Hands-On: Magpul MBUS Review

magpul mbus reviews

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Are you considering getting a set of Magpul MBUS sights for your AR-15 or other rifle? While so many shooters spend huge amounts of money on optics with expensive glass and magnification, dedicated iron sight shooters are hitting accurately out to 200 yards with nothing but a front sight and rear sight.

You might be considering these Magpul sights as just backup iron sights or as your main aiming system, but either way we'll cover whether the Magpul MBUS or MBUS Pro are the right fit for your needs.

The basic needs don't change if they are backup iron sights for redundancy or your main sights, except that the height of the sights need to be a bit more exact to the AR height to match the level of your other optic.


The Magpul MBUS Sight is a option as a back-up iron sights or as your primary means of acquiring your sight picture. With easy installation and an incredibly low weight compared to a red dot or other optic, these iron sights hold up well and the front and rear sights work great together. They can also be used separately with other brands.

The great thing about iron sights is that even the best ones are very affordable compared to scopes, and a good iron sight will give you incredible shooting accuracy consistently, with a lot more durability than a glass optic.

The Magpul MBUS sights fall into this category, and are a great alternative to red dots. Some people may not like the plastic feel of the regular MBUS, but they are plenty strong and durable.

Both the Magpul MBUS Sight or MBUS Pro are great options as back-up iron sights or as your primary means of acquiring your sight picture. Installation is easy, they are incredibly low weight compared to a red dot or other optic, and our review found that these iron sights hold up well and the front and rear sights work great together, though they can be used separately with other brands.

Magpul MBUS Sights

Magpul MBUS Sights

The price of Magpul MBUS Sights varies, so check the latest price at

Magpul MBUS Pro Iron Sights Review: Hands-On

magpul mbus review

What Is It Designed For?

The Magpul MBUS and MBUS Pro platform is designed specifically with an AR-15 rifle in mind, but they work well on most rifles that have a Picatinny rail mounted on top. You'll need a rail towards the front of the rifle, but Magpull makes that possible as well. The MBUS Pro is made out of steel, while the regular MBUS is made of polymer.

They are designed to work well as back up iron sights or as a main iron sight. The price is intended to reflect the simple but powerful use. Magpul had the pro shooter in mind when they designed the MBUS. Not "pro" as in someone who shoots for a living, necessarily, but as in someone who shoots a lot for hunting, competitions, or just for fun.

These Magpuls are not designed for a pistol or a glock.

Is It Good? Why?

The Magpul MBUS pair of sights are great if you don't need to shoot at long ranges. Even though a pro could hit targets out as far as 200 yards with iron sights, the rest of us probably aren't comfortable shooting beyond 50 yards or maybe 100 yards without an optic that provides magnification.

The Magpul MBUS sights are strong, of good quality, and have high durability. The dual aperture lets you adjust your sight picture to your liking, and they stand up to recoil just fine. The spring loaded flip up sights feature is nice and keeps them low-profile when you don't need them and high enough for comfortable shooting, even if you shoot nose-to-charging-handle.

The Magpul MBUS sights go great on AR-15s. They will work well on virtually any rifle that has a rail on the rear and front of the rifle, but they are most at home on an AR15.

If you're ready to purchase a pair of Magpul MBUS sights, you can do so on Amazon or Optics Planet.

Magpul MBUS Sights

Magpul MBUS Sights

The price of Magpul MBUS Sights varies, so check the latest price at

What's In The Package

There isn't much beyond just the backup sight itself. It should come with a little tool to screw on the mount and make windage adjustment and elevation adjustments. The standard Magpul MBUS does not come with a windage positive detent knob, but you can get the Pro version that does if you plan on using it for more than just back-up iron sights (BUIS).

One of the things that makes an iron sight so appealing is how little gear they have and how few moving pieces there are.

Design and Features

An Advanced Sighting System

The mbus rear sight on the Magpul MBUS gen2 is dual aperture mbus, which means you can adjust the size of the hole inside the ghost ring by flipping the insert out or into the peep hole, creating two apertures. This is actually a really nice sighting solution feature that can help with aiming a lot. On the front sight, you have a rectangular front sight post piece that is an A2 front sight design and works great with the peep sight hole and is standard a2 irons.

magpul mbus reviews

The elevation adjustment detent knob is on the front, and the wind adjustments are made on the rear mbus sight. You use a little flat-head screw driver to make the adjustments. This is not unheard of for BUIS (like another backup we review at the end) and it works well on most rifles. Each click is .5 MOA.

Customization Options

Most of the customization for these gen2 MBUS sights comes in the form of having different models to choose from. The front sight post is the same in all the models, but you can get a front sight with more adjustment clicks, and you can get a different magpul rear sight with a more robust design.

All in all, your sight picture won't change a whole lot, but you can look at the options and decide what you want.

If you don't want the polymer mbus, you can get a metal construction by opting for the pros. The polymer sights are replaced by a hard steel, which addresses the main concern of the polymer, which is that excess heat from the gas block can cause the sight to shift or possibly even melt. This should not happen in normal use, however.

The gun you have may make a lot of choices for you, but any AR-type gun should have similar options for rails. If your gun doesn't have a rail that extends far enough, you may need to add that to your gear before you get a BU sight.

Performance and Build Quality

The MBUS sights will work best if you buy the rear and front sights as a pair, but they will work with any other brands that operate on the same plane, even though the sight picture may be different. The polymer construction on the MBUS sights is actually quite strong, and holds up just fine to an AR. The low weight is a major advantage on most firearms.

magpul mbus sight picture

On Magpul Sight website, they state that the impact resistant polymer construction should not be mounted directly onto railed gas block because of the concerns with excess heat. While this is certainly possible, it's unlikely to be a problem on a semi-automatic unless you're running a lot of rounds through it quickly. It's always good to play it safe, and mount it up on the same plane as the receiver top rail.

You can pick up the all-metal versions if that's your preference for even better strength and durability.

Pros & Cons


  • Installation is quick and easy
  • Works with almost any rifle
  • Good for a target up to 200 yards
  • Polymer or steel construction
  • Flexible sight radius


  • Polymer feels plasticky and flimsy
  • Steel versions are heavier
  • No magnification
  • Polymer may melt or shift due to high heat from gas block

Should You Buy It?

These Magpul sights are great, and the reviews are great for them as well. Especially considering that they are BUIS, price is probably a major factor here. In addition to these Magpul sights, you are probably also looking at buying a scope or red dot for your rifle, which runs up the cost even more.

If you really are just looking for backup sights, then either the MBUS pro sights or the polymer sights will be a great addition to your set-up. If you are looking for irons to be more than just BUIS, the Magpul MBUS pro will still work well, but you may want to spend a bit more to put on your rifle. Here's why.

mbus sight picture

The MBUS pro sight is a little heavier due to the steel construction, and while they are still lighter than a scope, but if you're using iron sights then the lighter the better. That said, when it comes to sights, each customer will have their own priorities, and these sights from Magpul will do a great job for you.

You'll get them at a lower cost if you buy the product in a pack with both sights in the same case. Magpul customer service is good, and these sights have more pros than cons for sure.

Alternative Option

Troy Micro - Front and Rear Folding Sight

Troy Micro

These are more expensive than the Magpul sights, but they are made out of a machined aluminum (or aluminium if you're from across the pond) material, which makes them a good middle-ground between the polymer sights and the steel MBUS. Troy sight has a strong reputation for making battle-ready BUIS, and the micro is a great back-up sight with great reviews.

These have the same dual aperture design, and both fron and rear aperture use the diamond shape instead of a circle. Troy makes the case that this design helps target acquisition not take so long. One of the criticisms of iron sights is that it can take longer to get your sight picture, which is the point of a red dot.

Everything else about these sight erect is similar. Both are available in the United States, both will fit on almost any rifle, and both make great backup sights. In my opinion, you can't go wrong with putting either one on the rail of your gun.

Troy Micro

Troy Micro - Front and Rear Folding Sight

The price of Troy Micro - Front and Rear Folding Sight varies, so check the latest price at

Final Thoughts

It can be hard to balance all the information and opinions about different sights, but whether you're putting on back-up sights in addition to red dot sight or reflex sight or relying completely on the Magpul sights, they will do a great job for you. There are cheaper sights out there, as well as more expensive sights, but Magpul has done a great job with these sights and it's hard not to recommend them.

So if you are looking for irons to be your back-up sights, these offerings from Magpul are a great option. If you aren't sure about the Magpul and are ready to spend a bit more, the Troy's are great as well. If the Magpul are more than you want to spend, you can always check reviews for other iron sights.

You can pull the trigger on one of the Magpul sights if you're ready at Amazon or OpticsPlanet. The cost should be the same between the sites, but sometimes you can catch one or the other in their rotation of specials.

If you are looking for an offset iron sight for your rifle, then check out our guide on best offset iron sights.


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