How to Sight on a Compound Bow with 3 Pin Sights

Image by: J&S Shoot Photography

Always stick to the same type of arrow when sighting on a bow. The spine, point design, and point weight all affect flight behavior. Before starting to sight on any bow, make sure that both the bow and string are broken in. At times it is better to make your own target range rather than heading to an archery range as it can take a few days to properly how to sight on a compound bows with 3 pin sights.

A new sight needs to be handled with care, especially when tightening in the pins. At times cheaper sights can be overtightened which damages the pin socket making it impossible to make further adjustments. Given enough time, care, and attention, a calibrated compound bow and its 3-pin sight will need no adjustment for a long time to come.

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Sighting on a Compound Bow with 3 Pin Sights Step-by-Step

Follow these easy instructions to sight in your compound bow. Sighting in a bow is a process that should not be rushed. The further you can spread your calibration over the better. Remember, you’ll most likely only ever have to do this two-to-three times with any given bow depending on your prowess and ability in archery.

Step 1 – Mount Your 3-Pin Sight
Begin by mounting your 3-pin sight to the compound bow. Always follow all installation instructions provided to the letter, securing the sight to the riser as instructed. This typically takes nothing more than a few screws which attach to pre-drilled holes in your riser. Make sure that your bow sight is given time to settle overnight. On the following day, tighten the sight to ensure stability.

Step 2 – Sighting Pin Adjustments
Set all of the sighting pin adjustments to the center using an Allen wrench.

Step 3 – Set Your Target
The majority of shooters mark each 10-yard increment from their target. Sighting on a 3-pin sight on a compound bow will take an excessive amount of shots. Make sure your target will last through the entire calibration exercise.

Step 4 – Set the First Pin
Aim at the distance which is closest to your target. Most archers set this at 10-yards. Assume your stance, draw and release an arrow toward the target, aiming with your sight’s top pin. Fire off a few more shots repositioning the sight box upward if your arrows went above the region indicated by the pin. Do this until you are completely certain that your arrows are not shooting above the top pin.

Once the first distance is accurately calibrated, go to double the distance away (20-yards for most) and carry out the same sighting process. Raise the sighting box as is necessary and when you are completely certain that your arrows are not shot over the top pin, begin to adjust the sight for arrows travelling too far to the left or right. The first pin is likely to move once the others have been set in so aim for a high degree of accuracy but there’s no need to get it perfect.

Step 5 – Set the Second Pin
The next mark is typically 30 yards for most but aim at the mark which is three times the distance of the first one. Aim with your second pin, firing off a few arrows towards your target. Perform the same adjustments which you did for the first pin except keep in mind that you’ll need to move the entire 3-pin sight box instead of just moving it left or right. It may take quite some time to reach a high degree of accuracy but this time is well spent as the second pin is the anchor point for your entire sight. You are looking to be as close to 100% accurate as possible.

Step 6 – Set the Third Pin
The final pin needs to be set in at four times the distance of your starting mark making it 40-yards for most. Aim at your mark, releasing arrows towards your target while adjusting as you did before. The only difference is that you need to move the pin itself and not the position of the sight box. You are aiming to guarantee that your arrow travels precisely to the direction that the third pin in pointing in. There is no need to shift the box in any way. If you find that your shots are veering to the left or right, return to the previous mark and make your adjustment from there.

Step 7 – Adjust the First Pin
Once you are happy with the accuracy of your third pin you should head back to your first marker and check the accuracy of your first pin. This typically requires slight adjustment of the pin itself but don’t make the mistake of moving the sight box or you’ll have to start over.

Sighting with Other Scopes

If you are sighting on a sight with more pins, continue this basic structure adjusting according to distance and recalibrating as necessary. Move pin to pin taking extra care to ensure that your second pin is perfect while always readjusting the first once you are done with the last pin.

Getting Your Compound Bow’s 3-Pin Sight Perfect

Instead of sighting on your bow over just one or two lengthy sessions, spread your sighting over a few days. Your shooting and power are affected by fatigue causing your overall form to shift. This natural adjustment establishes a better average for your personal shooting habits and stance granting impressive accuracy.

Personal Pin Adjustments

You want to make sure that you set in your pins for your own personal shooting ability rather than opting for a cookie-cutter standard. Many archers begin at 10, 20 and 25-yard range while advancing to as far as 25, 35 and 50 yards. Always keep your shooting range in consideration when sighting in. Your ability and quality of equipment makes a massive difference to the optimal pin settings.

When one sights on a bow for extremely far ranges such as 60 yards and above, it may take multiple targets in order to properly gauge the pin setup needed. Group shots at multiple targets positioned to a single point, a horizontal target line, and a vertical target to guarantee that your long-range pins are properly sighted in.

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