Installing a Peep Sight Without a Press in 5 Steps

It’s not always convenient or possible to have a bow press on standby every time you need one.

A bow ordered online or from a bow shop is almost ready to go except for one thing- a peep sight.

Being able to install a peep sight without a press will save a lot of money and can work in a time when a bow press is not feasible.

Installing the Peep Sight Without a Bow Press

Installing a peep sight without a bow press is possible, but there may be a few difficulties depending on your setup.

The biggest challenge is separating the strings. The peep sight needs to be installed exactly in the center of the bowstring. Many manufacturers now leave a little bit of colored string in the center around the peep sight area. 

Other strings are two colors so it is easy to identify the center. If you don’t have these options, it will be difficult to find the center without a bow press.

Steps To Installing The Peep Sight:

Step One – Settle Bow String

Most manufacturers will have the bowstring pre-stretched, so there should be no creep and the sight should not move.

However, if your string has not been pre-stretched you will need to fire a couple of arrows to settle the bowstring. To be on the safe side I would recommend firing up to 50 shots before installing the peep sight. 

Otherwise, you may find that you will have to adjust the peep sight later.

Step Two – Mark the Area

After you are confident that the string has been properly stretched, you will need to mark the area where the peep will go.

If you fail to mark the area you will have to start all over again. By trying to slide the peep up or down the string you will damage the string and risk damaging your bow.

With the help of a second person draw back your bow. Have the second person move the tip of a marker until it reaches your line of sight and is in line with the main sight.

Mark this area with the marker, this is where the peep sight will be installed.

If you want to be even more accurate, the better way to do this would be to insert the peep in the string and drawback, have the second person then slide the peep into position.

You can then move on to step five.

Step Three – Find the String Center

Installing a Peep Sight Without a Press

As mentioned earlier, it’s important to find the center of the bowstring. This may be marked for you by the manufacturer or if using two-tone strings, it is easy to spot.

With the center identified take your string tool and gently insert it between the two groups of strands.

It’s important to be careful while doing this and ensure you are using the proper tool for the job, like the Beiter String Tool.

Using anything too sharp you risk cutting some strands which will quickly make the string unusable.

Pro tip – Reducing the draw weight will make this easier.

Step Four – Insert the Peep

With the center found and the strings properly separated you can now insert the peep sight. 

Depending on the type of sight you are using will determine how to insert it.

Each peep sight will have grooves for the bowstring to sit into. These grooves can sometimes be sharp, so be careful when inserting the peep.

Step Five – Tie in the Peep Sight

Installing a Peep Sight Without a Press

Once the peep sight is in place it’s important to tie it in to properly secure it. 

To do this Cut off about a foot of serving thread and begin by tying a half knot just below the natural v of the string.

We’re then going to make about 20 under-over knots working away from the sight.

When you are tying your knot, a good tip is to lay the loop flat against the string as you tighten it up, then push the serving away from you to make it nice and snug against the other loops.

Once you have roughly 20 loops made, we will make the final knots. This is the same as the other knots, except you will bed it between the last two knots you made.

Push it down tight between the last two knots. Then gently make one more loop to finish the square knot. You can then use a lighter or blade to cut off the excess tag ends, but leave about a quarter of an inch to meltdown and secure the serving.

Be careful not to burn your bowstring.

Do the other side the same way, making sure to work away from the peep sight.

After both sides of the peep are served, take about half a foot of serving thread and wrap around the groove of the top of the peep sight and tie a half knot underneath.

Bring the tag ends back up around the top and tie two loops to make a square knot. Then use a lighter or blade to melt down the tag ends just like you did for the serving.

Now get a piece of d loop material, wrap it once just below the servings, and push it up to slide the serving towards the peep sight. Do this on both sides.

The peep side is now properly installed.

A tube peep sight is installed the same way, with the only difference being a tube sight has a tube tied to the cables.

This straightens the sight out when the archer draws back the bow. Usually, tube sights are installed on cheaper bowstrings that may twist.

Alternative to Using a bow press

While it is useful to know how to tie in a peep sight without a press in case of an emergency, like your peep came loose in the field, there are better and safer options.

A portable bow press or an emergency press would be a much easier and safer way to install a peep sight without a press.

By taking the tension of the string it is easier to find the center and move the peep into place without the risk of damaging the string.

Final Thoughts

In case of emergency, it’s good knowledge to be able to put in a peep sight without a press,

However, if you have the option it would be a much better idea to use a portable or emergency bow press.

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