By Steve Remy
These sights are primarily designed for shooters who compete in matches and need general accuracy at a maximum range of 25 yards. They are used to provide an alternative aiming platform when a magnified optic is mounted to the top rail of a rifle, considering magnification would make sub-25 yard shots difficult. The tritium front sight allows for sight acquisition in low light conditions which was a nice touch.
Out of the package these sights are built very solid and have a very nice fit and finish. XS also includes everything you need for a successful installation, except for a flathead screwdriver. This includes the sights themselves, a sight adjustment tool, a small allen wrench, a small tube of thread locker, and printed instructions. As instructed, I installed the sights to allow as long of a sight distance as possible between the front and rear sight.
Here is where things start to get ugly. By design these sights are very low profile which was the manufacturer’s effort to ensure they don’t snag on anything. The consequence to this design is that the sights rest extremely close to the bore of the rifle which doesn’t allow most people to use the sights without raising the buttstock nearly above their shoulder, thus losing their shoulder pocket and cheek weld. I tried every way of holding the rifle I could but I could never seem to easily acquire the sights and still have a decent backstop for the recoil of the rifle. I had five other experienced shooters attempt to use the sights and everyone provided the same feedback that they were too low profile for easy acquisition and use. Considering they didn’t work for me or any of the other five shooters, I would bet the majority of purchasers would be disappointed with these sights, unfortunately. A search of other reviews confirms that I was not in the minority of people who had these problems. I believe it would take a considerable amount of practice to effectively use these sights properly.
There is a little bit of silver lining to this dark cloud though, in the form of XS’ customer service. I phoned their customer service line to ask about the low profile design and ensure installation was done properly. First and foremost, I was never on hold waiting for my call to be answered; it was answered immediately by someone who knew what they were talking about. I spoke with an individual (name withheld to protect the innocent) who was courteous, friendly, and extremely helpful. He explained why the sights were designed to be low profile and admitted the sight design didn’t always work for everyone. He then proceeded to give me a laundry list of things I could do to try and make the sights work for me, which was much appreciated. He mentioned it would be helpful to break my cheek weld and bring the buttstock higher on my shoulder (which I had previously tried), and stated the low recoil of a .223/5.56 would allow for this. This tactic may work for some but it was still mighty uncomfortable for me. He also mentioned trying to roll the rifle to the 10 o’clock position instead of the 3 o’clock position they were mounted in. Having also tried this at the range, it was too awkward of a position for me, but it may work for others. The representative stated that XS had considered making a version of the sights with a higher profile so it could be used by more shooters, but admitted it wouldn’t be any time in the near future.
Overall these sights were a slight disappointment. XS’ good-willed attempt to build a low profile sight that doesn’t snag seems to have backfired somewhat by greatly limiting the number of shooters who can successfully contort themselves to use these sights. XS’ saving grace in this review was their awesome customer service who won’t leave you on hold and provides numerous potential solutions to your problems. If you absolutely must have these sights, at the very least purchase them from a place that has a good return policy in case they don’t work for you. These sights aren’t for me but I wouldn’t hesitate to purchase their other products based on their great customer service. It seems as though good customer service is hard to find these days so I must certainly give XS kudos for their success in this area.
Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points
Claim to Fame: Angle mounted sights designed for CQB situations and 3-gun rifle competitions.
Target Market: Competitive shooters who have a magnified optic mounted at the 12 o’clock position.
FNBs: (Features & Benefits of this product)
- Low-profile design.
- Tritium front sight.
- Reversible for left and right handed shooters.
- Windage and elevation adjustments.
What other aesthetic options or finishes are available? Aluminum construction with a matte black finish.
What others are saying? 2 out of 5 star overall reviews from Brownell’s customers.
I need it now! Availability: Available in-stock at most online retailers, including Brownells.
Our Rating: + Solid construction. + Easy installation. + Great packaging with all necessary tools. + Excellent customer service.
- Too low profile for most people’s shooting styles. - Price is too high for something that likely only works for a small minority of shooters.
Steve’s links: Contact Steve: firstname.lastname@example.org Firearms Radio Network