Bow sights are are different than rifle sights, for instance in that there are at three different components to the trajectory of the arrow when fired. The distance from the target is one factor that must be considered, as well as the horizontal and vertical planes of the arrow flight. Placing all three components in the field of sight so that the archer can sight in the bow at different distances is not only a help to the accuracy for the archer, but it is a disadvantage in that part of the field of vision is blocked by the very thing that assists in accuracy calculations.
Basic design of sights
The basic design of many current bow sights includes one or more sight pins on a single plane attached to extend from the side of a viewing ring. The pins or fibers are often composed of fibers sometimes with the capability of a movable elevation bracket so the number of components can be reduced, thus opening up the field of vision while still providing multiple distance settings. Fiber optics design for the bow sights gives maximum brightness with the most compact size. The sight assembly can be attached so that it is usable by either left handed or right handed users.
The major new developments what have occurred in the design and construction of bow sights include the creation of a rotating shaft so that the fewer sight pins are located in the field of vision while sighting in or using the bow for either hunting or target shooting. Modern, light-weight materials make possible the construction of thinner sight pins in the bow sights which is even more helpful in the reduction of obstructions to vision. Fiber optics technology means the visibility is improved during both the sighting and shooting processes.
Advantages of sights
Bow sights have the obvious advantage of allowing the archer to fine tune the accuracy of their shooting. The use of the sight pins, elevation checks and visual corrections to the act of locating and hitting the target helps to train the eye hand coordination so that success in hitting the target is reinforced because of learning the feel of the bow itself. Bow sights take advantage of the link between sight and the body stance and position to make accurate shooting a total body experience. The use of the sights provides a visual accuracy check.
Disadvantages of sights
The major disadvantage to bow sights is that in order to use the older versions of sights, you either had to sight in your bow at one fairly narrow distance range, or you had to accept multiple sight pins which tended to obscure your vision of the target you were trying to hit. More recent technology has made use of changes in design to utilize lighter, thinner materials which increase the field of vision, and of changes in the way the bow sights pins are attached to the sighting ring--again providing a clearer field of vision while still allowing for accuracy in pinpointing the target.