Compound bow sights are essential for seeing clearly when you are shooting at a target.  Compound bows are capable of shooting at great speed, so it is important that the target is in clear view.  Bow sights are mounted on the riser of the bow and help you aim the arrow. Instinctive shooting, which is shooting without a sight is possible, but more difficult especially at longer distances.  Most compound bows today have some type of sight. Basic sights are often made of adjustable pins in a plastic mounting.  The pins can be moved around to adjust elevation.

Main Types of Compound Bow Sights

Advanced compound bow sights can be more sophisticated. These are generally made of a material that is more durable like machined aluminum, featuring several adjustable pins, along with other features like sight housing, fiber optics, aiming rings, vibration dampeners, and more. These extras provide the ideal hunting experience.  Sights come in 3-pin or 5-pin and there is a large variety to choose from, offered by a number of manufacturers.

Fixed plate designs are the most common on sights.  This means the sight bracket is attached directly to the bow. It is usually mounted with two Allen screws and the sight and bracket remains fixed.  A dovetail mount is another design where you mount a separate bracket that has a dovetail groove in it. It is designed to take on and off of the bow easily, whereas the fixed plate design stays on the bow at all times.

Compound bow sights come in moveable, fixed, 3D competition, and pendulum styles:

  • The moveable bow sight is one pin which can be moved before every shot and is adjusted for distance. A scale, locking nut, and a pointer is used to set the pin for the exact yardage.
  • Fixed pin sights are the most popular and these have 3 or 5 pins. They are generally set so that the lower pin shows the furthest distance, and the top pin shows the closest distance.  Once they are set, they remain that way the entire time you may be hunting.
  • 3D competition bow sights are designed for use in competition. They are more expensive and complex but are the most accurate you will find.
  • Pendulum bow sights are generally used for shooting from tree stands up to 30 yards. With this type of sight, the shooter does not have to guess the angle of the shot.

Top Compound Bow Sights for Hunting

Below are reviews of the top sights for compound bows available on the market today:

#1: Trophy Ridge 5 – Pin Bow Sight Review

In our opinion, Trophy Ridge 5 Pin Sight is the best bow sight for hunting out there. This pin sight boasts Smart Pin technology resulting in dead-center accuracy at various distances. This technology designed by engineers at Trophy Ridge is called React. It enables sight pins to react to each other sight themselves in. Using this sight, you can be sighted in a 20, 30, 40, 50, or 60 yards in less than 10 minutes.  The math is calculated for you so that you can have 5 pins sighted in less than 10 minutes.  This provides accuracy and you will not need to keep tweaking pins for longer distances.

Trophy Ridge 5-pin bow sight features a tool-less micro windage and elevation adjustment . Once you lock into a distance, the rest of the pins fall into place.  React technology is precise at predicting the pin gap, and bases it’s calculation on a distance between 20 yards and all other yardage.  The sight is made using the Ballistix Copolymer System which is as tough and strong as aluminum, but with 25% less weight.  Vibration is reduced because of the soft-touch coating.  A reversible mounting bracket is also included for high/low anchor points, and multiple mounting holes provide versatility.  This sight is available for left or right-handed individuals.  A Rheostat light is included which provides different levels of brightness different light conditions.

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#2: Field Logic IQ 5 Pin Sight Review

This bow sight has made a huge impact in the archery world with its innovative Retina Lock Alignment Technology.  Even with your pin on, your aim can be off if your anchor point is off even ¼” or your bow is torqued.  The shot has the potential of being off more than 10” at 40 yards.  Retina Lock instant feedback technology controls form, muscle memory, and consistency, and dramatically extends your effective range.  Many bow hunters don’t mind shorter ranges, but they are often inconsistent when it comes to shooting 40 yards or beyond.  This happens because of inconsistent anchor and bow torque which causes misalignment.

Retina Lock instant feedback Technology which controls muscle memory, form and consistency provide a perfect alignment for a perfect shot.  This sight is designed for right-handed bows. It has stack tight .019 fiber optic pins, and an adjustable second axis.  It also features a windage micro adjust knob so that you can adjust without the use of tools, optional quiver mounting holes, optional bow mounting   Lightweight fiber polymer construction and silent coat finish makes this bow sight lightweight, quiet, and durable. The manufacturer offers a money back guarantee if you cannot shoot longer distances and tighter groups.

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#3: Trophy Ridge Punisher 5-Sight Review

The name of this bow sight matches its performance.  Another innovative product by Trophy Ridge, the Punisher provides brightness and precision, and can be adjusted to fit any shooting style.  Five pins provide additional aiming options, and a reversible sight mount accommodates left or right-hand bows.  The lightweight design is available in a durable black finish.  Pins are .029 fiber optic and easily field replaceable. This model does not include a sight light.

The Punisher also features laser-engraved reference marks, high-contrast glow ring, a durable composite pin guard, and a sight level. It also has an aluminum bracket. The Punisher enables an archer to shoot longer distances without moving the pins.

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#4: TruGlo Carbon XS 4 Pin .019 Bow Sight with Light

TruGlo has set the standard in the industry for multi-pin, lightweight sights. The TruGlo Carbon XS is constructed with lightweight carbon-composite and finished with a TRUTOUCH soft-feel technical coating.  The Carbon Composite Construction provides excellent durability, a solid feel, and an unmatched strength-to-weight ratio.  This sight has a large circular field of view and the hole through which the light travels has a 1.8-inch inner diameter.  The sight also has a level with two vertical bars.

A shooter’s ring that glows in the dark helps line up peep sight, and a reversible bracket gives you more vertical adjustability.  The Carbon XS can be adjusted for left or right handed shooters.  Four 0.019 inch pins and extra long, fully protected fibers are included with this sight. The longer fibers provide more brightness and accuracy.  In addition, this sight features a micro push button light.  The Carbon XS comes  in several different colors including Realtree APG, Lost Camo, Black, and Realtree APC.

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Check out our complete guide to compound bows and rarchery release aids to get more information choosing the right products for your needs.