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The cost arrows can vary from the price to the quality and also the quantity you are wanting to get. I have practiced target archery and also bowhunting and each arrow is different depending on the purpose.
How much do arrows cost? Arrows can cost around $40 for a 12-set of budget practice arrows, $60 for a 6-set of mid-range bow hunting arrows, and around $80+ for a set of 6 high-quality competition target or hunting arrows
Maybe you are into competitive target shooting or you are looking to enhance your bowhunting skills. The first place to start is looking and purchasing good arrows.
I know a lot of people are on a budget so cost can vary depending on how much you want to spend and also the quality you want. The cheapest arrow is not going to be the best arrow but that certainly doesn’t mean the most expensive is the best either.
Just depends on your purpose.
Are you looking for practice arrows or bowhunting arrows? Maybe you are looking for high-quality arrows for competitive target shooting.
First, let’s define some things.
Arrow weight is measured in Grains. For reference, 1 ounce = 437.5 grains (or 438 for rough estimates).
All arrow shafts will have a weight rating listed on them measured in Grains-per-inch or GPI. So, if you have an arrow that is 7 GPI and 30 inches long, the arrow will weigh 210 Grains (not including points, inserts, vanes, or nocks).
Additionally, all other arrow parts and accessories are measured in Grains so that you can easily add up the total weight of your arrow.
Arrow Straightness (aka Accuracy)
For the purposes of this article, when we talk about accuracy it’s referring to the straightness of the arrow. You typically see this stated at a “+/-” number under the arrows specs.
For example, if the arrow specs say +/- 0.006 inches, it means that the arrow straightness does not deviate from the straightness axis running along the length arrow any more than 0.006 inches.
With all that as background, let’s start talking about Budget Arrows.
Budget Practice Arrows
Budget practice arrows are going to be your cheaper low-quality arrow. This can range around $3 each or around $40 for a pack of 12.
When you first start out in archery, you are going to be practicing a lot which means a lot of arrows. When I first started target practicing, I lost so many arrows I couldn’t keep count.
That’s Ok though!
That’s how we get better. So stick to a budget and start out by buying as many practice arrows as you can get. Most of these types of arrows come in a pack which is a great option for buying in bulk.
You can check out Amazon for some of the best sellers of practice target arrows. All of the arrows on this list come in a pack of at least 6 or more.
Now, if you are new to archery at this point you are probably also wondering why practice arrows are cheaper or what the difference is between this lower quality target arrow vs. higher quality hunting arrows.
Lower quality target arrows are a lot lighter and most of the time are easier to break and aren’t very durable. (No matter what the description states.)
They have a weaker spine which means straightness and accuracy will be affected as well. Typical budget arrows will have a straightness tolerance of around +/- 0.006 inches or worse. In most cases, it won’t even be listed in the specs!
A lot of practice arrows are made of a cheaper material called fiberglass. Fiberglass is inexpensive and a great option for a cheap arrow, but they are difficult to custom-size and are prone to splintering making them less durable.
This is dangerous and will affect your aiming from long distances because the line of flight will wobble. This also is the reason you should never use target arrows for hunting.
The weight is much lighter and will not penetrate as a good quality hunting arrow will.
The weight of the arrow or any projectile in a shooting sport is going to measure in grains. This is going to tell you how much the arrow weighs per an inch. This affects the flight and penetration for arrows.
With target practicing, you are going to want the arrow to weight in total ( this includes the shaft, vanes, insert, nock, and field point) around 5-6 grains per pound of draw weight. If you are using a bow with 50 lbs of draw you need an arrow to weight in total between 250-300 grain.
These 30-inch carbon arrows by Tiger Archery are a good basic practice arrow because of the replaceable field points. They are made out of carbon which is more durable and holds straightness better than fiberglass.
*Do not use practice arrows for bowhunting due to the lack of penetration and accuracy from long distances that can cause excessive and recurring pain for game.
But as an archer (if you plan to bow hunt), you need a good quality bowhunting arrow. This is where I’ll be talking about mid-range bowhunting arrows.
Mid-Range Bowhunting Arrows
Mid-range bowhunting arrows are a higher grade then your typical fiberglass target arrow. These arrows are designed especially for bowhunting with the necessary accuracy and penetration.
When you are looking for good arrows, I would start with Black Eagle Arrows, Gold Tip Arrows, and Carbon Express. In fact, we’ve got a whole article all about the Top 4 Best Hunting Arrows Used by the Pros. We dive deep into the specific arrows that pro archers are using when the go bowhunting.
You may be wondering what makes these arrows more expensive and how can buying them help me in the long run.
It’s their tolerance level!
They are MUCH more precise!
A typical straightness rating for mid-range bowhunting arrows will be around +/- 0.003 inches or better.
First, you want to look at the spine and see what it is offered in. A lot of mid-range hunting arrows are offered in 350, 400, and 500 spine.
The spine is offered in different measurements to show the arrow’s flex or bend. This balances out the weight of arrow. If you start at 350, and go up the heavier the spine flex.
Generally speaking, compound bows should use lower (stiffer) spines in the range of 200 – 350 and recurve bows and other traditional bows should use higher (weaker) spines between 400 – 500.
Next, you see the GPI ranging from 7.5-9. This is much heavier compared to a target arrow because you need more weight for deeper penetration.
The more weight of the arrow, the more capable your arrow will be to penetrate the muscle, bone, and organs of your game.
If you want to learn more about Kinetic Energy and bowhunting arrows, you should check out this article addressing the question Is a 40 lb bow REALLY Enough for Bowhunting?
When you look at these arrows, you will notice the straightness tolerance (example +/-.006). You will either see a positive and a negative sign showing the straightness axis and then the number to show the tolerance ability.
Tighter tolerances mean better consistency. Better consistency means better accuracy.
The material of mid-range bowhunting arrows is almost always carbon fiber and these arrows are built to have high durability.
Bowhunting arrows will also be more custom sized. You can buy the arrow shaft and have your pro shop cut it down and set up to your draw length. They may even install weighted inserts, field points, different nocks, fletches, and wraps for more custom options.
As a pro hunter, it is worth buying quality bowhunting arrows. Not only does it improve the hunt but also the trophy.
High-Quality Hunting or Competition Arrows
Not everyone is willing to pay $90 or more for a high-quality hunting arrow. But if you call yourself a pro or even shooting in competitions, you will find yourself looking at these top brand arrows.
I would check out the Carbon Express Maxima (available from Bass Pro Shops) for a start. They have been improved with a dual spine weight forward technology.
This is a fusion of two different carbon materials that create 2 spines into 1 arrow, creating a faster recovery and handling kinetic energy better.
They are carbon arrows and offer great speed and offer a better impact on targets at further distances. They also have weight forward technology making the front part of the arrow heavier than the rear which offers that better impact
Another great arrow is the Velocity Valkyrie XT by Gold Tip (also available from Bass Pro Shops). This arrow is made for speed. It is lighter in the weight but it doesn’t take away from the killing strength because it is made of carbon technology that this brand offers.
It consists of a +.003 inch straightness tolerance. and offers 5 spines at 300, 340, 400, 500, and 600 for different equipment adjustments.
Higher quality arrows will have the spine flex, straightness tolerance, and durability that the archer is looking for. But most arrows of this high quality will offer a specialized technology to help with flight patterns and distance.
They will also have the customization available for different parts to be changed and also have the shaft cut down to fix the arrow length.
Most of these arrows will be made from carbon fiber as well because of its lightweight and the capacity to handle more tolerance with great speed.
If you want to have a consistent shot and make longer ranges, the money is worth it for these arrows.
Depending on the purpose of the arrow will define what arrow you should get for your bow and activity.
First starting off, I would simply buy a cheap arrow to refine your target shooting but as you grow to be more experienced and go to competitions and learn to hunt.
Getting a stronger arrow and paying for the quality will be worth it.
Also understanding the different parts of the arrow and how each part affects your force needed for impact and the distance range, will help improve your shot.