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Understanding Different Types of Sights for Compound Bows

How to Sight in a Compound Bow

Before you can start using a bow sight, you will need to know how to properly sight in your bow so each shot can hit its mark. There are a few differences for sighting depending on what type of bow scope you have, but fundamentally, many of the steps are the same.

For multi-pin sights, your top pin should always represent the closest distance, which is typically set to 10 or 20 yards. Try firing a couple of initial shots, then move the sight body left or right to line up with where your arrows landed. Repeat this to check the adjustment you made and make other adjustments as needed. Next, adjust the pin so your arrows hit the group you previously aimed. Your top pin should stay toward the top of the sight, but if you need more room to move it further, adjust the sight housing either up or down. Do the same for your other pins at further distances.

For single pin sights, you will similarly need to shoot a group of arrows and adjust the body to compensate for windage and elevation. You can accomplish this by aiming for your arrow group and moving the sight body left and right or up and down until you hit your mark.

Types of Sights

If your compound bow is bare, your first priority should be to purchase a bow sight, one of the most important accessories you will need. Sights for compound bows contain pins housed inside the body to help with aim. As mentioned above, there are a few different choices available to you, each with its pros and cons. We will detail more about single-pin, fixed multi-pin, and adjustable multi-pin sights more below.


With just one pin found in the body, it is up to the bow user to adjust to different yardages by moving the body of the sight itself. This might be a bit tricky for beginners, but once you get the hang of it, you may see why many bow hunters love the freedom of single pin sights. Single pin sights allow you to confidently shoot at exact distances instead of having to accommodate for shooting at incremental ranges. Some may also find it easier to use a single pin sight since the view isn’t cluttered by multiple pins, therefore less distracting to the user. Although the accuracy is unmatched, you’ll have to be quick with your adjustments if you want to hit moving targets.

Fixed Multi-Pin

Just as the name proposes, this sight deals only with fixed parts, with multiple pins set up in the body of the sight. Because of this, fixed multi-pin sights remain a popular choice for beginner archers, since you won’t have to make any adjustments on the bow while aiming. Bowhunters can determine which distances they set the pins to, but most choose 10 yard increments. Many bow hunters prefer fixed sights since you often cannot make quick adjustments when your target can escape during that time.

You can choose ahead of time how to set up the pins, factoring in hunting conditions and the wildlife you will be hunting. Get an experienced hunter or archery shop pro to help you with your setup if needed!

Adjustable Multi-Pin Sights

Think of adjustable multi-pin sights as a combination of multi-pin and single-pin sights. These sights are slightly newer to the market, but are already becoming popular for their many advantages. This lets you to have multiple fixed set pins with the ability to still adjust for specific distances as needed.

How to Adjust Your Bow Sight

Are you experiencing great precision but your arrows still aren’t hitting your mark? It is likely time for you to adjust your bow’s sight so you can gain back your accuracy. Compound bow sights can be tricky, so a bow sight adjustment will be necessary from time to time, especially when you’re first setting up. Here’s a few troubleshooting tips if you’re having issues.

  • You can remove the sight bracket and lower it so you can sight in for further shots.
  • If you notice your shot is off after sighting in, make sure all screws are properly tightened.
  • If your shot is off when shooting downhill, you may need to adjust the sight’s third axis.
  • If you’re still experiencing issues, record yourself shooting to ensure you’re practicing the proper form. Ask for help from an experienced bowhunter or archery pro for more help if needed!

Where to Find the Best Bow Sight for You

Got your sights set on improving your shot? Take it one step at a time and start investing in some accessories to help with your journey into the world of bowhunting. A great place to start is getting your first bow sight. Now that you know a little bit about the different types of bow sights, you can make a more informed purchase. We know you have many choices of different bow scopes, but at Specialty Archery, we can help nail down your search. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you can start by looking at our catalog of bow scopes and accessories, all manufactured by our team of bow users. With us, you will have access to specialty gear you can’t get anywhere else! Our products are for archers, by archers. There’s a reason archers of all experience levels all around the country trust us.

We are constantly keeping up with trends in the market, so feel free to connect with us to get the inside scoop from our knowledgeable staff, and check in with our inventory to see what’s new. Whether you’re just starting out or in need of some replacements for some well-worn gear. We’re constantly refreshing ourselves with what’s new in the market, leading us to create innovative products with insightful design.

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