Best Arrow Grain for Deer: Choosing the Right One for a Successful Hunt

best arrow grain for deer
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Deer hunting is an activity that has been around for a long time.

Some hunters do it for the meat while others get a different kind of thrill from the sport.

It may take some time for someone to master the sport, but constant practice makes a lot of difference.

You must also have the right answer for the question "How many grains should my arrow be?" or "What is the best arrow grain for deer hunting?"

You must also consider other factors like its length, stiffness, and how straight it is.

What Is Bowhunting?

Bowhunting is the shooting of game animals by archery. It was first used by indigenous people thousands of years ago and became a sport in contemporary times.

Modern game archery became successful and popular through Fred Bear, an American bow hunter, and manufacturer who founded Bear Archery in 1933.

The most common equipment owned by all hunters are arrows, bows, and sights.

Some also use crossbows and wooden bows as hunting variations.

Typically, hunters have restricted shots depending on various factors like their ability, arrow, bow strength, the target animal, terrain, and weather.

Two Common Methods

Hunters may use the spot-and-stalk method to slowly walk on the ground to look for their target before carefully stalking it before shooting.

Another method usually used is stand hunting, where the hunters patiently wait on the animal near food, trails, or water.

They typically use a cover or stand on a tree to wait for their target.

Best Arrow Grain for Deer Hunting

Choosing the right arrow grain will make your deer hunting successful and more convenient.

The Benefits

The weight of an arrow is critical in bowhunting since it affects penetration.

You will not have any control over your arrow once it leaves the string; that is why it’s crucial to use the best.

Using an arrow with an ideal weight and spine provides a reliable harvest since it sharpens your shooting accuracy.

The right arrow grain will also provide the right speed and silence.

When it comes to what is a good arrow speed for deer hunting, experts recomend that it should be from 260FPS to 270FPS.

Momentum Matters

Choosing an arrow’s weight for deer hunting also depends on your draw length and weight.

A lightweight arrow will not pierce your target as deeply as you want if you have a short draw length and lesser draw weight.

Using a heavier arrow with a good broadhead ensures that you hit your target even if your shot is not perfect.

Three Basic Arrow Weights

An arrow’s shaft weight is divided into three categories, namely light, midweight, and heavy.

The light arrow’s weight is anywhere between five and 6.5 grains per pound or GPP of the hunter’s bow’s maximum draw strength.

If you have a 70-pound bow with a lightweight arrow, the overall weight will be around 350 to 455 grains.

A midweight arrow weighing from 6.5 to eight grains will have a finished weight of 455 to 560 if used in a 70-pound bow.

A heavy arrow with a weight of over eight grains on a 70-pound bow will result in a finished weight of more than 560 grains.

Another way to check the arrow weight is via the industry standard of grains per inch or GPI of the shaft, including diameter, length, shaft material, and wall thickness.

A light shaft would weigh five to six GPI, midweight is at seven to nine GPI, while the massive one has ten or more GPI.

best arrow grain for deer

What Grain Arrow Should I Shoot?

An arrow’s weight decides its drop rate, speed, and target penetration.

That’s why some hunters try various grains to determine which one works best for them.

Lightweight vs. Heavier Arrows

Lightweight arrows move faster and straighter with a tendency to drop slowly but may be harder to tune than others with a different weight.

Heavier arrows typically move slower, can resist wind better, and penetrate your target deeper.

They can also absorb the bow’s kinetic energy more, eliminating noise as you shoot.

Bows are designed with specifically recommended arrow weights since using the wrong one can damage the equipment and injure the user.

Most manufacturers provide the arrow’s details on its packaging and the company’s website.


Adding to the confusion of arrow-weight computation and finding the recommended arrow weight for deer hunting is the front-of-center or FOC.

It’s the percentage of the arrow’s overall front half weight and tells you of its accuracy, which is crucial when making a long-range shot. A well-balanced arrow has a FOC of seven to 15 percent.

Most hunters choose heavier arrows to ensure their shot, but with the compound bow’s innovative design, a midweight one works wonders.

Critical Factors in Arrow Selection

There are many options and technological advancements with the latest arrow selections.

That's why it's challenging to choose which one is the best arrow or best arrow weight for deer hunting and other hunting activities.

Most mid-range and high-end arrows offer enough straightness or stiffness after purchase, but this feature’s consistency is crucial.

Fundamentally, a right arrow must have these four primary factors: diameter, material, stiffness, and weight. 

Straight arrows are accurate, but the consistency of its straightness offers the tightness you need.

Inconsistencies in any of these factors can affect the accuracy and performance of the arrow.


An arrow spine is how much a shaft bends when under pressure.

The energy used to move it during a shot compresses and turns it while in motion.

Generally, the arrow spine should match your draw weight and length to produce a more satisfying performance.

Most arrow manufacturers have an arrow spine chart so that you can easily find the appropriate shaft according to your draw length and weight.


Lighter arrows have more speed, but heavier ones have more momentum and penetrate far with less noise.

You may have similar setup arrows except for the grain difference where one is higher than the other.

The light arrow will still be useful as long as you have an excellent shot.

However, it will have less impact on your target if it goes through a brush or hit the bone.


Arrows come in different forms, including the materials they are made, such as aluminum, carbon, or both.

Initially, the arrow shaft is made of aluminum since it can be accurate, cheap, quiet, and quickly created into specific weights and tolerances.

However, aluminum shafts do not have the right amount of durability most hunters are looking for in their arrows.

Thus, carbon shafts make hunters lighter and faster arrow with a smaller diameter and excellent durability but more expensive.

Carbon shafts also come with a wide range of accessories so that hunters can make accurate adjustments to the FOC balance point.

The aluminum-carbon combination mixed all the good qualities found in each material and made it an excellent arrow.

They are durable, have smaller diameters, and with thick carbon walls in the center, providing consistent performance and accuracy in every shot. 

Best Arrow Weight for Deer Hunting: Final Thoughts

All arrows almost look the same, but their similarities end in appearance. They do not come in a fit-for-all variety.

Even arrows made by the same brand or under the same model have differences.

Thus, performance and quality are vital in creating a perfect shot.

Look for the arrows having the correct spine and offer the perfect GPI weight that you need that will match your gear setup.

As for the best arrow grain for deer hunting, you should have one that weighs around 400 to 500 GPI.

There’s a chart that you can check to see the recommended arrow weight for deer and other game animals to ensure reliable lethality.

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