Updated September 01, 2019 by Tina Morna Freitas

The 10 Best Bow Sights

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This wiki has been updated 20 times since it was first published in February of 2017. No longer a primitive weapon made of wood and string, the compound bow of today is a high-tech device used for both hunting and sports. One of its most important components, of course, is the sight, which can help you see your target more clearly and, thus, result in a more accurate shot. These models, encompassing both budget and professional options, represent some of the best on the market. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Trophy Ridge React Pro

2. IQ Micro

3. Truglo Range Rover Pro

Editor's Notes

August 30, 2019:

We evaluated bow sights that would be appropriate for everyone from beginner to pros because archers at any level can benefit from an upgrade to sight that comes with their bow.

Our top choices reflect the latest technology that serious hunters will appreciate. The Trophy Ridge React Pro is engineered to make all adjustments easier and incredibly precise, with the pins adjusting together automatically for ultimate accuracy. The IQ Micro offers retina lock technology that provides the shooter with instant feedback to help them improve form and consistency.

We decided to include something as simple as the Topoint Essential because it gives beginners all the basics they will need to improve their accuracy at an amazing price.

4. HHA Optimizer Lite

5. Trophy Ridge Volt

6. Apex Gear Covert Pro

7. Southland Archery Supply 5-Pin

8. Truglo Pendulum

9. Topoint Essential

10. Archer Xtreme Rogue

Understanding The Types Of Bow Sights

Somewhere on the sight will be reference marks representing different yardages.

There are two main types of bow sights one will be presented with when perusing the different models on the market: fixed multi-pin and single moveable pin. Each of these styles excels in a different area, making them better suited to certain uses. Fixed multi-pin bow sights are dialed in ahead of time for the different distances you expect to shoot. This makes them ideal for shooting at targets when practicing and during archery competitions where you know in advance exactly how far you need to shoot. You will never have to fiddle around with your sight while under pressure at your mark. Since the pins are pre-set to a specific distance, once on your mark, all you have to do is draw your arrow, select one of your pins, aim, and release. The same properties that make them so well-suited to target archery, make them a poor choice for hunting. Even if you set the multiple pins to a variety of different distance markings, there is a high probability that none of them may be at the right setting for the spot where your prey makes an appearance. After all, it is impossible to predict the movements of a wild animal.

Unlike fixed multi-pin models that require previous preparation, single moveable pin models can be adjusted on the fly for the distance you are currently setting up to shoot, making them better suited to hunting applications. Somewhere on the sight will be reference marks representing different yardages. Archers simply move a lever to slide the pin up and down along the reference guide, allowing them to adjust the distance of their shot. The drawback of single moveable pin models is the additional time they require to adjust the pin before each and every shot. Since there is only a single pin, you cannot have your sight set for multiple distances at the same time. This also means that if the animal you are sighting in on moves towards you or away from you before you get a chance to take your shot, you will have to re-adjust the pin.

Features To Consider When Choosing A Bow Sight

Once you have determined which type of bow sight you want to purchase, you can start considering the other accessories and features it has. Some sights have fiber optics in the pin that can make them easier to see in low light conditions. Another option for those who hunt in dim conditions is a model that features integrated battery-powered sight lights. Either of these features can be an invaluable aid for someone who hunts in the early morning or dusk hours.

Doing so on a compound bow, however, can completely throw off your shot.

Depending on what kind of archery set you have, a bubble level can be very helpful too. With a recurve bow, it is often required to shoot at a slight tilt. Doing so on a compound bow, however, can completely throw off your shot. With a bubble level on your sight, you always know whether you are holding the bow correctly. Most are filled with some kind of non-freezing liquid as well, allowing you to use them in all weather conditions.

If you constantly need to compensate for elevation and wind, gang adjustment can be very helpful. With gang adjustment you can adjust all of the pins on a fixed multi-pin sight at one time, rather than having to waste time moving each one individually. If you do decide to choose a model with gang adjustment, it is usually best to opt for one that doesn't require any tools.

It is worth nothing that if you are bow hunting in the field however, you may find that a simple sight is your best option. They tend to be the most durable, which can be vital if you are often caught in inclement weather or constantly jostling it around as you hike.

The Invention Of The Bow And Arrow

Long used for hunting and warfare, the bow and arrow is one of the oldest long-distance projectile weapons still commonly used in modern times. It is not known what peoples first used the bow and arrow or the exact date of their invention, but it is undisputed that they have been in use since ancient times. As of now, the oldest bow ever discovered comes from Holmegård swamp in Denmark and dates back to roughly 6000 B.C.E. There have also been arrows found in Germany that are dated to somewhere between 7000 and 9000 B.C.E.

Discoveries in the Sibuda Cave in South Africa currently indicate use of the bow and arrow as early as 64,000 years ago.

Based on indirect evidence though, many historians believe they came about sometime during the Upper Paleolithic Era, if not earlier, which ranges from 10,000 to 50,000 years ago. Discoveries in the Sibuda Cave in South Africa currently indicate use of the bow and arrow as early as 64,000 years ago. Few weapons have had such a profound impact on the lore and legends of so many cultural groups as the bow and arrow. There is the Iranian legend of Arash, a famed archer who shot an arrow imbued with his life force that traveled for multiple days before landing. It is said the place it landed determined the border between Turan and Persia. From Ancient Greece we have the story of the bow and arrow-wielding Eros, known as Cupid by the Romans and in more modern mythologies. Anyone shot by Cupid's arrow would be overcome by desire for whoever they first laid eyes upon. There are countless more examples from a number of cultures, including the Egyptians, North Germanic people, and Native Americans.

Due to the plethora of lore from many ancient cultures, and the evidence of their use by pre-civilized people on nearly every continent who would never have had contact with one another, it is more than likely that many societies developed versions of the bow and arrow independently of one another. For this reason, it is probable that we will never know exactly where this weapon was first invented.

Tina Morna Freitas
Last updated on September 01, 2019 by Tina Morna Freitas

Tina Morna Freitas is a writer who lives in Chicago with her family and three cats. She has a B.A. in anthropology with a minor in English, and has built a freelance career over the years in writing and digital marketing. Her passions for cooking, decorating and home improvement contribute to her extensive knowledge of all things kitchen and home goods. In addition, her 20 years as a parent inform her expertise in the endless stream of toys and equipment that inevitably takes over the homes of most parents. She also enjoys gardening, making and sipping margaritas, and aspires to be a crazy cat lady once all the children are grown.

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