Course Outline

A crossbow arrow is an aluminum or carbon shaft tipped with a broadhead for hunting or a field point for practice, with feathers or vanes attached to the other end.

  • Crossbow arrows are shorter than regular arrows and are usually 18" to 22" long.
    • Do not use a regular arrow with a crossbow. Regular arrows are not interchangeable with crossbow arrows.
    • Check your state or provincial regulations regarding length or other requirements for your crossbow arrows.
  • Your owner’s manual stipulates the minimum arrow size, weight, and length that can be shot from your crossbow.
    • Never shoot an arrow that is lighter in grain weight, spined lighter, or shorter than the manufacturer’s recommendations.
    • Shooting shorter, lighter-weight arrows can damage your crossbow and create a safety hazard.
    • Arrows with a diameter smaller than the grooved track in the barrel of the crossbow will sit too low in the barrel’s flight groove. Conversely, arrows with too large a diameter will sit too high and create misalignment between the nock and bowstring. Such a misalignment can cause a dry-fire or erratic arrow flight.
  • Crossbow arrows are either aluminum or carbon shafts—with a flat-capped, “moon,” capture nock, or grooved Omni-Nock—that align with the bowstring when loaded.
    • Make sure you only use the nocks that are specified by the crossbow arrow’s manufacturer. Using the wrong nock can cause the crossbow to dry fire.
    • Always check for the specific arrow size and nock requirements for your crossbow.
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