ATA 2018: Top New Bow Sights
January 13, 2018
A good sight can make a big difference in how well you shoot. This starts with being fully — and easily — micro-adjustable. It should be bomb-proof(ish), and sport the amount of pins with which you're comfortable. If it's a mover, it should move simply, quietly, and so smooth that there isn't a hint of clunkiness to it.
Your sight should also be as bright as you need it so that you can easily see your pins in high light, low light, ground blinds during a foggy morning, and any other challenging conditions. Lastly, a sight should work with your shooting style. This is one of the great intangibles that can't be understood until a summer — or season — of shooting.
Following are several new sight options for you consideration.
What do you get when you combine a premium five-pin sight with a top-notch, good to within +/- one yard rangefinder? The new IQ Define, of course. This single-unit system operates off of one-touch trigger activation so that you can range animals without having to reach into your pocket and risk getting busted. The Define is built to preserve bow balance and offer everything you'd find in a high-end sight and the best part is that it retails for only $380. This is a smoking deal when you factor in all that you get.
Garmin Xero A1i
The Xero A1i from Garmin created an awful lot of buzz at the ATA Show this year, which comes as no surprise when you find out what it's capable of doing. For instance, this auto-ranging sight measures precise distances to your target and then projects a virtual, lighted pin in the sight housing for that exact distance. In other words, there's no more gapping, guessing, or wondering if you should hold high or low when a critter cruises by. A silent, single-button trigger allows you to range at full draw or at rest, and if you should let an arrow fly, the A1i's Laser Locate will estimate the arrow's point of impact and send that information to a compatible Garmin device, like one of their killer smart watches. It turns out most of us have been living in 2018 while the engineers at Garmin were already in 3018.
APEX GEAR COVERT
A new design, complete with a detachable sight bracket, is the hallmark of APEX GEAR's latest offering, the COVERT. This four-pin mover can be set as a standard, fixed sight or utilized as a mover where the bottom .010-inch pin can cover long-range shots. It is micro-adjustable for both windage and elevation, left-hand convertible, and comes with over 100 calibrated sight tapes that allow for precision aiming no matter your bow model or arrow speed.
AXCEL Sights RheoTech
Choose from four-, five, and seven-pin options on the new RheoTech from AXCEL, which features one of the coolest new innovations out there. To account for varying light conditions, the RheoTech is built to allow you to simply twist the sight's Rheostat Cover to adjust the FirePin's brightness. A new diamond-shaped mounting bar promises extra strength and durability, while each RheoTech provides true third-axis adjustments in addition to offering micro-adjustable elevation and windage.
Black Gold Ascent Verdict Assault
I have a hard time shooting anything other than Black Gold Sights when it comes to my western-critter forays and am definitely looking forward to trying out their new Ascent Verdict Assault. This five-pin sight, which is also available in a three-pin option, is built with a new feature - Micro 1st Axis adjustment. Naturally, it also allows for second- and third-axis adjustment as well. Pins are .019-inch on this 10-ounce, bombproof all-metal sight.
Need an ultra-lightweight sight that is perfect for the whitetail woods? Look no further than the TL-3 from Custom Bow Equipment, which is designed around the ArmedGuard Fiber Management System. What this does is harness the power of 12 inches of fiber to provide seriously bright pins that are protected against the rough-and-tumble lifestyle of real bowhunters. The TL-3 offers several position mounting holes and utilizes stainless steel bolts so you wont see any rust creeping in after sitting through an October soaker.
Elite Archery EX5
A third-axis adjustment block, re-engineered Smart-Mount, and micro-windage adjustment are just a few notables of the new EX5 from renowned bow-maker Elite Archery. This five-pin sight also features a removable light shade to control pin brightness, dovetail elevation gang adjustment (with visual laser engraved markings), and a host of other killer design elements making this the best sight to bolt to your new Enlist.
Hoyt PRO XCEED
Single-pin sliders find their way onto my bows a lot because they simplify the aiming process and allow me to dial into exact distances, which is something I prefer over gapping or holding pins high or low. Anyone interested in that style of shooting should consider Hoyt's latest offering, the PRO XCEED. This sight comes standard with pre-printed sight tapes, is designed with machined-aluminum to be both lightweight and nearly bulletproof, and if you're into a little bling on your bow - interchangeable colored sight rings.
Spot Hogg Double Pin — Double Pointer
For 2018, Spot Hogg has incorporated the innovative Double Pin — Double Pointer into their Hogg Father and Tommy Hogg bow sights. What this system does is give shooters two reference points within the same single-pin body without cluttering up the sight window. This system also allows you to check the exact distance of both pins no matter where the dial is set, and sounds like the ideal option for anyone who likes to call in bull elk or who might have a whitetail chase a doe at 20 yards and then suddenly trot back through at 40.
Trophy Ridge Alpha React 1
Take a look at this sight from Trophy Ridge and you'll see it is different from every other single-pin mover on the market. This is because of the unique inverted V-shape of the .019-inch pin. What this does is naturally guide the eye (and the pin) to the target while allowing for a clear view throughout. With this sight you simply dial in at two ranges and then through some math magic you're set for every distance you'd ever want to ethically fling at. Of the sights I'm excited to test out in 2018, this one is at the top of my list. Not only do I think it's going to make target practice more interesting, I feel like it will make aiming at animals — especially turkeys — much easier and more precise.