If you are a do it yourself archer who enjoys the know-how behind every aspect of your bow, then learning how to sight in a bow is a huge part of the shooting process. Not only does it allow you to perform better as an archer, but it also allows you to be more informed about the equipment that you are shooting. This will not only help you on the range, but in urgent situations when you need to fine tune a setup on a hunting trip.
First things first, nearly all sights are different, but the implications and overall adjustment are the same throughout. What I mean by this, is the vertical and horizontal adjustment and how they influence arrow movement are the same. Below is my procedure for sighting in a bow. After my initial setup/tuning, I go right to these steps.
I like to view my string running straight down the grip and lining up my pins straight behind that. This is going to take a big portion of the horizontal adjustment out of the bow. This will help you sight in a bow faster.
Starting at 10 yards I like to take a couple shots to find out where the general area is that I’m hitting. The reason I start at 10, is for the simple fact that I don’t have a solid idea where my arrows are going to hit. I could be off a foot and that is only going to be amplified at longer range thus the possibility of losing arrows.
When I start making my adjustments for my first actual pin, I am moving the whole housing assembly, not the first pin. Pin adjustments (on multi pin bows, ex. 2+ pins) should be made for subsequent pins in order to achieve the correct hold over for longer ranges. Such as 30, 40, 50… etc.
After analyzing my group, I can start to adjust. The rule of thumb when sighting in, is always follow the arrow. Here’s a example, if you are hitting high and left in a consistent group (notice “consistent”, if you are not hitting in a general group you end up chasing your own tail). Your sight adjustments would be moving the sight up a small portion, and to the left a small portion. You will continue to do this, until you are grouping in the bullseye.
Once I have a good group at 10 and I feel I am consistent enough, I will move out to 20 yards. Generally speaking, for most modern compound bows, the adjustments needed here are minimal if you have a good sighting in at 10. This is the point that I like to really fine tune my setup to make sure I am having the utmost accuracy. This will be the last point that you should need to adjust the entire sight housing. From here we will be moving pins and or making a sight tape for any adjustable sight.
Multi-pin Sights 3,4,5 etc…
Now that we have perfected our 20-yard sight pin, we can move onto 30 yards. In most cases, I like to set multi pin sights in 10-yard increments. Assuming the bow is tuned properly, your next pin should be either directly low, or directly high.
Once we have found where the arrow is hitting in a consistent manner, we are going to move the individual pin itself into position. If you are hitting low at 30 yards, then you should move your pin lower.
All yardages beyond this point, the adjustments should be made with the subsequent pins and adjusted to your liking.
Single Pin Sights
Sighting in a single pin sight is rather simple. Most of it comes down to the specific instructions from the manufacturer. Certain sights require a mathematical method to give you the most precise sight tape possible. Other sights will takes a simple FPS (feet per second) reading and have a sight tape for that speed. A sight tape is a piece of sticky paper that basically gives you different yardage amounts and allows you to dial in to that exact yardage. Based upon your bows speed, arrow weight and overall trajectory this gives you your calibrated tape. In short, If the target is 35 yards, move your sight to 35 yards and shoot. Easy as that. You do not have to hold in between pins and guess the hold over.
Why Is Knowing How to Sight in a Bow Important?
Sights are a fundamental part of compound bows and knowing how to set one up properly is important. It will not only make the experience more enjoyable but it is also going to increase your archery knowledge. This will also help you understand the functions and features of your sight. As always, the Archery team at Coyote Creek can help you sight in your equipment. The Coyote Creek Gun & Archery retail store has all the archery equipment you need to make sure your bow is ready for your next adventure. Check out our wide variety of archery equipment online at our online store 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you want come learn from one of our archery experts at Coyote Creek, check out our current store hours to make sure they work for your schedule.