A bow sight is a device that helps you align the sights on your bow with the barrel. It can do this by using an internal or external laser and an optical sensor to determine the distance between the two.
The best bow sights can be adjusted, are strong, and are simple to use. Additionally, they must be able to survive the weather without getting harmed or harming your arrows. There are several distinct types of bow sights for diverse uses on the list of top items that follows.
What To Consider When Choosing The Best Bow Sight
When shopping for a new bow sight, there are several factors worth considering. The following section looks at these in detail.
Consider how and where you plan to use your bow sight before choosing the one that’s best for you. A modest laser light-up sight might be adequate for a backyard archery activity. However, if you’re wanting to purchase a high-quality item for hunting or competition, an advanced optical sight with numerous sighting modes would be more appropriate for your requirements.
- Competition shooting involves aiming at a target while moving, so a fast response time is essential.
- Hunting requires being able to see large animals in their natural habitat, making a powerful sight necessary.
The sight configuration refers to the number of eyes that make up the sight. Most sights have two eyes, but some higher-end models have three or four eyes.
- Two-eyed sights tend to be easier on the eye than multilocularis because they don’t require focusing through a magnifying glass. However, they’re not as accurate as multi-sights.
- Three-eyed sights tend to offer a bit of accuracy boost over two-eyes sights and are less prone to magnification errors due to human error when adjusting focus.
- Four-eye sights are highly desirable for those who compete in long range shooting events like 3D shooting competitions or hunt big game like lions and tigers. They allow for precise targeting and rapid fire without having to move the gun barrel from side to side to track moving targets.
Brightness & Clarity
A good quality optic will produce clear images even in low-light conditions. This is particularly important for shooting at night or in dim lighting. Most lasers used today are green, but many manufacturers also include red lasers to help improve visibility in both daylight and dark situations. Some sights even have infrared (IR) versions of each laser color, allowing the user to see heat patterns instead of visible light.
Batteries can impact the usability of any device significantly, especially when it comes to firearms. Luckily, most modern laser sights come equipped with batteries that last between 30 minutes and 2 hours depending on the specific model. Some sights include replaceable batteries, but many users prefer to avoid extra parts. Those who do want to keep things minimalist would probably opt for a solar panel option.
There are several different ways to mount a laser sight, including using one of the following mounts:
- Push pins – These small metal rods fit into holes in the wall of the vehicle, allowing the user to adjust the angle without leaving the seat.
- Locking blocks – Like push pins, these mounting devices fit into pre-drilled holes in the windshield frame. Unlike push pins, though, locking blocks feature knobs that tighten the attachment against the headrest. This allows the user to quickly lock the sight in place without fumbling around for keys.
- Rear view mirrors – Many vehicles have rear view mirrors that attach directly to the car’s frame. By attaching the laser sight here, the user does not need to occupy the front seats or deal with the wind buffeting caused by wearing a hat while sitting behind the wheel.
- Universal adapters – These connectors fit onto the ends of standard tubes and rods, allowing the user to adapt the tube/rod to virtually anything else they’d like to mount it too, such as the handlebars of a bicycle or a pole outside a house.
One of the key advantages of a laser sight is its ability to adjust for height and angle, which enables the user to compensate for uneven ground or driving habits that put the wheels slightly off center. However, this adjustment does depend on the type of mount chosen. For instance, a rear view mirror cannot adjust vertically unless the car has power steering, whereas a locking block can raise and lower the laser sight independently of the steering column.
Depending on the features, price ranges vary widely. Cheap plastic guns with no real tech inside them go for under $100. Premium optics with lots of bells and whistles cost upwards of $1,000.
Types Of Bow Sights
Bow sight types are differentiated by their construction. Each has its place, but you need to know what you’re getting into before making a purchase.
Traditional bow sights
The traditional bow sight is made up of two prongs that intersect at the top and bottom points. A notch or hole in the center allows for the placement of an arrow rest and quiver (arrow storage) when using a conventional bow with a drawn string. These sights tend to be inexpensive because they don’t require precision manufacturing methods. The lack of any moving parts makes them much faster and easier to use than other kinds of bow sights.
They also have very little risk of malfunctioning due to wear and tear. However, these kinds of sights aren’t well-suited for long shots. If you regularly shoot arrows beyond the 1000 meter mark, it’s worth spending more money on a high-quality bow sight.
Compact bow sights
Compact bow sights are smaller versions of full-sized bow sights. They still feature all the same functionality as their larger siblings, just in a more compact package. These kinds of sights are great options if you plan on shooting frequently from distances or want to travel light. However, keep in mind that you’ll need to store your ammunition separately since there isn’t room for a large quiver. Also, this kind of sight doesn’t work well with a recurve bow. It’s best used with a draw weight similar to what you’d pull out of the gate with a compound bow.
Extreme range bow sights
Extreme range bow sights are designed for extremely long shots. Since most shooters can barely hit targets beyond 200 meters, these sights are really meant for professionals who routinely take shots beyond the 500 meter mark.
Because they need highly specialized materials and labor-intensive manufacturing procedures, these types of sights are pricey. Extreme range sights are also bulky since so much glass is required to produce one of these lenses. Finally, because these lenses are delicate, only experienced archers should handle them. When not in use, store these types of sights in a gun safe.
How We Chose Our Top Picks
When choosing our recommendations for this article, we relied on personal experience with the products and also checked out some of the most popular options available. We then narrowed down our list to those that had great features.
We looked at a variety of factors when making our picks, including price, durability, ease of use, and more. In the end, we came up with our top picks for the best bow sights based on their overall quality and value.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bow Sights
What is the purpose of a bow sight?
A bow sight allows you to accurately target and shoot at moving targets. Without one, your accuracy will be severely limited.
How do I mount a bow sight?
Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer or someone who has done it before you. Most manufacturers offer clear instructions for mounting their products. Make sure you have all necessary tools or if handled by a professional, they’re able to provide them as well.
Can you use a bow without a sight?
Yes, but you’ll greatly reduce your effective range. You might get close enough to hit your target with unaided eyesight alone, but then again, you could miss entirely with no sight at all.
What distance should bow sights be set at?
A five-pin sight is frequently set up at distances of 20, 30, 40, 50, and 60 yards. The distance between each pin is typically 10 yards, however some courses may go as far as 20 yards. 3 pin sights are more frequently used for 20 yard gaps. In that situation, a three-pin sight may look like this: 20, 40, and 60 yards.
Where do bow sights work best?
When the target’s distance is known, bow sights perform at their best. You can calculate the distance to the region where you anticipate the game to appear, for example, when hunting from a tree stand or blind.
Does every bow sight fit every bow?
Let’s start with the fundamentals. On the face of the riser opposite and above the shelf, all compound bows contain a series of threaded holes. Any sight you buy for a compound bow can be connected using these holes because they are universal.