HUNTING

Best Bow Sight: To Accommodate All Shooting Styles

Bow sight review
Shawn Harrison
Written by Shawn Harrison

Getting the right bow doesn’t mean your job is done. Now it’s time to get the best bow sight on the market in order to aim, shoot and hit better.

As you’ll find out once you start reading this article, a good sight won’t only improve visibility but help you stabilize your bow in order to be in control and therefore refine your skills.

Bow sight

So read on to learn more about how to choose the sight of your dreams, as well as to find out which great items we’ve found on the market and reviewed for you.

Things to Think About

Since you want your sights to help you take better shots, you want to consider all the factors involved in their manufacturing.

Purpose and budget

Some sights are built in a rather simple fashion, while others have more complex parts, which is why you must consider your purpose. So if you’re going on a run-of-the-mill hunting trip, considering the best bow sight for the money is probably wisest.

Purpose and budget

But if you have an expert hunting technique, or if you often participate in various contests, you may need a more expensive model. There are lots of models out there that don’t require a lot of investment, have a moderate price and still some very sweet features. The products we’ve reviewed below can mainly fit in this category.

Type

There are six different types of sights to consider:

Fixed-pin:

  • The typical choice for most hunters.
  • Has a few pins with fixed positions once they’re set.
  • You can choose how many pins you add.
  • Easy to put in place and tune.
  • Requires adjusting the distances in advance, before use.
  • Harder to shoot when you don’t know the exact distance.
  • More difficult to shoot when you’re on higher grounds.
  • Less precision requires learning the gap-shooting technique.
  • Adding more pins to mark more exact distances will hide the target.

Moveable-pin:

  • Has just one pin, and you set it accordingly before shooting.
  • It’s easy and quick to adjust.
  • More accuracy in determining the distance.
  • Requires more patience to mark more distances.
  • Still need to do some guess-work for intermediate distances.
  • Better for target shooting than hunting.
  • Setting up the pin before every shot requires time you may not have on the field.
  • Its various parts may mess with your mounting the quiver on the bow.

Pendulum:

  • Specially manufactured for treestanding.
  • Is more precise when it comes to a difference in terrain elevation.
  • Has just one pin set in a sort of pendulum, which changes positions according to the angle at which you
  • Allows for the installation of additional fixed pins for better estimations and shots.
  • Pretty good precision when it comes to incapacitating your game by mortally wounding them.
  • Not so exact when it comes to hitting a precise spot on the animal’s body.
  • Better for short range hunting.

Target/ 3D competition:

  • Expert sights used at contests.
  • More expensive.
  • Complex build in regards to windage.
  • Easy to set it depending on various elevation variations.
  • Have a bigger size.
  • Allows very precise shots.
  • Aren’t recommended if absolute precision isn’t required.

Fixed-plate:

  • It’s fixed right on the bow and doesn’t move.
  • More simple.
  • Very dependable.
  • Better for hunters.
  • Is shorter.
  • Doesn’t work for absolute accuracy.
  • Allows you to set your quiver on the bow with no problems.

Dovetail mount:

  • It’s not set up on the bow directly, which means it can quickly be taken off it.
  • A bit more complicated to use.
  • Better for target shooting and competitions.
  • You can add more sights.
  • Are longer.
  • Permit more precise shots.
  • Can’t mount your quiver directly on the bow with this type of sight.

Materials used

Don’t neglect materials and manufacturing, because these make the difference between the best bow sight for hunting and the class idiot.

Optic fibers:

  • This material captures light from the environment and traps it inside.
  • Allows increased luminosity when there’s not much light outside.
  • Makes targeting and shooting more accurate.
  • If the length of the cable is too long, it will create a halation that will decrease your overall visibility.

Machined aluminum:

  • Has a reduced weight.
  • It’s resistant to rust.
  • It’s very popular.
  • Can be used in a complex design that increases
  • It’s more expensive than other materials.

Plastic:

  • Not all parts have to be made from plastic.
  • Some plastic made materials are durable and strong.
  • It doesn’t weigh much – less than aluminum.
  • It’s a dependable substance, especially for the pin guard.
  • It’s cheaper, but very cheap ones are still a bad idea.

Size

At this point, you’ll have to take your pick between:

Small pins:

  • The 0.019 inches are the smallest on the market.
  • The shot placement is extremely accurate.
  • Better for long range shooting.
  • Don’t allow visibility in every situation.
  • Aren’t very shiny.

Big pins:

  • The 0.040 inches are the biggest on the market.
  • Shine very brightly.
  • Show you an exact aim.
  • Don’t have a great shot placement.
  • Better for close range shooting.

Or maybe you’ll go for the medium size of 0.029 inches instead because that will help you make the most of your sight in every situation.

Extras

Some sights include really nice feats, like the fact that they can be used exactly the same both by people with right ocular dominance as well as left ocular dominance.

Bow sight extras

But there are other extras to consider:

  • The bubble level accounts for increased stability of your bow, helping you keep it perfectly vertical.
  • The second and third axis adjustments increase the precision of the bubble level, at 0º and 90º respectively.
  • The gang adjustment helps you move the entire system of pins at the same time for quicker setting in the field.
  • The micro-adjusting for setting your windage and elevation more precisely.
  • The zero pin gap is a sight with a very small distance between its pins, making it more accurate for fast weapons.
  • The sight lights that account for extra visibility when it’s dark.
  • The radioactive substances injected in some pins that make them glow at nighttime.

The Sights You Need to Look At

Once we’ve analyzed all these characteristics, we hope it will be easier for you to make an informed choice and get the best bow sight for the money. We’ll give you some alternatives to check out, and hopefully that will make your decision easier.

Field Logic IQ 5 Pin Sight

Field Logic IQ 5 Pin Sight

Weight: 12.8 ounces

Dimensions: not specified

Specifications: Retina Lock™ technology; right-handed; second axis feature; micro-adjusting; 5 included pins; .019 fiber optic

Best Use: long-range shooting

Description: This 4.7 stars and $125 fixed-pin sight has various trademarked technologies like Retina Lock™ which will help you take more accurate shots. That’s because it provides very helpful feedback and has muscle memory, which improves your control over the long term.

That has important consequences both for short range and long range shooting alike since you’ll be able to target and shoot with more precision.

The Field Logic bow sight is specially designed for right-handed shooters, but the left-handed model is also available with a slight difference in price since it costs $140.73. Both options are manufactured for use with compound bows, and their setting is easily made.

The control and leveling provided by this sight are exemplary, more so because it uses the second axis feature as well as micro-adjusting. This will take into account windage and elevation to help you shoot better.

The included 5 pins will help you set the distances according to your liking, and focus your target exactly with the assistance of the IQ dot.

The pins are made from 0.019 fiber optic, which is the smallest size available but increases accuracy, especially at a longer distance. Besides, the pins all have different colors so you won’t mix them up.

Trophy Ridge Punisher 5 Sight

Trophy Ridge Punisher 5 Sight

Weight: 7.2 ounces

Dimensions: 9 x 7 x 3 inches

Specifications: field-replaceable pins; 0.029 fiber optic; ambidextrous use; composite material used; sight light added

Best Use: target shooting and hunting

Description: This 4.1 stars fixed-pin sight will take into account any particular style of shooting, and you can quickly set the pins depending on your preferences.

For instance, you can choose between the 3 pins setup or the 5 pins setup on Trophy Ridge Punisher 5 Sight, you can use the bow with your left or right hand, you can shoot up close or farther away, you can target practice or hunt.

This versatile sight is also manufactured from quality composite materials,that render it virtually indestructible, and very strong. That makes it very appropriate for extensive hunting, even more so because you can replace the pins right on the field in no time.

The pins themselves are made from fiber optic, making them reflect light and assist you in dimmer light conditions, like dusk or dawn.

The included sight light also contributes to this, while their medium 0.029 size is what further ensures accurate targeting at both longer and closer distances. Good precision is guaranteed by the high-contrast glow-ring and the cool reference marks which are laser-engraved on the sight.

TruGlo Carbon XS 4 Pin .019 Bow Sight

TruGlo Carbon XS 4 Pin .019 Bow Sight

Weight: 3.5 ounces

Dimensions: not specified

Specifications: carbon-composite construction; reversible bracket; ambidextrous use; 0.019 fiber optic pins; long fibers; TruTouch coating; sight light

Best Use: long-range shooting

Description: This 3.9 stars and $25.88 fixed-pin sight is definitely one of the best bow sights for the money, seeing as it’s rather inexpensive, but still does a good job particularly for long range shooting.

That’s because TruGlo Carbon XS 4 Pin .019 Bow Sight with Light has a very accurate shot placement thanks to its 4 included 0.019 fiber optic pins. On the other hand, it could be said that the long fibers used aren’t as good when it comes to visibility on short distances, seeing as they might create a halo.

The included sight light also complements this glow-in-the-dark system and creates more visibility in dusk or dawn conditions.

The materials used are pretty good for the price, not only considering the fiber optic, but the carbon composite as well. This is pretty resistant and very lightweight, accounting for a decreased total weight of the TruGlo sight. The TruFlo design for the fibers is another good patented technology, as is the TruTouch used to give the coating a softer feel.

Plus, you can use this sight in various conditions, adjusting it on a vertical plane with the help of its reversible bracket. This also facilitates ambidextrous use, so both right and left-handed shooters can use it problem-free.

Trophy Ridge 5 – Pin Bow Sight

Trophy Ridge 5 - Pin Bow Sight

Weight: 9.5 ounces (shipping weight)

Dimensions: not specified

Specifications: Ballistix copolymer material; 0.019 fiber optic pins; micro-adjustment; sight level; rheostat light; reversible sight mount

Best Use: inclined plane shooting

Description: This 4.7 stars and $113.85 is another one of the best bow sights for hunting at an inclined plane, seeing as is has different sort of mechanisms that will make the necessary adjustments easier.

For an instant, Trophy Ridge 5 – Pin Bow Sight has the micro adjustment feature that will help you stabilize the bow perfectly and keep it upright, to gain better control of your movements.

The added sight level will act as a leveler of itself for the micro adjustment, stabilizing the bow even more both on a vertical and horizontal plane.

Furthermore, the reversible mount deals with anchoring points found at different levels, while the whole sight is designed to take into account wind adjustment as well as a difference in elevation.

The materials used are resistant and lightweight. The plastic used for manufacturing this sight is called Ballistix Copolymer, which is 24% less heavy than aluminum, but equally sturdy. The 0.019 fiber optic pins are good for added luminosity, which is also obtained with the help of its rheostat light.

Besides, you can get this item in two different colors, black or camo, as well as in two models, for the left-handed and the right-handed shooters.

HHA OL-5519 Optimizer Lite .019 5500 Sight

HHA OL-5519 Optimizer Lite .019 5500 Sight

Weight: 1 ounces

Dimensions: 8 x 6 x 2 inches

Specifications: 1.6 inches sight housing; 0.019 fiber optic pins; 5 feet fiber length; tool-free adjustments

Best Use: target shooting

Description: This 4.8 stars and $136.09 product is a moveable pin sight which can employ just one pin to easily and quickly adjust it in order to determine the distances with more accuracy.

That’s why HHA OL-5519 Optimizer Lite .019 5500 Sight may be more appropriate for target shooting because each time you set the pin to fire the shot you waste some time you may not have when hunting.

But it’s a very accurate sight, and you can take perfect shots up til 80 yards, once you’ve set the distances at 20 and 60 yards. So the 5 yards increments from 60 to 80 yards don’t need any further adjusting, helping you shoot further.

The materials used are excellent: aluminum and fiber optics. These account for extra durability, resistance, as well as an easy setup and excellent visibility. The included pins are the smallest on the market at 0.019, which again helps you shoot at longer distances with no problem. Since the length of the fiber cable is 5 feet, it’s also better further away so as not to create a halo up close.

The needed adjustments can easily be done with no extra tools, but it’s better to use it on a compound bow rather than a recurve one.

Truglo Pendulum Adjustable Bracket 1-Pin Sight

Truglo Pendulum Adjustable Bracket 1-Pin Sight

Weight: 9.6 ounces

Dimensions: 5.5 x 3 x 4 inches

Specifications: 35 yards max; pendulum can be fixed; 0.029 pins; long fiber; ambidextrous use; pre-printed yardage; 1.8 inches aperture; LED rheostat; circular FOV; phosphorescent ring

Best Use: treestand hunting

Description: This 4.4 stars and $87.64 sight is one great tool to have when you’re treestanding. That’s because Truglo Pendulum Adjustable Bracket 1-Pin Sight .029″ Black employs a pendulum type of mechanism, that makes it easier to take into account elevation and shoot up close with increased accuracy. Besides, it’s very quiet which means you won’t be heard by the game you’re stalking either.

And if you’re planning to hunt at a longer distance when your vision is unobstructed by trees or brush, you should know that this sight can easily compensate for a distance of maximum 35 yards.

Plus, you have the option of fixing the oscillating mechanism, so that you can do some ground shooting as well. The included yardage tapes that are pre-printed will give you some extra help when setting the distances.

The circular field of view is another great addition that will help you get better visibility all around. The 0.019 fiber optic pins account for increased brightness in lower light, and the wrapped fiber is long and coated, so it doesn’t get damaged.

The included LED rheostat also contributes to extra luminosity by emitting a violet light that can’t be spotted by animals. If you don’t need it, you can easily adjust it or even remove it altogether.

The shooter’s ring is phosphorescent, another great addition when the lighting’s dim since you can easily see it and align the peep accordingly. Another user-friendly feature is the fact that you can adjust the sight to handle the bow with both your hands.

HHA Sports Optimizer Lite King Pin .019mm Sight

HHA Sports Optimizer Lite King Pin .019mm Sight

Weight: 12.8 ounces

Dimensions: 12 x 8 x 3 inches

Specifications: wheel-forward design; sight tape magnifier; machined brass rack and pinion; interchangeable wheels; 20-inch blind

Best Use: specialized shooting

Description: This 4.7 stars and $300.60 item is a 3D competition type of sight that renders it perfect for specialized shooting techniques and for experts who are willing to invest a bit more in a high-quality product.

For instance, HHA Sports Optimizer Lite King Pin .019mm Sight, Black is not the sort of sight that can only be adjusted in 5 yards increments which leave you doing a lot of guess-work for intermediate distances. Instead, it has a sight tape magnifier that makes setting it perfect for distances as close as 0.25 yards.

That particular feat is a great perk when it comes to target shooting too. Plus, for this particular purpose the wheels can be changed between them, so you can make fast adjustments when it comes to different arrows or various draw weights. Therefore, you can shoot in various conditions and at multiple distances.

Its design is another top-notch characteristic which makes it worth its high retail price. The wheel-forward construction means you can mount your quiver directly on the bow, although most moveable pin sights don’t allow you to do that.

Besides, the materials are amazing: the brass rack and the pinions are manufactured from machined brass, which is light, sturdy and doesn’t rust. It also accounts for its smooth functioning and an increased overall control that prevents jerky movements.

Apex Gear 1 Dot Covert Pro Sight

Apex Gear 1 Dot Covert Pro Sight

Weight: 12 ounces

Dimensions: 1 x 1 x 1 inches

Specifications: pro dot aim; one hand adjustment; back sight tape; adjustable indicator pin; micro-adjustable windage; second and third axis adjustment; ambidextrous use; gravity-line technology

Best Use: treestanding

Description: This 4.6 stars and $162.98 sight is another good pendulum type of sight that ensures maximum success when it comes to treestand hunting. That’s because Apex Gear 1 Dot Covert Pro Sight, Right Hand/Left Hand, Black functions thanks to gravity-line technology, which means the pin senses minute differences in gravity caused by differences in elevation, and adjusts itself accordingly.

In fact, the Apex Gear sight can perfectly be defined by two words: impeccable adjustment.

You can easily set it with one hand, the indicator pin itself is adjustable which means you can estimate distances very well, the sight takes into account windage thanks to its micro-adjustable feature, and to top it all up it benefits from second and third axis adjustment.

So this sight will help you stabilize your bow perfectly and be in full control of your movements. Besides, it’s great for the ambidextrous handling of your bow, and it offers good visibility thanks to its pro dot aim that can be set on 11 different levels of brightness depending on various light conditions.

What’s Your Opinion?

Reviewing these sights reveals an immense variety of products on the market, which reflect most people’s different styles.

Your opinion

As such, your input is always much appreciated, so tell us which sort of sight fits your preferences and shooting style better.

Plus, do you think it’s better to invest in a more expensive sight even if you’re not using it for specialized hunting/ competitions or do you think there are other things that account for hunting efficiency more?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Shawn Harrison
Shawn Harrison

Shawn Harrison is our expert in hunting. He was born in Alaska, so hunting was his hobby since high school. Later, Shawn took a Hunter Training at Alaska Department of Fish and Game to structure his knowledge and now he is open to share his knowledge with our readers. Shawn is taking ‘Safety First’ approach on all of his trips, especially is some people are going hunting for the first time.

  • Zack Lorigan

    I bought the Trophy Ridge React 5 sight to replace my previous model of 4 years, another Trophy Ridge, though I forget the name. This sight, however, is absolutely fantastic, in the 10 years I’ve been shooting, I’ve always struggled with long yardage shots, even when the conditions were favorable, however, after sighting to 20 and 30 yards as per the setup instructions, I moved to the 60-yard target and started shooting for the hell of it. I couldn’t believe my eyes, I hit the target dead center with the first arrow.

    Truly an amazing sight and one that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend.

    • Shawn Harrison

      Once we found our preferred brand, whether for the bow or its accessories, it is quite hard to sway to another brand and I can see why you stick with Trophy Ridge because it is one of the most reliable brands you can find when it comes to bow sights. They are very durable and efficient bow accessories in general.

  • Danny Guerrero

    In the past, I have always used 5-pin sights. Recently, however, I purchased a new bow and was struggling to focus through 5-pins and found my shots were rather inaccurate. My solution to this was the HHA OL-5519 Optimizer Lite sight, this single pin adjustable sight means I can adjust for the appropriate yardage eliminating the need for multiple pins and getting a clearer view down range.

    Setting the sight is extremely easy, since purchasing, I’ve also found that my confidence has improved and I’m now shooting at longer yardage.

    • Shawn Harrison

      Here’s the thing, and I’m glad that you’ve mentioned it. Confidence is key when it comes to wielding a bow or any weapon for that matter. You should make believe that you can do it and every equipment that you’ll add up to improve your skill will be just an icing on the cake. Once you develop a mindset that you can do it, everything else will follow through.

  • John Evans

    If you are not satisfied with your current bow sight I’d recommend trying out Field Logic sight. It’s innovative and much different from other sights. With it I immediately started shooting tighter groups. It’s literally arrow next to an arrow, so I actually worry I’ll ruin them. It makes practicing much shorter and easier so my body doesn’t hurt anymore.

    • Shawn Harrison

      The Field Logic sight is a great alternative to conventional sights in the market, and I’m glad that you’ve mentioned this because this is one of the lightest and non-obstructing sights you’ll find in the market.

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