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Choosing Crossbow Arrows: 3 Things to Think About

Choosing crossbow arrows? Make sure to take these tips into consideration.

MK-AL16-2T Are you looking to make your next crossbow arrow purchase? Perhaps you’ve just got your first crossbow, or maybe you are looking to experiment with different types of arrows for your crossbow. Whatever your predicament, here are three factors to consider when choosing crossbow arrows.

Carbon or Aluminum

Archers of today have several different arrow materials to choose from and should be the first area for consideration when choosing crossbow arrows. The two most popular materials today are aluminum and carbon. Aluminum arrows are heavier, which offers several advantages. For starters, a heavier arrow will possess more kinetic energy than a lighter and will also be quieter when shot. On the other hand, the lighter carbon arrows will shoot faster than aluminum arrows. Another area of interest lies in the diameter of the shafts. Aluminum arrows must have a larger diameter since their strength decreases as they get smaller. Carbon arrows maintain thinner shafts while not losing strength. With a smaller shaft diameter, carbon arrows experience less friction while hitting a target and will generally have better penetration.


The next aspect of your arrow that needs to be considered is length. In the past choosing arrow length was determined by many factors. Today crossbow shooters have the luxury of being able to reference the owner’s manual for correct arrow length. Buying arrows of the correct length is important since the length of the arrow will change the flight of the arrow. Make sure to follow the guidelines your bow’s manufacturer suggests.

Nock type

Finally when choosing crossbow arrows you have to decide on the nock type you wish to use. The first type of nock available is the flat nock. The flat nock has no grooves for the string and therefore can’t be loaded incorrectly. This type of crossbow nock is the oldest style and has withstood the test of time. Another choice for archers is the half moon nock. Half moon nocks have a small groove in the nock to accept the string. While this leads to more accurate string position, shooters must also load these arrows the same every time. Still another type of nock is the capture nock. Similar to vertical bow nocks, this nock actually captures the string when it is “snapped” on. Finally, manufactures are offering nocks that are referred to as universal nocks. Think of a half moon nock that has been carved so the arrow can’t be placed on incorrectly. It comes down to personal preference on nock type, with each style offering advantages. At the end of the day choosing crossbow arrows is an important decision and will impact your accuracy, effectiveness, and enjoyment while out shooting. Keep these simple tips in mind when making your next arrow purchase and you’ll always be shooting straight.
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