What Aperature Should I Use for My Peep?

Probably one of the most overlooked things in archery is what size your aperture/insert is in your peep. It plays such a huge role in how you view your sight picture. More people need to be aware of it.

The main things your aperture is going to affect are:

  • Focus
  • Light
  • The area around the sight
Archer at full draw


Most of this is personal preference, but I’ll explain how it works first. In its simplest terms, the smaller your aperture, the clearer your target will be when you look through your sight. Now there are some exceptions to the rule.

If you don’t have good eyesight, you can use a bigger aperture and still have your target clear. It’s all trial and error.

Here’s where personal preference comes in. Some people may actually prefer to have an unclear target and just put their pin in the middle of a yellow blur. This is something I would encourage you to try because you will aim differently than how you normally would. Everything feels more relaxed. You’re not 100% focused on the center of the target, which may lead you to have a much cleaner execution of your shot from start to finish.

I much prefer having a clear target. For me, it gives me peace of mind to know exactly where my shot went off and to know exactly where to aim. However, sometimes I can be too focused on the target.

So there are pros and cons to both clear and unclear targets. Again, it’s all about what you want your sight picture to look like.


This is the main use that I get from my aperture. Set lighting is so crucial when it comes to compound. The only place you don’t have to worry about it is an outdoor shoot. It becomes a problem for the indoor, field, and 3D shoots, and the answer to this problem is the size of your aperture.

You might already be able to put this together yourself but let me explain. The bigger your aperture, the lighter you’re going to allow in. However, the point I made earlier still stands. The bigger the aperture, the less focused your target will be.

So it becomes a balancing game. You need the correct amount of light while keeping your target somewhat focused. Unfortunately, there’s no way to know if your aperture size will truly work for focus and light until you’re at the competition venue.

For indoors, it’s all about how well-lit the hall is. In some venues, the lighting is great, others well, not so great. For well-lit venues, I don’t need to change out my aperture. That way, my target will be clear, and I will still get the correct amount of light. For these conditions, I shoot the 1/32 aperture from the Hamskea peeps.

In poorly lit venues, I’ll drop to either a 3/64 or 1/16, depending on how bad the lighting is.

Area Around The Sight

The final thing that the size of your aperture affects is the area that you can see at full draw around your sight.

In an ideal world, you shouldn’t be able to see any area outside of your scope at full draw. However, this may not be the case. One way to fix this if you can see outside of your scope is to decrease the size of your aperture, and the opposite can also be said if you have too small of an aperture and you can’t see all of your scopes, you’ll need to increase the size of the aperture.

However, as you now know, changing out your aperture affects many things, so you may need to think twice before you change it for that reason.

The solution to that problem would be to push your sight bar in or out, depending on your sight picture.

This way, you’ll still be able to continue using your preferred aperture.

Apertures are such a small part of your setup, and yet they are so crucial to how you aim and view your sight. Don’t overlook them.

You may find the following posts useful:

How to fix peep rotation

Adjust PSE draw length

Rogan Cunningham

Rogan Cunningham is an archer and writer for shootingcabin.com. He's a proud member of the National Archery Squad. He writes about his archery training, shooting, and traveling with the national archery team, and he also reviews all kinds of archery kit. He only writes about archery, what can I tell you?..... He's an Archer!

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