Arrows can have a big impact on your accuracy. With so many options out there and rules to follow, it can be difficult to find the best arrow for you. After having researched tested many arrows of varying lengths, weights, and materials, I’ve found arrows that have improved my performance for both indoor and outdoor 3D archery.
For outdoor 3D archery, I use and recommend the Carbon Express Maxima BLU. I recommend the 250 or 350 spine. These thin carbon arrows are lightweight and have a straight trajectory. If you’ve never used higher end arrows, you’ll mostly be surprised with how much of a difference they can have on your consistency. The inserts are not glued which allow you to cut the arrow to the desired length. If need be, I recommend getting the arrows cut at a local archery shop, which shouldn’t cost you more than a dollar per arrow.
A cheaper option for beginners that will also work really well is the Huntingdoor Carbon Arrow. In my opinion, they’re the best ready to shoot arrows in their price range.
For indoor 3D archery, I recommend the Gold Tip Arrow. Any spine is good. These are thicker than most arrows with a very straight trajectory. They also come with big raptor vanes, which is ideal for indoor shooting.
Which arrows are best for me?
A larger diameter arrow is to your advantage because you score the higher point when hitting the target line. Simultaneously, a lighter arrow will travel faster which can improve accuracy. But many courses have limits for travel speed and arrow weight. So what are the best arrows for 3D archery? Well, it depends on your bow setup and where you’re going to shoot. In this article, I’ll share which arrows have worked best for me.
Arrow size & weight
In summary: Smaller and lighter arrows are great outdoor 3D shooting, while bigger and heavier arrows are preferable indoors. Size and weight go hand in hand more often than not.
Light arrows travel faster, thus are affected less by wind compared to heavy arrows. A lighter arrow has a straighter trajectory, which means it’s more forgiving if you misjudge yardage. However, a heavier arrow will be more forgiving for minor stance inconsistencies instance and release. Therefore, it’s a good choice for a beginner to go medium to heavy.
Thin arrow shafts with small arrow points get less resistance from the surrounding, therefore it won’t get affected by wind as much as thick arrows. Thick arrow shafts with large arrow points cover a larger area of the target, which means you’ll increase the probability of hitting a line, resulting in scoring the higher point. Your arrows need to use field points. Broadheads are prohibited.
Large feathers/vanes allow for a more straight travel compared to small feathers. This is good for shorter distances typically occurring fore frequently indoors. There are also spiral-shaped wings that many competitors use for improves stabilization due to spinning. They are most of the time bought as a standalone and can be quite difficult to change.
The more weight you pull, the heavier the arrow should be. For 3D archery, make sure the arrow is at least 5 grains per pound of draw weight. 5 GPP is on the lighter side of the spectrum, and in alignment with IBO rules.
Indoor VS outdoor arrow difference
For outdoor shooting a small to medium sized arrow with minimum 5 GPP (grains per pound) of draw weight, and medium feathers is your best best. This will maximize speed, straight travel and be consistent regardless of weather conditions.
Weight: light to medium. Minimum 5 GPP.
Feathers: Personal preference.
For indoor shooting, a thick arrow with medium weight and big (4-5 inches) feathers is a good choice. This increases the chance of line cutting. The arrow will still travel straight because of the shorter distances. Most courses allow arrow sizes of up to 27/64, but make sure to check the rules for where you are going to play, as the rules vary. The arrow points should be on the heavier side, I’d recommend 200-300 grains. The vanes should be as big as possible without affecting clearance.
Arrow size: 27/64
Points: 150-300 grains
Feathers: 4-5 inches
Material plays a part in weight, speed, and durability.
Carbon arrows are of the highest quality. They are light and durable but cost more than other materials. A carbon arrow will have a more straight pathway. Carbon arrows are good for both indoor and outdoor shooting and come in varying sizes. Most of them come with unglued inserts so that you can adjust the arrow length.
Aluminum arrows are mid-tier with a heavier weight than carbon arrows, which result in lower arrow speeds. An aluminum arrow on the mid-price-range is a great start, as they are quite durable and not too light.
A wooden arrow is a good option for traditional archers shooting with recurve bows. They are very cheap and quite heavy but break easily.
Keep your arrows from breaking
It’s common for arrows to hit other arrows in the target. If you don’t protect them with nock bushings, a lot of your arrows will break from impact. So make sure to invest in nock bushings. They’re cheap and will save you a lot of money.
Apart from the arrow shaft, these are the parts you need to assemble your arrow.
Pin nocks – are inserted into the end of the shaft, and attaches the shaft and the nocks
Nocks – the piece that connects the arrow with the bow string.
Points – glued or screwed in at the beginning of the shaft. Screw-in points also require an insert.
Vanes – feather-looking things attached near the back of the arrow. They are also called feathers or wings, and work as a stabilizer.