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How important is 3rd Axis on Sight
Equipment
Contributors to this thread:
12yards 04-Jan-23
fdp 04-Jan-23
APauls 04-Jan-23
smarba 04-Jan-23
WhattheFOC 04-Jan-23
Brotsky 04-Jan-23
Bowfreak 04-Jan-23
12yards 04-Jan-23
smarba 04-Jan-23
timex 04-Jan-23
midwest 04-Jan-23
12yards 04-Jan-23
fdp 04-Jan-23
pav 04-Jan-23
Corax_latrans 04-Jan-23
x-man 05-Jan-23
OTC_Bowhunter 05-Jan-23
fdp 05-Jan-23
Bowfreak 05-Jan-23
WV Mountaineer 05-Jan-23
WhattheFOC 05-Jan-23
pav 05-Jan-23
x-man 05-Jan-23
fdp 05-Jan-23
timex 05-Jan-23
Kurt 05-Jan-23
x-man 05-Jan-23
Jethro 05-Jan-23
fdp 05-Jan-23
Buffalo1 05-Jan-23
x-man 05-Jan-23
x-man 05-Jan-23
WhattheFOC 05-Jan-23
smarba 05-Jan-23
Franklin 05-Jan-23
Curt Wells 05-Jan-23
12yards 05-Jan-23
Matt 05-Jan-23
Curt Wells 05-Jan-23
midwest 05-Jan-23
Grey Ghost 05-Jan-23
WapitiBob 05-Jan-23
Bigdog 21 05-Jan-23
midwest 05-Jan-23
YZF-88 07-Jan-23
YZF-88 07-Jan-23
YZF-88 07-Jan-23
smarba 09-Jan-23
carcus 09-Jan-23
HDE 09-Jan-23
smarba 09-Jan-23
carcus 10-Jan-23
Matt 10-Jan-23
HDE 10-Jan-23
Tilzbow 11-Jan-23
From: 12yards
04-Jan-23
How many of you adjust your sight for third axis. I've never even had a sight with third axis adjustability. I was watching some YouTube videos of 3rd axis adjustment last night and it got me curious. I'm primarily a treestand hunter that gets about 17' up. But I usually keep shots within 25 yards. Never really noticed my shots being off due to this 3rd axis thing. Should I worry about it? And at what distance out of my tree would it become an issue?

From: fdp
04-Jan-23
One thing about YouTube you can find a video condoning or condemning about anything you can think of. But ultimately if YIU think it matters it probably will.

From: APauls
04-Jan-23
Considering I feel like I can shoot a goose at 80 yards and I've never even given it a thought I am not worried about it. But hey, watch 10 videos about extreme FOC and before long you'll be buying new arrows...

From: smarba
04-Jan-23
Extremely important if you shoot "longer" ranges at very steep angles (think sheep, goats, high country mule deer). Not so important if you shoot 20 yards from a treestand. Only you can determine at what distance it becomes an issue. Ideally shoot 20 yards horizontally, then shoot the same target from up in your treestand. Do the arrows impact the same place or is the one from in your stand far enough left or right to be an issue?

From: WhattheFOC
04-Jan-23
Hunted for a lot of years with sights that didn’t have a 3rd axis adjustment. Makes me wonder if the 3rd axis adjustment isn’t the solution and the problem all in one. I mean if the bubble level is square to the bolting interface between sight and riser, what’s to adjust? … assuming no torque.

If your bow has the adjustment, I’d check it just to make sure it isn’t out of whack. It’s not a big deal to eyeball it against a door jamb.

From: Brotsky
04-Jan-23
Agree 100% with smarba. Go shoot TAC sometime or one of the other similar events where you shoot at long range with steep angles. You'll notice the difference and how important it is. Not a big deal on a 20-30 yard shot from a stand, but incredibly important on a 60-yard hard angle shot on a mule deer.

From: Bowfreak
04-Jan-23
At your distances, not important at all.

From: 12yards
04-Jan-23
So what are the factors that cause your bubble to go out of whack when you aim up or down? Things on the bow or is it mainly human induced?

From: smarba
04-Jan-23
LOL. We spin test each broadhead, shoot arrows to track which one flies best, weigh each BH/arrow/vane combination down to the grain...then say meh, 3rd axis not important at all. I would concur that at short distances it may not make much difference. But similarly to an angle compensating rangefinder, it may or may not make much difference at 20 yards, depending on your particular setup. If you end up hitting 2" too far back or forward and it's ENTIRELY due to 3rd axis not being correct, you'll be wishing you had corrected it...

Research it on your own to determine whether it's critical for you. It may also be that your sight/riser combo is already dead on or super close (shoot it at steep angle to tell) so you don't need to do anything.

BTW you don't need to have a sight with 3rd axis adjustment, you can perform any tweaks with shims, so you don't necessarily need to go out and buy a new sight if it's off.

From: timex
04-Jan-23
I killed and awful lot of deer with an old 48" Hoyt pro vantage and then even more with a 44" Hoyt super slam bow. Both 80lb fingers and 4 pins was the most I could use cause I shot 3 under. Is a 3rd axis sight important......... perhaps for extremely long shots. For me the answer is no.

From: midwest
04-Jan-23
12yards, think of your bubble level not being perpendicular to your arrow. When you aim at something straight in front of you, your bubble is centered. Now point your bow up or down at an extreme angle. If your bubble level is not perpendicular to your arrow, the bubble goes right or left. You compensate to center your bubble and now you'll be shooting right or left of where you're aiming.

From: 12yards
04-Jan-23
Thank you Midwest, that makes sense.

From: fdp
04-Jan-23
If you tune the bow for shot the line accuracy with the bubble between the lines, you should have shoot the line accuracy regardless of the angle of your bow as long as you don't change your head position etc. to get the bubble inside the lines.

From: pav
04-Jan-23
As a midwestern whitetail hunter, I never even considered 3rd axis adjustment. Once I started hunting the mountains, quickly realized the importance of 3rd axis. Unless you get really lucky with the sight settings, the bubble becomes virtually useless on steep angle shots (up and down) without having the 3rd axis set. I recall having to cant my bow like thirty degrees to get the bubble between the lines...and the arrow never hitting where I aimed. Having 3rd axis adjustment cured that.

04-Jan-23
“but incredibly important on a 60-yard hard angle shot on a mule deer.”

Which is why Rifles.

From: x-man
05-Jan-23
"If you tune the bow for shot the line accuracy with the bubble between the lines, you should have shoot the line accuracy regardless of the angle of your bow as long as you don't change your head position etc. to get the bubble inside the lines."

I've never heard of "shot the line accuracy" so I'm not sure how to interpret that statement other than it's mostly, if not completely false. Spoken like a true flat-lander.

05-Jan-23
"Walk back test" - Use one sight pin and one aiming point. Keep walking back and taking shots. Your arrows should fall inline. If they drift left or right your 3rd axis is out.

From: fdp
05-Jan-23
Actually folks have used "shooting the line", the wand shoot etc. for 100's of years to verify bow/arrow compatibility. And no.....it isn't false. And I'm unsure how you make a determination that the statement is false if by your own admission you don't know what it means.

You may be surprised the experience/knowledge that can be gleaned by actually picking apart some of the Youtube foolishness out there.

But like I stated earlier, convince yourself some of this nonsense matters and it will.

From: Bowfreak
05-Jan-23
""Walk back test" - Use one sight pin and one aiming point. Keep walking back and taking shots. Your arrows should fall inline. If they drift left or right your 3rd axis is out. "

Unless you are walking up or down a significant slope while walking back this means your second axis is off.

I am meticulous about 3rd axis but I still contend that at 25 yards and in this will make zero practical difference unless your sight is visibly not perpendicular to the arrow or you are hunting from treestands that are 45 ft high.

05-Jan-23
Just shoot sights without a bubble level. Problem solved. lol.

From: WhattheFOC
05-Jan-23
People here giving advice on 3rd axis … who don’t know what 3rd axis means. Walk back?? SMH

From: pav
05-Jan-23
"People here giving advice on 3rd axis … who don’t know what 3rd axis means."

Exactly...social media at its finest!

From: x-man
05-Jan-23
I'll third that.

From: fdp
05-Jan-23
""People here giving advice on 3rd axis … who don’t know what 3rd axis means.""........there's that, and there's also those who just don't buy in to complicating things that don't need to be complicated. Doesn't matter to me what anyone does, and it doesn't matter to me enough to throw insults at those who don't agree with me. The OP asked a question about the importance in his use environment and as I said, it doesn't matter. But if he thinks it matters, it will.

From: timex
05-Jan-23
I believe I understand 3rd axis. Sort of anyway. So the bow is vertical leveled in a vice. Not sure if that means the riser or the string or both, and if cam adjustment needs to be made to make the riser and string both perfectly in vertical alignment. But once perfect bow vertical alignment is achieved, then the sight pin housing is adjusted to align the pins to the same exact vertical line.

Sounds logical to me as long as the shooter holds the bow exactly as it was set in the bow vice. Any hand torque in any direction is gonna change the entire setup. Perhaps all this trouble is to show bow torque..... Don't know. Don't care. I've never killed a deer past 50 yards with a bow.

From: Kurt
05-Jan-23
It was important when practicing (for sheep and Mt Caribou) on a steep slopes (up to 30*) at longer ranges.

For the original poster, not critical.

From: x-man
05-Jan-23
"If you tune the bow for shot the line accuracy with the bubble between the lines, you should have shoot the line accuracy regardless of the angle of your bow as long as you don't change your head position etc. to get the bubble inside the lines."

It's just that this statement has absolutely nothing to do with third axis... It seems like you are explaining walkback tuning which does not affect third axis. I know you mean well but, you obviously don't understand third axis. And if you don't understand it, please don't try to explain it.

From: Jethro
05-Jan-23
What is "shoot the line" accuracy? I've never heard that term either.

3rd axis is not complicated if you know what it is. If I was the OP, I would not worry about it for his style of hunting.

From: fdp
05-Jan-23
"And if you don't understand it, please don't try to explain it.".....x-man, I actually do understand it ( it isn't anything new) and I didn't try to explain it at all.

But do carry on.

From: Buffalo1
05-Jan-23
Been shooting a bow for about 65 yrs w/o one, guess it's time to get one.

From: x-man
05-Jan-23

x-man's Link
Okay then please explain your shot the line statement in detail and also explain it's relevance to this subject. I'm particularly interested in the head position part.

From: x-man
05-Jan-23
Let me generalize the answer to the OP's question. If you want pie-plate accuracy or only shoot at flat elevations, please don't concern yourself.

If you want coin sized accuracy under any and all shooting angles. Please learn it and use it.

From: WhattheFOC
05-Jan-23
For short shots or level shots, 3rd axis effect is negligible. Nobody is disputing this.

Bringing ‘walk back tuning’ or ‘shooting the line’ into this discussion only makes sense if you’re doing it on a hill. There are videos on YouTube that explain what 3rd axis is … Hamskea has a good vid on the subject.

From: smarba
05-Jan-23
Good one WV, I thought the same thing LOL

And well said x-man, pie plate or coin, that's the question.

From: Franklin
05-Jan-23
The record books are full of animals taken with a $35 sight. How else can manufacturers charge $400 for a sight if they don't come up with some needless marketing ploy.

You can treestand hunt with a 1980's 1 pin sight, especially with a modern bow.

Sorry, but "coin sized accuracy" doesn't come from a sight.....it comes from talent and hard work.

From: Curt Wells
05-Jan-23

Curt Wells's embedded Photo
Curt Wells's embedded Photo
This photo best illustrates what the 3rd axis is and how it can vary. It is only critical on up and down angled shots and it must be adjusted at full draw because of the influence of torque.

From: 12yards
05-Jan-23
Thanks for the info guys. For Curt Wells, Is it just torque or is it also cam lean and possible other flex in the bow itself?

My reason for asking the question in the first place is I need a new sight for a third bow I added to my stable. I was thinking about either a Black Gold Whitetail (no 3rd axis) or a Mountain Lite (has 3rd axis). Didn't know how important it was. I know I probably will never take a shot at an animal over 40 yards, but I do practice at 60 at times. I guess it's decision time whether I want to mess with it or not. Again, thank you for all the input folks!

From: Matt
05-Jan-23
Just know that 3rd axis needs to be checked/adjusted at full draw and not brace.

Walk back tuning has absolutely no place in this discussion.

From: Curt Wells
05-Jan-23
12yards, Torque comes from several sources, your hand, riser flex due to cable guard tension, cam lean. Trust me, I've set 3rd axis at brace then checked it at full draw and it is off. If you shoot at any distance uphill or downhill and your 3rd axis is off, your point of impact will be too (provided you actually pay attention to your sight level). That said, it's pretty much irrelevant for the whitetail hunter in a tree stand shooting less than 30 yards.

From: midwest
05-Jan-23
That Mountain Lite is a great sight, 12yards.

Curt’s example is perfect for explaining 3rd axis and why it matters for steep angled shots. Likely will never matter to me for my hunting but pretty important for shooting a TAC event. So fun shooting long bombs and ridiculously difficult shots you’d never take at an animal.

From: Grey Ghost
05-Jan-23
I always found that adjusting the 3rd axis was easier by shooting on steep angles at around 40 yards and comparing groups, instead of using the plumb line at full draw method.

I'm curious, however. It seems like 3rd axis has recently become more of a thing than it was back in the day when I was competing. In fact, I don't recall any of the popular target sites having a 3rd axis adjustment. We always did it with shims, and it never required much. Is that because the shorter, lighter, higher let-off bows that are popular today are more sensitive to torque, thereby requiring more 3rd axis site adjustment?

Matt

From: WapitiBob
05-Jan-23
Show up to Redding without a 3rd axis adj and we'll see how well it works for you.

From: Bigdog 21
05-Jan-23
Dependences on for what. Hunting I would say no. Enless you are a super calm, cool collective type. Target yes. Hunting alot of guys forget they even have a bubble when the big moment arrives. Let alone holding rock solid. But still usually isn't needed for hunting no more then a 3' stabilizer with side bars would be.

From: midwest
05-Jan-23
"We always did it with shims, and it never required much. Is that because the shorter, lighter, higher let-off bows that are popular today are more sensitive to torque, thereby requiring more 3rd axis site adjustment?"

Probably because it's easier than trying to loosen the screws and shoving shims under the mounting bracket and possibly screwing everything else up?

From: YZF-88
07-Jan-23

YZF-88's embedded Photo
YZF-88's embedded Photo
I think it’s a pretty important adjustment. I like to practice longer ranges and steep angles. I really like my 3rd axis tool. Only takes a few minutes to check and adjust everything Actually bent the alignment pin on it while it was mounted on my bow (hit it on my bench). I just 3D printed a box to keep the parts together in my shop.

From: YZF-88
07-Jan-23

YZF-88's embedded Photo
YZF-88's embedded Photo

From: YZF-88
07-Jan-23

YZF-88's embedded Photo
YZF-88's embedded Photo

From: smarba
09-Jan-23
If you were a quality designer you would have inset the screw head in the lid for a smooth final finish ;o) ...very nice.

If you want to scrap that pathetic storage container so you can make a more refined version I'll send you my address LOL

From: carcus
09-Jan-23
If you have to move your rest out of center to get the bow tuned the third axis comes in handy

From: HDE
09-Jan-23
3rd axis adjustment removes manufacturing tolerance flaws. Other than that, it's a whatever kind of thing.

From: smarba
09-Jan-23
More than just manufacturing flaws, it's any torque at full draw that causes the sight to not be perfectly aligned in the the 3rd axis.

From: carcus
10-Jan-23
"If you have to move your rest out of center to get the bow tuned the third axis comes in handy"

Nevermind! I was thinking first axis

From: Matt
10-Jan-23
"More than just manufacturing flaws, it's any torque at full draw that causes the sight to not be perfectly aligned in the the 3rd axis."

Yup, Different bows will flex differently, and I am sure that each individual's grip can play a factor as well.

From: HDE
10-Jan-23
The third axis isn't a gimble and won't float through the draw cycle. As far as torque, you correct that yourself relative to the level.

Setting up the level on the bow at rest for a true plumb is where you're taking out the manufacturing flaws on tolerances for riser straightness, tapped mounts that may not be perpendicular to the riser, etc.

From: Tilzbow
11-Jan-23
I do know adjusting 3rd axis will correct windage impact deviations caused by shooting steep uphill and steep downhill at longer ranges on my perfectly tuned bow. I adjust mine at full draw using a plumb bob (or the corner edge of my house), the vertical wire and bubble on my Spott Hog sights. If necessary I then make finer adjustments by shooting at 50 to 60 yards up and down the steep (25 degree) 800 foot tall hill that’s behind the range at my house. Beyond that I don’t really think about the technical aspects of why it works but it is interesting to read some of the comments above.

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