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Looking for a great bow sight but unsure where to start?
I can help you with that!
The Burris Oracle 2 is one of the best bow sights to date. It’s been improved based on owner demands of the original Oracle. With a single pin, built-in rangefinder, and multiple mechanical and illumination improvements, it is a professional option for hunters and competitors.
But, I also understand that there is no one-size-fits-all approach as there is no one universal sight that will do it all.
In this article, I identify what the ideal bow sight looks like whether it’s by budget, features and needs, or brand that drives your preferences.
QUICK LIST: Best Bow Sights in 2023
- Trophy Ridge Fix Series – Best Under $100
- CBE Tactic Hybrid – Best Under $200
- Black Gold Ascent Verdict – Best Single Pin
- Trophy Ridge React Trio Pro – Best 3-Pin
- Trophy Ridge React V5 – Best 5-Pin
- Burris Oracle 2 – Best Rangefinder Bow Sight
- IQ Pro Hunter – Best for Deer Hunting
- Black Gold Mountain Lite – Best for Elk Hunting
- Spot Hogg Fast Eddie XL – Best Archery Sight
How to Choose a Bow Sight in 2023
Just as there is a type of bow shooting sport that gets your heart pumping and mouth drooling, there’s a type of bow sight that will give you the same twitter-pated feelings. Let that be your drive in identifying the features of a sight that you will appreciate once it’s mounted to your bow.
You wouldn’t buy a professional target sight if you’re hunting in a tree stand a couple times a year. It would be unprofessional to expect to take down big game at long distances with a feature-limited bow sight. So, how do you know what to look for?
We are rating things by budget, bow sight types, and bow shooting activity. You’re guaranteed to find a sight that catches your eye when you peruse through our many top bow sight lineups! Perfect for the hunters & archers out there!
The Best Bow Sight for the Money
Bow sight quality varies greatly when price ranges start from 20 bucks and peak around $1000. The market is ripe with bow sights in every budget you can wrap your mind around, but the trick in getting the best buy is knowing how much you need to spend on a good sight.
There are some gem buys that you can land for a decent price, and of course, there are others that offer more than you’ll ever need for an asking price that may be well above what you can afford. We scrutinized over the quality to cost ratio and found the sights that offer the most value without compromise.
Whether you’re a beginner archer, hunter or a seasoned pro shooter, setting and sticking to a budget will help you get the best sight you can afford.
Top 5 Best Archery Sights
There are different classes of 3D archery that will demand something different from your sight. Some competitions disqualify single-pin sights and others will allow you to use whatever sight you want.
Then you have both indoor and outdoor target shooting that may require you to consider different features of a sight. You may want a water-resistant sight for outdoor use, and you may want to think about if your sight will double as a bowhunting scope for when hunting season is near.
Field archery can be a lot of fun with shooting targets at various distances. But, if you want to get dead-on with uphill and downhill shots, you may need a few features that you could technically go without on a target shooting sight.
The bottom line is, it’s hard to define what the best target archery bow sight will be when there’s different demands and qualifications around every corner depending on your specific activity. The best you can do is narrow down what type of shooting activity you’re interested in and set a defined budget.
Competition sights professionals use are expensive. The options in our lineup are geared towards beginner to intermediate shooters with a couple of high-end option thrown in just to make you drool.
However, it must be said that you are responsible for researching if the sight you like will qualify for your specific competition and shooting needs. We provide the lineup, you decide what’s best!
1. Burris Oracle 2 – Best Overall
Overall, the new Burris Oracle 2 is a digital bow sight with the must-have features you need in a lowlight, long-ranging tool. When used correctly, it’s ideal for everything from back-yard practice to 3D target shooting and big game hunting.
- Fail-safe fixed pin
- Auto & manual brightness
- Locking micro adjustments
- Burris Forever Warranty
Many opt for the combined technology of a having a rangefinder in a bow sight to eliminate the need for an extra device and to reduce the number of steps needed to let loose when seconds count. It goes without saying that ranging engines in high-end bow sights are expensive tools.
The Oracle 2 can range out to 500 yards and 200 yards for accurate grabs on deer. Since the ranging engine also calculates for angles, you’ll have true horizontal distances to compensate for being 30 ft up in a treestand or aiming into a basin from a steep ridge.
Unlike other electronic sights, the Oracle is a glass-less bow sight. It takes a coin-cell CR123 battery for operation to provide LED aiming points along the ‘pin blade.’ You can set a fixed pin (ex. 20 yards), and the correct pin dot based off the ranging distance will appear along the blade. You can also move into Fixed Pins Mode for a series of dots if you ever doubt the measured distance.
With locking micro, 2nd and 3rd axis adjustments, and both auto and manual brightness, it has multiple adjustment features to customize your setup. Made for heavy duty use in the field, it’s fully backed by Burris’ Forever warranty that is transferable and unconditional. The warranty adds to its value as being a high-end bow sight that is the best in its class.
2. Spot Hogg Fast Eddie XL – Best Bow Sight for Low Light
If you’re dabbling in both bow hunting and target shooting, the Fast Eddie XL could be your double-purpose sight. Speaking of doubles, the single-pin setup on this model actually features the double pin design. Not sure what that is? My full review will explain.
The Fast Eddie XL has seen some upgraded features that are new for the brand that includes its Rack Stop and 6″ dovetail bar. It also has Spot Hogg’s MRT technology that ensures you have the best sight picture as ambient light changes.
It doesn’t take much convincing to nudge a shooter Spot Hogg’s way. The brand has history, a well-known reputation, and quality behind their products. I thing they’re worth checking out!
3. Trophy Ridge React Trio Pro – Best Tool-less Bow Sight
It’s a single-pin, no, multi-pin bow sight. What is it really? The React Trio Pro is a 3-pin bow sight. It has the foundational features that would make it a great sight for both indoor and outdoor target shooting, and it would prove worthy for field archery too.
But, it’s no ordinary 3-pin sight. It has a floater pin that moves and can be set in the same way as a single-pin sight. Extend your distances for long-range targets, and account for angles with the 3rd adjustable sight axis.
This Trophy Ridge will help you take a trophy home in your next shoot. Be prepared to react accurately with React technology on the Trio Pro.
4. IQ Micro – Best Value
The new IQ Micro has a “50% thinner improved bladed pin construction.” Helping to make it more accurate for competition and hunting use, the Micro is a quality bow sight at an affordable price point that earns it recognition as one of the best.
- Retina Lock Tech
- Micro adjust knobs
- Tool-free locking knobs
- 2nd & 3rd axis
- Tiny bubble level
Feradyne retained their Retina Lock Technology on the newly released IQ Sights. The Micro features the Retina Lock circle that indicates proper shooting form and torque has been achieved in order to provide confidence with every arrow loosed. Even better, no batteries are required to use the technology.
The new version includes the ability to adjust for the 3rd axis which the last model lacked. With micro-adjust knobs, tool-free locking knobs, laser-etched E/W markings, and fine-tuning of pins for close pin gaps, the new Micro is an easy-to-use, high-quality bow sight.
The built-in sight level is small, and the rheostat is not included with the bow sight – it’s sold separately.
The Micro has five pins with a new fiber optic shell design for more light exposure and durability. The fiber threads remain exposed on the backside of the pins allowing for ultra-bright illumination in conditions that demand maximum pin visibility. The entire sight is made from aluminum and comes in both right and left-hand models.
For the price point, the IQ Micro offers quality and user features that improves form and technique resulting in improved accuracy. Offering more than its micro-10.5oz weight and appearance, it’s a bow sight with value and performance that is proven in the field.
5. Garmin Xero A1 – Best Electronic Bow Sight
The Garmin Xero A1 sight is a very expensive, digital gadget. You can bet it has a built-in rangefinder, angle compensation, and customizable pin setup. If you’re a techy kinda person, like I am, you might feel comfortable wielding it without too much fidgeting in the field as it’s not for everyone.
But, how can you say no to a 2-in-1 sight, .007″ pin dots, and specialized glass coatings to ensure the best sight picture possible? Go ahead, check it out.
A-Z of the Best Bow Sight Brands
How do you compress and deliver an easy-to-read list of bow sight brands from around the world? Easy – you only list the best.
While this is no means a comprehensive list of every well-respected and reputable sight manufacturer, it is a list of our favorites. Rank ’em, rate ’em, and buy from ’em!
1. Apex Gear
This brand claims to offer the “brightest aiming points in the industry.” If you know anything about the technology patents they use, they just might be right. Apex Gear is a related brand to TRUGLO – a well-known authority in the industry.
Everything bow related is what Apex Gear is about. They know sights and how to get you aiming with killer accuracy. Take your skill to apex levels with Apex Gear sights!
Burris might be new to the bow sight world, but they’re no amateur brand. They’re experts in providing the world’s finest shooting accessories for firearms, and they’ve brought that technology to the archery industry.
This isn’t a brand to take lightly. If you want serious gear to get real results out in the field or at the target range, Burris is the brand to trust.
It wouldn’t be a Garmin if it didn’t provide state-of-the-art-tech, and that’s exactly what this multinational technology brand brings to the table.
Garmin comes charging into the industry with the big guns and price tags, and that’s what you should expect when first-of-their-kind bow sights hit the market. If you want the latest electronic features on your scope, this is a brand you should be buying from.
4. HHA Sports
They’re a leader in their field. They’ve been around for a long time. They’re American. HHA is a good brand you can trust and a brand that offers only the best.
It doesn’t take much convincing to buy from HHA since the quality of their sights speak for themselves. With over 30 years of experience in the industry and over a decade of being the preferred brand for moveable sights, HHA is a brand you can trust.
IQ Bowsights is just one of many brands under the Feradyne Outdoors umbrella, but it’s one that offers some of the top bow sights in the current market.
This brand is noted for its Retina Lock Alignment Technology that may be the next best thing to having a personal trainer at your side in practice sessions and for the real thing. Accuracy doesn’t come naturally on its own, it’s developed when you have an Field Logic IQ sight on your bow.
6. Spot Hogg
“World’s toughest archery products.” That’s quite the statement to make. Good thing it’s not a lie.
Spot Hogg isn’t a highly-rated and favorite brand of the masses for marketing claims and tactics. They’re a leading manufacturer because they believe in providing not only high-quality sights, but also in providing innovative features that guarantee a high rate of success, not just in the hunt but in the competitive world, too.
7. Trophy Ridge
This is a brand that truly caters to all from the avid bow hunter to the target shooting hobbyist. Their lines of available sights and accessories seems to be continually expanding and with it the variation of affordability. At the higher end you have the Trophy Ridge Pursuit range and for those on a budget the Joker line of bow sights.
If keeping within a strict budget is essential or you’re willing to splurge on a high-quality buy, Trophy Ridge is a brand that has an inventory that can meet your needs.
This brand has extensively expanded their expertise in the sports industry over the years, but it hasn’t changed the fact they’re still considered the number one authority when it comes to fiber optic technology.
They dive head first into everything that would make your hunt or competition a success with the most visible pins the industry can offer. Their bow sights are equipped with some of the newest and latest features for affordable prices, and that’s what makes TRUGLO a long-lasting authority in the market.
Bow Sight Buying Guide
If we all had the kind of unreal, intuitive aim that master archers Robin Hood and Oliver Queen have, then we wouldn’t need bow sights.
Unless your way of making a living is to get paid nocking off arrows, you probably don’t have the time to ever acquire that kind of skill.
If you’re like the rest of us, then you will most definitely need the help and benefits of a bow sight to make accurate, well-placed shots.
Here, we’ll get you squared away on what bow sight types are available and what factors may determine what type of sight you choose.
Bow Sight Benefits
Bow sights are now commonplace aiming aids even though they’ve only been around for 30 or 40 years. There may be some old school archers out there who used compound bows for a long time before ever mounting a sight to it. Shooting barebow like Katniss also has its own challenges and rewards. Instinctive aiming, intelligent guesswork, and experience have got the job done.
But, even the best guesswork leaves room for human error. When your trophy bull grazes in 30 yards from your tree stand, or you’re nocking up for a FITA round, it’s not the time to guess and make the wrong adrenaline-rushed decision. This is where the benefits of a bow sight come in.
- Improve aim
- Improve accuracy
- Reduce human error
- Predict trajectory at known distances
- Extended hunting in low light conditions
- Enhance focus on target
Types of Bow Sights
Because there are several types of bow sights in the market, we’ll cover the most common. Whether you’re looking for a gift for a bowhunter, are a toxophilite or the bow is your weapon of choice to enjoy the challenge of a hunt, there’s a sight that’s right for you.
1. Fixed Bowsights
Fixed pin sights are probably the most popular type of bow sight there is. As the name implies, each pin is designated to a fixed distance and it remains that way. Because of this set up, the sight may come with multiple pins ranging from 3 to 5 pin and even 7.
The top pin is set for the closest distance, say 20 yards, while the bottom pin is set for the furthest distance. The pins in between are usually set in 5 or 10 yard increments. For example, on a 3-pin sight, pins may be set to 20, 30, and 40 yards.
Targets and animals never seem to stray into sight at exacting distances you have your pins set for. This means you’ll end up needing to shoot between the gaps. The space between the pins is where you’ll need to aim, and yes, it will take some amount of guesswork to aim just right. But, more than guesswork, it will take practice, practice, practice.
Fixed sights also come with pins in either the vertical or horizontal positions. Vertical pin sights allow for a cleaner field of view when looking and aiming at the target. Horizontal pins are popular, but they can clutter up the field of view, and it’s easy to accidentally use the wrong pin for a shot if there are too many pins in the sight.
2. Moveable Bows Sights
Moveable or adjustable sights have one pin. This one pin is adjusted for any distance for every shot you take.
This setup allows for excellent accuracy given that you can set your sight for the exact target distance. A predetermined sight tape is used with moveable pin sights as a reference point for distances and to make adjustments. You move the sliding pointer to the distance you want. The entire sight housing will move up or down in reference to the distance, so your pin is always as accurate as can be.
With a single pin, you have the clearest field of view and you can’t accidentally end up using the wrong pin as on a fixed pin bow sight. However, forgetting to adjust the pin after your last shot can and does happen.
Additionally, targets that are constantly moving may require you to make multiple adjustments, and this can be inconvenient when you keep getting to full draw. Movements made from adjusting can also cause you to be seen by game.
Not sure if a fixed or movable pin sight is best for you? Check out our single pin vs multi-pin sight article here.
3. Digital Bows Sight
Digital sights are brand new. There’s not a huge market for them yet, and while they are more expensive than fixed and moveable sights their techy features are attractive.
Usually, a digital bow sight implies it’s a pinless sight in the traditional sense. Instead, it may use LED lights to incorporate dots, cross hairs, or other variations of aiming points. The TRUGLO Range Rover Pro and Apex Covert Pro are both examples of LED dot sights.
Digital sights can be snagged with a built-in laser rangefinder so you’re never without an accurate distance. A bow sight with built-in rangefinder also reduces the need for unnecessary movement and maybe the need to carry a handheld unit.
There are still a few snags to smooth out with the electronic and tech-packed sights, but the future may offer some reasonable prices for the smart gadgets. The Burris Oracle and Garmin Xero A1 are both examples of bow sights with built-in rangefinding capability.
4. Specialty Bowsights
Pendulum and competition bow sights are not what we consider mainstream sights. They’re activity-specific sights and with that comes features that would enhance that sight’s function.
Pendulum sights are ideal for bow hunting in tree stands. It’s a single pin sight that is mounted on a pendulum that is attached to the bracket. When aiming downward at an angle, the sight housing swings out to provide a more accurate aiming point. However, it is often questioned as to whether a pendulum sight can be useful for ground level shots with or without a sight housing locking feature.
Competition or target bow sights are the most expensive of the lot. They’re outfitted with features that strive for painstaking precision with every shot. Micro click adjustments, extreme windage and elevation settings, and quick connect systems are just some of the luxurious features of a competition sight.
They’re also made to be used with other aiming devices which can add weight to the entire bow system. Its high cost also pushes it out of the bow hunting game. Highly customizable, competition sights are best suited for, well, competitions.
Which Bow Sight is Best For You?
Personal preference rules here, getting the right bow sight for you is important as you may be restricted to factors such as budget, needs versus wants, and what you will be using the sight for. Here’s some factors to peruse before making your decision.
Bow sights can be inexpensive gadgets costing less than $100 or they can quickly cost as much as your 65″ flat screen TV. Expect to pay more for reputable and well-known brands with higher quality materials and production controls.
Remember, a bow sight is just one part of the equation as it’s only one part of your total investment. There’s the cost of your arrows, targets, hunting tags, and any other cash investments into your hobby and passion.
The budget you set for your new sight will be determined by your type of bow activity, how often you’ll get to use it, and what expensive features are necessities.
Is your bow sight for deer hunting, competing, or just starting into target and field archery? Each activity may require something a little different from your sight, and the demands may be significant depending on your needs.
Each type of bow sight will offer fundamental functions that contribute well to a specific activity. For example, many hunters like fixed bow sights, but it’s certainly not the end-all be-all. Look for features that will be compatible with your type of shooting activity.
Is it heavy? Not compatible for hunting. Do you need extreme long range? Maybe a moveable sight can help you get there.
Using the sight system that you know well and works appropriately for your application offers the best chance of precision and success.
3. Mounting Brackets
Think about the sight’s mounting bracket. Is it a reversible sight that can be used for both right and left-handed shooters? Are you unknowingly buying a right-hand only model when you’re a lefty?
Additionally, quality materials may be important to you. Plastic brackets can crack and break and that means you’re left high and dry without a sight. Aluminum brackets may prove to be more durable and long-lasting.
Dovetail and fixed brackets may require some thought. Most shooters don’t have reason to remove or remount a sight – once it’s on, it’s on. Fixed brackets are the norm and standard.
Dovetail brackets allow for quick removal of a sight from its bracket. Target and competition shooters may very well find this system useful and convenient.
4. Additional Features
Sight lights, rheostat light, built-in laser rangefinders, quick connect systems, and more may be features you’re after. Micro click adjustments, tool-less adjustments, and interchangeable pin technology are all brow-raising and sure to attract your eye.
However, again you must ask yourself are those features worth driving up the cost of the sight? Will you realistically use them in application? Is an electronic device legal to use in your state? Do you really need a sight light?
When you think of additional features, it’s easy to get distracted by the newest and latest advancements in bow sight technology. Sometimes, it might just mean sticking with simple features like a highly-visible shooter’s ring, a reversible mounting bracket for left-hand shooters, and an upgrade in build quality and materials that may be of more value.
Discover Precision With Top Bow Sight
In the end, a bow sight is a tool. It’s another tool to help you get dead-on and achieve as close to arrow-splitting accuracy as possible – unless you’re Robin Hood, Merida, or Lars Andersen.
Improve your aim and accuracy with a the best bow sights in your budget range. Unleash your inner potential to never miss a shot. Use the tools available to you to become a better marksman. Enjoy the practice!
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