A common question and topic that always comes up about bowstrings is Peep Rotation. This topic seemingly incites frustration and confusion amongst both target archers and bowhunters alike. Anytime the peep sight moves, settles, rotates, or does anything, it always seems to fall in the all-encompassing bucket of “Peep Rotation.” But what actually is “peep rotation?” What causes peep rotation? What are other factors that can create peep rotation? How is peep rotation reduced or fixed? As a part of our new GAS Bowstrings Technical Series, we are going to do a three-part series on all things “Peep Rotation.”
In Part 1, we’ll focus on the difference between “peep rotation” and “peep positioning” but first, let’s define and understand the general background of peep rotation.
True peep rotation is defined as the peep sight rotating in the center axis of the bowstring fibers as the bow is drawn and transitioned from rest to full draw. The bowstring itself is under a large load of tension while at rest, but on modern compound bows, where the peep sight is applicable, that load is greatly reduced when the bow is at full draw. This is the same “let-off” that allows us to comfortably hold the string at full draw with ease, as a majority of the tension from the bowstring, is transitioned over to the cables. This transition of bowstring tension is what opens the door for potential peep rotation and tests the overall stability of the bowstring.
Peep “rotation” is often confused with peep “positioning” which is something completely different. The peep sight, once installed in the string doesn’t know which way it’s supposed to point and must essentially be set. When setting up a new set of strings, the string will settle some, in which period the positioning of the peep may slightly change. One of the things we often see when people are trying to set up a new set of strings and create the correct peep positioning is a “mis-training” of the peep or a misalignment between the peep and the string loop. If the peep is positioned only slightly to the left or the right at rest, adjusting your string loop is the simplest and easiest way to fix this issue. It’s often just as simple as making sure the string loop is properly tied in, cinched down on the serving, and aligned perfectly with the peep. Keeping the string loop aligned with the peep sight is all that is needed to fix the majority of peep positioning issues. If the peep sight is positioned a little further off at rest, closer to 90 degrees or more to the left or the right, then this will require more than just alignment of the string loop to fix the issue. This is also where people run into issues by creating the scenario of the peep wanting to keep moving, despite the effort of trying to “train” the peep to sit in the correct location.
Here’s a scenario: The string is installed, the peep sight set and tied in. The peep seems to want to sit off to the right though. As we attempt to “train” the peep sight, we take the peep and manually rotate it by hand, back to the correct position before each shot, but it still wants to settle in the same spot after each shot. This is not peep rotation, this is peep positioning and needs to be fixed as such. Knowing that the peep and string want to settle in that position, no amount of manual adjustment or twisting of the peep before each shot is going to ultimately fix the issue. This scenario seems to be the most common complaint of “peep rotation” and can be frustrating to the archer, but it is also easily fixable. The bow needs to be put in a bowpress and an adjustment made to the string. You can add or subtract a half twist or full twist into the bottom or top of the string to fix this issue. After removing the bow from the press, you need to take a few shots, making sure to allow the peep to settle where it wants. Then repeat this process until you have the peep sitting in the straight position. This may take a little time and a few trips to the bowpress to nail this exactly. Sometimes when it perfectly settles 180 degrees off, it’s often easier to remove the peep, flip it, and re-tie the peep sight in.
Often the above is incorrectly labeled or viewed as “peep rotation” when it isn’t true peep “rotation” and what is required is a repositioning of the peep sight.
Stay tuned for the 2nd part of our peep rotation series in the upcoming weeks.