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30694Re: [SCA-Archery] Finding a happy medium for crossbow bolts...

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  • Siegfried
    Mar 29, 2012
      Every crossbow has it's own "preferred food"

      I highly recommend, if you can, to sit and make a whole set of bolts.
      Say at least 3 of any given type. And just play, see what flies right
      out of your bow, and what just works best for you.

      Now that being said, there are a few rules of thumb that tend to make
      stuff 'work no matter what', and that you can start with and then start

      * Longer is better. Typically, up to a point (20-22") the longer bolt
      works better because not only of better stabalization (the balance point
      is farther forward proportionally and the fletches are farther
      backwards). But because it tends to give you a better 'sight window'.
      Where it appears you don't have to 'aim so low' when using gap sighting
      (the most typical for crossbowyers)

      * Heaviest tips you can. That means 125gr for 5/16" shafts, 160gr for
      11/32 or 23/64 shafts. The more tip heavy it is, the more stable it
      will be.

      * Bigger fletches. Going with 4" fletches on a 20"+ bolt, gives you a
      TON of stability. Most people (myself included) end up going back down
      the 3" because of lesser drag and more accuracy. But in the beginning,
      stable is better.

      * Helical Fletches. You only have two fletches to impart any spin on
      the bolt. You don't need spin. But spin makes it
      o-so-much-more-stable. Get a decent helical twist on those fletches.
      Or at least a good angle offset.


      On 3/29/12 11:27 AM, David Nolan wrote:
      > Hi all,
      > I've recently acquired a period crossbow of around 110#. I've never
      > owned a crossbow...I normally shoot a 45# modern recurve or, more
      > recently, the 55# period longbow I made.
      > Now that I have a cross, I'm wondering about what kind of length the
      > bolts should be...and what length and shape of fletching.
      > I've been doing some research where I've read a number of
      > arguments...that longer bolts will stabilize better in flight due to the
      > increased mass equaling increased kinetic energy and the increased
      > length factoring wind resistance into less bending/course changing...
      > ...at the same time I've heard arguments that shorter bolts, being less
      > prone to a bent shaft, fly more accurately as long as you don't go past
      > the 'maximum effective range' where they start to tumble.
      > In any event most places I've read say that somewhere between 16" and
      > 22" is the place to be...
      > What have YOU guys experienced? Pros and cons of different bolt sizes?
      > What size and shape fletch do you use?
      > I appreciate the ability to pick your brains, thank you!
      > Aengus O'Nolan
      > Barony of Ayreton
      > Middle Kingdom

      Barun Siegfried Sebastian Faust - Barony of Highland Foorde - Atlantia
      http://hf.atlantia.sca.org/ - http://crossbows.biz/ - http://eliw.com/
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