A couple of years ago, I did an article on peeps. However, a lot of people don’t know about verifiers and clarifiers. I want to explain a bit about each, to clear up how and why they are used and their advantages.
A verifier is a lens that screws into a threaded peep housing and helps you to see your pins more clearly. A verifier works a lot like reading glasses, and they are often more popular with the older generation of archers that are having trouble bringing their pins into focus or anyone that has issues seeing something close up, but no issues seeing something farther away, such as the target.
The verifier lenses come in two thread sizes: one-eighth-of-an-inch and a quarter inch. They also come in different hole sizes, but the most popular are one-eighth-of-an-inch and a quarter inch. They range in strength from a four through to nine, and the lower the number, the weaker the verifier is.
Verifiers are not designed to work with lenses on the sight. In order to see which lens you need, we have to put a peep in your string that receives all the different lenses, and then we start trying each lens strength until we find which one matches your eyes. The perfect scenario is to be able to see both the pins and the target clearly. There is no formula except trying each one. It takes us about an hour to do the process for each person. The odd person finds no improvement, but more often than not, people are pleasantly surprised to have the pins come into focus again and it rejuvenates their passion for shooting their bow. These are used in hunting applications for the most part, when dwindling light can make vision problems even worse, but those competing in 3D competitions would also find a verifier helpful.
Clarifiers are designed to be used along with another lens in your scope or sight. Most target bows have scopes on them, complete with a lens in the sight to enlarge the target, and a clarifier works to clarify, or sharpen, the enlarged target. In indoor shooting at 18 metres, the X ring is the size of a nickel, so lenses are used to enlarge that nickel target so we can see it from the shooting distance. They are also used at outdoor distances, usually 50 metres.
The lens that fits in the sight will range in size and strength from two, three, four, eight, and some at 10 magnification. However, when selecting a lens, remember your shaking is also magnified that many times over. A four-power lens means the target is magnified four times and your shaking is also magnified four times and, for some, it drives them crazy to think they are shaking that badly. But don’t focus on the shake; in fact, block it out and focus on the target.
The most popular lens strengths are the two, three and four-times magnification. Some people may have a two for indoor and a four or six for the longer distances.
Lenses are very easy to replace, simply unscrew the retainer ring, install a new lens and screw the retainer back on. You’ll take the lens out to clean every so often, so it has to be easy to take out.
Clarifier lens come in number one, 1.5, two or three and they are also in one-eighth or one-quarter thread and you need to try each to see which one matches your eyes, your lens strength and the distance you have your dovetail at to achieve the best clarity of the enlarged target view that the lens offers. They too require a new peep with threads to receive those different clarifiers. As you age, you may need to buy a different number lens, but at least you can buy just the new clarifier lens alone.
Not every sight can receive a lens in it, so you have to check before you buy to make sure your sight can receive a lens. Some people own a sight that they use for hunting without the lens and then during winter they stay sharp by shooting indoors and they put the lens in that same sight for off-season target shooting. We sell a lot of React One Pro sights by Trophy Ridge for that reason. Many sights come on a dovetail, which means the length of the arm on the sight is adjustable, and that effects which lens you need to use to clarify the target. Dovetail sights means if I move the sight to the farthest point away (extended), then it is the most accurate, but then we lose range for our pin distance. Then when we want to shoot out to, say, 100 yards with our sight pins, we may have to bring the dovetail towards the shooter to get more range of distance. At least with dovetail sights we get the advantages of movement to achieve a happy medium between accuracy and distance. The new Mathews V3X bows are now designed to receive the dovetail completely inside the riser, so your sight is no longer mounted on the side of the bow but right inside the middle of the riser. Mathews, along with other manufactures, is making an integrated receiver for the rests to also mount in the centre of the riser and not on the right side or left side of the bow riser any longer. The goal is to get bows better balanced and the quivers tighter to the bow, which all add up to more accuracy.
The good thing about purchasing a threaded peep is you can put different lenses in or no lens at all or different hole sizes that can be screwed in that peep. There are companies that sell aperture kits with different hole sizes, and that means you can unscrew one and screw in another hole size without requiring a bow press, just the aperture tool which comes in the kit.
As for simple peep sights for hunting, the Raptor peeps by Hamskea are becoming popular because they are longer in length, which helps by not only reducing glare, but also with focus, as the longer tube gives you better focus. Plus, they look cool because they are different than the other old-school ones. There also no-tie-in peeps that help if you are worried about your peeps sliding up or down the string from use without needing to tie it in at all.
Hope this clears up some of the questions regarding verifiers, clarifiers and lenses and what each is used for.