30702Re: Finding a happy medium for crossbow bolts...
- Apr 1, 2012David,
I have been reading all of the responses to your questions and it is all very good advice. I do agree with Siegfried, however, in that you should experiment to find out what works for your bow and how you shoot. I have tried several weights and lengths as well so I add what has worked for me.
I have a period bow with a steel prod that pulls between 140# and 150#. I now use 13" (from tip of point to butt of shaft) bolts and they fly straight and true at all the Royal Round distances with very little change in aiming point. I make them with ordinary 3/8th poplar dowels from the hardware store. They are so close to the set arrow measurements that I can use the 125gr. 23/64 field points with no problem. I use the standard tapering tool that works like a pencil sharpener and Ferr-L-Tite for attaching the points. (I tried 3 other glues and kept loosing the points when retrieving the bolts).
I have experimented with, and now use, poplar fins cut from 3/32 blanks which I cut from sheets. I can stack them and cut out about 30 fins at a time on a band saw and sand the shaped fins, still in a stack, on a drum sander. These are then easily slipped into a slot in the shaft, also cut on the band saw, (for that operation you must use a fence or a wood block clamped into place for a straight guide) and glued into place. They are cut to the Shield design and bolts so made fly perfectly straight. Making them may sound difficult, but I have found that gluing on feather fletching and sewing them down is no picnic either.
I hope this info can help and give you some ideas to try out.
--- In SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com, David Nolan <davnolan88@...> 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
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