Bow Sight Adjustment Guide (Step By Step) | Adjust 2nd & 3rd Axis Easily

What should you do when an expensive bow sight even doesn’t chase your expected target?

Move your sight!

Whether it’s a tournament at 70 or you’re tearing boards at 10 yards, adjusting the bow sight is very vital to pursue the middle of the target.

Even after knowing “when does bow sights work best?” it’s not packing arrows into the heart then likelihood, there’s a need to adjust your bow sight. Here we discuss how to dial in your sight with easy steps.

Basic Concept

Sight-in distance is a must to determine before shooting arrows. Multi-Pin sight users would start from the closest distance which is 20 yards. Before moving back, dial in your sight close to the target and shoot three arrows in your comfortable position and they must be hit in the same area (group).

If your three arrow group isn’t in the area where you expected then bring changes in your sight according to the group. For instance, if the arrow group is high then the area you aimed then raised the sight pin, and if it’s on right then move the pin to right and vice versa.

Sight-in Multi-Pin Sight

A standard multi-pin bow sight supports three main-adjustments. You can move the aiming pin up and down but you also can move the entire sight to left, right, up, and down. You use the top pin for covering the closest distance and the last pin to aim for farthest distance ranges.

Top-pin sight is being set according to the archers’ own as some people set it for 20 and others for 10 yards. Now shoot three arrows in a group and move the sight toward it just losing the screw. After adjusting the sight, shoot three more arrows to check it.

Next, you can move your sight up and down according to the groups if they aren’t in place. Make sure your top pin is located in one-third of the housing. If space runs out of one-third, you can move to house up and down.

After lining-up, the top pin, now move to 20-yard pins and aims over 24. Shoot a group and move your aiming pin up and down according to it. Continue it until you have set your last pin according to distances.

Sight-in Single-Pin Sight

Single pin sights are very easy to adjust as these sights support windage and elevation settings to move the pin. These sights support very easy adjustments for sliding pins. Shoot three arrows and move your sight up and down until you lineup it with your expected aim.

Your activity decides how you bring changes in your sight. if you’re shooting a single distance then it’s very straightforward to set the pin but if you’re shooting multiple distances, then you must have a distance tape.

You can mark the distance tape according to the distance you want. Mark it using a pen and if you have a factory printed sight, you would consider your pin in 20 yards. Mark other distances matching to factory-printed sight tape and test for accurate alignment.

Tip for Competitive Archers

Multi-pin users who still want to add a pin in their 5-Pin Sight can use the frame of sight. You’ll sight in the housing for the yardage (many archers choose 80) you want. You can get the desired yardage once the bubble/wire intersects the housing, and sets the pin manually. Now it’s easy to turn your 5-pin bow sight to six-pin.

Trouble Shoot

While adjusting the sight, if you’ve reached the bottom and want a farther distance to cover the tray lowering the brackets to move the sight down. Usually, these brackets are optional to remove and reinstall so you can move the sight pin lower regardless of trouble in mounting.

Maximum there may be clearance issues but you can use your arrow in rest with their fletching forward. Now hold the arrow in the shooting position and see if its end touches the scope or sight. Many sights support dovetail extension so if you also have extension then bring it all the way for hitting the higher distances.

After adjusting the sight, if the arrow hits a different area that you aim, then tighten all screws on your sight to bring it on the way.

While shooting from down or uphill, if your shots hit left or right then it is 100% sure your third axis adjustments are off. Here’s a video to discuss completely the third axis adjustments. Archery shops will gladly assist in adjusting your 3rd axis.

How to adjust the second axis of a Bow Sight?

It refers to the clockwise/counter-clockwise position of the sight for second axis adjustments. Every archer wants to adjust the axis adjustments until the pins plumb with the bowstring. In this demonstration, the flat side of the compound bow riser is parallel with the string.

1.   Mount a 2 or 4 feet bubble level vertically and make sure the bubble is in line. Take another level and check the first level isn’t pitched back or forward from all the sides.

2.   After plumbing the level now take your bow sight and consider mounting it on the level. Bring the sight arm horizontal while holding it against the level. Make sure your sight is reading level. Otherwise, you need to adjust the second axis.

3.   We refer to the user’s manual according to his bow sight. Not adjusting the second axis of sight, many bow sights don’t support adjustments and can’t be plumbed. In that scenario, archers can shim a washer with the screw or other stuff.

4.   Until the level comes in reading, you must adjust the second axis. Adjust it clockwise or counterclockwise until the reading comes accurately.

How to adjust the 3rd axis of a Bow Sight?

The 3rd axis is actually swinging the bow sight head away from the archer’s eye. If it’s not adjusted precisely, the level will not read true and the shots will not be in a group. The compound bow will be perfect in vertical alignment during uphill or downhill shots if the 3rd axis adjustments are done.

1.   Temporarily place your sight with a vertical bubble level and tilt it upward and downward. Now read the bubble level built-in bow sight from both sides and if it’s not accurate then it’s sure the 3rd axis adjustments are out.

2.   Until the sight reads the bubble level, you need to adjust it upward or downward. When it reads the level, you would consider there’s all set in your bow sight and it’s ready to shoot from plan or uphill and downhill.

The Final Verdict

Adjusting the bow sights is easy but time taking but you don’t need to be discouraged. Make small adjustments and then keep checking it with shooting a tighter group. If you make inaccurate adjustments carelessly then it’ll waste your all struggle of aligning the bow sight.   


Leave a Comment