Rangerexpert is audience-supported. When you buy through links on this site, we may earn an affiliate commission that we use for site maintenance. Learn more


How to Use a Compound Bow Sight? – Ranger Expert Guides You!

how to use a compound bow sight
Written by Catherine Weeks
Last Update: August 11, 2023

Using a compound bow sight is an essential skill for any archer. It allows you to accurately aim and hit your target with greater precision and accuracy than ever before. Understanding how does a compound bow work will also help you to

Whether you are shooting at a paper target, game animal, or even 3D targets, having proper sight alignment will make all the difference in the world when it comes to accuracy.

Taking down a game or hitting the bull’s eye requires precision and accuracy.

There are a variety of sight mechanisms you can easily fall back on and use if you want to enhance your vision.

But do you know how to use a compound bow sight to increase your chance of success? Well, that’s what we’re here for today!

In this guide, we will discuss the basics of how to use a compound bow sight. We will also provide some tips and tricks on how you can make sure that your sights are properly zeroed in for optimal performance.

Let’s get started, but first things first. Let’s talk a bit about bow sightings, the types, and why it’s important to have a bow sight.

What Are Bow Sights?

A bow sight is a device that is attached to the top of your bow and helps you align your shot more accurately.

It consists of an adjustable pin or optic that allows you to focus on the target, as well as adjust for elevation and windage (the horizontal angle) based on different distances from the target.

The pin or optic you choose to use will depend on the type of shooting you want to do, as well as your comfort level with different sighting systems. A bow sight performs similarly to a rifle scope, i.e., it is designed to give more precision and control.

Type of Bow Sights

Bow sights are usually designed in different sizes and shapes, and these are categorized based on the type and the number of sight pins it has.

There are multiple types of bow sights available. However, the most prominent ones used by archers are fixed pin sights, single pin sights, and multi-pin sights. Below is a short list of those sights you can easily find.

1. Fixed Pin

Fixed pin sights come with a pre-set number of pins that are not adjustable. The pins usually range from 3-7, depending on the size of the sight. This is one of the reasons why it’s considered a hunter’s choice.

These sights are best for beginners because you don’t need to make any adjustments or do any calculations. All you need to know is the distances between each pin and then adjust your aim accordingly.

2. Single Pin

Single-pin sights are designed with one movable pin that allows you to make precise adjustments for different ranges.

This type of sight gives you more control over your aim and makes it easier to shoot accurately at longer ranges.

3. Multi-Pin

Multi-pin sights come with 3-7 adjustable pins, depending on the size of the sight. They are great hunting sights because you can quickly adjust the pins for different distances and always have an accurate aiming point.

4. Pendulum Sight

Pendulum sights are a special type of bow sight that uses gravity to adjust the pin for different ranges and angles.

The pin is connected to a pendulum and as your bow moves, the pin will move up or down depending on the angle of the shot.

This makes it easier to shoot accurately at longer distances without having to make any calculations.

One of the significant drawbacks is their inability to perform adequately when your target is at a distance.

5. Target Sights

Target sights are designed for target shooting. They are usually adjustable and come with multiple pins that can be moved to adjust for different distances, angles, and wind conditions.

As the name suggests, these sights are great for competition shooting and aiming at small targets from long distances. This type of sight in a compound bow can help you improve your performance several times.

As a result, these sights have been reviewed and rated by users across the world as one of the most precise options regarding bow sights.

How to Use a Compound Bow Sight: Everything You Need to Know

How to Use a Compound Bow Sight

How To Sight In A Compound Bow

Once you have chosen the type of bow sight that best suits your needs, it’s time to set it up. This process will vary slightly depending on the type of sight you have, so be sure to read the instructions before you attempt to set it up yourself.

Here are some general steps to sighting in your bow:

1. Attach The Sight

The first step is to attach the bow sight to your bow. This will usually require some screws and an Allen wrench for tightening. Make sure that you have the correct size of screw for your particular sight, as using incorrect screws can easily damage the device.

2. Level The Sight

Next, use a small bubble level to make sure the sight is properly leveled on your bow. Even though most archers don’t use this step, it’s important to ensure that your shots are accurate and consistent.

3. Adjust The Sight Pins For Distance

Now it’s time to adjust the pins for different distances. Depending on the type of sight you have, you may need to make adjustments using a wrench or an Allen key.

For single-pin sights, simply move the pin up and down until it is aligned with your target at the correct distance. For multi-pin sights, adjust each pin separately according to the range of your target.

Usually, the top pin should be zeroed in at a distance of 20 yards. The rest of the pins should be zeroed in at 10 yard increment, meaning the 2nd pin should be zeroed in at 30 yards, the 3rd one at 40 yards, and so on.

4. Align The Sight

Once all of your pins are set correctly, you need to move the pins so they are aligned with the center of your target.

This process can be done visually, or you can use a string attached to both sides of your bow as a reference/anchor point.

Here’s a video guide on how to sight in a compound bow the proper way, within a couple of minutes!

5. Check Your Alignment

Finally, double-check your alignment by shooting a few arrows at different distances. Make sure that the pins are lined up correctly and that you are hitting the center of your target consistently. If not, make some adjustments until everything is perfect!

The key here is to “Follow The Arrow”. What that means is, you need to adjust/move the sight towards the direction your arrows are getting tilted.

If your arrows hit the left of the target, adjust your sight to the left, and the same goes for the elevation adjustment.

How to Aim Using Compound Bow Sights?

On our journey to explore how to use the sights on a compound bow, now we’ll learn how you can aim your compound bow using bow sights. Let’s get right into it.

1. Positioning

You should be in the proper stance and position when shooting your bow. Make sure that your feet are shoulder-width apart, with your non-dominant foot slightly behind your dominant foot.

Also, ensure that you are standing square to your target and that you are holding the bow in the correct position.

2. Lining Up The Pin

Once you have your stance and shooting form perfected, it’s time to line up the pin at the correct distance. To do this, you will use a combination of sight adjustment and yardage estimation to dial in your shot precisely.

Depending on the type of sight you are using, there will be a different method for this. For multi-pin sights, simply line up the correct pin with your target and release the arrow.

For single-pin sights, use yardage estimation to determine which pin distance is closest to the range you need, then adjust your sight.

If you don’t know how to adjust sights on a compound bow, it’s really straightforward. You’ll just have to turn the adjustment screw/knob in small rotations until the pin is perfectly aligned with your target.

3. Release The Arrow

Once you have lined up the pin with your target, it’s time to release the arrow and watch it fly! Make sure that you focus on a consistent release every time, and that you’re not making any last-minute adjustments.

It’s also important to stay focused on the target and avoid looking down at your feet or bow. You want to maintain a steady, relaxed grip throughout the entire shot.

And that’s how you aim using a compound bow sight! Here’s a video guide, if you’re interested.

Tips & Techniques for Using Compound Bow Sights

Now that you know how to use a compound bow sight, here are some tips and techniques that will help you become an even better archer.

Establish Your Comfort Zone

For shooting a compound bow, you need to be comfortable when aiming with your bow sight. You want to establish a consistent stance and grip so that each shot feels the same no matter what distance or target you’re shooting at.

Increase Pin Size

The smaller the pin size, the harder it can be to line up your sights with your target. To make things easier, try using pins with larger sizes, such as 2mm or 3mm pins instead of 1mm pins. This will help you more easily line up your pin with your target.

Take Your Time

When shooting with a compound bow sight, it’s important to take your time and focus on each shot. Keep the safety practices in mind, and carefully think about possible outcomes.

Don’t rush through the process; instead, move slowly and make sure everything is lined up correctly before releasing the arrow. This way, you won’t make any mistakes or waste any arrows!

Maintain Your Bow

Finally, it’s important to keep your bow and sight in good condition. Make sure that you’re regularly cleaning the bow and sight, as well as replacing any parts that may be worn or damaged. Compound bow maintenance will help ensure that your shots are as accurate as possible!

By following these steps and tips for using a compound bow sight, you should be able to start hitting bullseyes in no time. And who knows? Maybe one day, you’ll become an expert archer!


Q. How Do You Aim A Compound Bow Without Sight?

Ans: One of the main ways to focus your compound bow without any sight is to aim your arrow on a spot of a vertical line that runs across the center of the target.

You have to aim your target just slightly below the bull’s eye, especially if you’re shooting 10 yards away.

Q. What is a Peep Sight?

Ans: A peep sight is a little round piece of plastic or metal that is attached to the bowstring. The peep sight provides a reference point for lining up your bow and arrow with the target. It works by allowing you to look through the hole in the peep sight to line up your sights and target quickly and accurately.

Q. Are Compound Bow Sights Universal?

Ans: Unfortunately, No. Different bows require different sight systems and some bows may not be compatible with certain sights or brands. Be sure to check the compatibility of your bow and sight before purchasing a sight for your bow.

About the author

Catherine Weeks

Cathy believes that hunting is not about downing an animal; rather, it’s about enjoying the purity of this challenge and making a connection with nature.

She loves country music, horses, shooting, and hunting; and spends her weekends in the great outdoors with her husband and two kids.

Though Cathy has hunted most of her life, it was not until her partner gave her a bow that she realized she had finally found her passion.

She is always determined to share her missed opportunities, dedication, emotions, and small details that people often forget to mention when they talk about their hunting experiences.

Cathy also works to promote wildlife preservation and protect natural resources. She thinks “patience” is the most important thing that can make a big difference.

Leave a Comment