How to Adjust the Compound Bow Sights on the Archery Range

Many archers who use compound bows install sights on the bow to increase accuracy for target shooting and hunting. The most common sight configuration uses from one to four adjustable pins that are mounted on the bow's riser. The pins can be moved up and down and left and right with each pin set for a specific distance.

Step 1

Loosen the inner collar on the pin to adjust the horizontal position of the pins so their tips are approximately centered over the inside edge of the arrow when it is knocked. Loosen the outer collar to move the pins up and down so they are evenly spaced from one another in the bracket. Tighten both the inner and outer collars so they will be secured in place. This initial setting allows you room to move each pin without obscuring other pins as you make adjustments during the sighting process.

Step 2

Start at the 20-yard line and shoot three arrows into the target using the top pin. Sight by putting the pin directly on the center of the target. Do not worry if the arrows are off their mark at this point. You are shooting for consistency and want the arrows to be in a tight group.

Step 3

Move the pin toward the arrow group to adjust the sight. Start with the vertical direction first by moving the pin up or down. For example, if the arrows hit the target above your aim point, move the pin up. If they hit below, move the pin down.

Step 4

Continue the process of shooting three arrows and making adjustments in the vertical direction until the arrows hit the center of the target. They may land to the left or right of the target at this point, but they should be hitting vertical center before you move on to the next step.

Step 5

Shoot another three arrows and move the top pin to the left or right to adjust in the horizontal direction. If the group of arrows is to the left of center, move the pin out, or to the left. If the arrows are to the right of center, move the pin in, or to the right.

Step 6

Repeat the sighting process in the vertical direction at 30 yards with the second highest pin, 40 yards with the third highest pin, and 50 yards for the bottom pin. You should only have to make minor adjustments in the horizontal direction.


  • Do your best to have a consistent anchor and release while sighting in the bow so you will have tight arrow groups. For the best accuracy, your groups should be close enough to cover with your palm.
  • Do not try and move your bow arm to adjust your aim. Keep the pin centered on the target and adjust the pin.


  • Hunter's Friend: Bow Sight Selection Guide
  • Archery Fundamentals; Douglas Engh