Aluminum Vs Carbon Bolts

Discussion in 'General Crossbow Discussion' started by Patriot, Apr 12, 2012.

  1. Patriot

    Patriot New Member

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    I have all the equipment to build arrows for Compound and Bolts for Crossbows...

    I currently shoot a Horton Summit HD 15 ... Not a Speed Crossbow but gets the Job done. Bolts have to have atotal weight of 425 grains according to manufacurer.

    What are the advantages of Aluminum Vs Carbon in the Crossbow World because I've only used a Crossbow for only 1.5 Years so I consider myself entry level ...
     
  2. ClintRhodes

    ClintRhodes Active Member

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    If you do some searching you'll find some great discussion about the 2 types.

    Generally Aluminum arrows are going to be more accurate and more "tuner" friendly. Also Aluminum arrows cost less. With carbon you have to pay closer attention to the spine and fletching placement.

    Carbon are going to be way more durable than aluminum tho. If you shoot thru a deer and into the ground the carbon arrow will be reusable. Theres a good chance an aluminum arrow will be bent.

    As far as the accuracy thing goes: I doubt you'll notice a difference at 20 - 30 yds. I don't think you can go wrong with either type.

    DISCLAIMER:

    The above statements are just my opinion. I am not a professional arrow builder. I'm barely an ametuer arrow builder.
     
  3. Highlander

    Highlander I Didn't Do It.

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    Clint has provided a good summary for the advantages and disadvantages for aluminum and carbon arrows. ;)

    Another note is that aluminum arrows are usually heavier than carbon arrows which effects speed. Carbon arrows are thinner than aluminum arrows which will allow for better penetration.

    Look out for the next generation of arrows that are here now but pricey, the aluminum arrow with a carbon interior. This combines the best of both worlds, with a weight & diameter between the two. Full Metal Jacket Crossbow arrows produced by Easton may be the best arrows on the market if you can afford the price. ;)
     
  4. SFA Member

    SFA Member Member

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    Hi Patriot
    The Easton Full Metal Jacket arrow is the best arrow money can buy.
    I use aluminum arrows because they are a bit heavier but its the results you want so try both.

    Graham
     
  5. Terminal-operator

    Terminal-operator New Member

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    Patriot,
    I personally shoot aluminum arrows. To each their own. HOWEVER, one thing about carbons....Either they're straight or they're broke.
     
  6. Highlander

    Highlander I Didn't Do It.

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    If you decide to build your own carbon arrows, you will need a spine tester to bracket your arrow shafts by spine. It's not uncommon to need to toss a couple carbon shafts out of a dozen that have a spine too far off from the rest. Xbow755 has written a nice article here explaining how to do this.

    If you use aluminum arrows, the spine is close to perfect and you will not need a spine tester, but I would recommend an arrow straightener to bring your aluminum arrows back to specs after use. This will save you a lot of money in the long run. If an aluminum arrow becomes kinked, you will need to toss it. You fletch the cock-vane on the aluminum arrow on the seam. For the carbon arrow, you will need to use the spine tester to fletch your cock-vane. ;)

    The aluminum arrows are within 0.005" in straightness. The carbon are within 0.03" in straightness. A big difference here to some of us. You can return aluminum arrows after shooting back to 0.01" without much effort and back to 0.005" with a little effort & experience. This extends the useful life of aluminum arrows.

    Have fun with your arrow building. :)

    Safety Caution: When cutting or sanding carbon arrows make sure you use proper safety equipment. The dust produced by the carbon material is much like asbestos when inhaled in your lungs & can cause MESOTHELIOMA lung cancer if enough is inhaled. The carbon fines smaller than can be seen by eye are dangerous as well. It's not good to get aluminum fines in your lungs either. Using a respirator & eye protection for cutting and sanding both aluminum and carbon arrows is recommended. Clean the dust & fines away using a respirator when finished. Be safe with your arrow building. ;)
     
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  7. ClintRhodes

    ClintRhodes Active Member

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    Hey Cliff,

    Approximately how many shots can you get out of an aluminum arrow before it needs straightened? (ballpark)

    Thanks,
     
  8. Highlander

    Highlander I Didn't Do It.

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    If you want to maintain the 0.005" tolerance, than I would check them after every 20 shots or so or perhaps every shooting session.

    It just depends on how accurate you want to be with your arrows (group tightness). It also depends on the type of target you use. Getting arrows out of some targets will result in more bending. I use a bag with wrags in it which results in only 2 finger removal which maintains aluminum straightness much better than the other targets which may bend aluminum enough after one shot. ;)
     
  9. dama

    dama Member

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    Why do you build arrows but, the "BOLTS" must meet manufacturer specs?
     
  10. 445 supermag

    445 supermag Member

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    Actually GT PRO's are .001 straightness. Just FYI


    But also to say this arrow is the best,, I am not sure one can really say that, as we have to find out what each of our crossbows like to shoot the best. Regular GT II's don't shoot very well out of my SLP 165 but if I put Dorges Aerobolt in my bow they shoot really well. So I would say they are one of the best arrows. ( FOR ME) I think it comes down to what our individual bow likes to shoot accurately.

    Easton Full metal jacket arrows might shoot worth crap for my bow and I would say not the best arrow for me. But as far as quality construction goes I would much rather have a carbon inside a carbon arrow. I don't want aluminum in my arrows at all. Atleast so far, I am not totally closed to the idea of aluminum and carbon being combined but for now I don't want it in my arrows.

    JMHO so far.

    Brian
     
  11. oldhoosier

    oldhoosier Member

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    I shoot carbon arrows. I feel they are more durable and less expensive than aluminum. As far as straightness, the average shooter would get by with hunting accuracy with the straightness tolerances with any good quality carbon arrow that they can afford. A carbon arrow is either shootable or scrap. You don't have to worry about bending or small dents in the shaft like aluminum. For practicing, I shoot the Parker arrows that came with my crossbow. Offhand, they go close enough to where I aim. For hunting, I shoot the Red Hot arrow. Probably have a straightness factor of 5 thousandths. Off a rest, they group good. Offhand, they kill deer. That is all I need.
    Another thing, if you shoot 3D targets, like McKenzies, the arrows are very hard to get out of the target. In this case, you would definitely be better off with carbons. You will consistently bend aluminums.
     
  12. ClintRhodes

    ClintRhodes Active Member

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    I agree about the whole straightness thing. For hunting carbon arrows are plenty straight. I'm not taking any shots over 50 yds anyways (probably less). But if I was a target shooter wanting to reach out there, I would worry more about it.

    I also like the whole "it's straight or broke" thing. When it's early morning and dark out and ur trying to pull your bow 20 feet up into the tree and u get it hung up in a limb, etc, etc.... With aluminums I worry if they're bent a little afterward. With Carbons you don't have that worry (as much). However you could definitely argue that I should be more careful pulling my bow up...LOL

    When it's all said and done tho....I don't think you can go wrong with either. It's personal preference.
     
  13. dropzone

    dropzone Member

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    If your careful with the aluminum you can get quite a few shots out of them. By careful I mean don't nock them together when you shoot and pull them out of the target straight. I personally don't like aluminum just for that reason even though quality aluminum arrows are fairly durable they will bend and unless you have a way to straighten them they are scrap. Carbon on the other hand it's either good or it's broken. This is one of those debates which is better and in my opinion both will do the job. But carbon shafts if your will take your time and tune the arrow, will perform as good if not better than aluminum's. A spine tester is helpful but not necessarily needed to tune a carbon shaft. Use the search function and look for topic on arrow spine there is a lot of great information on the different ways to tune a carbon shaft. Before someone else says it let me say if you want a arrow that you can pull from the box, shoot and get good results then go Aluminum. But get a good aluminum arrow from Easton they are made with higher grade alloy and will last longer. But of course this is all just my opinion and you know what they say about opinions!
     
  14. Highlander

    Highlander I Didn't Do It.

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    Thanks DZ. ;)


    I just bought 3 dozen Easton Xx75 Magnum 2219 22" Raw shafts for $81.63 or $2.27/each including shipping about a month ago.

    They sell the Velocity Pro Bare Shafts for around $120.00/dozen or $10.00/each. You can find other carbon shafts cheaper, perhaps $6.00 - $8.00 each.

    Normally you can by at least 3 aluminum shafts for the price of one good carbon shaft. Many feel the carbon arrows will last 3X longer than aluminum. I'm not sure if this is true if you are careful with your aluminum shafts. Somehow I accidently distroy or loose arrows occationally whether I'm shooting either aluminum or carbon. For me aluminum is much cheaper. I get more upset with myself when I loose or distroy an expensive carbon arrow than I do with aluminum. During my years of compound arrow shooting, I tended to loose or hit the aluminum or carbon arrows with another before I bent them too much. When a certain shooting distance distroys an arrow in a group, I just moved back 10 yards or more until my groups opened up. :lol:

    I might add that I lost more arrows when guessing the wrong distance at the local 3D range when compound shooting, especially with the smaller animal targets they had. They would go into the woods never to be found again. Some guy at the 3D range thought putting a squirrel target out a good distance would liven up the fun. :)

    [​IMG]

    I haven't had the opportunity yet to really shoot my new xbow enough to really test it out. We'll see how it goes during target practice. I really wish someone would open a crossbow 3D range reasonably close to me, I do miss 3D a lot. ;)
     

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