How to Pick Arrows for a Compound Bow

How to Pick Arrows for a Compound Bow
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So you’ve got your first compound bow, and now you’re ready to choose and arrow. The problem is: where do you start? Choosing the right arrow might feel daunting, but don’t worry. Once you know the ins and outs of your compound bow, you’ll feel much more confident in choosing the right arrow.

Not every arrow is compatible with every bow. You need to take into consideration things like make, model, length, and weight. Let’s get started, and by the end, you’ll be an expert on choosing your own compound bow arrow.

What Length Do You Need?

The very first step of choosing any arrow, whether it’s for a crossbow, an archery bow, or a compound bow, is to determine the length of arrow you need. Arrow length is one of the most essential things since an arrow that’s not the right length can snap and do harm to you or the people around you.

To determine the length of an arrow for a compound bow, you need to determine the length of your draw. To do this, you need to take some measurements. It’s easier to figure out your draw length when you have someone to help you.

First things first, you’re going to stand straight upright. Make sure you’re not slouching forward. It’s advised to wear a tee-shirt so that you don’t restrict any movement in your arms. Without locking your elbows, spread your arms out on either side of you so that they form a straight line.

How to Pick Arrows for a Compound Bow

With someone else’s help, measure the length of your arms from one end of your finger-tips to the other. Be careful that the measuring tape is pulled taut so that you can get the most accurate measurement possible. After you get the measurement in inches, divide that by 2.5.

For example, if your arm width is 60”, divide it by 2.5. That comes out to 24. This means that your draw length is 24 inches. You want to make sure that your compound bow allows for your draw length, along with an extra inch or two for good measure.

After you have your draw length, you can now choose your arrow length. In recent years, compound bows have become much more efficient in terms of determining your arrow length. To find the length of the arrows you need, take your draw length and add a maximum of 1” to that. So, if your draw length is 24”, you will need an arrow no longer than 25”.

What Weight Do You Need?

While picking the length is very important, it’s only one half of choosing the perfect arrow for your compound bow. The next step is to determine the weight you need. The weight of an arrow varies greatly depending on your intended use. You don’t want to make the mistake of using a lighter arrow for something that would be better suited for a heavier arrow. No matter how good your aim is, you’re not going to get the best results.

To figure out the weight of your arrow, you need to know the draw weight of your compound bow. Let’s say that you bow as 50lbs of draw weight behind it. Arrow weight is determined in grains (7000 grains to 1 lb). For a lighter arrow, you want to have your arrow weight 5 or 6 grains per draw weight, which means that a 60lb draw will want to have an arrow that weighs about 250 to 300 grains. Lighter arrows used for target practice usually travel further, as well as in straighter lines.

For a heavier arrow, you’ll want to have an arrow that weighs about 6 to 8 grains per draw weight. For a 50 lb draw weight, this would be an arrow that weighs anywhere from 200 to 400 grains. Heavier arrows are excellent for game hunting because of that extra weight behind it.


If you’re still feeling overwhelmed with knowing how to pick arrows for a compound bow, don’t worry. It takes a little bit of time, but once you’re completely familiar with the process, your compound bow, and what you need these arrows for, you’ll be able to walk into any sports shop and find the arrows you need.

These are just the basics of picking an arrow for your compound bow. There are other features that you’ll become more acquainted with the longer you’re shooting. For now, the critical part is to know the weight and the length of your arrow so that you’re shooting with the most efficiency. From there, it is all about comfort and personal preference.

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