Introduction to bow sighting
Sighting a bow can be a tedious process, but it is worth it to ensure that your view is accurate. If a sight is attached incorrectly, then the archer’s view does not match the actual trajectory of the arrow. This is obviously a problem, as the archer loses the ability to know exactly where the arrow is going.
A common misconception is that the sight of the bow is automatically accurate once you attach it to the bow. The truth is that every archer looks through the sight differently because the anchor point is a little higher or lower, the archer is taller or shorter, or the bow is larger or smaller.
With some practice and attention to detail, a sight can be easily placed so that the archer has the correct view.To put it simply, move the pins until the sight of the bow matches your sight.
1. Attach the Sight
Most sights require screws to be attached to the bow. The bow itself will most likely have pre-drilled holes that make the installation process easier. The screws should not be too tight, so the bow isn’t damaged.
2. Place an Arrow on the Rest
Loosen the horizontal adjustment of the sight head until the arrow can be placed on the arrow rest.
3. Adjust the Site Head
Move the sight until the pins line up with the nocked arrow and the string. A good technique is to set the pin in the center of the sight. This helps to make the sight more precise, but varies from archer to archer based on personal anchor point.
This adjustment should be made before you start shooting. This will help to avoid any frustration that may come if you cannot move the pin any higher up because you set the sight to high in the first place.
4. Sighting In
If you are shooting too high, move the pins up. The same rule applies to all directions, including shooting too left or right. If the shot is going too far left, move the pins to the left.
This part of the process could take days, continuing to practice and test how your sight works. You do not want to try to do this in one day since fatigue could be a major influence on the accuracy of a shot.
An important note on sighting in is not to use a new bow. If the bow is not properly broken in, then the tension will change over time and the sight will become less and less accurate.
5. Adjust the pins for distance
When you move the target to different distances, you do not need to adjust the sight. There are multiple pins on a sight, each able to move both independently and as a group. Each pin can be changed based on the distance.
Spend time practicing with each distance, from 20 yards to 30 to 40. With each distance, there should be a specific pin. After setting the 30-yard pin. First, you can find the 20 and 40-yard positions in relation.
The 20-yard pin should be roughly a ⅛-inch above the 30-yard pin, and the 40-yard pin should be roughly a ⅛-inch under it.
A rule of thumb is for every test distance; there should be at least three shots to ensure accuracy. Three arrows are the smallest amount that can provide substantial information when examining the arrows on the target.
An alternative method to practicing for distance is to go by 10-yard intervals until you get each target perfectly accurate. The basic principle is the same, though. The goal of this adjustment is to set separate pins for each distance. Not only will this help to set your sight, but it will help an archer become more comfortable with how the bow itself shoots at varying distances.
Sighting a compound bow is similar to a recurve bow, but the distance can go back to 50 yards. Since a compound bow has more attachments than a more traditional bow, it is harder to tell if the differences in accuracy are due to the sight. It is a good practice, then, to remove any attachments and make the shooting process as simple as it can be.
6. Using a Rear Sight
A rear sight is helpful by adding an additional point of reference while you shoot. There are many types of rear sights, each with its own benefits and disadvantages.
- A peep sight is helpful for securing a proper anchor point and setting a consistent sight picture. You can make sure that the sight is placed in the center of the string by releasing all of the tension from the string. This is best done by separating the two different bundles that make up the string.
- Pin sights with a rear extension are also a good option, though they are heavier than two separate pieces. They are more convenient since you do not need to set up the rear sight or look after two different pieces, but the extra weight can make longer shoots difficult.
- A kisser button is a great lightweight option. It is a small disk that is attached to the string by your anchor point. Though it helps with visibility in shorter shoots, any shot beyond 30 yards would require something more than a kisser button.
Once you are finished the process of sighting your bow, the sight should not be moved again unless completely necessary. There are many variables that can affect an archer’s shot, including fatigue and the other equipment on the bow. It is a good idea to test the other possible issues before changing the sight.
Sighting may take some time to first set up, but otherwise it is a generally straightforward process. With patience and focus, a bow can be sighted quickly and rarely ever be changed again.