Using a verifier to bring fuzzy archery sight pins into focus

A verifier could be the cure for your fuzzy sight pins.

What’s a verifier?

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It’s a tiny lens that goes into your peep sight, and is intended to help people who have difficulty primarily seeing their sight pins. The target typically isn’t a problem. It’s the pins. In other words, people who have trouble focusing on close objects.

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Shown here is a threaded peep at top, a verifier lens in the middle and the tool for screwing the verifier into the peep at bottom.

If you have trouble seeing the target using a lens in your scope housing, then you might opt for a clarifier.

Archers often confuse the two lenses, and so the easy way to remember them is that clarifiers help clear up your sight picture, while verifiers help clear up your sight pins. A clarifier is typically used in conjunction with a scope lens, while a verifier is not.

Specialty Archery is the primary manufacturer of verifiers. They offer six, which are numbered from 4-9. The lower the number, the weaker the verifier.

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Verifiers are made as inserts for 1/8, ¼ and 5/16 inch, threaded peep housings. You simply screw the appropriate size verifier into the matching peep.

When trying to pick a verifier, try several different ones so you get a sense of what looks right and what looks wrong. The most common ones used are 4, 5 and 6.

 

Generally, if the pins look good, but the target gets blurry, the verifier is too strong. If the target is clear, but the pins are blurry, the verifier is likely too weak.

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If you wear reading glasses, one way to find a starting point is to follow this chart:

No.4 verifier = 1.0 reading glasses or weaker

No. 5 verifier = 1.25 reading glasses

No. 6 verifier = 1.27-1.75 reading glasses

No. 7 verifier = 1.75-2.0 reading glasses

No. 8 verifier = 2.0-2.5 reading glasses

No. 9 verifier = 2.5 reading glasses or higher

The perfect scenario is to have clear pins and a clear target.

Understand that increasing and shrinking your peep size can affect the clarity of a given verifier. Shrinking the aperture reduces the stream of light that reaches your eye, increasing your depth of field, which brings objects into focus.

So it’s possible the No. 4 verifier doesn’t quite work for you in a ¼-inch peep, but shrink the aperture to 1/8 inches and things might clear up.

If you’re not sure what you need, go to your local pro shop and try different verifiers to figure out which works for you.

How to clarify the view through your target scope magnifying lens

For indoor target archers competing in classes that allow them, magnifying lenses can greatly improve your vision of the target and allow you to be more precise in aiming.

But don’t expect to simply pop a lens in your scope housing, look through it at the target and expect everything to be crystal clear. Think about what you have to do to check your arrows by looking through binoculars. They have a focus knob that you turn to clarify your view. An archery scope housing doesn’t have that knob.

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The view of the target through a magnifying lens is often blurry without corrective measures.

When you look through your scope with a lens in it, it’s highly likely things are going to be blurry. Don’t worry. That’s normal.

The remedy varies from archer to archer. That’s understandable when you consider how much people’s eyesight varies from person to person.

It may be that you need a clarifying lens in your peep sight. If you’ve heard archers mention using a “clarifier,” this is what they’re talking about.

(If you hear them mention “verifier,” then they’re talking about this.)

To be able to add a clarifying lens to your peep, you have to be using a peep that accepts them, so make sure you’ve got such a peep. It will be threaded to receive the lens insert.

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This threaded peep is able to accept apertures and clarifying lenses.

Depending on which peep system you use, there are multiple clarifiers to choose from. The best way to find out which lens might work is to try them all until you find one that makes the target clear. For scopes with 2-5-power magnification, look for clarifiers with the lower numbers to work best. Lenses with higher magnification usually work best with clarifiers at the higher end of the spectrum.

Here’s a great reference chart from Specialty Archery to keep in mind.

 

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Generally, if the target is blurry, but the scope is clear, then try a stronger clarifier – one with a higher number. If the target is clear, but the aiming dot on your scope is blurred, try a weaker clarifier.

While you are doing this, if you find one clarifier is almost perfect, you can try sliding your scope in toward your eye or away from it, assuming your sight bar has a dovetail mount which allows for this adjustment.

If you just can’t find a clarifier that works properly – a common occurrence for people who wear eye glasses – you can try reducing the size of your peep aperture. Shrinking the aperture reduces the stream of light that reaches your eye, increasing depth of field of your vision, which brings objects into focus.

Archery peeps generally come in sizes ranging from 1/32” to 5/16”.

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Again, as you’re experimenting with peep sizes, try sliding your sight bar in and out to fix minor focus issues.

If reducing the peep size alone or adding a clarifier alone doesn’t work, you can also try different clarifiers with different sized apertures.

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The Hamskea InSight Peep Kit comes with a peep, plus multiple apertures and clarifying lenses.

In most cases, a remedy can be found somewhere within this experimentation. Once you’ve found a system that makes the target clear for you, you’re ready to start shooting.