Best Crossbow Bolts for 2020

Target shooting and game hunting are hobbies not for the faint of heart. Shooters from around the world take great pride over these games, even hanging their “trophies” for everyone to see.

Whether you’re just doing target practice, or in for the real kill, having topnotch gear is key to your success.

Apart from the crossbow itself, your choice for crossbow bolts would be as crucial a decision to make.

To make things lighter on your part, we’ve done a ton of research and compiled up 10 of the best crossbow bolts available in the market. Check them out!

Top 10 Crossbow Bolts in 2020

There’s a plethora of options out there.

We’ve narrowed down 10 of the highest quality bolts you can get your hands on for an exquisite hunting experience.

We’ve based our choices on material, performance level, affordability, and unique features. For a more detailed buying guide, keep reading until the end of this article.

Carbon Express PileDriver Fletched Carbon Crossbow Bolt (Best Choice)

carbon express piledriver fletched

The Carbon Express PileDriver is our top choice for crossbow bolts. Hands down, it is made to satisfy every hunter’s desire for extreme precision and top performance.

Performance

With its heavy grain weight of over 400 grains, these bolts for crossbow can crush bones to the core! Heavier bolts made of carbon materials call for maximum kinetic energy.

These ensure a greater knockdown and penetration power is delivered upon impact.

Even for up to 50 yards, the capacity to make a kill shot is superb with this one. Its advanced construction allows it to have a spine consistency for target accuracy.

Installation wise, these bolts for hunting make it very easy for one to draw a kill. Because this is a heavier bolt, often speed is withdrawn. But its penetration and precision make up for it, making it harder for your prey to walk away.

Durability

The composite material used of these best-performing bolts for a crossbow is also commendable. Many have expressed their appreciation for its durability and reliability for repetitive use.

Durability for crossbow bolts for hunting is a top priority. Can you imagine successfully making a shot but having your bolt end up breaking in half? Shame!

Bolt Specs

In terms of straightness, the PileDriver crossbolt has a persistence of +/- 0.004″. That’s quite a shooting and hunting experience for you to enjoy!

In a pack, you will receive 6 PileDriver bolts plus 6 universal flat nocks. These are fletched with 4 inches long vanes, 20 inches long in size, 0.348″ in diameter, and are at 442 grains. You also have the option for a 22″ size at 479 grains.

Half-moon nocks and flat nocks can be used on this one. But its 100-grain field points have to be purchased separately.

With all these great features, no wonder it’s the top choice bolts for hunting among the world’s best bowhunters and target archers.

PROS:

  • Excellent Target Penetration
  • Real Straightness Precision
  • Durability and Reliability for Long Term Use
  • Smooth Installation
  • Maximum Kinetic Energy
  • Adds to the Hunter’s Confidence

CONS:

  • Low Speed and Velocity
  • No Field Points Included
  • Exposure to Toluene Diisocyanate (TDI) chemicals

Carbon Express Maxima Hunter Fletched BuffTuff Plus Carbon Crossbow Bolt (Best Value)

This is the second Carbon Express that has made it on this list of best crossbow bolts. The Carbon Express Maxima Hunter is the go-to cross bolts for game hunters who like to shoot farther distances.

Design and Performance

With its dual spine weight-forward design, you won’t be surprised to experience high-quality shooting accuracy.

It has two spines in one arrow for energy efficiency. This feature gives it an impeccable trajectory and flight path even in unusual weather conditions.

It also spins 20% sooner and retains its speed’s momentum. These quality arrows sure can make an impactful attack and a deeper penetration.

If you’re looking for hunting arrows for let’s say deer hunting purposes, this will not disappoint!

This carbon bolt has a “bufftuff” precision design with carbon weave. One of the remarkable aspects making the Carbon Express name stand out from the rest is its promise to provide only the strongest and long-lasting archery equipment with a reasonable price tag.

Bolt Specs

These are considered one of the best crossbow bolts for hunting because of its real straightness laser checked to 1/10,000, or a straightness of +/- 0.0025 inches maximum deviation!

These weigh around 0.8 ounces each. They have fletched 3-inch bolts fusion vanes, 20″ size, 390 grains, and are 0.343″ in diameter. Like most crossbow bolts, they come in packs of 6.

If you’re keen on a camouflage bolt, you’d be happy to know these come in mossy oak treestand camo.

PROS:

  • Made with 100% carbon material
  • Great sustained flight patterns
  • Affordable
  • Easy to use, do not require many adjustments
  • Best for longer distances

CONS:

  • Diameter size may pose difficulty in finding the right nock
  • Not suitable for shorter shooting range

BloodSport 20-Inch Crossbow Bolts (Best Bolt Technology)

bloodsport 20inch bolts

These lightweight bolts are designed for a show-stopping performance. For today’s demands in high-speed crossbows, this is the bolt choice that can hunt your whitetail in a wink of an eye.

Performance and Advanced Technology

Proudly, the BloodSport crossbow bolt can reach its target with a velocity of 400 feet per second.

It retains kinetic momentum at high level. This is based on legitimate testing and research. Along with this data, they proved a stable weight distribution for maximum performance too.

They also contain what they call and patented as the “Blood Ring Technology”. One reason why hunters would prefer this bolt over another.

A ring is installed on the bolt shaft and it gathers forensic evidence as it moves through your dying target. This information gathered is valuable because it allows you to gauge the quality of your killing shot.

You will know which vital organ you hit and if your target is already close to its death.

This allows you protection in case the animal retaliates upon your removal of the bolt from its body. Definitely state of art kind of technology for the hunting community!

Bolt Specs

These arrows come in 20″ shaft length, 0.003″ straightness persistence, and a whopping 9 grains per inch. Its bolt inserts are also glued in. They are fletched with 4-inch vanes.

Because of this bolt being more lightweight, you can play with its overall weight with the other bolt parts like with the weight of its broad head, field points, and nocks. This weight strategy can compliment speed with penetration.

The only downside to these crossbow bolts is perhaps not containing field points. Bolt moon nocks and flat nocks, and brass inserts are already included.

PROS:

  • Blood Ring Technology for easy visualization and protection
  • Maximum kinetic energy
  • Great weight distribution
  • Excellent durability
  • Accuracy and excellent flight paths
  • Deep penetration in spite of the weight

CONS:

  • No bolt field points
  • Bad labeling
  • Not exact fletching colors

Carbon Express Maxima Blue Streak Fletched Carbon Crossbow Bolt

The Carbon Express Maxima Blue is some of the best crossbow bolts set because they already come with their nock. It’s important to note this set does not come with field points.

Performance

Like the previous two Carbon Express bolts, crossbow bolts from this brand have every right to boast its reputation for delivering excellent performing crossbow bolts for hunting.

These ones are no different. They have great speed, are straight, and have the right carbon shafts stiffness. All this perfect to make a killer impact.

Because of its blue streaked nock, it adds to good fletchings. You will not need to shoot the same target twice. A clean shot would be so satisfying!

If you have just started on game hunting, these come with a set of tools for great practice.

These blue streak crossbow bolts glow when they are in trajectory, along with its original field points. You can use the blade broadheads too. We highly recommend this option for beginners.

PROS:

  • Suitable for beginners
  • Standard weight size
  • Has a multiple level array of colors for fletching
  • Come with its nock

CONS:

  • Don’t come with field points

Tenpoint Pro-Lite 20-Inch Carbon Crossbow Arrows

The first Tenpoint brand that has made it to our best crossbow bolts list! Without a doubt, these arrows are made with precision and quality.

Performance

Let’s start off with how it has a 100% carbon shaft. These really make headhunter arrows strong and durable.

When it comes to big game hunting, you’d be a step ahead of your competitors as its manufacturers have made these arrows to shoot the most accurately and consistently, reducing the time you need to reload.

These were designed to have a perfect shot after shot. Its arrow shaft has an ideal weight for it to deliver just the right impact. It also does not pose any issues with stability and vibrations. Weight balance is the factor to thank for.

Bolt Specs

The Tenpoint Pro-Lite crossbow bolt is slightly fletched with 3.5″ bohning X vanes. They come with an omni-nock for to avoid the indexing problem, which is usually a concern for a different flat nock or half-moon nock.

To add to this benefit, it pays that the Tenpoint arrow comes with an LED light to better track and retrieve where your bolt has landed.

PROS:

  • LED light for best crossbow bolt tracking
  • Great shaft weight balance
  • Excellent penetration
  • Fast kinetic motion
  • Made of 100% quality carbon

CONS:

  • Some complaints of its nock not fastening as securely as preferred

TenPoint Omni-Brite 2 Lighted 20″ Pro Elite Carbon Arrows

We can’t get enough of superior value and performance on this list of best crossbow arrows!

Performance

This is another one weighing over 400 grains. This means if you want some sure damage when target shooting game animals, you have to consider this option for deep penetration.

Bolt Specs

Full specs on this Tenpoint is .003 straightness, 20″ in length, and 441 grains, fletched with a 3.5″ Bohning X Vane. The package includes 84-grain lead-free brass inserts, a 2-inch group at 50 yards, and 100-grain field tip for practice.

Now when it comes to design, Tenpoint is a winner. First off, its lazer-tech carbon weave structure reduces its spine variation by 80% and strength increased by at most 40%.

This means it poses no threats of breakage on the launchpad.

It is consistently inspected for straightness with a deviation of 0.001″. Each package is also weight grain matched to within 1-grain per arrow.

Advance Design and Features

Again, a distinct feature to the Tenpoint brand that makes it one of your best options is its omni-nock bright LED-lit feature.

This allows easy tracking of your bolts. It can also really help novice hunters with their hunting skills.

It’s pretty economical too knowing you can reuse your bolts since you can trace and retrieve them easily.

Notably, we’d like to mention that this bolt has six micro-grooves composing the three bow string routes. This helps with better indexing posed as a challenge for a half-moon nock and flat nock style.

Since this leans towards the heavyweight bolts category, it is just right to expect that speed may be sacrificed. But then again, precision and penetration make up for it.

PROS:

  • Great wind resistance
  • Durable
  • Accurate targeting
  • Omni-nock provides easy placement tracking
  • Can fly long distances
  • Best for beginners’ practice

CONS:

  • Nocks easily fall off and require regular nock replacement

Black Eagle Executioner Crossbow Fletched Carbon Bolts

The Black Eagle Executioner arrows are made for best crossbow performance. It boasts on its velocity, speed, kinetic energy, and accuracy.

Performance

They come with brass inserts yet provide a balanced weight for maximum preciseness for the best shooting experience. It also comes with a straightness deviation of just around +/- .010.

Bolt Specs

What’s great about the Black Eagle Executioner carbon arrows is that they come in a variety of sizes.

The 20-inch and 22-inch fletched bolts come with 3″ Bohning X Vanes. The 16-inch and 18-inch fletched bolts with 2″ Blazer Vanes. You can get a pack of 6 or 12 too.

They come with pressed fit half-moon nocks and flat nocks but are removable as preferred. Field points however, are sold separately.

PROS:

  • Bolt of choice for speed and velocity
  • Shaft is stiff, does not easily bend
  • Nocks are removable
  • Very effective

CONS:

  • A field point has to be bought separately

Barnett Outdoors Carbon 20-Inch Crossbow Bolt 

Performance

The Barnett crossbow bolts are made with a wall thickness so efficient for its durability.

Notably, they weigh at 13.78 grains per inch, matched with a 100-grain point. They’re at around 1.04 pounds. Having said, you can expect this heavier weight bolts to provide you with great precision and penetration.

They are also designed with carbon for long-lasting usage and making sure you only need one hit to gain target scores.

The package already comes with moon nocks and field points too. The half-moon nocks allow the bolts to be kept in place. This makes it easier for novice hunters to use with minimum supervision.

Compatibility

These arrows are compatible on crossbows namely the Penetrator, WildCat C-5, Ghost 350 and Jackal. Along with other gear like broadheads, and bowstrings, pleasurable target practice is right up your alley!

PROS:

  • Excellent precision and accuracy
  • Long-lasting durability
  • Long-range even beyond 50 yards
  • Come in packs of 5, making it more economical

CONS:

  • Some inserts are not well fastened
  • Arrows may often need adjustment

EASTON FMJ 20” BOLT 3” VN MN 6P Crossbow bolts

The Easton “Full Metal Jacket” is a choice worth considering for a knockdown hunting game! It is said to deliver a solid performance with shorter blood trails on your kill.

Performance

If you miss a hit with the Easton FMJ, then it’s probably your fault. They’re at top with precision, making every hunting adventure worthwhile.

These crossbow bolts are heavy though. They have a lighted nock and a 125-grain broadhead, which gives it a total weight of 500 grains. As you already know, the heavier the bolt, the better the penetration.

These are suitable for larger targets, and farther distances exactly because of its quality features. No doubt are they credited for its bone-crushing power and stealthy finish.

Furthermore, users have praised its ease when removing the arrows off your dead target, as well as its swift hit even against unfavorable weather.

Bolt Specs

What sets the Easton apart is its crossbow bolt features a tough carbon concentration with a 7075 alloy metal jacket.

It has a straightness tolerance of +/-.003”, measurement of 20″ in shaft length, and is at 13.7 grains per inch. They are fletched with Blazer vanes.

They come with nocks and bolt inserts already.

PROS:

  • Great option for novices
  • Superior protection when needing to remove the bolt off the target
  • Ensures accuracy
  • Can really clamp down your target prey

CONS:

  • Extremely heavy in weight
  • Not the best crossbow bolt for speed

ANTSIR Hunting Arrow Carbon Crossbow Bolts

This list is no short of quality! The ANTSIR comes in a pack of 12, of the highest quality Xbow bolts with carbon arrow shafts.

Performance

The ANTSIR bolts are produced with a more consistent wall thickness that makes it very durable for multiple usage.

It has a 125-grain point with 13.75 GPI for superior penetration. The weight of these bolts is well distributed for a more satisfying target session.

Bolt Specs

They are 20″ in size each with 4″ feather fit. These work perfectly for target and hunting practice at the comforts of your backyard.

They already come with black half-moon nocks with two blue and one white feather.

This aids in better distinguishing the bolts. Accessories like other nocks, a standard point, and inserts are easy to access and be repaired too. The weights are well distributed

PROS:

  • Suitable weight for target accuracy
  • Good for practice sessions
  • Affordable

CONS:

  • Complaints about the practice tip
  • Not made for actual animal hunting

Crossbow Bolt Buying Guide

Different types of bolts exist for different hunting situations and wielder needs.

Choosing the right bolt could get overwhelming with so many to choose from. So we’ve come up with this guide to help you:

Choose Your Arrow Material

The shaft of the bolt is the primary structure that determines your crossbow’s projectile.

The bolts you find nowadays are either made of carbon or aluminum. They are safer, they don’t bend nor splinter. These materials aid in bolt aerodynamics too.

Some lesser-known options are wood, which has been around for ages. You’ll rarely find fiberglass types. Nonetheless, novice archers consider them for their affordability and durability.

Carbon Bolts

Shafts made of carbon material are currently the most durable bolts available today. They are stiff and straight. You need not straighten them oh so often as you would for wood and even aluminum bolts.

100% carbon fiber arrows allow for more flexion and deeper penetration.

It does not stress the shaft enough to break when it impacts your target. It has impeccable integrity that allows you to use them multiple times.

These types of bolts support customization too. You can add different types of nocks, and weight systems depending on your preference.

Even if they may not be as cheap as your other options, but in the long run, you get a good return for your investment.

Aluminum Bolts

Bolts with aluminum shafts are made for those who do not want to break a buck. They are more economical than your carbon bolts and deliver quite a dependable performance.

Take note they may bend easily after a number of uses. They cannot absorb shock as well as fiberglass or carbon either.

If you’re only needing some decent archery training, these bolts would be the better option.

Match Bolt Weight with Wielder Need

Crossbow arrows weigh in varying grains. No “all-in-one” arrows exist. For greater accuracy, and attainment of hunting goals, consider these three main weights of arrows and their corresponding uses:

Lightweight Bolts

These weigh less than 350 grains. If you look forward to arrow speed and a flatter trajectory, go for lightweight bolts.

The advantage of lighter weight arrows is that you get to your target much faster. You will also be susceptible to wind, rain, and debris, potentially blowing your arrow away off course.

The energy transfer on this one though goes to the limbs of the crossbow. This results to louder shots, annoying vibrations, and wear and tear. If you’re hunting animals, you wouldn’t want to scare off your prey with a loud shot.

Given the perfect conditions, like in dry firing competitions and target shooting tournaments, these will come in handy.

Standard Weight Bolts

Considered the “all-purpose” bolt, these weigh in about 350-400 grains. It leaves a great balance for kinetic energy and speed.

These meet most of the standard requirements by manufacturers and are least likely to damage your bows.

The energy transfer in this one is from the bowstring to the bolt, reducing noise and increasing penetration. It’s more accurate as it is less affected by elements of nature.

Heavyweight Bolts

A lot of the bolts we have on our list are heavyweight.

They deliver superb bone-crushing performance with maximum kinetic energy. This type of bolt creates the highest amount of penetration.

They also have more stable flights and are less likely to get lost in track. In terms of trajectory however, they may drop rapidly at longer distances.

These are used for hunting larger whitetails, especially tough ones like elks, moose, and bears. If you’re hunting in thick forests, this would be a smart choice. They are quieter and more precise.

Choose Preferred Length

Bolts come anywhere from 16″ to 22″. A shorter length is less flexible. It works better for faster acceleration and deeper penetration.

Although, it may pose difficulties when retrieving. It’s all a matter of preference.

Pick a Suitable Nock

Nocks are those attached or inserted to the back of the bolt shaft.

A nock is often made with strong plastics or aluminum. It is the connection between the bowstring and the bolt for maximum energy transfer.

The goal in choosing a nock for your bow is to meet the requirements of the manufacturer. Here are the different types of nocks to consider and their particular uses:

Flat

This is the traditional type of nock. It is a simple flat disk that can be positioned in any way. You have to be extra careful it does not slip off from the string or else it could pose danger.

Halfmoon

This has a groove that secures the placement of the bolt on the bowstring for better firing. It also makes sure the fletchings are properly positioned along the rail. This allows a more accurate trajectory.

A recommendation for hunting during the day and for archery.

Lighted

This technological advancement has only been around in recent years.

A light on the nocks is emitted upon shot- activation. This helps you see the flight path and find where your crossbow arrow has landed.

Field Tips and Broadheads

Field tips are better for practicing. They are not easily influenced by wind.

Broadheads are for hunting. They have sharper ends that pierce through skin, causing as much damage as possible.

Both field tips and broadheads typically weigh around 100-150 grains. They should be considered overall with your crossbow bolt for maximum performance.

Most times, these have to be bought separately.

Vanes and Fletchings

These refer to the wings or feathers at the back of your bolts. They weigh about 5-10 grains.

You might think of them only for embellishments. But that is not the case!

Vanes improve the centricity of your arrow. This is the perfect rotation of your bolts. It’s their job to keep your arrows balanced in flight when approaching your target.

Bottom Line

Having the right crossbow bolt can make all the difference for your hunting success.

Once you’ve found the one you like, we’re sure you’ll be sticking to them for a long while. These bolts are dependable investments.

Our top picks are the PileDriver and Maxima Hunter bolts. If you’re game for some new tech, the BloodSport is enticing. No matter which you give a shot, surely you will spend a worthwhile time.

We hope this article has increased your confidence in gearing up for your next hunting session! Have you got any questions for us? Don’t hesitate to message us!

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