If you want to find the weight of the arrow you’re building or want to buy, then start by filling in the form in the calculator below and see how the weight of each component can impact the overall weight of your arrow. This is why I decided to create the Arrow Weight Calculator here so I could help fellow hunters like you optimize their arrows for hunting and target shooting. Understanding your arrow weight is essential for maximizing its speed, kinetic energy, and penetration capabilities.
Why Knowing Your Arrow Weight is Important
As I’ve learned over the years, the weight of an arrow dictates its speed, kinetic energy, and momentum (penetration capability). Additionally, it influences how flat the arrow flies and the effective distance for the type of target being shot. A light arrow may fly fast and flat but might have issues with target penetration. On the other hand, a heavy arrow can provide significant penetration capability but might only be effective at shorter distances.
To give you a better idea, here are some rules of thumb regarding arrow weights:
- Light Arrow: Around 300-350 grains, optimized for speed and flat trajectory
- Mid-level Hunting Arrow: Between 350 – 450 grains, a balance between speed and penetration
- Heavy Arrow: Above 450 grains, offers greater penetration capability but may be limited in range
Keep in mind that certain locations, like South Africa, have specific regulations requiring arrows over 600 grains for hunting particular game animals.
The Arrow Weight Calculator
When using the calculator below, remember that this is an estimate and that it will allow you to optimize your arrows build without having to actually weigh each individual component.
Hunting Arrow Setups & Related Posts
- How to Buy Arrows for a Compound Bow (The Right Way)
- How Long Should My Arrows Be?
- Arrow Calculators: Arrow Weight, Speed, Momentum, FOC & Draw Length
- Understanding Arrow Spine and Spine Deflection for Hunting
- Heavy or Light Arrows: Arrow Weight vs Arrow Speed
- Heavy Arrows & Single-Bevel Broadheads: Use a 4-Fletch Setup
- How to Paper Tune Your Arrows for Optimal Accuracy
How to Calculate Arrow Weight
When calculating arrow weight, it’s essential to consider each component of the arrow. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to weigh each part accurately and the rules of thumb I follow in the arrow weight calculator. In this section, I will show you how to measure and add each component of the arrow properly.
To calculate arrow weight, you add the following:
- Arrow Shaft Weight
- Field Point/Broadhead Weight
- Insert Weight
- Nock Weight
- Fletching/Vane Weights
- Additional Weight (Outserts, cresting, etc.)
Now let’s dig into how to measure each one properly.
Arrow Shaft Weight
Arrow shaft weight can vary greatly depending on the material, spine deflection, and design. It is usually measured in grains per inch (GPI). Here are some general rules of thumb for different types of arrow shafts:
- Lightweight carbon arrow shafts: Usually around 5-7 GPI. These shafts are designed for speed and are suitable for target shooting or hunting small game.
- Mid-weight carbon arrow shafts: Typically between 8-10 GPI. These are commonly used for hunting medium-sized game or for archers who prefer a balance between speed and penetration.
- Heavy carbon arrow shafts: Generally 11-14 GPI or more. These shafts are designed for maximum penetration and are suitable for hunting larger game or shooting at longer distances.
- Aluminum arrow shafts: Typically between 7-14 GPI, depending on the size and thickness. Aluminum shafts can be lightweight or heavy, offering a range of options for different archery applications.
- Wood arrow shafts: Usually around 8-12 GPI, but can vary significantly depending on the wood type and spine. Wood arrows are often used in traditional archery and can offer a unique shooting experience.
Please note that these rules of thumb are generalizations and may not apply to every specific arrow shaft model or brand. It’s always best to refer to the manufacturer’s information or measure the arrow’s GPI to get the most accurate data. Once you have the GPI value, you can multiply it by the arrow shaft length (in inches) to calculate the total arrow shaft weight in grains.
*Your calculation should look something like this: 300 Spine Arrow at 27″ x 10.7 GPI = 288.9 rounded = 289 grains.
Field Point/Broadhead Weight
Be sure to use field points and broadheads that are the same weight when setting up your arrows. This weight can typically be found on the packaging or the manufacturer’s website. Common weights include 85, 100, 125, and 150 grains, but other options are also available to suit various hunting or target shooting scenarios.
Using field points and broadheads with matching weights will ensure that the arrow’s flight trajectory, speed, and impact remain consistent between practice and hunting situations, which is crucial for successful and ethical hunting.
Arrow inserts are normally glued into the tip end of your arrow and are what is used to screw in your practice field tips and hunting broadheads. Inserts are normally made of metal (aluminum, brass, etc.) and come in a variety of weights that range from 30 grains up to 300 grains or more.
- Aluminum inserts: Typically between 10-25 grains. These are lightweight inserts that provide additional durability and strength without significantly impacting the arrow’s weight.
- Brass inserts: Generally between 50-100 grains. Brass inserts are heavier, allowing archers to increase the forward of center (FOC) and improve the arrow’s flight stability and penetration.
- Custom or specialized inserts: These can range from 30 grains to 300 grains or more, depending on the material, design, and purpose. Custom inserts can be used to fine-tune an arrow’s performance, FOC, or match specific hunting requirements.
Keep in mind that these are general guidelines and may not apply to every specific insert model or brand. It’s always best to refer to the manufacturer’s information or weigh the inserts individually for the most accurate results.
- Standard nock weight: Usually between 5-10 grains. These are non-lighted nocks and are commonly used for various archery applications, including target shooting and hunting.
- Lighted nock weight: Typically between 15-30 grains, depending on the arrow’s diameter and the nock model. Lighted nocks are often used for hunting or in low-light situations, as they make it easier to track the arrow’s flight path and locate it after shooting.
Remember that these are general guidelines and may not be entirely accurate for every specific nock model or brand. It’s always best to refer to the manufacturer’s information or weigh the nocks individually for the most accurate results.
The fletchings or vanes you use can vary in weight. A set of three Blazer vanes can weigh approximately 18 grains (6 grains each). Sets of four fletchings can sometimes weigh up to 30 grains, while smaller fletchings might only weigh 15-20 grains. Find the individual weight of each fletching or vane, and add them together for the value you need for this part of your calculation.
- Small fletchings/vanes: Around 4-5 grains each. These are typically shorter and narrower, often used for target shooting or in situations where speed and accuracy are essential.
- Standard fletchings/vanes (e.g., Blazer vanes): Approximately 6 grains each. These are the most common size and are suitable for a wide range of hunting and target shooting scenarios.
- Large fletchings/vanes: Around 8-10 grains each. These are typically used for traditional archery or when more stability is needed, especially in windy conditions.
When using these rules of thumb, it’s important to remember that they are rough estimates and may not be entirely accurate for specific fletching or vane models. To calculate the total weight for a set of three fletchings or vanes, simply multiply the individual weight by three. For a set of four, multiply by four. These estimates should help readers get close to the actual weight, but it’s always best to check with the manufacturer or weigh the components individually for the most accurate results.
Don’t forget to consider other components that can contribute to the arrow’s total weight when using the arrow weight calculator. Some of these components may include:
- Outserts: These are designed to fit over the arrow’s tip and can provide added durability and strength. Outserts can vary in weight, so it’s essential to check the manufacturer’s specifications.
- Broadhead adapters: These are used to connect the broadhead to the arrow shaft, and their weight can vary depending on the material and design.
- Cresting paint or wraps: Decorative paint or wraps applied to the arrow shaft can also add a small amount of weight. While this weight is usually minimal, it’s still worth considering when calculating the total arrow weight.
Accounting for additional weight components will help ensure that you have an accurate understanding of your arrow’s total weight, which is crucial for optimizing your arrow setup for your specific archery needs.
By understanding and calculating arrow weight, I’ve improved my archery skills and hunting experiences. I hope that this guide and the Arrow Weight Calculator can do the same for you. To further engage with the community, feel free to share your thoughts, experiences, or questions in the comments section below. Good luck and happy hunting!
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