How many pins should a bow sight have? Read on to learn more about choosing the right bow sight and number of pins for your archery and hunting needs.
If you are new to archery, you have likely been trying to learn as much as possible before you spend your hard-earned money on a bow and all of the other gear you will need. There is a substantial amount to learn, and some of the different decisions you need to make can feel rather alien to you since you don’t have much experience in the field. For example, how many pins should a bow sight have? When you are choosing a new sight for your bow, it’s one of the first things that you will need to decide.
To help make matters easier for you, we will be looking deeper into this question and more regarding bow sights, so you can make an informed decision when you are ready to purchase. Also, we’ve included information about four different bow sights that we feel are some of the best on the market today.
Pros and Cons of 1-Pin Bow Sights
Many archers choose bow sights with just a single pin because they like that it offers a clear view compared to sights with five or more pins. This can be especially helpful for hunters who are going after relatively small game. Rabbits and birds, for example, are smaller targets, and it helps to have the added clarity of a 1-pin sight.
Of course, despite this advantage, you still have to consider the disadvantages of a 1-pin sight. Namely, it means that you will need to make adjustments when they are taking shots that are longer or shorter than the distance that they have set for the pin sight.
If the target is within five yards or so of the range set for the pin, the hunter can make physical adjustments to where they are shooting. They could aim a little higher or lower depending on whether the target is further or closer than their pin’s distance.
This can work for hunters that are shooting within about 30 yards of their target. However, if the target is further away, it will require the hunter to change the pin’s distance on their bow. This means they have to take their eyes and their bow off the target to make the adjustments.
You can’t make these adjustments at full draw. As any hunter knows, making noise and taking extra time often means the prey runs off before they can take a shot.
It’s essential to make sure that the pin is set properly for the range, so you can take a clean and ethical shot that puts the animal down quickly. Even if you are just target shooting, you will have to make adjustments as you start trying to hit targets that are further and further away from you.
Pros and Cons of 2 and 3-Pin Bow Sights
Another option to consider for bow sights are those that have two or three pins. Three pins tend to be more popular, and even though these types of sights do not have the same clear field of view that is available with 1-pin sights, the sight picture will not be overly obstructed.
While they still provide you with a relatively clear picture of your target, having three pins can allow you to set different yardages to accommodate for your hunt. You can set each of the pins at different yardage. For example, you could opt for 20, 30, and 40 yards, which is a common setup. Others may want to set up at 15, 25, and 35, or 25, 35, and 45, for example.
Having these different yardages ready to go provides you with versatility when you are hunting, so you don’t need to readjust the pins to take your shots. Just line up the pin that’s closest to your target. If the target is between those pin distances, you can simply adjust your aim accordingly to hit the target.
The 3-pin sights are a popular option for hunters because of their versatility. However, they aren’t a great option for those who are trying to shoot at long ranges. Since most game will be taken at less than 40 yards with a bow, this is an ideal option.
Pros and Cons of 5-Pin Bow Sights
While the 3-pin bow sight is a great option for hunters, those who are shooting targets, as well as those who shoot at 3D targets will find that the 5-pin bow sights could be a nice choice. These aren’t used for hunting in most cases, so you will have time to consider which of the pins will be best for the target you are shooting.
However, even though they aren’t considered the standard for hunting, some hunters do use them. Often, these are hunters who are going to be taking longer shots and who are comfortable ensuring clean shots at those longer ranges. They can help hunters out to about 50 yards.
Because there are so many pins, it also means that it will often be easier for the hunter to take follow up shots. If they have a shot lined up on a buck that’s about 20 yards away that then gets spooked, they will be able to take a faster follow up shot at 50 yards, for example.
Those who do both target shooting and hunting might like the flexibility that the 5-pin sight can offer. It allows them to use their top pins when they are hunting and the bottom pins when they are shooting targets.
Pros and Cons of 7-Pin Sights
You may even find some bow sights that have seven pins. These sights tend to be the least popular, but they can work well for target shooting. They have a cluttered sight pictured compared to the other options – even the 5-pin bow sight. However, when you can take your time to find your target, they can work well for shooting up to 70 yards.
Some hunters use this type of sight for longer shots on their game, but not all hunters will be comfortable taking shots at those distances. Most consider it to be too much for hunting, as it might not provide them with the ability to shoot an ethical kill shot at those longer ranges.
Also, because there are so many pins, the pin size needs to be smaller for these sights. This can make them more difficult to see and to take accurate shots.
Choose a Bow Sight that Matches Your Bow and Hunting Style
There is no “best number” when it comes to the number of pins you have on your bow sight. It’s a matter of preference and how you will be using the bow. Some will feel comfortable with just a single pin sight, while others might want the advantage of having more pins.
When you are choosing a bow sight, you will want to use one that matches your bow’s capabilities. For example, if you have a 7-pin sight that has multiple range settings, will your bow be able to shoot to the furthest range setting? If not, you will not need to have a bow with that number of pins.
Think about the yardage your bow can comfortably shoot and then can choose a bow with fewer pins. After all, you don’t need to have extra pins if you are never going to use them. On the other hand, if you have a bow that could benefit from having more pins to make calculating your shots easier, then you would choose an option with more pins.
Let’s look at some of the different options for bow sights from Trophy Ridge to help you find a solution that works well for your needs.
Trophy Ridge Fix Series Sight 3-Pin
The 3-Pin sight from the Fix Series by Trophy Ridge provides dependability and precision with micro-adjustable pins. The sight provides improved accuracy at longer ranges with the second-axis adjustment.
You will find .019 horizontal fiber optic pins that are nice and bright, so you won’t have trouble seeing them when taking a shot. The rheostat light allows you to adjust the brightness, so you can shoot accurately no matter the light conditions. The sight has an onboard adjustment tool for the pins, and the windage and elevation adjustments can be made without a tool.
The 3-pin bow sight could be a great option for hunters who are looking for a sight that is reliable and durable enough to take on a hunt with them. It’s easy to use and is an affordable option to consider.
Trophy Ridge Hotwire 3-Pin Sight
Here is another option from Trophy Ridge that offers three pins, and that could be an ideal option for hunters. It features an onboard adjustment tool for the two fixed pins, while you can adjust the third pin easily using the toolless adjustable knob. The sight also has second axis leveling, which makes it possible to improve accuracy when shooting at angles over long distances.
The sight features .019 fiber optic pins with a rheostat light, ensuring the pins are bright enough for you to easily see when you are hunting or shooting at a target no matter the light conditions. The sight also has an onboard tool used for adjusting the windage and elevation.
The Hotwire sight is easy to use and adjust and could make a good option for hunters who want to upgrade from a sight with just one pin.
Trophy Ridge Fix Series 5-Pin Sight
For those who are looking for a quality sight for shooting targets, and for hunting as slightly longer ranges, the 5-pin sight from Trophy Ridge’s Fix Series could work well. You will find that except for the additional pins, it is quite similar to their 3-pin sight.
The sight has micro-adjustable pins with pin adjustment tools included on the sight. It also has .019 horizontal fiber optic pins with a rheostat light that allows you to adjust the brightness level. The sight also has second axis leveling. It is easy to adjust and control and can work well for a range of different purposes.
Just remember that having the five pins will present a more cluttered sight picture than three pins. Still, this could be a good option for those who want a sight that can help with target shooting, as well as hunting.
Trophy Ridge React H5 5-Pin Bow Sight
The React H5 5-pin sight is available in both left- and right-hand versions. It features five .019 horizontal pins that offer React Technology. You will find that the bow sight is lightweight and can help to reduce vibration, ensuring more accurate shots.
You can adjust the brightness of the pins using the rheostat light on the sight. It’s also simple to make corrections with toolless adjustment on the windage and elevation.
The dual-axis adjustment can even help to improve accuracy when you are shooting at longer ranges.
Hunters and target shooters alike will appreciate what this sight can provide.
Conclusion: Which Type of Bow Sight Should You Choose?
Now that you have a better understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of bow sights with one, three, five, or seven pins, it should be easier for you to decide which type will be best suited for your needs as an archer. Fewer sight pins will give you more clarity in your sight picture, while more pins will provide a larger number of fixed ranges you can set on the sight.
Whether you are hunting or simply shooting targets for fun, there are plenty of high-quality bow sights that could be the perfect fit if you are just getting started or looking for an upgrade. Take the time to think about how you will be using the sight, the types of other features you are looking for with a bow sight, and then it will be easier to make your decision.