No compound bow is complete without a set of arrows. While it sounds like an easy task to venture to the sporting goods store to buy arrows, the task is actually rather complicated. Rookie archers and veteran archers have difficulty finding the perfect arrows to go with their favorite bows. To make the process easier, there are a few steps to learn.
Know Your Draw Length
The first step is to know the draw length of your compound bow. If you are unable to get your hands on a bow, you can use a measuring technique to determine the draw length. All you have to do is stand with your arms extended and measure from finger tip to finger tip. Take that number and divide it by 2.5. The answer will be your draw length. If you do not have anyone to help you measure your arm span, someone at the sporting goods store can help you with it.
Get Arrows that Fit
Once you have the draw length, you can choose an arrow length. The best options for arrows are those that are no more than 0.5” to 1” longer than your draw length. So, if you have a draw length of 27 inches, your arrows should be 27.5 inches or 28 inches. The length of the arrow does not include the point – that will be added later. The arrow length you are measuring is from the nock to the shaft end.
Choose the Right Weight
After you know the length you need, you will have to choose the weight you need. There are different weights for different purposes: target practice and hunting. The target practice arrows are much lighter than hunting arrows. The weight factors in the entire arrow, from the nock to the point. Target arrows should weigh between five and six grain per pound of draw. Hunting arrows should weight between six and eight grain per pound of draw. So, 50 pounds of draw weight would need arrows that weight 250 to 300 grain for target shooting and 300 to 400 grain for hunting. These are approximations. It is extremely important to never use arrows that are less than 5 grain per pound with a crossbow, especially if you want your crossbow to last a long time.
No Worries about the Spine
Another consideration before purchasing arrows is the spine of the arrow. If you are brand new to shooting, you will should shoot arrows for a while before you worry about the spine. It can be confusing to use spine values because there is not a standard of measurement for them, so rookie shooters get confused rather easily. Online retailers usually leave the spine numbers out of their descriptions. They use threshold numbers relating to draw weights.
Most shooters will look for bows that match the draw weight of their compound bows. This way, the warranty of the bow will stay valid and the bow will continue to work properly. Aftet you get some shooting practice in, then you can start to think about the spine, learn what makes arrows different, and use that knowledge to buy the best arrows you can. Without the knowledge and experience of shooting, you could overanalyze spine information and never buy any arrows.
Easy Way to Pick Arrows
There is one tried and true way to buy arrows that fit your bow and your size perfectly. It only takes a couple of steps. The first is to pakc up your bow. Then, find a local outfitter. Bring your bow and find someone to help you. Then, let them see the bow and measure your draw weight. You tell that person what you plan to do with the bow. Then, let the employee pick the arrows that will be best for you and your bow. Doing this does make lessen your ability to shoot a bow. It just takes the guess work out of find arrows.
No Worries about Brands
There is no reason to buy a specific brand of arrows for your compound bow. In many cases, brands will cost more than unbranded arrows. It is better to choose arrows that are the right size for your bow and your physical size. The draw weight is also an important determining factor for the arrows you buy. You should never buy arrows that are lighter than your draw weight. It is ok to buy arrows that are slightly heavier than your bow’s draw weight. For example, if you have a 50-pound draw weight, you can buy arrows that are 60-pound draw, but do not buy 40-pound draw weight arrows.
Get Out and Shoot
After you buy your arrows, shoot them. If you love the arrows, buy them again. If you do not, try a different make and model that fits your bow. The arrows you love might not be the arrows that your hunting buddies love. Most archers have to try out a few different arrows before they find the perfect ones for them.