Arrows have been around for as long as humans began to hunt and with the advancement of science and technology, today’s archers have an infinite amount of option for their equipment, accessories, etc.
This is especially true when it comes to arrows. With the overwhelming amount of choices to choose from these days, an inexperienced archer might be confused and left unsure of which option is the right one for them. Today, I will be sharing with you some tips on choosing the right arrow as well as top 5 best carbon/hunting arrow we recommend.
Breaking the common myth of carbon arrows
Most people think an arrow flies just like it looks when at rest – perfectly straight. But nothing could be further from the truth. Once fired from a bow, an arrow immediately begins flexing and oscillating. That’s not a defect. Each arrow bends and flexes in a particular cycle as it leaves the bow (archer’s paradox).
If the timing of the cycle is correct, the tail of the arrow clears the bow without making contact with the arrow rest, riser, or cables. If the timing of the cycle is not correct due to improper arrow spine, the over- or under-oscillation of the arrow results in serious fletching contact and/or paper-tune tears which cannot be corrected. So we have to get this one right.
Top 5 carbon arrows conparison table
To people who wants to have a quick glance of the best carbon arrows for hunting, this table will capture the main specifications to help you make your choice.
|Product||Length||Straightness (+/-)||Grains||Number of arrows||weight difference (+/-)||Price|
|Maxima Red Fletched||32''||0.0025"||414||6||1 grain||$$$$|
|Huntingdoor Carbon Arrows||31"||0.006"||297.6||12||2 grains||$|
|Pile Driver||20"||0.004"||442||6||1 grain||$$|
|Barnett Outdoors||20"||0.003"||311.6||5||2 grains||$$|
|Maxima Blue Streak||22"||0.025"||403||5||1 grain||$$$|
Important criteria to consider for an arrow
These are the top criteria that we deem are the most important to look out for in an arrow selection. There are a few critical criteria that make a good carbon arrow. These are a few of the important criteria that we took into consideration when making this review.
Length of the shaft
The length of the arrows. Basically, the arrow shaft is the middle part of the arrow..The long hollow tube is usually made of aluminium or carbon composite materials. But as for this review, the shaft would be made from carbon.
There would also be a way for calculating the length of the arrow. The standard AMO measurement of an arrow length is to measure it from the nock to the arrow tip which is not the tip.
The straightness of the arrows. The smaller the number, the better it is. Basically, this is the striaghtness tolerance of the arrow. As a rule of thumb, the straighter the arrow, the more expensive they will typically be.
Let’s look into some of the important criteria that make a good carbon arrow. First of all, it’s the straightness tolerance of the arrow. The best arrows in the market these days are advertised to have straightness tolerance from 0.001 to 0.004 inches, and of course the straighter the arrow is, the more expensive it is.
Most manufacturers measure their arrows carefully as they come out of production. The arrows are then separated into different class based on their straightness. Arrows are classified by this, with the premium arrows falling in the 0.001 to 0.003, the mid-range arrows with 0.003 to 0.004 and the standard ones at 0.005 to 0.006.
Per ATA/ASTM standards, arrow straightness should be measured along the full length of the shaft minus two inches.
There is a frequency vibration occurring when launching an arrow. When you have a straight arrow, this frequency is fairly consistent and the shooting impact is very good. However, when the arrow becomes bent, the frequency of the arrow changes, thus causing the oscillation to change as well. Hence, this is why striaghtness is taken into account.
Weight aka Grains
Next let’s dive into the weight of the arrows aka grains. Now choosing the weight of your arrows will be depended on your objectives. If you want to target practice more often than you are to hunt, then you are probably going to choose a lighter arrow and if you’re going to hunt more than you are to target practice then you should be going after arrows that are heavier in general.
The reason behind this logic is that lighter arrows are more likely to be travelling straight in the air hence it’ll be easier to shoot in tight groups whereas heavier arrows are able to deliver more penetration power that you need to penetrate through your prey’s skin.
The weight of the arrows without including any additional accessories. @29” means the weight of the arrow at 29 inches.
It is said that there needs to be a sweetspot in the arrow where the weight and speed of the arrow is perfect. With enough weight, the arrow can get deep enough into the target while with enough speed, the arrow can fly with more accuracy.
That being said, any arrows that is between 200 grains to 500 grains will do well in either target practice or hunting.
The insert gets glued into the end of the shaft and provides a threaded hole in which to screw in the arrow’s TIP.
A tip doesn’t necessarily have to be a practice point. A standard insert allows you to screw-in and use of a variety of tips in the same arrow (broadheads, judo-points, blunt-tips, field points, fishing tips, etc.).
The arrow spine is also known as the backbone of the arrow. To one synonym, the arrow should not be too limber or too stiff. If the arrow is too stiff, it cannot shoot well and performs poorly.
Arrow spine refers to the arrow’s degree of stiffness – how much the arrow resists being bent. Some arrows are very stiff, others are very limber. And if you ever intend to achieve serious accuracy with your compound bow, you’ll need to choose an arrow that’s just stiff enough – but not too stiff for your particular bow setup.
Bow Draw Weight
Proper spine selection is the key to optimum arrow flight. With today’s modern compounds, there are many variables that affect how an arrow reacts when it is thrust from the bow. The bow’s cam, bow speed, arrow length and many other conditions affect performance during flight.
With this, the stiffness of the actual shaft material and the tip weight that will be used has to be taken into consideration.
Given the number of variables that require consideration, I would recommend that you begin by using the company’s adjusted bow draw weight chart to calculate a final pound number for your bow.
WARNING. FOR COMPOUND BOW USE: It is CRITICAL that you determine your proper adjusted bow draw weight before selecting arrow shafts. Selecting the wrong shaft could result in damage to the shaft and/or serious injury.
Types of arrows
Let’s start with the main types of arrows. The main types of arrows are aluminium, carbon, and the oldest of all, wood.
As you can see from the title, we’re covering mainly carbon arrows this time but we’re just going to brief you through all the different types of arrows and a tiny bit about fletchers for your knowledge.
Aluminium Arrows. They were introduced way back in the 1940s but had only exploded in popularity in the 1970s. The advantages of using aluminium as the material for the arrow shaft is that it is cheap to produce, it has strong constructional integrity and rebound from minor bending. Besides that, it is resistance to moisture and has extreme straightness.
Carbon Arrows. One of the many reasons that carbon arrows have taken the archery world by the storm is the arrow’s speed. This is due to fact that they are generally lighter in weight therefore archers can gain many feet per second using carbon arrows. When they are first introduced, these carbon arrows are prone to split upon impact and are difficult to tune.
However, in recent years, the shaft of the carbon arrows are either weaved or wrapped which make them a lot stronger than their predecessors and of course, less prone to splitting upon impact. Carbon arrows are also generally extremely durable, straight and have the ability to transfer energy unlike any of the other types of arrows. In addition to that, their prices on the market have gone down in the past few years making them the most popular type of arrow.
Note: You might want to learn how to cut your own carbon arrows here.
Wood Arrows. Oldest form of all but not obsolete. They are cheap, reasonable accurate, heavy enough to penetrate most of your preys even the largest big game animals, surprising durable if taken care properly and have a wonderful scent.
All of these sounds good but wood arrows can be bent easily and warp when subjected to moisture. Besides all those disadvantages, wooden arrows cannot be used with modern, high velocity compound bow or crossbows as they are not strong enough to withstand the vast amount of energies being transfer to them.
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Fletchers are basically the supporting element of an arrow. They influence the speed, stability and accuracy of an arrow. There are basically two types of fletchers attached to an arrow.
Plastic vanes are the most common type of fletcher these days. They are very durable, moisture resistant, not easily bendable and crumpled. Besides that, they can effectively stabilize many types of arrows and available in many lengths and styles to suit your needs. The disadvantages of using plastic vanes are that they are generally heavier and they do not offer as much stabilization as the feather type fletchers and are less forgiving when they’re hit by obstructions.
Feather fletchers are the oldest type of fletcher but they are still the favourite type of fletcher for the traditional archers. It’s not hard to see why as they are faster than vanes during flight due to it being lightweight and can provide the most stabilization to the arrow. Unlike their vanes counterpart, they can collapsed onto itself when hit by an obstacle so the arrow will not be thrown off course. However, feather type fletchers are not as durable as plastic vanes, not resistant to moisture and are noisier than plastic vanes when shot.
The Carbon Express Maxima RED Fletched Carbon Arrows are one of the best carbon arrows from Carbon Express. Carbon Express is one of the established brand with a good history in making quality arrows.
The Maxima RED arrows are specifically designed to provide extreme Brodhead performance and accuracy. This is achieved by controlling the arrow’s dynamic spine. (The way the arrow flex while flying through the air is called Dynamic Spine.) Basically, managing how an arrow flexes in flight (Dynamic Spine) is the key to arrow accuracy.
To shed some light on the dynamic and patented spine, the new, high-tech carbon design has stiffer ends to contain the arrow’s flex to what they call the “Red Zone”. It is basically the section of the arrow shaft engineered to contain Dynamic Spine and make a broadhead shoot more consistently
A broadhead moves the center of mass forward on an arrow, which increases the flex of the arrow when launched from the bow. Both expandable and fixed blade broadheads exaggerate the effect of this increased flexing because the shape of the broadhead act like “wings” on the front of the arrow.
The stiffer front end of the arrow shaft repositions arrow flex to the RED ZONE™ and reduces oscillation on the front end to make broadheads shoot more consistently. This results in tighter groups with broadheads and makes the Maxima® RED™ the Ultimate Hunting Arrow.
Furthermore, this is one of the best tuning arrow because the Maxima Red manages dynamic spine very well that it will take only two spine sizes to cover 40 to 92 pound bows.
You can choose between 2 kinds of Maxima Red Carbon arrows which are the Maxima Red 250 and Maxima Red 350. For the Maxima Red 250, the arrow has 8.11 grains per inch, the spine is 0.417” and the straightness is between positive 0.0025” to negative 0.0025”. As for the Maxima Red 350, it weighs 9.07 grains per inch, the spine is 0.342” while the straightness is positive 0.0025” to negative 0.0025”.
The Maxima RED arrows come with a hi-tech carbon design which has stiffer ends to contain the arrow’s flex to the RED ZONE. The RED ZONE feature is the section of the Maxima RED arrow shaft that control the arrow’s flex.
These carbon arrows are controlled to the point where only two spine sizes are required to meet draw weights from 40 to 81 pounds.
The shaft straightness of these arrows are laser checked to 1/10000 if an inch to have a straightness of 0.0025 which shows the premium quality of the carbon arrow. Also, the weave carbon fiber makes it stronger and more resistant too.
The Maxima RED weighs 414 grains at 29 inches and the carbon arrow delivers enough penetrating power while still remain lightweight enough for it to be fast. As for the performance of this arrow, it does shoot straight which means it helps significantly in heightening your accuracy. Their consistency would also amaze you supported by the most recent technology.
Some other nice features that the Maxima RED comes with is the LAUNCHPAD precision nock that provides a better and controlled arrow release. The Blazer Performance Vanes are fletched to the arrows and the BullDog Nock Collar are available to protect the shaft against nock end impacts. The vanes are textured to make them slick in the air and lubricate for smooth penetration while increasing the arrow speed.
One thing that you have to take note of is that you have to get the right size illuminated nock so it will fit the collar.
If you are to purchase the Carbon Express Maxima Red fletched carbon arrows, it comes in 6 in a pack. It would be a great offer as you would get an arrow with dynamic spine control and blazer vanes. Really great arrows for archers to up their game and improve their shooting. This may be one of the most accurate arrows you will shoot!
First and foremost, the Huntingdoor Carbon arrows has to be bought in a pack with 12 arrows.
The 31 inches’ arrows are made with strong and lightweight carbon shafts with an improved wall thickness which makes the arrow more durable. Since these arrows are made of carbon fiber, it will not be easily cracked.
In addition, there are colored plastic fletching vanes and nock. These carbon arrows are highly flexible too. These carbon arrows are incredibly strong and durable in both the shaft and notch. With only about 298 grains, you would be surprised how lightweight they will be. The carbon fiber used to make these arrows are truly durably.
The Huntingdoor Carbon 31-inch arrows has replaceable 100 grain tips with standard thread. These carbon arrows has top quality screw tip on and off arrows featuring a black carbon shaft, super hard steel target point and plastic vanes. The color of the fletching is 2 red and 1 white while the nock is colored green.
Furthermore, these carbon arrows would definitely provide good performance by giving low hand shock with excellent speed. Overall, the craftsmanship is superb and the field tips are very nice.
Although the stock field points that come with it are really good, you would want to put some Loctite on them as they have a tendency to fall out. The tip may come off a bit more often then the expensive sets of arrows but this is a great product which performs well for the cost.
In contrary to that, the tips are really easy to screw in and scew out.
The Huntingdoor Carbon arrows are really durable too because they would not break after many shots. These may be the least expensive quality carbon arrows you can find in the market!
Ideally, the Huntingdoor Carbon Arrows would be for compound bows with draw weight of 40 to 55 pounds. These are excellent target practice arrows that comes with field points. These high quality carbon arrows are made specifically for compound bows except for the all-capture arrow rests. Although these arrows are nocked for a compound bow but you can turn the nocks to match a long bow or a recurve bow.
If you are interested in getting these carbon arrows, this package comes with 12 arrows. Generally, the Huntingdoor carbon arrows fly great, are lightweight and will be perfect for target practice! Not only you will be blown away by the price, you will also be amazed with the performance this arrow provides not to mention how durable these carbon arrows are.
The Pile Driver is the heaviest carbon arrow in the entire Carbon Express lineup. Thanks to its weight which is 442 grains at 20 inches, it creates maximum kinetic energy and great knock-down power where you can bet that the Pile Driver can penetrate even the largest of prey. Basically, these arrows are designed for the hunter who wants ultimate penetration.
Although it weighs quite heavy with 442 grains, it still shoots straight and accurate while penetrating deeper into the target.
These arrows are built with advanced construction that ensures spine consistency for great accuracy and its material is durable at impact for extreme reliability and consistent performance.
Furthermore, the Carbon Express Pile Driver has a Built-in Weight Forward, which is a patented technology that offers great downrange accuracy with a broadhead.
As for the front of the shaft, it is made with the patented BuffTuff which is known to be the world’s toughest and quietest carbon arrow finish. One more pluspoint is that the carbon crosbolts are really durable, so it can sustain the pressures in shooting practice or even in the field. It is encouraged that we use the same arrows we use in target practice in the field.
Particularly, the Carbon Express Pile Driver is for crossbow shooters because the crossbolts are specifically designed for the increased stresses of the platform on a crossbow. By have the correct length, correct fletching and having interchangeable nocks, it would be excellent for crossbows.
To explain more about the matched set, the Pile Driver series 6- and 12- packs sets are precision sorted for maximum consistency. Like any other Carbon Express arrows, it is laser checked to a straightness of +/- 0.005” as a maximum measurement while the weight sorting tolerance is +/- 1.0 grains.
They come with 2 inches’ bright yellow Assault vanes that make the Pile Driver which promotes extra arrow velocity in each shot.
In addition, the LaunchPad Precision Nocks come standard on all PileDriver arrows and shafts to deliver a controlled arrow release, better shaft alignment and more consistent accuracy for every single shot. The Carbon Express Pile Driver also comes with a BullDog Nock Collar which comes standard on PileDriver arrows and shafts to protect the shaft against nock-end impacts.
We recommend the Pile Driver to archers that are looking for carbon arrows with high penetration power since the carbon crossbolt creates maximum kinetic energy and knock-down power. All and all, the construction of these crossbow bolts are top notch!
If you were to purchase the Carbon Express Pile Driver Carbon Crossbolts, it will come with standard 4 inches’ vanes with inserted green half moon nocks and 6 universal flat nocks. A word of caution, field tips would not be included in the package, so you have to make sure that you have field tips or broadheads to use with the carbon crossbolts. Basically, these will become your favourite arrows for it is very quiet in shooting, stable in flight, and hard hitting on impact.
The Barnett Outdoors Carbon Crossbow 20 inch arrows are one of the most popular carbon arrows on amazon right now with a 4.5 stars rating. This Carbon Arrows are from Barnett which is another renowned manufacturer that makes quality arrows for decades. Basically, they are an industry leader in crossbow design and manufacture, and has sold well over one million crossbows to date. The company was established more than 50 years ago, with products designed by hunters and for hunters. Barnett manufactures a range of crossbows that are lightweight, adjustable, and surprisingly powerful. Please be warned that these carbon arrows are not for sale in certain zip codes.
First off, the Barnett Oudoors Carbon Crossbow arrows comes in five for each pack. These arrows are 20 inches in length while weighing 8.1 ounce arrows also comes with a strong lightweight carbon shaft. The fletchings on the arrows are very sustainable because it is not easily detached although through many shots. None of the shafts will splinter or break while the nocks will still be intact even after several months of usage.
To add on, these carbon arrows are 13.78 grains per inch. These carbon arrows are best matched with 100-grain point for optimal accuracy and target penetration. Considering the price, this is a great bolt that flies consistently and straight.
The Outdoors Carbon Arrows are perfect for your Barnett Crossbow. The Bolts itself feature polymer rocks. These arrows have improved wall thickness for added durability. Since they are made of carbon fiber, this makes them really strong compared to wood and aluminum.
The Barnett Outdoor carbon arrows are measured to have a straightness of 0.003 and they weigh in at 311.6 grains without the fieldpoints and broadheads. Also, you can appreciate the high quality craftsmanship of these carbon arrows. When you add a 100 gram field point, you would have a 412 gram arrow to shoot!
To give general overview, these carbon arrows are especially compatible with few crossbows such as the Ghost 350, Penetrator, Wildcat C-5 and the Jackal crossbow. Of course, these arrows will be ideal for Barnett crossbows. It will definitely shoot flat and true with the above crossbows. Other bow brands would work fine as well but the above brands would be ideal.
The carbon arrows comes with red and orange fletchings which are easier to spot in tall grass instead of the black and green fletchings as advertised in Amazon. The weight tolerance for these carbon arrows are +/- 2 grains but they still shoot accurately.
Moreover, there is no need to replace the insert or nock for weight adjustment of the arrow. These are extremely accurate arrows which is highly recommended for all. The tips that come with these carbon arrows are sharp and they screw on tightly onto the crossbolts. It is not advisable to shoot these carbon arrows into hard targets such as a rock because the opposite end of the point might shatter while bending the aluminum.
Be careful of the orange knocks too because they may come off the back after several shots.
The Outdoors Carbon Arrows includes a limited 5 years’ manufacturer’s warranty as well, so feel free to return them if there are any defects in these arrows particularly the materials and the workmanship. To conclude, these carbon arrows provides optimal accuracy and penetrating power, definitely excellent bolts worth your time!
If you plan to purchase these 5 in-a-pack arrows, it come with 24F field point and moon nocks. Kindly note that the field points are the arrow tips and the moon nocks are at the orange tips already attached to the arrows next to the fletching.
The counterpart of the PileDriver, Carbon Express Maxima Blue Streak Carbon Crossbolts are the lightest carbon arrows made by Carbon Express. If you’re looking for the fastest carbon arrows that are in the market right now, the Maxima Blue Streak is the best choice for you since the Maxima Blue Streak Crossbolt is the fastest crossbow bolt while providing pinpoint accuracy in the Carbon Express lineup.
Firstly, this the Carbon Express Maxima Blue arrows are made from a premium of 100 percent carbon to increase the speed when it is shot and better flatter trajectory.
These crossbolts feature Diamond Weave, a Carbon Express exclusive with an innovative carbon cross weave design which provides optimal spine uniformity to deliver tack driving performance and better accuracy. Also, the patented diamond weave would be just stiff enough to provide a good shooting experience.
The Maxima Blue Streak features Dual Spine Weight Forward which is a fusion of two different carbon materials that creates two spines in one arrow to achieve better energy management, allowing it to spin 20 percent sooner and providing faster recovery while retaining more speed and providing unmatched accuracy. Basically, with the rapid recovery and optimizing trajectory, it will ensure a greater down range shot placement.
As for the back of the arrow, the material used to construct the back part of the arrow spine is stiffer and manages energy like a “shock absorber” to dramatically improve the arrow recovery out of the bow making it shoot straighter and faster for a more consistent arrow.
The material used to construct the front part of the arrow is heavier and more forgiving, guiding the arrow immediately upon release, providing “power steering” to put your arrows right where you want them. Also, the 2 inches flights frees up some weight to put more on the broad head.
Additionally, it also features BuffTuff exterior with precision milled insert to deliver better strength and repeat consistency. Moreover, the low profile diameter for reduced wind drift and closer center shot are to improve accuracy.
The Maxima Blue Streaks 6 and 12 pack sets are sorted by weight and spine for the best consistency. The arrows are laser measured to have a straightness of +/-0.0025 (which is deemed to be the maximum measurement and not an average). Not only that, the weight tolerance is between +/- 1.0 grains.
There are two models for the Carbon Express Maxima Blue Streaks. For model 52136, it has a size of 20 inches, weighs 380 grains with 0.340 inches in diameter. As for the 52137 model, it has a size of 22 inches and weighs 403 grains with a diameter of 0.340 inches.
The Carbon Express Maxima Blue Streak are dead on hitting their targets albeit it is quite far. The bolts are also very strong which makes it able to survive many shots no matter how damaging is the target. The BullDog nock collars are also good in guarding against nock end impacts.
They come with blue and white Blazer Vanes, five universal flat nocks and two Laser eye lighted nocks that is blue in color. One word of advice is to change the laser eye lighted nocks because they are considerably fragile. You can choose the Carbon Express LaunchPad which are really strong and sustainable. One more thing is that it does not come with the field tip as advertised but it is still really good arrows.
If you plan to purchase the Carbon Express Maxima Blue Streak, it would include an all 5-packs arrows with inserted moon nocks, 5 flat nocks and 2 blue LaunchPad Lighted Nocks. All and all, it shoots really straight and really accurate!
All in all, these are the best carbon arrows for hunting that are available in the market right now. We are certain that one of them will match your needs for your budget. If you have anything to share regarding the best arrows in the market, please comment below. I would love to hear from you!
If you’re a more rifle person, check out our top rated deer hunting rifles here.