Heavy vs. Light Arrows For Crossbows

By Courtney KaufmannMarch 3, 20211 Comment

When it comes to arrow choice, there’s a wide array of manufacturers and arrow types. There’s aluminum and carbon arrows, and there are 3 main arrow weights in the crossbow industry.

Take a look at this video that breaks down how to choose what weight is right for your crossbow arrows…

Crossbow Arrow Basics Info

When looking at crossbow arrows, there are generally 3 different weights. Light weight, which are usually 350-399 grains. Standard weight, are 400-459 grains. And heavy weight arrows are considered anything above 460 grains.

Arrow weights take into consideration of a 100 grain target point or broadhead. So when a crossbow arrow is advertised as 450 grains, that means that the arrow shaft, vanes, nock, and insert add up to 350 grains. And with a 100 grain target point, it all adds up to 450 grains.

Before looking at which arrow weight is best for you, first determine what your ultimate goal is. Generally speaking, your crossbow will exert the same amount of force on every single shot. If your goal is to shoot as fast as you can, with the flattest trajectory, you can achieve so by using a lighter arrow.

Conversely, if your goal is to produce higher kinetic energy for hunting big game, you may want to look at a standard or heavyweight arrow. With the amount of force that’s exerted from the crossbow, moving up to a heavier arrow will still have a good trajectory since crossbows have become so fast recently.

Light Weight Arrows (350-399 Grains)

When considering light weight arrows, you should first look at what you’re using the arrows for. If you plan on shooting your crossbow competitively, it’s best to use an arrow that will have the flattest trajectory. Thus leaving your margin for error, slightly larger.

However, if you plan to use your crossbow for hunting purposes, consider the game you are chasing. A lightweight arrow can still get the job done on a big game animal like a whitetail deer. But it won’t be as good when encountering bone, especially at distances of 40 yards or more.

TenPoint Nitro X Crossbow Review

Standard Weight Arrows (400-459 Grains)

The standard weight crossbow arrows are properly named, since most manufacturers include arrows weighing between 400-450 grains in a standard crossbow package. Also, when looking at a crossbows speed, most manufacturers advertise the speed as shot with a 400 grain arrow. So keep in mind that if you choose to use a heavier arrow, your crossbow will shoot a little slower than “advertised speed.”

If the main purpose for your crossbow is hunting, then standard weight arrows will be great for you. While they don’t pack quite the punch that a heavier arrow does, they’re still plenty fast and powerful for most big game animals.

Heavy Weight Arrows (460+ Grains)

Despite the fact that heavy weight arrows will shoot slower than a light weight arrow, they carry a greater amount of kinetic energy and penetration power. In hunting situations, you should try to shoot the arrow that has the greatest amount of kinetic energy, while still shooting as fast and accurate as possible.

Another benefit to using heavy weight arrows, is that it will make your crossbow quieter. With more force needed to move a heavier arrow, less energy is dissipated throughout the crossbow. Since more energy is being exerted onto the arrow, it also means that less wear and tear will occur.


Now that you know what kind of arrow is right for you, hopefully you’ll have great success in the field or at the range.

You can find tons of great arrow options at the TenPoint Crossbows website, and maximize the efficiency of your setup.

Courtney Kaufmann
Courtney is a passionate bowhunter who has a love for the outdoors. If she isn't in a tree stand or a ground blind, she is most likely somewhere fishing! In her free time, Courtney enjoys photography and trying out new recipes with wild game and fresh caught fish!
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