There is no doubt the technology deployed to build compound bows is more and more sophisticated. However, the problem is that all this cutting-edge technology is useless if you can’t pick the right arrow to match your bow. And it’s much harder than most archers or hunters think. This is especially true if you are new to archery or bowhunting.
Today’s bows and arrows are engineering marvels that incorporate new materials and technologies that allow you to specialize in a certain type of shooting. You can then easily switch from indoor target shooting to 3D shooting. However, the arrows are different depending on the shooting discipline.
But, like all sports equipment, the fundamentals are important. Let’s see a few basics things about the arrow. When we will then give you all the useful advice on how to find the best arrows for your bow.
The different parts of an arrow
A bow arrow has very specific parts and can be broken down into several distinct parts. Beginners can choose bow arrows that are already pre-assembled. On the other hand, experienced and professional shooters will prefer to assemble them by themselves to select each part of the arrow carefully.
Generally, the four parts of the arrow are important to know from many different characteristics. All these differences will therefore have a considerable impact on the overall performance of your shot.
- Nock: The Nock is the element located at the rear end of the arrow and which rests against the rope when wrapping. Nock is often made of plastic and makes it possible to channel and transcribe the energy to the arrow during the release. Before choosing, you should make sure that the nock is durable and not easily broken down.
- Feathers: There are many types of feathers using the arrow. To be fixed on the tube, the 3 feathers serve as a rudder for the boom and allow it to have better stability in the air. They can be in natural or synthetic material but often have the same shape with a few exceptions.
- Tube and shaft: The tube of an arrow is the main part. It is the element that you will be able to customize and fix the other parts according to your needs. We can distinguish 4 main types of materials: wood, aluminum, carbon and a mix between these last two materials. Each of them brings different specificities and advantages depending on the situation and your practice of archery.
- Point: it is established at the front end of the arrow, the point is the part that will penetrate the target. You have to make sure that it adapts according to your practice of archery. Indeed, a hunter will not use the same point as an archer practicing indoor shooting.
The choice of point, feathers and notch will depend on the discipline of the practice. The power of an arrow is therefore very important if you are looking for better performance arrows.
The arrows of course influenced by many other factors, including their final weight, the length of the shank, and the environmental conditions where you want to shoot. Once you understand these concepts and how they combine to optimize your shot, you can start to use a system of metrics and charts to define the perfect setup for the situation and your shooting style.
Bow arrow: buying guide
Now you know the arrow and its different parts, let’s take a look at the important criteria to consider when buying the best bow arrow.
Purpose of use
Like any leisure or sports equipment, the purchase of each accessory or material will depend on its user. Even if you have standard equipment which more or less adapts to all archery practitioners, it turns out that each person is different with their own body type and strength.
Length of the arrow
Length is the most important parameter of the compound bow arrow, you must define this according to your length. It is therefore important to know the exact data that we discuss in the power section below in order to be able to precisely define the ideal length of your arrow.
However, when choosing the actual length at which you will cut your tubes, you will need to add 2 inches to take into account that the arrow is 2 inches beyond the shepherd.
Weight of the point and the final arrow
The next important factor that you need to consider is the weight of the boom. This is measured in grains (GPI for Grain Per Inch) and not in grams. The more weight it is, the more its speed will be reduced.
However, a heavier weight arrow will have a greater impact on the target. That is an important factor for hunters. This factor should therefore be adjusted according to your practice.
You don’t just have to increase that weight to gain power. It’s all about balance, as this can affect your performance and cause you to lose speed and precision.
The tip weight is generally between 100 and 125 grains. It also allows the center of gravity to be moved forward, allowing the tail to perform its role, and the tube to be sufficiently flexible.
It is also important to know the diameter of your arrow tube if you want to be able to customize it with specific parts. There are indeed several diameters on the market depending on the material and brands. However, this value has very little influence on the performance of the boom.
Power of your bow
The power of your bow is an important parameter to consider before buying an arrow set. It also allows to define the ideal spine. You can find this value on the limbs of your bow. It is also calculated according to your bow draw weight.
Refer to the power marked on the limbs and the following table Add or subtract the number of pounds indicated to the power marked on the branches to find the power drawn at your draw.
After determining the draw and the power, it is necessary to decide on the spine of the arrow.
Stiffness of arrow tube
The spine is used to determine the stiffness of an arrow. It corresponds to the capacity of the tube to deform under the stress of a weight placed in its middle. It is usually represented by numbers ranging from 800, the softest, to 250, the hardest. The higher this number, the more flexible the tube.
The only case contrary to this rule is that of Easton aluminum tubes. Naturally, in this case, the higher the figure, the more rigid the tube.
However, each manufacturer has their own measurements and specifications.
- Aluminum tube: The invention of aluminum arrows in the early 1940s revolutionized the practice of archery. In general, they are more expensive than wood and fiberglass arrows. They are also low resistant to moisture and make the arrows durable and flexible.
- Carbon fiber tube: Carbon arrows are more resistant and allow a great precision of shooting while flying relatively straight. They can also be woven to make them compact without splitting after being hit by other arrows. The use of carbon is a popular choice for many archers and bow hunters. Their durability is ensured by resistant materials. However, they tend to fray with time and wear.
- Hybrid tube: Lightweight hybrid designs appeared after many years of using arrows with simple composite materials. New arrows are made of carbon and coated with aluminum. The strength of the carbon fiber of the aluminum makes them very popular with experienced archers.
In general, hybrid arrows are lightweight and have high kinetic energy transfer.
- Wooden tube: Wood was used to make the first-generation models. This simple and inexpensive arrow is the ancestor of the arrow, it is the one you can see in all adventure and history movies. The wooden arrow is more likely to break but is not obsolete. However, they are still used by longbow hunters and traditional archers.
Bringing good quality bows to the market has caused their prices to skyrocket. However, the price is an important factor to consider before investing in a set of bow arrows. While favoring a good quality/price ratio, the price vary for brands of similar arrows. An arrow package can generally sell for between 5 and 100 dollars.
However, to get optimum performance from any type of arrows, we recommend that you use a quality quiver to transport the arrows and avoid damaging them.
The more powerful your bow, the more rigid the arrow must be. If your bow is remarkably powerful, you should buy a very rigid arrow with a spine of 400. And for a weak bow, go for a softer arrow with a spine of.
Also keep in mind that no matter the distance range of your shooting, an arrow can have a lethal effect. It is therefore compulsory to respect basic safety instructions and to ensure that no one is in the shooting range.
Hope this guide helps you to understand everyone about the bow arrow. If you have any questions or feel this guide needs to be added some additional information, leave a comment in the section below.
Thanks for reading!