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The Complete Guide To Archery Peep Sights

Apr 26, 2021Sights

Have you ever heard of archery peep sights and what they can do for your shooting? Your choice of a peep sight directly impacts your shooting accuracy, as well as your shooting consistency. As a beginner archer, you’ll need to educate yourself to ensure you choose archery equipment that best supports your ability to shoot well. Whether you want to buy your archery gear piece by piece or prefer buying an archery set, you must make choices that support your personal shooting style and abilities.

Don’t underestimate the importance of using a peep sight! While small, this piece of equipment plays a huge role when it comes to shooting with accuracy.

What Is An Archery Peep Sight?

Archery peep sights are small circular aiming tools specifically designed to help archers shoot more consistently. It’s installed into a bowstring and in conjunction with the bow sight, narrows an archer’s field of view. This reduction in view allows an archer to focus on their target much more easily than if they weren’t using one. Using a peep improves an eye’s ability to focus on its target with consistency. While peep sights are more often seen on compound bows, any bow type can accommodate this popular piece of archery gear.

How Does A Peep Sight Work?

Attaching a peep sight to a bow allows an archer to look through the string so they can properly line up with their target. While some archers rely on the naked eye, this does not support true consistency when shooting. How can a simple piece of archery gear help any archer shoot more accurately? It acts like the rear sight of a rifle, allowing you to align both the back and front sight for improved accuracy. Science has also shown that looking through a small hole supports one’s ability to better focus on the intended target. This in turn supports better aim, which is a goal for both beginner and experienced archers.

Do You Need a Peep Sight?

While a beginner archer doesn’t necessarily need to use a peep sight, know that using one will increase your shooting accuracy. They can also help reduce excessive sunlight, which can help you see your target more clearly. However, a peep sight can also make it more challenging in low light conditions, making it more difficult to see your target. So while a peep sight will improve your accuracy, it does have its drawbacks at times.

While some archers don’t find a peep sight useful, especially longbow archers, most compound and some recurve archers do find them helpful. I suggest giving a peep sight a try to see if it works for you. Keep in mind that you likely will become dependent on using a peep, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I’ve used a peep sight for decades and would suggest it to anyone who wants to improve their accuracy.

How To Choose Your Peep Sight

So how do you go about choosing archery peep sights that’ll best support your individual shooting style? Since there are many peep sight options for you to choose from, understanding the details of each option will help you choose one that’s right for you.

Check out the options below for detailed information on peep sight styles, sizes, and accessories.

Tube Peep Sights

A tube peep sight attaches from the cables or top limb of a bow, to the bow string. When you draw your bow, these connections allow the peep to spin itself into its correct alignment. The main benefit of this design is that the peep is always properly aligned (if put on correctly). The main disadvantage of this design is the tube catching on things, breaking, and generally annoying. You need to carry extra tubing if you decide to use this peep sight design as the tubing will break over time.

Tubeless Peep Sights

Tubeless peeps don’t connect to a bow’s cables/limb and instead free float in the bow string. These can be a little tricky because of string rotation, but if installed properly, can be an excellent choice. The main advantage is that you don’t have to deal with any tubing and don’t need to worry about it breaking. The main disadvantage is that the peep can rotate on you, but this won’t be an issue if installed professionally.

1. Double Slot Peeps

A double slot peep is designed to have 2 slots for the bowstring. Double slots fit between 2 strands of a bow’s string, dividing it into 2 equal parts. This peep option is a popular choice among many archers as they’re simple and relatively easy to install. The main issue is installing the peep correctly so it’s in proper alignment at full draw.

2. Triple Slot Peeps

A triple slot peep includes 3 slots and thus fits between 3 strands of a bow’s string. The main advantage is that it offers archers a clear view, even if the string rotates. The main disadvantage is they’re more difficult to install when compared to a 2 slot peep.

Peep Sight Sizes

There are a few different measurement options available, as peep sights range in size from 1/32” to 1/4” in diameter. The most popular sizes are 1/8”, 1/4”, and 3/16”. So how do you choose your peep circumference? Target archers tend to prefer smaller peep sights because they’re more accurate. Larger peep sights offer more visibility when shooting, making them more popular for low-light conditions.

Peep Sight Clarifier

Peep sight clarifiers refer to a lens that’s installed inside of a peep, which are used along with a magnified sight (scope). When using a scope with a magnified lens, a target will look out of focus. A clarifier peep brings this into focus, so you can see the target clearly. This is something most beginner archers don’t need to worry about, but is something to consider when moving into more advanced styles of archery.

Peep Sight Installation

This piece of archery gear needs to be correctly installed for it to work properly. If it’s not installed correctly you’ll likely experience issues with accuracy. You may even experience peep damage and/or bow damage. Knowing this, you can choose to install a peep yourself or you can have a professional archery shop install your chosen peep for you.

Bow Shop Installation

This option is best for beginners who aren’t confident in their ability to perform a DIY install. Archery shops have the experience to install peeps correctly, assuring new archers that their peep is going to work exactly as it’s supposed to.

DIY Peep Sight Installation

When installing a peep yourself, consider buying a bow press or using a string separator. String separators are small tools that go between string strands, separating each half of a bow string, and allow for proper peep installation. A bow press places stress on the limbs and allows for slack in the bow string. Once there’s sufficient slack, you can separate the strings and install the peep. Keep in mind that string separators are a little hard on the string, so using a bow press is best.

Peep Sight Placement

Properly attaching a peep sight is essential. Thus, peep sight users must attach it to an area that feels most natural to them. This means when you’re at full draw, you should instantly be able to see your peep vs. looking for it. How can you tell whether or not your peep is in its proper place? Nock an arrow, draw your bow, close your eyes, and focus on finding your perfect anchor position. Once you feel comfortable, open your eyes to see where your peep is located. Directly centered is your goal as a properly placed peep is nearly invisible when you’re at full draw.

When your peep sight, bow sight, and target are all properly aligned, you now know that you’re shooting directly at your intended target. If your peep isn’t properly centered over your sight housing, then you’ll need to make a few adjustments.

Speaking From Experience

As an archer, I’ve used both tube and tubeless peep sights. While both have worked well for me, I prefer 2 slot tubeless peep sights for my compound. Why? Even though tube peep sights are always perfectly straight at full draw, you have to carry extra tubing because it always breaks down and falls apart over time. Tubeless peeps can twist on you if not installed properly, but I don’t have a problem and you won’t either if professionally installed.

Good To Know:
  • I highly recommend a peep sight to anyone who wants improved accuracy. That said, peep sights are not common among more traditional styles of archery.
  • Most modern compound shooters today use a double slot tubeless peep sight.
  • I shot with a scope for a couple years and if you decide to do the same, I would highly recommend a clarifier peep. Nobody likes blurry vision and installing a clarifier made things nice a sharp!

Conclusion

Does an archery peep sight seem like something you could benefit from? There’s a variety of archery equipment and accessories you can buy to help improve your accuracy, but a peep sight is probably one of the most beneficial options. While any archer can choose to use a peep sight, they’re especially beneficial for archers looking to improve accuracy and focus more clearly on their target. So, if you think this is something that could work for you, give it a shot and see how your accuracy improves!

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