Meridian Star

May 9, 2014

Archery Addicts Anonymous — Lesson 019

Follow the arrow: sighting-in protocol


The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     Assuming we have chosen the optimum arrow for our bow and shooting goals (hunting or competition), it is time to set the sight pin for elevation and windage at twenty yards. To avoid missing the target bale and losing an arrow, begin sighting-in at five yards and move back five yards with each shot.  Do not attempt to fine-tune the sight except as necessary to avoid missing the target bale.

    Once at the twenty yard mark, begin shooting a three shot sequence with three arrows.   Do not attempt to fine-tune the sight pin until we are consistently shooting a three-shot-group (the smaller the better). The initial goal with sighting-in is not to hit the bull’s-eye. The rule-of-thumb is: “Aim at the same place and miss at the same place.”

    Rather than trying to follow a complicated and confusing routine to determine which direction to move the sight simply FOLLOW THE ARROW!  Whichever direction the three shot arrow group is from the aim-point,  move the sight in the direction of the center of the  arrow group.  Shooting high? Move the sight up.  Shooting to the right? Move the sight to the right.

    Once the single twenty yard sight pin has been set for both windage and elevation, the next step is to micro-adjust the windage to extreme distances (the further the better). The extreme windage adjustment distance for most of us might be 40 to 75 yards using the same twenty yard pin.

    It might be necessary to stack target blocks as the distance increases. Cover the target blocks with freezer paper from top to bottom and apply a length of bright colored painter’s masking tape vertically centered from top to bottom.  Place a three to four inch colored target circle near the top of the top target block. An alternate target could be a vertically plumb length of masking tape with a horizontal length of tape near the top to form the shape of a cross (crosshair).

    Begin shooting three shot groups at twenty yards and move backward (away from the target) in five yard increments while aiming at the same place (the target circle). Each successive shot group should form a vertical line from top to bottom as the distance increases.

    Sight pin windage adjustment is the last of four factors that affect windage, viz. correct draw length, elbow cocked and locked at 12 o’clock high, and a level sight bubble .

    Precise windage and elevation adjustment should never be attempted under windy conditions.  When it is too windy to shoot, it is never too windy to blind/blank bale (review lesson 006, Perfecting muscle memory -shooting form).

    Address questions to: ttrivers@hughes.net  Cell no. - 601-604-0913