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Re: Tapered bolts

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  • L.J. Sparvero
    Hi all, I shoot with one set of tapered shafts, 11/32 with a very gentle taper on the sides only so that they fit into the nut on my light crossbow. I don t
    Message 1 of 3 , Mar 29, 2002
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      Hi all,
      I shoot with one set of tapered shafts, 11/32 with a very gentle taper on
      the sides only so that they fit into the nut on my light crossbow. I don't
      taper the top or bottom, since that encourages the string to skip
      under/over the butt of the bolt, promoting a misfire.
      The change to the aerodynamics is very slight, the feather fletches
      probably change the flight properties much more than the slight taper I've
      put on. And the weight difference is slight (at least according to my
      mettler balance at work).
      If the problem described is adjusting weight on the tip-end, then why not
      just hollow out about 0.5cm of the wood shaft with a dremel and superglue
      some lead solder onto it? The solder I own is 0.1 grams per 0.5cm IIRC.
      I've gotten matched sets of bolts that are within 0.1 grams of each other
      by this method.
      I'm not sure if making a bolt more tip heavy will change your point of aim
      (I don't use point of aim with a crossbow, all instinctive). But the more
      tip heavy bolts will encourage them to see-saw off of the stock while
      loading. Do you use your thumb to secure the bolt of some sort of bolt
      clip? Either method should work fine.
      If the bolt is too tip heavy (trial and error here!) I've found that it
      will wobble up-and-down in flight, since the nose really wants to go into a
      dive at the instant it comes off the stock (before wind resistance
      stabilizes it -- fletch size does make a difference here).
      Depending on the speed of your bolts, if there is a wobble there will be a
      "myopic" (nearsighted) zone where the bolts will not group as well. As in,
      when they hit the target, they are still wobbling in flight and the wind
      resistance hasn't forced them to fly straight. If you're lucky, this zone
      will be less than 20 yards.
      Regardless, best of luck and shoot well!
      -Lyev Davidovitch, AEthelmearc
    • Scott L Hecathorn
      The main problem is my nut is set up for 5/16 shafts only, so I would have to have the full taper, and since I shoot 3 fletch, I can t really leave the top
      Message 2 of 3 , Mar 29, 2002
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        The main problem is my nut is set up for 5/16" shafts only, so I would
        have to have the full taper, and since I shoot 3 fletch, I can't really
        leave the top and bottom thicker. The weight issue isn't really for the
        tip end, but for the whole shaft. Right now my shafts are 325gr, and that
        includes a 125gr. tip. This might be good for a 30yd. dead on aim, but
        most of the shooting I do is 20yds or under. I have a spring steel bolt
        clip. My bolts fly at 180ish fps, or they did last time I checked its
        been a while, and a prod I think, ago. As they are now, my bolts don't
        have any wobble anywhere, with the exception of a few that wobble for
        about 5yds then straighten out.

        Robert

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      • James Pratt
        I must beg to differ on this point!! If there is any wobble of the bolt off the bow it is a matter of tuning the bow and bolt. When I build a crossbow I
        Message 3 of 3 , Mar 30, 2002
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          I must beg to differ on this point!! If there is any wobble of the bolt off
          the bow it is a matter of tuning the bow and bolt. When I build a crossbow
          I normally shoot a fletchless bolt and play with the prod setting(left and
          right) and the bolt setting at both ends ie: The height of the center of
          the shaft compared to center of the string. until the flechless bolt hits
          consistently strait into the target at 20 yards(like paper tuning a
          longbow). The rumor is that people who shoot unlimited crossbows
          internationaly use a quarter at 50 meeter to test flechless bolts.

          James Cunnningham
          > If the bolt is too tip heavy (trial and error here!) I've found that it
          > will wobble up-and-down in flight, since the nose really wants to go into
          a
          > dive at the instant it comes off the stock (before wind resistance
          > stabilizes it -- fletch size does make a difference here).
          > Depending on the speed of your bolts, if there is a wobble there will be a
          > "myopic" (nearsighted) zone where the bolts will not group as well. As in,
          > when they hit the target, they are still wobbling in flight and the wind
          > resistance hasn't forced them to fly straight. If you're lucky, this zone
          > will be less than 20 yards.
          > Regardless, best of luck and shoot well!
          > -Lyev Davidovitch, AEthelmearc
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