Even the experienced archers struggle to find the right answer to adjust bow sight. It is pretty frustrating when the arrows consistently hit the same target but not the one you aim for. An archer is all eyes and ears to know what is wrong with the bow in these circumstances. Rest assured, in most cases, the bow may need a sight readjustment. However, anyone who has a basic knowledge of compound bow sights or recurve bow sights can easily manage it on his own. Below is everything you need to know to set your bow sight after adjusting different sight levels.

Type of Bow Sights

Before delving into adjusting the bow’s sight, it is pertinent to know the types of sights available. There is nothing cheaper or advanced but more or less effective when it comes to sights. Often the cheapest sights offer the simplest designs and hence are more effective. Sights may come with a multi-pin setup called the multi-pin sights, or a single pin referred to as single-pin bow sights.

Selecting a sufficient number of bow sight pins can differ depending on the technique. An average hunter may prefer multi-pin sights with three of five pins, while hunters hunting down deer in vast terrain may only need a single pin. Here are some widely used sights that may help you choose the one ideal for you.

Fixed Pin Sights

It is one of the most widely used bow sights among hunters and beginner archers alike. The apparent reason for the wide adoption of these sights is that they are extremely easy to set up. In addition to that, when set and appropriately used, they offer the most remarkable accuracy. A primary Fixed Pin sight features multiple multicolored pins. In addition to already installed pins, you also have the flexibility to add more based on your convenience. The only tricky part is adjusting the yardage, and the rest is all a piece of cake. Summing it all up, multiple-fixed pin sights offer you maximum freedom of adjusting or adding pins to the point where you are comfortable.

Adjustable Pin Bow Sights

Adjustable bow sights or Moveable pin bow sights are the other types that are less preferred. They are also known as single pin sights. The major difference between Adjustable bow sights and Fixed pin sights is the number of pins. A multi-pin bow sight can have 3 to 5 pins, while a single pin bow sight has only one adjustable pin. This sight setup allows users to adjust the yardage and focus by moving the single pin to the point of their convenience during each shot.

For this purpose, they come with a slider scale with calibrations. This setup may become a little complicated for a hunter whose target is constantly moving. It is because the user needs to pre-adjust the yardage and focus before any shot. Therefore, these sights are more preferred for competitions and 3D shootings where the targets can be pre-locked.

Pendulum Sights

Lastly, the third type of bow sights is the pendulum sights that are excellent for hunters aiming from tree supports or stands. They feature a unique setup consisting of a pendulum in the sight bracket and a pin fixed within the pendulum. They allow the hunters to focus more accurately before releasing the shot as the bow can be flexed to a more downward angle. While the bow bends to a lower angle, the pendulum swings outside the bracket providing greater focus and accuracy. These types of sights are more reserved for hunters since calibrating the pendulum and achieving the right arrow velocity with them is not something everyone can manage.

The Tools you need to Adjust your Bow Sight

Now that you know everything about bow sights, it is time to make adjustments. These adjustments can be tricky to get right on the first go; therefore, it is vital to stick to the instructions. What tools do you need to get started? In most cases, you may only need an Allen wrench to help loosen or tighten screws while you make the adjustments in the sight.

Steps to Adjust your Bow Sight

Here is a detailed step-wise guide on how to adjust bow sight in the simplest way possible:

Start from the basics

It is always recommended to start from the less tricky part and then move to the technical part.

  • Stand closer to the target

For starters, stand close to the target to strike three arrows in a row into a group. A group is a collection of arrows hit approximately at the same place. Using three arrows for the adjustment greatly reduces the chances of human error.

  • Start with adjusting the horizontal plane

First of all, adjust the sight in the right-to-left axis. You need to stick to the general rule “chase the arrow.” If the arrow hits to the right of your target, move the sight to the right, and if it hits to the left, move the sight to the left. Make minor adjustments in the vain of covering the group with your sight (for reference only).

  • Proceed with adjusting the vertical plane

After correcting the horizontal plane, it is time to work on the sight from the up-to-down axis. Here again, chase the arrows. If your group is high, move your sight higher, and if your arrows hit lower, bring your sight down. Make micro-adjustments, and keep this in mind that you have to cover your arrows with the sight (for reference only).

Sighting in Bow Sights

Sight in the Multi-Pin Sights

In multi-pin sights, you can move the sight housing and the pins. While using this category of sight, set your top pin to the closest distance and the lowest pin to the farthest. While many prefer to keep the closest distance to around 20 yards, beginners can start from 10 yards. After shooting the arrows, use an Allen wrench to loosen the screws. After that, move the sight housing first right or left and then up or down based on the position of the arrows. Shoot another group and make further adjustments if necessary.

Keep repeating this procedure until your arrows hit your aimed target. Make sure to keep your top pin in the upper third of your sight housing. If there is no room to move your pin loosen the sight housing to move it up or down. After this point, increase the distance.

Start by increasing 5 yards, shoot from 25 yards, and hit using the 20 yards sight. If you feel no significant difference, move 5 yards more so that you are 30 yards away from the target. Shoot another group by using the second pin. Adjust the pin if necessary. Shoot again and continue this process until you hit the aim by adjusting all the other pins.

Sight in Single Pin Bow Sights

Sighting in single-pin bow sights can be a little tricky since you have to use the markings on the side tape to adjust the settings. While adjusting the sight using the single pin, start from 10 yards and release three arrows. Here in this sight category, there are mainly two adjustments: windage and elevation. Windage moves the pin left or right, and the elevation moves the pin up or down.

After hitting the group, move the sight in the direction of the arrows. Then shoot again and continue until your arrows hit where you aim. Make small adjustments to shoot a single distance until your arrows hit the right aim. If you want to shoot multiple distances, you will need to have a sight tape stick to the side of your sight with the markings of the distance.

Sight in Pendulum Sights

Pendulum sights have the leverage of automatically compensating for the angle shots, so you might not need a lot of adjustments in them. Nevertheless, adjusting their bow sight works pretty similar to any other sight. Start from an elevated platform around 12 ft, about 20 yards away from the target. The pin should be in a 20-yard position. Hit an arrow or a group to avoid any error. Here again, you have two adjustments windage and elevation. Adjust the windage and elevation according to the position of your arrow and shoot again. Continue this process until your arrow hits the aim.

The Bottom Line

For hitting the right target, an archer needs both precision and accuracy. Whereas accuracy comes with adjusting sights and determining the proper center shot for precision, one needs the right equipment. Even if you are a novice popping balloon with a bow and arrow or an avid hunter, a right sight adjustment will greatly level up your game. This easiest guide on how to adjust bow sight might prove very useful, especially if you are managing this venture on your own.