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Discussion Starter #1
About six years ago I bought my Bushmaster AR15A3 carbine. I didn't think much about optics at the time. Now I wish I didn't buy one with a front sight. I took the upper, minus the handle, to a friends house to fit it with a red dot he wanted to sell.

When I looked through the optic the red dot was squarely on the top of the front sight. Something I never anticipated when I bought the AR. Now I wish I bought any of the other models with out the front sight.
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When I tried a 1-8 with a BDC reticle he had that sealed it. Nearly all of the BDC reticle was blocked by the front sight which made range estimate impossible. I realize the front sight would nearly disappear at 8 power but it would be a distraction at low power.

The next step was to decide on removing the front sight and replacing it with a low profile gas block or get a new upper. I decided on a new upper from Midway. A budget upper including BCG for $229.00, the AR-Stoner.

I didn't want to spend more for an upper than I did for the AR. What it lacks is the chrome lined barrel. I thought about that and decided since all of my other rifles I shoot regularly don't have the chrome lining this won't be a factor in getting this one.

After I got the upper I mounted a Vortex Strike Eagle 1-8x24. I found a deal online for the scope and Vortex 30mm cantilever mount for $299.99, no tax and free shipping.

So now I have the AR that I should have started out with.

A video made by mixup98 also helped me decide to get this upper.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That's an idea. I don't expect an AR to give precision results because it wasn't designed for precision shooting.

The guy in the video got an MOA group with PMC ammo on a bench. In a high stress situations without a bench MOA groups are less important than center mass hits.
 

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Just cut the sight post off and grind it smooth. Then you can free float the barrel too.
Yep.

10 minutes with a Dremel and that post is gone.

Personally, I like the cowitness with the front sight and a red dot. I’ve found I really don’t see it unless I want to see it...but then again, I shoot with both eyes open. All I see is the dot superimposed on the target unless I concentrate on seeing the FSP.
 

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Yep.

10 minutes with a Dremel and that post is gone.

Personally, I like the cowitness with the front sight and a red dot. I’ve found I really don’t see it unless I want to see it...but then again, I shoot with both eyes open. All I see is the dot superimposed on the target unless I concentrate on seeing the FSP.
It's a little more annoying with a variable power scope on about 3x. 6x and higher though you won't even see the post.
 

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That's an idea. I don't expect an AR to give precision results because it wasn't designed for precision shooting.

The guy in the video got an MOA group with PMC ammo on a bench. In a high stress situations without a bench MOA groups are less important than center mass hits.
You'd be surprised what most will shoot if you take the time to try different loads though.
 

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I've got a 2-8x on mine, and it took a tad bit of getting used to, but I don't mind. Then again, I still want the front sight post.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I've had the upper for a week and I am more convinced that I made the right move with the budget upper. Target acquisition is faster and without distraction of the front sight. I'll keep the Bushmaster upper and I am sure I'll have a use for it.
 

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I just added a reciprocating cheek weld from LaRue to my 10 to compensate for optics. The scope is mounted higher so it doesn't co-witness and the cheek weld makes it fit well. I wanted to keep the front post though. Reminds me of the M16 I used to carry.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
 

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I've had the upper for a week and I am more convinced that I made the right move with the budget upper. Target acquisition is faster and without distraction of the front sight. I'll keep the Bushmaster upper and I am sure I'll have a use for it.
Practice some more with it - see if you can't get your brain/eyes to blow through that FSB: the dot is target-focus, so after a bit of acclimation, most shooters are able to get their brain/eyes to re-work the equation.

Was your setup with the RDS a lower-1/3? That might help, too.

The good thing about having that FSB in there with the dot's window is just that: in case the dot goes down, that FSB really helps frame the shot. While most average-and-above shooters can easily make CQB-distance shots with "point shooting" with the carbine cheeked (in his review of nearly three dozen students' shoot-house runs where the RDS failed without the window being obscured, the Alliance PD Training cadre witnessed absolutely -zero- instances where the shooter took the time to flip up their folded BUISs for threat engagements: students reported that they "felt that they didn't hae the time to do so"), having that FSB in the window can help stretch out that distance.

There's always pros and cons. :)

Once you've diligently practiced, throw yourself on the shot timer to see if there truly is a difference. :)

That said.....

A more cluttered view is a more cluttered view: and that FSB blocks a whole lot!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Interesting solution but I preferred buying a new upper without the front sight. Magpul and others have the flip up sights that have become very popular. If you don't need them they fold down and out of the way.

I really like how the humble AR has evolved over the years. Stoner couldn't have imagined such changes.
 

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Interesting solution but I preferred buying a new upper without the front sight.
There's nothing wrong with buying more! :) We're all enablers, here!

Magpul and others have the flip up sights that have become very popular. If you don't need them they fold down and out of the way.
With the standard Magpul BUIS, be sure you get authentic ones, and also not their airsoft-specific model. Both can be very problematic when exposed to the rigors of real-world hard use (or even airsoft-gaming use). Particularly as the authentic ones are so readily available and typically for very reasonable prices (wait until the big holiday sales), it's not worth saving the $10 or $20 on knock-offs or the airsoft variant.

The vast majority of folks who've had problems with the standard plastic Magpul BUIS are those who've made the mistake of getting knock-offs or the airsoft variant.

I learned on fixed post/FSB setups, but even so, I still prefer the uncluttered view from a fold-down. With modern optics being so rugged, the BUIS is really "back-up." :)
 

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Or you can be a baller and get a set of Mag Pul Pros.

I freaking love mine. that tiny front sight pin is nice.

Sometimes they'll pop up on sale for under 150 for a set.
 

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Or you can be a baller and get a set of Mag Pul Pros.

I freaking love mine. that tiny front sight pin is nice.
I really like the Pros, too - sits pretty darned flat......

Before Night 1.jpg

^ 2017 Practically Tactical / APD Partner's Shoot-House class. Chief Instructor Joe Weyer over my shoulder, AI Josh Jackson at the door. Picture courtesy of PracTac.

It plays really well with how I like to mount my light (that's a Malkoff Hound Dog 18650, neutral) and optic (Vortex PST 1-4x [Gen 1] on Larue SPR-E [to help with eye-relief, given my really flat face])
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The only thing that's changed on the gun since then is the removal of the two Arisaka finger-stops + Karve and the subsequent installation of a RailScales Anchor. A later class (also at APD) changed my beliefs about and practices for recoil mitigation. Everything else on the gun has been the same since then. :)
 
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