Size Of Arrow [Different Types Of Arrow]

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Ever seen an arrow with different lengths for hunting and target shooting? That’s common in archery. And trust me, arrow size plays a crucial role in archery performance. I wanna tell you a story.

I have always been fascinated by hunting. So, once, I met with my grandfather to get some skills for hunting. He told me that your arrow size is the most important for your game type. I asked him, does the size of arrow matter for hunting or target shooting? He told-

Size Of Arrow

Size Of Arrow

Yes, the size of the arrow varies depending on your bow type, draw length, and game type. In general, a recurve and longbow require a large size arrow whereas a compound bouquet requires a shorter arrow. In general, the length of the arrow is plus 1 t 2 inches than your draw length.

This isn’t everything. Arrow size plays a great role in the accuracy and overall performance of the arrow. If you are excited to know the influencing factors to select the arrow length and more about arrow size, read this article.

Key Info.

  • The size of arrows can vary depending on various factors like bow type, bow weight, and your draw length.
  • The right arrow length plays a great role in getting the optimal performance and accuracy.
  • As a general rule of thumb, arrow length should be 1 to 2 inches longer than your draw length.

What Factors Should Be Considered When Selecting Arrow Length?

The right arrow length plays a great role in getting the optimal performance and accuracy. Here are some factors to consider when selecting arrow length:

What Factors Should Be Considered When Selecting Arrow Length

Bow Type,

First of all, determine your specific type of bow. The specific types of bows influence arrow length.  So, what type of bow you are using? Are you using a longbow or a recurve bow? 

In general,  Longbows and recurve bows need longer arrow lengths for proper shots. On the other hand, Compound bows require arrow shorter lengths compared to other bows and it increases the bow efficiency.

Draw Length

It is another crucial factor that plays a greater role in archery performance. Draw length is the distance from the bowstring at the full draw to the grip of the bow. The arrow length of your bow should correspond to your arrow length.

You don’t understand, right? Let’s break with an example, As a general rule of thumb, your arrow length will longer 1 to 2 inches than your draw length. Imagine, your draw length is 28 inches, your arrow length will be 29 to 30 inches.

N.B: You can use a arrow length calculator to determine the perfect arrow length with considering the other factors.

Arrow Spine

The arrow spine is correlated with the arrow length. A specific spine needs a specific arrow length for better arrow flight. So, using the wrong length with a specific spine can cause poor arrow flight.

I think you haven’t cleared yet. Let’s see an example: Imagine you are using a compound bow with a 28-inch draw length , and 100 grain arrow tips. So, according to our arrow spine chart, you will need a 340 spine arrow. 

Bow Weight

Bow weight can be a factor when choosing arrow length. Because it also affects the arrow length. A heavier bow needs a stiffer arrow and a heavier arrow. On the other hand, a lighter arrow needs a flexible arrow for more accuracy.

Arrow Materials

Different arrow materials have specific recommendations for length. You know that different types of arrow materials are available such as wooden arrows, aluminum arrows, carbon arrows, fiberglass arrows, etc. So, how do these affect your arrow length, right?

Let’s see, Generally, wooden arrows are more prone to break and wrapping. So, these types of bows need longer and more flexible than other materials to accommodate the curved limbs of longbows and recurve bows.

For example, suppose your draw length is 28 inches. So, you will need a 31-inch arrow. So, always check the archery shop specifications for all types of arrow material.

Game Type

Your shooting style greatly affects the selection of arrow length. So, select your shooting style first. Are you a target shooter or hunter?

If you are a target shooter, you will require more accuracy and consistency. In case of target shooting, your arrow length will be 1 to 2 inches longer than your draw length.

If you are a hunter, you will need more kinetic energy or deeper penetration of the arrow to make a successful hunt. 

So, in case of this, your arrow should be shorter and heavier than for target shooting because it provides less wind drift to get the optimal accuracy.

Size Of Arrow

The size of arrows can vary depending on various factors like bow type, bow weight, and your draw length. Well, then what is the best arrow size? In general, for aluminum and carbon arrows, the best size of the arrow will be 1 to 2 inches longer than your draw length.

For wooden arrows, it will be 2 to inches longer than your draw length. In the case of fiberglass arrow, the length is fixed, so these can’t be adjusted as per your personal preferences.

Below is a general arrow size chart for different types of arrows and their approximate sizes.

                  Arrow Type                   Arrow Size (in inches)
Aluminium arrows26 to 34
Carbon Arrows 30 to 33    
Crossbow Arrows18 to 22
Fiberglass Arrows24 to 30
Traditional Arrows28.5 to 31

It should be remembered that the size can vary depending on the manufacturer, model, and personal preference.

How Do You Measure The Diameter Of An Arrow?[Step By Step ]

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to measure the diameter of an arrow:

How Do You Measure The Diameter Of An Arrow
  • Step 1: Determine The Arrow Type: First of all, determine which type of arrow you are using, such as a wooden arrow, fiberglass arrow, aluminum or a carbon arrow.
  • Step 2:Measure outer diameter:  Aluminum arrows are a four-digit number given on the shaft of the arrow

For example, 

The four-digit number is 2413. The first two digits refer to the outer diameter of the arrow shaft measured in 64ths of an inch. So, for 2413 digits the outer diameter is 24/64 ths of an inch.

  • Step 3: Measure inner diameter: For inside diameter, you should divide the first two numbers by 64, then subtract the last two numbers (in thousands of an inch) twice. 

For example, for 2413 arrow= (24/64)-(.013*2)=inside diameter.

  • Step 4: Manufacturer’s Specifications: If it is a carbon arrow, manufacturers usually provide the diameter in their specifications. 

How Does The Arrow Size Affect Its Performance?

The size of the arrow bow can affect its performance significantly in terms of accuracy, speed, and penetration. 

Here’s how arrow size can affect performance:

  • Arrow’s shorter length may not provide sufficient power for the bow which affects accuracy and arrow speed. On the other hand, longer arrows produce less stable arrows in flight.
  • Heavier arrows penetrate more than lighter arrows. A heavier arrow is suitable for hunting than lighter arrows. Lighter arrows can travel faster than heavier arrows.
  • A larger arrow diameter explained a larger wound channel and better penetration. Smaller diameters can cause less wind resistance and provide higher arrow speeds.
  • The arrow spine is important for perfect arrow flight. Without a proper arrow, stiffness can result in erratic flight and affect accuracy.
  • Straight arrows are more accurate in flight. 

How Do The Sizes Vary For Arrows In Target Archery Versus Those Used In Hunting?

The sizes of your arrow can vary depending on your shooting style such as target shooting or hunting. In general, if you are a target shooter, you will need more accuracy and a longer arrow, but in the case of hunting, you will need a short arrow because a shorter arrow leads to more penetration to the target. Here is how the sizes vary for arrows in target archery vs hunting:

How Does The Arrow Size Affect Its Performance

Arrow Length

For target shooting, If your draw length is 25 inches, you shouldn’t shoot 24-inch arrows. Because it would be too short. So, you should choose the arrow length by adding 1 to 2 inches to the draw length.

Arrow Length

On the contrary, Arrow length is an important factor in hunting. It should be chosen based on draw length. If your draw length is 29 inches, then the size of the arrow length will be 1 to 2 inches shorter than the draw length.

For example,

  • The arrow length for a 28” draw should be 29 to 30 inches in recurve bow.
  • The arrow length for 29 inch draw should be 30 to 31 inches.
  • The arrow length for 30 inch draw should be 31 to 32 inches.
  • The arrow length for 31 inch draw should be 32 to 33 inches.

Arrow Diameter:

The standard diameter for target archery is 6.5MM, the Micro Diameter is 5MM, and the reduced diameter is 6MM. A larger diameter arrow size helps to get the higher point, which is very crucial for target shooting.

Arrow Diameter

On the other hand, The diameter can affect penetration and the wound channel created upon impact. A shorter diameter arrow can penetrate the arrow more deeply to the target. So, the Arrow diameter for hunting is .246 micrometers. 

Arrow Weight:

Target archers always want a lower-grain arrow. On the other hand, hunters choose higher-grain arrows for deeper penetration. The safe grain weight is 5 and 8 grains per pound. Hunters always prefer a higher arrow grain weight for deeper penetration. If your bow has 50 Ibs of draw, then the arrow is between 250 and 400 grains.

Arrow Weight

What Is The Most Common Arrow Diameter?

The most common diameter for target archery and hunting will fall between 5/16 inch and 9/32 inch. The diameter can vary depending on the type of arrow and its use. Here are some common diameters:

  • 5/16 inch: Mainly aluminum and carbon arrows are available in this diameter. They are often used in hunting and target shooting.  
  • 11/32 inch: This diameter is used in wooden arrows. Traditional archers used these arrows in their recurve bows and longbows.
  • 9/32 inch:This diameter is slightly smaller than others’ diameters. They are mainly used in wooden arrows. It is favorable for its wind resistance. 

Tricks To Choose The Right Arrow Size

The ideal arrow size is important for achieving optimal performance. Here are some tricks to choose the right arrow size:

Tricks To Choose The Right Arrow Size
  • Arrow length:  For proper arrow length, simply find your draw length plus 1 to 2 inches.
  • Understand arrow weight: You should choose a lower-grain arrow if you are a target archer. But if you are a hunter, then you should choose a higher one.  But for every situation, you’re safe between 5 and 8 grains per pound of draw weight.
  • Use an arrow chart: Almost every arrow manufacturer serves an arrow selection chart. These charts consider factors such as draw weight, draw length, and the type of bow you’re using. 

By the manufacturer chart, you can get a general idea of the recommended arrow size.

  • Consider your shooting style: If you are a target archer, may refer to arrow speed and precision. But hunters may prioritize penetration and kinetic energy. 

So, according to your Shooting style, you should choose arrow size.

What If You Choose The Wrong Arrow Size?

If unfortunately, you choose the wrong arrow size, it can cause different types of bad impact. Here are some negative impacts of choosing the wrong arrow size:

  1. A short arrow can fall off the bow’s arrow rest during the draw. For this reason, it can cause injury to your hand or any part of the body.
  2. Choosing the wrong arrow size can damage your compound bows
  3. The wrong arrow size can hamper your shooting accuracy.
  4. Choosing an arrow with an incorrect arrow stiffer spine can result in poor arrow flight
  5. Choosing the wrong arrow size with considering your game can cause deeper penetration or lower penetration. 
  6. Using arrows that are too light or too heavy may result in decreased energy transfer. This can reduce the effectiveness of the arrow heads. You know that different sizes of arrow heads are available such as as 100 and 125 grains.
  7. Shooting with the wrong arrow size can lead to discomfort.

To avoid these causes, you should consider your bow and arrow specifications, personal shooting style, and skill level. 

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

What Should My Arrow Length Be?

The length of your arrow depends on your draw length and the types of bow you are using. The standard arrow length is anywhere from 28.5 to 31 inches long. However, simply, the arrow length is 1 to 2  inches greater than your draw length. 

Are Small Diameter Arrows Better?

An arrow slows down faster with increasing surface area. Shorter arrows have greater kinetic energy as well as better penetration at longer ranges because they maintain more of their velocity.

Can A Larger Or Smaller Arrow Contribute To A Quieter Shot?

In general, a smaller arrow contributes to a quieter shot because it absorbs more kinetic energy than a longer one and reduces vibration and noise.

Final Thoughts

In the end, the size of the arrow plays a significant role in overall archery performance. It is very crucial to choose the right size arrow to make a humane kill or get optimal accuracy during target shooting. 
Hopefully, you have cleared up the size of arrow and have a clear vision. That’s all for today!

Bob Magic

Written by

Bob Magic

Meet Bob Magic, the archery maestro. A National Champion, “Coach of the Year,” and gold medalist. Bob simplifies archery, ensuring your bullseye success. Whether you’re a newbie or a pro, let Bob’s magic guide your arrow.

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