1 Best Bow Sights – Lightweight, Durable, Easy to Adjust and Efficient

Exactly when and where archery was invented is not known. Archeologists say bows and
arrows appeared on the planet independently in several places. For millennia, nothing changed.
A stick, a string and some thin wood sticks and humans were bow hunting.

The first archery sights came about in the 20th Century. The first magazine ads for bow sights
appeared in the late 1940s to the early 1950s. The Hager was about as basic as a bow sight can be. Some archers continue to use this kind of sight, even in international tournaments.

Despite that, many archers were reluctant to adopt sights for decades. A few archers, I am one, continue to shoot "bare bow" or "traditional" which is a recurve or longbow without any sights.

Today's high quality bow sights range from that simple fixed pin bow sight, sometimes with a peep sight in the string to pendulum sights and complex electronic sights that automatically adjust a red dot for distance.

PRODUCT

DETAILS

Products

BEST FOR ACCURACY

Trophy Ridge React Pro

Trophy Ridge React Pro

  • Hand: Right
  • Color: Black
  • Weight: 0.85 oz
BEST FOR BETTER BALANCE

IQ Bowsight

IQ Bowsight

  • Hand: Left/Right
  • Color: Black
  • Weight: 1.99 oz
BEST FOR DURABILITY

Trophy Ridge Fix

Trophy Ridge Fix

  • Hand: Right
  • Color: Black
  • Weight: 0.85 oz
BEST FOR ALIGNMENT

IQ Bowsight

IQ Bowsight

  • Hand: Left/Right
  • Color: Black/Green
  • Weight: 7.4 oz
BEST FOR CLEAR AIMING

Trijicon AccuPin

Trijicon AccuPin

  • Hand: Left/Right
  • Color: Matte Black, Black
  • Weight: 10.29 oz
BEST FOR ACCURACY

Viper Archery

Viper Archery

  • Hand: Left
  • Color: Black
  • Weight: 7.5 oz
HIGH PRECISION HUNTING

HRCHCG Archery Recurve Bow Sight

HRCHCG Archery Recurve Bow Sight

  • Feature: T-shaped bow
  • Color: Black
  • Weight: 2.4 oz
BEST BRIGHT LED PINS

Garmin Xero A1

Garmin Xero A1

  • Hand: Left/Right
  • Color: Black/Lime Green
  • Weight: 14.7 oz
BEST FOR BRIGHTNESS

TRUGLO Range-Rover PRO LED

TRUGLO Range-Rover PRO LED

  • Hand: Left/Right
  • Color: Black
  • Weight: 15.87
BEST FOR LIGHTWEIGHT

Trijicon XB Compact

Trijicon XB Compact

  • Diameter: 24mm
  • Magnification: 3X
  • Weight: 6.1 oz
BEST FOR LIGHTWEIGHT

EOTech Xbow Crossbow Red Dot Holo Sight

EOTech Xbow Crossbow Red Dot Holo Sight

  • Diameter: 20mm
  • Magnification: 1 x
  • Weight: 2 lb
BEST FOR FIELDS

Vortex Crossfire II

Vortex Crossfire II

  • Diameter: 32 mm
  • Magnification: 2-7x
  • Weight: 14 oz
BEST FOR EYE RELIEF

TruGlo Crossbow

TruGlo Crossbow

  • Diameter: 30mm
  • Color: Black
  • Weight: 9.6 oz
BEST FOR WEATHER

ATN ThOR

ATN ThOR

  • Diameter: 30mm
  • Magnification: 4-8x
  • Weight: 1.4 lb

Peep Important

Regardless of the choice of sight, a peep in the string is important for maximum accuracy. Think of it like a rifle with iron sights. If you only have a front sight and no rear sight, lining up the shot will be difficult. A rear V notch, dovetail, or buckhorn makes aiming a LOT easier. Same thing.

With a peep in the string, you have a plane, an invisible line, between the two sights to line things up. Without the peep, you are guessing.

Do you need a peep? No. You don't even need sights, if you practice for hours every day. Byron Ferguson proved that. However, sights make shooting at longer distances easier and a peep with sights will make your shooting experiences that much easier.

Here is a look at the top options ranging from the simple to the most complex type of sights.

Pin Sights

Most pin sights will fit on compound bows and recurves, if the recurve has mounts. These sights can vary quite a bit in terms of pin size, number of pins, adjustability, and whether they are reversible or designed specifically for left or right-hand use. Some of the more complex (and expensive) sights even have integral third axis adjustment, which is something worth considering if you plan on hunting in mountainous terrain (or out of tall tree stands) or doing competition archery.

1. Trophy Ridge React Pro

best bow sights

The React Pro Five is the Lamborghini pin bow sights. It is a multi-pin sight with 5 pins so you can set your yardage as far as you can honestly make a shot. The window holding the fiber optic pins has a level so you know if you are holding the bow straight or not.

That kind of thing will make a difference when you reach 50 yards. It comes in 2 pin fiber optic sizes, .01 inches and .019 inches. The .019-inch pin sight comes in a right or left hand model. I like larger pins because I have old eyes. (Don’t have a clue how that happened.) Elevation and windage adjustments are on the mount as well as the pins. Adjustments do not need a tool.

The company promises when you set two pins, the rest are sighted in out to 60yards, thanks to their "react technology" that automatically makes micro adjustments to the other pins at the same time for a much faster, easier, and more precise sighting process.

Amazon carries a wide range of Trophy Ridge sights, so it's worth taking a look to see what all they have to offer and which one would best suit your specific needs.

It is made from stainless steel and aluminum so corrosion will not be a problem. Five mounting holes give you plenty of room to find the exact place it needs to hang from your bow.

You do not need a battery for this sight, as with most fiber optic pin sights. This one still has a small light in the frame. Under low light conditions, the light hits the fiber lines and you can seeall five pins. This as exceptionally handy in the first 30 minutes or the last 30 minutes of legal shooting hours, making it a top pick for bowhunters.

Trophy Ridge React Pro

The price of Trophy Ridge React Pro varies, so check the latest price at

2. IQ Bowsight

best bow sight

Distance matters more in archery than in any form of hunting, except throwing spears. Many hunters carry a range finder with them to make sure of the distance. The IQ Bowsight Define Range adds a range finder to your bow. The drawback is the added weight of the ranger finder.

That may be enough to put some people off.Looking through the sight ring and seeing the yardage in the small LED display may be worth that extra weight, especially if your target is walking.

A detachable laser on the bottom makes sighting in much easier. It is a 5 pin sight and is for right and left-handers. The fiber optic lines are .019 inches. It has a spirit level.

IQ Bowsight

The price of IQ Bowsight varies, so check the latest price at

3. Trophy Ridge Fix

top rated bow sights

If you want a little less flash and bling, the Fix may be what you are looking for. This one has 3, 5 or 7 pins, the same light to make the fiber optic lines glow. What it does not have is a glow-in-the-dark ring like its bigger cousin, though the rheostat light does give you some leeway in low light conditions.

It is right-handed only and uses .019 diameter lines with micro adjust capability. You need an included tool to make sighting adjustments.

Trophy Ridge Fix

The price of Trophy Ridge Fix varies, so check the latest price at

4. IQ Bowsight

best bow sight 2020

The Field Logic IQ Micro Sight comes in 3 or 5 pin models for lefties and righties. The bubble level in the all-aluminum construction frame lets you know if you are holding steady or canted while providing the excellent durability a bowhunter would expect from a field-ready sight. If you are up a tree and leaning sideways to take a shot, you will appreciate that bubble on these sights.

Windage and elevation adjustments are roughly controlled with adjustment knobs. Sighting the pins requires a tool. With two mounting holes, you have less room for adjustments than the two above. The IQ bowsight's retina lock technology provides feedback on sight alignment and torque, making it easier to develop muscle memory for consistent accuracy at long distances.

IQ Bowsight

The price of IQ Bowsight varies, so check the latest price at

5. Trijicon AccuPin 

best compound bow sights

If you pay attention to your sight, target and distance and are comfortable using an adjustable sight in the field, a single pin bow sight like the Trijicon AccuPin is for you. Oversize knobs and a big wheel on the side allow you to ease the single adjustable pin up or down. The big dial is laser marked. You do not have to guess at the adjustments when you are dialing in.

Being a Trijicon, it has the illuminated sight, no batteries needed. Single pin sights are usually regarded as a target sights, since they allow for maximum precision at the cost of being slower to adjust in the field and less flexible in situations where game might appear at different ranges, so keep that in mind when deciding on what style of sight to go with.

Trijicon AccuPin

The price of Trijicon AccuPin varies, so check the latest price at

6. Viper Archery

best bow hunting sight

What sets the Viper sight apart from the rest of the crowd is the long arm. It sticks out 14 inches.

That extra distance is like setting the rear rifle sight on the stock instead of the barrel or chamber. Why? Increasing the distance between the sights improves your line-of-sight accuracy.

This is a good fiber optic sight for shooters who do not put a peep in the string. It is also good for crossbows. Made of stainless steel, this sight is more durable than it might appear. The .019 fiber optic lines are fairly easy to see. It has 5 fixed pins. Mounting is limited to two holes top and bottom.

Viper Archery

The price of Viper Archery varies, so check the latest price at

7. HRCHCG Archery Recurve Bow Sight

best hunting bow sights

Some recurve bow tournaments only allow a simple single-pin sight on recurve or longbows.

Some shooters prefer this. Single pins require a lot more muscle memory than multi-pins asabove. Unfortunately, they are also much more fragile than the pin sights with a housing ring.

The HRCHCG is a prime example of the single-pin sight. Finger knobs let you set the elevation and the windage. You have to do the rest.

I recommend a low strength thread locker to make sure it does not wobble loose during transport or shooting. A loose sight on the range is not a problem. Just tighten up and check the zero. A loose sight when you are drawing on tomorrow night's supper is a big problem.

HRCHCG Archery Recurve Bow Sight

The price of HRCHCG Archery Recurve Bow Sight varies, so check the latest price at

Dot Sight

8. Garmin Xero A1

best bow sight for hunting

If the React pro above is a Lamborghini, then the Garmin Pro is a space shuttle. This electronic bow sight is more scope than sight. Unfortunately is only for right handers.

Peer through the ring. Press the switch with a finger. The switch is on a short cable so you can move it where you want it. The scope measures the range and pops up lighted dot. If you did your work at the range, the dot is dead on. The sight is good to 100 yards with a clear view and up to 300 yards on a reflective target. Yes, some people Shoot arrows to 300 yards.

You can set a single pin or multiple pins. They auto-adjust for lighting conditions where you are. The display shows range and temperature Garmin warns some places do not allow this sight on bows. You must check the regulations before you head into the woods with this sight.

Garmin Xero A1

The price of Garmin Xero A1 varies, so check the latest price at

9. TRUGLO Range-Rover PRO LED

bow sight reviews

The Range-Rover comes in a single or 2-dot configuration. It has a significant elevation wheel that is marked so you can set the sight right where you need it. You can add an accessory lens for a 2x magnification.

The sight ring holds a piece of glass where the lighted green dot or dots appear. It has 2 mounting holes set vertically.

TRUGLO Range-Rover PRO LED

The price of TRUGLO Range-Rover PRO LED varies, so check the latest price at

Crossbow

Crossbows, by their nature, can use telescopic crosshair sights. This is a significant advantage over fiber optic or pin-style sights, and gives you more long distance reach than even the best compound bow sights. You can even use night and thermal vision scopes on crossbows for night hunting when being quiet is critical and firearms are not allowed.

Crossbow sights are low magnification. You just do not need a long range scope capable of reaching past 100 yards if you are intending to make accurate shots. Crossbow sights can be iron sights, some of the fiber optic sights, red dot or crosshair. That depends entirely on what you want to do with the crossbow - someone doing target shooting will have different needs than someone looking to bag whitetail.

If you choose crosshairs, get a mil dot or hash mark reticle. A crossbow bolt drops more for every foot traveled than almost every rifle or pistol slug.

10. Trijicon XB Compact

best archery sights

When you are on the hunt of a lifetime with a crossbow, this is the optic you want on top.

The XB comes in three models, with your choice based on the speed of your quarrel. Choose a reticle calibrated for 300-340 FPS, 340-400 FPS or 400-440 FPS. Adjustments are 1/7th MOA, better than some rifle scopes.

The top marks on the scope, to either side, are ranging marks. The left uses a typical elk and the right a typical deer. Position the animal between the baseline and the size lines and you know the distance.

It is waterproof to 100 meters, in case you decide to do some underwater bow fishing.

Trijicon XB Compact

The price of Trijicon XB Compact varies, so check the latest price at

11. EOTech Xbow Crossbow Red Dot Holo Sight

compound bow sights reviews

EOTech is a leader in the red dot and reflex sight world. This waterproof sight, down to 10 feet so rain is not an issue.

It comes with a "range-scaling data" display in the window. The internal computer measures back to belly, using a deer as a reference to figure the distance. Set the scale base on the target belly and line up the dot to take your shot. Adjustments are half mil.

EOTech Xbow Crossbow Red Dot

The price of EOTech Xbow Crossbow Red Dot varies, so check the latest price at

12. Vortex Crossfire II

bow sights reviews

Vortex appears on best of scope lists because they are simply that good. This crossbow scope is no exception.

The reticle is hash marked and calibrated for common crossbow shooting. Dial in 40 yards and you have hash marks to take you from 20 yards out to 100 yards. Depending on your draw weight and bolt weight, the marks could be slightly off. Range time will tell you the exact spot you need on the reticle.

The fairly small, 32mm, front bell is offset a bit by the 30mm tube. The reticle is illuminated in red or green, another help for low light shooting. Adjustments are MOA.

Vortex Crossfire II

The price of Vortex Crossfire II varies, so check the latest price at

13. TruGlo Crossbow

adjustable bow sights

This is a tube-style red dot sight with 3 dots. The better crossbow sights will have this because of the quarrel, another name for a crossbow arrow, drop.

TruGlo Crossbow

The price of TruGlo Crossbow varies, so check the latest price at

Night Hunting

14. ATN ThOR

best single pin bow sight

The night and thermal vision world has not completely caught up to the standards set by crossbow sights companies. Got to make do with what is available. Since you have to cope, might as well get a top model. The ATN ThOR is a thermal scope, a significant advantage over traditional night vision.

Night vision requires good moonlight or an infrared light source. The range is quite limited either way. Thermal operates on the darkest of nights, can penetrate some fog and light brush.

The ThOR offers black as hot or white as hot in viewing with several reticle choices. It also records your shot.

ATN ThOR

The price of ATN ThOR varies, so check the latest price at

Final Thoughts

As Byron Ferguson, the archer in the link above shooting aspirins, says, "the exact center of the target is always the same size." The exact center of an elephant is the same size as the exact center of a rabbit. The smallest arrow will cover the exact center of the target.

Arrow choice makes a big difference. Heavier arrows deliver more kinetic energy but fly slower. Lighter arrows move faster but have less penetrating power. Because of this, just like a rifle shooting different weight projectiles, you need to pick a weight and stick with it. Change the arrow weight, you change the impact zone. Change the broadhead weight, change the impact zone.

Getting your new bow sight tuned and accurate is more challenging than a gun scope. With gun scopes, we can stick it in a vise, like the HyScore. Shoot once. Look through the scope and adjust until the crosshairs hit the bullet hole.

A bow sight requires several to many shots to get the aiming point sighted in properly. A bow also relies a lot more on the posture of the shooter than most guns.

So, a sight is a great aid to bow hunting and archery practice, but the person pulling the string is what matters more. A bad archer with a properly adjusted sight is worse than an excellent archer with off-kilter sights.

Reference

Featured Image Garmin

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