A crossbow bolt (which is also known as an arrow) is the shaft of the projectile that leaves your bow to hit the target. In order to go out hunting and succeed at it, acquiring a high-quality set of the best crossbow bolts on the market is essential. The problem is that there are so many different options on the market that it can be hard to narrow things down. This is especially true if you’re new to using a crossbow and aren’t sure what features meet your needs.
Today, we’re going to be sharing the six best crossbow bolts for 2020 and explaining why you should consider each of them. We’ll also offer some tips about the important things to keep in the back of your mind when choosing bolts for your crossbow. By the time we’re done, you’ll have the information you need to purchase the perfect arrows to hunt, target practice, or take on a competitive contest.
Our Top Crossbow Bolts Picks: Reviews & Buyer’s Guide
|Name||Weight||Vanes & Nocks|
|REEGOX 20-Inch Crossbow Bolts Bio with 4-Inch Vanes (Pack of 12)||425 Grains||4-Inch TPU Vanes & Inserted Half Moon Nocks||CHECK LATEST PRICE|
|BARNETT 16075 Outdoors Carbon Crossbow 20-Inch Arrows with Field Points (5 Pack)||400 Grains with a 100 Grain Tip||Half Moon Nocks Included||CHECK LATEST PRICE|
|BloodSport 20-Inch Crossbow Bolts (Pack of 6) 0.003-Inch – 8110003||325 Grains||Half Moon Nocks Included||CHECK LATEST PRICE|
|Black Eagle Executioner Crossbow Fletched Carbon Arrows/Bolts||326 Grains||3-Inch Bohning X Vanes & Flat and Half Moon Nocks||CHECK LATEST PRICE|
|CenterPoint AXCCA206PK 20-Inch Carbon Crossbow Arrows (6 Pack) 425 Gram||425 Grains||Fletched 4-Inch Vanes and Assembled Half Moon Nocks||CHECK LATEST PRICE|
|Easton XX75 Magnum Bolt 20-Inch Moon Nock 2219 Factory 4-Inch Vanes (6 Pack)||343 Grains||4-Inch Vanes and Installed Half Moon Nocks||CHECK LATEST PRICE|
REEGOX 20-Inch Crossbow Bolts Bio with 4-Inch Vanes (Pack of 12)
These Bio crossbow bolts from Reegox are one of the best and the most cost-effective options on our list. They were created for use by beginners to crossbow hunting and also work well for youth hunters who are still learning the ropes. The materials used to create these bolts results in highly durable arrows that can be used time and time again.
The bolts are 20 inches long and have four-inch TPU vanes that come with them. They also have half-moon nocks inserted when you receive them so you can start using them right away.
BARNETT 16075 Outdoors Carbon Crossbow 20-Inch Arrows with Field Points (5 Pack)
When you order the Barnett Carbon bow bolts, you get a pack of five arrows with half-moon nocks. The bolts offer 13.78 grains per inch with a 100-grain point for great target penetration and fantastic penetration against large game. In addition to coming with nocks, it also comes with the field points so there’s no need for additional purchases.
These bolts have lightweight, strong shafts with the best wall thickness to ensure a high level of durability. These are compatible with Raptor FX3, Jackal, Whitetail Hunter II, and other crossbows that take a 20-inch bolt. They work well in the outdoors for any kind of shooting.
BloodSport 20-Inch Crossbow Bolts (Pack of 6) 0.003-Inch – 8110003
The BloodSport bolts for a crossbow come in a pack of six and are designed to work with the modern, high-speed crossbows of today. They also can work with standard 150-pound crossbows if you happen to use an older version of bow.
Each finished bolt has a weight of 325 grains, which means you get excellent retained energy and performance. When you add on a broadhead or field point that meets your needs, you can tailor the weight to fit your crossbow and the game you are hunting.
Black Eagle Executioner Crossbow Fletched Carbon Arrows/Bolts
The Executioner by Black Eagle was created to ensure top performance through accuracy and speed. It comes with brass inserts for increasing accuracy without losing speed or energy. The manufacturer uses Grouped Together Technology to match each dozen bolts.
If you choose 20 or 22-inch arrows for a crossbow, they come with three-inch Bohning X Vanes, while shorter bolts offer two-inch Blazer vanes. All bolts come with both flat and half-moon nocks so you can choose the option you prefer most.
CenterPoint AXCCA206PK 20-Inch Carbon Crossbow Arrows (6 Pack) 425 Gram
The CenterPoint AXCA206PK is a six-pack of crossbow bolts that are made of high-performance carbon fiber. The wall thickness has been improved to ensure the highest level of durability with every bolt.
This manufacturer pays attention to straightness and weight and makes sure each bolt meets high standards. Beyond that, the bolts come fletched and include four-inch vanes. They also come with half-moon nocks already assembled so you can put them in use quickly.
Easton XX75 Magnum Bolt 20-Inch Moon Nock 2219 Factory 4-Inch Vanes (6 Pack)
If you are looking for the best performance from your crossbow, the Easton XX75 Magnum Bolt may be the choice to create that. All of the bolts are made of magnum 7075 aerospace alloy to provide a high level of accuracy without cutting back on the level of penetration you want when hunting.
The alloy used in these bolts makes it easier to hit targets, including high-density prey and offers a large amount of downrange energy. For quiet shooting with a high-powered crossbow, you can’t get much better than this. The bolts come with inserts installed so you can get started shooting right away.
Choosing the Best Crossbow Arrows for Your Needs
There are many factors that go into choosing the right crossbow bolt for your specific needs. Everything from the material used to construct the bolts to the length and weight of the bolts affects how well they will work with your crossbow. Below, we’ll share the features to consider when choosing crossbow bolts so you can make the best possible decision.
If you’re also in the process of choosing a new crossbow, having one of the most accurate can be a huge help for target practice or hunting. Some of the top choices include the Carbon Express Piledriver, Barnett Jackal, the CenterPoint Tormentor Whisper, and the Barnett Recruit Terrain.
Before buying new crossbow bolts, it’s worth checking what specifications your crossbow manufacturer lays out in the manual. Only the company that created the bow knows exactly what kind of bolts will give you a high chance of success. On top of that, using the wrong type of bolts may void the warranty on your crossbow. It could also cause damage to yourself or your bow.
In order to be safe, make sure to use only a crossbow bolt that is designated to be appropriate for your crossbow in suitable conditions.
Most of the best crossbow bolts you find on the market will have a shaft made of carbon fiber or aluminum, although some are made of fiberglass. Your choice here is going to come down to personal preference because both types have both positives and negatives.
Crossbow bolts with an aluminum shaft tend to be less expensive than carbon fiber shafts. However, these bolts are also less durable than a carbon shaft and may bend more easily. If you want budget bolts that you can use for practice, this can be a good choice.
A carbon fiber shaft is going to be stronger and will often offer deeper penetration. These shafts also have more flexion, which means the bolt will stop as soon as it hits your target to prevent stressing the shaft. That makes this a durable option that can be shot time after time without damage to the material.
If you’ll be hunting with the bolts, it’s often the best choice to go with a carbon fiber shaft on your bolts.
Keep in mind that there are also fiberglass options on the market to consider. These bolts tend to absorb shock well and have a natural bend to them. They also happen to be less expensive than a carbon fiber arrow. However, if bent too far or damaged, these can explore. In addition, some glues don’t work well with them.
Crossbow Bolt Weight
As with a traditional arrow, a crossbow bolt’s weight is measured in grains per inch (GPI). Lighter bolts tend to fly straighter and faster in optimal conditions, while heavier bolts are quieter, have more kinetic energy, and are more resistant to wind drift.
You can choose from heavyweight, standard weight, and lightweight bolts, each of which has its own set of pros and cons to consider. Below, we’ll look at what each type of bolt brings to the table so you can make the right choice for your needs.
A lightweight bolt (of less than 350 GPI) is going to have a flattened trajectory and increased speed. It also transfers more energy to your crossbow limbs, which can lead to louder shooting and excess vibration, which may cause wear and tear on your bow. This bolt can often get to a target more quickly but will struggle against rain, wind, and debris along the way.
If you have a crossbow that is capable of handling lightweight bolts, some situations make good use of them. They can be great for competition shooting and other target shooting. When hunting in places where you can’t judge distance, the flat trajectory can make up for that. In bad weather or wooded areas, you may want to choose a different type of bolt. Just remember that they are extra noisy which may spook some animals.
Standard Weight Bolts
A standard weight bolt (350 to 400 GPI) is a good all-around option for the majority of hunters; it offers a balance of speed and force. These bolts also meet the requirements of most crossbow manufacturers and less likely to cause damage. With the extra weight, more of the energy is transferred from the string into the bolt. This means there is less noise and a higher level of penetration to a target. This sort of bolt will also be less affected by weather and wind.
Most crossbows will work well with standard weight bolts. With a lower level of noise and more energy and penetration, the bolts work well for hunting game outdoors.
For the most energy, you want to go with a heavier bolt (more than 400 GPI) for the top performance. This type of bolt has the most potential to penetrate your target. These bolts also have the best stability while in flight, which means the wind is less likely to blow them away from the target. However, these bolts have lessened trajectory downrange and can drop rapidly when firing at long distances.
This type of bolt is best used for hunting big game with a tough hide such as bear, elk, and moose. It can also be an excellent choice in hunting situations where there is thick vegetation or adverse weather. These bolts will be the quietest but may require the use of a rangefinder to judge the distance of a target properly.
Compatible Nocks for Your Crossbow
The nock is a small component that is inserted into the back of a crossbow bolt shaft and is typically created of aluminum or durable plastic. This is what connects the bolt and the bowstring, and a good quality nock is what ensures the maximum amount of energy transfer. Making sure the nock on the bolt you are purchasing fits your crossbow is important.
● Flat – This is the oldest and most traditional option, which is nothing beyond a flat disk. That means the arrow can be positioned in any way you like. However, it requires a dose of caution to ensure the string doesn’t fall from the nock to create a dry fire.
● Half Moon – A groove is included on this nock to ensure secure bolt placement and to prevent the string from slipping while firing. It can also ensure the fletchings of the bolt are positioning correctly on the rail for accuracy and a smooth trajectory.
● Half Moon Hybrid – This is a modern design with multiple grooves for various fletching positions. You have the freedom of a flat nock with the security of a half-moon nock in one product. These are considered the best for use outdoors by many archers.
● Lighted – Lighted nocks are also a new creation and are most appropriate for use in dark conditions. The light activates when the bolt is shot to allow you to see the flight path, see where it hit the target, and make it easier to retrieve your bolts.
Crossbow Bolt Length
Length matters when it comes to the best crossbow bolts, but most bolts are going to be somewhere between 16 and 24 inches long. The length will also affect the weight since bolts are measured in GPI. As such, a short bolt is going to fly faster than a longer one with the same GPI and spine consistency.
Besides the speed of an arrow, the way the bolt fits into your crossbow will also affect how accurate it is after being fired. The bolt should be long enough that the nock touches the string, and the tip is free from the end of the rail. Length varies based on the type of crossbow you are using, so check the manufacturer recommendations for size.
Choice of Crossbow Broadhead
The broadhead you choose to use with your bolt is crucial to get right since it is the only component that will contact the game when you are hunting. One of the most common questions here is whether a fixed or mechanical blade is the best option. We’ll delve into each, so you know what to look for.
A mechanical blade is a more technical component that deploys a cutting pedal upon impact rather than while in the air. This allows for a slimmer cross-section with less wind resistance and a better line of flight. It also means you can have a massive cutting diameter when needed.
However, the moving parts can make things uncertain since you need to disassemble them for cleaning and sharpening. You can’t always be 100% certain they will deploy when you want them to do so. Since they are thinner, they are also weaker against hard muscle or bone.
A fixed broadhead is the best traditional option against large game. It is a rugged head that has been shown to be reliable for many years. Some hunting camps will not allow the use of mechanical broadheads since they don’t have the same performance.
The downside of the fixed version is that it can catch the wind while going through the air. You’ll need to pay attention to how they perform in various environments in order to get the shot you desire.
Straightness of the Arrow
When you have extremely straight bolts, they are going to be very consistent when you utilize them. This is crucial since accuracy gives you an idea of how a repeated shot will work every time you take it. Having a single straight arrow is important, but not as essential as having an entire bunch of arrows that are straight.
You can take a look at the box to see the tolerance of the arrows. This number should be as small as it can possibly be. Most experts recommend a measurement of 0.006 or lower. This will be an affordable choice that still provides the performance you desire. The best choice you can make is a matched set of 0.001 but this isn’t always possible.
Spine of the Arrow
When we talk about the arrow’s spine, what we’re referring to is how tough the arrow is when the string of your bow is pushing against your nock. This is something that has to be completely correct because when the string fires, it creates vibrations that make the arrow shake from one side to the other.
The vibrations are tuned for the stress that will be placed on the arrow itself. A bow with a harder cam or a more significant draw weight will shake differently, and each is made to accommodate that. If your crossbow has the wrong spine, it can be very inaccurate or even explore in your hand.
There are lots of great crossbow bolts on the market, and what is perfect for your needs may differ from someone else. The six bolts recommended in this article will fit the needs of most people if you put some time into considering what special needs you have. Even if that isn’t the case, you now have the information you need to look at various bolts and determine how quality they are.
Do you have a different bolt that you think should be listed as the best? You can leave a reply to let everyone know!