You’ve had your AR-15 for a while now, and although the A2 front sight has done its job, it’s time for an upgrade. Luckily for you, it’s an easy piece to remove without having to visit your local gunsmith.
It might seem hard, but all it takes is 4 easy steps to remove an AR-15 front sight:
- First, remove the handguard
- Then, remove the upper half
- Third, remove the flash hider and gas tube
- Finally, remove the front sight
Pull up a chair, grab some safety goggles, and I’ll walk you through step by step on how your AR-15 front sight removal (images included).
Let’s get started!
Most AR-15s have a stock two-piece handguard that needs to be removed in order to get the front sight off.
This is arguably the most difficult step in the process if you don’t have the right tools for the job.
Luckily, you can get a specially designed handguard removal tool for a low price that will make everything so much easier.
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Once you’ve got your tool, you’re going to place the hooks into the mag well and the arms through the delta ring.
From there, you’ll pull the arms back toward the rear of the rifle.
This compresses the spring and lets you slide the handguard off.
Now, you’ll need to grab your vise and secure the upper half of your AR-15 in it.
To do that, you’ll need to remove it from the lower part of your AR and detach any optics, rear sights, or carry handles that you’ve installed.
I highly recommend grabbing this vise block to protect both your vise and your firearm from getting dinged up in the process.
Once you’ve removed any add-ons, take the bolt carrier and charging handle out from the inside of the upper half.
Then it’s finally time to place the upper half into your vise and make sure that it’s secure.
From there, it’s time to grab a wrench and start unscrewing the flash hider, which you’ll find attached with a cupped washer.
It’s easy to find, but you’ll need to use a lot of force to get the washer to let go of the flash hider.
While any wrench will do the job eventually, I prefer using an armorer’s wrench that’s designed for it.
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Once it’s free, the only thing left to remove is the gas tube.
I recommend using a brass hammer or a roll pin punch for this part so that you don’t accidentally damage or deform the gas tube roll pin holding the tube in place.
You remove the taper pins by simply punching it out from the case that’s holding it. It’s best to use a taper pin starter punch
Once again you’ll need to use a lot of force, but try not to break the taper pins.
When it’s out you’ll notice that the gas tube is free and that it’s easy to easily remove and set aside.
You might also need to remove the gas block, which can double as a sight block for some. The gas block is just as simple to take off.
By removing the taper pins the same way as with the gas tube, you’ll make room for a new gas block and maybe even more rail space for your front sight.
Depending on the purpose of your front sight, you might want a low-profile gas block.
Once all of the gas block taper pins are removed, all that’s left is to remove the front sight itself.
Depending on how worn the rifle is it could be as easy as twisting the front sight and pulling it off, or you could need to use a mallet to give it some light taps to the front sight pins before it comes free.
The important thing to remember is to be careful and to take your time in removing each piece so that you don’t damage any part of your rifle.
Otherwise, it could be difficult to put in that low-profile gas block.
If anything up until now has seemed confusing, like taking off the gas block with a taper pin punch or maybe replacing a barrel nut, then check out this youtube video:
It does a great job of showing and explaining everything that needs to be done to easily remove the AR-15 A2 front sight block.
Now that you’ve managed to get the gas block and boring A2 front sight off of your AR-15, it’s time for a new one.
If you’re looking for a more low-tech option then you might prefer a solid and reliable backup iron sight.
You don’t ever have to worry about them running out of batteries or any glass getting scratched with those.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a reflex sight for quick and easy target acquisition for when you’re hunting, then check out some of my favorite reflex sights.
Finally, if you’re a high-tech kind of person who likes all the newest features and wants all of the bells and whistles, then these night vision AR-15 sights might be up your alley.
Once you’ve decided on the scope that’s right for your needs, you should take a look at some of the best AR scope mounts that I recommend.
And that’s it! Removing the front sights off of your AR-15 is a simple 4-step process.
Let me know how it worked for you in the comments below.
Not always. The front sight is fine by themselves for most people.
These are some of the top AR-15 scopes that I recommend.
Red dots are better for close range tactical situations. Scopes are better for long-range hunting.
No, you don’t need backup iron sights for your AR-15. But if you don’t have any other optic or sights, then get some iron sights.