Perhaps you have wondered to yourself about the weight of the arrows chosen. In bowfishing, we commonly use heavier arrows, but do you want them with regular archery?
Can arrows be too heavy? Heavier arrows fly at slower speeds, but they resist the wind more easily and penetrate deeper into targets. Know the arrow weight limits of your bow because shooting too heavy of an arrow can lead to damaged equipment and possible injury.
In the upcoming article, we will talk more about arrows and how to know the ideal weight for your arrow. In bowfishing, we use a heavier arrow without feathers because we need the weight and lack of fletching to penetrate the water easier.
Heavier Arrows: What to Know
Heavier arrows don’t have as much range as lighter arrows, but when they hit a target, they smash it. Provided you don’t get it too heavy, the arrow will be deadlier. The heavier weight does slow them down and lower its range, however.
What Hunters Recommend
Higher weights have an advantage when you target the big game. Many hunters recommend 350 grain or more. It is also not unheard of to use 520 grain for hunting. You can tell a big difference in the penetration with heavier weighted arrows at the same draw weight. Before you choose an arrow, know the weights allowed for the bow.
The heavier weight does shorten the range of the arrow, but how much it shortens it depends on your bow.
Hunters want a heavier weight because they have the ultimate goal to blow straight through the target. This shot makes for a cleaner kill with less tracking after.
Too Heavy of Arrow? What are the Consequences?
Generally speaking, no, you don’t have too heavy of an arrow. The greater danger lies in lighter arrows where you could dry fire it. Dry fires from a bow have the potential to pose a serious danger. The biggest issue from a heavy arrow is that it doesn’t go far.
Common fiberglass arrows for bowfishing will weigh anywhere from 1,400 grains to 1,500 grains. Here’s where the problem comes in at: A bowfishing arrow can cover 20 yards at the most. Regular arrows, in comparison, can go anywhere from 100 to 650 yards, depending on the grain of the arrow.
Why You Don’t Want a Heavier Arrow
Having a heavier arrow may work to an extent, but the biggest problem is how the range becomes a handicap while hunting. You can blow through your target even with some of the lighter grained arrows. A 1,500-grain arrow isn’t necessarily going to make for easier shooting because it hurts your range.
You want a decent middle range where you don’t sacrifice too much for range, but you still get plenty of weight behind it. I like to use a 450-grain arrow for whitetail hunting, but I know of people who use nothing below 500 grain.
How to Tell if You Have Too Heavy of an Arrow
To tell if you have too heavy of an arrow, consider the purpose. What do you plan to use the arrow for? If you will target moose, you want 500 to 550 grains. For bear, you want anywhere from 400 to 500 grains, and you want a 55 to 70-pound draw weight.
Whether you have too heavy of an arrow depends on the target. You don’t need to have overkill because you sacrifice range for it. That can cause you to miss an animal that you may have gotten otherwise.
Too Heavy of an Arrow Can Break Your Bow
You need to look at the allowed weight for your bow because you have had cases where archers broke their bow from a dead-heavy arrow. It doesn’t happen often, but it has happened. What it all comes down to is finding an arrow that you will find effective while out hunting. You don’t want it too heavy or it hurts your range. Too light, and it could cause you to dry fire. Not to mention, it loses some of its penetration.
Why Some Hunters Prefer the Heavier Arrows
Penetration does make a difference. You don’t want to shoot an animal only to wound it. Nothing worse than to lose an arrow to an animal that runs off with it. Worse, you might find the arrow of someone else who hit the animal. This is more cruel because the animal survives injured and in pain. Any ethical hunter doesn’t do the sport to cause pain to animals. They do it because they want to connect with nature and their inner primitive self.
What to Know About Online Archery Calculators
Any archery calculator that you use shouldn’t be seen as the gospel. This only gives you an estimate or a ballpark figure, but most archers can attest to how they tend to be off the mark. Don’t expect the exact number to be correct.
In general, a heavy arrows poses less danger than too light of an arrow. Heavy arrows have better penetration too, which is ideal for hunters. You want this as a hunter without sacrificing range. Light arrows fly faster, but you may find them harder to tune.