Pendulum Bow Sights

Archery is one of the oldest forms of trajectory ranged weapons, next to slings and spears. Unlike it’s companions, archery has continued to evolve over the years and has become a mix of technology, science and precision gear that bears little resemblance to its ancestors. A major area of growth in archery is in the sights that we use to place our arrows on target. This article focuses on a particular sight designed to be used from a tree stand; The Pendulum bow sight. The Pendulum bow sight is designed to compensate for shooting in environments that involve major changes in elevation. Examples of this would be: hunting from a tree stand or shooting up from the bottom of a ravine. The puzzle of elevated shots lie in the science of gravity and angles. A shot with a flat trajectory flies parallel to the earth, and thus, receives a consistent pull from gravitational forces along its entire trajectory. An elevated shot however, receives much less influence from gravity when shooting down, and much higher influence from gravity when shooting up. Changes in elevation also affect the actual distance the arrow flies to hit a target, since we are now dealing with horizontal distance, as well as vertical distance. Hitting a target with altered gravitation pull and distance has required much skill and guess work in the past. Pendulum bow sights compensate for both by the nature of their design and allow elevated shots to be placed, on target, with ease. Pendulum Bow sights accomplish their niche application by self adjusting a single, swiveling pendulum, with the assistance of gravity itself. Thus if you raise the bow on the vertical plane, the sight automatically adjusts, increasing the range of the contact point, compensating for the increase in gravity. When the bow is lowered on the vertical plane, the sight adjusts to decrease the distance to avoid overshot, due to lower gravitational interference. Most archers agree, that within 35 yards, a pendulum bow sight will bulls-eye your target, with no guess work. Due to advancements in archery, most bows shoot relatively flat at 30-40 yards. This has eliminated one of the puzzles that pendulum bow sights were created to solve. Most compound bow sights are, as a result, capable of making accurate shots from elevated positions. The pendulum sight, however, still tackles the elusive elevated distance challenge that others sights neglect. While pendulum sights are less popular than they were back in the 90’s, they are still sought out by archers who intend on making accurate, elevated shots. Pendulum sights, when used on level terrain, are inferior to other compound bow sights that are created for this environment. Pendulum sights can offer a flat trajectory sight by disabling the swiveling mechanism, if you ever find yourself with the need to do so. Most archers prefer to mount the type of sight that aligns with the terrain on which they hunt. According to polls on public forums, the most popular pendulum compound bow sights are manufactured by Keller and TruGlo. Some archers preferring Keller’s sights for their robust build, choice materials and sleek finish. Others, however, prefer TruGlo for the quality of the sights themselves and the benefits that the fiber optics offer in low light situations.┬áThe pendulum sight is a valuable asset for archers who are dealing with major changes in elevation. While this sight may not be the best option in every scenario, it offers superior accuracy in a niche market and should be considered, when the environment matches the need.