Today, modern archery has become a pastime, an enjoyable competitive sport, an effective hunting tool and to many, an obsession. More and more people are experiencing the enjoyment of archery. Finding it involves being outdoors, having more contact with nature, rediscovering of self, an all round enriching activity bringing out the best in an individualsí growth. Following the basic steps is the key to unlocking the doors to that enjoyment. Seeing your arrow fly directly to your target is an accomplishment both mental and physical that is the central focus of an archersí satisfaction. The learning process needs only to be developed into providing consistency for the novice.
Most of the approaches toward obtaining reasonable accuracy and proficiency revolve around learning the necessary steps to consistency. Stance, form, bow hand and anchor all have to be learned, understood and repeated as accurately as possible in order to repeat accurate shots. It is not that difficult to achieve given the excellent instruction available at any of todayís archery clubs. The novice archer can now expect to shoot with reasonably well in a relatively short period of time.
There is, however, a subject that seems to cause controversy each time it comes up. Peep rotation. No two individuals agree as to the best method of dealing with this issue. The archery industry, as a whole, has developed a niche market around this very problem. Itís typical to see on TV and in other mediums band aid solutions. Elastic bands, large any angle see through peeps and string additions all are being taken as THE answer to peep rotation. On the other hand, from time to time, archers do see others using only a small peep with no rotation and no string additions. How can this be? Is it the string? Is there a method? Is there a treatment?
Many of todayís experts have only a vague idea of what it takes to end peep rotation. The controversy is then placed into a field of vague answers because there are so many new high tech materials, differing string lengths and bow types. Each material has itsí own properties to be dealt with individually. No one material will do exactly as the rest. As research develops new products; the popularity of materials changes over time. If the properties of the new materials are not studied, how can one say it will act the same as anything else? Truly, then, there seems to be almost some sort of magic to taming peep rotation. How would or could it even be done unless you are an expert?
1. The very first thing an archer must understand is that all strings will settle. That is, it will stabilize into a position where it will have the least amount of stress or potential for movement. Never draw the bow without an arrow nocked.
After installing the peep on a new string, make note of which way the peep is facing. This position you will use as your guide. Now, without trying to aim, nock an arrow, point it safely at the target butt and release. You should notice that the peep has changed position. This will happen regardless of who made the string set you purchased. The string is becoming seated and on itís way to settling. When bought, a new string is placed from a relaxed attitude to the highest continuous kinetic stress of any modern material. It must change. The string will creep, however slight and compress on itself because of the flex from the limbs. This is what the cause of peep rotation is all about. The stress of the bow will move the string to itsí most stable mode after all the shots have had their effect. Most manufacturers recommend that a string should be shot a couple of hundred times before it could be considered settled. This article will show you an easier way. Your peep is your guide and also your tool to knowing for yourself when a string has settled rather than guessing from shot quantity.
2. The bow must be shot until there is no movement from the peep. This is where the archer will know that the string has settled. After you have shot the required number of times, youíll notice the peep will be in exactly the same position after shooting no matter how many times shot. It could take as little as a dozen shots or as many as a few hundred. Regardless of the amount, the string WILL settle. This is the time to go to the next step. You have a constant to work with now. Bear in mind that this constant is a relative term as your string has already so much twist over itsí length.
3. Draw the bow slowly (nocked) and watch how the peep moves as the string goes through the draw cycle. This is the indicator. The archer then knows what to do with the peep. After drawing the bow and watching which way the peep moved, you must place it in the bow press.
If your peep rotates from right to left, you will have to take the string off the lower post (finger/centre serving side for Solo cam bows) and turn it from right to left. How much you turn will depend on how much the string rotates through the draw cycle. The string is doing what it wants to do. All you do is help it go where it wants. This is very important. For a half turn rotation, turn the string a half turn. Draw and shoot the bow a number of times to re-settle the peep. If it still does not roll into your eye view, repeat the process or even try an additional full turn. Always shoot the bow a number of times the re-settle the peep before checking for position. If it rotates too far, turn the string back a half turn at a time. Never do more than a half to a full turn at a time because you are close to where the string wants to be at rest. Too many turns gives a settled string much more than it wants to do. I describe it this way to make it easier to visualize. Always, a little at a time will give much better results.
4. If the peep sits exactly opposite to the position desired the next step is quite simple. The archer then just flips the peep to face him/her. Flipping the peep requires you to go to the bow press again. You donít have to relax the string completely. Relax only enough to be able to get the peep out and turn it a half turn. Remember that each time the bow is in the press, it has to be shot to re-settle.
5. Sometimes the archer will notice that the peep sits at ĺ of the way no matter what he does. At this point the archer knows he is so close any post or peep movement is too much. If you canít seem to get the peep in the right place no matter what is done, you are almost at itsí optimum position. Any post or peep adjustment that is too far and you havenít yet pulled your hair out is the time to flip strands. This step requires the most care and you go back to the bow press. Relax the string again as in the previous step. Look carefully at the direction of the string twist (all bowstrings MUST have twist and never buy one without). For example, if the normal twist of the string is from right to left and your peep must move to the left an 8th of a turn, give or take, do this. On the face of the peep facing you most, take 2 strands from the left side and flip them to the right side. On the opposite face, take 2 strands from the right side and flip them to the left side. This will pull the peep over to the direction you want. If you want to move it slightly the other way, just do the same steps in the opposite direction. I chose 2 strands for simplicity but there is no set number. The more strands means more movement. This last step is done only when all the previous steps were done first. Draw and shoot the bow a number of times to re-settle the string.
This system for taming peep rotation is also effective for archers using string loops. The only difference is that the string loop must be turned as well and more care taken to allow the string itsí movement. Remember: always let the string go where it wants and let it finish what it wants to do.
There you have it. This method does work and it must be done properly. An archer may have to play with this a couple of times as string quality varies tremendously from one manufacturer to the next. It is my experience that in a short time, sometimes as quick as a half hour, you are freed of those loud, clumsy string additions that slow a bow down by as much as 10 - 20 ft per second.
Peep rotation can be a headache. If an archer slows down and follows a set system of steps, then he can enjoy and explore his potential with much more confidence and pleasure.
Good Luck . . . and Good Shooting.
Atricle from Bowmans Custom Strings