Mentioning to the weapon used in shooting and hunting, we cannot forget the crossbow. Alongside many modern weapons as gun, for example, crossbow makes you feel the spirit of the wildlife and tribes’ hunting. One of the most essential parts of a crossbow is the bolt. Choosing good crossbow bolts help to create the errant flight path and increase the success of a hunting-party.
However, it is not easy to make the right decision on choosing if you are new. Don’t worry! This article is here to help you solve this problem with the most concrete information.
Crossbow bolt or crossbow arrow?
People usually use these names with the same meaning. We do not deny that they are both correct in the definition. However, to be exact, there is a little bit difference between them. “Bolt” is only used with a crossbow, not with a regular bow and is shorter than the traditional arrow. Moreover, another name of bolt is quarrel, which is derived from French.
The material of the crossbow bolt is normally carbon or aluminum, which makes the bolt have the lightweight, not easy to be broken down, as well as prevent from bending.
A crossbow bolt basically has these parts:
- The shaft: this is the main body of a crossbow bolt that helps the bolt move faster and stable while shooting. Thus, the more anti-bending of a bolt is, the more effective of the shaft will be. Its weight measure is “grain”. When purchasing, you need to notice on the product description, some manufactures will give you the total weight of this part while the others only give the GPI, which means grain per inch. You have to calculate it by yourself to find out the total weight of the shaft.
- The nock: a nock which is installed on the back of the shaft is usually made from either aluminum or plastic. This part is used for keeping the bolt a place when lining it up for shooting. There are two basic kinds: the half-moon nock and the flat nock. Each kind has a different way to use.
- The Fletching: this part runs like the wings that keep the trajectory of the bolt stable during the flight or resistant of swaying the bolt to the left or right. A general rule of thumb is that the longer of the shaft is, the longer of the fletching should be.
- The bolt head: this part includes 2 types: the broad-heads and the field points. The broad-heads is suitable for hunting with the sharp edge, while the other one is commonly used for practicing as it only has pointy-tip.
Besides, it is very important to remember this: while choosing, take notice on the weight of the bolt head. Buying the bolt head that has the same weight as the ones before (a heavier weight is allowed) but not the slighter as it can cause injury to the crossbow.
Specifics to keep in mind when choosing crossbow bolts
It means you purchase the bolt for either practicing or for hunting. If you are new, a basic bolt and a target to practice is enough to hone your skill. If you are a hunter, of course you need to buy a specialized bolt. Depending on what you are going to hunt, you have to choose the most suitable one for the hunting-party.
Usually, there are two kinds of material to make the crossbow bolt. They are composite carbon and aluminum, which are both light, but the aluminum is lighter while the composite is much more durable.
It is up to your purpose to choose a suitable bolt. If you are a hunter, the carbon bolt is a great choice. On the contrary, it is not a bad idea for those who just want to practice with the aluminum crossbow bolts.
3. The length and weight of the bolt:
The standard length for shooting is from 16’’ to 22 ‘’. Just remember to choose the suitable length of the fletching with the length of the shaft to have the errant shoot. About the weight, you ought to keep in mind the rule of choosing the new bolt head or the shaft which has the weight as same as the origin one or the recommendation of the manufacturer, absolutely never use the lighter otherwise many accidents may occur.
Another thing, when buying the crossbow package, it is normally enclosed the target practice field point with the bolt. You have to buy the broad head separately. Thereby, you must choose the one that has the same weight with the field point.
As mentioned above, there are 2 kinds of nock including half-moon nock and flat nock with different ways to use as well as different benefits. However, if asking around, you can find out the most answer is choosing the half-moon because of its accuracy.
But you can ask the manufacturer by sending email or calling them for more information to have your right choice.
5. Your Budget:
This is not a less important factor to consider when choosing a crossbow bolt. If you have a tight budget, you can choose the aluminum bolt because it is cheap. If you have much money to spend on, you need to choose the composite carbon as its durability. It is really worth money.