Our Tips on Choosing Hunting Arrows: Aim High and Shoot for Quality

By Steve George

June 29, 2020Hunting

Archery has been around for about 70,000 years now and based on archaeological evidence, it was first adopted by Ancient Egyptians. Bits of evidence which prove that archery is nearly as old as first civilisations has been found in China too. Discoveries trace back to the Zhou (Chou) dynasty when archery tournaments where popular and often mixed together with music and other sorts of entertainment.

This makes archery one of the oldest practised arts but this sport wouldn’t have become what it is today without the constant improvement of the equipment that makes it so popular. The bow and arrow have changed quite a lot and now there are more versions of them than ever before.

How to Choose Hunting Arrows


An arrow’s shaft can be either raw or pre-made. Arrows with pre-made shafts are cut at the correct length and have their inserts put together. This makes for ready-to-go arrows which you can use out of the box. The downside of these arrows though is that you won’t have arrows made to suit you and your hunting style, something that isn’t the case with raw shaft arrows. These have to be fletched and built by either you or the place you are getting them from – you can build hunting arrows on your own with a building kit. This allows you to have more control over the arrows and for higher accuracy.


Typically, hunting arrows are made of wood but you can find arrows made of aluminium, fibreglass and carbon. Wooden ones are more traditional and usually the most affordable option. Their shortcomings are the need for regular maintenance and straightening to keep them in good condition. Aluminium and fibreglass arrows are on the heavier side but they are extremely durable.

Aluminium arrows allow you to straighten them without breaking while fibreglass arrows are convenient for beginners. This is because they are not as heavy, yet more durable than aluminium arrows. Carbon arrows are also not easy to break but they are lighter than all aforementioned counterparts. They are the most versatile type since they are made available in different weights.

Spine & Length

Source: Gohunt

Spine & Length

What is important when it comes to the spine of the arrow is a three digit number printed on the shaft. This number usually revolves from around the 300 to the 700 mark depending on the arrow’s weight and length. The shorter and lighter the arrow the higher that number is. This number is referred to as deflection which represents how much a 70 cm long arrow has sagged in the middle when a 880 g weight has been put in the middle.

These numbers are usually expressed in inches, for example 500 means .500 inches (1.27 cm) of sag at the centre of the arrow. The more the arrow sags the weaker it is. A weak spine shaft will lead to inconsistent results and it will affect your performance as the arrow will overflex when flying in the air. A weak arrow will lose forward energy since it will flex a lot which can lower its penetration potential. This doesn’t necessarily mean that your hunting arrows should be heavy but usually stiff arrows will make it easier to tune and more forgiving thus deadlier.


Front of centre refers to the weight of the arrows which is shown in percentage representing how heavy the front half of an arrow is. Usually the higher the FOC point of an arrow, the heavier it is as the weight at the front cannot be supported by a weak spine. This also results in a stiffer arrow which allows you to get more accurate and consistent results. FOC points aren’t not marked on the arrow and this usually needs to be calculated.

Straightness Tolerance

Source: Gohunt

Straightness Tolerance

The straightness tolerance of an arrow is divided in three categories which all depend on the distance you are going to be shooting from. You got .006 inches (.152 mm), .003 inches (.076 mm) and .001 inches (.025 mm) which represent how much the arrow deviates from true centre. For example, if you are shooting from a distance shorter than 35 m, you’ll need an arrow for hunting with a .006 inch (.152 mm) shaft in order to provide consistent results. Distances covering more than 45 m will require arrows for hunting with either a .003 inch (.076 mm) or a .001 inch (.025 mm) shaft.


Arrow diameter is important for penetration and wind drift. The smaller the diameter the better the penetration and the less wind drift. But smaller diameter arrows require a special insert system in order to install them properly. When searching for shafts with either nano or micro diameters, do some research on which insert options you’ll need.