It’s commonly passed around that the peep needs to be circled by the sight. This has been circulated so many times that it’s widely accepted. Sight companies offer rings for their scopes, multi pin brackets, and single pin movers. Often at the pressure of the customers that believe it necessary for the most accurate shooting. The truth is, this age old archery advice is totally incorrect. It’s not harmful, but incorrect nonetheless.
As the ambient light changes, your view through the peep sight is restricted or opened. In bright direct sunlight the peep view is restricted. The iris of your eye is stopped down to a tiny pin hole making the peep hole appear to be smaller than it is. Shooters trying to ring their scope mistakenly choose a larger hole peep so they can see the perimeter of their scope. This is a problem because the peep runs the show. The smaller the hole, the more accurate your head placement is. If you use a large hole peep you risk larger groups. Merely ringing the scope housing isn’t accurate enough because the scope is too close to your face.
The peep runs the show
You’ve likely moved your peep a tiny amount and noticed how great the effect is on your point of impact. A ⅛” move on the peep at 20 yards can change your point of impact almost 6 inches. Using a ¼” peep to see your housing in bright light will allow you to make a ⅛” mistake with head alignment to the target. This will blow your group size out even if you are shooting well. The peep and its relationship to the target is everything. The peep must be centered with the target, not the housing.
By using the smallest peep the light will allow, you are looking for contrast between your aiming device and the target. If the light is too low, you lose contrast. Experiment with various peep sizes and go as small as you can before everything grays out and contrast is lost. Rule of thumb, depending on how young your eyes are. Open sun conditions: use a 1/32” or 3/64” peep. Shaded woods or low contrast targets like 3D animals: use a 1/16” or 3/64”. The 1/8” peep for hunting is best. 1/8” transmits all the light your eye can possibly use, so even if it’s really dusky or dark going larger than 1/8” won’t give you any more view. It will just make you miss more.
If you’re in the over 40 crowd
Here’s some extra info for my grown archers. Using a smaller hole peep will make your aiming device more clear and reduce starbursting on your fiber. I have found that no clarifier at all with a smaller hole peep gives me more accuracy than a large hole with a clarifier that blur’s my pin. When your pin is blurry, you lose contrast even if there’s plenty of light. If you must use a clarifier, use the lowest power with the smallest hole you can. That will reduce your pin blur. While hunting in the woods, go ahead and grab a “verifier”, it’s like reading glasses for your peep. The Verifier will allow you to use a big hole for deer hunting light yet still be able to see your pins. You will notice a little less fidelity in the target but finding a balance between hole size and verifier power will get you where you need to be.
Too long didn’t read
Keep your peep hole as small as possible. You only need the peep to be large enough to see contrast between the target and your aiming device. Forget ringing the scope with the peep. Ring the target with the peep. Your pin is in the middle of your scope, so it will align itself even if you can’t see the edges. If you’re using a multi-pin box, ring the target then use the appropriate pin. Be sparing with clarifiers unless they are well made like Hamskea’s premium clarifiers. You could hurt your accuracy with cheap peep lenses that aren’t optically centered.
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