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.

Bowhunting Tech Tip: Peep Sight

In this video, Lancaster Archery Supply TechXpert P.J. Reilly takes a look at peep sights for bowhunting.

Reilly discusses the purpose and function of the peep sight as it pertains to correctly lining up the archer with his or her bowsight. Some bowhunters prefer not to use a peep, either because it doesn’t allow enough light to get to the eye, or because it can cause confusion at the moment of truth. Absent a peep, bowhunters must find a way to consistently anchor and take aim, to make sure they are looking through the sight the same way every time. If there’s any change from shot to shot, accuracy will suffer. Reilly suggests a solution for these archers.

The peep sight is an easy way to line up a hunter’s eye with the sight on every shot. Since it’s tied into the bowstring, it forces the hunter’s eye to the same point every time the bow is drawn.

Peeps come in different sizes, and it’s important to note that smaller peeps tend to allow for more precise aiming, but they also allow less light to reach an archer’s eye. When that happens, it’s difficult to see beyond the peep.

In bowhunting, the low light times of early morning and late evening often are the best for deer activity, and so archers may want to employ a larger peep to make sure sufficient light is reaching their eyes so they can see the target at the critical moment.

How to tie a peep sight into a bow string

Lancaster Archery Supply TechXpert P.J. Reilly demonstrates how to tie a peep sight into the string of a compound bow in this video.

There’s great value in putting a peep sight into your compound bow string. It’s key to helping consistently align your eye with your sight at full draw.

Tying the peep into the bow string ensures that the peep won’t slide once you set it in the right place. Reilly demonstrates two ways to tie in a peep in this video, using two different types of peeps.

 

How to install a peep sight

How to install a peep sight is the task John Dudley tackles in this 10th part of the video series, Nocked and Ready to Rock.

Dudley talks about the importance of getting the peep sight in the right position for an individual archer. It’s critical for the archer to settle in to his or her comfortable anchor point and be able to see through the peep. You shouldn’t have to change your anchor just to see your sight.

Once the peep is placed in the correct spot, Dudley then walks through the process of securing it. That process includes twisting the string to get the peep to always be open to the archer’s eye at full draw.

How to set a peep sight

The peep sight is a commonly-used device among compound bow archers, which helps foster consistent aiming. It does so by forcing the archer to look through the bow sight the same way for each and every shot.

In this video, Lancaster Archery TechXPert P.J. Reilly demonstrates how to set the peep sight for an individual archer. Peep sight alignment varies from person to person, due to differences in face size and anchor points. The proper setting for one archer might not work for another.

Once the peep has been installed by pressing the bow and evenly separating the strands of the bowstring to accept the peep, setting it in the proper place for an individual archer is something that’s best done by two people.

Using a safe-draw tool – an imitation release that has no trigger – the archer should draw the bow and get into his or her comfortable anchor point. The archer then can direct the helper to move the peep up or down the string, until the archer can perfectly see the bow sight through the peep.