You may recall past articles dealing with how setting your pins to different distances affects how much hold-over or hold-under you must have at other distances. The first article dealt with busting a few myths, Arrow Flight Fact or Fiction: one pin to 40 yards and then the follow-up article details how I set my hunting sight for the 2010 season: Setting the First Pin to 40 Yards.
Now that the indoor season is underway and my wife and I are shooting a 3D league, I decided to revisit this theme with a different setup using a one-pin slider sight. You might ask “why doesn’t he just move the slider?” That’s a very good question and I have a very good answer! Because of the nature of running a website such as this, I am constantly writing articles and doing reviews that require changing my gear frequently. In this case, I am working on a review of a new sight, the HHA Optimizer Ultra.
Because of my review and article writing schedule, this sight ended up on the Bowtech Destroyer 350 that I am using for indoor 3D leagues. However, 90% of the people shooting leagues will be shooting bowhunter freestyle which means that the sight pins must be fixed. If I want to shoot with the competition (and have a chance to at least make back my entrance $) I need to shoot the fixed pin class. In order to accommodate both leagues and getting the review done in a timely manner, I’ll be using this sight, but with the pin locked down. Therefore I only get one pin from 0 to 30 yards.
Anyhow, back to the subject at hand! I decided to do a little experimenting with this current setup to see what was the best place to set the pin. The range we shoot at has several 20 yard lanes and a few 25 yard lanes on one end. This makes it possible to shoot 30 yards total from corner to corner, but keeps most of the targets at or under 20 yards. With a few arrows in hand it’s off to my personal range to figure this out.
First I set the sight to 20 yards, then shot it at 30 yards as well. Then I set the sight to 30 yards and shot it at 20 yards. And the results are…
At a 20 yard sight-in the arrows are hitting about 3″ low at 30 yards while a 30 yard sight in results in the arrows being 2 1/4″ high. So there is a definite difference between the amount of hold-over or hold-under that would be necessary to meet all the distances; 3/4″ or 25% difference. So what did I pick? In the end I have decided to go with sighting in at 20 yards and holding over for 30 yards. What?!? Am I nuts? Why would I pick the method that has more margin for error? In this case, it’s a game of simple numbers. The way the range is set up, there can only be a two or three shots that can be near 30 yards, with the vast majority being at 20 yards or less. With my bow sighted in at 20 yards, it hits less than 1″ high at 15 yards and is nearly dead-on at 10 yards.
To verify that I’d be fine to shoot like this, I left the pin at the 20 yard setting and stepped back to 30 yards and held over the spot to see how well I’d do. Unfortunately the light was getting low, it was cold and drizzling and the wind was blowing 10+mph. But I didn’t do too bad:
When shooting 3D and scoring 12 or even 14 rings, precision down to the 1/4″ can often determine the winner. I would most likely be better off shooting a multi-pin sight than playing a little bit of a guessing game with only one pin, but using this method eases my schedule for now and reduces equipment change overs. We’ll see if it pays off or not!