One question I see every day on the archery forums I am on is “What kind of sight should I use?” Generally it’s people newer to the sport or people that have been using the same thing a long time and aren’t sure if they’ll like a change. I’ve tried both and they both have pros and cons. There are things I like about each and there are things I don’t like about each so I’ll give you my take on this common question.
Single pin sights have a lot of upside; no pin blur, adjustable to the exact yard, and they’re easy and pretty quick to set up. I’ve seen single pin sights for years but never pulled the trigger on one until this year. I was always skeptical, you don’t always have time to adjust your sight to the correct yardage and that could cost you a shot. I actually opted for the Spot Hogg Fast Eddie XL Double Pin, it’s the typical single pin with an additional fiber so you basically have two pins. With my setup, they started at 20 and 36 yards and I can shoot all the way out to 100+ yards if I want. I really liked the sight; set up was pretty easy, no pin blur, and a solid dovetail mount, it was everything I wanted in a sight.
Most hunters use a standard multi-pin sight, although now it’s pretty close to 50-50. Each pin is set to a yardage of your choice has to be sighted in manually. It can take some time and effort. The great thing about that is it gets you familiar with your set up. You know how high you have to aim if your at 32 yards instead of 30. The downside is just that, you do have to guess a little bit. I’ve used a few different multi-pin sights like Apex, IQ, Truglo to name some of them. I like having set pins because when a deer is cruising passed you, you probably aren’t going to have time to range and adjust and shoot. I always range landmarks ahead of time so when that happens all I have to do is shoot.
So now that you’ve seen the upside to each, here’s the downsides:
Single pins have moving parts, that means variables that could mess up your shot if your sight gets bumped or the gears get worn, unlikely but still a possibility. While being able to adjust to the exact yardage, in my opinion, it’s harder to guess when you don’t have time to range and adjust. The reason it’s harder to guess a few yards is because MOST people don’t practice it. They only practice at exact yardages, not random yardages. Not to mention the fact that you have to consciously remember to adjust when it’s crunch time or you’re almost certain to miss. I had a doe in range this year at 22 yards, I drew my bow back but she walked behind some brush and by time she came out she was 34 yards. I was already drawn back so I couldn’t adjust my sight. Luckily I had the double pin so I was able to use that but most single pin sights don’t. I would have had to guess or let her walk. Guessing a yard or even a couple yards isn’t a huge deal but to me 12 yards leaves to much room for error. I would have had to let her walk.
Multi-pins also leave a lot to be desired. You don’t get to adjust to exact yardages at those long range shots, that’s a lot more difficult than at 22 yards. Another downside is you can’t have your pins too close together, it can cause them to blur together but you don’t want them too far apart or you’ll be guessing. It can be tough. Your are also limited to how far you can shoot, Unlike the single pin, your housing doesn’t move so what you get is what you get. You also have to spend a lot more time sighting in each individual pin, not necessarily a bad thing but it is time consuming.
My personal preference, and what I will be switching to this spring when I am able to shoot my bow again, is a hybrid of the two sights. It has a couple of fixed pins and the bottom pin is called the rover. It can be adjusted to a longer set yardage. It’s really the best of both worlds. Most of the hunting I do I really only need a couple pins but when I go out west or want to practice at longer yardages, I need to be able to. The company I will be going with is Montana Black Gold. Their sights are top quality like the Spot Hogg I have now and the warranty is awesome too. I just like how with MBG I can customize it to my preference. Both single and fixed pins are great and both have a cult like following; but I, among with many others now, want the best of both worlds. The only way to tell for yourself is to research and try it. Hopefully this gives you a little insight into all three. Good luck!