The arrow may look like a simple rod with a sharp point, but there is good amount of engineering involved in construction and selection of an arrow for different bows and use. This blog is dedicated to explain parts and technical specifications of an arrow to beginners.
An arrow primarily has four different components in it construction.
The long straight shaft is the biggest part of the arrow. The shafts are manufactured from a variety of materials; Wood, Bamboo, Aluminium, Fibre Glass and Carbon Fibre.
Normally, shafts are hollow tubes, but in some cases, these may be solid rods also, specially wood and bamboo. The shafts are made of varying lengths and diameter, stiffness and weights.
The competition and hunting arrows are made in lengths from 26” (Junior) to 32” (Extra large) and with diameters varying from 5/16”(7.93 mm), 11/32”(8.73 mm), 9/32”(7.14 mm), 21/64”(8.33 mm). Diameters and shaft stiffness (also known as spine) are correlated.
We select different lengths, diameters, weights and stiffness for different archery needs. Please read on our arrow selection guidelines for better understanding.
Fletching or Vanes-
Fletchings or vanes are 3 or more feather like attachments near the bottom of the arrow. Fletchings are made of plastic or real feathers. Fletchings create drag when arrow is in motion and help in stability and accuracy. Certain kinds of spiral fletchings are also designed to rotate inflight arrow, much like a bullet. Good quality archery arrows have colour of one fletching different from the rest. This fletching is called “Cock Feather or Index Fletching, ” and the others are called “Hen Feather”. When you nock the arrow, the the index or cock feather is perpendicular to the bow. It is also known as nocking vane.
Straight Cut Shield Fletchings
The most common shape of the fletching cut straight cut shield in parabolic shape.
This type of fletchings are used for target practice. The three fletchings are glued symmetrically 120 degrees apart near the nock. Some archers also use 4 fletchings set 90 degrees apart.
Spin Vanes or Helical Fletchings
These are slightly twisted plastic fletchings placed symmetrically to generate extra rotation for the arrow in flights for extra stability and accuracy. Most hunting archers use these vanes.
Flu Flu Fletchings
These turkey long feather fletchings were used by bird hunt gamers. These fletchings are made by wrapping 2 or 3 long bird feathers and plucked into bristle shape. These fletching slow the arrow by creating additional drag and the arrows do not travel far distance. You can imagine the struggle in retrieving arrow in case of missing the target while bird hunting, so somebody thought about such fletchings.
Nocks are small forked plastic tips at the bottom of the arrow. When placed on string, the nock end snaps fit on the string lightly. Nocks are vey convenient for archers due to easy loading of the arrows. Every archer first determines the nocking point on his bow and marks it with nocking pins or by making D Loops with another string.
Arrowheads are the points on the tip of the arrow. There are a variety of shapes and weights of arrowheads available for different shooting needs of Archers. Bowhunter archers use broadheads as arrow points. Arrow points are diligently selected for different type of need, bow type and arrows. Arrow points are typically the heaviest part of the bow and affect the way arrow bends when shot from the bow. Archers match the arrow points weight with arrow shaft length and stiffness. The most popular arrow points are made in 75, 85, 100 and 125 grains, some archers also use slightly heavier arrow weights to suit their bows and shooting need. A grain is a traditional British weight measure, roughly representing an average wheat grain weight. Now, this weight has been standardized. 1 Grain is equal to .06498 Grams.
We will continue to update this blog. You must join our blog on arrow technical specifications and selection for different types of bows, shooting needs and arrow type.