How To Sight-In a Bow

How To Sight-In a Bow

If you are new to archery, you may be wondering how to sight in a bow. Sighting is, after all, one of the most important steps of properly setting up your bow.

Sighting in your bow is essential since it helps you shoot accurately. If you don’t sight your bow, you won’t be able to hit where you aim. 

If you are unsure of where or how to start, don’t worry. We will tell you everything you need to know. 

This guide will cover the equipment you need for sighting in your bow and explain how to do it in a few easy steps. 

We will also cover a few reasons why you may be missing your targets and how to check your equipment. 

If you are ready to shoot with pristine accuracy, keep on reading. 

Why Am I Missing Targets?

Why Am I Missing Targets?

If you are a complete beginner to archery, you may be missing your targets simply due to a lack of form. It can take a while to get the hang of the weight and technique of a bow.

However, there may be another, more common reason that you are missing targets; you need to sight in your bow. 

Bow sights are pieces of circular housing that you attach to your bow. Inside the housing is several pins that represent certain distances.

When you use these pins as a guide, it can help you make accurate shots. The main factor that bow sights affect is accuracy.

Precision may be up to your form and equipment, but the main reason you are not accurately shooting is because of your bow sight.

If you have recently bought a bow, you may be confused since the shop you bought it from sighted it in for you.

While many shops will do this, you still need to make some fine adjustments after leaving the store.

On the other hand, perhaps you are an avid archer and have sighted your bow a few weeks ago. If your sight is off again, there may be something wrong with the bow.

You should not have to re-sight your bow only after several weeks.

If you find yourself in this situation, make sure that the sight body is not loose; it may be moving ever so slightly.

If that isn’t the problem, take your bow in for a professional to look at. 

Equipment Needed To Sight-In a Bow

Equipment Needed To Sight-In a Bow

If you are wondering how to sight in a bow, you might not be able to start right away. You will need a few pieces of equipment first. 

This section will review everything you need to sight in your bow successfully. If you don’t have all of these items, it may be time for a trip to the store.

Bow Sight

The first and most obvious thing you need is a bow sight. There are a few different types of bow sights, including fixed pin sights, multi-pin adjustable sights, and digital sights.

While each sight is different, they will all work well for sighting in your bow. Just make sure to choose a model that is the most comfortable for you. 

Allen Wrench

A main part of sighting in your bow is moving the body of your sight.

To do this, you will need to loosen the housing of your bow sight, which will give you the freedom to move it in the direction you need. 

To move the housing, you need some sort of tool. An Allen wrench will be your safest bet; this tool works for virtually all bow sights. 


Finally, you will need a target to sight-in your bow with. There are dozens of different targets out there, from sand targets to 3D targets; all of these will work fine.

However, the best target to use will be one with bright, clear markings on them. That way, it will be easier to aim at the same spots when sighting. 

Checking Your Equipment

Checking Your Equipment

Now that you have all of your equipment ready, you should make sure it is in good condition. Let’s see how you can do this. 

Bow Sight

The first thing you should check is your bow sight. It is important to make sure it has no dents, scratches, or damage of any kind.

Any damage you find could lead to potential problems down the road and even affect your shots’ accuracy.

Another thing you need to double-check is the screws. After you tighten your bow sight, you need to make sure it does not budge.

There have been cases where archers stop shooting accurately only after a few weeks because their bow sight moved a few millimeters each time they shot. 

Even if it is the slightest of movements, this could affect your shooting and have you re-adjusting again. Avoid this altogether by fixing or replacing the sight. 


You should also look over your bow. If your bow is not in good condition, it could also affect the accuracy of your shots. There are a few things to check for. 

General Wear and Tear

Look over your bowstring and apply wax if you need to. Use your finger and run it down the string, feeling for any particularly dry or rough spots.

If any areas look fuzzy, this could also represent wear and tear. You may need to replace the strings if they are worn down too much. 

Furthermore, look the bow over and check for rust. Many bows have at least a few metal parts, such as screws that could easily rust if stored improperly.

Check for Any Loose Parts

Bows are mechanical instruments. For this reason, parts can loosen or fall apart.

Before using your bow and setting your sight, make sure all screws and parts are securely fastened. 

Grab each limb and see if they wobble at all, and inspect all areas with screws and bolts. If you do find a loose part, simply grab a screwdriver and tighten it. 


Last but not least is the target. While you won’t need to conduct a full inspection on this piece of equipment, simply look it over to ensure all is well.

Make sure the target is hard and is not frayed or cracked in any location.

Your target should be in good condition when you spot in your sight since you will be shooting your arrows in the same area. 

Sighting-In a Bow

Sighting-In a Bow

If you want to know how to sight in a bow, this section is for you. We will explain how to do so in a few easy steps; you will be shooting accurately in no time. Let’s get started.

Step One: Shoot Three Arrows Into the Target

The first thing you want to do is create a cluster of arrows. You can do this by shooting three arrows in the same area on your target; this will be one group of arrows. 

You should start about five yards from the target since it will be easier to create your first cluster from this distance.

Step Two: Adjust Your Sight 

Now you can adjust your sight according to the arrows you just shot. Take a moment and analyze how close your arrows landed in relation to your initial aim. 

The first adjustment you should make should be on the horizontal plane.

If your arrows landed a bit to the right from where you aimed, you would need to move your sight to the right.

This step will take a bit of time; you will need to make a few small adjustments until you get it right. 

Now you can adjust the sight vertically. Did your arrows land higher than you initially aimed? If so, move your sight upwards. 

If you have a multi-pin sight, make sure to set the top pin to the closest distance you want to shoot and the bottom pin to the farthest distance. 

Step Three: Repeat

After completing steps one and two, move back about ten yards and repeat the entire process.

You should keep shooting until you set all of your pins and until your bow is shooting accurately.

The further back you go, the fewer adjustments you will need to make. 


We hope that this guide has helped you learn how to sight in a bow. 

While the process may sound intimidating, it is actually quite simple. 

A bow sight that is not sighted correctly is the main reason why archers miss targets.

However, if that is not the case, you will need to check your bow for damage and get it checked by a professional. 

You will need a few things to sight in your bow, including a bow sight, an Allen wrench, and a target. 

Before you start the process, check over all of your equipment and make sure they are in good condition. Check your bow and bow sight for scratches, dents, and loose parts.

Make sure to tighten loose screws and bolts and check the bowstrings for wear and tear.

After you do this, you can sight in your bow. You can do this in three easy steps: shoot three arrows into the target, adjust your sight according to where the arrows landed, and repeat. 

Sighting in your bow is fairly easy, but it will take some time. Be patient with it and enjoy the process.