12 Best Crossbow Bolts To Buy In 2020 – Tested And Reviewed [Introductory & Buyer’s Guide]

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Table of Contents

Our Top Picks

 Best Crossbow Bolts For Target Practice and hunting Small Game AnimalsBest Crossbow Bolts For Hunting Small to Medium Game AnimalsBest Crossbow Arrows for Hunting Big Game Animals

Model:

REEGOX BIO Crossbow Bolts

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Barnett 16075 Outdoors Carbon Crossbow 20-Inch Arrows

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Carbon Express Piledriver DS Hunter Vanes

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Available Length(s):

16"/18"/20"20" 32.5" (12 pack shafts), 31.5” (6 pack arrows)

Total weight in grains(incl field tip) or Spine size & GPI:

16 inch-368 grains, 18 inch-380 grains, 20 inch-425grains396-grains250 (10.5gpi & .402 spine), 350 (11.4gpi & .345 spine), 450 (13.3gpi & .300 spine)

Nocks:

Half-moon nocksHalf-moon nocksCapture nocks

Material:

CarbonCarbon Carbon

Are you looking for the best crossbow bolts to buy for your new crossbow? This crossbow bolt introductory includes a buyer’s guide with 12 crossbow bolts and arrows with which we had had the best hunting experiences in 2020.

If you are a beginner in archery / hunting then this introductary will provide you with everything you need to know about crossbow bolts and arrows, what the difference between a crossbow bolt and an arrow is, and what are the most essential factors to take into account when buying new crossbow bolts or arrows.

Each crossbow bolt and arrow has been thoroughly tested and reviewed by the ForgottenHunter team, so you can buy the best crossbow bolts out there!

12 Best Crossbow Bolts and Arrows of 2020

NameAvailable length(s)Total weight in grains(incl field tip)NockMaterial
Carbon Express Maxima Hunter

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20"390 grainsHalf-moon nocksCarbon
REEGOX BIO Crossbow Bolts

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16"
18"
20"
368 grains
380 grains
425 grains
Half-moon nocksCarbon
Excalibur Diablo 18" Carbon Arrows

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18"352-grainsFlatback insert which means no need for nocksCarbon
Barnett 16075 Outdoors Carbon Crossbow 20-Inch Arrows

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20"396-grainsHalf-moon nocksCarbon
BloodSport 20-Inch Crossbow Bolts

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20"
22"
425-grainsHalf-moon nocksCarbon
SHARROW Carbon Crossbow 20-Inch Arrows

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20"425-grainsHalf-moon nocksCarbon
Ravin R138 20-Inch 400-Grain Carbon Crossbow Bolts

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20"400-grainsRavin clip-on nocksCarbon
Black Eagle Zombie Slayer Arrows

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20"425-grainsHalf-moon nocksCarbon
TenPoint XX75 Aluminum Crossbow Arrows

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20"435-grainsTenpoint's Omni nocksAluminum
TenPoint 20-Inch Pro Elite 400 Carbon Crossbow Arrows

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20"400-grainsTenpoint's Alpha-Brite NocksCarbon
Carbon Express Piledriver DS Hunter Vanes

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31.5"
31.5”
300-grains
320-grains
Capture nocksCarbon
Easton Full Metal Jacket Arrows

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32"250(11.5gpi) & 300(12.0gpi) & 340(11.3gpi), 400(10.2gpi) & 500(9.1gpi) Pre-installed bright red X NockHigh-strength carbon core with 7075 alloy metal jacket

When is it a crossbow bolt and when is it an arrow?

To answer that question you have to look at the history of the crossbow, which actually goes all the way back to the ancient Greeks who already invented crossbow-like hunting/combat tools.

But I will focus on the medieval times of Europe where the term bolt originated from. In Europe(12th century), crossbows were the most used ranged weapons used by soldiers of various European armies.

The projectiles or “bolts” as they called them, were only used for crossbows. They were shorter than the arrows they used for their longbows and they were much, much heavier.

These medieval crossbow bolts had no fletchings or vanes. Some of the bolts were even completely made of metal, these bolts could penetrate through chainmail, causing devastating deadly blows.

Historians are still speculating about the exact origin of the word “bolt”. The mainstream idea shared by many historians is that the word is derived from “a bolt of lightning.”

The crossbow projectiles were so fast and their impact so devastating that the soldiers called them “A bolt out of the blue”.

Crossbow bolts from medieval times

Today the best crossbow bolts typically measure a length in the range of 16-22 inches and arrows in the range of 27-32 inches. However, most crossbow brands say that today’s crossbows shoot arrows but also acknowledge that the terms bolt and arrow are interchangeable for crossbows. So today technically both terms are correct.

“If it’s under 16 inches, it’s a bolt,” says Phillip Bednar, director of marketing for TenPoint Crossbows. “Sixteen inches or more is considered an arrow. We shoot 20- and 22-inch arrows.”

The anatomy of a crossbow bolt

Every crossbow bolt or arrow, regardless of its nature, brand, manufacturer, or length consists of a shaft, which is the main body of the bolt, with a point or broadhead attached to the front end for penetration.

Most modern bolts come with fletching/vanes to stabilize the bolt’s trajectory when it is fired, they are the wings(vanes) that are found at the back of the bolt. The best crossbow bolts typically have three vanes that are shorter than the fletchings of your traditional arrow.

The last important part of a bolt is the nock, this is a small piece of plastic or aluminum that is attached to the bottom end of the bolt’s shaft. It helps to keep the bolt in place when you draw your crossbow. All parts will be discussed in this introductory.

An example of a modern crossbow bolt

Most important things to consider when buying crossbow bolts and arrows

Check your crossbow’s requirements and warranty

The first and the most important thing to do when you’re planning to buy some new bolts or arrows for your crossbow is to check your crossbow’s requirements that are laid out in the crossbow’s user’s manual(if there is no user manual included in the package you can often find the instructions on the website of the brand of the crossbow).

Crossbow bolts and arrows that are not compatible with a particular crossbow can damage the crossbow, or even worse be hazardous for your health. Also, when you use a bolt that does not meet the manufacturer’s recommended specifications could void your warranty.

The most important things consider are; the proper length of the shaft and what type of nock should be used. I will explain all of this below but first, let’s take a look at the materials used for crossbow bolts and arrows.

Shaft material

The best crossbow bolts and arrows used for hunting today are made of carbon fiber, aluminum, or a combination of both. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks that I will describe below.

Carbonfiber shafts

Carbon shafts are most commonly used by crossbow hunters today. They are stronger, more durable, have a stiffer spine, and weigh less compared to aluminum shafts. Because they are lighter than aluminum crossbow bolts they are faster and have flatter shooting trajectories. They are the best choice for faster crossbows. Shafts that are made of carbon also have the advantage that they can flex and bend without breaking.

Pros
  • Penetrates the best
  • More Accurate
  • Ability to flex and bend without breaking
  • Less wind drift
  • “Flatter” shooting
Cons
  • More expensive than aluminum shafts
  • Repairing carbon crossbow bolts is more difficult

Aluminum shafts

Bolts that are made from high-grade aircraft aluminum are cheaper than carbon arrows and they are less durable on impact. Aluminum arrows bend easier, so you should keep a close eye on whether they are still straight. Once an aluminum shaft is bent, it is very difficult to straighten it again, However, they are relatively easy to repair if you have the proper tools.

Aluminum bolts have a stiffer spine and they usually weigh more because the aluminum is denser than a shaft made of carbon fiber. They do offer a high level of accuracy and energy, an aluminum bolt reaches its target faster.

Pros
  • High level of accuracy and energy
  • Precise weight and spine specs
  • More weight to them
  • Easy to repair with the proper tools
  • Cheaper
Cons
  • Less durable on impact
  • Bends easier

Aluminum and carbon-fiber shafts

You also have bolt shafts that are made from a combination of aluminum and carbon-fiber. These shafts consist of a layer of aluminum and a layer of carbon, like for example the Easton Full Metal Jacket(which is included in the buyer’s guide section of this article) they combine the best of both worlds. They are strong, light, and can fly far. They are slightly more expensive than carbon shafts.

Pros
  • Combines the best of both worlds
  • Improved precision and penetration
  • Extra weight to stabilize arrow flight
Cons
  • Most expensive

Fiberglass and wooden shafts

There are also bolts and arrows with fiberglass and wooden shafts but these are not safe to use with most modern crossbows. I wouldn’t recommend buying them for crossbow usage(unless the user manual of your crossbow says otherwise).

Weight of the shaft

Now that you know which material you prefer for the shaft, the next thing that you need to do is to determine the correct weight of the shaft. The weight of a crossbow bolt or arrow is the most important factor for penetration and it plays a major role in how much range you will have with it. So you definitely want to pick bolts with the right weight to them for your crossbow.

It is really important that the weight of a series of crossbow bolts is identical. A heavier arrow has more mass and maintains its speed longer, while a lighter arrow slows down sooner but also reaches its target faster. Side winds make it more difficult for a heavier arrow to leave its course.

Weight of a crossbow bolt measured in grains

Bolt manufacturers express the weight of a bolt shaft and arrow shaft in either the total weight in “grains” (for example 400-grain) or with a GPI (Grains-Per-Inch) value. A GPI value can easily be converted into the total weight in grains.

To calculate this by taking the length of a bolt’s shaft in inches (for example 20″) and multiply it with the GPI(for example(GPI20″), then you get the total weight of the bolt in grains, which is in the example’s case 20 x 20 = 400 grains total.

Important is that you add the 100-grains from the field point to get the total weight of the bolt, so the bolt of our example weighs 500 grains total.

The best way to find crossbow bolts with the correct weight for your crossbow is to check the manufacturer’s recommendations or requirements, which should be included in the user manual.

Lightweight bolts(350 to 399 grains)

Lightweight bolts are the best crossbow bolts for field practice and competition shooting, they are the ideal bolts for beginners to get some experience before using the heavier bolts and arrows. Because they are so light in weight they reach high speeds with a flatter trajectory than heavier bolts and they drop less fast.

The lightweight of these bolts also makes them more susceptible to rain and wind. Important to consider is that the lighter a bolt is the less energy it transfers to the limbs of your crossbow. This results in excess vibration, which is not good for your crossbow’s durability, especially if you have a high-velocity crossbow.

Standard weight bolts(400 to 459 grains)

Standard weight bolts are the most commonly used bolts for modern crossbows today. They of course suffer less from wind and rain than the lightweight bolts, and they are much more accurate over long distances. Standard weight bolts are the best crossbow bolts for hunting smaller to medium-sized animals, like a beautiful large whitetail buck.

Heavyweight bolts(460 grains and above)

Heavyweight bolts are only meant to be fired from for high-velocity crossbows, they are the best crossbow bolts for hunting the bigger animals, like elk, moose, and bears.

Heavyweight bolts deliver the maximum kinetic energy and offer the greatest knock-down power. They are the best in-flight stability and are the least likely to deflect in windy conditions. They do lose trajectory downrange, dropping rapidly at longer distances, so proper judgment of target distance is crucial.

Length, spine, diameter, and straightness

Length

As I mentioned before, crossbow bolts measure a length in the range of 16-22 inches with the average being 20 inches, and arrows in the range of 27-32 inches, as I mentioned before, the terms are interchangeable for crossbows.

The best thing you can do to determine the correct bolt length for your crossbow is to check the requirements of your crossbow in the owner’s manual and see what length the manufacturers recommend.

What is most important is that you never have a bolt shorter than the crossbow groove, or you risk damaging the crossbow. The proper bolt length for your crossbow should be the same as the groove of the crossbow.

Spine stiffness rating

The spine is a measure of the strength or stiffness of the shaft of a bolt or arrow. The spine of a bolt or arrow plays a big role in the departure and flight of the arrow.

The spine stiffness rating of a shaft is measured as followed: The arrow shaft is placed on 2 supports at a distance of 1″ from the ends of the arrow. In the middle of the shaft, a weight of 2 lbs is placed. The deflection caused is measured and must be equal over 360°.

Different spine types

You can categorize spines into two types; static spine and dynamic spine. You also have bolt and arrows with a dual spine. A bolt or an arrow with a double spine contains both spine types.

Carbon arrows are labeled to indicate their spine deflection. These spine sizes range from 260 to 500. A value of 260 indicates the stiffest spine and a value of 500 indicates the lightest and most flexible spine.

Note: Any spine over 400 is recommended for crossbows.

Carbon-aluminum arrows are also measured by spine deflection. An example of a spine stiffness rating for carbon-aluminum combination shafts: 3-60/340 means three wraps of carbon-fiber with an aluminum core tube diameter of 60 and a spine stiffness rating of 340.

Aluminum arrows are labeled by their outside diameter and the wall thickness of the shaft.

Diameter

The shafts of crossbow bolts and arrows have a fixed inner diameter (ID), and an outside diameter of either 9/32″ or 5/16″.

There are also smaller diameter bolts. They’re referred to as Slim, Micro-Diameter, or Ultra-Micro Diameter, they typically have a diameter of 1/4″ up to 17/64″ O.D.

A big downside of these small diameter shafts is that they don’t accept standard nocks and inserts. The small-diameter shafts would penetrate better in theory, but in practice, this is difficult to prove.

Note: crossbow bolts should have a minimum inside diameter of .297″.

Straightness

Most carbon crossbow bolts and arrows are advertised to have a straightness tolerance between .001″ and .006″.

The best crossbow bolts have a straightness of 0.01″. The straighter a bolt is, the less chance it has of bending in flight, and the more expensive the bolt will usually be.

Picking the right nock

The nock is a small piece made from either plastic or aluminum in most cases, and it is attached to the back of the shaft of the bolt behind the fletching/vanes.

The purpose of a nock is to ensure proper arrow & string alignment when the bolt is in place as you line up for the shot.

Due to the variations in string thickness and arrow diameter, there are various sizes and types available. There are also various colors available. Always check your nock points for defects, a defective nock can give your arrow a very strange swing.

Note: The string of a crossbow must always click properly into the nock or you risk dry firing your crossbow.

There are basically four knock design types out there, flat moon nocks, half-moon nocks, half-moon hybrid nocks, and capture nocks. I will explain all of them below.

Note: Crossbow manufacturers have different recommendations for the type of nocks that should be used on bolts fired from their crossbows. You should always stick with their recommendations.

Note: If your crossbow manufacturers recommend you to shoot flat nocks, you can also shoot a bolt or arrow with a moon nock, hybrid nock, or flat nock. BUT when they recommend using moon nocks you CANNOT shoot flat nocks, or you risk damaging the crossbow, and more importantly, it could be hazardous to your health.

Flat nock

The flat nock is as its name suggests, a nock with a flat surface allows the string to apply mechanical force to the arrow and launch it from the crossbow. It is the oldest design for a nock. With flat nocks, there is no concern about how they are oriented, the arrow can be installed in any vane orientation,

Half-moon nock

The half-moon nock features a concave groove that aligns with the crossbow’s string. A half moon nock ensures that the crossbow string remains in the ridge when the trigger is released and stays with the arrow axis throughout the launch cycle.

String-to-nock alignment of the groove is important with half moon nocks. Correctly index the moon nock bolt when placed on the flight deck. If an arrow with a half moon nock is not correctly indexed it can lead to the drying of the crossbow.

Half-moon hybrid nock

A half-moon hybrid nock is a moon nock with multiple concave cutouts. They fit on the string of your crossbow like a moon nock but you can mount the arrow to the string in multiple vane configurations like the flat nock.

Capture nocks

Capture nocks are essentially half-moon nocks but with deeper grooves. They still have flat surfaces and corners. The capture nock eliminates vertical travel of the string relative to the arrow axis.

An example of a flat nock
Flat nock
Half Moon Nocks Example
Half moon nocks
An example of a capture nock
Capture nock
An-example-of-a-Half-moon-hybrid-nock
Half moon hybrid nock

Lighted nocks

Lighted nocks are nocks that are illuminated, they have a LED light build into them. Crossbow bolts with lighted nocks are ideal for when you find yourself hunting in dark situations.

The lighted nocks allow you to see the arrow impact the animal you’re shooting at and the light makes it of course easier to track the animal and retrieve the bolt.

Note: They are not legal in all states so check your state’s regulations if you want to use lighted nocks for hunting.

Lighted nocks

Brand specific nocks

Some crossbow brands come with custom nocks(which are mostly half-moon hybrid nocks) for their crossbow bolts.

For example: the Omni-Nock from Tenpoint design features six micro-grooves that form three bowstring channels that eliminate the indexing problem associated with half-moon and capture nocks.

Tenpoint’s Omni-Nock also prevents flat-nock “shoot-over” or “shoot-under”, a growing problem with today’s narrow crossbows with acute string angles. These nocks are to be used on specific crossbows that require them.

Tip

Crossbow bolts and field points

Target arrow tips called field points or target points are designed to be aerodynamic for the best arrow flight. They are used for target practice or competition shooting.

Crossbow Bolt and arrow tips typically weigh 100 or 125 grains(which is most often included in the total weight in grains an arrow is labeled/marketed with.)

Crossbow bolts and broadheads

A broadhead is an arrow point with two or more blades that can be attached to the shaft of an arrow or bolt, replacing its field tip.

The purpose of a broadhead is to create the necessary blood loss needed to hunt bigger game animals like for example; an Elk, Buffalo, or bears.

Broadheads weigh from 75-grain to 150-grain. If you want to pair the best crossbow bolts and broadheads of 2020, you can check out this article, where I tackle all broadhead related questions and explain to you step-by-step how to pick the best broadheads for your crossbow bolts or arrows.

Installing some broadheads on the best crossbow bolts and arrows

Best Crossbow Bolts and Arrows of 2020 – Reviews

Lichtweight bolts (350 to 399 grains)

Carbon Express Maxima Hunter

Carbon Express Maxima Hunter

The Maxima Hunter from Carbon Express is made of premium-grade lightweight carbon and some of their best crossbow bolts to date.

They give hunters more speed and tighter groups at the range or in the stand. They are factory Fletched with 3″ Fusion vanes.

Carbon Express’s game-changing Dual-Spine and Tri-Spine technologies control the flex of an arrow’s dynamic spine to deliver up to 4X the accuracy of a traditional single spine shaft.

The Carbon Express Maxima Hunter Crossbolt arrows feature Dual Spine Weight Forward technology for rapid recovery and optimizing trajectory to ensure greater down-range shot placement for better flight and consistency.

Forward technology archers can expect half the oscillation and twice the accuracy from broadhead-tipped arrows. Offering faster and tighter tolerances than traditional carbon crossbow bolts, the weight forward design provides more retained speed downrange and improved accuracy.

The patented BuffTuff Plus carbon weave provides superior durability and accuracy. They are some of the finest lightweight crossbow bolts for field practice and for hunting small to medium-sized animals.

These arrows are 20″ long and weigh 390 grains. They have a straightness tolerance of +-.0025. Inserts and moon nocks installed, flat nocks included.

Pros
  • Dual Spine Weight Forward technology
  • Accurate
  • Fly straight
  • Durable
  • Available in 20″ and 22″
Cons
  • They have a tight diameter, this makes it difficult to find the right nocks for the bolts

REEGOX Bio

Reegox Bio Crossbow Bolts

These lightweight crossbow bolts from REEGOX are the best crossbow bolts for beginners and youth hunters.

They are a great budget option for some fine field practice/target shooting crossbow arrows. You can also hunt smaller-medium game animals with them, they are very accurate, fly straight, and penetrate well.

They are made from high tensile strength carbon, this makes them remarkably durable for budget crossbow bolts, it’s the main factor why I decided to include them on this list. They are very accurate and fly straight.

These REEGOX Bio crossbow bolts are the best crossbow bolts for target shooting and you can also hunt small animals with them.

The bolts are 16 inches in length, they weigh 368 grain(including 125 gr field points) and they come with 4″ vanes. These bolts have a straightness tolerance of ±.006.

You get 12 bolts in the package with field points and inserted moon nocks.

Pros
  • Durable
  • The standard point, insert and nock allow you to obtain accessories for repair with ease
  • designed for beginners and youth hunters
  • Budget-friendly
Cons
  • Prone to bending at high speeds
  • Made in China

Barnett 16075 Headhunter Outdoors

Barnett 16075 Headhunter Outdoors

These 16075 headhunters Outdoors are some of the best crossbow bolts Barnett ever designed. The lightweight carbon shafts have improved wall thickness for added durability and strength.

The black arrows are 20″ long and sport 3″ orange vanes, they fly true and they are highly accurate. They are specially made for the Barnett crossbows but also do very well on other brands.

They are better balanced than the other cheaper arrows on this list. The Barnett 16075 Headhunter Outdoors crossbow bolts are good for field practice and for hunting small to medium size animals, like deer and pronghorns.

The Barnett 16075 Headhunter Outdoors crossbow bolts are 20″ in length and weigh 400 grain(including a 100-grain field tip.) They come with 3″ vanes.

These bolts have a straightness tolerance of ±.003. The package includes 5 arrows matched with 100-grain points, also includes a 24F field point and moon nocks.

Pros
  • Includes limited five-year manufacturer’s warranty
  • Fly straight and true.
  • Great for target practice and hunting small-medium size animals
  • Good beginner crossbow bolts
  • Durable
  • Budget-friendly
Cons
  • Vanes can come loose after extensive use

Excalibur Diablo

Excalibur Diablo

Excalibur has teamed with arrow manufacturer, Easton, to develop the best crossbow bolts for the Excalibur Matrix series.

The Diablo Carbon crossbow bolts are designed specifically for compact recurve crossbows. They feature a heavier front insert, which increases front-of-center weight for enhanced accuracy.

Designed with a flatback insert, which means no need for nocks which gives you much more reliable contact with the string.

These arrows are equipped with a screw tip so you can easily replace them later on.

Thanks to the flat nock it doesn’t matter how you put them on you. The nock is threaded to use the special Excalibur arrow puller to pull the arrows out of the target.

These crossbow bolts are a fine pick for field practice and for hunting small to medium size animals like Deer and pronghorns

The shafts of the Excalibur Diablo crossbow bolts are 18″ in length and feature 2″ vanes. They weigh 352-grains and they have a straightness tolerance of ±.001″.

The bolts have a flatback insert which means no need for nocks. They come in a 6-pack.

Pros
  • Accurate
  • Durable
  • Good custumer service
Cons
  • Colors of the fletching can vary 

Standard weight bolts (400 to 459 grains)

BloodSport Bloodhunter

Bloodsport Bloodhunter crossbow bolts

The Bloodsport original Hunter crossbow arrow doesn’t sacrifice quality or precision at the expense of value. This crossbow arrow is the perfect companion on any crossbow hunt.

They fly true, are highly accurate, and penetrate well. The aluminum crossbow bolts work exceptionally well with today’s high-speed crossbows but also with 150lb crossbow’s.

They offer a great weight for retained energy and terminal performance. They are the best crossbow bolts for hunting deer in 2020.

You can choose between 20″ and 22″ and they come with factory fletched w/ 4″ vanes. They have an overall weight of 325 grains, and pre-installed brass inserts and moon nocks.

These Bloodsport crossbow bolts have a straightness tolerance of +-. 003. Each arrow includes a 12-grain aluminum insert.

Available in 300, 350, 400 or 500 spine and you can choose a 6-pack or 36-pack. They come without field points.

Pros
  • Accurate
  • Fly straight and true
  • Durable
  • Reusability
  • Good for high-speed crossbows as well as the 150lb crossbows
Cons
  • Often not labeled correctly, causing confusion for costumers

SHARROW Crossbow bolts

Sharrow Crossbow bolts

These budget carbon crossbow bolts from SHARROW are specially designed for crossbows but they are also suited for conventional bows. The lightweight carbon shafts have improved wall thickness for added durability.

They feature 4″ vanes, two blue one white and they come with removable tips, so you can attach different broadheads easily.

The SHARROW bolts are the best budget standard-weight budget crossbow bolts for field practice and for hunting small to medium-sized animals.

My only point of critique is that the crossbow bolts from SHARROW are poorly packaged.

The bolts are 20″ long and weigh 425-grains. They come with half-moon nocks and field points. You can buy them in a pack of 6, 12 or 24.

Pros
  • Good quality 
  • Very reasonable cost
  • Fly with accuracy and give compatible groupings
Cons
  • Poor packaging

Ravin R138

Ravin R138

These crossbow bolts from Ravin are remarkably quiet and very hard-hitting. The R138 crossbow arrows from Ravin have a premium carbon construction.

They are designed for superior accuracy, speed, kinetic energy, and durability. They have 2” high-profile offset vanes and they weigh 400-grain total(including field tip or broadhead).

The Ravin R138 crossbow bolts are a fine pick for field practice and for hunting small to medium size animals like White-tailed Deer, and pronghorn.

The package includes 6 20″ long arrows(without field points) with brass inserts and aluminum nock bushings. Each Ravin R138 arrow is 100% laser checked to be within ± .003″ straightness factor.

Note: Raven only recommends using their arrows and knocks due to the cocking and safety mechanism. I recommend you use these arrows for Ravin crossbows only!

Note: Use only Ravin-branded arrows with Ravin clip-on nocks!

Pros
  • Highly accurate
  • Quiet
  • Premium carbon construction makes them durable
Cons
  • Only for Ravin crossbows

Black Eagle Zombie Slayer

Black Eagle Zombie Slayer

Black Eagle’s Zombie Slayer carbon crossbow arrows are designed to optimize long-range accuracy. They are very accurate and penetrate well. What makes our Zombie Slayers a critical part of your arsenal is the unmatched durability.

Black Eagle test their shafts by shooting through 3/4″ pressure treated plywood and several other materials. The arrows have 2″ vanes(Flo-Yellow or Flo-Orange).

The Zombie Slayer bolts from Black Eagle are suitable for all speeds and all types of crossbows and a fine pick for practice shooting and for hunting small to medium-sized animals like deer and pronghorns.

The Arrows are manufactured with the tightest ± 0.001″ straightness tolerances to ensure you never miss that critical shot. They are 25% stiffer than Black Eagle’s executioner arrows.

They are equipped with Zombie Slayer Brass Inserts.

They come in three sizes; (18″ Arrow – 92 Grain) (20” Arrow -110 Grain) (22” Arrow – 92 Grain). Flo-Yellow Half Moon Nocks & Flat Nocks Included (Installed and Removable).

The nocks are pressed fit and are not glued. You can buy them in a 6-pack.

Pros
  • Very tough
  • Reusability
  • Fly straight and true
  • Good for field practice, hunting small to medium-sized animals, and shooting zombies
Cons
  • As soon as carbon is damaged and starts splintering, the arrow can no longer be used

Tenpoint XX75 Magnum

Tenpoint XX75 Magnum

Tenpoint’s XX75 Magnum aluminum arrows by Easton are 20-inch long and weigh 435-grain (with included 100-grain practice tip).

Fletched with slightly offset AAE EP-40 Elite Plastifletch 3 7/8″ vanes (vane colors can vary) which are engineered for consistent accuracy.

The arrows are very accurate and consistent. A 2.5-Inch group at 50-yards, 7.6% loss of speed over 50-yards, 15.9% loss of KE over 50-yards.

Fitted with a neon-orange Omni-nock, which features six micro-grooves that form three bowstring channels that eliminate the indexing problem associated with half-moon nocks and capture nocks.

The Tenpoint XX75 Magnum crossbow bolts are some of the best crossbow bolts with aluminum shafts, keep in mind that they are prone to bending and less durable on impact compared to carbon shaft crossbow bolts.

Suitable for all speeds and all types of crossbows, they are good for practice shooting and for hunting small to medium-sized animals.

Tenpoint XX75 Magnum crossbow bolts are 20″ long and weigh 435-grain.

The bolts are inspected for straightness to within .003-inch and hand-sorted for weight tolerance to within two grains per dozen. They come in a 6-pack.

Pros
  • High build quality
  • Very accurate
  • Good for practice and hunting
  • Lighted nocks
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Less durable on impact
  • Prone to bending

TenPoint Pro Elite 400

TenPoint Pro Elite 400

The Pro Elite 400 20-inch carbon crossbow arrows are strong, heavy hitting arrows that can handle higher FPS crossbows.

They are fitted with a 61-grain aluminum insert, fletched with slightly offset 3.5″ Bohning X Vanes, and they feature TenPoint’s white Alpha-Nock and receiver for quick lighted nock installation.

The Pro Elite 400 weighs 25 grains less than the original Pro Elites did.

Pro Elite shafts are inspected for straightness to within .003 and hand-sorted for weight tolerance to within 2-grains per dozen.

The only criticism I have is the ease by which the alpha-nocks come off. 

The Pro Elite 400 bolts are the best crossbow bolts for 400 fps crossbows and a fine pick for some practice shooting and for hunting medium to large animals.

Available in a 3-pack or 6-pack. The Alpha-Nock can be used in any TenPoint, Wicked Ridge, or Horton Crossbow Innovations crossbow. 

Use of the Alpha-Nock in any of these crossbows will not void the warranty, even if your crossbow originally required the use of a flat nock or Omni-Nock.

Pros
  • Greater penetration
  • Durable
  •  LED light helps to track the shot
Cons
  • Be carefull with the nocks, they fall off easier.

Heayweigth crossbow arrows (460 grains and above)

Carbon Express PileDriver DS Hunter

Carbon Express PileDriver Hunter DS

The Piledriver DS Hunter is Carbon Express’s heaviest crossbow bolts (arrows) to date in the Carbon Express line.

It is one of the best heavy-duty arrows out there that flies well and is highly accurate delivering tremendous knock-down power.

The arrow is built with weight forward technology. This means that the shaft of the arrow is made of a fusion of different carbon materials that actually creates 2 spines.

The benefits of a dual spine design vs a single spine design are that they manage energy better, they also make the arrows recover faster and spin 20% sooner to retain more speed, and to deliver more broadhead accuracy then it’s competition.

Even though this is a heavyweight arrow it still has a fairly flat trajectory and holds consistent groupings.

I also tested various broadheads with the arrow and I noticed a big difference with broadhead accuracy compared to the other heavyweight arrows on this list.

The front section of the shaft has the patented Mossy Oak Break-Up BuffTuff finish, which is a tough and quiet carbon arrow finish. It gives the arrow more durability and the arrow is noticeably more quiet to draw.

These shafts come with nocks and inserts. Field points are sold separately. The PileDriver DS Hunter bolts are some of the best crossbow bolts for hunting the biggest game out there, like Elk, moose and bears.

Each PileDriver DS Hunter arrow is 100% laser checked to be within ±0.0035” straightness factor and the arrow has a weight tolerance of ±1.0 grain.

They have a full length of 32 inches, so you will need to have them cut to your draw length to fit your crossbow. They come in 5 different spine sizes(see table).

Pros
  • Weight forward technology
  • Less Oscillation, faster Recovery, Superior Accuracy
  • Greater penetration
  • Durable
  • Does not bend
  • Higher weight, so better suited for hunting.
Cons
  • As soon as carbon is damaged and starts splintering, the arrow can no longer be used
  • Does not include field points with the product.
  • Expensive
  • Not for beginners

Easton Full Metal Jacket

Easton Full Metal Jacket

These crossbow arrows from Easton have devastating knockdown power. Because the Easton Full Metal Jacket crossbow arrow is made with a high-strength carbon core inside and an aluminum layer on top(Ful Metal Jacket) they are very strong and stiff.

The heavier weight and the aluminum makes it easier to get the arrow out of the targets than carbon arrows.

In addition, this arrow’s design ensures maximum penetration of your target. The included points are interchangeable so you can replace them later. This arrow has 3x 3″ BTV Easton vanes, specially developed for crossbows.

An ideal arrow if you want to shoot long distance (more accurate than light arrows) and an ideal hunting arrow because of its weight.

The shafts come with pre-installed bright red X Nocks and inserts. and the package includes 6 Fletched Arrow shafts(Field points – sold separately).

They are 32 inches in length, so you will need to have them cut to fit your crossbow.

The Fullmetal Jacket bolts from Easton are some of the best crossbow bolts for hunting the biggest game out there, like elk, moose, and bears

Each Fullmetal Jacket is laser checked to be within ± .002” straightness factor. You can buy them in a six-pack.

Pros
  • Carbon Core With 7075 Alloy Metal Jacket
  • Easier to pull out of targets.
  • Does not bend
  • Greater penetration
  • Springs are Easton special 3BTV springs for crossbows
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Not for beginners

Frequently asked questions regarding crossbow bolts and arrows

How to cut crossbow bolts or arrow shafts to the proper length

Cutting my crossbow bolts

I strongly recommend just going to a local pro shop and tell them to cut your arrows, but if you want to do it yourself, you will need a tube cutter, a rubber band, a ruler and a stick or pencil.

Cutting carbon and fiberglass shafts

First, you need to determine what length you want the shaft to be. Place a rubber band on the shaft of the arrow. Wrap it around the shaft a few times so that it is tight. Put the arrow on the bowstring and pull the bow back.

Note: where the rubber band is when you draw full draw in relation to the front of the bow.

Place the ruler on the shaft of the arrow and make a mark inches from the rubber band at the end of the tip. This is the minimum arrow length mark. Put a pencil or stick in the inside of the shaft so the hollow shaft won’t collapse. Now use the tube cutter to shorten the shaft.

Depending on the length of the bolt or arrow, it should allow several cuts. If you need to cut the shaft then mark the minimum length to the right arrow flight.

Cutting aluminum shafts

For cutting aluminum bolts and arrows you need a different tube cutter. Essentially the process is the same. However, I strongly advise you to wear protective gloves and a protective headpiece during the cutting process.

Replacing vanes on crossbow bolts

To fletch arrows and bolts, you will need, some fletching glue, vanes, a fletching jig, some paper towels. First, put the shaft in the fletching jig. Now remove the old glue as much as possible with a blunt knife.

Degrease the shaft and the new vanes with acetone. Put some glue on the vane and press the vane on the exact place on the tube. Whip away the excess glue with a paper towel. Now leave it to dry for a couple of minutes.

What crossbow bolts should I buy for pistol crossbows?

The pistol crossbow is a slightly smaller version of the well-known products in the category crossbow. This type of crossbow makes it possible to shoot accurately with small bolts at short distances.

Bolts for pistol crossbows are typically 6 inches or 9 inches. Aluminum bolts are recommended for pistol crossbows.

What are the best crossbow targets for practice shooting

In this article, we list our picks of the best crossbow targets in 2020 and why we recommend each target. In the article we’ll also explain the different types of crossbow targets available and what features you want to look for before you buy a crossbow target. The article also includes a target that is designed for broadhead target practice.

Doing some target shooting with crossbow bolts and arrows

To wrap it up

Which crossbow bolts or arrows are the right picks for you depends on many factors, apart from all factors already mentioned in this article it also depends on your budget and personal hunting style.

We hope we have been able to help you find the right bolt or arrow for your crossbow. If you are not entirely sure which crossbow bolt or arrow suits your situation best, please feel free to leave a comment if you have any other questions regarding crossbow bolts and arrows, we will be happy to help you out.

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