Specialty Archery Super Peep Clarifier

Just because you add a magnified lens to your sight doesn’t mean your picture will be clear. In this video, Lancaster Archery TechXPert Randy Groff takes a look at the Specialty Archery Super Peep Clarifier system.

This system is intended to help sharpen the sight picture for archers who use a sight with a magnified lens.

Groff describes Specialty’s clairifier system in detail, while also walking you through the steps to match the right diameter clarifier to your specific setup. Then he talks about which of the three clarifiers you might want to try, depending on the lens in your sight.

Specialty Archery Verifier Aperture

Having trouble seeing your sight pins, target or both? In this video, Lancaster Archery TechXpert Randy Groff takes a look at the Specialty Archery Verifier Aperture system.

This system is intended to improve the sight picture for archers who employ a sight without a magnifying lens.

Besides discussing how the verifiers work, Groff also runs down how to choose which one to use – there are six in each of two sizes – and how to properly install them.

Stan Shootoff! Release

Lancaster Archery Supply TechXPert Randy Groff takes a close look at the Stan Shootoff! release in this video. Specifically, Groff checks out the Blackout and the Standard versions of the release.

In his review, Groff goes through all the adjustments available with this versatile release that can be shot by right- or left-handed archers, and which comes in three- or four-finger versions available in three sizes each.

Arrow spine vs. arrow weight: Don’t be confused

In the Lancaster Archery Supply Pro Shop, we hear it all the time.

“I want to switch to a lighter arrow to get more speed.”

That’s usually not a problem, as long as you don’t confuse arrow weight with arrow spine. Too often, that’s exactly what archers do. Someone shooting a bow with a 70-pound draw weight and a 29-inch draw length will grab a 400-spine arrow to replace the 340-spine arrow they’ve been shooting. They think that’s the right way to reduce arrow weight.

It’s not.

When we talk about an arrow’s spine, we’re talking about how much it flexes. We’re talking about its stiffness. Every arrow should flex when it leaves the bow. But it should only flex a certain amount. If it flexes too much – weak spine – then its flight will be erratic. If it doesn’t flex enough – stiff spine – then the arrow will have no forgiveness. Consistent accuracy usually suffers in either case.

Choosing the correct arrow spine for your setup depends on your draw length and draw weight. Draw length is important, because that determines how long of an arrow you need to shoot. And the longer a shaft is, the more it’s going to flex. Draw weight is factored in, because that determines the amount of force pushing the arrow.

Every arrow manufacturer has a spine-selection chart, so you know which shaft to choose for your draw weight and arrow length. (Some even factor in the bow’s speed rating, since faster bows exert more force on an arrow.) And every shaft bears its manufacturer’s spine rating.

Unfortunately, the numbering system for spine ratings is not uniform from manufacturer to manufacturer. So don’t assume the numbers you see on shafts across manufacturers are comparable.

Beside or below the spine rating, most shafts usually also are stamped with their weight in grains per inch. And this is where archers can get confused.

Let’s take the Easton Bowfire, for example. The 330 shaft weighs 9.6 grains per inch. The 400 shaft weighs 8.5 grains per inch. Logic might tell an archer that, in order to lighten their arrows, they should switch from a 330 to a 400. Bad move. The 400 arrow is lighter, but it’s also weaker, and so tuning could be a real problem.

If you want a lighter arrow, stick with the recommended spine rating, but switch to a lighter shaft. Again, that 330 Bowfire shaft weighs 9.6 grains per inch. A 330 Easton Hexx, however, weighs 7.9 grains per inch. Same spine – lighter shaft.

Just for comparison, take a look at these arrows. All measure 29 inches from the insert-end to the bottom of the nock throat. All include 100-grain points, and three Blazer, 2-inch vanes. And all are the correct spine for the archer shooting a 70-pound bow, according to the manufacturer’s chart.

Shaft                                Weight

340 Easton Full Metal Jacket     482.2 grains

330 Easton Bowfire              433.6 grains

330 Easton Hexx                 382.1 grains

So you can see here, there are opportunities to change the weight of the arrow, without deviating from the spine chart.

What to pack for your first archery tournament

This video runs through the items recurve archers will want to take with them to their first archery tournament. Naturally, the list of gear is going to vary a bit from archer to archer, but we run down some of the basic items everyone will want to have, such as the bow, arrows, quiver, finger tab, tools, etc.

Left-handed archers: Five things you should know about buying equipment

Left-handed archers live in a right-handed world. Actually, that’s not something confined to archery. It’s generally held that only 10 percent of the population is left-handed, and so the whole world tends to cater to righties.

In archery, the way you shoot should pertain to eye dominance, rather than hand preference – but that’s a topic for another article, which we plan to address in the future.

The world has nothing personal against lefties. It’s a matter of numbers. Here at Lancaster Archery Supply, for example, only about 15 percent of the gear we sell to both right- and left-handed archers is bought by the southpaws. And if you scroll through the shopping area of our site, you will notice that most images of gear that comes in right- and left-handed models depict the right-handed version.

Unfortunately, right-handed dominance can make life difficult when lefties go shopping for a left-handed bow and related equipment. Here are five things left-handed archers should keep in mind:

1. All bow manufacturers make right- and left-handed models. But your local pro shop probably doesn’t keep a huge selection of left-handed bows in stock, due to the comparatively few number of left-handed archers. (Of all the bows sold each year by Mathews, for example, only 8-12 percent are left-handed.) Call ahead to make sure they have the bows you want to check out in the proper size, draw length and draw weight.

2. Release aids for compound shooters all can be used by right- and left-handed shooters. Some simply swivel into position for use either way, while others require minor adjustments with tools to complete the switch. Those that have to be adjusted will always be packaged by the manufacturer for use by righties. So don’t freak out when all you see is a wall of right-handed releases. They can be converted for left-handed use.

Release aids

3. Some sights are made for right-handed or left-handed archers, while others are ambidextrous. That is, you can set up one sight for either left- or right-handed use. Be aware, however, this usually means the sight amenities will be “upside down” for lefties. For example, the normal configuration for most sights is to have the level on the bottom of the sight guard, and the light shining down from the top. Ambidextrous sights will be set that way for right-handed shooters. When set up for lefties, however, such sights typically have the level on the top and the light on the bottom.

4. Be prepared to special order a lot of your gear. Many pro shops simply don’t keep on hand the same selection of left-handed equipment as they do right-handed – especially the high-end, high-dollar gear. They’ll tell you they can get what you want, but you have to special order it.

5. Bowhunters often will find tree stands, stick ladders and other gear set by the manufacturer for right-handed archers. For example, ratchet straps often are connected to tree stands at the factory so that they must be tightened with your right hand. Usually, you can switch these straps at home for left-handed use.

What size recurve bow is right for me?

So you want to get a bow, and the first thing you noticed when checking out a few recurve models is they come in different lengths. And you asked yourself, “What size recurve bow is right for me?” If the target archer chooses one that’s too long or too short, you won’t be as accurate – or have as much fun – as you could with a bow that’s a perfect fit.

And let’s be clear here. We’re talking about recurve bows for the target archer – those who want to get into competitive shooting, or who want competition-style bows for recreational shooting. When choosing a bow for hunting or for traditional shooting, other criteria would apply.

Here’s how to determine the correct bow size for you. Stand with your arms extending out to either side of your body at shoulder height. Don’t stretch. Just extend your arms naturally. Now have a partner measure the distance from the tip of one middle finger to the tip of the other. Take that number and divide by 2.5. This is your calculated draw length, which should be pretty close to your actual draw length, if it doesn’t hit that figure right on the head.

Optimized-measure photo

With your draw length in hand, you can now determine the length of the bow you should be shooting. That length, incidentally, is measured from tip to tip, following the curve of the limbs and along the back side of the riser, while the bow is unstrung.

Here’s a basic chart to follow:


14-16 inches……………….48 inches
17-20 inches……………….54 inches
20-22 inches……………….58 inches
22-24 inches……………….62 inches
24-26 inches……………….64-66 inches
26-28 inches……………….66-68 inches
28-30 inches……………….68-70 inches
31 inches and longer…………70-72 inches

What happens if you go too short? Well, recurve bows are designed for peak performance at the proper draw length. For example, the sweet spot for the 62-inch bow is going to be when it’s drawn 22-24 inches. The draw weight increases at a consistent curve up to those lengths. If you draw that bow 28 inches, you’re going past the peak performance point, and the draw weight will increase sharply. Accuracy will suffer.

Conversely, if you only draw a 70-inch bow to 26 inches, you’re never getting to the peak performance spot. That’s not as big a problem as overdrawing a short bow, but you’ll be sacrificing arrow speed, which is critical for target shooters.

(Below is a sequence of photos which show, from top to bottom, the tip of a recurve bow in the underdrawn, correct and overdrawn position.)

Optimized-length1 (2)Optimized-length2Optimized-length3

When it comes to determining the proper draw weight for your new bow, that’s going to vary from archer to archer. Physical strength, coordination and stamina all play a role. Selecting the proper draw weight is important. Too often, archers start with a draw weight that’s too heavy, which leads to the development of poor shooting habits. Call the Lancaster Archery Supply TechXperts at 1-800-829-7408 for help in choosing a proper draw weight – or with any other questions about choosing the right archery equipment – or ask a coach or your local pro shop technician.

S.A.F.E. Archery is a big hit at Lancaster Barnstormers game

Lancaster Archery Supply employee Justus Leimbach “threw” the ceremonial first pitch at the Lancaster Barnstormers baseball game against the York Revolution June 19, 2015, at Clipper Magazine Stadium in downtown Lancaster. Naturally, Leimbach did it LAS style, using a S.A.F.E. Archery bow and arrow to deliver a strike over the heart of the plate. LAS videographer Silas Crews captured the whole thing on video.

Afterwards, scores of kids got the chance to try the Students and Families Experiencing (S.A.F.E.) Archery equipment for themselves in the Lancaster Archery Academy booth. The S.A.F.E. arrows have large foam tips, making them safer to shoot than standard arrows. They can be shot indoors without special netting or anywhere outdoors. The S.A.F.E. Archery gear is perfect for introducing kids to the sport of archery.

Lancaster Archery "first pitch"

Lancaster Archery employee Justus Leimbach draws his bow to “throw” the First Pitch at the June 19, 2015 Lancaster Barnstormer’s baseball game.

Samick Sage Takedown Recurve Bow

John Wert, head of the TradTech division of Lancaster Archery Supply, is a big fan of the Samick Sage takedown recurve bow. In this video, he explains in detail why it’s one of the best selling recurve bows in the world.

In simple terms, the Samick Sage is well designed, well built and it’s affordable. Who doesn’t appreciate that?