Hunting archery 102: Picking apart sight pins
This may seem a little late, however, the reason I’m writing it is that I just got an email from a fellow hunter looking to buy a new bow sight. His questions centered on brand of sight and style, but eventually also touched on sight pins. This topic doesn’t get a lot of love, which is unfortunate because it should. Picking sights based on function, adjustability, and durability is always a good start, but since you’re aiming with them, it’s a solid idea to choose exactly what you want pin-wise.
For starters, most sight manufacturers give consumers the chance to customize pin color with green, yellow, and red being the option 99-percent of the time. Green is always the most dominant color, which makes sense because it’s the easiest to see for most folks. Red, on the other hand, is usually the least common color and is my least favorite color for pins. Red is the first color to disappear in the color spectrum in low light, and is simply a poor choice for a pin color. Yellow falls somewhere in the middle between red and green. If you have the option, try all green or green with a yellow break-up pin or two and then shoot in low light. You might be surprised.
Pin size is also customizable and you’ll likely find three choices – .029-, .019- and .010-inch. The easiest to see are the largest – the .029-inch pins. Those are a favorite among strictly whitetail hunters. For me, they are a bit too large and tend to either get fuzzy or cause me to have trouble picking a spot. I much prefer .019-inch pins for close- and farther-range shooting. At the other end of the spectrum are the tiny .010-inch pins, which make me feel like I’m an over-caffeinated newbie when it comes to aiming. They are simply too small for me. If you get the chance, shoot all three at your farthest comfortable distance to see, which allows you the best chance to hit a bull's-eye.
Lastly, you’ll notice most sights feature pins that are mounted horizontally. A few, especially single-pin sights, offer vertical pins. There is nothing wrong with a rack of horizontal pins, but I’ve found that they obscure about half of my sight window, and quite frankly, I don’t like that. I like being able to aim a pin and see what is to the left, and to the right of the pin. That is really only possible with vertical pins. This doesn’t matter as much on the target range, but having shot at quite a few animals in my life with both styles I can say without a doubt I’d rather have a more-open sight window that allows me to aim more precisely.
If you’re in the market for a sight upgrade, carefully consider what you want as far as pins go. There are a lot of great options on the market, and taking the time to figure out what works best will result in you being a better shot. This is truly one of those situations where you can fork over some cash and reap better shooting results because of it.