I’m not sure about you, but where I grew up, I didn’t have a money tree growing in the backyard. And I still don’t have one. Being thrifty was and is always a priority; as the old saying goes “you get what you pay for”. But can you get quality products without having to sell a kidney? And a better question may be “what fits my needs best?”. In some cases, I have seen people with sights on their bows that costs more than the bow. I’ve also seen hunts cut short and tournaments lost because of poorly made products. So I think we should take a quick look at what makes a quality sight “quality”.
My first question is always, “what will be the applications for this sight?” then I inspect its constructive properties and ask the following questions:
Is it aluminum, Delrin, plastic, steel or carbon? Is it molded, cast or CNC machined? How much of the sight is made from those types of materials? Could it have been made from a different material and helped its overall quality? Are the pins covered and protected adequately? Does it appear as though each piece was specifically designed to interlock and fit properly or are the pieces simply attached with screws? How well will my “add-ons” connect?
Quality is quality. If a sight only has one pin and is extremely simple but made of quality materials and works well for its application, then, it is quality made. But sometimes quality gets confused with simplicity, complexity and price. If a sight has tournament style applications, an impressive looking bright fiber optic pin and lots of little yardage stickers to add on to the elevation bar it becomes more complex than the simple single pin sight. But that doesn’t mean it is high quality. Nor does its expensive price tag.
So, I ask myself “what can I live with and without?” When I am competing in 3D archery I need a sight that has all these features: a level, 1st,2nd and 3rd axis adjustment, quick elevation adjustment, micro windage adjustment, detachable components for traveling ease and stowing away in a protective case. When I am whitetail hunting in the Arkansas Ozark mountains I need a sight with these features: bright fiber optic fixed pins (usually no more than 3), mostly aluminum construction, good protection for the pins and fiber optic, nothing needs to be micro adjustable (not saying it isn’t acceptable, just not NEEDED) and that is about it.
Obviously, the needs are very different in each scenario. What I need for a hunting sight may not cost much at all, but if I want luxury I will probably have to pay for it. But remember that quality is not determined by the expense of the sight but more about its application and how it holds up to the punishment it will endure. Make a cognitive effort to evaluate each part and piece before you purchase a sight. Obviously, nothing tells the story quite like actual hands-on experience or a recommendation from a trusted source that knows their business. Good luck and aim small!