Written by: Kim Lockhart, Copyright.
Arrows & Bolts / Parts Of A Crossbow Arrow:
Crossbow Arrows: Fletching, Nocks, Shafts, Arrowheads, Weights, Velocity.
An crossbow arrow is a pointed projectile that is shot with a crossbow. An crossbow arrow usually consists of a shaft with an arrowhead attached to the front end, with fletchings and a nock at the back end toward the crossbow string.
Fletchings; are used to stabilize an crossbow arrow’s flight direction, by providing a slight drag through the air on the rear of the crossbow arrow shaft, thereby steering the arrow. Fletchings are traditionally made with feathers, but now they are mostly made with plastic. The size of the fletchings may need to be greater on some crossbow arrow shafts do to shaft weight and arrowhead size.Nock; keeps the crossbow arrow from slipping out of place in the crossbows arrow track and protects the rear of the arrow shaft when it is fired, of which there are two types.
1. Flat Nock
2. Half Moon Nock.
Shaft; serves as an crossbow arrow’s base, which all the other parts are attached to, so it needs to be strong and stiff. Crossbow arrow shafts have been made with various materials in the historical past, but today crossbow arrow shafts are made primarily with one of three materials.
1. Wood crossbow arrow shafts are prone to warping, and are not easily straightened. The use of wooden arrows today is very limited as crossbows become more powerful and efficient, crossbow arrow materials need to be extremely tough. However wooden crossbow arrows are still popular among crossbow traditionalists. The most popular wood for building wooden crossbow arrows is cedar.
Modern wood arrow technology. There is a company called hexshaft that makes an extremely tough wooden laminate arrow that is extremely tough. The shaft itself is made from six individually machined triangles, all from the same piece of wood. Extremely-low-tolerance engineering enables the laminating process to produce superior shaft strength which is higher than that achieved if it were a standard wood-dowel arrowshaft.
2. Aluminum crossbow arrow shafts were a very popular high-performance choice in the later half of the 20th century due to their light weight, and subsequently higher speed and flatter trajectories. They were more easily straightened when bent. The material, diameter and thickness of the tube wall of the arrow contribute to its stiffness, or spine. This must be matched to the draw weight of the crossbow to ensure accuracy.
Some of the most popular sizes used for crossbows are 2213, 2216 and 2219. The 2219 shaft size is by far the most popular amongst crossbow-hunters.
Aluminum Arrow Shaft Number Designations;
22 = 22/64ths, shaft diameter.
13 = .013 Shaft Wall Thickness, (2213).
16 = .016 Shaft Wall Thickness, (2216).
19 = .019 Shaft Wall Thickness, (2219).
3. Carbon crossbow arrow shafts are very strong, light, and fly faster and flatter than aluminum arrows. They became popular in the 1990s. Carbon crossbow arrows when first introduced were quite hard to adjust so that they would fly straight when a broadhead was attached to them.
As with any new product after its first introduced will go many changes and advancements, the carbon crossbow arrow finds itself in 2010 slowly pulling away from the rest of the crossbow arrow field with advancements in carbon technology.
Beman has been the leader in carbon crossbow arrow technology since its introduction, with 2009 its adding to its new carbon lightningbolt crossbow arrow vibrake inserts adding weight to the forward section of the arrow and further dampening off arrow noise and vibration or oscillation making their carbon crossbow arrow much more accurate.
Arrowhead; is the most important part of an crossbow arrow because it allows the arrow to serve its true purpose. Arrowheads are in various sizes, shape and weights of which they serve their purpose, from target practice to big game hunting. The exact same crossbow arrows, when properly matched to your bow, can be tipped with practice points before hunting season and later tipped with big game hunting broadheads that shoot too the same impact point. There are five distinct crossbow arrowhead designs, each filling a purpose for the crossbow arrow.
1. Arrowhead, Target and Practice Points are designed to be shot into paper targets, foam targets, or grass-type targets. They should be matched to the weight of big game broadheads that a hunter plans to use during hunting season.
2. Arrowhead, Judo Points are designed for field practice under simulated hunting conditions and selecting targets such as leaves, stumps, or sticks. They have small, protruding wire springs on the arrow point to prevent the arrow from disappearing into the ground when shot into ground cover. They can be used for practice and small game hunting.
3. Arrowhead, Blunt Points are used for hunting small game, such as rabbits and squirrels when the goal is to stun the target without penetration. Blunts are commonly made of metal or hard rubber. They flair out at the tip to form a much wider striking surface, which delivers more shock to the target.
4. Arrowhead, Bowfishing Points are made of steel and designed to penetrate the hard scales of carp, gar, and other rough fish. They are equipped with a strong barb to allow retrieval of the fish. Usually feature retractable barbs for easy removal from the fish.
5. Arrowhead, Broadheads are a popular arrowhead used by hunters around the world. They have several sharp blades at the end for wound chanel cutting and maximum penetration in any game animal usually larger game animals such as deer, elk and bear.
Crossbow Arrow Weights:
Note: Weights are 20 inch shafts plus 100 grain point.
2213 aluminum shaft - 373 grains total weight.
2216 aluminum shaft - 416 grains total weight.
2219 aluminum shaft - 452 grains total weight.
Beman Carbon Lightningbolt - 400 grains total weight.
Easton Carbon Powerbolt - 367 grains total weight.
Excalibur Carbon Firebolt - 367 grains total weight.
Horton Carbon Strike - 416 grains total weight.
Crossbow Arrow Weights and Velocity:
You can increase crossbow arrow speed by reducing total crossbow arrow weight, but only on crossbows that are not arrow weight sensitive, such as Barnett Crossbows. Each 5 grain reduction in arrow weight provides a speed increase of about 1 foot per second. Thus, if you reduce arrow weight by 100 grains, you increase speed by roughly 20 feet per second.