January 13, 2023
By Joe Ferronato
Competition breeds industry and advancement. The world of archery sights has long sat dormant. Besides, of course, the creation of digital sights that have built-in rangefinders, the world of analog sights—the ones that most states require per regulations—has remained relatively the same.
That is until now. For the first time in what feels like a lifetime, 2022 brought Dialed Archery, a new company that sought to improve the world of compound archery for those of us who don’t want to, or can’t, slap electronics all over our bows.
I first saw the sight at my local bow shop when a friend and fellow writer revealed this space-age sight that immediately grabbed my attention. While the sight shares many of the same features of current models available on the market, there are a few key features that set this sight apart from the pack and will prove to enhance the shooting experience of archers new and veteran alike.
At its core, the Arxos shares similarities with other sights. The scope arm—the part that attaches to the bow—can be attached either with a traditional dove-tail attachment or via the new picatinny attachment that many bow manufacturers have started using.
Attached to the front is the Mag, the sight housing that holds a single post that has either two or three pins along it. The 1XR has a single pin at the top of the post and one at the bottom, while the 3V has a top, middle and bottom pin. There are coordinating pins along the SwitchTape—more on that later—that allows the user to have three accurate aiming solutions no matter where the sight is dialed.
One of the nicest features of the Mag is the top-mounted bubble level. When I first looked at the sight, I had no idea if I was going to like the bubble at the top of my sight picture. After shooting with it, I enjoyed the fact that my focus always remained high. One of the hardest issues for archers to overcome is dropping their sight pin too low on target. Your hands follow your eyes, so with a bottom bubble level, when your focus shifts down, your hands drop. I was very happy to see that if I needed to change my focus to ensure the bow was level, I never noticed a drop in my front hand.
The housing features standard fiber optic pins that are offered in either .010 or .019 sizes. A great feature of the sight housing is the hood atop the fiber optics. The hood allows the user to easily adjust the brightness of the pins depending on the specific shooting situation.
At the front of the scope arm are the sight adjustment features. The Arxos has both macro and micro windage adjustments for easy sighting in, while the elevation adjustment is simply moving the sight up or down along the elevation rail—no micro adjustments for elevation are available. That is unless you decide to use the dial to adjust your zero—I don’t recommend this on this sight as the rail doesn’t have a zero stop as of now which means you could dial past your zero mark in the heat of the moment.
Into the Future
There are three design features of the sight that really set it apart from the competition. Those are the Angled Elevation System (AES), the Void Dial and the SwitchTape.
Let’s start with the Void Dial. This dial gives the Arxos sight its unique look, the dial has a large hole—a void—that proves to reduce weight and keeps the whole dial system more in line with the scope arm. What started as a unique aesthetic feature turned into one that was functional as well. The dial is extremely precise with its adjustments. Although the wheel had easy and accurate adjustments, the original model—the first run of sights built by the company—had a bit of slop in the wheel and the lock didn’t completely keep the dial in place. I am happy to report, though, the company has since tightened up the manufacturing and the sights are working with no issue. What’s more, they also are taking any first-run models in to repair and update to ensure all customers have a satisfactory product.
Back to the good stuff. Being that the Void dial is a hollow circle, the user can choose on which side to mount their sight tape when customizing their sight—I chose to have my SwitchTape on the inside for easier viewing. And this brings us to the SwitchTape. For mounting the sight tape on the Arxos you simply apply your chosen tape to a wheel that is easily removable via a set screw. This function allows the user to easily place a tape on the wheel and change tapes depending on arrow setup. Personally, I think this is a great feature because one arrow doesn’t always cut it. Easy changing of a sight tape to match arrow set up is a gamechanger for those who travel to hunt different species around the country or world—or those who hunt and shoot targets archery with different arrows. Two SwitchTape wheels are included with every sight.
Last but certainly not least—it’s the most groundbreaking feature of the sight—is the AES. Most dialing sights move perfectly vertical along a post, the Arxos moves vertical and horizontally. Why? For increased range opportunities with less sight movement. As the you dial for further distances the Mag moves closer to the riser which, in turn adds for increased elevation adjustment. This allows shooters—especially those with lighter draw weights—to shoot farther.
In the Field
When I get my hands on a new product, I am always excited yet very skeptical. The Arxos was very exciting on paper, but I obviously had my doubts and wasn’t sure how I would like the system. At first glance, the fit and finish were wonderful, it looked like a Tesla and seemed to run like one, too. Besides the minor slop in the dial that I mentioned previously, I had no issues with sight.
Upon mounting it, I took to the range to stack some arrows and get it dialed—and the arrows stacked. A combination of the .010 pins and the ease of adjustments had my 20-yard zero set in minutes. After smashing several nocks and breaking an arrow, I decided it was time to shoot different targets and at farther distances.
With every adjustable sight, finding a sight tape is usually a process that is confusing and time consuming—and worst of all, it usually needs to be repeated and multiple tapes need tested. Dialed’s tape system was like others being that it was time consuming, but I was glad to see that it wasn’t confusing. Simply use the preinstalled test tape to shoot as many distances as you can while making note of what number on the test tape corresponds to the distance you’re shooting. Once you have your distances marked on the test tape, find the matching sight tape in the supplied booklet. When I picked a sight tape, I was happy to find that it was incredibly accurate.
Unfortunately, I was unable to take an animal this past fall while using the Arxos, but I can confidently say that it will work well in the field. It has earned a spot on my bow, and if you’re in the market for a new sight, the Arxos just might earn a spot on yours as well.
To learn more about the Arxos and the team behind Dialed Archery, check out our podcast with CEO Scott Bakken.
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