Whether you’re crossbow hunting or target shooting, you need enough supply of bolts. Without them, you won’t be able to shoot because it’s what your crossbow fires or its projectile. But, crossbow bolts tend to be very expensive, and it would cost you a lot of money to buy all the time.
If you’re out hunting or practicing in your backyard, it would be great to reuse your crossbow bolts. You wouldn’t have to replace them every time. But would it be safe to use and work well after already shooting them?
You can reuse crossbow bolts as long as you make sure they are in good condition in any way or form. Keep in mind to always check them for any dents or cracks before shooting. You also have to inspect if the crossbow bolt is straight or warped as it can result in a misfire or any other accident.
Here are the signs you need to take into account:
- Fletching provides stability and accuracy of the bolts in flight. Damages on the fletching usually happen during hunting or practicing. It occurs when it comes into contact with solid targets such as rocks, branches, or animals.
- Inspect to see if it is straight or bent or has a tear under a good light source. You can still reuse a crossbow bolt if you repair the fletching by gluing a new one before using it again.
- Check if there are any cracks or dents on the shaft of the crossbow bolts. You should pay close attention to the nock end and the insert area because it is common to find cracks there. You also have to check if the shaft has become loose or weak. To check the nock, you can check it by spinning the bolt in a lit area to show off any dents in the shaft. It narrows down the risk of having a crossbow bolt missing the target.
- If it’s a carbon or aluminum bolt, do a spin test and check if it is straight, split, or twisted. You can also flex the shaft and listen for any cracking or snapping noise.
Bolts serve an essential role because they are the projectiles used for firing. You need constant maintenance for its accuracy and consistency if you are to go hunting.
How many times can you shoot a crossbow bolt?
There is no set number of how many times you can shoot a crossbow bolt. It depends on the crossbow bolt’s condition after the repetitive shooting. As long as it is in good shape and not damaged, you can use it again. But, if there are cracks, dents, or chips, it will disqualify it from further use, no matter how small it is.
After shooting a bolt into an animal, broadheads also tend to become dull and have dents. You can either sharpen or replace it, depending on the blade’s sharpness. Remember to clean, do a spin test, and polish it before using it again.
How often should you replace a crossbow string?
Replacing the crossbow string will depend on your shooting style and its condition. If you are using it for target shooting, replace the crossbow string once every twelve months. If you are using it for hunting, replace the crossbow string every two years.
Target shooting wears out the strings much faster than when used on hunting. You can also choose to change your cross bowstring around hunting seasons. The average time for replacement is after every two to three hunting seasons. If you are not using it often, it can last up to five years.
The lifespan of a crossbow string will also depend on how you maintain it. A crossbow string can last up to at least 100 shots with proper maintenance. It is also good to assess your crossbow strings and know the signs of replacing them.
Here are the signs of your crossbow strings you have to look out for:
- An early sign of excessive wear on your crossbow strings is frequent dry strands.
- Fuzzing or fraying means there are weak points in the string fiber. It usually occurs when there is friction which causes the string fibers to unravel at the edges.
- Broken strands occur under the center serving. It can lead bolts or arrows to misfire and cause injury to yourself.
- Overstretching of string happens after every 50 – 100 shots. It lessens the accuracy and speed of the shots.
These weak points may turn into breaking points, and it is dangerous. It can cause severe injuries or accidents, such as a cut on the face or hitting your eye if a string breaks.
Proper maintenance can prolong the lifespan of the crossbow strings. It can also help prevent them from breaking. You need to apply wax it every ten shots if you want to keep the crossbow string working. Don’t forget to wax the cables of your crossbow as well.
It will add a layer of protection and keep the crossbow string from drying and fraying. Waxing it will protect the small fibers, which will create less resistance when you shoot it. It will also help the crossbow strings to perform better and faster.
A crossbow string in good condition will help you have accurate and consistent shots. Always remember the key factors and signs to know when it is time to replace your crossbow strings.
What is the difference between crossbow bolts and arrows?
People would often debate about the differences between an arrow and a bolt. There also have been recent discussions about the proper terminology between the two. So how do we differentiate on what makes a bolt and what makes an arrow?
The difference between a crossbow bolt and an arrow is its length and weight. A bolt usually ranges 16-22 inches in length, with the most common length of 20 inches. As for the arrows, the standard length of an arrow is 27-32 inches. Also, the typical weight of a booth is 400-460 grains, while an arrow is 420-500 grains.
There also have been notable differences between the other characteristics.
Here is an overview of the differences in detail:
- The shaft of a bolt is 22/64 inches, while the shaft of an arrow is 9/32-5/16 inches.
- A bolt has a fletching of 0-3 Vanes, and it is usually plastic, while an arrow has 3-4 Vanes, and it is a feather.
- The nock of a bolt is a Flat, Moon, and Omni, while an arrow is 3/16-1/4 inches.
- Crossbow’s speed ranges around 450 fps (feet per second); some even reach 500 fps. Bow’s speed reaches about 300-340 fps.
- The crossbow bolt makes more noise when shot, while the bow is more silent.
- The killing range of a crossbow bolt is between 40-50 yards, while an arrow can range of about 40 yards.
Here is an overview of the similarities in detail:
- Bolts and arrows both have points such as broadheads, field tips, and blunt tips.
- Both have a broadhead’s weight of 75-300 grains.
Does crossbow bolt length matter?
Choosing the right bolt of your crossbow is necessary for safety purposes. Shooting a wrong bolt out of your crossbow can cause damage and can even backfire.
The length of the crossbow bolt plays a significant role in its accuracy and consistency. The proper bolt length should be the same as the crossbow’s groove or up to 2 inches longer. The standard length of the crossbow bolt used can also depend on what specific crossbow you own.
Another essential aspect to know is the parts of a crossbow bolt. Learning its anatomy will help you understand the mechanism and how to maintain it. It can also help you in choosing the suitable bolt for your crossbow.
Here are the parts of a crossbow bolt:
It is also called the head, which refers to the tip at the front end of the crossbow bolt. The sharpness of the point is one of the essential factors for a bolt to penetrate the target. The two primary types of crossbow bolt heads are Field Points and Broadhead.
The following information below will help you distinguish the difference between the two.
Field Points is the first type of crossbow bolt point. Field Points are also known as Target Points, which are for target practice. It has dull or blunt edges, but has a sharp tip. Its specifications are not suitable for hunting because as it cannot kill an animal at once. Most of the target points are removable or unscrewed from the bolt shaft.
Broadhead, the second type of bolt point, is for hunting purposes because of its sharp edges. It can penetrate, cause internal damage, and kill an animal in an instant. Fixed-Blade Broadheads, Removable-Blade Broadheads, and Expandable-Blade Broadheads are the three types of broadheads.
Fixed-Blade Broadheads have fixed or unremovable, razor-sharp blades. Removable-Blade Broadheads have replaceable or removable blades from the broadhead when necessary. Expandable-Blade Broadheads have blades that can hide and open up once it hits the animal.
It is also known as the body or the central part of a crossbow bolt. It is where all the other parts of the crossbow bolt are usually attached. The degree of stiffness of a bolt is also known as the spine of the bolt. Also, grain is the term used for the weight of the bolt shaft.
Most crossbow bolts are from lightweight materials such as aluminum or carbon. They are both resistant to bending and do not splinter.
The nock is the attached part of the back of the shaft, which keeps the bolt in place for firing. The two types of nocks are the Half-Moon and the Flat Nock. The Half-Moon nock helps align the string when drawn on the groove before shooting the bolt. Flat Nocks are nocks without any notch or groove.
Fletchings are wings or feathers located at the back of the bolt and close to the nock. It stabilizes the trajectory of the bolt and prevents it from swaying to the left or right. It also spins and keeps the bolt in the proper direction, increasing stability. The length of fletchings depends on the crossbow bolt’s length.
The following information will help you choose the suitable crossbow bolt to use.
How are crossbow bolts carried?
You can carry crossbow bolts during target shooting or hunting in a quiver. A quiver can hold up to 10 or more crossbow bolts, based on its size. You can carry it by hanging it on your belt, back, or over your shoulder, depending on your preference. The materials of quivers made are usually leather, cloth, furs, metal, or plastic.
When hunting, it is necessary to have a case or bag to store your crossbow bolts. You can hunt easier and in a more efficient way rather than only carrying them in your hand.
Also, one of the essential aspects you need to consider is how to take care of your crossbow after hunting.
Here are maintenance tips that you should follow:
- After target shooting or hunting, check and wipe any surface dirt, dust, or grime from the crossbow. Use a cotton towel to prevent it from scratching the parts of the crossbow. It is also best to use purified water because it will inhibit chemical reactions and peeling. Remember to wring out the cotton towel for excess water before wiping. Use a hair-dryer or put the crossbow in front of a fan to dry out the parts.
- Always check the tightness of the nuts, bolts, and screws to prevent loosening.
- To prevent rust on the steel parts, you have to apply rust-protective oil. Never leave the crossbow outside when it is damp because it can cause rusting as well. When exposed to dampness, rust can appear on the nuts, bolts, screws, and steel parts of the bolts within 24 hours.
- It is necessary to applying oil before storage. You can use cotton swabs to apply the oil to bolt heads and other parts. You also have to apply oil to the trigger mechanism, axles, and cam bearings. Keep in mind to slide the safety knob at the rear first before application. Use a cotton swab to lubricate using the oil and wipe away any excess oils from the parts.
- Apply wax to the exposed strands of the string or cables to make it smooth and prevent breakage.
- Store your crossbow in a case and put it in a cool place. Excessive heat can change its tuning and make the strings and cables rot. Remember to put it in a dry place because dampness can cause rusting.
Following these tips will help you prep and maintain the condition of your crossbow.