Best Crossbow Bolts + Definitive Buying Guide 2018

best crossbow bolts

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Best Crossbow Bolts 2018

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Best Crossbow Bolts: Mini Reviews

1. Carbon Express Maxima Hunter Crossbolt

Best crossbow bolt: Maxima Hunter

Features:

  • Dual Spine Weight Forward
  • Real Straightness
  • BuffTuff® Plus Precision design
  • Mossy Oak® Treestand® pattern
  • 100% Carbon shaft
  • 3″ Fusion R2 vanes made by Norway Industries DBA Duravanes
  • 100-grain field point
  • Inserted moon nocks, plus universal flat nocks

Size Chart:

Length Grains Diameter Quantity
20″ 390 0.343″ 6-pack
22″ 416 0.343″ 6-pack

NOTE: the weight above includes the 100-grain field point.

This is our first pick for the best crossbow bolts. It’s a high performing crossbow bolt that boasts a dual spine weight forward technology. It’s a patented technology wherein two different carbon spines are fused into one arrow.

The front end and back end has a different spine to produce a straighter trajectory and consistent accuracy. The result is an arrow that spins sooner and retains more speed. And because it retains more speed, it yields an unmatched accuracy.

The BuffTuff is another patented technology wherein the 100% high modular carbon is weaved into the outer layer of the shaft. This design ensures strength and accuracy. It’s a high quality finish that adds to the durability of the arrow. BuffTuff is also known for producing the quietest carbon arrows in the market.

BuffTuff technology

Carbon Express Maxima Hunter arrows are laser checked for straightness and weight to ensure consistency. The result is an arrow that has an impressive +/-.0025″ straightness tolerance. This is around half the tolerance of most crossbow arrows.

This consistency that’s rarely seen in competing models makes Maxima Hunter arrows very reliable.

Maxima hunter nock

The arrows come in 6-pack and it includes six inserted moon nocks with six additional universal flat nocks. This makes the arrows more versatile so you could use them to work with more crossbows.

The 100-grain field points are also included as well as the high-performing 2″ blazer vanes. These vanes have a unique geometry that helps better control and faster stabilize the arrow in flight.

Overall, Carbon Express Maxima Hunter are very reliable, consistent, and well-built arrows that ensure a high-quality shot all the time. They are one of the most advanced crossbow bolts in the market thanks to their intelligent technologies.

If there’s only one crossbow bolt I have to recommend, it’s going to be this. You should definitely try the Maxima Hunter so you could experience for yourself the real straightness and its unmatched precision.

Pros:
  • Unmatched precision
  • Unmatched consistency
  • Durable
Cons:
  • Accuracy decreases when using lighted nocks

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2. Carbon Express PileDriver Crossbolt

best crossbow bolt: piledriver

Features:

  • Bone-Crushing Penetration heavy grain weight
  • Real Straightness
  • Advanced Spine Construction – Built-In Weight Forward™
  • BuffTuff® Plus Precision design
  • Composite carbon shaft
  • Exclusive NRG-2 4″ Vanes
  • 100-grain field point
  • Inserted moon nocks, plus universal flat nocks

Size Chart:

Length Grains Diameter Quantity
20″ 442 0.348″ 6-pack
20″ 442 0.348″ 3-pack plus 3 red lighted nock
22″ 479 0.348″ 6-pack

NOTE: the weight above includes the 100-grain field point.

The second in our list of the best crossbow bolts is the PileDriver from the same brand, Carbon Express.

What’s the difference? Well, Carbon Express PileDriver offers extreme penetration out of a single bolt. You’ll definitely knock down your target without a doubt thanks to its heavy carbon material that provides maximum kinetic energy. They are actually the heaviest crossbow bolts that Carbon Express makes.

Because of this, PileDriver bolts are also called “bonecrushers”.

Aside from penetration, the heavy weight also contributes to the arrow’s extreme durability. PileDriver bolts remain tough even after multiple highly penetrating shots.

Like all Carbon Express arrows, Piledriver bolt is fully-packed with advanced technology. For the PileDriver, each one was designed to maximize the bolt’s penetration.

Built-in weight forward technology

For example, the Built-in Weight Forward technology, the straightness, and the Launchpad precision nocks are developed to enhance downrange accuracy and penetration.

(Built-In Weight Forward™ is a patented technology that creates excellent downrange accuracy – especially with broadheads.)

Carbon Express PileDriver crossbolt

These advanced techniques are used to build one of the best crossbow bolts in the market. In addition, PileDriver arrows use exclusive NRG-2 4-inch vanes for improved shaft alignment, more consistent accuracy, and a controlled arrow release.

PileDriver is also laser sorted to ensure maximum consistency in straightness and weight. The arrows come with inserted moon nocks plus six additional flat nocks, and a nock collar that protexts the shaft against back end impacts. PileDriver crossbolts are compatible with many crossbow brands.

PileDriver crossbolt

The straightness tolerance is not that bad at +/-.004.

To be honest, the PileDriver only comes second to the Maxima Hunter. But PileDriver is an excellent choice for hunters who want to save money but get close to the performance of Maxima Hunter. This bolt offers a huge amount of performance with a mid-market price.

I highly recommend Carbon Express PileDriver if you want the ultimate penetration.

Pros:
  • Very durable
  • Maximum penetration
  • Consistent
  • Affordable
Cons:
  • The heavy weight offers maximum penetration but it also decreases speed.
  • The nocks are notorious for not being installed properly. Check them before shooting the arrows if you decide to purchase PileDriver bolts.

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3. Barnett Outdoors 20″ Crossbow Arrow

best crossbow bolts: barnett

Features:

  • Strong, lightweight carbon shafts
  • Improved wall thickness for added durability
  • Composite carbon shaft
  • 3-inch vanes
  • 100-grain 24F field point
  • Half-moon nocks
  • Aluminum insert

Size Chart:

Length Grains Diameter Quantity
20″ 400 0.344″ 5-pack

NOTE: the weight above includes the 100-grain field point.

The third pick in our list of the best crossbow bolts is the 20-inch crossbow arrow by Barnett Outdoors.

Also known as “Headhunter™ Arrow”, this high quality bolt offers excellent performance. They are sold in 5 packs which includes the field points, nocks, and inserts.

Barnett 20 inch crossbow arrow

These Barnett Outdoors crossbow arrows are strong but light, thanks to its carbon material. Weighing 13.78 grains per inch, it weighs 400 grains overall (8.1 ounces).

They are consistent and accurate, making them very reliable. They are designed to maximize precision which is what we can expect from one of the best crossbow and crossbow bolt manufacturer in the industry.

Barnett bolts ensure an improved shooting performance thanks to its light weight and durable carbon shafts. Add that to its improved wall thickness and you got a bolt with enhanced straightness and durability.

Barnett HeadHunter crossbow arrow

Another noteworthy thing about these is their penetration, plus they’re very easy to pull off the target without being damaged. They also boast proper matching to offer consistency when shooting.

Out of all the arrows in this list of the best crossbow bolts, the Barnett Outdoor arrows are the best for the money.

Overall, the entire arrow package is very economical. But don’t mistake its cheaper price to mean it gives a cheap performance. The enhanced wall thickness and lightweight carbon shafts boost the performance.

However I find that shooting them at longer ranges produce inconsistent shots.

barnett headhunter lumenok

Now let’s talk about the Lumenock Barnett bolt version. Barnett bolt is already a high quality bolt in itself, it’s made even beter by including Lumenok lighted nocks.

The Lumenock nocks light up during flight which produces an illuminated arrow that’s easily seen on its way to the target. This also eliminates the problem of losing your arrows while hunting.

The Lumenok version of this Barnett crossbow arrow costs a bit more but it saves you money in the long run when you consider you won’t be buying more arrows because you’ll never lose them.

Pros:
  • Very affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Very precise in close ranges
  • Very durable
Cons:
  • Inconsistent at longer ranges

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4. Black Eagle Executioner Bolts (BEE)

best crossbow bolts: black eagle executioner

Features:

  • Spine Matched Grouped Together Technology
  • Carbon shaft
  • 20″ and 22″ arrows come with 3″ Bohning X Vanes; 18″ arrows come with 2″ Blazer Vanes
  • Inserted half moon nocks, plus flat nocks
  • Executioner brass inserts (92 grain for 18″ and 22″ arrows; 110 grain for 20″ arrows)

Size Chart:

Length Grains Diameter Quantity
18″ 254 0.346″ 6-pack or 12-pack
20″ 290 0.346″ 6-pack or 12-pack
22″ 290 0.346″ 6-pack or 12-pack

NOTE: since the points are sold separately, the weight above only accounts for the weight of the shaft and inserts.

The last but definitely not the least in our list of the best crossbow bolts is the Black Eagle Executioner. True to its name, it’s a premium bolt that boasts high precision.

black eagle executioner

First things first – the shaft is made of carbon using Spine Matched Grouped Together Technology. The result is an unmatched spine consistency and a greater accuracy. It boasts the perfect in-between material blending, plus the tuning ability that guarantees the straightness specified on their specifications.

The shafts are also weighed and group to ensure they are matched perfectly.

black eagle executioner

One more notable feature is the stiffness that enhances its durability. Regarding the package, the arrows come with both half-moon and flat nocks plus Bohning vanes. In addition, the brass inserts make an overall weight built with ideal front of center.

The optimal FOC maximizes accuracy of the arrow during flight without loss in speed or kinetic energy. Speed plus accuracy? Black Eagle named this arrow accurately. Executioner arrows are designed for both accuracy and speed which is a deadly combination in archery.

Probably the most notable feature though is the high quality, premium construction of these arrows. Overall, Black Eagle Executioner bolts offer an excellent shooting performance.

Pros:
  • Quality build
  • Accurate
  • Fast
Cons:
  • The field points are not included as they are sold separately.

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Special Mentions:

Special mentions:

Now you might be asking, “are these four the only excellent crossbow bolts in the market?” Of course not! But they’re the best of the best.

Regarding the rest, there are some arrows that deserve an honorary mention in our list of the best crossbow bolts:

  1. TenPoint Pro Lite
  2. BloodSport .003 Straightness
  3. Camx Accuspines
  4. Gold Tip Laser III Pro

Introduction: Read this First

Aside from the crossbow itself, the arrow or bolt is the greatest factor in a crossbow’s accuracy. Crossbow arrow selection is absolutely critical to your performance as a shooter.

When you’re in the moment, about to pull your crossbow’s trigger, you’d want to be 100% confident in your gear – and that includes your projectile.

The right arrow means you possess the perfect blend of speed, accuracy, and penetration. The wrong arrow means the complete opposite.

Just imagine the amount of frustration a shooter goes through just because he or she uses the wrong arrows. No amount of sighting in and other calibrations can save you if you’re using the wrong type of arrow.

That being said, choosing your arrow is a process that should not be taken lightly.

“Bla bla bla, you talk too much. Just tell me which arrow I should use…”

So which arrow should you use? It depends on your purpose. Different arrows have different uses and while a particular arrow might be considered best by most archers, it might be the wrong arrow for other people.

We’ll get into more detail about the applications of different types of arrows in the buying guide below. For now we need to get this out of the way before we can proceed:

Crossbow Bolt vs Arrow

What do we call the things we shoot with our crossbows – should we call them “bolts” or “arrows”? Is there a difference or can we use the two terms interchangeably?

I’ve always wondered about this myself. Before I got into hunting I always thought:

  • Crossbow = use bolts
  • Bow= use arrows

Then I got into bowhunting and people seem to refer to bolts as arrows as well.

For this article, I decided to find an answer for this question once and for all. I asked around and I also did my own research.

My findings brought me to two major sides:

Most modern crossbow hunters incorrectly refer to bolts as arrows due to the similar appearance, but the physics of how a bolt finds its target are different than that of an arrow used in a vertical bow.
– Foremosthunting.com (Retrieved on 24 June 2011)

The modern hunting crossbow does not shoot bolts, it shoots arrows!
…If a projectile has a guidance system in the form of feathers or vanes on the end of it, it’s an ARROW!
– Biggamelogic.com (Retrieved 5 January 2018)

It turns out that crossbow bolts look like this:

Crossbow bolt vs arrow

Made of metal, no fletching

And they are seldom used in these days of modern crossbow hunting.

Should we then agree to call our modern projectiles as arrows, regardless of whether we use a bow or crossbow, just because they have fletching?

One would be content with this argument. But some people say that crossbow projectiles shouldn’t be called arrows because they’re shorter than what are used for vertical bows.

But then again, we simply can’t dismiss crossbow arrows as “bolts” just because they’re shorter. If we do, we’re also saying that archers who shoot shorter arrows are actually shooting bolts.

Biggamelogic.com has an article that fully addresses this whole thing. I’ll leave a link here if you want some further reading (opens a new tab): Biggamelogic.com: Bolts and Arrows

So it’s all cleared up then – we call them arrows.

But some manufacturers still call them bolts!

Yes they do. But the only reason why they do that is to differentiate them from the arrows used for vertical bows.

But by definition, what we use with our crossbows these days are arrows – they have a shaft, vanes, tip, and nock.

So technically speaking, a bolt is the projectile used for crossbows and it has no stabilizing vanes at the back-end. But linguistically speaking, both “bolt” and “arrow” is correct these days and now most people use those two words to refer to the same thing.

Because of this, I’ll have no problem interchanging them in this article from this point. As long as we’re clear that we’re talking about the projectiles for crossbows here, it’s all good.

So enough about that… There’s something more important than what you prefer to call them and that is choosing the right arrow to shoot.

That’s right – choosing the right arrow is crucial.

How to Choose Your Crossbow Arrows

A lot of the terminology used in this guide are actually the parts of the crossbow. So let’s get that out of the way just in case you aren’t familiar with them yet (oh trust me, I’ve been there).

Crossbow Bolt Parts

Or should I say, crossbow arrow parts? It doesn’t matter. What matters more is that you know it has four main parts:

1. Shaft

The shaft is the main part of the arrow because it’s where the rest of the parts are attached to.

Arrow shafts can be made of wood, aluminum, carbon, or a mixture of carbon and aluminum.

Wood shafts are of the ancient days of archery and warfare. Wooden arrows are fun to make and shoot but they break the easiest. They also have the farthest arrow groupings due to how they’re made (mostly by hand).

That’s why they are great for people who practice traditional archery and target shooting but they’re not even an option for hunting.

Aluminum arrows are quieter and sturdier than both wood and carbon arrows. They even cost less than carbon arrows most of the time.

Carbon arrows have become very popular because they are lighter and stiffer. Because they are lighter, they are consequently faster. And since they are stiffer, they penetrate harder. This makes them a very popular choice among hunters.

Then we also have composite arrows – a mix of carbon and aluminum. These arrows take the best qualities from each material and combine them into one arrow. Pretty cool, right? Let’s move on to the next part.

2. Head

The head is also called “point” and “arrowhead” and it means what it literally means – the tip of the arrow.

There are also different types of arrowheads:

Bullet points are used in target shooting and small game hunting.
bullet arrow point

Field points are also used in both target shooting and small game hunting. There’s not much difference between bullet and field points except that field points are easier to extract from the target, though the difference can be subtle.
field point

Blunt points don’t penetrate the target because they are meant to paralyze or kill small game through blunt force. They are usually made of steel, plastic, or rubber.
bullet arrow tip

Grabbing or Judo point is a type of blunt point. It has small hooks that keep the arrow from penetrating too deeply in the ground which prevents the arrow from being lost in the grass or leaves. Judo points are used in practicing and hunting small game.
judo or grabbing arrow point

Fishing arrowheads have pointed tips and long barbs. These arrowheads are designed to catch fish and hold them in place until an attached line has landed.

Broadheads are the most dangerous arrowheads and they are used in hunting small and big game. They penetrate easily and cause large wounds and consequently cause more bleeding. It’s really recommended NOT to use broadheads if you’re not going to hunt because they’ll just ruin your targets.
broadhead

Arrowheads can be made of different materials as well but most are made of metal these days.

3. Fletching

Fletching refers to the vanes or feathers of an arrow. They correct the flight of the arrow, provide stability during flight, and help with accuracy. The fletching achieves all these functions by creating wind drag.

There are different types of fletching in terms of material, size, vane twist, and number of vanes.

In terms of material, fletchings are either feathers or plastic vanes. Feathers are used in traditional archery while plastic vanes dominate target shooting and hunting.

Smaller vanes have lesser surface area which means they have lesser wind drag. The result is a faster but less accurate arrow. It’s a common theme with archery gear wherein you have a trade-off between speed and accuracy. The vane size is one example of that trade-off.

Types of Arrow Fletching (Vane Twist):

As with the type of vane twist, there are three types: straight, offset, and helical.

The table is horizontally scrollable on mobile devices.

Straight Offset Helical
Description The vanes are straight with the shaft. The vanes are also straight on the shaft but they’re turned from the front the the back. The vanes are curved.
Pros (1) Fastest.
(2) Good for close ranges because it doesn’t create additional spin.
(3) Works with any arrow rest.
(1) More stable
(2) More stabilization for broadheads.
(3) Good for long ranges
(1) The most stable.
(2) Best for broadheads.
(3) Most accurate at long ranges due to arrow spin.
(4) Least affected by wind.
Cons (1) Least stable at long ranges.
(2) Least stabilization for broadheads.
Slower due to air resistance Slowest

Lastly, the number of vanes – we’re almost done in the fletching part!

Arrows can either have three fletchings or four fletchings. Four fletchings stabilize broadheads faster which helps with accuracy but you’ll sacrifice a bit of speed when using them.

4. Nock

Nock is the plastic or aluminum tip that’s inserted at the back end of the arrow. It’s meant to keep a good connection between the crossbow string and arrow for maximum energy transfer.

Half-moon nocks also keep the arrow in place as you draw your bow. Speaking of half-moon nocks…

There are different types of nocks. Since we’re talking about crossbow arrows here, I’ll only include the types of crossbow nocks:

  1. Half Moon Nock
  2. Omni-Nock
  3. Capture Nock
  4. Flat Nock

Arrow manufacturers specify the type of nock that should be used with their arrows so you should have no problem selecting nocks in the future if you decide to purchase them separately.

Nocks can also be illuminated to help with tracking the flight of the arrow. These nocks are commonly refered to as “lighted nocks”.

5. Inserts

Insert is the device that’s glued inside the front (point) end of the arrow shaft. Arrowheads are then screwed into the insert.

It’s important that the insert fit properly in the arrow shaft to ensure that no play will happen when the arrowhead is screwed in.

Most inserts are aluminum or brass. Aluminum inserts are lighter which helps increase the speed of the arrow. Meanwhile, brass inserts add more weight to the front that’s why they are used to increase the F.O.C. (front of center) of the arrow.

(Front of center is the percent of arrow weight located in the front half of the arrow. People manipulate their FOC to improve accuracy and boost momentum in penetration.)

Do you notice a recurring theme here?

There is a trade-off between accuracy and speed when it comes to almost every archery gear. You can either choose to find a balance between the two or choose one over the other – it depends on your skill level or performance.

More experienced shooters who have perfected their form can opt for speed over accuracy. On the other hand inexperienced shooters must choose accuracy over speed first because archery gear that’s built for speed is less forgiving of user error.

How to Choose Crossbow Bolts: Buyer’s Guide

There are several factors to consider when selecting your crossbow bolts. The three most crucial things are:

  1. Weight of the arrow
  2. Length of the arrow
  3. Type of nock

Crossbow manufacturers have different requirements for the minimum bolt weight, length, and type of nock that should be used for their crossbows.

Failure to follow the manufacturer requirements will result to your injury and damage to your crossbow.

1. Arrow Weight

When you read your crossbow’s manual, the minimum bolt weight is not a mere recommendation. It’s a strict rule that you must follow due to the reasons I previously stated. I hope I stressed that enough.

Another important thing to take note of is the required minimum weight refers to the total weight of the bolt – not just the shaft, nor any other part. This means we must add the weight of the shaft, vanes, inserts, nocks, and arrowheads – the sum is what we compare against the required minimum weight.

A problem arises when calculating the total bolt weight when you realize that some manufacturers list the shaft weight in GPI (grains per inch) and you need the total weight – not the grains per inch.

The solution is easy. Simply multiply the shaft length times the grains per inch. For example, your arrow shaft is 22 inches long and weighs 13 grains per inch. 22 inches x 13 grains per inch = 286 grains. Then add this with the weight of the rest of the arrow parts.

As you spend more time with your crossbow there’s a chance you’ll want to experiment with different arrow weights until you find the perfect fit for you personally.

This is the summarized trade-off between heavy and light arrows:

  • Heavier arrow = more momentum = greater penetration and kinetic energy but drops quicker.
  • Lighter arrow = faster and flatter trajectory but less penetration.

You need to find a balance. Just make sure you don’t ever use an arrow that’s lighter than the minimum weight threshold listed by the crossbow manufacturer. Sometimes if there’s none listed, it’s an automatic rule to never use an arrowhead and shaft that’s lighter than the original ones that came with your crossbow.

To be more specific, there are three major weight groups: lightweight, standard weight, and heavyweight arrows.

1.1. Lightweight Arrows

Arrows that fall within the 350 to 400 grains range are considered lightweight. Because they are lightweight, they are faster and have a flatter trajectory.

However lightweight arrows also have some downsides:

  1. They transfer more excess energy to the bow which produces vibration and noise.
  2. They have less momentum so they have the weakest penetration.
  3. They are affected by wind the most.

Before you go spending any of your hard-earned money on lightweight arrows because of their speed, make sure your crossbow can handle them first. Like I mentioned about three times already, using an arrow that’s too light for your crossbow may result to dry fire which in itself causes damage to the crossbow and injury to yourself.

Let’s say your crossbow CAN indeed handle lightweight arrows. When should you use lightweight arrows?

Generally, using lightweight arrows is a good option when you’re shooting in very open areas and judging the distance between you and your target is difficult. In this situation, you’ll want to take advantage of the flatter trajectory that lightweight arrows offer.

When should you avoid lightweight arrows?

Just because our crossbow can handle lightweight arrows doesn’t mean they’re the best option all the time. Lightweight arrows penetrate the least so they’re not the best option for hunting – especially for big game. And since lightweight arrows are affected by wind the most, they’re not recommended for use in windy weather.

1.2. Standard Weight Arrows

Arrows that fall within the 400 to 435 grains range are considered standard weight. They fall in the middle in terms of weight and that means they also fall in the middle in terms of performance.

Standard arrows offer an equal combination of speed and penetration which makes them a good choice as all-around, all-purpose arrows.

Since they weigh more than the lightweight arrows (duh), they have greater penetration but they’re slower. And standard arrows produce less noise and vibration when shot from the crossbow.

This is my favorite part – standard arrows are more accurate than lightweight arrows for two major reasons:

  1. The added weight increases kinetic energy which improves the downrange accuracy.
  2. The added weight makes them less affected by wind as compared to lightweight arrows.

When is it a good idea to use standard weight arrows? The answer – almost all the time. Since they are all-purpose arrows, they are perform well in any situation. The only exception would be when using lightweight or heavy weight arrows is the better option for your personal crossbow.

1.3. Heavyweight Arrows

Arrows that weigh 435 grains or more are considered heavyweight arrows. These arrows penetrate the hardest because they produce the most kinetic energy. They are also the least affected by the wind and they produce the least vibration and sound.

And because they retain the largest kinetic energy, they have the best downrange accuracy. Partner this with being affected by wind the least and heavyweight arrows are easily the most accurate among the three weight groups.

However due to their weight, they lose trajectory the fastest and are also the slowest.

When should we use heavyweight arrows? Obviously they are great for hunting – especially for bigger games. Using heavyweight arrows is also wise when shooting under harsher weather because they are least susceptible to wind direction.

When should we avoid heavyweight arrows? Remember – heavyweight arrows drop the quickest because they lose trajectory the fastest. Because of this, they are challenging to use when the distance of the target is difficult to judge. It’s recommended to use a rangefinder in this situation.

2. Arrow Length

The average crossbow arrow length is 20 inches long. The usual length ranges from 16 to 24 inches. The longer the arrow shaft, the heavier the arrow since shaft weight is measured by grains per inch.

The crucial part when it comes to arrow length is to just make sure it’s long enough so that the nock touches the crossbow string and the arrow tip won’t be touching the rail.

Longer or shorter is not important. It’s not like the arrow weight wherein the different weights have crucial effects on the performance. As long as the nock connects with the string and the arrow clears the end of the flight track and doesn’t extend past the crossbow stirrup, it’s all good.

3. Type of Nock

As I previously said under the Crossbow Bolt Parts section, crossbow manufacturers recommend a specific type of nock that should be used with their crossbow.

Not following the recommended nock type may cause the string to “jump” the arrow and you don’t want that because it causes dry-fire.

(Dry fire is when a crossbow is shot without being fully loaded with an arrow. This breaks the string and causes injury to the shooter.)

Other considerations in choosing your crossbow arrows are:

4. Arrowhead

Choosing what arrowhead to use is fairly easy – just base it on your purpose. We went over the types of arrowheads in the Crossbow Bolt Parts section and we established that each arrowhead has its own use specific purpose.

Let’s say you’re shooting crossbows for hunting purposes so that means you have two options: broadheads or blunt tips. Broadheads are used to penetrate small and big game while blunt tips are used to paralyze or bluntly hit small game (like rabbits).

Blunt tips can also be used in target shooting. I’m just repeating myself here, so I’ll stop right there. Click here to go back to the arrowheads section.

5. Spine

Spine simply refers to how stiff the arrow shaft is, and there are two types of arrow spine: static and dynamic.

Manufacturers measure the static spine by supporting the arrow shaft at both ends while hanging a 2 lbs weight at the middle. If the shaft bends 0.6 of an inch, then the static spine is 600. That means the lower the static spine number, the stiffer it is.

Dynamic spine is harder to measure because it involves a lot of factors such as draw weight, arrow length, and arrowhead weight. In simplest terms, dynamic spine refers to how much the arrow bends after shooting the crossbow and how quickly it recovers after bending.

Arrow spine is an important consideration because it affects the arrow flight. However arrow spine of crossbow arrows is not as crucial as the arrow spine of vertical bow arrows.

You read that right – arrow spine is not a big factor with crossbows arrows because of their shorter length. The shorter length means the crossbow arrows don’t flex as much. They also don’t have to bend around a riser like they do with vertical bows.

Final Words

And there you have it!

Not only did we go over each of the four best crossbow bolts, but we also went through an in-depth buying guide on how to choose crossbow arrows.

If you read the complete buyer’s guide, you’ll realize that choosing arrows involves a lot of balancing between accuracy, speed, and penetration.

Now I have to ask…

Are the arrows you shoot in the list of the best crossbow bolts?

View the best crossbow bolts comparison table

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