How To Sight In A Compound Bow

How To Sight In A Compound Bow

If you are looking for a quick way for adjusting bow sight pins on a bow, then here is how. Many bow hunting sights use a multi-pin sight design, which has three main adjustments. The adjustment process allows you to move the sight housing up, down, left and right. You can also move the sight pins up and down.

Bow hunting sights can be delicate sometimes so take your time and make sure you loosen each set screw enough to allow movement.

If the sight seems to be stuck after loosening the screws try to wiggle it in all directions in order to gain separation of sight parts, which will allow ease of movement.

How To Sight In A Compound Bow With Pin Sights

Use the top pin of your bow sight for the closest distance, and the bottom pin for the farthest distance. Sight in your top pin first, which is 20 yards for most people, but you should begin at 10 yards as you will see why shortly.

Start with three arrows aiming at the bullseye using the top pin at 10 yards. You will be high on the target but this is just to get you prealigned left and right. Once you have a grouping of three arrows, loosen the screw that lets you move the sight housing left and right.

Move the sight housing toward the group if it’s not perfectly centered as you aimed. Shoot three more arrows to see if your adjustment is better, and move the housing using the same method if you need to.

You’ve now prealigned your sight horizontally. As you move further back, you may need to fine tune this alignment even more.

Since the first pin is used for 20 yards generally, you should now step back to the 20 yard mark.

Move yourself back to 20 yards, aim with your 20-yard pin using the same arrows, and make another three-arrow group on the bullseye.

Now you will need to move your pin in an upward or downward position until your group hits where you aimed. The top pin should stay in the upper third area of your sight housing. If you run out of room to move the top pin, then you need to loosen the screw which allows you to move the sight housing up and down.

Adjust the housing, and then fine-tune the sight by moving your pin to this 20 yard distance. Repeat the arrow grouping aiming at the center of the bullseye using the same arrows.

If you see no significant drop, move yourself back to a measured distance of 30 yards. It’s important to measure the distance during the sighting process as to allow the greatest accuracy possible.

Using the second pin, the 30 yard pin, again, aim at the bullseye and put a group of three arrows into the bullseye using the same three arrows. Now you can move your second pin up or down adjusting until your arrows hit where you aimed.

Continue this process for the other pins using exact measured distances.

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How To Sight A Single-Pin Sight

Some archers like to use a single pin sight. In this case here is how to do it.

To sight in a moveable single-pin sight, or a scope, start at 10 yards and using three arrows place a group into the bullseye.

Single-pin sights have two adjustments. They are windage, which moves the pin left or right, and elevation, which allows the pin to slide up or down.

Move your sight toward your group until your arrows hit where you aim. If you go beyond the windage adjustment range, you can always loosen a set-screw so you can slide your pin to the far left or far right.

How you move forward depends on the type of archery you are sighting your bow in for.

Are you staying at one distance for target archery, or are you needing to sight your bow in at several distances for 3D or field archery?

If you are using only one distance, slowly work your way there while making adjustments as you move backwards away from the archery target.

These adjustments don’t need to be perfect or exact at this point. The purpose here is to simply keep you on target as you reach your final desired distance.

Once at that final distance, fine-tune your sight by moving the sight by tiny increments in the direction you want the arrow to go.

When To Use A Sight Tape

If you are adjusting your compound bow sight for multiple distances with a one-pin “slider” type sight, you’ll need to use a sight tape.

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Sight tapes stick to the side of your bow sight, and have markings for several distances. You can print out sight tapes by finding a printable version online, buy them from your local archery shop, or even use a blank tape and mark it with a pen.

If you are using a factory-printed sight tape, then first sight in your pin at two distances: 20 yards and 40 yards.

Using those two yardage marks, match them to your printed tapes. This will be to determine which tape works for your bow.

Stick that tape to your sight and test its alignment to ensure it is accurate.

Now you know how to sight in a compound bow quickly and easily.

Martin Hamilton

Archery lover and compound bow enthusiast. Love all types of archery. The current technology in compound bows, crossbows, recurve bows and arrows is truly amazing. I was an airline mechanic for years and got introduced to advanced composites. Great to see them put to use in this amazing sport.

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