Last Updated on June 3, 2021
A 3-pin bow sight gives you more flexibility for shooting out past 30 yards than a single pin, and if you practice with it enough, you’ll be able to quickly line up your shot and shoot accurately much faster than if you have to adjust a single pin for distance every single time. Single pin sights are great for a lot of bowhunters, especially if you are only taking shots at a specific distance or are practiced enough to compensate without assistance.
The issue with having too many pins, though, is that it clutters up your sight picture and can get confusing when the adrenaline is pumping during an important shot. For this reason, most bowhunters stick with as few pins as they need for the type of shooting they’re doing. This is also why the 3-pin sight is so popular: it adds flexibility without much complication.
Here are our reviews on the best 3-pin bow sights available on the market today.
|Best Overall||Trophy Ridge Fix Sight Series||
|Best Value||TOPOINT ARCHERY 3 Pin Bow Sight||
|Premium Choice||Spot Hogg Fast Eddie Bow Sight||
|TRUGLO Storm Compact Bow Sight||
|CBE Tactic Bow Sight||
There are a few important things to look for in a 3-pin bow sight, and the Trophy Ridge has all of them. It has fiber optic pins that are legal in every state and a back-up rheostat light in case it’s too dark to use the fiber optics. The pins are micro-adjustable which gives you the ability to be incredibly precise and accurate when you’re sighting in.
The price is fair and the design is good. The one major issue is that they do not make a left-handed version, so if you shoot lefty, you won’t want to go with this option. It is also not threaded for a lens, but this won’t be a big deal for most shooters.
There are 4 different mounting positions, you get second-axis leveling and a bubble level, along with tool-less windage and elevation adjustments. You can make sight in each pin individually but windage and elevation adjustments will affect all 3 pins, which is how most sights are. Overall, it’s a fantastic sight with everything you need for effective bowhunting.
This is a simple, bare-bones sight, but we consider it the best 3-pin bow sight for the money because it has critical functions and does them well. The fiber optics are .029 inches instead of .019 inches, so they obscure more of the target area but they are also easier to see. Since you’re likely not shooting out further than 40 yards, and almost certainly not further than 60, the extra width shouldn’t be a huge deal, especially considering the price.
You can adjust for elevation and windage, but remember that it (like most sights), will require a 3/32-inch Allen wrench to adjust. The sight can be used for either left or right-handed shooters, and the price is fantastically low.
The concern with affordable equipment like this is always how durable it’s going to be, but this one is constructed with 6061-T6 aluminum and does a good job protecting the fiber optics from damage. It’s not as robust as some other options but it’s still plenty strong for use hunting or for target practice.
This is a fantastic option but comes in at the highest price on this list. The pins are .019 to keep things as accurate as possible, and it has second and third axis adjustments. The reflective green ring on the front helps a lot with quickly lining up your sight picture since you can center the pin guard in your peep sight and anchor in the same place every time. Having the bright green makes it easy to see and fast to line up.
There’s no left-handed option here, but it also comes with a 6-inch dovetail bar and is micro-adjustable for ultimate precision. It’s a bit big, but not too bad, and it’s surprisingly light given its size, which makes it comfortable to shoot with.
This sight does take a while to get zeroed in properly, and it’s designed for experienced bow hunters. If you’re shopping for your first sight, you may want to consider the Topoint or one of the other options on this list.
This is another great option if you’re looking for an inexpensive sight with a couple more features compared to the Topoint. The TRUGLO comes in both left and right-hand versions and in both 3-pin and 5-pin versions. The Pins are also .019 inches instead of .029 inches. The 3-pin version doesn’t come with a light but it has a slot for it if you want to buy it separately.
Windage and elevation adjustments are done via a 3/32-inch Allen wrench and it mounts with the standard bow mount. The screws used for mounting and adjusting seem to be made of a less robust material and can actually strip fairly easily, so that’s something to watch out for. The screws seem fairly standard and should be simple to replace at an archery store or online.
Overall, it trades some general quality for extra features, so if you’re willing to take a bit more of a risk to get the thinner pins and compatibility with a light, then this could be a good alternative to the Topoint.
This is a good option in a similar price range to the Trophy. The advantages of the CBE are that the fiber optics are especially bright and it has an ambidextrous design that works with both left and right-handed shooters. The pins are “blade style”, which means they curve outward towards the target before coming back to point at your eye. This design helps make the fiber optics that much brighter and easier to see.
The elevation and windage adjustments are also tool-less, which is particularly handy for adjusting on the fly, and it has multiple mounting points so that you can position it in the spot that works best for your bow, size, and shooting stance. It has a similar green ring on the front of the pin guard to the Trophy.
It does not come with a light, though it is compatible with one, and the pin housing is not made of the same aluminum as the mount and feels like a much less durable plastic. Obviously, the plan is to never drop or bump your bow, but it’s nice to have a sight that will be able to handle a little punishment if it comes and the CBE doesn’t give a lot of confidence.
The Axion is a nice, basic 3-pin sight. It’s adjustable for windage and elevation and each individual pin can be adjusted. The best thing about it may also be the worst thing about it depending on you and your preferences: it’s solid pink. It’s not like it’s mostly black with pink accents; it’s completely pink except for one knob, the screws, and the blades that hold the pins.
Even the liquid inside the bubble level is pink. This is the go-to if you or the person you’re shopping for are absolutely in love with pink, but if the color isn’t important to you or you don’t like pink, then you can skip this one and read on to the next ones. It lacks some features that most 3-pin sights have in this price point, but especially for a casual shooter, it can be a great way to personalize their bow.
The Viper was made with toughness in mind more than anything else. It’s CNC machined out of 6061 T6 aluminum, and every component is metal, except the fiber optics of course. It has a very tight, compact design which is nice in some ways but it does make it hard to adjust the windage and elevation depending on where your pins are set.
You can also adjust the height of the bubble level, which is a nice touch, and the pins are blade style to let in more light to the fiber optic line. The fiber optic does run visibly out the back and may be a bit distracting, but it’s a good sight for the price and packs a lot of punch you normally only see with more expensive sights.
You only get the 4 mounting holes, so there’s not a lot of customizing where it sits on your bow, and while it is theoretically compatible with virtually any compound bow, the size and draw of your specific bow might keep it from sitting where you want it to properly line up your sights.
Black Gold does things a little bit differently, and if their ways align with your ways, you’ll probably very much like their Verdict 3 sight. If not, you may find it odd. First, they have a “SkyCoil” at the top of the sight where the fiber optic cable runs to collect more light than other designs. The adjustment is done with their aptly named, “Dial of Death”, and they intentionally design their sight for shooting out to 100 yards.
The Verdict 3 also comes with sight tape that can match to the speed of your bow and help you calibrate how to adjust for shots all the way out to that 100-yard mark. This is obviously also impacted by the arrows you’re shooting and whether you’ve weighted down your broadheads, but with only a little practice, shots can be done out much further than what is normally expected.
This sight is on the more expensive end of the spectrum, so if those features don’t sound particularly exciting, then you can always look at a more budget-friendly option.
The following are important things to consider when finding the right 3-pin bow sight for your needs. The first question is, what type of shooting do you do?
Bow-hunting is almost always done at 60 yards and under (except for those magical moments where the stars align and you feel the spirits of Robin Hood and Legolas guiding that perfect 75-yard shot), and you’ll be feeling a lot more pressure to make your shot. For these reasons, if you’re not sure, we would recommend starting with a 3-pin sight.
This gives you the flexibility to zero at different distances, but it also doesn’t create a risk for confusion in the heat of the moment that can cause you to use the wrong pin for the distance you’re aiming. That said, many hunters successfully use a 5-pin or even a 7-pin sight and get great results from it. The truth is that it is simply a matter of preference, and there is no right or wrong answer.
This depends on how serious you are about results. A 5-pin sight may make a lot of sense, but at the same time, you also have the time to adjust a single pin to whatever distance you happen to be shooting. The more serious you are, the less you’ll (usually) want to rely on instincts and turn your shooting into more of a science. Again, if you’re not sure, then a 3-pin is a great place to start because of the balance it strikes.
Many hunters and competition shooters stick with a 3-pin sight long term because they get familiar enough with it that they can be deadly accurate at all the distances they want to shoot at. Other aspects of shooting archery such as your own shooting form, follow-through, bow poundage, and arrows tend to start affecting their shots more than the sight does.
Bow sights all do essentially the same thing; they give you an aiming point to line up with your target and accurately predict where your arrow is going to hit. While many archers use just the string, the tip of the arrow, and their instincts to put the arrow where they want it, higher precision at longer distances usually demands some way of calculating distance and adjusting the shot accordingly.
Even traditional archers have techniques like face walking to perform a similar function to what a pin sight provides when they reach the limits of GAP shooting.
That said, there are differences in the ways that bow sights operate. Pin sights, specifically, can have only 1 pin or up to 7. Sights with multiple pins do allow each pin to be moved independently for sighting in, and most (but not all) will allow windage and elevation adjustment that will move the entire pin guard at once.
Some even have second and third axis adjustments for even more control over where the pin ring appears and how it’s positioned.
Most modern sights will use fiber optics to keep the pins clearly visible in the daylight, and some will come with little flashlights that mount to the pin guard and shine down onto them for visibility in the nighttime. Most areas have specific times of day that it’s legal to bow hunt during, and often electronic attachments, including a light, are prohibited, so that type of thing isn’t always useful for hunting, but could be in other situations.
Another common difference is how many mounting points they offer. Each archer and bow combination is different, so having a sight that can mount an inch further forward or back can be invaluable, but you often pay more money for a sight that offers this, and they tend to be heavier as well.
This is a good question, and there are a few schools of thought on this. Generally speaking, it’s recommended to use as few pins as possible. If you want to shoot frequently at different distances like 20, 30, and 40 yards, then having 3 pins set to those distances makes a lot of sense. If you want to shoot further out, you can choose to set your pins further apart or go up to a 5-pin sight.
Adding pins at different distances will never replace time spent practicing with your sight once you’ve zeroed it in. Whether you have 3 pins set to 20 yards, 60 yards, and 100 yards respectively, or 5 pins set to 20, 30, 40, 50, and 60 yards, it will take hours of practice to hone your ability to line up the correct pin and take your shot.
If you are relying on your sight for hunting, then a 3-pin sight calibrated to 20, 30, and 40 yards is probably the best place to start and you can adjust from there as needed. Bowhunting is done at under 60 yards (despite what you may find on the forums), so adding pins beyond 3 can do more harm than good.
Even with only one pin, you can practice adjusting, especially if your sight has sight tape, and get shots off relatively quickly and without the risk of lining up the wrong pin.
In our reviews, the sight that we found to be the best overall is the Trophy Ridge Fix Series. It has most of the features that are usually only found on more expensive sights, as well as the on-board adjustment tool which makes adjusting that much quicker. Our choice for the best for the money is the Topoint Archery 3-Pin Bow Sight. It’s one of a number of similar sights, but it comes with mounting instructions and tools.
No matter what your budget, you can find a serviceable sight for your bow. Hopefully, you have a better idea of what’s out there and what to expect when shopping for a 3-pin bow sight.
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Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.
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