what is a peep sight and why you need one

What Is A Peep Sight And Why Do You Need One?

Peep sight, a very handy little tool, is used with a front sight to enhance accuracy. To answer whether you need a peep for your setup or not, you will have to find out on your own by considering the advantages of this rear sight and also your needs and adaptability.

I will break down what is a peep sight for you and then we will discuss its properties, common questions that come to mind, advantages, and its selection criteria.

What Is A Peep Sight

A peep sight is a small, handy device used in archery to help archers and bowhunters aim accurately. It’s like a tiny window that you look through when you’re drawing your bowstring. This little peep sight is typically attached to the bowstring.

Here’s how it works in simple terms: You place the peep sight in the bowstring, and when you draw the bow, you’ll naturally look through it. This helps you align your eye, bowstring, and target all in a straight line, like connecting the dots.

The peep sight essentially gives you a consistent reference point, making it easier to aim consistently every time you shoot. It’s like having a built-in aiming assistant!

So, in short, a peep sight is a small but crucial piece of archery equipment that helps archers and bowhunters aim accurately by providing a reliable reference point when drawing their bows. It’s like having a tiny window to frame your target and ensure you hit your mark.

Where Is A Peep Sight Located On A Bow

The peep sight is located on the bowstring. We stuck it in between the two strands of the bowstring and tie knots above and below so it doesn’t just jump out. But we don’t just place it anywhere on the bowstring, it is properly positioned in a way that when you draw an anchor, you can naturally see the front sight and the target through it. It is carefully placed where the eye naturally aligns with the bowstring.

What Is The Purpose Of A Peep Sight?

The primary purpose of peep is to facilitate consistent and accurate target alignment. Here’s a more detailed explanation:

Aiming Reference: The primary function of a peep sight is to provide a reliable aiming reference. It acts as a rear sight, ensuring that your eye, bowstring, front sight, and target are all in a straight line.

Consistency: A peep sight offers this consistency by establishing a fixed point of reference. When you draw the bowstring, your eye naturally looks through the peep sight, and this ensures that your aiming position remains the same shot after shot.

What Angle Is A Peep Sight?

cuts on the peep sight indicating angles

The angle of a peep sight in archery refers to the orientation or tilt of the small aperture or hole so it is directed towards the front sight. The angle of a peep sight is typically 37 or 45 degrees, depending on the bow’s length and the archer’s anatomy. For most hunting bows, a 37-degree peep sight works well, while longer bows benefit from a 45-degree peep sight. 

Don’t worry you won’t have to fix the angle of the peep sight during installation. Peep sights have cuts around it in which we fix the strands. So it is basically a pre-determined angle.

Peep Sight vs. No Peep Sight

The debate on whether you need a peep sight on your compound bow or not depends on your goals and preferences. You can surely decide it by looking at the rear sight’s benefits.

Setup With A Peep Sight

Let’s first look at the advantages of a peep sight.

  1. Improved Accuracy And Consistency: A peep sight provides a consistent reference point for aiming, enhancing overall accuracy. It helps maintain alignment between the archer’s eye, bowstring, and target.
  2. Customization: Archers can customize their peep sight setup to match their individual preferences and the characteristics of their bow, such as adjusting the angle and size of the peep sight.
  3. Enhanced Confidence: Knowing that you have a reliable aiming reference can boost confidence, leading to better archery performance and more consistent results.
  4. Adaptability to Low-Light Conditions: Some peep sights are equipped with clarifiers or verifiers, which can enhance visibility in low-light conditions or for individuals with vision issues. This adaptability to different lighting situations can be crucial when shooting at dawn, dusk, or in the shade.

No Peep Sight Setup

Yes, you can shoot without a peep sight. Without being biased about peep sights, let’s see what we can achieve without them.

  • Simplicity: Shooting without a peep sight simplifies the archery setup, reducing the need for additional equipment and potential points of failure.
  • Adaptability: Archers who choose not to use a peep sight may become more adaptable in different shooting scenarios and conditions, as they rely on their judgment rather than a specific aiming reference.
  • Speed: Some archers argue that shooting without a peep sight can be faster, as they don’t need to align their eye with a peep sight aperture.
  • Reduced Dependency: Archers without a peep sight may develop a stronger reliance on instinctive or gap shooting, potentially improving their overall archery skills.

Types of Peep Sights

There are two types of peep sight, lets discuss them one by one.

Types of peep tube and tubeless

Tube Peep Sights

Tube peep sights are designed with a small circular opening (the “peep”) that has a tube. The tube is connected to the cables.

How They Work: When you draw the bowstring, you look through the peep sight’s aperture. The tube rotates the peep and helps you align your eye with the peep consistently.

Advantages: Tube peeps are known for maintaining alignment, especially in challenging conditions. The common problem of rotation of the peep is fixed by tube sights.

Considerations: Some archers believe that tube peeps might produce more noise. The tube will break after a while, so you might have to replace it frequently like after every year. Tube peep sight might be a good choice for beginners.

Tubeless Peep Sights

Tubeless peep sights have the same small circular aperture (peep) but lack the tube. They are not directly connected to any cables or limbs. So you have to adjust the peep yourself to align it with the target.

How They Work: As with tube peeps, you look through the peep while aiming. Without the tube, they just keep their shape as it was. Tube sights are just free-floating on the bowstring.

Advantages: Tubeless peeps are often preferred for their simplicity and a wider field of vision. You don’t have to worry about the tube breaking.

Considerations: Tubeless peeps require some frequent adjustments to their position. You have to choose between the two variations of tubeless peep sights, double slot peeps, and triple slot peeps.

Double slot peeps are easy to install as they just need 2 strands, but they need rotational adjustments more often. On the other hand, the triple slot peeps need 3 strands, so they are a bit difficult to install but they require fewer adjustments again and again.

Sizes of Peep Sights

different sizes of peep sight

Diameter Range: Peep sights come in various sizes, typically ranging from 1/32″ to 1/4″ in diameter.

Popular Sizes: The most commonly used sizes are 3/16″ and 1/4″. These sizes are popular because they strike a balance between providing a clear view of the target and allowing for precise aiming.

Sight Housing Compatibility: The size of the peep sight is closely linked to the size of the sight housing on your bow. Smaller sight housings generally require smaller peep sights, while larger sight housings necessitate larger peep sights to maintain alignment and clarity.

How To Choose The Right Peep Sight For Your Bow

Selecting the appropriate peep sight for your bow setup is crucial for your sight and target alignment. Here’s a step-by-step guide on choosing the right peep sight:

1. Choose Peep Type

You have to choose between the two peep types, tube peep sights, and tubeless peep sights. I prefer the tubeless peep as it is more common and popular. Also, it has no distractions. You can try both. If you are looking for a one-time setup, you can go for tube peep.

2. Select Peep Sight Size

Peep sights come in various sizes, typically ranging from a quarter-inch aperture to an eighth of an inch. The choice of size depends on several factors:

  • Light Conditions: A larger aperture (e.g., a quarter-inch) gathers more light, making it suitable for low-light conditions like hunting at dawn or dusk.
  • Precision: Smaller apertures (e.g., three-sixteenths) offer increased accuracy but may require better lighting conditions and shooting skills.
  • Personal Preference: Some archers prefer seeing the entire sight ring, while others like a bit of daylight around it.

3. Consider Your Bow Setup

Your bow’s specifications, such as draw length and sight type, play a role in choosing the right peep sight.

  • Longer draw lengths may require larger peep sights, while shorter draws may work better with smaller apertures.
  • If your site has micro-adjustments for distance from the riser (e.g., a dovetail sight), this can impact your peep size choice.
Great Resource on How to choose a peep for your compound bow

Final Words

I hope now you have a clear picture of a peepsight. So whether you choose to use a peep sight or not depends on your goals, shooting style, and adaptability. Both setups have their advantages and considerations. Some archers swear by the enhanced accuracy and confidence that a peep sight provides, while others prefer the simplicity and adaptability of shooting without one.

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