You forgot about one of the most essential tools for your bowhunting arsenal, and that is your crossbow bolts.
I’ve been there.
If you are in need of new crossbow bolts, then you need to stop what you are doing and read this article before buying any.
It is imperative that you read this article because I am going to go through critical aspects such as broadhead weight, the length of the arrows, the type of material used to manufacture the shaft and also the type of nock.
Without this information, you stand the chance of choosing the wrong arrows for your crossbow. I am also going to go over the ten best crossbow bolts for deer hunting. Please remember that I will interchange between the terms arrows and bolts for the sake of simplicity.
How to Choose The Right Crossbow Bolts For Deer Hunting
So you came this far and still could not decide which bolts to choose from. Fortunately for you, I have created this straightforward guide that will go over 4 of the most important aspects that you need to look at before buying arrows for your crossbow.
The 4 most important aspects mentioned in this section will be the type of material used, the length of the arrows, the kind of knock and also the weight which is measured in grains.
All of these factors will play a role in the cost, performance and the overall accuracy of these arrows.
I will also highlight the best arrow for each aspect which will make it easier for you to choose an arrow If a specific issue is critical to you.
Without further ado let’s get started with the first one.
1. The type of material used
There are two types of materials used when manufacturing crossbow bolts, and it includes aluminum and carbon fiber. Each one of these materials will have its positives and also negatives.
For me, my favorite material is going to be carbon fiber because it is lightweight and also durable.
Compared to carbon fiber arrows, aluminum arrows are way cheaper. The reason for this is that it is easier to manufacture aluminum arrows then carbon fiber arrows. The only drawback about aluminum arrows is that they are usually thicker than carbon fiber arrows which might not be ideal for hunting deer because thinner arrows tend to penetrate deeper.
Over time aluminum arrows also tend to bend which will make it less accurate. Aluminum arrows might be a good candidate for target practice instead of hunting.
If you would like to get your hands on an aluminum arrow, then I would highly recommend the arrows from Wicked Ridge.
b) Carbon Arrows
Carbon arrows, on the other hand, are lighter and also thinner compared to aluminum arrows. Carbon arrows also do not bend. the only con about carbon arrows is that they are harder to manufacture which will result in more expensive arrows.
2. The length of these arrows
When it comes to the length of crossbow bolts, I would highly recommend the 20 inch bolt. You will also notice that most crossbow manufacturers will recommend the 20 inch bolt.
The 20 inch and the 22 inch are the most popular sizes used when choosing arrows for crossbow hunting.
a) 20-inch arrow
The 20-inch arrow is shorter compared to the 22 inch (which is apparent). It is also fair to say that the 20-inch arrow is also lighter than the 22-inch arrow. As a rule of thumb, 20-inch arrows do not penetrate as deep as 22-inch arrows. For deer hunting the 20-inch is more than enough to take down the animal.
b) 22-inch arrow
The 22-inch arrow is heavier than the 20-inch which means it will penetrate deeper. This size can be used for deer hunting but is better used for larger game.
The best 22-inch arrow is going to be the Barnett Outdoors 22-Inch.
3. The types of nocks
There are three types of nocks available when shooting with crossbows. These nocks will include the half moon, the universal six groove nock and the Red hot capture nock.
a) Half moon nock
The half moon nock is the most common type of nock available. The opening at the end of the knock will be a half moon shape. This type of nock will provide the perfect fit for the string of your crossbow. The only drawback about this nock is the slow indexing time.
For half-moon nocks, I will recommend these arrows from BloodSport.
b) Universal 6 groove nock
This type of nock will have six grooves which will represent three indexing lanes for the string of your crossbow. This feature will provide a faster indexing time but will not offer a 100% fit to the string of your crossbow.
For these types of nocks, I will recommend the Tenpoint Pro Elite.
c) Red hot capture nock
This type of nock is very similar to that of the half moon nock. The only difference is that the Red-hot capture nock is much deeper than that of the half moon nock. This feature will make sure that the string will not slip away from the arrow.
Here, I will recommend the arrows from Parker.
d) Illuminated nocks
These nocks make the use of a battery to give it a glow. The benefit of these nocks is that you can see the path of your shot. They are also ideal for shooting at night.
The best nock in this category is the Lumenok.
4. The weight of the point
As you may have already noticed most of the arrows in this article will make use of a practice tip. It is not easy to buy and arrow online that already has a broad head tip installed.
The practice tip is perfect for shooting practice but not for hunting. This is where the broadhead tip comes to play. The most important thing to Remember is to choose a broadhead tip that is either equal in weight or more in weight than the practice tip.
You should never choose a broadhead tip that weighs less than the practice tip. If you decide to do so, you will compromise the health of your crossbow.
The average weight of the practice tips is between 100 to 150 grains which means that you must never choose a broadhead that weighs less than 100 grains.
#1 Carbon Express (Top Pick)
Best For: These crossbow bolts are best for intermediate to advanced crossbow hunters.
If you have ever wondered which crossbow Bolt was my favorite, then I would highly recommend the carbon Express. With this arrows, you will either get the 20 inch or the 22 inch in length. They made this arrow out of carbon fiber which gives it flexibility and strength.
The only downside about this product is that you will not receive any practice points which must be bought separately. You can also easily attached the broadheads onto this arrow that will enable you to hunt deer. Another nice feature about his arrows is that you will receive six half moon nocks and also six universal flat nocks. These arrows will also have 3-inch vanes which will also improve accuracy.
Best For: Best for the hunter that does want a good quality bolt and who also wants to save money.
For those crossbow hunters that want to save money on arrows while hunting will like this 12-pack from Antsir. The arrows are made out of Carbon, and the shaft is 20 inches long. These arrows are the least expensive option when you consider the cost per bolt. The nock is a half-moon shape that makes it a perfect fit for the string of your crossbow.
The vanes are 4 inches long and are triple bladed with two blue blades and one white blade.You can easily match these arrows with a 125-grain broadhead that you can attach before the hunt. Their total weight is about 28g, and the shaft is 13.75 grains per inch.
Best For: Best for hunters that want to follow the path of the arrow shot.
For the hunters that love to hunt at night and would also like to see their arrows fly at night will love these Lumenok arrows. These arrows make the use of brand lighted arrow nocks that come in the color red. This feature is especially useful for when you want to follow the path of your arrows. You can also replace the battery of the nocks for when the light goes dim which means that you can use these nocks over and over again.
These arrows are also 20-inches long and weigh 325 grains without the tip.The vanes are triple bladed with two yellow and one white blade. Regarding the price, this product is also the most expensive per arrow. These arrows also come in pairs of three. These bolts are also made out of carbon.
Best For: This product is ideal for serious hunters that want accuracy and sound quality.
When it comes to industry-leading crossbow bolts, then you do not need to look further than these bolts from BloodSport. They come in packs of six and are also 20 inches in length. These arrows are made out of carbon and are also sturdy and lightweight. Each arrow has a brass insert which can be used to insert broadheads.
The nocks are also half-moon shaped which makes it ideal for crossbows. The shaft of the arrow has a .003″ straightness. The shaft weights 325 grains. The vanes are 4″ long which include one two white and one red. The 150-pound crossbows are the best candidate for this arrow.
#5 Wicked Ridge
Best For: This product is the best for hunters that want a six-groove nock instead of a half-moon nock.
For hunters that are serious about hunting deer, I would advise the Wicked Ridge crossbow bolt. This bolt comes in size 20 inches which are the standard size for most hunting crossbows. You can either get the three or the six-pack size which are the only two sizing options available. The arrow weighs approximately 445-grain, and the tip is 100-grain (the shaft will weigh 345 without the tip).
This product makes the use of a six-groove nock which is different than the half-moon nock. This feature will give the arrow three bowstring channels which might improve the indexing. The nocks are also super bright which enhances the visibility of nock. Near the nock, there is also three Norway Duravanes which also has noise canceling properties.
Best For: This product is best for hunters that want to hunt deer.
I would highly recommend these Viare arrows for crossbow hunters that want an edge while hunting. These arrows come in the length of 20 inches and also comes in a pack of 12. The shaft of these arrows is made out of carbon which is an excellent material for bolts. These arrows also come with already attached field points which weigh 125 grains.
You can also remove these field points and then attach broadhead arrows for when you want to hunt deer. Each arrow will also have three 4-inch vanes attached near the nock which come in colors of two orange and one red. These arrows also make use of moon nocks.
Best For: These arrows are the best for hunters that are after the accuracy.
The arrows from Parker is one of my favorite in this listing because of their superior accuracy. These arrows are 20 inches in length and weigh about 300 grains without the point. The shaft also weights 7.4 grain per inch.Within this pack from Amazon, you will get six arrows.
These arrows are best suited for 175-pound crossbows. The veins are also 3 inches long with two green and one orange vein. The nock is also very different. This arrow makes the use of a red-hot capture nock where the string of the bow slides more deeper into the arrow.
#8 Tenpoint Pro Elite
Best For: These arrows are ideal for beginner to intermediate crossbow hunters.
The Tenpoint Pro Elite is one of the best crossbow bolts in the market today. They come in 20-inch lengths and also in packs of three or six. They made bolts out of Carbon fiber for added strength and flexibility. This arrow weighs 425 gains, and the practice tip weights 100 grains.
You can also remove the tip and replace it with a broadhead with the help of a 68-grain aluminum insert. This arrow makes the use of a neon yellow, bright Omni-nock that has six small grooves and three string indexing channels. This feature will allow for faster indexing times. There are also three vanes that are three-inches long that help with accuracy.
#9 Barnett Outdoors
Best For: If you want to shoot accurate consistently then these arrows are for you.
These arrows from Barnett Outdoors are a household name in the crossbow hunting industry. These arrows are 20 inches in length and also comes in 5 arrows per pack. They made the shaft of these arrows out of carbon fiber which makes it lightweight while the shaft is also thicker which adds to the durability. The weight of these arrows are 13.78 grains per inch, and the tip also weighs 100 grains.
These Arrows Make the use of half moon nocks. The total weight of these arrows of 400 grains including the 100-grain field Point. The color of the shaft is black while the colors of the vanes are red and orange. These arrows are ideal for cross behind is that Wants to shoot accurately on a consistent basis.
#10 Barnett Outdoors 22-Inch
Best For: Overall this is an excellent product for hunters that want to hunt with 22-inch arrows.
This is going to be the second product from Barnett Outdoors. The only difference is that these arrows are going to be 22 in length. These arrows only come in packages of five and are made out of carbon fiber which makes it lightweight and durable. The overall weight of these arrows is 13.78 grains per inch where you can also add a 100-grain practice tip.
You can remove the practice tip and replace it with a broadhead tip which makes it ideal for hunting deer and even other animals. These arrows also make use of half-moon nocks and also three vanes with the colors black and blue.
Crossbow Bolts Comparison Table
|Product Name||Type||Pack Size||Price|
|1. Carbon Express (Top Pick)||Carbon||6 Arrows||$$|
|2. Antsir (Budget Friendliest)||Carbon||12 Arrows||$|
|3. Lumenok (Luminated Nocks)||Carbon||3 Arrows||$$$$|
|4. BloodSport||Carbon||6 Arrows||$$|
|5. Wicked Ridge||Aluminum||6 Arrows||$|
|6. Viare||Carbon||12 Arrows||$|
|7. Parker||Carbon||6 Arrows||$$$|
|8. Tenpoint Pro Elite||Carbon||6 Arrows||$$$|
|9. Barnett Outdoors||Carbon||5 Arrows||$$$|
|10. Barnett Outdoors (22-Inch)||Carbon||5 Arrows||$$$|
I think after reading this article, you will have a better understanding of all the different types of arrows available for crossbow hunting.
In this article, I covered the different lengths available for arrows related to crossbows, the weight of the tips, the kind of nocks available and also the type of material used.
Please leave a comment below and tell us which arrow/bolt was your favorite. If you would like to add an arrow to the selection, then please submit the name below in the comment section. If you already have crossbow bolts, then you might as well look into some of the other accessories.