The Science of Archery: Tips for buying arrows

Archery compliments other activities such as legal hunting, fishing, recreation, and self-defense.  Not many people are interested in archery, but the few that do attribute it to winning. Focus, wisdom, and confidence are needed to aim for a target and handling an arrow. I will take you through the basics so that you can happily purchase quality arrows for your next best shot.

There are various types, styles, and shapes of arrows. The most important factor to consider before you purchase a bow or an arrow is purpose or reason of use in archery. The arrowhead (tip), nock, shaft, and a fletching material consist the four parts of an arrow.

Arrow tips

The tips of an arrow are dependent on the object of material on the other side of your aim. Arrow tips have three major categories: Blunt, bullet or fish.

  • Blunt tips are best suited for indoor archery. They are made from rubber or plastic.
  • Bullet tips have sharp tips made for piercing hard skin or material. This is best for outdoor activities aiming at large animals such as deer.
  • Finally, fish tips are made of steel and attached to a barb used to retrieve fish. The tip easily penetrates fish making capturing an easy task.

Nock design consideration

The arrow nock is a section in the rear end of the shaft. It retains the position of an arrow when drawing back an arrow. A simple method to make a nock is by marking the shaft of an arrow. If you like, you can buy nocks made of wood, plastic or horn material. These nocks are attached to the shaft.  Consider the following designs of nocks:

  • Press-Fit nocks are the most commonly used, made for aluminum and carbon shaft arrow. The nocks are easy to install; press the nock into a shaft.
  • Pin nocks are quite useful in reducing deflection and increasing accuracy. This is done by installing aluminum pins on the arrow shafts. All pins have a standard size. As an added advantage, pin nocks protect the shaft from damage. These pins are especially useful to owners of expensive arrows and bows.
  • Over nocks are attached by sliding the nock over the shaft of an arrow. There are more than to two dozen different sizes of over nocks. Over nocks are made for carbon shaft arrows. Manufacturers are currently designing over nocks made for aluminum shaft arrows, for example, the Easton X10 over nock.
  • Other classifications of nocks include cross-bow nocks, conventional nocks half-moon nock, Omni nock, and flat – neck nock among others.

Types of Arrow Shafts

Carbon, fiberglass, wood, and aluminum are used to make arrow shafts.

  1. Carbon shafts are expensive. The shafts are coated with carbon fiber to stabilize the weight for arrow shooting escapades. Additionally, solid carbon can be used to make the shaft, and have the same weight stabilizing advantages but become dangerous in case they break.
  2. Aluminum arrows are varied in price but are mostly for beginners with medium pricing. The aluminum is heavier than carbon, and much stiff but are will not fly as far or fast. However, they can be resized to any shape.
  3. Fiberglass makes easy for beginners and cheap arrows normally used for toys or very cheap quality archery.
  4. Wood is good for traditional archery and indoor activities. Accompanied with feather vanes, wood shafted arrows are perfect for low power bows as they can easily break in case of high power bow.

Arrow Fletching

Arrow fletching helps keep the arrow on track according to the intended aim by cutting through the air, in a motion-friendly manner. Feathers and Plastic vanes are the dominant types of fletching material.

Plastic vanes dominate the market! Why? You might wonder. Well, because they are not influenced by weather, does not tear, requires minimal maintenance and is quite cheaper as compared to feathers. I will also add it reduces ecosystem damage due to loss of birds that foster making of feathers for fletching. I would recommend buying plastic vanes for your aluminum or carbon shaft arrow. Plastic vanes in arrow fletching exist in two main categories: the standard plastic vane made of rubber which is flexible and the high profile vanes made of urethane. High profile is better because it is rough in texture and has a straight edge rather than curved to boost performance.

On the other hand, feathers are three times lighter; therefore other than enjoying a game whilst carrying light arrows, you will easily enjoy a speed boost as the feather helps in propelling your arrow faster. For the purpose of best aiming and enjoyment of archery, feather vanes are highly recommended. Now that you know all the basics to bring out the archer in you, buy what best suits your cause.

With this information, you are sure to choose the best arrows that suit your archery needs. Enjoy aiming!

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