Crossbow Bolts(Arrows)

Discussion in 'Stryker Crossbows' started by SEW, May 16, 2009.

  1. SEW

    SEW Senior Member

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    I have a Strykeforce and am selecting a bolt to use. I am relatively unfamiliar with the various bolts available. Currently, I am testing the "Wolverine Hunter", "The Beman ICS Hunter(Thunderbolt)", and the "Carbon Express Red Hot. For long range shooting, please give your thoughts on the best bolts available for this very fast x-bow, lengths of the bolt, FOC, total bolt wt, and fletching. I plan on shooting the 2 blade Rage(100g) or Spitfires(in either 100 or 125g). Thanks in advance for your thoughts and advice.
     
  2. rt2bowhunter

    rt2bowhunter Senior Member

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    I like the Easton power bolts with brass inserts and alum moon nocks. I shoot 100gr Tekans and Gators. I tried the rage 2 blade and sometimes they would open up off the bow.I also tried the NAP spitfires they shot very good. My arrows are 508 gr shooting 355fps Im using 4" Quikspin ST vanes. I dont no what the FOC works out to be but im shooting 212gr up front should be good
    Hope this helps.
     
  3. Moon

    Moon Senior Member

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    Brass inserts and 100 grain heads should do it

    for most any setup for the Strykeforce. The Easton Power Bolt is one tough shaft and should (IMHO) be a serious contender for an arrow setup for the Strykeforce. I'm personally not a fan of the Rage head for crossbows. BTW, if you want to use aluminum inserts with your choice of crossbow arrows, go with the all stainless NAP 170 grain crossbow Spitfire. You'll still have enough weight FOC and this head will get the job done.
     

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  4. SEW

    SEW Senior Member

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    Rt2BH, Moon,
    Thank you for your replies. Where are some good place(s) to order x-bow supplies from? Have either of you, or others reading this, tried the Red Hot bolts? They seem like a serious contender. I notice that fairly heavy bolts seem to be prefered, as well as quite a bit of FOC, and a lot of fletching. This doesn't seem unreasonable to me at all. Do you find that the trajectory differences of a 500+g bolt vs a 425g bolt to be more than off-set by the stability/accuracy of set-ups such as you've mentioned? I suspect the answer must be "yes" or you wouldn't use what you're using, but please elaborate.
    Thanks,
    Steve White
     
  5. SPECIALIZED

    SPECIALIZED Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Crossbow.

    Steve we have a store right here on Crossbow Nation for most Archery supplies.
    Check with Urban legend,Jeff.
    He can help you out.
     
  6. SEW

    SEW Senior Member

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    Red Hot accuracy

    The bolts I have to practice with, currently , are the Wolverine, the ICS Thunderbolt, and 3 Red Hots. Yesterday I tried each with 100g, 125g, and 145g field points. My final range for testing was 90 yds. Each bolt was more accurate as the point wt went up. Obviously, x-bow bolts being shot at hi speed seem to like a lot of FOC. The most accurate of the 3 bolts with the 145g points(the heaviest I have) was the Red Hot. My average groups were 3.2" 3-shot groups with the Red Hots and 5.3" with the Wolverines. This was shooting with a Sightron 2 42mm scope 3X12 MD set on 6X. The shooting conditions had a light variable wind, mosquitoes pestering me:mad:, and shooting to the West as the sun was setting. I believe in really ideal conditions, the groups could be significantly smaller. This is just a report of where I am now.
     
  7. Moon

    Moon Senior Member

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    I think you can achieve

    nice accuracy with any of the shafts you mentioned. I looked at some Red Hots, which are fancy logo'd Carbon Express shafts, a few days ago. They seem to be on a competitive level with GT's and Easton Power Bolts but I see nothing there that would make me switch from the shafts I'm using, plus I don't buy factory made arrows. I don't know if Parker is offering shafts only or not. Maybe someone here does know.

    The main reason I'm using 495 grain arrows right now with the Strykeforce is that I will be using it for hunting around fields this fall where longer shots are likely. I've given up nothing as to accuracy by using these heavier shafts and by doing so, I have a setup delivering a whopping 147 lbs. Kenetic energy. I'm sure either a Strykeforce, at 390 fps and the Desert Stryker, shooting a 425 grain arrow at 350 fps will also do the job nicely at these longer ranges. Another reason I'm shooting different setups is my ongoing comparison testing of different setups. It's that simple:p
     
  8. SEW

    SEW Senior Member

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    Long range shooting

    Moon,
    With a Strykeforce, do you feel you get better long range accuracy/stability with the heavier shafts? Obviously, you do. A 450g bolt(total wt) with a 20% FOC vs a 500g bolt with the same FOC: would you feel there would be better performance from the heavier? I make all my vertical bow arrows also, and have no problems with making my own x-bow bolts(you may notice that the Wolverines have been re-fletched). I'd appreciate your thoughts concerning bolt wt for very long range shooting. I plan on field hunting also.
    Thanks,
    SW
     
  9. Moon

    Moon Senior Member

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    It depends on what your definition of "performance" is

    I just spent about 2 hours, a few days ago, shooting the Desert Stryker with 425 grain GT's and the Strykeforce with 495 grain Easton Power Bolt arrows. There is no measureable difference in accuracy, even out at 70 yards. The heavier arrows would likely do more damage in case of a bad hit. For that reason alone, I guess you could say the heavier arrow setup would be a better choice. They also tend to be less affected by crosswinds.... another plus, yet for high performance crossbows,as these are, I don't feel I'm giving up much by hunting with the DS, shooting a 425 grain arrow at 350 fps:p It's still a "smoker":sifone:

    The Strykeforce, is bascially a DS on steroids and has the power to shoot 500 grain arrows at DS speeds using 425 grain arrows, so why not take advantage of that? If I shot and hunted with only the Strykeforce, I would stay with the heavier arrow.
     
  10. Cossack

    Cossack Incurable Tinkerer

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    The heavier arrows will affect your trajectory, making range estimation more critical. I see no reason to shoot them if you don't need the KE for the game you're after. (Antelope).
     
  11. Moon

    Moon Senior Member

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    That's why my Leica rangefinder

    is always hanging around my neck when I'm hunting (plus the Hawke MAP's rangefinding reticle is a backup for verification) and there is not much difference in trajectory in a 425 grain arrow traveling at 350 fps and a 495 grain arrow traveling at 354 fps. Now it would be a different story if I used the 495 grain arrows in the Desert Stryker:p
     
  12. rt2bowhunter

    rt2bowhunter Senior Member

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    several years ago i took my bowtech ally. with 2 arrows one 400 0ne 325gr. At 3 feet if i remember the light arrow was 20 some FPS faster. I backed up 10yds at a time and shot both arrows. At 40yds the light arrow was one FPS faster. A heaver arrow will be easy on you bow and is the best way to quiet one down. And as moon posted the SF is still spiting them out. And if your going to try long shots I would want to range every animal with a range finder.Do your own testing and find what you like. Or i should say what your bow likes and go with it. I will be very interested in what you find what works for you. Have fun.
     
  13. SEW

    SEW Senior Member

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    Long range shooting

    Moon, RTbhtr,others,
    Let me give a brief background. I started bowhunting in 1957, shot my first deer that year and bow hunted exclusively, even during gun season, for squirrel,rabbits,turkey,deer, and bear until 1999. Since the compound came out I hunted with them and a recurve(have a Parker White Tail Hunter Classic - which I bear hunt with). Back then, I used surveyer's manual range finders, then the Spectrum 500, now lazer rangefinders. A # of deer killed >50 yds. 106 deer killed and 4 lost in 52 years of bowhunting(no hunting while in USAF - 10 years and 4 yrs dental school). I hunt long range in this agricultural area where the woods are all devastated due to the extreme ice storm of Jan/Feb 2009. I do varmint hunt with 22-250 AK IMP(8 twist) with 75g V-Max/80g Sierra. This wt bullet parallels with what both of you are saying with arrow wt.
    Now, to real world experience. Vertical bow shooting, I shoot 8-8.5g/lb with compound and 9-9.5g/lb with recurve, which many consider heavy. You seem to be advocating the same. With a long bullet(80 sierra vs 40g whatever in 224) the longer/heavier bullet will excell long range due to increased BC, but what about 2 arrows of the same length and diameter, ie same drag coef, but of significantly different wt? Out to 100 yds what would be the trajectory difference of a 425g bolt launching @ 385'/sec vs the same dimension bolt weighing 525g launching @ 365'/sec(or whatever)? Would the heavier bolt loose speed less enough to actually be flatter? Retained energy is certainly more than adequate with either bolt to go through a deer easily with a decent broadhead. I await your response to all this rambling:).
     
  14. Moon

    Moon Senior Member

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    SEW

    You must be as old as I am:p

    "Would the heavier bolt loose speed less enough to actually be flatter? Retained energy is certainly more than adequate with either bolt to go through a deer easily with a decent broadhead."

    Very good question, which as of right now I can't answer but I will do the testing Monday and let you know what I find. I have everything I need to test exactly as you mentioned.

    Your thoughts on the heavier arrow retaining speed better than the lighter wieght arrow is what I've always assumed and another reason I don't hesitate using heavier arrows BUT I've never actually proved that one way or other. We'll do it:)
     
  15. Iron Duke

    Iron Duke Senior Member

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    http://home.att.net/~sajackson/ballistics.html

    I don't know if this helps ... but :smilielol5:
     
  16. rt2bowhunter

    rt2bowhunter Senior Member

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    So you are a hunter too

    Im interested in your findings.I have only been at it for 34 years or so. Where i hunt its thick. My longest shot in the woods with a bow to date was this year 33yds, And that was at a turkey. I have taken 97 whitetail I missed 3 and hit and lost 2. But this crossbow is new to me its my first year with it. Early this year i shot 90yds and done good 3 to 4" groups. With certain arrows out of the doz and a half i had there was only a few that shot good. They all weighted real close I have never read about any one that has ever bare shaft tuned a xbow arrow I wondered if it was a spine issue. They were a light arrow thats why i went to a heaver arrow changed brands. they are stiffer or at lest they fell stiffer.
     
  17. SEW

    SEW Senior Member

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    Age and spine

    Moon, I was 10 when I shot my 1st deer with a bow. I loved Robin Hood and shot thru-out my childhood years. I love long bows and recurves but now want to really long range hunt. Where I live in NE AR, there are no CFs allowed and only 7 total spreadout days of ML/shootgun hunting but there are 5 months of bow/x-bow hunting in this agricultural environment. I hunt no where else. My Parker Saf Mag was highly adequate to 80 yds. I am hoping for 120 with the SF. I am a 6PPC benchrest shooter and am deep into precision shooting with both 3 6PPC rifles(1 bench and 2 varmint) and my 22-250AK IMP. When the same principles are applied to the x-bow, or even compound(which I shoot my Hoyt Razortec to 100 yds) , surprising results can occur. Adequate ranging, great optics, extreme attention to matched bolts, adequate fletching stabilization for the point used, etc all contribute to perdictable long range shooting. I expect you both are well beyond me in this regard. Spine: we are aware of arrow tuning for vertical bows. I believe the length of the arrow necessitates tuning and the fact that the arrow will flex upon shooting. I think it would be desirable to have NO flex what-so-ever. With the x-bow, I think such is the case. I don't think they flex, or at least should. The steering of the point must be controlled by the fletching and the FOC gives a degree of stability. Apparently, more FOC is needed with bolts than arrows. I have wondered if straight fletching might be better with traditional broadheads to help reduce their steering and slight offset would be better with expandibles and fieldpoints, but this is just speculation.
    I appreciate you guys being willing to share your expertice.
     
  18. SEW

    SEW Senior Member

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    Iron Duke,
    Thank you. I tried it. With a 425g bolt, 3" vanes going 385'/sec the drop was 137" @ 100 yds. With 525g going 365(possibly optimistic) the drop was 149" @ 100 yds. Just to see, I tried 525g going 375'/sec(way optimistic!!) and the drop was still slightly more than the 425g going only 10'/sec faster. IF, and that's IF, the effect of the mass is correctly compensated for in this formula, and it seems as if it is taken into effect, the lighter bolt of the same dimension shot from the same x-bow will shoot flatter. Retained energy isn't a limiting factor as any bolt of 425g or more will have way more energy than needed for a good pass-thru to way past where we could conceivably shoot.
     
  19. SPECIALIZED

    SPECIALIZED Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Crossbow Bolts

    Well I guess no body else will ask, But Are you guys really serious about shooting Deer with a Crossbow out to 120 yards.
    Been a bowhunter most of my life and have seen to many things that can go wrong beyond the shooters control on the longer shots.I also shoot a StrykeForce and can hit the target at long yardages and pretty accurately.
    No offense but For me and most every bowhunter I know ,even some on this list who are great shots,would never think of taking a shot at that distance.
    As for me personally,I really don't think that kind of shooting distance for game would be ethical,but for each his own.
     
  20. rt2bowhunter

    rt2bowhunter Senior Member

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    I have never even shot 30yds with a bow at a deer. The 90yd shooting i was doing was when the SF was real new to me. Just wanted to see what it would do. But if we find a arrow head combo thats shooting good at that range i want it. I would never try it from what I have seen i would say 50 maybe 60yds.or maybe not I do know.But a turkey cant get his head out of the way at 33yds even if he is looking at you. Its the off season time to play:)
     

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