A swan sleeve or fire rail will not raise the plane of the flat top receiver over the front sight post. But with the above rails you can limit the height of the rings you will need to use to get the back of the front sight base out of your sight picture.
You might also want to take a look at the folding front sight such as the one offered by GG&G. The only drawback to the GG&G is you have to send your upper receiver to them for installation. http://www.gggaz.com/Page76.html
There are also folding front sights available that can be attached to a picatinny gas block. Bushmaster I believe has one available in their product line.
OK, here's where I'm at as of yesterday morning. Some of this stuff I already had, so that is why I'm using it, some of it my dealer had, so I'm using it because I could trade stuff (junk) for it as opposed to cashing it. A couple of months ago I picked up a preban shorty Bushmaster and plan to leave it alone except for shooting it.
Next came a full sized 20" Bushmaster that I bought for cash, and would really prefer to leave it alone for the most part in the standard configuration.
Last week I traded for a slightly used 16" shorty Bushmaster with plain barrel (fixed handle/standard sight post). This has turned out to be the gun I want to "play with". After perusing the Wilson, Baer, RRA, and other websites there's just too much neat stuff for these guns for a guy on a budget. For LE type uses (and a 100-125 yd range) I guess I'm looking to set it up for 100 yard "tactical" use.
Not real concerned about the trigger. One that came on it ain't too bad. Received my Armalite flattop upper receiver from Brownells on Fri (Browells discount & having them in stock helped make this decision over Bushmaster). Using the barrel assembly from the Bushy upper, got it installed on the flattop yesterday morning and everything went perfectly. So now I have a flattop upper with the standard front sight post.
Just for kicks would like to add one of the "ergonomic" pistolgrips and maybe even a Wilson or some other type muzzle break at some point (mainly for looks)
Now for the optics, and I need some help here. I traded for an Armalite mount. Don't know the name or model number of it, but it is the one piece with the rings built in. Doesn't look to bad if I had a milled front sight post, but think I would like to have the mount raised up a bit for my setup. I kind of like the looks of the Wilson TSS mount, but at $150 bucks I'd have to think long and hard about it, although it looks like it raises the scope to about the level I would like to have it. If I can justify "testing" one of these for the PD I work for, this may be the way I go. If not, I would like to hear any suggestions you guys can give me, for say, about $50 bucks or so for a decent mount.
Not being a real rifle type person, this optics thing can be real confusing to say the least. First, let me say, I can look through a $50 3X9 Weaver, or one of our snipers $400 Leupold (whatever) and I can't tell a whole lot of difference. Maybe a little clearer, but not $350 worth (shows my real novice expertise in this area, I know). Red dots. Have some handgun experience with them, and I dunno, think I would prefer crosshairs and some slight magnification.
So here is what I think I want, unless you guys can lead me down a different path. Compact, low magnification (say 1-3X/1-4X), wide field of view. Sounds like that came off the Wilson website, and I suppose it did, but I really like the looks of that mount with the built in sight. Would prefer it to be in the $100-$150 range. $200 would be a stretch.
Or should I just go ahead and use the Armalite mount (since it's paid for). Still don't understand how this thing could work. Looks like it would point right at the front sight post.
Any suggestions for a "tactical rifle" on a budget would be appreciated.
If you are setting this up for LE use I would keep things as simple as possible.
I got out my Stone M4 with the A3 upper, took the Holosight off of it and mounted my ATN 5X33L which has a luminated reticle with a fixed 5x....The front sight is no even visable at all....The optics aren't gonna pick anything up that close.
The ATN 5x33L is a very well built scope and can be had used for about $150.00 in excellent to new condition (just carry an extra battery). The scope also has a built in BDC calibrated for .223/5.56
The scope however does not need the light to be use in the day, however light in dead battery does a useless weapon make.
Next get you some ARMS #22 H or high rings. These are sturdy, well made throw lever QD and comes right off should need be. Say dropped rifle, broken scope
Another thing I would do so be sure you add a rear sight to the Picatinny Rail. Something like the KAC 300 Meter flip up will lay right under the scope rear bell.
That should make you a great Tactical Rig for less than $400.00 with the rear site.
By the way.....don't mention thos $400.00 Luppy scope on the SWS......You may get some funny coments in return....They are most likely closer to $1000 scopes
Go to http://www.mountingsolution.com/ and take a look at the A.R.M.S #38. The #38 will add about 3/8" height to your flat top and has the #40 flip up rear sight built in. You should be able to use your Armalite scope mount with this set up and the top of the front sight, if it is visible at all would only be in the very bottom of your scopes field of view. Retail price on the standard length #38 falls within your $150 budget.
If you have an FFL and seeing as you have an account with Brownells, it sounds like you do . Ned at Mounting Solutions will give you dealer pricing.