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Single-Pin vs. Multi-Pin Sights for Bowhunting

It’s not a one-size-fits-all answer.

Most bowhunters who use single-pin sights swear by them because they allow for the most precise accuracy. You’re not pin-gapping between 20- and 30-yard pins for a 25-yard shot — you’re adjusting for the exact distance. With only one pin in a small space, the sight window isn’t cluttered, and there’s no confusion on which pin to use. They’re also versatile, as you can easily sight in for longer-range shots in target practice even if you limit yourself to the 40-yard range for hunting. Setup generally involves fewer steps than for multi-pin sights too.

The major downside of single-pin sights is you’ll often have to make last-minute adjustments in the field as a deer moves. If you’re at full draw with a buck at 20 yards but then he walks out to 37 yards before you get the shot off, you’ll likely have to let down and tweak your sight. And there’s a chance that buck will spot the movement and dart off.

With a multi-pin sight, you won’t have to worry about readjusting when a deer moves. As long as it stays within range, you can stay at full draw and just move down a pin or two. And if you’ve spent lots of time practicing and seeing how large your target looks compared to the pins, range estimation on the fly should be a bit easier.

But especially as you get to five- and seven-pin sights, that sight housing can get cluttered and make it tougher for you to see anything other than those fiber optic pins. Many hunters zero in on the wrong pin in the midst of buck fever, and pin-gapping can lead to less-than-precise shots. 

So with pros and cons to each sight style, it’s about choosing the right option for your unique hunting situation and skill level. If you only get a narrow window of opportunity as a buck slips through a shooting lane, a multi-pin sight might be right for you. If you’re in more open country taking longer shots where dialed-in accuracy is even more crucial, a single-pin sight could be best.

Typically, a multi-pin sight is easier for an inexperienced bowhunter to use, but many archers switch to a single-pin sight as they get more comfortable and confident.

Like so many gear options that are largely dependent upon personal preference, there’s no single sight that’s the best for every bowhunter every time — and anyone who tells you otherwise is lying.

3 thoughts on “Single-Pin vs. Multi-Pin Sights for Bowhunting”

  1. The Bow Bully,
    If I had to relive my compound bow deer-hunting days, I’d go with a single pin, and spend a LOT more time working on my range-estimating skills! 🙂
    Blessings to you,

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