavier barrel can also mean less muzzle rise, which can improve accuracy and speed of target acquisition.

Less Bulk- Especially If You Are Running A Suppressor

  • The front sight of an AR-15 is a bulky piece of metal that sticks out about an inch and a half from the end of the barrel.
  • This can be a problem if you’re trying to conceal your rifle, or if you have very small hands and need something to hold on to when shooting.

You won’t have to worry about accidentally breaking off your front sight while cleaning your rifle, which has happened before. You’ll also save money because replacing this piece isn’t cheap!

Clean up your line of sight

If you don’t plan on using your front sight, and it’s not something that you’re used to seeing in your line of sight, then removing it can help improve the look of your rifle.

Removing the front sight is also a good way to keep it from getting damaged if something were ever dropped on top of it (which could happen if you leave it exposed).

If you want to remove the front sight, then I recommend going with a Picatinny rail in conjunction with a flip-up rear sight or red dot optic. Removing the front sight will clean up your rifle’s appearance and make it less cluttered looking.

If you have no plans for using iron sights, then there really isn’t any reason why they should be kept around other than personal preference—and even so, I’d prefer having them as backup in case my electronic sights fail me.

If you want to keep an unaltered AR15 with iron sights as purely an emergency rifle or just for recreational purposes and aren’t worried about losing potential accuracy due to parallax issues from varying distances (which is hardly noticeable when shooting), then feel free!

Cleaner look

When you remove the front sight post, you’re left with a relatively flat top and bottom of your barrel. This can make your rifle look much cleaner and more streamlined, especially if you’re running a suppressor or other accessories like a front sling mount or optics.

I use either Brownells, Palmetto State Armory, or Optics Planet to buy parts, that way I always know what I’m getting and that it will actually show up.

The Cons Of Removing The Ar-15 Front Sight

If you do decide to remove your front sight, you’ll have to rely on the red dot sight for all combat shooting. If the battery dies and you don’t have a spare handy—or if your optic breaks and there’s no way of repairing it—you’re out of luck!

  • You won’t be able to use any other sighting method.
  • This can really hurt in a high-stress situation.

Some people like how their AR-15 looks with its original iron sights removed and replaced with an optic, but others prefer the classic look of an AR-15 over something more modern or tactical looking (depending on what kind of AR-15 build you’re doing).

Removing both sights might not be right for everyone; consider what kind of look works best for you before going down this road!

Here’s a video showing how to remove the front sight, but I suggest reading through the rest of the cons before doing this:

You May Want To Use The Iron Sights Once In A While

You may want to use the iron sights once in a while or even as a backup if your red dot dies. While it is possible to put the front sight back on, it’s not easy and will require some tools. You can’t do this after removing it so make sure you’re okay with losing that option forever before proceeding.

  • You may need to use the iron sights if your red dot breaks or stops working at some point (it happens).
  • If this happens, there is no way to go back and put them back.
  • If you don’t want anything but an optic on top of your rifle then it’s probably best not to remove them in the first place!

It Looks Less “Retro” And More Tactical/Modern (If That Is An Issue For You)

If you’re looking for a simple way to speed up your sight picture and make the gun look more tactical or modern, removing the front sight is an easy solution. It will also help you with weight reduction and cleaning up your line of sight.

For some people, this might be an important consideration if they plan on shooting competitions where everything needs to be reduced as much as possible (this also makes sense in terms of competition costs).

Only Remove The Front Sight If You Don’t Plan On Using It Much (Or At All).

If you’re planning on shooting your AR-15 in a competition or at the range, it might be worth removing the front sight so that the line of sight is cleaner. Obviously, there are pros and cons to this decision.

On one hand, if you don’t plan on using it much (or at all), then why have it hanging out there? On the other hand, having a visible front sight can help with quick target acquisition and improving accuracy.

Do You Need Front And Rear Sights For Ar-15?

As a general rule, you should always use both front and rear sights when shooting your AR-15. While there are exceptions to this rule (such as in competition), having both front and rear sights is just a good idea for most situations.

The purpose of the front sight is to help you align your target with the barrel of your rifle; if you don’t have one, it will be much harder to hit anything accurately while shooting at range or in competition.


The AR-15 is a very versatile weapon, but these are just some of the reasons why you might want to consider removing your front sight. If you don’t plan on using it much (or at all), then go ahead and remove it!

Just remember that there is no going back once you do this because there isn’t anything else in place like on an AK47 or M16 where they have multiple sights built into one unit so if you need to go back and put them back later down the road, they will fit right onto the rail without any problems.