Archery Sights: How To Choose, Setup And Use!

Fact checked by Steven Lines, lifelong Hunter and OutdoorsmanOpens in a new tab..

One of the easiest ways to improve your aim on the range is by using an archery sight. There are dozens of options to choose from. But they weren’t all created equal.  

So, how to choose, set-up, and use an archery sight? First, you’ll need to decide whether you want a single pin or multi-pin sight and how large you want the pin to be. Then, you’ll need to mount the sight on the bow and adjust it so that it fires accurately. When using the bow, you’ll need to line the pin with the target, then release. 

Archery Sights: How To Choose, Setup And Use!

The sight is one of the most critical parts of your bow. When used correctly, it can give you a lot more accuracy on the range. Let’s take a closer look at everything you need to know about the archery sight.  

How To Choose Your Archery Sight?  

With so many sights on the market, it’s essential to choose the right one for you. When selecting the right sight, there is a range of things to think about. First, you’ll need to decide whether you want a single pin or a multi-pin sight. You’ll also need to consider how large you want the pin to be. There is a range of features available on modern bows, such as levelers. Which sight is best for you will often depend on how you plan to use it.   

Finding the right sight for your bow is essential. It will allow you to improve your accuracy, giving you the confidence that you will hit the target. Because of their importance, there are dozens of different options available. This can often leave people feeling confused.  

Though there are many sights to choose from, you’ll be able to narrow it down by thinking about your shooting style. Target shooters and hunters will be looking for different aspects in a bow. When you find a potential sight, you might want to test it out. This will give you clear insights into how it works, letting you decide if it’s the best option for you. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most important things to look for when choosing a sight.  

Should You Get A Single Or Multi-Pin Archery Sight?  

There are generally two types of sight available, either a single or multi-pin sight. Multi-pin sights tend to be easier to use and don’t need to be adjusted as extensively. This makes them more popular for hunters. However, target shooters might prefer a single pin, making it easier to focus on the target.  

A pin is a thin line, which indicates where you want the arrow to go. You’ll need to use the pin to line up your shots. As we’ll discuss later, these are typically very small. For the sight to be sufficient, you’ll need to line up the pin according to far away you are from the target. If you don’t do this, it will be hard to get an accurate shot.  

You must get the right pin configuration. If you don’t, the sight can be very irritating and can take a long time to get set-up. This can cause a lot of archers to become frustrated, choosing to aim without a sight. There are two pin configuration options to choose from. You can either get a single pin or a multi-pin sight. Let’s look at the pros and cons of each approach, so you know which one to pick.  

Single Pin Sights 

Let’s begin by looking at the single pin sight. As the name suggests, there will only be one pin to guide you. Before you take your shot, you’ll need to adjust the pin, based on how far away from the target you are.  

The main benefit of this type of sight is that you will get a better view of the target. With just one pin to focus on, you’ll find it easier to line up your shot. As a result, you might be able to use this to deliver better accuracy.  

However, there are a few potential drawbacks to consider. First, because there is only one pin, you’ll need to adjust the sight more frequently. This isn’t a big issue for target shooters. Often, you’ll have some practice time before the competition to get your bow set-up properly. But some beginners might also get frustrated by the need to change the sight consistently.  

Needing to re-adjust the sight might be a more significant issue for hunters. By the time you figure out how far away the animal is and get the sight set-up correctly, it will have moved away. Despite this, it will be possible to hunt with a single pin sight with a little practice. Some people prefer it, as it gives them a clearer view of the animal.  

Based on these factors, the single pin sight is most commonly used by more experienced archers. Often, they will specialize in target shooting.  

Multi-Pin Sights 

The other option that you will need to consider is multi-pin sight. These feature several pins, each set up for a different distance. This can reduce the amount of time that you need to spend adjusting the sight. This can make it easier to use.  

These types of pins have often been designed for hunters. Each pin represents a different distance. This will make it easier for you to make a shot. All you need to do is find the right pin for you. It can also be a good choice for beginners, as you won’t need to adjust the sight as often.  

Because of their popularity, there are a few types of multi-pin sights available for you to choose from. The most significant distinction is whether the sight will be fixed or adjustableOpens in a new tab.. With a fixed sight, you will get multiple pins for different ranges. But you won’t have much scope to adjust the sight. This makes them easier to use, but it might mean that they won’t be a good choice for more advanced users.  

On the other hand, you can consider adjustable multi-pin sights. These tend to have a few fixed pins and a movable pin. This gives you more control over the sight, letting you customize it to suit your needs. 

Lastly, you’ll need to consider the number of pins on the sight. In most cases, there will be either three or five. However, you might be able to find models that have seven pins. The number of pins that you use will be a personal preference. However, remember the more pins you get, the harder it will be to see your target. This can be very important for hunters, as you want a clear view of the animal.  

How Big Should The Pin Be? 

The size of the pin will often be a personal preference. Usually, the best pin size will depend on how you intend to use it. Larger sites might be best for hunters, as they do better in low light. However, smaller pins might deliver more accuracy.  

Once you know whether you want a single or multi-pin sight, you’ll need to decide how large you want the pin to be. This will often depend on what you are looking for in a sight. There are pros and cons to both large and small pins. Usually, the size of the pin is measured in ten-thousandths of an inch.  

If you are getting a larger pin, it will be easier to see. This will allow it to do better in low-light conditions. This can make them a good choice for hunters. However, they can also clutter up the sight. This can be a bigger problem if you are using a multi-pin sight.  

On the other hand, you might want to use a smaller pin. This takes up less room, giving you a more exact look at the target. These pins can also make you more accurate, helping you deliver a more precise shot. However, they can be harder to see, and you might need to take a little longer to line up the shot.  

The size of the pin used will depend on your preferences. The standard pin size is 0.019.Opens in a new tab. The bigger the number, the larger the pin. These can go up to 0.5. You’ll be able to find smaller pins at just 0.01.  

What Other Features Can You Find On An Archery Sight?  

There is a range of features available on archery sights. These include fiber optics so that you can see the pins in the dark. You might also be able to get a leveler, so you can make sure that the bow is balanced before you shoot. These aren’t essential but can be helpful additions.  

There is a range of other features that you might be able to find on your bow. How important these will often depend on the situations where you intend to shoot your bow.  

First, you might be able to find a bow that lights up the pins. This can be done using fiber optic pins. This will offer the most benefit to hunters, especially those who hunt in low-light conditions. You might also be able to find a sight light, which is powered by a battery. However, as sight lights are electronic devices, some states might prevent hunters from using them.  

Another common feature is a leveler on the bottom of the sight. This allows you to check that you aren’t holding the bow at an angle. By using this tool, you should be able to get a more accurate shot. Often, this type of feature is only used by compound archers, as tilt can greatly impact whether they hit the target.  

How Much Should You Pay For An Archery Sight?  

The amount you’ll need to pay for an archery sight can vary. Some beginner’s models can be purchased online for around $30. However, if you want a more advanced optionOpens in a new tab., you could end up paying around $100.  

How much you can expect to pay for the archery sight can vary, depending on whether you want the base model or something more advanced. If you are just getting started, you should find a basic model for between $20 to $30. Before you purchase, check out the reviews to ensure that you’re getting a good model that will last for a long time.  

If you want to get the best possible price, try shopping around. You might be able to find a retailer having a sale. You might also want to try getting one second-hand, as long as you thoroughly inspect the item first.  

There are more expensive sights available for those looking for a more advanced model. This can include features like fiber-optic pins. The prices can start to vary.Opens in a new tab. You might expect to pay between $50 to $100, depending on the features you are getting.  

How To Set-Up Your Archery Sight? 

To get the most value from your archery sight, you’ll need to make sure that it’s set-up correctly. Thankfully, this doesn’t need to be a difficult process. Let’s look at everything you need to know about setting your archery sight.  

How Do You Attach An Archery Sight To A Bow? 

The first thing that you’ll need to do is mount the sight. You’ll need to lay the bow flat on the table. Then, align the riser with the sight housing. Most arrow sights will come with screws, thread these through the mounting holes. Keep screwing until the sight is securely attached.  

This method is relatively simpleOpens in a new tab., so you’ll be able to put the sight onto the bow in just a few minutes. However, there are a few other things that you might want to think about. First, you’ll want to read the instructions that come with the sight. They will tell you how you can attach it to the bow. You will also need to be careful when you’re screwing in the sight. You’ll need to avoid cross-threading the screws. This can damage the bow. To fix this issue, you’ll often need to take it to a professional.  

It’s also a good idea to check the sight every few months. If it comes loose, it might start to vibrate. This can end up damaging the bow. To fix this problem, you’ll just need to re-tighten the screws occasionally.  

How Can You Adjust An Archery Sight?  

Once you’ve installed the sight, you’ll need to adjust it:

  1. You’ll want to start by moving your sight from left to right until your arrows are landing where you want them.
  2. You’ll need to adjust the sight up and down.
  3. You can change the range.

It will often take multiple small changes to get the sight set-up properly.  

Adjusting sight regularly is essential. It will ensure that you are always getting the most accurate shot. Some target shooters might want to adjust it before each competition, to give them the best chance of hitting the target. Most archers, though, will only need to change the sight every few months.  

Before you start adjusting the sight, make sure that you are tuning your bow. If your bow hasn’t been tuned properly, you might accidentally be putting your sight into the wrong place. To adjust the sightOpens in a new tab., you’ll first need to fire three arrows.

Try to aim as close to the center of the target as possible, using the sight. When you have finished, look at the grouping. If you have an accurately adjusted sight, your arrows should be grouped close to the middle of the target. However, if they ended up off to the side, you’ll need to adjust the sight.  

When adjusting your sight, you’ll need to work in stages. First, you’ll need to adjust the arrows horizontally. To do this, look at your grouping and decide if the arrows are too far above or below the target. Then, you’ll need to shift it either up or down accordingly.  

When you’re moving your sight, it’s best to go slowly. If you regularly adjust the sight, you won’t be too far from where it’s meant to be. Also, you’ll find it easier to find the perfect level for you by making small changes. Remember, this process will often take a lot of trial and error to complete. 

Once you’ve finished making the adjustments, fire a second arrow grouping. This should be closer to the height that you were aiming for. Repeat this process to get the right vertical positioning of the arrows.  

Finally, you might need to set the right range. To do this, you’ll often need to change where the pins are sitting inside the sight. In most cases, you’ll have a knob on the side of the sight to help you find the right range. When you’re finished, fire a grouping of arrows.

Though it can take a lot of work and patience, you often won’t need to adjust the sight much in the future once you have the correct positioning. So, it makes sense to try and put it in the right place, to begin with.  

How To Care For An Archery Sight? 

If you take care of your archery sight, it should last you for many years. It’s often easier to leave the sight on the bow. However, if you’re planning on leaving the bow in storage for a long time, you might want to remove it. Also, make sure to keep the sight dry and clean.  

Whether you should leave the sight attached to the bow will often depend on how long you plan to store it. In most cases, it will be fine to leave the sight on the bow if you’re planning on using it again shortly. However, if it will be a few months or years before you intend to use the bow again, you might want to remove the sight. This will ensure that you don’t accidentally bend the frame out of shape.  

It’s also essential that you keep the scope dry. If you are using it in the rain, wipe it with a soft towel before putting it away. This will ensure that it doesn’t end up growing mold or getting rusty when in storage. You also want to remove any dirt. If the dirt gets stuck to the pins, it might affect the accuracy of the sight.  

How To Use Your Archery Sight 

Once you’ve got your sight set-up, you’ll need to learn how to use it properly. The type of sight you purchase will often impact on how you use it. For example, if you have a multi-pin sight, you will need to decide which pin you will focus on. Generally, though, you’ll need to aim the pin on the target. Then, release the arrow.  

At first, shooting with a sight can seem like an extraordinary experience. It can often take a while before you are comfortable looking down the barrel of a sight and focusing on a pin. However, the more often you practice, the more natural this will be. The type of sight you choose will determine how you use it. Let’s look at the procedure for both a single pin and a multi-pin sight.  

How To Use A Single-Pin Sight?  

When you’re ready to start shooting, position the sight in the right place. Then, line the pin up with the target. When you’re ready, let go.  

The first step of shooting with a sight is double-checking that it’s been set-up correctly. We discussed how to do this in the previous step. As this is a single-pin sight, you’ll want to make sure you have the correct range. 

When you are happy with the settings, nock the arrow and draw back on the spring. Look through the sight. You want to line up the pin with the target. When you’re happy with how the pin is positioned, release the string and fire the arrow.  

If you are trying to hit a moving target, you’ll need to compensate by aiming higher or lower, depending on where the target is. For example, imagine that you are a hunter aiming for a deer. Your sight is set to 20 yards. But the deer is walking towards you and is 15 yards away. Re-adjusting the sight would take too long. Instead, you’ll want to lower the pin a little to compensate for the closer distance.  

It will often take a little practice before you are can consistently hit a moving target with a single-pin sight. As long as you keep working at it, you should improve your skills and give yourself the best chance of hitting the target. With enough practice, you might be able to hit a moving target from around 40 to 50 feet away.  

How To Use A Multi-Pin Sight?  

When using a multi-pin sight, you’ll first need to choose which pin you’re going to use. This will often depend on how far away your target is. Then, you’ll need to line the target up with that pin. When you’re ready, release the string and let the arrow fly.  

The first step to using a multi-pin is deciding how far away the target is. You can gauge the distance by eye, or you can use a range finder. Once you know how far away the target, you’ll be able to decide which pin you will need to use when lining up your shot. Then, you’ll simply need to line this pin up with your target. When you’re happy with the way that it’s positioned, let go of the string and release the arrow.  

Hitting a moving target using a multi-pin sight is much easier than using a single pin sight. In this case, as the target moves towards you or further away, you’ll need to move up or down a pin. This is especially useful for hunters, making it easier for you to line up your shot.  

Final Thoughts 

Using an archery sight can be one of the best ways to improve your shooting abilities. However, you must choose the right one. In this case, you’ll need to choose between two options. You can either have a single-pin sight or a multi-pin sight. Which one you pick will be a matter of personal preference. Generally, though, target shooters prefer a single pin while hunters prefer a multi-pin.  

You’ll then need to mount the pin, using the screws. You’ll then need to adjust it. This will often be a trial and error process, changing the position depending on where the arrows land. When it’s in the right place, you’ll be able to line up the pin and fire the arrow. If you’ve set everything up correctly, you should be able to hit the target reliably. It will often take you a few sessions before you are used to aiming through the sight.  

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Archery Sights: How To Choose, Setup And Use!

Steven Lines is a hunter and outdoorsman from Safford, Arizona, USA. Since a child, he has been hunting and fishing and has over 20 years of experience in the outdoors. Steven works as a hunting guide in Arizona during his spare time and runs a Youtube channelOpens in a new tab. dedicated to sharing his outdoor adventures with others.

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Hi, I'm Sam! I used to work as a caregiver, and now I'm in medical school. My blog is about helping people get healthier through fun activities like archery, hunting, and powerlifting. If you like one of my articles, please share it with your friends and family so they can be healthy too!

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