Last updated on August 24 by Shawn Lentz
One of the most critical attachments for your compound bow is your sight. It adds unmatched accuracy and the ability to shoot at longer distances with more precision.
Sure, you can practice and master instinctive shooting on a compound by practicing very diligently, but for most of us, it is a vital part of the bow setup.
Single-pin, multi-pin, dovetail, pendulum, rangefinding… There are a ton of bow sight styles with many nuances as designers come out with evermore creative innovations.
Whether it is for sport or the hunt, the ultimate goal with compound bow sights is dead-on and repeatable accuracy at any effective range. In this article, we take you through our top picks.
|PRODUCT||OUR RATING||PRICE||BUY ONLINE|
|Trophy Ridge React Pro Sight||$$||check on Amazon|
|Trophy Ridge Volt 5-Pin Bow Sight||$||check on amazon|
|IQ Bowsights 5-Pin Micro Bowsight with Retina Lock||$$||check on amazon|
|Trophy Ridge Pursuit Vertical Pin Bow Sight||$||check on amazon|
|HHA Optimizer Lite Ultra 5019 Sight||$$$||check on amazon|
|Spot-Hogg Fast Eddie XL MRT 5-Pin Bow Sight||$$||check on Amazon|
|Burris Optics Oracle Rangefinder Bow Sight||$$$||check on amazon|
Trophy Ridge has kicked it up a notch with the React Pro bow sight. All you have to do is dial in your top two sight pins. At that point, the React Pro automatically adjusts for the 40, 50, and 60-yard pins using the mathematical calculation of an arch. No more taking hours unscrewing each individual pin and moving it up or down to sight them in.
You can choose between left or right-hand oriented sights. You also have the choice between the small 0.019″ sight pins or ultra-small 0.010″ sight pins. The smaller diameters help by not covering up your target completely. But, they can also take some getting used to if you normally use 0.029″ pins.
Ultra-bright fiber optic pins will help you see better during inclement weather, or when you’re at full-draw on that big buck at the last minute of the day. Where legal, it also has a port to attach a rheostat light to the outside ring of the sight housing. The rheostat light helps light up those pins during low light conditions, or when you’re inside a blind at first legal light.
Put that Allen wrench set away—archers will rejoice about the tool-less micro-adjustment features. This is an awesome feature that not only allows windage and elevation adjustments, but also adjustments along the second and third axis.
Given the price, reliability, and highly adjustable tool-less nature, The Trophy Ridge React Pro gets our stamp for best compound bow sight. We think you will agree!
● Bottom three pins adjust themselves
● Make sight adjustments without tools
● Small pins won’t cover target
Next up is our pick for compound bow sight with the best value. And the winner goes to Trophy Ridge Volt 5-Pin bow sight. It doesn’t have tool-less micro-adjustability, so you will have to go old-school with an archer’s tool. But, if that doesn’t bother you, it’s a great value for the price.
With the reversible mount, you can set up for right or left-handed use. This fixed, multi-pin sight comes with five sight pins that contain ultra-bright fiber optics. Laser-etched markings will help you keep track of your placements for windage, elevation, and pin adjustments.
The first and last hour of light can make looking through your peep and bow sights like looking into a black void. The Volt’s rheostat light offers you varying degrees of brightness on your fiber optic pins and will make a big difference in those low-light situations. The green hood accent ring helps with sight acquisition, and the level inside the sight housing assists with aligning your shots.
The Volt 5-Pin archery sight comes with 0.019 pins, which is a great size for maintaining accuracy and not blocking out your entire target.
Trophy Ridge did a great job with this basic, no-frills fixed-pin sight. While there are no major bells and whistles, and it doesn’t offer tool-less adjustments, this is a great budget fixed-pin that offers a little more than the competition.
IQ Bowsights has been making waves for a number of years now with their retina lock and other innovations. They truly make a quality compound bow sight. The five-pin Micro with Retina Lock continues that tradition.
The multi-pin sight actually comes in a three, five, or seven-pin version; you just have to specify when you order. We chose the five-pin sight to focus on since it is a solid middle-of-the-road option.
We love the tool-less adjustability on the windage and elevation. Not only do you have the advantage of knobs to make the adjustments, but the knobs also lock into place, so you don’t lose your settings—an important feature so you don’t have to start over when sighting your bow in.
This sight also utilizes the smaller 0.019″ fiber optic pins that stack tightly and benefit from a rheostat light port.
That brings us to the Retina Lock. IQ Bowsight’s Retina Lock Technology is a very cool innovation that helps control muscle memory and consistency. It gives you the ability to shoot longer distances while keeping your groups tight.
It is considered the most accurate archery sighting system in the world. With practice, there is even the ability to shoot without a peep sight because of how the Retina Lock helps you line-up your shot.
The Retina Lock is a green circle at the top of the sight housing that contains a black dot.
When the black dot sits centered on the green background, you know your shot is lined-up perfectly every time. Any deviation side-to-side or up and down, and you know your shot is going to be off.
Single pin sights became all the rage many years ago and with good reason. You have a much clearer sight picture with one pin than with five or seven.
In the event that your quarry steps into range unexpectedly, counting pins can be difficult when you have just seconds to set up a shot.
You might have to range with your rangefinder first, then draw and anchor, and then make sure you are using the right pin for the yardage the rangefinder is telling you.
Under stress, we sometimes count wrong, and the arrow sails over or under the deer. That won’t be the case with the Trophy Ridge Pursuit.
With a single .019″ vertical pin and a locking slider to compensate for various yardages, you eliminate the mental game of picking the right pin in the heat of the moment.
Simply move the ultra-precise slider for the yardage you are shooting for and quickly lock it down. No metal-on-metal contact here: Just smooth, quiet movements. Adding a sight tape or marks to the slider area will be necessary for yardage referencing.
Of course, that can provide its own set of challenges and is probably the biggest con of this bow sight.
For 3D competitions, walk-through archery ranges, treestand, ground blind hunting, or anywhere you can pre-range distances from surrounding objects, this will be a great sight.
For spot and stalk or still hunting, it will be more challenging to happen upon an animal unexpectedly, quickly set your yardage with the slider, and get a shot off before your trophy bounds away.
For the best in single-pin sights, look no further than the CNC-machined aluminum HHA Optimizer Lite.
This premium moveable sight is super lightweight and has a compact 1 ⅝-inch sight housing, outlined with a yellow sight ring to help with quicker target acquisition.
Containing a single .019″ fiber optic pin, once you sight in your 20 and 60-yard settings, you’re automatically dialed in up to 80 yards.
It comes with 44 different sight tapes that are computer generated and color-coded. So, regardless of your bow setup, you can quickly index the yardage dial where you need it.
The Optimizer Lite Ultra offers tool-less windage micro adjustment. With the simple turn of a knob, you can adjust and lock it back down to keep your setting. It also features a Mathews Harmonic Dampener to reduce vibration and noise.
HHA crushed it with this sight both in terms of craftsmanship, durability, and function. It has one of the brightest pins on the market. It’s also very precise, whether you’re bow hunting or shooting 3D competitions.
However, it is only as precise as the care taken to sight it in. So, make sure to take the time to do it right!
One thing to consider with this sight is the problematic nature of adjusting the yardage dial while hunting.
If you’ve ranged and drawn on the animal, but it moves out further, you will have to let down, range again, and adjust your dial for the new yardage. Then you will have to re-draw.
Let’s hope it hasn’t left your range by then.
Spot-Hogg, the maker of the widely acclaimed “7 Deadly Pins” and the popular Fast Eddie bow sights, is back with this offering in the Hogg Boss line.
The Spot-Hogg Fast Eddie XL MRT is an outstanding multi-pin sight that builds off of the Fast Eddie.
Featuring MRT (Multiple Ring Technology) and a newly designed 6-inch dovetail. There are just a lot of things to love about this sight.
You can get the Fast Eddie XL in your choice of single, double, three, five, and seven-pin setups, both left or right-handed. It also comes in different pin sizes from .010 to 0.029.
Improve your accuracy at longer ranges with the 6-inch dovetail. Take it off and on as needed, and you’ll still keep your sight marks.
Tool-less adjustability keeps you sighted in without the use of Allen wrenches. The Fast Eddie XL also gives you an incredible amount of micro-adjustability, including the 2nd and 3rd axis.
A newer feature on the Fast Eddie XL is the multiple ring technology. MRT gives you three different rings to choose from so you can align better with different sized peep sights.
One of the best features of this five-pin sight is that when you need to shoot beyond 60 yards, you can use the bottom pin as a floater to shoot out to 100 yards or more.
With assistance from the yardage dial, you just rotate to the yardage you need on the sight tape and use your bottom pin as you would normally. This eliminates two pins and gives you a more precise sight picture.
Welcome to the future! The Burris Oracle rangefinder bow sight is a two-in-one that will allow you to drop a piece of gear from your hunting pack.
In states where it’s legal (some don’t allow electronics of any kind on a bow), it will also eliminate the need to range separately before drawing and shooting.
A part of the process that has, no doubt, stymied many a bowhunter—watching in disbelief as their buck goes bounding-off into the distance.
In short, this thing is fantastic. The Burris Oracle ranges in realtime out to 100 yards. Not only does it range your target, but it also provides an aiming dot once it acquires the range.
It goes even further and compensates for angle like most modern handheld rangefinders. Literally, the only thing you have to do is push a button and draw like normal. The Burris Oracle does the rest.
There is one pin that runs through the middle of the site housing, which has a fixed 20-yard marker.
So, you always have a reliable, non-electronic 20 yard. With no glass, there is no worry about fogging or breakage.
The only two complaints on the Burris are the weight and cost. The sight is made from durable aluminum and weighs just a smidge over a pound.
It is expensive, but then again, you would spend a couple of hundred bucks if not more on a separate range finder.
A bow sight is a major part of your compound bow setup, so getting a high-quality model is essential. Here are some things to keep in mind during your search.
How do you plan on using your bow? Will you be hunting or competing in 3D tournaments?
Maybe you’re just target shooting in your backyard. Your intended purpose will dictate the best archery sight for your bow.
Single pin sights offer some great benefits like sight-picture clarity, exact yardage settings (no guessing on the even yardages), and eliminating guesswork. However, they perform better where you have time to set up a shot on a stationary target.
Moveable pin sights can be challenging to use in the field, depending on your style of hunting.
They lend themselves better to blind or treestand hunting than they do spot and stalk or still hunting. The problem comes when you have to readjust your yardage if an animal moves from its previous spot.
If you’ve drawn, you will have to let down, re-range, set your yardage dial, and draw again. That’s a lot of lost time that can result in lost freezer-fare.
For hunting, you are better off with a multi-pin sight or a multi-pin with yardage dial.
You will have three or five fixed pins, plus your last pin will serve as a floater pin. You can use that floater along with the yardage dial to set ranges out to 100 yards.
Fiber optics work by gathering light and then transmitting it to your sight pin. The longer or more fiber you have, the more light it’s going to gather. That translates into a brighter pin.
Some sights have fiber optic wraps, while some run down the side of the sight. Others are simply the length of the pin with a small wrap around the end of it.
The sights that wrap the fiber optic around the housing may have as much as six feet of length. These are going to be significantly brighter, especially in low-light situations.
Don’t underestimate how quickly your sight pins’ visibility can diminish during the last hour of legal shooting light. If you are in a blind or set up in the forest understory, daylight will fade even quicker.
Some states will allow a rheostatic light, in which case pin brightness is a non-issue. If your state doesn’t allow a rheostat, you’ll be solely reliant on the fiber optics.
So when you are looking at getting a new bow sight, make sure you get one with the most fiber possible.
The size of the pin is an important consideration also. Pins come in three sizes: .010″ .019″, and .029″.
Not only can a smaller size pin be more precise, but there is also less chance of the target getting obscured. This is even more important at longer distances beyond 50 yards.
To help combat targets at longer yardages disappearing behind your dot, many of us that use a fixed-pin site, use larger pins for 20, 30, and 40 yards. To finish it out, we will drop to smaller pins for the 50, 60, and 70-yard pins.
There is a downside, though. Smaller pins mean smaller fiber optics, which means less light. So, that means your bottom pins are going to start becoming less visible sooner than the top.
Again, for the rheostat user, it isn’t much of a problem. But if you’re relying on good old-fashioned natural light, make sure to get a sight with a significant amount of fiber.
They are legal in 40 states. Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Colorado, Florida, and Hawaii are illegal.
There are. In fact, Trophy Ridge, Allen, and some other brands make sights specifically for recurves. There are also recurves with aluminum risers that will accommodate most compound bow sights.
The most popular setting for multi-pin sights is sighting the top pin at 20 yards and moving up 10 yards for each successive pin.
For example, say you have a five-pin sight. Your top pin would be set for 20 yards. You would then sight the next four pins as follows: 30, 40, 50, and 60 yards.
Dovetail: An adjustable bar that allows the sight housing to move back and forth. The decrease in distance between the sight housing and peep sight can improve the accuracy in longer distance shooting.
Pendulum Sight: Style of bow sight where the sight housing pivots about the 3rd axis, allowing the sight pin to be aimed more effectively within a certain range of angles.
Fiber Optic: Flexible, light-gathering material that transmits light along its length. It’s typically made from silica or plastic.