Getting accurate shots can be determined with the proper use of bow sights. We’ll be discussing how you can best use this essential compound bow equipment in our quick and easy guide below!
How to Use Archery Sights
Be the best marksman you can be by both properly choosing and using the perfect archery sight for you.
Choosing Which Sight to Use
There are several compound bow sights to choose from. Typically, there are four different kinds, but we’re including a bonus to widen your choices!
- Movable Sights – Featuring just one pin that can be adjusted to your preference, a movable sight are useful to quickly improve your accuracy. Also, most movable sight models come with set distances. Combining these values with your preferences will help you create a bow that will adjust to your style or skill. You can check our recommendations here.
- Multi Pin Sights – for a more detailed guide on depth and perception, fixed pin sights definitely got your back on this! With multiple pins to serve as gauges to mark distances, you’d get a good idea on how to mark your target. Adjustments are needed on a pin-by-pin basis, as each pin belongs to a different target distance!
- Pendulum Sights – shooting from an inclined position? You may want to consider pendulum sights. This type of sight considers changes in elevation, allowing you a good grasp on to accurately aim a target.
- Competition Sights – taking the accuracy to a higher level, competition sights are specialized for use in competitions.
- Bonus: Digital Sights – further enhance your bow with a digital sight. Similar to competition sights, a digital sight offers precise and valuable measurements you’d need when firing an arrow. The difference, of course, that every detail’s on-the-fly with just a push of a button!
Ultimately, you would want to choose an archery sight that you’d feel most comfortable with. A sight that promises top precision wouldn’t really matter if you find it a hurdle to use!
Installing Your Chosen Sight
Now that you’ve chosen a bow sight, prep an Allen wrench to attach it to your compound bow!
- Double Check Your Archery Sight’s Parts – you’d want to make sure that everything’s complete and in working order. Always refer to the manufacturer details to check if you’ve got the right gear.
- Locate and Attach the Site into the Bow Riser – carefully attach your chosen sight on your bow’s riser. If you aren’t comfortable using the wrench to install the crews in, then do use your hands. You are working on the riser – you do not want to damage the threads found within it. By any chance (we do hope not) that the riser threads are stripped, you’d be forced to make a bigger hole on the riser!
- Checking the Bow Sight’s Telescoping Frame – once the bow sight’s secured, make some further adjustments on the telescoping frame. Without discussing much further on sighting (this is a different topic altogether), some basic rules to follow are:
- If the telescoping frame head is closer to the riser – easier to mark a target, with a consequence of lesser accuracy,
- If the telescoping frame head is father from the riser – higher accuracy, with a consequence of difficulty in marking a target.
Since sights are also prone to wear-and-tear, a good practice is to inspect the screws you’ve used to install the gear onto the bow. Doing so will prevent vibration or shaky jerks when handling the bow – which, of course, would be really bad during aiming!
Peep Sights and Your Compound Bow
Another essential accuracy equipment you’d want to make use of are peep sights. Probably considered as one of the smallest gears you can outfit you compound bow with, don’t underestimate these awesome rings! (Recommendations here.)
Installing a Peep Sight on Your Bow
Here’s a quick take on how to get these rings on your bow.
Set the Location
Comfort always matters when using your bow. As such, determine where you’d want your peep sight on your bow string. You can do this by drawing your bow back towards your anchor point. Next, have a buddy mark the location on which you’d think you are more comfortable having a peep sight attached.
An alternative to locate your peep sight spots is to mark your bow string approximately above the D-loop. Next, simply draw your bow and see if the mark’s location is comfortable for you having a peep sight attached!
Fix the Peep Sight In
You will need a bow press to install a peep sight on your preferred spot. Once on a bow press, carefully separate the threads of the bow string. You would need to do this because you’re aiming for the peep sight to be at the dead-center of the bow string.
Centering the Peep Sight Position
Now that you’ve installed the peep sight, do an initial test on if it’s located on the right position. You can do this by holding your bow, closing your eyes (trust us on this, please!), and drawing back the bow string towards your anchor point. Open your eyes and check if the peep sight’s on your preferred spot! Closing your eyes initially is needed so that you do not cheat yourself into thinking the peep sight is at the right spot when it is not.
Repeat the above step – with an arrow, this time around. If it feels off, then you would probably need to adjust the height of your peep sight’s location.
Checking the Peep Sight’s Rotation
Find out if the peep sight rotates to the proper position. If the peep sight doesn’t line up properly, then you’d need to adjust it so. Do this by making use of the bow press again. Once on the bow press, simply detach an end of the bow string. Next twist the bow string to rotate the peep sight into the appropriate location. Reattach the bow string back, and see if the peep sight lines up properly.
If not, repeat the process. Do take note that a single twist of the bow string is approximately a 90 degree turn of the peep sight.
Stop Knot the Peep Sight
Now that you have determined the right twist, have some stop knots in place to keep the peep sight in. Apply these stop knots on a bow press. But please make sure to use minimal pressure as possible to prevent unneeded movement and such. Also, do avoid knotting on the peep itself. Doing so may stretch the peep, which would just mess up the entire alignment!
Test the Peep Sight
Now that everything’s installed, let some arrows fly and see if the peep sight matters!
Bonus: Breaking Down the Peep Sight Installation Further
Not confident on twisting those bow string threads? Don’t have a friend to help you mark the spot? Don’t worry – here are more tips on those particular peep sight installation bits.
- Lower Bow String Tension – make use of your bow press to release the bow string’s tension. You are doing this to properly install the peep sight!
- Marking the Bow String – using some serving material, knot some around the string. Draw to check the string’s alignment. Make some adjustments until the serving knot now centers to your line of sight. Once it centers, mark that spot.
- Inserting the Peep Sight – once you have determined that right spot, insert the peep sight.
- Reapply Bow String Tension – apply some tension back to the bow string. Make sure to double-check alignment by constantly drawing back on the bow string. If the peep sight is off axis, relax tension, move a bow string strand (from each side of the peep), and reapply tension again. This is trial-and-error. You’d know you got it right once the peep sight’s aligned properly!
- Applying Knots to Secure the Peep – instead of creating stop knots on the bow string itself, consider using serving material instead. Once the peep sight is in place, get some serving material. Use this to create knots to secure your peep. You’d want to avoid making unnecessary adjustments on the bow string to keep the peep sight’s alignment secure!
Quick Reminders: How to Adjust Peep Sight on Bow
How to adjust a peep sight on a compound bow requires some patience and skill. Let the following tips remind you in getting the alignment right.
Double-Check Peep Sight Installation
Check and double-check. We can’t stress this enough! Peep sights are rings that are delicate in nature. Sure, they are small, but a misstep in the initial initiation can cause a lot of adjustments (and frustration!)!
Calibrating Peep Sight Height
We’ve mentioned the importance of getting the peep sight spot’s height at the right position. Never adjust by tweaking your eyes to a peep sight found on the wrong spot! Rather, move the peep sight around and twist the bowstring as needed to get a good alignment. Your bow needs to conform to your needs – not the other way around!
How to Use a Peep Sight on a Bow – And to Get the Right Peep Size!
Peep sights come in different shapes. Knowing how size matters will help you choose a sight that will get the job done!
Considerations When Picking the Optimum Peep Size
Here are several factors to be aware of when choosing a peep size.
- Big Peep – if you have vision problems, or you often hunt in a dark forest, using a large peep sight can work wonders. Archers with poor vision or having a struggle dealing with lighting should consider this peep sight size!
- Small Peep – the smaller the peep is, the higher the accuracy is. A smaller peep sight size also works wonders for archers with strong vision. This is because by having a smaller window of aim sight, archers can focus and have a clearer train of sight towards a target!
- Pin(s) Location – working in conjunction with an archery sight, a good peep offers an optimum view of the pins found on the main sight. Whether it’s a movable (single pin) or fixed (multiple) settings, the peep sight should get a good view on the necessary pins.
Again, ultimately, it all depends on how you plan to use your bow. Do experiment with different peep sights and peep sight sizes to see the best fit for you!
What Happens if Peep Sights Aren’t Adjusted Properly?
Know how messy and frustrating it is if you didn’t adjust your peep sights right. This may just make you see how important these rings are!
Low Height for the Peep Sight
Remember – you should never adjust to the peep sight! The peep sight – and the entire bow, in effect – should always conform to your style and needs. A peep sight set too low only leads to poor shooting form. Additionally, you may be prone to discomfort or injury, such as muscle strain.
The Peep Sight is Located Too High
Aside from muscle strain, a peep sight at a high height level will make your anchor point irrelevant.
Peep Towards Archery Success with Proper Bow Sights Usage
Bow sights can transform the entire archery experience into an even more exciting one. Just make sure that the gear you’ll use follows these pointers:
- Comfortable – if you aren’t comfortable using a sight, then you are more likely to end up missing shots.
- Familiar – having an intimate knowledge on your bow extends to various equipment you’ll be attaching to it. Get a sight that you know inside and out!
- Conforms to You – again, and just because we really need to stress this point. The sight you choose to use should always conform to you. You should never adjust to that piece of equipment!
- That said, we hope you get to use a bow sight and start hitting more accurate shots today!
Set your sights on some more archery sights knowhow with these awesome articles.
Archery Stream – details the use of different compound bow sights.
Hunting Bow – shows some much appreciation on why peep sights matter!
Real Tree – explains how to install peep sights on a bow string.
Archery Fix – solutions on how to fix improper peep sight alignment.
For the best peep sights check this article, and for the best single pin sights this one.
Read this article to learn how to tune your sight.
Sights are a great match for the occasions when you have a lot of time target - such as a competition, or if you shoot from a blind.
If you are looking for advice on good archery sights, check our recommendations, our single pin sight reviews, and finally our peep sight reviews.
You may also want to learn about sighting in your bow, and papertuning your bow.