Sight Simple

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Last Updated: Aug 6, 2010 – 1:11:39 PM
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Sponsored By Bear Archery Products.

Sight Simple

By Wade Nolan – Bowhunting Biologist

Aug 3, 2009 – 5:06:57 AM

Author getting first hand look at the new Trophy Ridge sight.

In the old days, right after cavemen , bow sights were simply a plastic arm with a white dot of paint on them. I remember hiking in the dark to my treestand in a Kentucky hollow just behind a sorghum field on the last morning of a 7 day hunt.  I got busy raising my bow in the dawns twilight and hung it on a branch next to me. I was really pumped about the prospects of this location where I’d earlier seen a real walhanger with chocolate antlers. Once the dawn had its way with the night I reached up and placed my bow in my hand and carefully drew it to be sure it was free of squeaks and potential problems. After setting the kisser button in the corner of my mouth I aligned the peep and looked for the 20 yard pin, but it had gone AWOL. A branch had busted out all of my pins during the flashlight walk in. Resulting in a busted hunt, how disappointing.

The newest technology in fiber optics make the Trophy Ridge Sight one to look at.

Its comforting to know that there are engineers in our industry who actually bowhunt. It’s also encouraging that designing simple solutions is what hunters want. I recently spent some time with Bear Archery marketing director Ross Rinehart and Sean Gordon,  product Development Engineer at Bear Archery/Trophy Ridge. I  got an inside look at some significant improvements that the bowhunting engineers had made in the new line of sights they had developed for Trophy Ridge.




 
 
One simple modification was the intentional outlining of the circular sight housing with a iridescent paint that stores and emits light ( we have all seen the tritium pins) similar to a wrist watch dial. It’s called spectral distribution technology. Now you can be on target at the count of one. This tweak allows you to instantly alight the circular sight housing with your peep the very instant you anchor. This is important if you are dealt an opportunity to make the shot in a 2-3 second window. Time matters when you may only get one chance.

Then there are the sight pins arms that I had lost to a stick that morning in Kentucky. Pins are by definition thin and can be frail. That was old thinking. The new sights developed by the Trophy Ridge team are made of a really neat process called metal injection molding. That means that the pin is actually cast of an alloy that can be engineered to be strong. Like the crest down a whitetails shoulder blade engineering nuances can greatly magnify the strength of a small piece of metal by using a system called finite element analysis.

This CAD system add on allows an engineer to design a virtual component, assign a metal to the component and then apply pressure at assigned points to see what it takes for the designed object to fail under load. Pretty neat engineering I say. The best part is that that is what they did to the sight pins in Trophy Ridge sights. They are tough and reliable…unlike the cheesy ones that I lost to a stick.


  1. LIGHTWEIGHT, RUGGED HOUSING
         ALUMINUM (ALPHA)
         COMPOSITE (FIRE WIRE)
   2. 18″ of .019 FIBER OPTIC
      FOR EACH PIN
   3. METAL INJECTION MOLDED (MIM) STEEL PINS
   4. NO-SNAG FIBER ROUTING SYSTEM
      INDIVIDUAL FIBER CHANNEL KEEPS OPTICS OUT OF HARM’S WAY
   5. PATENTED CONTRAST GLO RING WITH SPECTRAL DISTRIBUTION TECHNOLOGY
      HELPS YOU EFFORTLESSLY ALIGN THE PEEP TO THE SIGHT RING
   6. TIC PINS
   7. REFERENCE MARKS
   8. SIGHT LEVEL WITH THIRD AXIS ADJUSTABILITY

How about the visibility of the pin itself? It’s not simple to choose what size is most appropriate for shooting at whitetails. I have used pins that were too  ‘fat’ and these large diameter pins can also gather so much light if you use a auxiliary light, that you can’t see past them. What is needed is a thin but bright fiber optic strand that will light up and not obscure the target.

The TR engineers discovered that .019 was the best to achieve this mixed bag of visible but not too bright. Actually the small size allows me to see the target under every lighting condition. I have noticed that in our industry it is common for designers to take everything to the extremes rather than fine tune a product for the most effectiveness. Just look at broadheads. Some are so small it’s like shooting the animal with a sharpened screw driver while some have blades as wide as my hedge clippers.

What about most effective for a criteria?

The quality of that optical fiber makes a huge difference in its ability to draw in light and deliver it to the visible dot we are looking for. Sean explained that even the wrapping strategy makes a difference in effectiveness. So does their ‘No snag routing technology’. I’ve seen some sights come apart in the field because the designer didn’t consider the rugged use that some hunts generate. These sights won’t be letting you down.

How about adjusting those pins? Haven’t we all struggled to get them tight and to reach the impossible position that some lazy engineer set them in? Not these sights.  The vertical pin sights all have a new bit of technology which allows you to adjust the pins individually with no loosening or tightening of hex screws. One wrench raises and lowers each pin with no fuss. Their top of the line model has knurled adjustment knobs for easy micro adjustments.

If you’re shopping for a new sight this fall consider getting one made by American bowhunting engineers so you can concentrate on the shot and not your equipment. Simple is making sense.

Go to Trophy Ridge and see what engineers who bowhunt came up with.

 

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