Whether you are planning to hunt animals or hit an apple that you placed on your best friend’s head, knowing how to sight in a compound bow is important. This makes sure that you can do things well and precisely when you are aiming. This accuracy of your hit can have two impacts: one, this will help you take down the animal in a fast and quick way instead of hurting it to death; and two, the arrow that was meant for the apple will not hurt your friend’s head instead.

Since the second option is not why most of us buy compound bows, it definitely should be the first thing that you need better caution in. Because, when you shoot an animal for hunting, you owe it to the hunter community and the animal in question to shoot it quickly without causing it long periods of insufferable pain.

Materials Required to Sight In

  • Need the following materials to be able to sight in your bow:
  • One shooting block or target.
  • Arrows for your compound bow.
  • A set of Allen wrenches.
  • Mechanical release (for a better control on the bowstring).

Single Pin vs. Multi Pin-Sights

The two primary types of sights that there are: include single-pin sights and multiple-pin sights.

There are different dials to indicate different distances. You have to adjust these dials in order to change that one aiming pin that can be found in the single pin sights. In that way, you can compensate for different distances by changing the adjustments.

Another type of sight that you have is the multiple pin sight or the fixed pin sight. You get some three to five pins in this one. Before you decide to hunt, all of these need adjustment, so that’s three to five times the work of single pin sights.

Now, you may ask why these called fixed pin sights are? That is because, once you adjust these pins for the first time, they become harder to change the positions of. It’s not that you can’t re-adjust them, but that is harder actually. So when setting them, you need to be extra careful.

There are actually different pins in-sight, each meant for a specific distance. Suppose your multiple pin sight has 5 pins. So the pins can be adjusted for five kinds of distances and lengths. One pin can help you aim at a target 20 yards farther; another might help you to aim at a target placed 30 yards away. We can go-on about the rest of the three pins, which will cover further distances.

But remember, there are no fixtures as to what distance should a five-pin sight cover the most. It can be 10/20/30/40/50 yards or 15/20/25/30/35 yards for all we know. When you are making the adjustments, each pin is set according to the distance they are meant for. And you not only need to set the distance based on how far you can shoot as an archer but also based on how capable your bow is in hitting that far. Once these adjustments are made, you’re ready to go hunting!

Single Pin Sight


The prime use of single pin sights lies in its simplicity of use. This is why people love this more than they love working with multiple pin sights. Since there are so many pins that you need to adjust in your multiple-pin sights, there is more clutter and difficulty of sighting here than in everyone’s beloved single pin sights, which is why you get to aim at the target clearer.

If you have always used multiple pin sights before and want to do a switch now, you will need practice before getting used to it.


  1. First, you will need to find what distance you will be aiming for. Determining and deciding on the distance will be your first task when sighting in, as distance plays an important role in sighting the bow.
  2. Setting your sight for a distance of 20 yards is a decent bet, not too far and not too close. After doing so, you will need to move further away from the point till you hit 20 yards backward, accurately, of course. You can use a rangefinder to be precise. 
  3. Now, aim at your target and shoot your arrows. Not once, but thrice, using the same type and draw as your first arrow. The hit arrows should be close together on your target block. If that happens, hit another arrow. Now, a single one.

Remember, if the three arrows you shot first do not group together, either there is a problem with the arrows you chose or your shooting. In that case, you need to check yourself and your arrows.

  1. Consider now that you have corrected the error. Your three arrows did group together at one time, and you have hit one final arrow in the grouping place after removing the group. What you need to do now is adjust your sight aiming at the final arrow.
  2. If your shot seems off the line to you, that’s not an issue. Just sight your bow to that off-point, whether it seems to your right or left. Don’t know where to start? Simply aim your bow to the middle of the target block. From there, adjust vertically and horizontally or any direction to the exact point where your final arrow is now. Keep adjusting with your bow still.
  3. Now, remove the final arrow from the target block, go back to your standing point, and re-hit another arrow. And this should be very close to the point where your previous final arrow was. If you think it is not so close and needs adjusting, redo the final arrow hitting and adjusting, and you should be there.

Multi-Pin Sight


Simplicity is understandable, and so is the reason for most people to like single pin sights. But would you believe if we told you that multiple pin sights are the ones widely used? Despite their difficulty of sighting in, these are more common than their alternative single pin sights. One of the main reasons archers love a multi-sight pin is its utility for moving targets. When you are hunting a deer that keeps moving, you need to re-adjust distances and hence your sights all too often. It becomes easier for a moving target to estimate the range of distance of a moving target with a multi sight pin. However, moving targets can also be shot by single pin sights.


  1. First, make sure that all the pins are static in their midpoint using an Allen wrench. Considering that you have a three-pin sight, you will need to adjust the distance thrice for, say, 10, 20, and 30 yards of distance.
  2. You will need a rangefinder. Using this, you will mark 10, 20, and 30 yards from the points where you are standing now. These will help you in the respective sighting ins.
  3. After marking the first 10-yard distance, move backward and come back to where you were standing initially. Using the process discussed in the steps 3-4 of single pin sighting, shoot three arrows at the target block. As you know, they should group together into threes. Remember that these arrows need to be shot one at a time.
  4. Now, you will need to remove the bunch of three and shoot a final shot. This final arrow is the arrow seeing which you will sight your 10-yardage pin.
  5. Repeat this process for the 20-yard mark by shifting your sight box and re-adjusting your 10-yard pin (no other) as required. You should keep adjusting till your final shot hits straight to the target block, and as long as your sighting is in line with this shot.
  6. For the last one, stand at the 30-yard mark and shoot your group of three shots one after the other. Now, remove the group and shoot one single shot. Look through your sight box and using your particular pin meant for the 30-yard, adjust the particular pin. Your 30 yard aiming will be done with this pin only, so you do not need to check your 10 yard and 20-yard pins when working for the 30 yards one.
  7. If, at any point, you think your aiming is off-line or off-point, adjust it that way. Do the sighting another day, as our tips will show you below, and see if they still remain the same or change!

Tips to Remember

  1. When you make a full draw, the point at which the bowstring anchors on your face is called the anchor point. Your anchor point should be consistent throughout your sighting.
  2. Split your sighting in the process to avoid muscle fatigue changing the equation.
  3. Don’t try to do the sighting in, in a rush. 


You may know all about how to sight in a compound bow, but if you aren’t practicing enough, you will never be accurate in hitting your target. Your hit’s precision will depend on your sighting, surely, but it will also depend on how good you are with the bow overall. So once the sighting is done, you should get going!