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    How to sight in a bow – Complete Guide

    Whether you’re new to the sport of archery or you’re buy a new bow you will need to know how to sight in a bow properly and effectively in order to ensure you’re bow will hit where you’re aiming when you release the arrow.

    *Note that before you start sighting in you should paper tune  your bow in order to make sure the arrow is shooting straight from the bow. Click here to see our “How to Paper Tune your Bow” article

    In this article I will guide you through how to properly sight a bow.  In order to get started we will need the following tools/items:

    -Allen wrenches
    -Field point Target
    -Measuring Tape
    -3 arrows with field points
    -Stake/Wooden Marker

    We’re going to start by taking our tape measure and measuring out 4 distances of 10 yds from the target and placing a marker in the ground at each 10 yd increment.

    Next take your gear and tools and set up so that you are about 5 yds. This will allow you to safely see where your initial arrow flies without missing the target and losing or breaking an arrow.

    We are going to begin by taking care of the left to right changes first and then adjusting the sight for height later on.

    When adjusting your sights keep 3 things in mind.

    1. Adjust your sight in the same direction that your arrow is hitting.  So for example if your arrow hits too much to the right you will adjust your sight to the right a bit.

    2. Adjust the whole sight first for 30 yds and then adjust your pins for the other yardages.

    3. Keep your adjustments small, a slight adjustment to the sight can mean a huge change in where the arrow hits the target.

    Using your 30 yard pin aim at the center of the target and take note of where your arrow goes.  If it is too far left move the sight left and shoot again until the arrow is hitting right on or within a half inch of where you are aiming it.

    Once finished move back to 10 yds and repeat, fine tune the left to right based on where the arrow hits the target. At this point your left to right should be taken care of and we can begin dealing with the high and low of the arrow.

    When shooting at the target from 10 yrds with your 30yd pin you should expect the arrow to hit about 3 – 4 inches higher than where you aim. If this is the case then move back to 20 yds, if not then adjust the sight so the arrow hits higher and then move back to 20yds.

    Repeat this process again at the 20yd pin and then move back to 30 yards.

    At this point you will be able to fine tune your sight for up and down, left and right using your 30 yd pin.  At 30 yards your arrows should be nearly dead on or very close to it.

    Once you have your 30 yrd pin shooting the way you want it to, you will be focusing on fine tuning your other yardages by making adjustments to the actual pins (10,20,40,50 etc) instead of the entire sight.

    After completing these steps your bow should be properly and successfully sighted in and you will only need to further fine tuned if need be.

    Below I have included a great video to give a visual representation of what I am explaining in this article

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    How to Sight In your Bow

    Sighting in your bow is a very simple but but can be time consuming process. Simply put sighting in your bow is basically setting up the pins on your sight so that when you aim and release the arrow; it hits where you were aiming. In order to sight in your bow you will need a set of allen wrenches, for the sight/rest/pin screws.


    First of all you need to set up a target and some markers, that will mark off distances of 10, 20,30,40 yds etc As for a target I use and would recommend Field Logic’s ” The Block Elite 4×4 Field Tip/Broadhead Target ” for 3 reasons
    *These targets can take a beating and last a long time
    * You can shoot both field point and broadheads at it
    * It is one of the only targets I have tried that you don’t have to fight with to get your arrows out of it.

    . Set yourself up so that your body is perpendicular to the target about 5-10 yds away. Load an arrow into your bow and aim at the target with the top most pin on your sight; where you want the arrow to go. Do this a few times just to make sure that you didn’t flinch or the wind didn’t grab the arrow.

    Walk up to the target and make note of where your arrows are in relation to where you were aiming. If the arrows are off from your aimed spot then go back and move the sight just a little in the direction that the arrow was off. For example if your arrow was right, then you will move the sight to the right. *Note – We are just concentrating on left to right at this point.* Continue this process until your arrow hits where you are aiming(in relation to left and right).


    At this point your arrow should pretty much be dead on when it comes to left and right alignment. With the left to right complete we can now work on your up and down alignment. Basically to start out with, this process is going to be pretty much the same as the first steps. Make sure that you are standing perpendicular to the target about 10 yds away. Instead of using your top most pin however; you will now use your pin that you are going to be using for 30yds(usually your 2nd pin from the top).

    Aim at the center of the target and then release the arrow. The expected results should be that the arrow has hit 3-4 inches higher from where you aimed, this is normal. If you are off left to right repeat the previous steps. If the arrow is lower than where you were aiming simply loosen the sight and bring the sight down just a little bit. Continue shooting until the arrow is about 3-4 inches higher than where you were aiming.

    When you have reached the desired results move back to the 20yrd marker. Again using your 30yrd pin aim at the center of the target, again you should be hitting just above where you were aiming. the difference now should be only about 1-2 inches higher. If the arrow hits dead on or is a little low then make the adjustment downwards to your sight, and try again until the results are reached.

    Move back to the 30 yrd marker, and aim again at the center of the target. Your arrow should be hitting pretty much right where you aimed it. You may have to make small adjustments to fine tune your sight, however you probably won’t need to do very much.


    In the previous steps we were concentrating on moving the entire sight in order to sight in your 30yd pin, now with your 30 yd pin set and all ready to go we can now focus on your individual pins. This process will take a bit of time but basically you are just going to move forward or back depending on the pin that you are working with and moving the pin up or down to get the desire shot placement for that yardage.

    Do this for the rest of your distances leaving your 30yd pin alone. In doing it this way you avoid setting up the 10, 20 yd pins and then realizing that the entire sight has to go up or down and then once doing so having to re sight in the 10, 20 yrd pins. This saves a lot of time and frustration. Once all your pins are set you are now sighted in and ready to go.

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