parts of an arrow

For a reliable shooting or target practicing experience, crossbow is an expensive yet an effective equipment. But the bow doesn’t work alone, it works with a bolt. To understand the arrow is as essential as understanding your bow. This article will show you more about the parts of an arrow.

Different Parts of an Arrow

Arrows are made from different material such as wood, carbon, aluminum or fiberglass. All arrows have same parts no matter which material is used to make it. The modern arrow is different from our earlier brethren’s arrow. Let’s have a look at different parts of an arrow.

There are four major parts of an arrow:

  • Arrowhead
  • Shaft
  • Nock
  • Fletching

1. Arrowhead

The point of the arrow is arrowhead. There is various type of arrowhead for various uses. Mainly, we find three types of arrowhead.

a) Broadhead

To hunt large animals like elk or deer, broad heads are the best. We find three or four blades in this arrowhead. There are fixed sharp razor blades in the fixed-blade broadheads. If anyone wants to replace blades when necessary, then removable blade broadheads are perfect for them. Expandable blade broadheads have hidden blades that only come up when the arrow knocks out the animal. They could cause maximum damage.

b) Field points

Field points or target points are made for rehearsal.  They are disable to kill animals or damage because there are no sharp edges. Field points are available with a conic head which has a grabbing point and pointer head. They use hooks to save the arrow so that the arrow doesn’t lost anywhere in the grass or in the bush.

Moreover, the total weight is about 120 to 125 grains. Before buying a field-point, ensure that the weight is same as the original one.

c) Blunt points

Blunt points are made of rubber, steel or plastic. They have similarity as field points and used to kill squirrels or rabbits.

2. Shaft

The most important part of the arrow is shaft. It is larger than other parts of the arrow. If the shaft is not right, it could lessen accuracy. Generally, the shaft is made of carbon, aluminum or wood and wood is the common material for the shaft. But aluminum shaft is more affordable, durable and can be repaired if necessary. Among the three, carbon shaft is more expensive and well-known for lightweight design and used for tournament shooters.

There are four things important to consider when choosing shafts. They are:

  • Weight: A shaft with light weight helps getting the target quickly. But more weight needs much strength to hit the target and increases penetration.  Grains stand for the weight of the shaft and generally, five or six grains are used measuring the weight of the shaft.
  • Spine: The inflexibility of the shaft is known as spine or the stiffness. Accuracy of the shot depends on how flexible the shaft is. It is not so easy to calculate the degree of flexing so, manufacturers sell the arrow according to the draw weight that is suitable for most hunters.
  • Diameter: For better penetration, smaller and thinner diameters are good. The standard measurement of the diameter is 9/32’’ and 5/16’’.
  • Shaft wall thickness: Thickness of the wall of the shaft has a relation with the spine and the weight of the shaft.

3. Nock

At the end of the arrow, there is a plastic or aluminum tip that is called nock. It has a nocking point which connects the bowstrings and holds the arrow in the correct place.

There are different sizes of the nock with different strings. Wrong size of the nock could harm the accuracy of the hunter and the arrow will slip off the bowstring.

Different types of nocks are given below to help choosing the right nock for the arrow.

  • Press fit nocks: Press fit nock is the common nocks. It locks into place and runs inside the shaft. It is made for the standard shaft where the diameter is from 166’’-246’’.
  • Pin nocks: pin nock is suitable for the competition shooters and locks onto a pin at the end of the shaft.
  • Over nocks: This type of nock is available in different sizes and slides tightly over the rear of the shaft.
  • Conventional nocks: Conventional nocks are fit for the shaft with cone-shaped end.

4. Fletching

The fletching is made of plastic or feathers and situated at the end of the arrow. Plastic fletching is more common than feathers as they are more durable, less expensive, and suitable in poor weather. For traditional archery, feather fletching is more popular.

There are 3 fletching jig in modern bolts. Among them, one is of different color that is called the cock and the two same color feathers are called hens. The cock feather could impart a spin on the arrow and produce a smooth drag that improves stability and accuracy. Usually, arrows are made with fletching but some hunters can attach or customizes the fletching for their own.

To sum it up, the good performance of the arrow depends on all the arrow parts stated above. To achieve effective configuration, one must consider the all factors together. Hopefully, the basic information about the parts of an arrow will help to reach at the mission.


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