How To Sight In A Compound Bow

How do you sight in a compound bow? Since most shooters of compound bows use some type of mechanical sight, that is what this article will concentrate upon how to sight a compound bow using a mechanical sight. Each mechanical sight will be slightly different in its use and setting, but there are some basic commonalities which will hold true for most compound bow sights and those are what will be discussed. It will be assumed that the bow has been correctly set up and proper arrows have been purchased. If these things are not true, they must be performed first or the bow will never shoot correctly and be able to be sighted in.

Items needed to sight in a compound bow.

  • Compound bow
  • Mechanical sight
  • Properly spined arrows
  • Targets
  • Tools appropriate to the mechanical sights operation


  1. Set up targets. Set up targets at known distances you wish to shoot and sight in at. You will want one target or shooting location for every pin in the sight you use.
  2. Stand at shooting location. Stand at the shooting location for the distance target you are sighting in.
  3. Shoot two arrows. Using correct form shoot your first and second arrows using the pin you are sighting in. Your draw, hold and release must be perfectly matched for each and every shot, consistency is the key here. The two arrows will land very closely grouped somewhere on the target if shot consistently.
  4. Adjust pin. Using the correct tool adjust the pin in or out, and up and down to move point of impact closer to the bullseye. The object with most sight pins is to chase the group. Meaning if the arrows are right and high, you move the pin right and up. This should move your group down and left. Move it a bit at a time.
  5. Shoot two arrows.  Using the corrected sight pin shoot several more arrows. Remember to be consistent in your shooting form, it is the most important factor in accuracy.
  6. Examine group. Examine your grouping of arrows. If it is centered where you want it you can try a few more shots and then move on to step 2 for the next sight pin and distance. If it is not perfectly centered go back to step 4 and repeat until they are centered properly every time.

That is how you sight in a compound bow. It is more time consuming than hard. Remember, consistent form and practice is more important than the amount of practice. Everything must be done the same way every time to become an accurate archer. Enjoy shooting your bow, it is a splendid sport.

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