Selecting the perfect hunting arrow is really critical. It doesn’t matter whether you are using a recurve bow, compounded bow, or longbow, having the correct length and weight is a must. At the same time, arrow speed also is just as critical as arrow length and weight. 

If you can select the right hunting arrow, you can shoot fast and quiet as well. The eternal debate over what is a good arrow speed for hunting will always confuse people. Today we will clear out the debate over arrow speed in this guide. To know more and get a clear view stay tuned with this guide.  

How Fast Can an Arrow Travel?

Arrow speed depends on the bow’s draw weight, arrow weight, fletching type, draw length, broadheads, bowstring materials, and many more. Weather conditions like rain and humidity can also impact the arrow’s speed.  

Usually, the Recurve bow can travel up to 150 mph or 225 fps (feet per second). On the other side, compound bow arrows travel up to 200 mph or 300 fps. But due to the weight of the longbow arrows, they travel a bit slower. These bows take around a second to reach a 90-meter target even at 300 fps. 

To have a better view, look at the following table which compares the arrow speed, KE, and momentum according to the weight.

Arrow Weight Speed KE (Kinetic Energy) Momentum
350 gr. 340 fps 89.75 ft. lbs.  .527 Slug/ft. Per. sec
480 gr. 290 fps 89.54 ft. lbs. .617 Slug/ft. Per. sec
750 gr. 175 fps 50.95 ft. lbs. .582 Slug/ft. Per. sec 

Now, you can get an idea that lightweight arrows can provide you the perfect faster speed. The arrow speed increases with the lighter arrows. Also, the higher speed can ensure more energy than the lower one.

Why Does Arrow Speed Matters? 

Arrow speed matters as an inch too low and low placement can make your shot go in vain. Shooting a faster arrow can improve the accuracy in the field. This small thing can make a huge difference in your hunting sessions. 

Once your arrow leaves the string it ceases to be propelled. At this time the air force begins to work against the arrow which causes the arrow to decelerate. This force has a greater effect on the faster arrow than the slow arrow. 

As a result, it decelerates much faster, and the difference in declarations can impact drastically when hitting an animal. The reason behind it, the heavy arrow usually has a slower declaration rate that penetrates deeper. Therefore, most experts recommend the maximum speed of an arrow should be 260-270 fps.

What Is a Good Arrow Speed for Hunting?

From the above discussion, it is clear why arrow speed matters most. Also, it is clear that faster arrow speed with lighter arrows is better to have successful hunting. Here we are providing 4 more reasons why a faster arrow speed is better. 

Flatter Trajectory

An arrow that can travel faster will drop less between two points and it’s a scientific fact. This doesn’t make too much difference inside of 40 yards. When you are going to take a shot past 40 yards the faster arrow’s fly flatter can get the perfect range making it less critical. Though arrow speed can’t save your shot from a wrong estimate it can definitely help you when you are off by a few yards only.  

Shooting Through Holes

A fast arrow can pass through every brush’s smaller hole without any deflection than the slower arrows. For example, you are lining up to take a 40-yard shot to hunt an elf. But there is only one issue and that is you have to shoot through a hole in the brunches. 

In that case, solid broadheads for elk with 480-grain arrows would be an asset as it can travel at 290 fps speed. Because when it goes through the hole this arrow will be 8.3 inches above your sightline. In this way, you can shoot through the hole conveniently that is nearly 4-inches smaller. 

String Jumpers

As animals are very sensitive to even minimal sounds, so there is a huge chance of miss a hit while loading up the shot. Here comes the importance of the fastest arrow speed. When it comes to shooting potential strong jumpers a faster arrow can hit the target sooner than the slower one. This is especially required when the shot distance is 25 to 40 yards.  

More KE 

Most experts agree on the fact that KE, which refers to Kinetic Energy is the best measure of an arrow’s penetration potential. However, without changing the arrow you can increase the KE by going to a faster bow. Let’s say you are shooting a 450-grain arrow at 240 fps speed. Here, your Kinetic Energy is 57.5 ft. lbs.

Now, using the same arrow, if you increase the speed of your arrow up to 290 fps the KE will go to 79.3 ft. lbs. In this way, you can shoot the same arrow out of a faster bow to increase the penetration energy by 38%.  

Final Verdict

Still, arrow speed is a major factor for the overall success equation of hunting. We agree faster bows are not for everyone. For beginners, it will be difficult to measure speed and weight. But when you get experienced by practicing regularly, the fastest arrow will work great for you. 

For regular hunting, you can stick with the medium weight arrows with a speed of 260-270 fps will be fine. We have shared all the necessary information about the arrow speed, its importance, and its range. Hopefully, now you know what is a good arrow speed for hunting. So, get the perfect one and make the best out of it.