Gear Review: TUOR Sights MKII

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There’s no shortage of BUIS — back-up iron sights — on the market, as long as you’re happy to choose fixed, flip-up, or offset versions. But with the TUOR Sights — both their MKI and MKII models — you get all of those in one. The same folding sights can orient straight up and down to co-witness with an optic, or can be rotated 45° in either direction for offset use to the right or the left . . .

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While both the MKIs and MKIIs rely on twin ball detents to hold the sights in either the collapsed or deployed position, only the MKIs also employ detents to control sight rotation. TUOR’s MKII sights take things a bit more seriously, physically locking in vertical, offset left, or offset right orientations.

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Rotating either the front or rear sight is accomplished by pushing the sight itself into its base, then turning it in the desired direction. An internal spring pushes it back out, firmly locking it in place.

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The rear sight is a standard peep style with both small and large apertures on a flip-over plate. It’s easily click-adjustable for windage.

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The front sight houses a standard post, adjustable for elevation, protected by wings.

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The bases are nitrided steel, while the sight arms themselves are hard coat anodized aluminum.

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Sight height will co-witness with most AR optics.

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The high riser on this Holosun puts the TUORs at a lower third alignment position. Of course, the point of sights that are offset to either side is so that you don’t have to co-witness, or because you can’t co-witness.

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If this Holosun were an optic with any degree of magnification, co-witnessing wouldn’t work and offset BUIS would be a necessity.

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While the TUOR sights function flawlessly and smoothly — they fold and deploy on clean, solid detents and lock into rotational orientation easily and securely — I did encounter a rather frustrating problem.

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They’re too tall. That is, the curved top of the mounts themselves prevents the sights from fitting under some (or perhaps most) scopes with standard AR-height mounts. I was physically unable to fit the rear sight underneath a Primary Arms 1-6x scope. Running a SIG SAUER TANGO6 3-18x scope in a Burris AR-P.E.P.R. mount, there was barely enough clearance for light to squeeze between sight mount and scope tube, and the sight’s ability to switch orientation was blocked.

Frustrating, indeed, as I intended to use these with a scope and in many cases that clearly isn’t possible without an extra tall mount or rings. Or, if they actually can be squeezed in there, the tight fit can easily negate the TUOR’s trick up its sleeve. Looking at photos on TUOR’s website and elsewhere, it’s apparent that the promoted use is with a small, magnified optic like an ACOG or another short tube, low magnification (a fixed 2x or 4x, typically) optic.

To be fair, TUOR does have a very good fit and setup guide on its website, which will help prospective purchasers plan a setup that works properly. I saw some photos online with the rear sight actually in front of the scope, but must admit I don’t currently have a rifle with that sort of “rail estate” and am not the biggest fan of what that does to the effective size of the rear sight aperture.

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The quality of materials, machining, fit, and finish here is top notch. Flipping the sights up and down and transitioning between the three possible orientations is quick and smooth. The sights lock securely in place with more than enough precision to ensure repeatable alignment and accurate shot placement even if the sights have been flipped back and forth repeatedly.

The price is a tough pill to swallow — MSRP is $229.95 — but it’s actually as much as $60 less than some competing flip-out (only to one side) and offset-yet-foldable sights. If only they were a few millimeters shorter, they’d really have all of the bases covered.

Specifications (TUOR Sights MKII):

Material: Nitrided steel and hard anodized aluminum
MSRP: $229.95 (30% discount for MIL/LEO)

Ratings (out of five stars):

Quality  * * * * *
Flawless. Machining, fit, and finish are great. Action is smooth and precise.

Practicality  * * * 
The sights’ height is a problem for scope clearance in many cases, and it’s hard to overlook the fact that the whole point of offset sights in the first place is to clear a scope. Still, if that’s a problem, there are multiple work-arounds (bumping scope height up a few millimeters, running the TUORs in front of the scope, squeezing the rear sight in and leaving it fixed to one side or the other).

Overall  * * * * 
Despite the clearance issue I ran into, the TUORs still offer extreme versatility. I don’t believe there’s another iron sight on the market capable of co-witnessing with a 1x optic (or being used on their own in standard, upright config) and transitioning to offset duty. Never mind one that swings 45° in both directions, locks solidly in place at 10:30, 12:00, and 1:30, and flips up and down regardless of orientation. This means the same pair of sights can work on all sorts of rifles in all sorts of configurations with all sorts of optics…height permitting.

comments

  1. avatar William says:

    A fool and his money…

  2. avatar Simon says:

    That is one oddly set-up AR. Why isn’t the rear sight all the way back? Why is the red dot, not moved all the way forward on the upper receiver? Why the crazy flared magwell? Crazy expensive carbon-fiber stock, but no free-float rail? Weird safety selector, no muzzle device…

    1. avatar Alex waits says:

      Test bed rifle maybe? I was thinking the same thing.

      1. avatar Simon says:

        That’s probably the most reasonable explanation.

        1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

          Indeed, that explains a lot of it. This is my test bed. Well, the upper, really. The lower is my current go-to setup and I haven’t tinkered with it for a while. The ELF trigger and safety are my preferences for range use and target shooting and competition or whatever. Recreational use lower. The upper gets all sorts of crap slapped onto it. As you saw, there’s no muzzle device on it (just used it for the flash hiding test #2 and haven’t put anything back on it since) and the optic on there changes all the time. I grabbed it for the photos and grabbed a few scopes when I was testing these sights, and stuck with the red dot for the photos because the scopes really were not compatible.

          As for the rear sight placement, it’s forwards far enough that it doesn’t hang off the back of the receiver when folded flat and so it doesn’t interfere with my knuckles when operating the charging handle. Were it farther back, I’d hit it sometimes. So it’s up a touch for clearance from the charging handle.

          As for the red dot placement, I do prefer it closer to me than farther forwards. When shooting with both eyes open I find that the optic is less noticeable. It becomes more invisible to me, whereas when it’s near the front of the gun it blocks more of my downrange view and is distracting as its own object that my eye sees floating around down there. When it’s close I’m seeing more of the downrange environment through the lenses of the optic, yes, but the housing and the rest of the optic itself aren’t seen. It’s basically ghost ringed and I won’t accidently try to focus on it and I get more of what I think it intended: a red dot just floating downrange like a hologram without any realization that there’s an optic there.

          I love the giant magwell. Can’t miss it! But it’s swappable on this lower (Lancer L15) so I can run a standard sized one and one with a flare that’s about halfway between this competition one and standard one.

          The carbon fiber buttstock is also from Lancer. It actually is not crazy expensive at all ($110 MSRP). But I prefer a fixed stock and this one was included on the lower so I’ve kept it. I do really like it as it isn’t round and the angled sides on the top left and top right make for a really awesome cheek weld. It is fairly light. My go-to stock is an ACE Skeleton for fixed and ACE M4 SOCOM for adjustable, but I do love this Lancer one and I like the carbon fiber. I’m building a new target-grade upper and that will have a matching, CF, free-floated handguard. This upper is standard Adams Arms with Magpul MOE handguard.

    2. avatar Chris. says:

      That’s the Push button safety selector – they reviewed that here.

      http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2015/12/jeremy-s/gear-review-elf-ass/

    3. avatar Curtis in IL says:

      With a rear aperture sight, it sometimes helps to get it a little further away from your eyeball. That makes is appear smaller and less blurry, and the loss of sight radius is negligible.

    4. avatar James in AZ says:

      Crazy magwell: faster insertion
      Carbon fiber: because lighter weight swings faster
      Aimpoint a bit back: some people like an apparently larger window with the target area in it. Others on youtube like an apparently smaller window for whatever reason. Either way personal preference.

    5. avatar Sian says:

      Older eyes? You don’t want to be TOO close to the peep or it’s just a useless blur. I’ve had to do the same on my AR “pistol” while I’m waiting on the form1.

  3. avatar Alex waits says:

    Terrible, with the sights on the 45 degree offset they are no longer on the barrel axis, so your poa/poi is only good for the distance they are zeroed. WhIle I understand they are back up sights, they should be just as functional as standard irons without handicapping your self, especially at this price point.

    1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

      Offset sights are deployed by twisting the rifle so that they are directly above the bore axis. It would be pretty hard to get your eyeball behind them otherwise.

      1. avatar Alex waits says:

        Yes, look at other offset sight manufacturers offerings, they are designed to create a drop keeping the sight picture on axis with the barrel, these don’t do that. At all.

        1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

          I understand your point.
          With these sights, holdover would still be “over” your poi but not in line with the sight post.

        2. avatar James in AZ says:

          Any sight is only accurate at two points: near zero and far zero. Any other distance is a hold over. There is no way the sight line, which is light going straight, could be “on axis” with the trajectory, which is constantly pulled by gravity. By rotating the rifle the offset sights’ axis is directly above the barrel’s imaginery axis relative to gravity. At this moment, if the offset sights are properly zeroed, from the shooter’s perspective the bullet is still going straight up throught the near zero and down through the far zero.

        3. avatar int19h says:

          What they mean is that line of aim should be in the same plane with the barrel and the bullet trajectory.

          And while the sights are only “truly zeroed” at two points at most, for other points in the same plane, the deviation (forgetting about wind for a moment) is just vertical; whereas if the line of aim is not in the same plane as the bullet trajectory, then deviation is both vertical and horizontal. And therefore harder to compensate for.

      2. avatar Alex waits says:

        I’m not saying offset sights don’t work, they do, but these specific sights are designed poorly and won’t work as well as regular offset sights.

        1. avatar James in AZ says:

          Sorry i got what you mean. I apologize

        2. avatar Jeremy S. says:

          In practice, the most annoying thing about offset sights that aren’t right on the bore axis is that windage adjustments aren’t perfect left-right but actually affect elevation just a bit also, and elevation adjustments aren’t perfectly up-down but also affect windage a little. The TUORs don’t suffer that issue because you can (should) sight them in while oriented vertically so windage and elevation adjustments are exactly as they should be. When flipping the sights to the side, if there’s a change in zero it’s too small to care about. They aren’t perfectly perpendicular to bore axis but the offset is small. Many military machine guns were designed with offset sights that deviated significantly farther from the bore axis. It’s possible or even likely that there’s a 1″ undesired drift or so left/right between up close and 100+ yards, but the reality is that I’m not precise enough with irons of this style to keep it within that sort of deviation anyway. I had no issue hitting a small torso silhouette at 10, 25, 50, and 100 yards with these sights while switching between vertical orientation and 45* offset to the right (without touching the zero). If switching them to the right shifted groups a little bit, it wasn’t enough for me to notice. I’d bet I could show the drift using a rest and taking my time and putting enough rounds downrange to get a meaningful group center point for each sight orientation, but it’s small enough of a difference that this is the process you’d have to use to figure it out. But these are back-up sights. They aren’t bullseye sights for no-optic competition use and my expectations of accuracy are only minute-of-torso, which I’m decently solid on to 200 yards with plain ol’ M16 irons and I don’t think these are any sort of exception, vertical or offset.

  4. avatar Curtis in IL says:

    Pricing on firearms accessories never ceases to amaze me.
    MSRP is $229.95
    You can buy a darn nice variable power scope for that kind of money. Such a scope requires precision ground lenses and quite a few parts that need to be machined to mesh and operate perfectly.

    What a country!

    1. avatar CRF says:

      That price is half way to an upper receiver. I’d rather have the upper receiver.

      1. avatar pwrserge says:

        Half way? I can find you an upper without BCG or charging handle of $250.

  5. avatar pwrserge says:

    I’ve been leaning away from backup irons on non-magnified optic rifles for quite a while now. I have never had an optic go down on me in such a way where backup irons would have been of any appreciable help. (With high-quality optics, they are generally as tough as the upper you attach them to.) The ridiculous part, to me, is that you can buy the Holosun optic that shares rail space with these sights for about the same amount of money. I’d say save your cash and buy some Magpul plastic sights. They are more than good enough for the 1 in 1,000,000 chance that you will actually have to use them. Hell, the irons on most of my rifles aren’t even properly zeroed.

    1. avatar cwp says:

      I’ve read some commentary suggesting that plastic BUIS are actually preferable to metal, just because metal will bend and stay bent, while plastic will flex and return to its original position. I’m not sure I buy that completely, since, while it’s true up to a point, past that point plastic will break, and a bent sight is still an improvement on no sight at all. It’s been food for thought, though, especially if plastic sights become tough enough that any impact severe enough to break them is also severe enough to damage the rifle they’re attached to.

      1. avatar The Dude Abides says:

        Go with metal sights. Sights that lock in the up position when you use them. If you drop the rifle or knock it on something, plastic folding sights will end up folded back down. Metal sights won’t bend or break assuming you buy good ones, and if they lock up you don’t have to worry about your sight being folded down when you bring it up to fire.

        Also, wouldn’t moving these sights from straight up to canted change your zero? So what’s the point.

        1. avatar pwrserge says:

          If your irons are primarily a backup, who cares? They are not intended to be used for extended periods. They are designed as an emergency replacement when your optic goes down. I would much rather spend the money on getting a more reliable and higher quality primary optic.

        2. avatar int19h says:

          >> If you drop the rifle or knock it on something, plastic folding sights will end up folded back down.

          With MBUS, if you knock it on something, 99% of the time they will spring right back, since you have to fold them all the way for them to lock, and otherwise spring unfolds them all the way. If they do get folded, though, it’s very easy to unfold, since they have two quick release buttons. It’ll take much less than actually picking up the rifle.

  6. avatar int19h says:

    How’s that Holosun doing?

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      A-Okay. But it’s mostly been living on top of my Scorp since the initial testing. It’s had lots of rounds through it, but pretty much all 9mm after the initial 500 rounds of 5.56 and whatever else.

  7. avatar luke says:

    Interesting, maybe only another gadget unless you operate one of these rifles for a living.the AR platform is one of those systems that lends itself to a never ending amount of tweaking, and slight improvements nearly by the day. For better or for worse. I watched a Larry vickers youtube video about how he sets up his rifle, and the particular rifle he uses. I’m not one to turn up my nose to innovation, on the other hand, guys like vickers, pat McNamara, Travis hailey…when they set up a rifle, I’m interested. If your rifle doesn’t look exactly like theirs does it mean you don’t know what you are doing? No, not nessicarily! But you can’t argue that level of knowledge and experience.

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