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Welcome to the best crossbow bolts and arrows review for 2019.
It’s hard to deny that crossbow bolts are an integral part of your gear. Even if you have a top-of-the-range crossbow, you will not achieve consistent accuracy and precision if your bolts aren’t suited for the application and your crossbow.
So, how do you find the right bolts? What should you keep in mind when shopping for arrows? I mean, if you like to do target practice in your backyard, you need different bolts than the crossbow veteran that likes to hunt big game like elk.
Hopefully, we can keep you from buying the wrong bolts and wasting money with this handy guide.
Table of Contents
- Our Top Pick
- Best Crossbow Bolts and Arrows Reviews
- Buying Guide
- Final Thoughts
Our Top Pick
The TenPoint arrows are, in our opinion, the best crossbow arrows of 2019. These bolts are substantial enough for hunting small game, but you can also use them for target shooting. These arrows are not only versatile, but also reliable, accurate, and able to withstand high impacts.
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Best Crossbow Bolts and Arrows Reviews
TenPoint Magnum XX75 Aluminum Bolts – Best Bolts Overall
The TenPoint Magnum XX75 bolts are the first aluminum bolts in this list. These bolts come with several high-value features:
- A shaft that is 20 inches long
- Total weight of 435 grain
- 7.6 percent loss of speed over 50 yards
- 15.9 percent loss of kinetic energy over 50 yards
- Superbrite neon-orange omni nock
- Balanced at 7 percent in front of center
These aluminum bolts are ideal for long-range target shooting. The balanced shaft, 4-inch fletching, and carbon inserts work together to produce consistent accuracy.
The aerodynamic aluminum shafts are durable and suitable for repeated use. Together with the included 100-grain field points, the bolt weighs 435 grains.
The added weight makes it possible for the arrow to fly straight, even in windy conditions. The bolt also has increased penetration power, even after it traveled a long distance. The bolts come with glowing neon orange omni nocks that provide secure contact with string to prevent indexing issues and to help you track your arrow in the dark.
Since the bolt is made from aluminum, it is not suitable for hunting. If you are looking for a target shooting arrow, however, the TenPoint bolts may be perfect for you.
- Consistent accuracy
- Durable and reliable arrow
- Suitable for repeated use
- An appropriate option for target practicing
- Not strong enough for hunting
- Nock lights seem to turn on by themselves
These aluminum crossbow bolts from TenPoint are accurate, aerodynamic, and durable.
Horton Carbon Bolts – Best Value Bolts
These carbon arrows from Horton offer incredible value if you need bolts for whitetail deer hunting, thanks to features such as:
- A length of 20 inches
- 400-grain weight
- Fletched with 3-inch vanes
- Omni nock with six micro grooves
- 100-grain field tips included
Like the Parker bolts, the Horton bolts also have an average shaft length of 20 inches. The 400-grain weight is made up of a 300-grain arrow and a 100-grain field tip that is included. If you attach a broadhead, the added weight will provide you with enough kinetic energy to hunt small and medium-sized game.
Another valuable feature of these bolts is their omni nocks to prevent slips and dry fire. The carbon construction in combination with the 3-inch vanes results in a bolt that is not only durable, but also accurate and powerful.
Its weight of 300 grams slightly compromises the versatility of this bolt. If the bolt weighed 50 grams more, it would have been a more versatile hunting arrow.
- High-quality bolt components allow for accuracy and reliability
- Omni nock reduces risk of injuries and dry fire
- The 3-inch vanes increase the bolt’s accuracy
- Carbon shaft is sturdy and offers ample penetration power
- Excellent value for money
- The bolt weight may be slightly low
The Horton carbon bolts are robust, precise, and offer excellent value for the price.
These carbon bolts from Barnett are durable, accurate, and suitable for hunting small game and target practice. Its features include:
- A length of 20 inches
- Half-moon nocks
- Carbon shaft
- Total weight of just over 400 grains
- 4-inch fletching
The Barnett carbon bolts are compatible with the following crossbows: Ghost 350, Wildcat C-5, Penetrator, and all Jackal crossbows. The arrow itself has a weight of 275.6 grains, which is a lightweight, even if you add a field tip or broadhead to bring the total weight up to 400 grains.
Since these are lightweight bolts, you don’t have ample penetration power, and you should only use these bolts for hunting small game and target shooting. When you go hunting, replace the field tips with broadheads that weigh 100 grains.
The nocks that come with these bolts are half-moon. While it is better than a flat nock, there is a risk of running into an indexing problem.
- Durable and accurate carbon bolts
- Compatible with field points and broadheads
- Beginners can use them as entry-level bolts
- Performs well in terms of accuracy and speed
- Easy to obtain tight groups
- Not compatible with all crossbows
- Features half-moon nocks instead of omni nocks
These carbon bolts from Barnett are durable, hard-hitting, and accurate. If you use your crossbow for target shooting and hunting small game, these bolts may be a viable option.
The EVO-X CentrePunch bolts from TenPoint make big game hunting possible. The features of these popular arrows include:
- A weight of 445 grains
- 17 percent front of center
- 84-grain lead-free brass insert
- 3.5-inch Bohning X Vane fletching
- Length of 20 inches
- Omni nocks and half-moon nocks
With their weight of 445 grains, the EVO-X CentrePunch falls in the heavyweight category. Since these bolts are carbon, they have plenty of penetration power and kinetic energy and are, as a result, suitable for hunting big game.
The EVO-X CentrePunch bolts not only deliver in terms of energy and penetration, but they also step things up a notch when it comes to accuracy.
The precision that these bolts deliver is achieved with a state-of-the-art laser-tech carbon fiber weave that lowers spine variation by a whopping 80 percent and increase shaft strength by up to 40 percent. The net result is an increase in accuracy by up to 25 percent.
At the back of these bolts are omni nocks and half-moon nocks to ensure compatibility with most crossbow models and to prevent indexing problems and overshooting. Unfortunately, these nocks do not glow, so they are challenging to detect in the dark.
- Strong bolts for hunting
- Laser-tech carbon fiber weave to increase accuracy
- Omni nocks as well as half-moon nocks to prevent dry fire
- Heavyweight bolts with high penetration power
- Included nocks don’t glow
If you are focused on hunting big game, you can’t go wrong with these bolts. Not only are the EVO-X CentrePunch bolts incredibly powerful, but they deliver in terms of precision.
These bolts from NIKA ARCHERY are made from fiberglass and may be the perfect addition to the crossbow hunter’s gear. Features of these bolts include:
- An aluminum flight nock
- 2-inch Streamline fletching
- Compatibility with field tips and broadheads
- Shafts made of fiberglass
A standout feature of these bolts is that they are made of fiberglass and not carbon or aluminum. Fiberglass shafts are incredibly durable and cost-effective. A bolt made of fiberglass is typically dense, which allows for more kinetic energy and deeper penetration.
Fiberglass bolts are traditionally used in bow fishing. Nowadays, however, fiberglass bolts are quite scarce, as they have mostly been replaced with carbon bolts.
The aluminum flight nock optimizes the energy transfer to the bolt during discharge, which increases its velocity and impact. The 2-inch streamlined vanes are also worth noting as they ensure a true and wind-resistant flight path.
To ensure compatibility with your crossbow, you may have to replace the nock. In comparison with carbon bolts of the same weight, these bolts travel at a slow speed, and you may need a range finder to ensure you determine target distances accurately.
- Heavy fiberglass shaft for hunting big game
- 2-inch vanes streamline the bolts sufficiently
- The bolt is reliable, durable, and accurate
- Tips are interchangeable for added versatility
- Fiberglass is a dense material that slows the bolt down
- May not be compatible with all crossbows
If you’re looking to give bow fishing a shot, these are definitely worth checking out, but they may take some adjusting to use.
The carbon crossbow bolts from Viare offer ample penetration power and accuracy. The bolt’s features include the following:
- Total weight of more than 414 grain
- A length of 20 inches
- Compatible with field tips and broadheads
- 4-inch vane fletching
- Half-moon nocks
- Suitable for target practice and hunting
These crossbow arrows have a substantial total weight that ranges from 414 grains to 438 grains, depending on the weight of the tips that you attach. This weight allows for sufficient kinetic energy and penetration power so you can use it for hunting big game like elk.
Since the shaft is made from carbon, you can rest assured that the bolt can withstand high impacts without bending or breaking. The 4-inch vanes streamline the arrow and ensure optimal accuracy.
The half-moon nock does a decent job of preventing indexing problems and dry fire. This type of nock is not as effective as an omni nock, and it doesn’t glow, which makes it hard to track your bow at night.
- Robust and reliable bolt for crossbow hunting
- A heavyweight that ensures sufficient kinetic energy and penetration power
- Strong carbon shaft with 4-inch vanes
- Compatible with most crossbows
- The nock is half-moon and not omni or luminous
The Viare bolts are suitable for target shooting and hunting, and it has an affordable price.
The M.A.K carbon bolt is a viable option for target shooting and hunting small to medium-sized game. These bolts have a wide range of high-end features to enhance your experience. The bolt features include:
- A shaft made from mixed carbon
- A length of 20 inches
- Suitable for crossbow target shooting and hunting
- Compatible with 125-grain broadheads and field tips
- 4-inch vane fletching
The shaft is made from a mixed carbon material, which enhances its structural integrity and ability to withstand a high impact. This feature is especially valuable to crossbow hunters who hunt medium-sized game with thicker hides.
These bolts are compatible with several crossbow models, and you can replace the nocks for better contact with the string. The 4-inch vane fletching streamlines the bolt and ensures that it follows a predictable flight path and trajectory.
One drawback is that the bolts don’t feature omni nocks, and if a crossbow cocks them with heavy draw weight, it can result in dry fire. You can, however, purchase them separately and attach them to the shaft.
- A strong bolt that can withstand a high impact
- Suitable for hunting and target shooting
- Compatible with broadheads and field tips
- Allows for repeated use
- Bolts don’t feature omni nocks
These hunting bolts from Parker are, as mentioned, our top pick for this list. These bolts have several features that make them ideal for hunting small game, including:
- Lightweight of 300 grains
- An average length of 20 inches
- 3-inch Vanes fletching
- Capture nocks
- Compatibility with crossbows up to 175 pounds
- Installed brass inserts
- A shaft made of carbon
- In terms of features, these bolts are suitable for hunting. The arrows are made of carbon and considered lightweight bolts as they weigh less than 300 grains. They have capture nocks that are similar to half-moon nocks.
The installed brass inserts serve to balance the weight of the bolt to ensure a predictable and stable arrow trajectory. You can also use these bolts with any crossbow that has a draw weight of up to 175 pounds.
As far as durability and speed are concerned, these bolts exceed all expectations. They are reliable, suitable for repeated use, and their penetrating power remains intact, even after a long flight.
Unfortunately, these bolts come with capture nocks and not omni nocks. Also, since the bolts are intended for hunting, field tips are not included.
- Durable and lightweight bolts
- High arrow velocity
- Suitable for repeated use
- Sturdy carbon shaft
- Compatible with high-end hunting crossbows
- Bolts don’t come with omni nocks
- Doesn’t include field tips
Parker Hunter Crossbow Arrows are durable, lightweight, and reliable. If you need bolts for hunting small game, these bolts may be a viable option.
When it comes to crossbow bolts, there are several variables, including materials, length, weight, nock type, and application. The crossbow you have is also significant in determining which bolt you need — view the best crossbow models here. The arrows you are considering may not necessarily be compatible with your crossbow.
Carbon or Aluminum?
The first decision you need to make is whether you want carbon or aluminum bolts. Carbon bolts are typically more durable than aluminum bolts, and they can absorb impact without bending or breaking. If you need deep penetration, you want to use a carbon bolt instead of an aluminum one.
Of course, because carbon bolts are better for hunting and shooting at dense targets, and durable, they are typically more expensive than aluminum arrows. Crossbow archers that need bolts for target practicing will often opt for aluminum bolts because they are affordable.
Aluminum bolts may also be the preferred choice if you have a soft target and don’t need deep penetration.
Weight is your second consideration. The weight of a bolt is measured in grains per inch. As a rule, lighter arrows travel faster than heavier ones and, in perfect conditions, they will fly straighter as well. More cumbersome bolts, on the other hand, have more kinetic energy, they produce less noise than lighter arrows, and are less susceptible to wind resistance.
Lightweight bolts that weigh less than 350 grains are suitable for target shooting and hunting in open areas where judging distance is difficult. Light arrows have a flatter trajectory, which makes up for a misjudged distance.
Standard weight bolts that weigh between 350 and 400 grains are the most versatile. Bolts in this weight range have the flat trajectory of light arrows, but the kinetic energy and target penetration of more substantial bolts.
Heavyweight bolts that weigh more than 400 grains are necessary for hunting large game with tough hides. If you shoot in inclement weather with high winds, you may have to use a heavyweight bolt with a rangefinder to determine target distances correctly.
Hand-in-hand with weight is length. The difference between long and short bolts are essentially the same as the difference between light and heavy bolts. Generally speaking, short bolts fly straighter and faster than long arrows. The length you need depends primarily on the crossbow model you have. Standard bolt lengths range between 16 and 24 inches. For smaller crossbow pistol models, bolts could be as short as 6 inches.
With material, weight, and length settled, you can move onto the finer details, such as the nock, head, and fletching. The nock is located to the back of the bolt and is the part of the arrow that comes into contact with the crossbow’s string. There are several nock types:
Flat nocks are conventional types and usually consist of a single flat disc that allows for contact with the string in any position. This type of nock carries the risk for dry fire, especially if you have a crossbow with heavy draw weight.
Half-moon nocks have a single groove for positioning the string. Since the string lies in the slot, the risk for slips and dry firing is mitigated.
10-Point Omni Nock
An omni nock is widely regarded as the safest nock. This type has several grooves that can grip the string. Even if there is a slip, the string will get caught in another rut on the beveled texture.
Lighted nocks glow and are easy to find when you are hunting at night. You can also find lighted omni nocks that offer secure contact with the string as well as the benefits of tracking your bolt.
There are, in essence, two types of crossbow heads, namely field points, and broadheads. Field points are suitable for target shooting and hunting small game. Field points don’t have sharp edges, so you are highly unlikely to achieve a humane kill with large animals.
Broadheads, on the other hand, have sharp edges to ensure a kill shot. There are three types of broadheads: fixed blade, removable blade, and expandable blade.
Fletching refers to the three fins at the back of the bolt typically made of plastic. As a rule, the longer the arrow shaft, the longer the fletching has to be.
Your intended use is the key to all the other considerations we’ve talked about. The characteristics of the bolts you choose should be congruent with your intended use. For example, if you hunt big game, you need a heavy bolt that has an omni nock and broadhead.
For target shooting in your backyard, however, aluminum bolts with field tips will be sufficient. If you don’t consider your crossbow shooting needs, you may end up overspending or purchasing arrows that you can’t use.
When it comes top crossbow bolts, comparing two products is like comparing apples and oranges. An arrow specially developed for big game hunting will not have the same features as aluminum target shooting arrows, and their buyers have unique needs.
Our top choice, the TenPoint Magnum, are not only accurate and reliable, but they are also versatile. Small game hunters and target shooters will both benefit from these bolts and the quality that they have to offer.
However, there are several specialized bolts included in this list to enhance any crossbow shooter’s experience.