Are Bow Sights Universal? 

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When I first became interested in archery, there was no one there to teach me the basics. So naturally, when it came to buying my first bow sight, I was hesitant – are bow sights universal? I didn’t know if bow sights came in different sizes, so I wondered if I could use the same sight on different bows. Luckily, it didn’t take long for me to find an answer.

Most bow sights can be mounted on any bow. Therefore, you may use them interchangeably. For example, a bow sight that works on a recurve bow will most likely work on a compound bow and vice versa.

So, you might be wondering if there’s any way to tell whether a bow sight has a universal fit. There are a few different things to consider and I’ll walk you through what you need to know.

What Is A Bow Sight?

A bow sight is a device, mounted on the riser of the bow, that helps archers aim. It has fiber optic pins that correspond to a certain range. When shooting, archers align a pin to the target depending on the range that they want to shoot at. Bow sights are widely regarded as one of the most valuable tools that an archer can have. They greatly improve accuracy because they are useful for estimating distances.

bow sight


Do I Need A Bow Sight?

From personal experience, it is possible to shoot without a bow sight. This is known as instinctive archery. However, it is much easier to shoot consistent and accurate shots with a bow sight. I have found this to be the case with my shooting as well. Because of this, shooting with a bow sight is the most preferred method for archers. But, whether you use a bow sight or not, this all boils down to personal preference.

Are Bow Sights Universal?

Most bow sights can be mounted on most bows. This is because manufacturers usually stick to certain guidelines when designing and making their products. Think of it this way: the more bows that the sight fits on, the more bow sights that they sell and the more money they make. No one wants to buy a bow sight that doesn’t work. Plus, it’s less work for manufacturers to make everything the same size.

How To Test Whether A Bow Has A Universal Fit

Like I mentioned earlier, most bow sights have a universal fit. But, is there any way to tell whether a sight is in the small percentage of those that don’t? In my experience, there’s no guaranteed way to determine this without trying the sights out in person. However, there are a few things that I have learned when shopping online that have helped me make the right decision.

Think of buying a bow sight like trying on clothes. For example, in most stores, you might be a medium, but there may be one where you’re large. The same goes for bow sights. The sizing with bow sights is a lot more consistent, but you get the idea. Manufacturers will try to follow the same sizing guides for their products, but sometimes there are errors that make them slightly off. Your goal is to find the bow sight that is accurate for most bows.

Personally, my method for finding bows with universal fits is pretty simple and has always given me great results.

First, look up bow sights on Amazon. From there, look at the ones that have the most and best reviews. If there is a sight that doesn’t have a “universal” fit, then this will come through in the comments.

bow sight


When people buy a bad product, they are usually eager to leave a bad review. If they bought a bow sight and it didn’t fit their bow, then they will usually leave a comment about this. The more bad reviews, then the warier you should be buying a product.

Do I Need A Universal Bow Sight?

You do not need a bow sight with a universal fit. If yours fits your needs and you are happy with it, then you should be fine. If you’re planning on using your sight on the same bow for years, then there’s really no need to buy another one. Of course, if you would like a sight with more interchangeability, then purchasing a new one might be the right choice for you.

Can I Use A Rifle Sight On My Bow?

Rifle sights should not be used on bows. Rifle sights are meant to be shot at much further distances, therefore they are fundamentally very different. They use a magnifying lens to give people a better idea of where they are aiming. Bow sights, on the other hand, have no magnifying properties. They have a series of fiber optic pins to help archers estimate where to shoot depending on how far they are from their target.