What are Archery Arrows: A Complete Guide

Archery has been a popular sport for generations, evolving through time. It was initially used for hunting and warfare but later became an Olympic sport.

An archery kit consists of two primary components: a bow and an arrow. The bow is a long, flexible piece kept taut by a string attached to each end. It enables the archer to pull back the arrow and forcefully release it.

An archery arrow is a pointed, fin-stabilized projectile launched by a bow toward a target.

The quality of the bow determines the distance and accuracy of your archery. Archery arrows also play a crucial role in bows – the quality of your arrow will decide the accuracy, speed, and impact of your shooting.

This article will teach you all there is to know about archery arrows.

Components of Archery Arrows


The use of a bow and arrow can be traced back to the Middle Stone Age (70,000 years ago) when the arrows were made out of simple wood without much consideration for their accuracy.

Over time, archery evolved into a highly sophisticated and technical sport, with advancements in materials, design, and technique contributing to greater precision and power.

The construction of archery arrows is essential to their performance – they comprise four main components: shaft, nocks, fletchings, and arrowheads.


The arrow shaft is the central part of the arrow, which is responsible for transmitting kinetic energy from the bow to the arrowhead. The shaft’s material should be considered carefully according to your requirements, as it will affect the arrow’s weight, stiffness, and durability. 

The most common materials used for the shaft are carbon fiber, aluminum, and wood. 

The stiffness of the shaft is measured by its spine, the measurement of its flexibility. A higher spine means the shaft is stiffer, and a lower spine is more flexible.



Nocks are small, plastic pieces that attach to the end of the shaft and hold the arrow in place on the bowstring. They come in various types, including press-fit nocks, pin-nocks, and snap-on nocks. 

A press-fit nock is the most common type of arrow nock because of its flexibility to be used with arrows of most sizes. It can be mounted by sliding and pressing it on the shaft until it fits.

Pin nocks are inserted into the back of the arrow and have a metal pin that fits into a groove on the bowstring. Snap-on nocks slide onto the back of the arrow like a sleeve and hold on with the help of glue inside.


Fletchings are the small feathers or plastic vanes attached to the back of the arrow. Their primary function is to stabilize the arrow and keep it on a straight course. Most fletchings are made out of turkey feathers and plastic.


The arrowhead is the pointy end of the arrow that penetrates the target. These are made of various materials, including steel, aluminum, and tungsten.

There are several types of arrowheads, including field points, bullet points, broadheads, and target points. Field points and bullet points are used for practice, while broadheads and target points are used for hunting and competition.

How to Choose the Right Archery Arrows


Selecting the appropriate archery arrows is crucial for achieving accurate and safe shooting. There are several factors to consider when selecting arrows: 

  • Length: The arrow’s length should be determined by the archer’s draw length, and the arrow should extend past the bow when fully drawn but not hit the riser or archer’s hand.
  • Weight: The weight of archery arrows affects speed and penetration – heavier arrows hit with more force but slower and lighter arrows fly faster but potentially don’t penetrate as deeply.
  • Spine: The spine (or stiffness) of archery arrows impacts flight trajectory, with stiffer arrows flying straighter and faster and more flexible arrows bending more and flying slower.
  • Tip: The weight of the arrow’s tip affects balance and penetration, with heavier tips making the arrow more front-heavy and potentially improving accuracy and penetration but slowing down the flight.

Final Thoughts

The two key components of archery are a bow and an arrow. Selecting the right archery tools is vital for accuracy, safety, and performance. 

The four main components of archery arrows are the shaft, nocks, fletchings, and arrowheads. Choosing the right archery arrows involves considering factors such as arrow length, weight, spine, and tip weight. 

Make sure you get the one that suits your requirements to ensure a pleasant archery experience.

Picture of Brad Burnie

Brad Burnie

Picture of Brad Burnie

Brad Burnie

About Simple Archery

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