So you just got your new bow sight (hopefully from S&S Archery) and you’re ready to get it setup. In this article we’re going to take you step by step through the process that we use to set up our bows. We’ll also be using some videos that we’ve created to help you get rolling. This is assuming that you are REPLACING an existing sight. If this is a new bow, you’ll need to make sure that your arrow rest is installed and tuned, and that your peep and d-loop are setup properly as well.
Disclaimer:This is how we do it. There may be other ways, but we have found this to work the best for us.
Mount your sight and setup 2nd and 3rd axis.
Start by mounting your sight to the bow using the screws provided with your sight. I would use the middle mount screws, or if it’s a dovetail lock it down about halfway down the bar.
Here is a great video Steve did to explain how to setup your 2nd and 3rd axis. It’s important that your 2nd and 3rd axis are correct before moving on.
Line up your peep with the sight housing
The next step is to line up your peep with your sight housing. At full draw look through your peep at your sight housing. Can you see the entire sight housing? Can you only see the pins? Ideally you’ll want the sight ring to line up precisely inside your peep when viewing at full draw. To make adjustments you’ll want to move the sight housing closer or farther away from the riser using the different sight mount positions or by moving the sight on your dovetail. If you can’t get an exact match, error on the side having the peep see the outside of the sight ring, vs the inside. Also do this outside if you are primarily shooting outside, or do this indoors if you’re primarily going to be shooting indoors. This is important because in a low light situation (indoors) you will see much more area around your sight housing through the peep, and could effect how it lines up.
- Dovetail. If you have a dovetail you’ll have more adjustability to get lined up precisely, so take your time and get it right. Some dovetails have staggered mounting points on the top and bottom for even more adjustability. Also mark or record where you dovetail mounts. I use my camera phone to take a picture, so its easy to find if i need to remove my sight.
- Standard mount. Normally you’ll only have 3 or maybe 4 positions to line up your sight housing to your peep. Get it as close as you can.
Don’t worry about your pins at this point, we’ll do that next.
Setting your top pin.
When setting your top pin, we are going to place the pin where we want it in relation to the sight housing. When sighting it in, we’ll adjust the top pin with your gang elevation adjustment, but we’ll do this later.
Before setting your top pin, you’ll want to consider a couple of things. Keep in mind that it’s ideal to have the majority of your pins near the center of your sight housing for the best overall accuracy.
- If you have 5 or more pins, you’ll need to make sure you have enough room for all your pins. In this case i would start my top pin closer to the top 1/3rd of the housing.
- If you have fewer pins, you can start your top pin lower, closer to the center of your sight housing leaving room for the rest of your pins
Ok, now given all of the above information move your top pin to the location you think is best. But dont sight in yet..still one more step.
Zero out your sight
To zero out your sight, simply move your slider so that it is in a spot that you can get to later on without looking at the tape. For some sights this could where the housing lines up with the base or for Black Gold sights, it could be when the 2 tops of the slider assembly are flush. This will be your zero point. Should you ever lose your tape, or your indicator breaks off, you can always move the knob back to this location and know that your fixed pins will be correct.
Head to the range and sight in your pins
Sight in your top pin BUT don’t move your pin. Move the entire housing up and down with your gang adjustment (not with your adjustable pin knob). Or use your micro gang adjustment, to get your top pin sighted in.
Finish sighting in the rest of your pins, this time however you’ll want to move the pins themselves to get them into position.
Setup your sight tape
Steve’s video explaining everything you need to do to get your sight tape setup.
At this point you should be really dialed in. If you are running into problems, checkout our good friend Mark Huelsing’s website. He has put a lot of work towards tuning and bow setup. If you are not familiar with his site I highly recommend you checkout www.soleadventure.com. There are years of hard to come by info all packed in to one great website.
Specifically there are a couple great articles on the following:
Walk back tuning
If you have any other questions please let me know, I am not an expert at bow tuning, but i can get you up and running with the basics.
Also if you are thinking about purchasing a new sight, but not sure which way to go, I’d be happy to help.