How to fix a sight that won’t go any lower – archery

The sight is one of the differentiating devices between recurve and traditional archers. This simple device allows you to aim without any guesswork and makes you much more accurate. This is, however, only the case if you can get your sight correctly tuned. If your sight is incorrectly tuned you can’t aim at the middle of the target severely reducing your accuracy. It’s is actually quite a common issue that the sight won’t go any lower, therefore it’s about time that we solve this issue once and for all.

If you are frustrated at the range, you might not want to read the entire article, therefore I have a short answer just for you:

If you experience issues at long range, lowering the sight housing might resolve the issue. Another common solution is to reduce the distance between the sight and the riser since this increases the sight angle. When you experience issues at short range, the issue is often related to the tuning of the bow or incorrect technique.

If you have more time though, I would highly recommend reading the remainder of this article. We will discuss all the possible causes and discuss how to solve the issue. Most archers will experience any of these issues at least once, so it’s a good idea to be prepared. Especially the first two tips discussed in the next section are relevant for all archers.

How to solve the issue

If you are only experiencing issues at long range, arrow drop is often the culprit. The longer the distance the more the arrow will drop. If you even experience issues at short range you probably have issues in either your tuning if technique. I will discuss how to solve these issues in the next section.

Even if you shoot a very high poundage, your arrow will drop, especially at 70 and 90 meters (76 and 98 yards). Therefore you can’t completely eliminate arrow drop, but shooting a higher poundage can severely reduce it. That is one of major reasons why archers want to increase their draw weight. You should, however, never shoot with a bow that is too heavy; otherwise your accuracy will severely suffer from it. The best strategy in most cases is to just lower the sight, but sometimes the sight is already in the lowest setting. If this is the case, one of the tips below might help

Tip 1: lower the elevation module

When most archers install their sight, they keep the elevation module in the default position. The elevation module is the long vertical bar, at the end of the sight arm, which allows you to change the elevation (up and down) of the sight pin. Some archers don’t even know that you can change the position of the elevation module. Most modern sights, however, have multiple bushings in the back of the elevation module, which allows you to place the entire device up or down.

If you unscrew the screws at the back of the elevation module, you can completely remove it. You can then use one of the bushing to lower the entire module. You should, however, make sure that your arrow easily clears the sight. Therefore it should always be at least an inch (2,5 cm) above the arrow. If you lower the elevation module all the way down, you might run into interference issues with the arrow. This, however, depends on your bow, sometimes you can put the sight all the way down without issues.

You have to loosen these screws to remove the elevation module to place the unit higher or lower

When it isn’t possible to lower the sight, because it would otherwise hit the arrow, the next tip will probably help you out.

Tip 2: reduce the length of the sight arm

Most archers extend their sight forward as far as possible. This means that the elevation console, aperture and sight pin is as far away from the riser as possible. This makes you able to make more precise adjustments to your sight and it has a few other benefits. I won’t go into this in more detail because it’s quite complex, but I have written an in depth article about this which you can find below:

How far should I extend the sight forward?

If you sight is far away from the riser, you will have a more limited range because the sight angle decreases. To increase the sight angle you can place the sight closer to the riser, which in almost all cases completely solves the issue. You will have to completely reconfigure your sight though, since this is all dependent on the sight angle.

What if this doesn’t solve the issue?

In most cases the two tips discussed above should fix the issue, especially tip two is common solution. The effect of the second tip can dramatically increase your range. Meaning that even most kids can shoot at long distances, by placing the sight closer to the riser.

If these tips didn’t solve the issue, and you shoot a bow with a draw weight of 20 LBS or more, there are probably issues with the tuning or the technique. These issues are sometimes quite hard to discover at short distances, because minor issues don’t tend to be very visible. Therefore, if you are still experience issues, when you tried both tips, you might have to look at the tuning and your technique

Issues in tuning and technique

To solve basically any issue, the best tactic is to try to find the cause. When you know the cause you can tackle the problem straight on, without having to try all options. Luckily it is very easy to discover which issue you have, since you can either observe or measure it. So let’s get to it!

Incorrect nocking points

When these nocking points are not in the correct place, you might run into issues. Especially if you didn’t add the nocking points on the bow yourself, or you changed your string, this might be the issue.

The specialized device to check your nocking points is a bow square. You can attach this device to the string and measure the exact location of the nocking points. If you don’t have a bow square, you can also use a piece of plywood and hold it strait against the string. The arrow should point slightly downwards, but not too much. The top nocking point should be about ½ inch above the center of the string. If it’s much more than that, you have found the issue.

Attach the bow square onto the string and place the arm on the arrow rest. In this position you can measure both the upper and lower nocking point

To solve the issue, you have to replace the nocking points and place them in the correct position. The YouTube channel Triple Trouble Archery has an excellent tutorial that you can watch below.

Your anchor point

Another common issue is the anchor point. Especially if you are just getting into archer, you probably don’t have a solid anchor point. Recurve archers anchor below the chin/jaw for various reasons. The most important reason is to keep our hand out of our field of view while aiming. Another reason is to make it easier to shoot with the sight.

If you are anchor on your check, your anchor point moves up at least an inch. If you keep your sight the same, you will shoot way below the target. Therefore, you should as a recurve archer never anchor on your cheek. You might be able to shoot short distances if you lower the sight. But if you ever want to shoot long distances, you won’t be able to put your sight any lower.

Even less extreme changes in your anchor point may cause an issue. Therefore you should always check whether your anchor point is consistent before you make any changes to your sight.

Incorrect tiller tuning

Normally the tiller height of the lower limb should be a bit lower than the tiller height of the upper limb. This difference should be about 0 to 7 millimeters (about ¼ of an inch). This difference is to accommodate for the uneven draw, since you hold just 1 finger above while 2 or 3 below the arrow.

In no circumstance should the upper limb have a lower tiller height than the lower limb. If this is the cause, the arrow might experience more downward pressure from the string. This will push the arrow downward, which means that you have to put your sight lower.

Therefore, you should check the tuning of the tiller and check whether the tiller height is within acceptable margins. You can see the measurement points of the upper and lower tiller height either next to this section or below it, depending on the device you are reading this article.

Still not solved?

There are so many factors that can influence the flight of the arrow; therefore it can sometimes be very hard to pinpoint what the exact issue is. In this article I provided you with the most common solutions that help resolve about 99% of all issues. But since there are so many things that can influence your shot, I can’t cover it all in one article. It is my mission, however, to help you as best as possible. So if your issue isn’t resolved, please let me know in the comment section down below. I will try to help you to the best of my ability!

Final words

I hope this article was helpful and that your issue is resolved. If you have any feedback or comments, please leave them down below. I will respond as soon as possible. All feedback is welcome since this helps me improve this article. 

Tim van Rooijen

For as long as I can remember, I have always been fascinated by archery. First due to its historic significance but later because I like being outdoors. With this blog, I share my knowledge about Archery and how you can improve your shot. More about author…

2 Replies to “How to fix a sight that won’t go any lower – archery”

  1. Hamish McCreight says:

    Hello . Very useful and considered article. I started off with the goal of hitting a 100 yards with a recurve with 28lb limbs . Found that setting my sight right back close to riser and vertical elevation module on lowest, I got a range of 30 yards right thru to 100 yards – as you confirm in this article – and still had some space left at bottom of sight vertical bar. Then recently a veteran in the archery club who also shoots guns said “Why is your sight set like that ? You do not get the accuracy at longer distances on your sight! Do what everybody else does !” Well I tried that BUT found that with sight right out with the 28lb limbs meant that range limit was 60 yards when sight was at its lowest position. Then I tried 70m and then of course I needed to start bringing the sight back in nearer the riser. So Catch -22..or mutually exclusive ? – I cannot have a more accurate sight position AND achieve longer ranges (70m plus) if I set my sight at it its furthest horizontal element from the riser ……Do I need a longer horizontal sight bar…..or maybe also one of these bigger brighter sight pins …..or load up my 32 lb limbs…….or my 36 lb limbs…or all of that ?????

    1. Tim van Rooijen says:

      Hi Hamish,

      Thank you for your nice comment. Sorry for the late reply, for some reason your message got in my spam box 🙁

      Anyway, in your case, I would just move the sight back closer to the riser. Although you can be more precise with your sight farther away from the riser, it’s not something that will drastically improve your accuracy.

      Most archers shoot with their sight in this position because they either shoot at short distances or with a high draw weight. In both cases, you don’t need that much vertical space, which makes it beneficial to move the sight farther away from the riser. But people that shoot at long ranges with a relatively low draw weight often move their sight back towards the riser.

      I wouldn’t recommend increasing your draw weight if you can comfortably shoot it. If you feel muscle fatigue or start to shake with the heavier weight, it will influence your accuracy. So only take this step if you are 100% sure that it won’t affect your shooting!

      If you still want to be very precise with your sight, you could consider buying a sight with micro-adjustments. These sights have dials, which allow you to make really small adjustments. For more information, read the article below:

      You can of course also lower the sight bar, as I explained in the article. But you could run into the issue that your arrow starts to hit the sight. But whether that will happen depends on the amount of clearance between the arrow and your sight.

      I have seen many people shoot very well with the sight close to the riser. So I see no reason, why you shouldn’t do this if it resolves your issue.


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