What is a Crossbow Arrow Called

A crossbow arrow is also known as a bolt or quarrel. It is shorter than a traditional bow and arrow and has vanes on the back to provide stability in flight. The head of the crossbow arrow is typically heavier to increase penetration when striking its target.

Crossbow arrows must be matched with their corresponding crossbows, so it’s important that shooters use arrows specifically designed for their model of bow. For safety reasons, bolts should never exceed 400 grains in weight, which helps reduce the risk of over-stressing the limbs and strings of any given crossbow.

A crossbow arrow is also known as a bolt or quarrel. It is designed to be shot from a crossbow and typically has a shorter length than regular arrows, with fletching and fins at the rear of the shaft for greater stability in flight. Crossbow bolts are often made from aluminum, fiberglass or carbon fiber and come in various lengths, weights and sizes depending on their intended use.

CSE-Crossbow Arrow Components

Why is a Crossbow Arrow Called a Bolt?

The term “bolt” for a crossbow arrow is derived from its resemblance to the traditional wooden bolt used in medieval warfare. Crossbow arrows, or bolts, are typically shorter than regular arrows and have thicker shafts with larger heads that make them more suitable for penetrating armor. The added weight of the larger head also makes it easier to fire farther distances with greater accuracy compared to lighter arrows.

Bolt construction has evolved over time but remains fundamentally similar – a heavy arrow-like projectile consisting of an arrowhead, shaft and fletching designed specifically for use in a crossbow weapon system.

Does a Crossbow Shoot Bolts Or Short Arrows?

A crossbow shoots short arrows, also known as bolts. Crossbows typically use shorter and narrower arrows than a traditional longbow or recurve bow, which allows them to fire with more power and accuracy at greater distances. The arrow’s length is typically between 16-22 inches depending on the model of the crossbow, while its diameter ranges from 7mm (0.28 inch) up to 22mm (7/8 inch).

These dimensions ensure that the bolt has enough stability when fired so it can travel farther and hit its target with precision.

Why are Crossbow Bolts Not Called Arrows?

Crossbow bolts, also known as quarrels or bolts, are not called arrows because they are typically shorter and heavier than traditional wooden arrows. Crossbow bolts have a more blunt head which makes them better suited for hunting game animals at close range. Also, the shaft of a crossbow bolt is usually made from aluminum or carbon fiber rather than wood, making it much more durable.

Finally, crossbow bolts typically do not include fletching (feathers) like an arrow does to provide stability in flight; instead the shape of the bolt provides directional stability during its short flight before reaching its target.

Is a Crossbow Bolt an Arrow?

A crossbow bolt is often referred to as an arrow, but technically speaking it is not the same thing. An arrow consists of a shaft with feathers or vanes at one end and a point at the other end, while a crossbow bolt has a much thicker body than an arrow and typically features four vanes instead of two. The material used for each also differs; arrows are usually made from either wood or carbon fiber, whereas bolts are most commonly constructed from aluminum or composite materials that can withstand more powerful shots.

Additionally, bolts have longer range and greater accuracy than arrows due to their heavier weight.

What is a Crossbow Arrow Called

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What is the Diameter of a Crossbow Bolt

The diameter of a crossbow bolt is typically about 0.300 to 0.340 inches, although it can vary depending on the manufacturer and model of the crossbow you are using. Generally, bolts with larger diameters will provide more stability and accuracy when shooting than those with smaller diameters.

Do Crossbow Bolts Have Fletching

Yes, crossbow bolts typically have fletching. Fletching is the feathers or vanes on an arrow that provide stability and accuracy when shooting. Crossbow bolts usually have three or four feathered vanes that are arranged at 120 degree angles from each other.

This helps to stabilize the bolt in flight and make it more accurate when shooting long distances.

Crossbow Bolt Vs Arrow

Crossbows and arrows are two of the most popular projectile weapons in history. While they do share many similarities, there are also some key differences between a crossbow bolt and an arrow. Crossbow bolts typically have thicker shafts than arrows, meaning that they can penetrate armor more effectively.

Furthermore, because of their shape and weight distribution, crossbow bolts tend to be more accurate when fired at long range compared to arrows. Additionally, while both types of projectiles require a certain amount of force to launch them from the bow string, crossbows require less effort than bows due to their mechanical advantage in terms of energy transfer from string tension to projectile velocity.


Overall, crossbow arrows are an important part of a successful hunting session. Knowing what they’re called and how to use them safely can help you get the most out of your hunt. Crossbow arrows come in various shapes and sizes, so make sure to pick the right one for your needs.

With proper care and maintenance, these arrows should last you many hunting seasons to come!


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