Crossbow bolts also referred to as quarrels, are the arrows that are used with crossbows. Quarrel comes from the French word carré which means square because the arrows generally have square heads. They come in different lengths, but crossbow bolts are usually shorter than traditional arrows. If you have ever heard someone say “pick a quarrel” it is taken from archery language and means choosing a bolt to be used in a crossbow for battle.
What is a Crossbow Bolt?
Advanced bolts have been recently designed with lighted ends that are attached to the nock of the arrow. When the arrow is released, a light will shine back to the shooter which will show the path and destination of the arrow. This will enable the shooter to recover the arrow easier and indicate target and flight patterns when hunting or shooting. It will also make it easier for hunters to see the impact on animals they have targeted.
The average crossbow bolt is about 20 inches long. Bolts slightly longer than 20 inches are generally fine, whereas shorter bolts are not. This is because a fine tip on a shorter bolt could get in the way of the crossbow rail, which is the groove where the bolt goes into.
The crossbow bolt consists of the following parts:
This is the main part of the bolt and all other parts are attached to it. The majority of crossbow bolts are carbon or aluminum because they resist bending, are lightweight, and do not splinter. The stiffness of a shaft is called the spine. If someone says that the bolt has a lot of spines, that means it does not bend easily. Some bend easier than others.
This part is usually plastic or aluminum and is attached to the back of the shaft. Its purpose is to keep the bolt in place when you are lining up to shoot. The two main types of nocks are half-moon and flat.
These are at the back of the arrow and look like small wings. They help guide the arrow in the right direction, keep it from moving to the left or right, and stabilize it while in flight. Fletchings are also called vanes.
There are two main types of heads that are used with the crossbow arrow – crossbow broadheads and field points.
Top Crossbow Bolts on the Market
Below are the top crossbow bolts on the market today:
#1: Carbon Express PileDriver Fletched Carbon Crossbolt Review
These crossbolts will give the hunter the best penetration, because they are made of heavier carbon that provides maximum kinetic energy. It is said that you get bone-crushing penetration. Advanced techniques used to build this bolt result in greater accuracy because of the consistency in the spine, and more powerful knock-down. The composite material maintains durability on impact, for consistent performance and reliability. The bolts come with 6 universal flat nocks, inserted moon nocks, and standard 4” vanes. LAUNCHPAD™ Precision Nocks provide improved shaft alignment, more consistent accuracy, and a controlled arrow release. A nock collar is also included which protects the shaft against nock-end impacts.
BuffTuff® is used in the front shaft section and these arrows also feature a Mossy Oak Brush pattern. Built-In Weight Forward™ is a patented technology used that provides excellent downrange accuracy with a broadhead. Each bolt is precisely sorted by laser to ensure straightness and consistency with every shot.
#2: Carbon Express Maxima Hunter Fletched BuffTuff Plus Carbon Quarrel Review
These bolts are designed with dual spine weight forward technology. The technology gives more down range accuracy, optimizing trajectory, and rapid recovery. The Mossy Oak Treestand camouflage is a perfect fit to match any hunter’s gear. Each six-pack comes with 6 extra-universal flat nocks and inserted moon nocks. Individual arrows are sorted by laser for weight and straightness to maintain consistency.
Also included with these bolts are 100-grain field points and high-performance vanes. BuffTuff® Plus, used in the back shaft section, is a patented process that incorporates a 100% high modular carbon weave into the outer layer of the arrow which results in durability and strength. BuffTuff®, also used in the front shaft section, is considered the quietest and toughest carbon arrow finish in the world. Two different carbon materials create a patented fusion (Dual Spine Weight Forward) of two spines in one arrow. This makes arrow recovery faster, retains more speed, provides better accuracy, and spins the arrow 20% sooner.
#3: Black Eagle Executioner Crossbow Fletched Carbon Arrows/Bolts Review
Black Eagle Arrows is family owned and operated company. Their “Executioner”arrows certainly live up to their name. These carbon crested arrows are designed for accuracy, kinetic energy, and speed. They have Executioner brass inserts installed which provide an overall weight built for optimal F.O.C. (forward of center). This maximizes accuracy during the flight of the arrow, without loss of kinetic energy or speed, which is considered a deadly combination for any crossbow. Grouped Together technology is used to match spines on every dozen arrows, which results in precise consistency.
All shafts are weighed and grouped so that they match perfectly. The manufacturer guarantees the specified straightness or straighter. Most companies in the industry measure a 28”section; Black Eagle Arrows measures the full length of the shaft. The arrows also come with half moon nocks and installed but removable flat nocks. Nocks on these bolts are not glued but pressed fit. Also included are Bohning vanes.
To make sure that you can shoot your bolts with the highest accuracy possible, get a good crossbow scope after reading our guide.