Target practice with the bow will improve your shots for better accuracy. Some people do it for the sport, while others do it to improve their hunting skills. With that in mind, you may be wondering about the type of arrow point to use for target practice.
What arrow point is used for target practice? Archery practitioners will use field points for target practice because of less wear and tear on the targets, especially for 3D or dense foam targets. The narrow design of field points leaves a smaller entrance hole, and you can remove it more easily than other arrow points.
If you would like to learn more about field points and other arrow points and where to use them, keep reading because we will cover this information in depth.
Why Use Field Points for Target Practice?
The design of field points for target practice has made it so that you can remove them from the target more easily. Especially with target practice, you need to remove a lot of arrows from the ongoing shots. In another sport like hunting, this may not matter as much because of how you only have one arrow to take the shot. Rarely will you have the opportunity to take a second shot.
A field point has a design that makes them more aerodynamic than a bullet, and the shape of the arrowhead will provide you with deeper penetration.
Field points were designed to shoot into foam targets, bag targets and grass-type targets.
Expert Tip: Match the field point to the weight of a big-game broadhead so that when hunting season comes along, you won’t notice a big difference with the shots taken. It will feel the same with the exception of using a broadhead. This action also minimizes your bow sight adjustment.
You may also hear field points called target points, which means the same thing. In an archery tournament, you can only use field points because of how they don’t tear up targets as badly. They work the best for shots on targets.
Using Field Points for Target Practice as a Hunter
If you plan to shoot targets for the purpose of hunting later, choose screw-on field points rather than glued field points. Screw-on field points let you take the arrow point on and off as needed for either target practice or hunting. You can switch it out to a broadhead easily, which was the purpose. With that said, it makes little sense to put screw-on arrowheads for solely target practice arrows.
Should You Practice with What You Hunt With?
You could argue how field points won’t drop a deer and practicing with what you shoot with will have a greater impact. You would be right. However, shooting a broadhead at a foam target makes about as much sense as lighting your money on fire to spend it. Your average 3D archery target will cost anywhere from $150 to $500.
Broadheads were designed to cause the most damage, which means your target won’t last long if you practice a lot. Can you afford to run through 3D targets quickly? How much you practice matters more than the difference in the feel of the arrow. If you miss your shot, so what? That’s the nature of bowhunting. Sometimes you get the deer and sometimes the deer gets away.
It makes no sense to rip apart your target with a broadhead because field points don’t cause as much damage and will cost less in the long term. Your target lasts longer, and you don’t have to buy a new one as often. If you’d like to learn more about why archery targets are so expensive, I wrote a fascinating piece that looks at what adds to the cost of them here. You will learn more about the several factors that can cause the prices to skyrocket and how to save money.
Understanding Your Targets and What to Practice On
Let’s say that you don’t want to practice with a field tip because you believe that you should shoot with what you will hunt with. Nothing wrong with that, but you should do it in the right way. For cases where you want to target practice with broadheads, I would advise that you buy a broadhead target.
You might try the BIGSHOT Archery Titan 16 Multipurpose Broadhead Target. Typically speaking, you would use field tips for target practice unless you buy one specifically for your type of arrows like a broadhead target. This type of target was made to handle broadheads.
Practice with broadheads on a field tip target, and you will quickly rip it to shreds because they weren’t designed to handle the abuse. Most archery targets were designed to simply handle field tips. In some cases, they might be designed to handle only broadheads, but you can find archery targets that can handle both as well. If you’d like to practice with both, look for a target designed for this purpose.
Crossbow Targets: Specific Target Needed
Along with this, keep in mind that you want to have a target specifically made to handle crossbows because the higher FPS and impact on striking makes it easier for it to rip through simple field tip targets. Many crossbow targets will often be heavier than archery targets. You want to have a crossbow target built to handle your level of FPS. Be aware of your FPS and don’t pick a crossbow target built to withstand a lower FPS.
Like with archery targets, consider if you will use field tips for it or broadheads. Again, broadheads require a target built to better withstand the abuse that they deliver.
What Other Arrow Points Could You Use for Target Practice?
Aside from field tips, which are the best, bullet points can be used for target practice as well. The shape helps to limit the damage. A bullet point would especially make sense for a fast bow because of how it creates tons of energy, and it doesn’t wear down on the target as much.
Bullet point tips were made so that you can buy screw-on arrow tips as well.
What are the Types of Arrow Points?
Now that we have covered the types of arrow point tips that you would use for target practice, let’s have a look at the other types of arrow tips. This information will let you know when to use each one for the different scenarios that might arise.
Blunt Point Arrow Tips
A blunt point arrow tips is a simple cylinder without the tapering of other tips. You would use blunt point tips to kill small game like squirrels, rabbits, grouse and ptarmigan. They will usually be made from steel, plastic or rubber. I would recommend going with steel if you want to hunt with them. Nothing worse than nearly killing your target but only wounding it because of the wrong arrow tip material. By the way, you could use field tips to hunt small game as well.
You could use a blunt arrow tip for non-archery targets like a stump. For those cases, you may want rubber material because it won’t damage as easily. This can be used for targets as well, but probably not for the results you would want. Field tips do best for target practice.
Bowfishing Arrow Tips
For carp, you might use a field tip and do all right in most cases. However, when you start to shoot gar or other rough fish, you might want a bowfishing arrow tip to pierce their armor. Even with carp, a bowfishing arrow tip will ensure that the fish doesn’t escape too quickly. The strong barb ensures that you can crank in any fish that you may have shot. A bowfishing arrow tip has another key advantage: It will be easy to remove it from the fish because most come with retractable barbs.
Built to take down the big game, you would use broadheads for deer, bear, moose and other big game where a field tip won’t do enough damage. Broadheads come in two forms: fixed blades and blades that open on contact. Broadheads cause hemorhagic shock from the massive blood loss that results from them hitting their target.
Especially common for hunting small game in grassy areas, the tip keeps it from getting buried. As the spring-like arms enter play, it will create a deadly effect.
Field tips are typically your best bet when you go to use tips for a target. You can choose to use broadheads on a target, but you should only do this if the target was built to handle broadheads. Otherwise, you will find that you soon have to buy another target. Most targets were only built to withstand field tips. The advantage of buying a field tip target is that they last longer than even the targets made for broadheads.
The most important thing when hunting isn’t the weight of the arrow or the tip used. That may influence it slightly, but what matters most is practice.
If you would like to learn what archery targets are made of, I wrote about that here. Understanding this a little better can be helpful when it comes to choosing a target because you will know what to choose for yourself.