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How To Use A Bow Sight [Expert Secret Tips]

Knowing how to use a bow sight can be the difference between hitting the target and missing it. Even though shooting without a bow sight is not impossible, it is extremely difficult, particularly when you are shooting at a long-range.

A bow sight assists you in taking accurate shoots even if the range is long. Even a newbie can take surprisingly accurate shoots if he knows how to sight in a bow.

Whether you are looking to compete, hunt, or try to do some target practice, a compound bow is a fine weapon to work with. Its popularity is rising over the past few decades. So knowing how to sight in a compound bow is very important.

The sight will allow you to train your shots quickly to hit with precision and provide you with a certain advantage in your endeavors.

So, it is important to know how to use a bow sight so that you can make the most out of your skill.

How To Use A Bow Sight

Choosing The Right Sight

Bow sights are available in four main types, each with a different way of functioning and purpose. The types are; fixed pin sights, moveable pin sights, competition sights, and pendulum sights.

Moveable sights come with one pin which can easily be moved up or down to focus on an aim. Some have the distance pre-labeled where others allow you to customize your own number.

They allow you to have quick and easy adjustments.

Fixed pin sights come with multiple pins and the pins mark distances at even growths. It gives you a good estimation of your target. You can also adjust them between shots but it will consume more time and the process will be difficult.

Pendulum sights (another name is tree stand sights) are best for aiming downhill, from other elevated areas and from a tree, but don’t present much assistance on flat ground. Competition sights are very costly but they offer a comprehensive variety of adjustments, precision enhancers, and measurements to make every shot as accurate as possible. While choosing a bow sight, it is important for you to figure out which sight will best fit your needs.

Installing the sight

After you have chosen a sight, it’s time to mount it into the bow. While it may seem like a straightforward process, you still have to do it properly to ensure accuracy and protection for both yourself and the bow from getting damaged.

Mostly the instruction manual will guide you through the basic steps of placing and screwing it into the riser, but there’s more that needs to be done to consider the sight fully installed.

You will need to adjust it. First, fine-tune the distance between the riser and the ring. Keeping it locked onto your target will be easier if you move it closer, but you will have less accurate shots.

On the other hand, if you move it farther away, the opposite is true. Figure out a fine point for you that will not disadvantage either your ease of use or accuracy. Now, if you are allowed by your sight, return to the second and third axis.

Do rotation of the pins on the second axis so the bow and their line stay equivalent to each other, and fiddle the third axis to make the ring and the bow straight. From now on, you should be ready. With that setup, start sighting in your bow.

Sighting in

Since there are various types of bow sights, the process of sighting them all in is also different. As it is the most important part of learning how to use a bow sight, each way will take a few rounds of an arrow and a handful day of trial and error, and of course, you could require more or less time depending on your skill.

And take time to keep yourself away from exhaustion that will shake off the consistency of your test shots as well as clutter your adjustments.

Fixed pin

All of your pins adjustment will be based on the top pin, so your top pin will be the one who will receive most of the experimentation to become exactly right.

Start by targeting and shooting a group of arrows from just five yards away. If your arrows hit the target right or high, move the pin right or up. If they hit low or left on the target, move the pin down or left. Keep shooting the arrows and chase them until you find the correct elevation.

Once you achieve consistency hitting the target, move back another five yards and keep adjusting, then another five yards and then again another five yards until you have come twenty yards away and still hitting the target accurately.

As you have sighted in the top pin, now move onto the next ones. The remaining pins should be sighted into thirty, forty, fifty, and sixty yards range. With that properly set up sight, you can almost accurately judge the distance and easily hit the targets.

Moveable pin

Most of the moveable pin sight have distances pre-marked, but you can still set up your own by placing tape one the distance strip. Choose a starting point, let’s say you took ten yards, set your pin there and shoot and adjust until you are hitting the target each time.

Draw a mark on the tape, then move back to your next chosen distance and keep repeating the process until you are pleased with your range.


Pendulum sights are used mostly for shooting down from high places, so you only have to emphasis at around twenty yards. Set a target on level ground and keep shooting test arrows and keep adjusting until you are striking the bulls-eye every time.

When you are shooting the bow from the trees or other elevated areas, it will be at a decent approximation and should keep adjusting itself marginally to balance any changes in elevation.

Regardless of what your specific archery hobby is, learning how to use a bow sight is essential. Once you are outfitted with a right and adjusted sight, it will improve your skills of archery and you will always know where exactly your arrows are going to land.

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