What is the best type of bolt to shoot from my crossbow,aluminum or carbon? First of all let’s get one thing straight. We are shooting arrows here, not bolts. I often see crossbow arrows referred to a crossbow bolts, but with a quick Google search, you will find that we don’t shoot anything close to a crossbow bolt. Crossbow bolts are very short in length, do not have any fletching, and often weigh 5 times of what a crossbow arrow weighs. So,from now on, lets call them arrows.
OK, back to what kind of arrow to shoot. The truth is, you can shoot whatever arrow you want as long as it meets the manufactures minimum recommended weight. Some crossbow shooters like aluminum while others like carbon. Aluminum arrows tend to be a little less expensive than carbon. They also tend to be more consistent in spine than carbon arrows. They definitely weigh more per inch than carbon arrows, which means using the same components; an aluminum crossbow arrow will weigh more. They do have a tendency to bend or crease easier than carbon crossbow arrows when shooting tight groups. Carbon arrows, although more expensive than aluminum, tend to hold up better in the long run, especially with the pounding they take from modern day crossbows. They are lighter per-inch than aluminum arrows, so generally are faster too. And as of now, you will have about 10 to 1 choices in manufacturers for carbon arrows as to aluminum arrows.
Whatever arrow you decide to shoot, the most important thing to remember is, never shoot an arrow from a crossbow that is lighter than what your crossbow manufacture recommends. Yes, I know I already said this, but this is very important. Doing so can lead to possible damage to your bow, or even worse, a possible injury to yourself.