30703RE: [SCA-Archery] Re: Finding a happy medium for crossbow bolts...
- Apr 2, 2012I will through in one comment as to length you can always make them shorter but longer is a start over.
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.
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