July 02, 2014
The only rifle I was issued during 21 years of service in the Army and Army National Guard was the M16A1. It was equipped with good sights for a combat rifle. The tapered front post was adjustable for elevation and the rear peep sight was adjustable for windage and could be flipped to choose between short (0-200 yards) and long range apertures.
When shooting competitively on the combat rifle team, we would use the short range aperture out to 300 yards and switch to the long range one for 400. Yes, good hits could be made on a silhouette target at 400 yards with the issue weapon and M193 ball ammo if the shooter was up to it.
There are no knobs to play with on the M16A1 sights. The rifle was zeroed at 25 meters with the long range aperture. Then the sight was flipped to the short range aperture providing a "battlesight" zero to 250 yards, meaning a soldier aiming center of mass on a man-sized target out to that distance had a high hit probability. Simple and effective. Simple is good when the fecal material hits the fan. The M16A1 was designed for killin', not target shooting.
A set of robust iron sights for my 10/22 was what I was looking for when I stumbled on Tech Sights during an internet search. The TSR100 sight set looked strangely familiar like I was experiencing a flashback to the '70s. There was the M16A1 rear aperture with the windage drum on the right side of the housing and the tapered front sight post. Everything you need and nothing you don't. $60 from Brownells.
I began installation by removing the factory front sight post with my Williams sight pusher. The Tech Sight instructions suggest beating it out with a punch, but I might want to re-use it so I went with the pusher. Just fit the tool over the front sight and turn the handle until the sight is pushed out of its dovetail.
The tool in the photo is almost three decades old and I've used it a lot to change the front sights on numerous rifles. It functions as a remover or installer.
The new Tech Sight front sight is simply tapped into the factory dovetail and a small button-head cap screw is installed on each side to center it. A set screw is also installed through the front to tighten it in the dovetail. Done. This front sight is made entirely of steel.
The steel rear sight is contained in an aluminum housing that is attached to the scope base mounting holes in the receiver with two screws. I secured all screws with Loctite 242 and a couple drops of Loctite 609 Retaining compound were applied to the bottom of the rear sight base during assembly.
At the range, I found the sights to be zeroed for 50 yards right out of the package, with no adjustment necessary. That was a good thing, because my sight adjustment tool that fits the windage drum on G.I. sights wouldn't fit the Tech Sight drum.
The holes in a G.I. drum are .098", whereas the Tech Sight is .094" so the prongs on my sight adjusting tool wouldn't quite work. Why not use the mil-spec size? Makes no sense to me.
The new sights increased the factory sight radius from 15 inches to 23. Longer sight radius means less aiming error, which is handy when you're eyesight isn't the greatest. Moving from 50 yards to 100 yards, I simply flipped the rear aperture to the long range position and continued to fire. The zero was very close if not perfect. My test ammo was Federal Automatch and CCI Select, both rated at 1200 fps. Both rounds shot well at 50 yards but CCI edged out Federal at 100 yards.
Gripes? Only two. As mentioned previously the sight adjustment holes should be made to mil-spec so a common sight adjusting tool will fit them and I would prefer this product be made in the USA rather than Taiwan.
The rifle? A brand new 50th anniversary edition I bought online for $199. The trigger could use some work (understatement) and since I was shooting long range I swapped it out for a Kidd match trigger from one of my other rifles. True, the trigger cost as much as the rifle, but once you've used one it's hard to return to the factory unit.
If you are looking for a robust set of sights for your 10/22, the Tech Sight product is definitely worth considering in my opinion.
The classic M16A1 tapered front sight post with five detent positions. You can use a bullet point or a special tool to debris the detent and adjust.
The sight tool and original front sight. Norcross has been using this tool more than 30 years, and says it can't be beaten for pushing front sights.
Using the Williams
sight tool to remove the front sight. You can pound it out with a punch, but the Williams tool won't mar the sight or the rifle.
The rear sight base is attached with two screws through the factory scope base holes. The unit is smooth and blends nicely with the Ruger
A couple drops of Loctite
609 are applied to the bottom of the rear sight base. This will keep the rear sight from moving and spoiling his zero.
The front sight is centered and secured in the factory dovetail with two button head cap screws. Elevation zero can be adjusted in the usual fashion of the M16.
The M16-type rear sight. The short range aperture is marked "0-2". Norcross found this setting gave a perfect zero for 50-yard shooting.