You can shoot carbon arrows from a longbow, but they aren’t the best choice because they are generally too stiff and are better to shoot with modern recurve bows, compound bows, and crossbows. Thus, it is still best to stick with shooting wooden arrows from longbows.
Archers have a wide array of arrow materials they can choose to shoot from bows. Unlike in the past, wooden arrows are the primary arrow material for archery; you can now choose from carbon, aluminum, fiber, steel, etc.
Unless your bowhunting association doesn’t prohibit you from using one specific arrow material during competition, you have the freedom to select which one to choose. Thus, carbon arrows may be on top of your list of arrow materials to consider shooting from your longbow.
Carbon arrows are a great material that rose to popularity because of their advantages surpassing others. You may think twice about using them to shoot from a longbow.
Shooting carbon arrows from a longbow is not ideal. The reason for this is that carbon arrows are too stiff and are not primarily for longbows. Hence, they are better to shoot from modern recurve bows, compound bows, and crossbows.
As you have noticed, the production of wooden arrows never ceased despite the rapid development of different arrow materials now available in the market.
Even though wooden arrows have many disadvantages that make them less used by modern bow archers, there are various reasons why they will always be suitable for longbows.
Besides being a personal choice for most traditional longbow and field archers because of their authentic and historical feel, wooden arrows are more durable than they seem because they can withstand the higher forces exerted by longbows.
Wooden arrows can also reach farther distances than synthetic arrows used in a typical compound bow or recurve bow, including but not limited to aluminum and carbon.
Remember that the longbow’s design allows it to reach far distances than other bows because of its long limbs that are 6 feet tall. And the wooden arrows are the only arrow material to deliver such a shot successfully.
They also have natural strength and are less likely to break. Moreover, wooden arrows are cheaper than synthetic arrows and come in different wood types.
Additionally, make sure not to use wooden arrows that look beaten up or worn out and better use those of good quality for better experience and safety.
However, if you still insist on using carbon arrows to shoot from your longbow. You may want to look for carbon arrows with a description that indicates they are suitable for traditional bows like PANDARUS Archery 31-inch Carbon Hunting Arrows.
Nevertheless, wooden arrows are still the most recommended and best arrow material to shoot from a longbow.
Are carbon arrows better than wood?
Carbon arrows are better than wooden arrows in terms of durability, speed, accuracy, and uniformity. However, they are more expensive, prone to splinter, and possibly injuring the archer severely than wooden arrows.
You may have heard or researched the advantages of using carbon arrows over other arrow materials. Carbon arrows are known to outperform different types in most fields. That’s why they are the most popular for most archers who hunt and target shoot.
However, you may wonder if they are better than wooden arrows. To help you see the bigger picture, enumerated below are the benefits and downsides of wooden and carbon arrows:
- Wooden arrows
- Carbon arrows
As mentioned, wooden arrows are best for longbows, and traditional recurve bows. It provides a classic feel and historical beauty that takes you back in time.
Most traditional archers see this vintage feel as enough reason to choose to shoot wooden arrows from their bows. Therefore, wooden arrows won’t fail if you seek such a feeling.
Wooden arrows are also a good option for those new to archery. Especially for beginners who want to test the waters and see which arrow type, length, and size will work for them, wooden arrows are the best ones to start with while figuring things out.
Furthermore, they are the cheapest arrow material on the market because wood is available and accessible to source and does not require a rigorous manufacturing level compared to arrows made of synthetic materials.
Lastly, you are free to choose which type of wood you prefer for your wooden arrow, unlike carbon and other synthetic materials that are only available in one component.
Sadly, wooden arrows have more downsides than carbon arrows. For example, they are prone to warping, especially when exposed to extreme conditions like rain and heat. Therefore, you are more likely to replace them with new ones from time to time.
Another downside is that they are less uniform than carbon arrows and other synthetic arrow materials.
Moreover, they are also less durable and can get softer over time. Since wooden arrows absorb water because of their natural composition, you may not be able to use them when this happens.
For instance, the wooden arrows will expand and break off inside their quivers if you carelessly leave them under the rain considering they can soak up moisture.
In addition, due to their natural imperfections, they tend to be less accurate. They are also not fit to use in modern bows because such bows are too powerful for them and will lead to their breakage and cause injury.
Remember that wooden arrows were made with the idea of longbows and conventional recurve bows. Therefore, they are unsuitable for crossbows, compound bows, and modern recurve bows.
Carbon arrows offer the most advantages over other materials. They are also the most popular arrow material because of their advanced features.
Like other synthetic materials, carbon arrows do not soften, unlike wooden arrows. They can’t absorb water, therefore, exposing them to extreme conditions won’t affect them.
Another great benefit of using carbon arrows over wooden arrows is that they have better accuracy, speed, and durability. Made of pure carbon interwoven fibers, it allows them to fly faster.
Moreover, their uniformity and refined design promise better accuracy. The accuracy is less than wooden arrows, which are not too uniform.
Another one is durability; carbon arrows are incredibly durable. For example, you can straighten them and return them to their original shape when they get bent. They are also not easy to break, unlike wooden arrows.
You can also customize them according to your needs and liking. In this sense, carbon is an excellent lightweight arrow material.
If you own modern bows, carbon arrows are the best choice because they can cater to such bows’ advanced properties and powerfulness.
Even though they are incredibly durable, carbon arrows are also prone to splinters which can lead to possible severe injuries inflicted on the archer and the people nearby. Although it doesn’t happen often, it can be dangerous.
As a result, you must inspect them before you start shooting since they can sustain small cracks. Remember that the damages aren’t visible unless you closely examine them.
Especially when you hit the carbon arrow with something hard because of missing the target, you must eye inspect them first. Next is to try bending it and hear for cracking noise; if it does, you can no longer use your carbon arrows for safety.
Another downside is that carbon arrows are expensive compared to other arrow materials. If you are short on budget and are still figuring out which arrow works for you, you may have to reconsider buying carbon arrows.
They are also not ideal to use to shoot from longbows and serve modern bows better.
Based on the benefits and downsides enumerated above, carbon arrows are better than longbows in accuracy, durability, speed, and uniformity. However, there are also downsides to using carbon arrows which explains why other archers prefer wooden arrows to the former.
Nevertheless, the choice depends on a person’s preference, end-use, and budget. Always ensure that the arrow material matches your bow for a better experience.
What size arrows do I need for the longbow?
There are generally two arrow spine sizes you can choose for longbows: 5/16 and 11/32. However, there is no fixed length for all longbows. Therefore, you will likely try out different arrow lengths before finding the correct arrow size for your longbow.
If you compare the size of longbow arrows to other bows, they are noticeably longer. Nevertheless, you can’t randomly select an arrow based on how long they look. You must go through trial and error to find the right arrow size for a longbow.
Longbows are not center shot bows, meaning your arrow has to go round the handle rather than straight ahead. As a result, your arrow needs to be bendy, leading to rigorous arrow size selection.
In general, there are two arrow spine sizes for longbows, which are 5/16 and 11/32. Sadly, it doesn’t mean you only have to choose between two sizes. You have to know that there is no fixed length for all longbows. Therefore, not all longbows have similar arrow sizes.
If you are new to shooting longbows, it is a general rule to choose arrows with one to three inches longer than the needed length. The most common reason is that longbows need more extended arrows to hit the target from a longer distance.
However, this rule still heavily depends on preference. Other traditional archers prefer shooting longbows with shorter arrows, while some prefer longer ones. What works best for your longbow ultimately depends on what feels comfortable to you.
To help you determine the correct arrow size for your longbow, you can follow the following steps:
A. For weak arrows
- Try the general rule first by buying arrows that are slightly longer than expected.
- Next is to try shooting them.
- If you are right-handed and the arrows flew in the same direction consistently, then it means they are too weak. Likewise will happen to left-handed archers.
- To correct this, you must cut a small amount off at the pile end of the arrow.
- Retry the previous step until the arrows fly straight instead of to the side.
While doing this procedure, ensure you don’t cut the arrows beyond the safety length of your draw. If you did, you’d have to buy new arrows with higher poundage and start the process again.
B. For too stiff arrows
- Follow the first two steps indicated above.
- If you notice that the arrows keep going to the opposite side, the arrows are too stiff. For instance, your arrows are too stiff if they go to the right side instead of straight for left-handed archers.
- There is no way to correct this since you can’t weaken them nor make them longer. It means you’ll have to buy new arrows with fewer pounds than the previous ones.
These processes require time and patience to determine the correct arrow size for your longbow. However, it is your chance to learn more about the effect of arrows on your shooting ability and understand the physics behind the flight of arrows.
It is normal to experience different arrow lengths and weights for your longbow until you find the correct one that works well with your draw. Nevertheless, be sure to choose arrows with long shafts, and don’t forget to balance their weight so that they shoot accurately.
There is no limit to what arrow material you want to shoot from a longbow. However, not all arrow materials are ideal for longbows, and carbon arrows are no exception. That’s why wooden arrows continue to exist because they are the best arrow material for longbows.
Aside from the type of arrow material to choose, finding the correct arrow size for your longbow is also essential. You may probably have difficulty figuring it out, but you can always seek help from your local archery shop to help you select the correct size you need.
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