All About Crossbow Bolts

Crossbow bolts? Don’t you mean arrows?
What is a crossbow bolt and why is it called that way? Shouldn’t it be called arrows instead?
How does one even use a crossbow bolt?

What is a Crossbow Bolt?

A crossbow bolt is a short projectile that was (and is still being used) used for indoor and outdoor shooting.

Despite its name, a crossbow bolt is not a nail or any spare part of a crossbow.
In fact, it’s an arrow. It’s also called a quarrel, coming from the French word, carre, meaning square because most bolts have square heads.
Unlike traditional arrows, bolts are much shorter and at most times heavier than traditional arrows, also, bolts can be entirely made out of metal compared to arrows which can consist of wood and several other materials especially the arrow head, shaft, and fletching.

While others may argue that it’s simply a confusion in etymology, an exchange of words, take note that bolts and arrows are two entirely different things, in fact.. Many cultures around the world do have different names such as Armbrøstbolt in Danish, Bolzen in German (note that arrow is pfeile in German).
Bolts are much more heavier compared to arrows and more shorter compared to arrows.


Like arrows, top-rated crossbows also have accessories to add more thrill to your shooting practice or hunt, below are some of them that can help you improve.

Crossbow case: For most bowmen, proper care and storage of their crossbows will help ensure that their equipment stays in perfect condition, especially when they travel around during a hunt. There are two types of crossbow cases: soft and hard cases. A soft case is mainly a padded case where you store your crossbow while a hard case may consists of several components to make sure your crossbow is protected. Prices for a crossbow case may be anywhere from $30 to $200.

Bolts and broadheads: A crossbow is not without its bolt and every bowman needs them, or else their crossbow won’t do anything. Before buying additional bolts and broadheads, you must know what length of bolt your crossbow needs, sizes range anywhere from 14’’ to 22’’, although there are shorter bolts for pistol crossbows. Prices range anywhere from less than a dollar to $15 per bolt, target practice bolts cost less compared to hunting or competition bolts. You may also need a broadhead for hunting which cost anywhere from $2 to $13 per tip.

Scope: While most crossbows includes a scope when you purchase them, you may have misplaced yours or damaged it during target practice or a hunting session with your friends. Scopes can cost you anything from $30 to $200, however they may be limited to what type Barnett Razr your crossbow needs.

Target: While targets are available in most shooting ranges, it’s also nice to also have at least one in your own backyard when you prefer to practice your aim in solitude. Although it may be costly (a target usually costs around $150), it is a serious investment for most bowmen.

Cocking Device: There a two (2) types of cocking device for crossbows, crank and rope. A rope cocking device is more cheaper compared to a crank because a crank cocking device tends to be more model specific. Cocking devices make it easier for bowmen to fire their crossbows easier and costs around $20 to $150.

Take note that you don’t necessarily need to buy all these accessories when you start using your crossbow as it can confuse you and may make you lose interest in archery early on, so take your time learning more about your crossbow and enjoy every minute of it.