How To Sight In A Compound Bow

Whether you’re an experienced archer or a novice learning the ropes, it’s important to understand how to sight in a compound bow accurately. Doing so ensures that arrows shot from the bow fly as accurately and consistently as possible so that you can make the most of your shooting experience. This guide will provide a step-by-step process to help you sight your bow with confidence. We’ll cover the necessary tools and materials, the best practices for sighting in, and the results you can expect. With the right approach, you’ll be able to sight in your bow accurately and quickly.

1. Check the bowstring for wear

The first step in accurately sighting a compound bow is to check the bowstring for wear. At least once a month, inspect the string for nicks, frays, and loose fibers. If you find any, replace the string immediately with a quality replacement string to ensure accuracy and consistency. When replacing a bowstring, always use a bow press to ensure the correct tension is applied. Finally, be sure to wax the string regularly to keep it in good condition.

2. Select the proper draw weight

The second step in accurately sighting a compound bow is selecting the proper draw weight. This is the amount of force required to draw the bowstring back to its maximum length. Depending on the type of bow, the draw weight can range anywhere from 15 to 80 pounds. It’s important to select the right draw weight for your bow, as it can have a significant impact on the accuracy of your shots. Too heavy of draw weight will make it difficult to draw and can cause fatigue while shooting. Light of a draw weight can lead to poor arrow performance and decreased accuracy. Make sure to select a draw weight that you’re comfortable with, while still providing enough power to get the arrows to reach their target.

3. Set up a target at the proper distance

The third step in sighting in a compound bow is to set up a target at the proper distance. This distance should be at least 20 yards away, and it’s important to check the distance with a measuring tape. Once the distance is confirmed, attach the target to a stable surface. Then, step back and adjust the bow sight to the desired distance. This will make it easier to make the necessary adjustments when shooting. Finally, make sure the arrow is pointing directly at the target by using a laser level or by using your eyes.

4. Sight in the top and bottom pins

After you have adjusted the top and bottom pins to the correct heights, you are now ready to sight in those pins. To do this, you will need to ensure that you have the correct distance between the targets and the bow. Generally, this distance should be around 20 yards for most bows. Once you have your distance, you will need to adjust the pins on the sight according to the distances. With your bow at rest, you will want to look through the pins and adjust the sight until the pins are aligned with the target. You will want to adjust both the top and bottom pins individually until they are aligned with the target. Once both pins are accurately sighted in, you can move on to the next step.

5. Check the arrow placements

After the sight is successfully attached to the bow, the next step is to check the arrow placements. Arrows should be aligned with the peep sight, which will ensure proper arrow trajectory. To do this, look through the peep sight while aiming at a target and check that the arrow is centered in the peep sight. If it is not, then the arrow needs to be adjusted accordingly. If the arrow is off to the left, move the arrow rest to the left; if off to the right, move the arrow rest to the right. Once again, check the arrow placement with the peep sight to make sure it is accurate.

6. Make any necessary adjustments to the pins

After you have shot a few arrows and determined which ones hit the target area closest to your desired point of impact, make any necessary adjustments to the pins on your sight. If your arrows are falling to the left or right, adjust the pin accordingly. If they are falling too high or too low, adjust the sight tape accordingly. Take your time when making these adjustments, as the sight tape can be very sensitive and small changes can have a big impact. Be sure to re-shoot after each adjustment to ensure that you have achieved the desired outcome.

7. Tune the bow with arrow nocks and fletching

After the bow is tuned with the limb bolts, it’s time to tune the bow with arrow nocks and fletching. Start by inserting the arrows into the arrow rest, then insert the arrow nocks into the string groove and press them into place. Once the nocks are in place, make sure the fletching is properly aligned with the bowstring. This will affect the arrow’s flight, making sure it flies straight and true. Finally, check that the arrows are securely installed and make sure the nocks are tight. Taking care of these steps now will ensure that your compound bow is correctly sighted-in and ready for shooting.

8. Test the accuracy of your set-up with a final shot

Now that you have completed the adjustment process, it’s time to test the accuracy of your set-up with a final shot. For this, you need to pick a target you can use in the future to measure the accuracy of your compound bow. Pick a target made of paper or an archery target, and place it at least 15 yards away. With your bow on a stable surface, take your time to aim and release the arrow. If you hit your target, then you have successfully sighted in your compound bow. However, if you missed it, then you may need to repeat the adjustment process.

To summarize, sighting in a compound bow is a process that requires patience and practice. As long as it is done correctly, it is relatively simple and can be done in less than an hour. With a few simple steps, you can be sure that your bow is sighted in accurately, so you can enjoy the best performance when shooting.


In conclusion, sighting in a compound bow requires more than just a few steps. It requires patience, practice, and precision. When done properly, it will drastically improve your accuracy and ensure that each arrow shot follows its intended path. With the right guidance and practice, anyone can learn to sight in their bow and start shooting with confidence.

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