What are the Best Crossbow Pistol Bolts?
Once you’ve selected your crossbow pistol and started shooting you will notice that you’re going to need more crossbow bolts. Whether it’s because you are breaking them or you don’t want to walk to the target to retrieve them every other shot, the few that come with your mini bow is not enough. So which ones to buy? Well first let’s look at what is a bolt, what are it’s components, and then we will list some choices.
What is a crossbow pistol bolt?
Simply stated a bolt is the projectile that is fired from your mini crossbow. Why is it not called an arrow? The answer is it’s more out of tradition than anything else. In medieval times crossbows shot short heavy projectiles that didn’t have vanes. These were called bolts. As you can see from our modern crossbow bolts, we now have vanes on them which actually makes them arrows. However, some still argue that if they are under 16″ they are classified as bolts. Most crossbow pistols shoot a bolt that is between 6″ and 7″ long. Nobody is really right and nobody is really wrong. In regards to this site we will refer to them most of the time as bolts out of tradition sake.
What are the parts of a bolt?
A bolt is made of of four parts.
- Head – The head is the tip of the bolt. Most crossbow pistol bolts come with field points installed and cannot be unscrewed. Field points are generally just used for target practice but they can be used to hunt small game. Custom bolts can come with removable heads. This allows you to add different tips/broadheads for hunting and fishing.
- Shaft – The shaft is main part of a bolt. Most are hollow and made from either plastic or aluminum. Traditionally they were solid and made from wood. Custom carbon bolts can be made and are weight in GPI or grains per inch.
- Nock – The nock is the end of the bolt or arrow where the string rides against upon firing. Bolts tend to have a blunt nock rather than a notched nock like a regular bow would have.
- Fletching – Fletching is the vanes that are glued to the shaft. Vanes help a bolt or arrow fly straight to increase accuracy. Most fletchings are made of plastic but traditionally it was made from feathers.
Ultimate Crossbow Pistol Bolt Guide
|New 60pcs for 50lb 80lb Pistol Crossbow Cobra Small Bolts Plastic Sharp Arrows||Plastic||6.7"||4.1|
|36 Aluminum Pistol Crossbow Arrows 50 - 80 Lb||Aluminum||6.25"||4.0|
|36 Pistol Crossbow Arrows 50 - 80 Lb||Plastic||6.25"||4.0|
|BladesUSA CB-1MD Crossbow Bolts 6.25-Inch Overall||Aluminum||6.25||3.8|
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Plastic or Aluminum?
Should you buy plastic or aluminum bolts? Both have their pros and cons.
- Plastic – Plastic bolts are generally lighter than aluminum bolts. Because of this they tend to be better for target practice as they hold up better at close range. They are also usually cheaper than their aluminum counterparts.
- Aluminum – Aluminum bolts or generally heavier than plastic bolts. This makes them better for hunting as they have more force when they strike a target. It also makes them more likely to bend or break than a plastic bolt when target shooting. They tend to cost more than plastic bolts but are still reasonable priced.
In the end it’s probably best to have some of both. The good news is bolts are cheap so it’s easy to stock up.
- Make sure you are using a good target. This will reduce the risk of breaking or damaging your bolts. A good target will allow you to remove your bolts easier and will provide you just the right backstop when target practicing.
- Always inspect a bolt before firing it from your mini crossbow. Bolts can become cracked or damaged and could come apart upon firing causing serious injury.
- It’s common for the fletching to come off of your bolts with repeated firing at targets. Save any that are not ripped and simply super glue them back onto the shaft. This will save you some money in the long run.
- Make yourself a quiver to store your bolts. This keeps them from being dropped or stepped on and damaged. Here is some good instructions.
- Try to find a brand that you like and stick with it. The weight of the crossbow bolts will be more uniform and therefore your accuracy will be improved.
Feel free to comment on what’s your preference for crossbow pistol bolts.