9 Best Crossbow Bolts (Carbon, Aluminum, and More)

Best Crossbow Bolt

If you're looking to buy a crossbow bolt, then you should already own a crossbow. If you don't own one, then it's better for you to get a crossbow first before worrying about its bolts.

There are enough bolts available for crossbows, and they range in length, material, weight and other features. Being able to pick the right bolts though, requires that you narrow down your search to a few important features.

This crossbow bolts review provides you with those important features and with the other necessary information that you need to understand for you to make the right choice.

You may also like to read other product reviews such as arrow for compound bow, hunting arrow, pistol crossbowcrossbow, broadhead, powerful crossbow.

Product Name

Length

Material

Package

Rating

Current Price

1. Carbon Express PileDriver Crossbolt

20/22 in

Carbon

6 pcs

4.6

2. Barnett Outdoors 20-Inch Carbon Arrows

20 in

Carbon

5 pcs

4.5

3. Speed Track Pistol Crossbow Plastic Bolts

6.25 in

Plastic

60 pcs

4.3

4. Carbon Express Maxima Hunter Crossbolt

20/22 in

Carbon

6 pcs

4.4

5. Musen 12-Pack Carbon Crossbow Bolts

20 in

Carbon

12 pcs

4.0

6. Dmar 12-Pc Crossbow Arrows Pack

20 in

Carbon

12 pcs

4.2

7. Viare 12-Pack Carbon Crossbow Bolts

20 in

Carbon

12 pcs

4.1

8. Ace Martial Arts Supply Pistol Crossbow Bolts

6.25 in

Aluminum

36 pcs

3.9

9. Antsir 12-Pack Carbon Crossbow Bolts

20 in

Carbon

12 pcs

3.9

1. Carbon Express PileDriver  Crossbolts

Carbon Express PileDriver Crossbolts
  • Length: 20/22 inches
  • Shaft Material: Carbon
  • Diameter: 0.348 inch
  • Shaft weight: 350 grains

If you are the type of hunter who demands high-quality cross-bolts that can fly straight and penetrate deep into your target animal, this package offers you exactly that.

Made using carbon fiber, the shaft weighs 350 grains, producing enough kinetic energy to drive the bolt deep into most games. With the right broadhead tip, this bolt should also easily crush every bone in its path.

No arrowheads are included though, so, you'll need to buy them at an extra cost. Two sets of nocks are included, however, allowing you to shoot these bolts with as many crossbows as possible.

You can get the package in the 20-inch or 22-inch version, each containing six bolts with a 0.348-inch diameter and 4-inch long vanes.

Pros:

  • Features a heavy carbon shaft for deep penetration
  • Includes 4-inch vanes for improved accuracy
  • The package comes with both moon nocks and flat nocks
  • Available in 20 and 22-inch lengths

Cons:

  • Price is a bit high but quality has its price
  • No bolt head included

2. Barnett Outdoors 20-Inch Carbon Arrows

Barnett Outdoors 20-Inch Carbon Arrows
  • Length: 20 inches
  • Shaft Material: Carbon fiber
  • Diameter: N/A
  • Shaft weight: 400 grains

If you need a high-quality bolt set that you can just unpack and immediately start shooting with, then here comes an interesting package from Barnett Outdoors.

Although the package includes only 5 bolts, each one is 20 inches long and features a half-moon nock. You also get 100-grain field points, which add to the 400-grain carbon arrows for the most penetrating power.

The only consideration with this crossbow bolt is that you could have issues if your crossbow does not support moon nocks, else, it's a great pack of bolts, which are additionally backed by a five-year warranty from Barnett Outdoors.

Pros:

  • Includes field points
  • Heavy 400-grain bolts for deep penetration
  • Set includes 5 ready-to-shoot arrows
  • Backed by a 5-year warranty

Cons:

  • Features only half-moon nocks
  • The package is a little costly for only 5 bolts

3. Speed Track Pistol Crossbow Plastic Bolts

Speed Track Pistol Crossbow Plastic Bolts
  • Length: 6.25 inches
  • Shaft Material: Plastic
  • Diameter: N/A
  • Shaft weight: N/A

This would have been the overall best budget crossbow bolts on this list but they get made for smaller pistol crossbows. If you've got such a pistol crossbow, however, then you are in luck.

You get 60 pieces of black or colorful plastic bolts, which includes vanes and a tip for each. The bolts are lightweight, straight, and very accurate.

Speed Track makes them for pistols with a draw weight between 50 and 80 lbs. This means you can hunt with them if you like, but that also means going after small game like rabbits.

Their pointy tips also present a problem for those who'd like to hunt with these bolts, because you can't switch them for broadheads, but they're great for everything else. The shafts are 0.37 inch wide and the fletchings are 2 inches long.

Pros:

  • Package has 60 pieces of bolts with metal tips
  • 6.2-inch length is perfect for pistol crossbows
  • Ideal for 50 or 80-lb designs
  • Best crossbow bolts for small pistol crossbows
  • The package offer has an amazingly low price

Cons:

  • The plastic material is not very durable
  • Its pointy tips are not removable, so you can't fix hunting broadheads

4. Carbon Express Maxima Hunter Crossbolt

Carbon Express Maxima Hunter Crossbolt
  • Length: 20/22 inches
  • Shaft Material: Carbon fiber
  • Diameter: N/A
  • Shaft weight: 397 grains

Carbon Express offers those looking for carbon crossbow bolts a lot with this Maxima Hunter Crossbolt package. You get a pack of 6 crossbow arrows in either a 20-inch or in a 22-inch length.

Both versions have a 0.343-inch diameter and the 20-inch version weighs 390 grains, while the 22-inch version weighs 416 grains.

These bolts feature Carbon Express' dual spine technology for higher accuracy and better speed retention, as well as laser checking for an extreme straightness, with an accuracy of up to +/-0.0024 inch.

You also get the bolts with inserted moon nocks, plus extra flat nocks to make the bolts usable on most types of crossbows. With its added Mossy Oak pattern, you get the bolts covered in nice camouflage, which is a big plus for camo-loving bow hunters.

Pros:

  • Precision design for highly accurate shots
  • Includes flat and moon nocks for your convenience
  • Available in both 20 and 22-inch lengths
  • Package includes 6 bolts

Cons:

  • The package is not cheap but it's worth it

5. Musen 12-Pack Carbon Crossbow Bolts

Musen 12-Pack Carbon Crossbow Bolts
  • Length: 20 inches
  • Shaft Material: Carbon
  • Diameter: N/A
  • Shaft weight: 300 grains

Designed to offer both quality and quantity, you'll definitely get both from this package. As a top-rated crossbow bolt, this Musen 12-pack offers you 12 high-quality crossbow bolts at a great price.

The arrow shafts get produced from carbon fiber for maximum strength and durability, while the vanes feature 2 yellow and one black vane, each measuring 4 inches in length.

These bolts come with field points, which you can easily exchange for broadheads whenever you wish. You get a 300-grain weight, plus 125 grains for the field point, perfect for practicing with crossbows up to and over 175 lbs in draw weight.

At such a low price, one would have expected a low-quality set of bolts, but Musen delivers quality carbon bolts that can fly accurately at over 350 fps, making this offer a truly great deal.

Pros:

  • Package includes 12 crossbow arrows
  • High-quality bolts for better penetration
  • 300-grain shaft with 125-bolt field points
  • Great for crossbows over 150-lb draw weights

Cons:

  • They feature only half-moon nocks

6. Dmar 12-Pc Crossbow Arrows Pack

Dmar 12-Pc Crossbow Arrows Pack
  • Length: 17/20/22 inches
  • Shaft Material: Carbon
  • Diameter: N/A
  • Shaft weight: N/A

Dmar offers its crossbow bolts in 3 sizes, ranging from 17 inches to 20 and 22 inches in length. Each of the arrows comes with a field point, plus blue and white plastic fletchings.

The shafts get produced from carbon and they vary in weight, with the 17-inch shafts weighing 416 grains, the 20-inch versions weighing 447 grains, and the 22-inch bolts weighing 462 grains.

They are ideal for target practice and competition shooting, but if you want, you can easily unscrew the steel field points and attach a broadhead to arm it for hunting all kinds of game.

Whichever of the different sizes you choose will depend on the size of your crossbow. They may not necessarily be the best quality bolts you can find, but they are one of the best budget crossbow bolts in the market.

Pros:

  • Available in 3 lengths of 17, 20, & 22 inches
  • 12-pack offers high value for your money
  • Shafts get made from carbon for high strength and durability
  • Includes nicely colored blue and white plastic fletchings

Cons:

  • Only features half-moon nocks

7. Viare 12-Pack Carbon Crossbow Bolts

Viare 12-Pack Carbon Crossbow Bolts
  • Length: 20 inches
  • Shaft Material: Carbon
  • Diameter: N/A
  • Shaft weight: 400 grains

With their super-bright and 4 inches long orange vanes, you can hardly miss these bolts after shooting. They come packaged 12 in a pack, and with a 400-grain weight each.

The tips are removable to add a broadhead for hunting. If you're not yet ready though, you can use the field tips for practice or for competition shooting. These crossbow bolts are made from lightweight carbon shafts, so they're both very fast and very accurate.

A 125-grain broadhead is the best recommendation for deep penetration and quicker kills while hunting with these bolts. The arrow shaft is 20 inches long and made from carbon, making these crossbow bolts strong, reliable, and long-lasting.

The only drawback here is that you can't change the half-moon nocks easily, but you do get an aluminum insert for screwing-in the tips to the shafts, still making this a good crossbow bolt buy.

Pros:

  • 12-pack crossbow bolts at a great price
  • The bolts feature half-moon nocks and colored plastic vanes
  • Each arrow comes with a field point for practice
  • Matched with 125-grain broadheads for hunting

Cons:

  • The nocks are permanently glued in and they're the half-moon type

8. Ace Martial Arts Supply Pistol Crossbow Bolts

Ace Martial Arts Supply Pistol Crossbow Bolts
  • Length: 6.25 inches
  • Shaft Material: Aluminum
  • Diameter: 0.19 inch
  • Shaft weight: N/A

Here's another interesting package for those with 50-lb and 80lb pistol crossbows. These bolts get manufactured from hollow aluminum, with a 0.19-inch inner width and 0.6635-inch wide fletchings.

You can use the bolts for lots of things, including target practice and hunting, although for hunting, you'll have to stick to small game like rabbits.

One disadvantage of these pistol crossbow bolts is that you can't change the tips to install a broadhead tip, but then the bolts are great for the price, so one really can't complain much.

The vanes are also made of PVC and not plastic, which makes them easier to crack, but again, you just have to be satisfied with these 36 bolts at a great price.

Pros:

  • Ideal for pistol crossbows at 6.25 inches length
  • Extremely lightweight bolts made from aluminum
  • Includes field tips made from stainless steel
  • Package has 36 bolts at an attractive price

Cons:

  • Vanes get produced from PVC which can snap easily
  • The metal tip is not exchangeable with a broadhead

9. Antsir 12-Pack Carbon Crossbow Bolts

Antsir 12-Pack Carbon Crossbow Bolts
  • Length: 20 inches
  • Shaft Material: Carbon
  • Diameter: N/A
  • Shaft weight: 280 grains

The main feature of Antsir arrows is the consistency in their wall thickness of 0.346 inch, made from composite carbon for high strength and a long service life.

With 13.7 GPI, the shaft has a 280-grain rating, and with a 125-grain point. You get 3 vanes, each 4 inches long on the arrow, plus a half-moon nock and an aluminum insert for arrow tip installations.

These bolts are perfect for conventional crossbows with draw-weight ratings up to 150 lbs and above. You can practice with the field tips for as long as you like, then whenever you feel like hunting, simply unscrew the field tips and install your favorite broadhead.

Pros:

  • Carbon shaft provides strength and durability
  • Includes replaceable half-moon arrow nocks
  • List ElemEach arrow features 4 inches long vanes for high accuracyent
  • Package has 12 crossbow bolts and at an attractive price

Cons:

  • N/A

The Difference Between an Arrow and a Bolt

As you might have noticed, bolts and arrows are often used interchangeably, with some folks getting a little confused over the two terms. The short answer is that they both mean the same thing, while the longer answer is as follows.

1. The Crossbow Bolt

A crossbow bolt is a traditional projectile that has been shot from crossbows for hundreds of years. It was usually shorter than 16 inches and had no vanes.

The oldest recorded use of crossbow bolts was by the Chinese who had developed them by the fifth century AD. Bolts were traditionally made from very hard materials which made them very rigid, accurate, and very deadly.

These days, bolts and arrows continue being used interchangeably for crossbow projectiles, although most modern projectiles have no vanes and are longer than 16 inches.

2. The Crossbow Arrow

While most other types of bows use arrows of varying lengths around 30 inches, crossbows have evolved to use arrows which are much shorter and average 20 inches in length.

These 20-inch long arrows have vanes and are usually heavier than conventional bow arrows. Although they are technically still arrows, they are often called bolts.

These crossbow arrows have shorter shafts and fletching that is less pronounced than those of conventional arrows because they don't need the vanes much for accuracy.

What all this means, therefore, is that you'll be correct if you call the 20-inch vaned arrows bolts and you'll also be correct if you called then arrows.

How to Buy the Best Crossbow Bolts

How to buy Crossbow Arrows

When deciding on which bolts to buy for your bow, you'll need to focus on a few important aspects, so you can make the right choice. These aspects are as follows.

1. Manufacturer Recommendations

As is also the case with conventional bows, crossbows have a draw length and a draw weight, both of which must be taken into account if you want to get the best gear for your crossbow.

To save the situation, most manufacturers offer recommendations on the right lengths and weights of arrows to use. These recommendations help you to shoot as accurately as possible, as well as to prevent possible mishaps that may result from using the wrong arrows.

The first thing to do is to read the manufacturer's recommendations and to follow them.

2. The Shaft

An arrow's shaft is the middle part between the arrow's head and the fletching. Bolts or crossbow arrows have shorter shafts than conventional arrows.

The most popular materials for making crossbow arrow shafts are aluminum and carbon fiber. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, with aluminum offering a better flight and carbon fiber offering better durability.

3. The Nock

Different manufacturers also have different recommendations for the arrow's nock. Most crossbow arrow nocks get produced from either aluminum or plastic, which gets fixed behind the shaft.

You have the half-moon nock, which has a groove to alight your string with. Then there's the flat nock, which is simply flat, as its name suggests.

4. Bolt Head

The bolt head is the front part of the arrow that pierces either your target board or the game during a hunt. There are two types of heads: The field point for practice, and broadheads for hunting.

Most bolts will come with field points for practice, leaving you to get broadheads when you want to go hunting. There are additionally 3 types of broadheads and they are the fixed blade, the removable blade, and the expandable blade broadheads.

Each of these three types of broadheads has its advantages and disadvantages, with expandable blades creating the widest wounds and the fixed blades being the strongest and most effective bone-crushing heads. Also, make sure to get a broadhead that matches your bolt's weight.

5. Bolt Weight

Bolts are usually classified according to their weights and these weights are given in grains or grains per inch (GPI). The material it's made from determines the shaft's weight to a great extent and with crossbows, a heavier bolt is better than a lighter one.

Your crossbow manufacturer will recommend an arrow weight that fits the crossbow. You should always buy bolts that either meet the manufacturer's minimum weight specification, or that are even heavier.

6. Draw Length

The manufacturer will also recommend a bolt length, which you should follow. It's best to buy crossbow arrows that are either exactly as long as recommended, or that are a little longer.

7. The Spine

This rating combines many factors and refers to how stiff or how flexible the bolt is. The factors include weight, length, and the type of material.

Spine determines how much the arrow wobbles in flight. A higher spine rating means more wobbling, while a lower spine rating means a stiffer arrow.

Conclusion

We have come to the end of this crossbow bolts review and you must have realized how many offers are available for crossbows by now.

So, whether you are in search of top rated crossbow bolts or just a good crossbow bolt, the list above provides you with the best offers, so your final decision can be easy.

Remember that the bolt can also be a little longer or heavier than your crossbow allows, but not lighter nor shorter. In the end, remember to have fun with your crossbow and your bolts.

Allen Ethan