M*CARBO Brotherhood

Crossbow bolt size-does it matter?

First let me say i have never archery hunted before so this is why im inquiring. I plan to sit for the first time this season Friday evening.

I bought some new graphite bolts and broadheads for my cross bow. I researched and found out that the crossbow I have shoots 20" bolts with 110gr arrowheads. So that’s what I ordered. However, the bolts that came with the crossbow are about an inch or two shorter than what i ordered. I shot the new bolts and they hit right and low at 20yds from what the ones that came with the crossbow did(I have a 3x32 crossbow scope installed)
I dialed the new ones in and now they are shooting dead on at 15/20/30yds.
So, does it really matter if they are longer?
They are 20" just as the mfr stated it shoots, although the “stock” bolts SEEMED to be more accurate. But I was using a rest with them and was shooting the new ones freehand.
Also, my target states its only for field tips. If my broadheads are the same grain(110), will it matter if I don’t sight the bow in with them? The heads I got you can use as a field tip, and has three slots for the blades that are secured when screwing the tip down onto the bolt. I used one of the “stock” field tip to sight in though.

The last thing I want to do is wound a deer. I want the shot to count if one presents itself.

Any input would be greatly appreciative.


With my experience just use what the Mfg recommends as far as length and total weight. I found using a lighter bolt with a heavier broad head worked better. Longer bolts are fine, shorter are a no go.

With mine the BH hits about an inch off compared to field tips at 40yds.

I don’t shoot mine much. I only use it for bow season then it gets hung back up.


Bolt size is relative to kinetic energy/speed relationship, some guys like lighter and fast, some like hitting hard and heavy. Much like a .357sig vs .45 debate :grin:

Depending on the broadhead design, they will fly different than a field point. If you use expandable BHs they are the closest you can get to field points, but usually you get a “practice” BH that should simulate flight characteristics.
If using fixed blade BHs, then you must confirm your sight in, with them. They will plane in flight depending on the clocked position when tight, but less if they are 4 blade -symmetrical.