Tag Archives | M4

V7 Weapon Systems Ultra-Light Port Door and Extreme Environment Gas Tube

In the past, I have said on these pages that carbon fiber and titanium both automatically make things cooler. Well, I think you can add another material to that list – inconel.

V7 Weapon Systems just released their Extreme Environment Gas Tube which is made from heat treated inconel. Inconel is an alloy that is notoriously difficult to machine and shape but offers extreme (that word is actually fitting here) resistance to heat and corrosion. I suspect that these gas tubes are extremely difficult to make and I know from talking to V7 Weapon Systems that it took them quite a while to get these to market. Does everyone need an inconel gas tube? No, but if you do a lot of full auto or suppressed shooting, it may be worth looking into.

They also just released their latest weight saving part, the Ultra-Light Port Door. It is machined from hard anodized 7075 T6 aluminum and has a stainless steel ball detent and roll pin.

Check out V7 Weapon Systems.

V7 Port Door

Review: Dueck Defense Rapid Transition Sights

There was a time when I cast a pretty skeptical eye on offset iron sights. They are easy to write off as “gamer” gear. Through research and then actual time spent behind offset sights, my view of them began to soften. I regarded them as a useful tool when used on a rifle with a high magnification optic. Now, with more time and more research, I have to admit that I am starting to believe that they are viable on a carbine with ANY type of optic.

Offset iron sights, like the Dueck Defense Rapid Transition Sights that are the subject of this review, are exceedingly useful (nearly indispensable actually) in some situations and yet many shooters still write them off because they are not a complete replacement for traditional backup iron sights. This is the strange dichotomy that offset iron sights represent and I will attempt to hash out some of the issues in this review.

Dueck Defense Rapid Transition Sights Front Top


Imagine a set of fixed backup iron sights. Now imagine that those sights are turned about 45 degrees on the axis of the bore. That is the Dueck Defense Rapid Transition Sights (RTS) in a nutshell. It is important to note that the RTSs are turned 45 degrees on the axis of the bore, not 45 degrees to the rail. This is key.

The RTSs are machined from 7075 aluminum and hard anodized black for durability. They sit at the same height above the bore as standard AR-15 iron sights. The RTSs have full A2 style rear sight windage adjustment and BDC drum. The front sight elevation adjustment is also identical to the A2 iron sights. The section over the rail is designed to be extremely low profile and the RTSs mount to the rail via slotted screws (easily field improvised). The screws come with thread lock compound already applied which always makes my day.

The fit and finish is excellent. They certainly seem to be just as bomb proof as you would expect solid fixed sights to be.

Dueck Defense Rapid Transition Sights Rear Top

Observations from Use

First, I should probably clear up a common misconception. The Dueck Defense RTSs do not introduce any additional variables to aiming or zeroing. They can be aimed and zeroed exactly as you would any other sights. They are offset 45 degrees on the axis of the bore, not 45 degrees to the rail. That means there are no crazy windage anomalies.  They work exactly like the iron sights you already know and love.

The Dueck Defense RTSs, like any new gear, will have a bit of a learning curve. They are not difficult to use at all but a little bit of practice can really hone your technique. They do require a bit of technique to be used to their full potential. Moving them into position is as easy as rolling the carbine slightly. You do not have to break your cheek or shoulder weld. The movement happens in a flash.

I find that I can acquire a sight picture most quickly by immediately switching my focus to the front sight as soon as I come off my optic. I find the front sight and bring the rear sight to it. This is key because depending on a number of factors, like familiarity level and stock shape, the sights may not roll in front of your eye in an already aligned position.

Finding the front sight first and moving the rear sight to it also allows me to use alternate sight picture when speed is paramount or in low light. I appreciate that the RTSs perform exactly like standard AR-15 sights in this regard. All of my iron sight training and techniques transfer 1 to 1.

I was interested to find out if the shape of the cheek weld portion of a stock had any bearing on using these sights. It does not. Even with wide stocks like the B5 Systems Enhanced SOPMOD or the Magpul ACS, I was able to roll the carbine over and acquire the sights without drama.

Dueck Defense Rapid Transition Sights Rear

It is important to note that these are fixed sights. They do not fold. The RTSs are designed primarily to offer a faster, non-magnified sighting option for near targets and they work as they should because they are fixed sights (as they should be). It seems to me that much of the utility of offset sights is lost if you have to spend time deploying them. I want to be able to roll the carbine over slightly and find them waiting for me.

I really like how low the RTSs sit on the rails. There is basically nothing to them where they cross the tops of the rail so they should fit under just about any optic and just about any mount.

If you are using a “cat tail” on your optic, check that it doesn’t obscure the sights. I have a LaRue cat tail on my Leupold MK4 MR/T 1.5-5X optic and the end of the cat tail comes dangerously close to obscuring the view of the front sight through the rear sight when the optic is at full magnification. This is just something that you need to test on your specific configuration.

I like the build quality of the RTSs very much. I just wish the form factor was a bit different or at least another form factor was offered. I really don’t need the elevation drum but its presence isn’t that big of a deal because its removal wouldn’t really change the shape of the sights. However, I do wish the windage adjustment knob was of a more low profile design. It would also be nice to see a same plane aperture as the standard option since I believe it is a much better alternative to the standard A2 aperture. Still, I understand why the A2 format was chosen since it is the current sight format with which many users will already be familiar.

Dueck Defense Rapid Transition Sights Front

My acceptance of offset sights like the RTSs has increased over time in large part because I have seen what happens to optics when moving between temperature extremes (going from a cold day outside to a warm house) and in extreme weather like driving rain. Even high quality optics can become occluded with heavy rain or condensation to the point they are difficult to use efficiently. In these cases, a set of offset irons can eliminate down time. This is why I have been impressed by their utility even on red dot sight equipped carbines. Thankfully, I came across a post from Kyle Defoor that seems to indicate that I am not crazy (or at least not alone).

The Conundrum

As I said earlier, my impressions of offset sights in general have been fluid over time. I have gone from thinking they are just for gamers, to thinking to they are just for use with magnified optics, to wondering why they aren’t used more widely with all types of optics including red dot sights. However, as I also alluded to above, many shooters still wonder where they fit in the toolbox – not because they don’t work but because they still don’t seem like a direct replacement for traditional backup iron sights.

In my time using the Dueck Defense RTSs, I was thrilled to find that, like traditional iron sights, the person behind the sights was the only limiting factor in their performance. You roll the rifle over, align the sights, squeeze the trigger, and get the hit (assuming you did the aligning and squeezing well). So, in this sense, they could serve as backup iron sights but true backup iron sights are meant to stand in if the main optic goes down. If my main optic goes down, the backup irons become the primary sighting system and I would greatly prefer to have them in the traditional position.

Dueck Defense Rapid Transition Sights Slotted Screw

So, for me at least, it helps to think of offset iron sights as supplemental sights – not backup sights – because offset sights aren’t ideal as a standalone aiming system but they are efficient when used in parallel with another sighting system. They are not a direct replacement for backup sights but they can serve as back up iron sights well enough that I probably wouldn’t go so far as to mount both offsets and traditional backup iron sights on the same carbine. It is up to the user to decide if the tradeoff of additional speed and redundant emergency sighting is worth the potential need to use your rifle at a less than optimal angle if your main optic goes down.

The confusion seems to stem from people referring to offset sights as back up iron sights. Dueck Defense never refers to the RTSs as backup irons. So, much of this conundrum is probably due to people misunderstanding the purpose of the sights or people wanting use the sights in way that they are capable of but not necessarily intended for.

With all that said, I should point out that offset sights do have one large advantage over true backup iron sights in that they will work even if the non-functioning optic is still in place. Optics can be difficult or impossible to remove in the field depending on the mounting solution so the ability to have an redundant sighting system that can be used even with the non-functioning primary optic still in place is an attractive benefit.

Clear as mud?

Wrap Up

The Dueck Defense Rapid Transition Sights work as advertised. They offer a fast, easy to use alternate/supplementary sighting option to be used in conjunction with magnified optics. However, they also offer a viable redundant sighting system for use with any optic, including red dot sights, in situations where the environmental conditions change rapidly and drastically or in the case of a failure of the optic. They are not true backup sights but they can be used as such. If you have a proper understanding of their intended purpose, sufficient training, and an actual need for them, you will love these sights.

Check out the Dueck Defense Rapid Transition Sights at DueckDefense.com.

Dueck Defense Rapid Transition Sights Sight Picture

Midwest Industries Billet AR-15 Upper Receiver

Midwest Industries (MI) has just released a new billet AR-15 upper receiver. It is machined from 6061 aluminum that is hard anodized and features M4 feedramps, thicker receiver walls, and a “T” marked flat top rail.

The MI AR15 Billet Upper is available stripped (you need to add the small parts) for just $165 which is pretty reasonable for a billet upper. Check out MidwestIndustriesInc.com.

MI Billet Upper

LANTAC USA Dragon Muzzle Brake

The LANTAC Dragon Muzzle Brake is coming to the USA. It will be manufactured here in the States by LANTAC’s sister company, LANTAC USA.


The Dragon Muzzle Brake is CNC machined from AISI4630 Steel. It is then surface hardened using a Tufride QPQ Liquid Nitride process for durability and corrosion resistance. This interesting design has an initial chamber with 2 vertical ports to mitigate muzzle rise. The initial chamber is followed by 3 chambers with large side ports to mitigate recoil.

You should always take manufacturer data with a grain of salt, but LANTAC has an impressive amount of data on the Dragon’s performance on their UK site. The data is chock full of marketing talk but still very interesting. I like it when companies provide this type of performance data.

The Dragon looks like it has the potential to be a solid performer with premium materials and finish. It will be available for pre-order shortly from LANTAC-USA.com.


Fortis REV Free Float Rail System – 9

The Fortis Manufacturing REV Free Float Rail System has been making waves thanks to its very light weight, unique one piece design, and mix of KeyMod and 1913 rail compatibility. Fortis initially released the 12″ version, then a 14″ version, and now they have just introduced a 9″ version. The new 9″ REV Rail weighs an impressive 7.9 ounces!


Like the previous versions of the REV Rail, this one is made in the USA from 6061-T6 aluminum that is hard anodized. It has KeyMod attachment points on the central portions of 3 and 9 o’clock rails. The REV Rail also has 1913 rails on the 12 and 6 o’clock rails and the forward portions of the 3 and 9 o’clock rails. The REV Rail attaches via the standard AR-15 barrel nut and has anti-rotation tabs.

Check out the Fortis REV Free Float Rail System – 9.REV-9-E-640x480

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