Archery is a hobby that requires a great deal of accuracy and skill, a steady hand and an even steadier aim. Yet, even the sharpest of eyes and the most deft of hands cannot truly compensate for improperly-handled equipment, especially in regards to shooting with a compound bow. Perhaps the most important part of assembling a compound bow is in properly mounting, or “sighting-in,” a bow, so as to ensure accuracy when using a bow’s scope, no matter the shooting conditions. Properly sighting-in a compound bow is not a difficult task, but it is a time-consuming one, and one that requires patience and care.
Before going ahead with any actual sighting-in, it would be wise to set aside a few days to work on your bow. Sighting-in can be completed in about 30 minutes to an hour, but that doesn’t mean it ought to be a “one-and-done” sort of thing. Making adjustments over the course of a few days is especially important if you plan on sighting-in a new or unused bow, so that you’ll have more time to break in the strings and other mechanical parts of the bow. These parts wear down with use, which affects how well a bow can aim and fire. Working with a bow for an extended period of time, making adjustments all the while, can really help with improving its performance in the long run.
Another thing one should look into when planning to sight-in a compound bow is setting up good targets for target-practice. It should be no surprise that one needs something to aim for and shoot at when practice-firing a bow, so investing in some quality bow targets will also be something to consider. Ideally, you will want your bow targets to be large and identifiable, something that can catch your arrows even if your aim is off (which it will be at first). Make sure it stands out from the environment you wish to shoot in, something you can easily spot from at least 40 feet. Also make sure you can easily remove your arrows from the target, as you won’t want to clutter them with previously shot arrows or their remnants. These targets will need to be set up at 10-foot, 20-foot, 30-foot, and 40-foot intervals before sighting-in a compound bow, as these often correspond to the pins on most bows. If your bow has different distance intervals for its pins, adjust the distance of your targets accordingly. With good quality targets set up properly, you’ll be ready to get into sighting-in proper.
The actual sighting-in process involves making adjustments to the different pins on your bow, which control where and how the scope on your bow sits. Before sighting-in your bow, make sure your scope has been mounted on your bow for at least a few hours, as the scope will often need that amount of time to settle into the bow. With the scope properly settled and stationary, you will be able to make more accurate adjustments to it. Now, when first sighting-in your bow, have the scope pins set at their middlemost setting at first. This will make identifying whether to adjust them up or down easier. After this, you will need to position yourself in front of the target properly. Make sure your body is perpendicular to the intended target, your side to its face. Assuming the proper stance, you’ll be ready to fire off your bow.
Focus on hitting the closest target first, with the uppermost pin for aim. Your arrow will more than likely not hit exactly where the pin was indicating, probably hitting a little too high or low, a little too far left or right. Adjust the sight accordingly, first horizontally then vertically. In other words, if your first shot was a little too far to the left, and a little too high, tweak your sight towards the left until your shot at least lines up with the pin before moving on to vertical adjustments. For the Up and Down adjustments, you will need to move down to your next highest pin. Once this is done, and once you’re hitting the first target accurately, repeat these steps for the next targets. Your adjustments should be gradually getting more minute as you progress. By the end, you should only need to make very fine adjustments by moving the pins a bit, preferably with an Allen wrench.
It is important that you start off with the close-range adjustments first. Though these will more than likely change as you move downwards with your adjustments, these first tweaks will make those later ones much easier and more accurate.
As stated before, this process is best done repeatedly, over the course of a few days. The gradual wear and tear on the bow will also make it more accustomed to your shooting style, and soon the bow will be sufficiently aligned with your body and strength. Taking the time and effort to properly sight-in a bow is important to maintaining a properly-functioning bow, an act that even natural talent cannot make up for. If you take the time to align your sight and pins properly, you’ll be able to make most any compound bow the best compound bow for your needs.
Additional Resources :
– Hunting website
–Compound Bow – Wikipedia
– Compound Bows Recalled by BowTech Archery; Bow Can Unexpectedly Break Apart