XS Angled Sights–Review


The kit comes with Loctite and a sight adjustment tool. Use both!

XS Sight Systems XPress Threat Interdiction Sight Set

Link: XS Sights

Every now and then something comes along that really seems like a rock solid idea. Angled iron sights were one of those inventions. The concept is simple enough–your rifle has too much on top to accommodate usable iron sights. But you may need those missing iron sights. You can always take off all of the crap sitting on top of your rifle. That can take time you may not have. The other option is very easy, just tilt the rifle slightly and look down the sights that leaning off of the top rail.

How do you take a good idea and make it even better? Make the sights bigger. Not physically larger, exactly, but easier to see. Most angled iron sights make use of precision-minded irons that are very similar to the irons typically found an AR-15s. Those are solid, but not exactly fast. They’re designed to be a viable compromise between speed and precision. XS has simplified the system, made them easier to see, brighter and the result works.


A traditional vertical hold can be tilted easily.


The tiliting motion lines up the irons. The barrel stays on the same line.

Think about the possible scenarios. You may want a magnified optic on top of the rifle. Then a target presents itself at a close distance, say 25 yards. You should be able to point shoot at that distance, though you may want a bit more precision. Tilt the rifle, catch the XS sights, and you can drop a round easily within a 2-4 inch circle without much effort.

The sights are available with tritium front posts. They come in the XS Big-Dot style, or (like these) in a standard dot size. The rear stripe, which lines up with the front dot, can be white paint or tritium. Prices range from $150 to $180.


The rear sight tucks neatly beneath a scope. It is adjustable and can be secured in place with Loctite and a set screw. Don’t neglect this step, or, like me, you will have to spend valuable time looking for the rear blade when it falls off.


The front sight is a bit more obtrusive, but only because there’s less up there to cover it.

In my opinion, these are a bit more functional because of the XS sight set-up. They are very low profile. At $150, the XS sights are affordable. Making a longer shot–say one out to 100 yards–would be a bit more difficult than it would be with typical AR sights, but as you’ll see with the sights below, it isn’t impossible. The front dot is designed for speed of acquisition, not MOA precision. But that isn’t something I demand of a backup system, which is what these are.

If you’re running a 1-4 scope or a red dot, the XS sights would be even more redundant. But if you like magnification, this system adds an extra dimension. The Big Dot front post is even easier to see. All told, I’m a fan of these. They make quick work of close up work, and they don’t break the bank.


At 100 yards, the XS sights still prove effective.


This is 20 rounds from the CMMG .308 aimed at the bad-guy head. Though we’re hitting low, the shots are still effective. And this is with no sight adjustment.


{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Lee November 6, 2015, 11:33 am

    Playing around in 3-gun the last couple of years has really made me appreciate 45 degree offset optics. You setup a magnified optic as your primary for those wonderful shots at distance, but your offset for everything close enough to hit while on the move or from offhand position. The transition of canting the gun versus dialing a magnification ring up and down, or trying to hunt something close at high magnification saves a lot of time.

  • taffrail December 31, 2014, 7:16 pm

    At least on my copy you got the links mixed up. When I use the “Buy that kid a BB Gun” I get this site. When I use the angled sights link I get buy the kid a bb gun. When do you guys shoot. Not getting in that neck of the woods. No sir!!!

  • Doc December 30, 2014, 7:41 pm

    Matt, if you can find a good ‘tactical scope’ for $180.00, I’ll take a Dozen. Move the decimal place a place or so and that’s about what my special glass cost me, just a tad more (about the same for the rifle it sits on (bolt action)), and yes it does turn twilight into nearly noon day sun. I have to give myself a reality check every now and then when I’m out doing that Zen Target thing some folks like to do]. But I still can’t put a good group inside a quarter at 1000 meters yet, I figure I have 20 more years until I won’t need to bother trying. But that is stretching a 7.62 quite a bit. At least I know it’s not my rifle or my glass, it’s me– and that’s always the bitch when you get good equipment – no one to blame but yourself. With a $180 scope I could blame a lot of things depending on the make, distance, and caliber. I can only blame myself. That’s the bitch of it all, like I’ve said.

  • Matt Van Camp December 30, 2014, 4:47 am

    I think that the idea is great. I can easily see using these sights tactically, at any short range target !
    I do think that this price is too high. I’ll not buy a “backup” sight that costs as much as a tactical scope.

  • Henry December 27, 2014, 9:54 am

    This system looks like a great backup for anyone using an electronic scope that could have a system failure or battery outage like a night vision or thermal scope. Great iron sights to fall back on.

  • Russ December 2, 2014, 11:30 am

    I like these sights and need to apply this system to a couple AK platforms.
    In fact, I would use this on any scoped rifle I own.
    I just think they cost too much.

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