Do you know your arrow weight? If not, you might not know the true capabilities of your arrow or if it’s optimized for the type of hunting or target shooting you are doing. Many people get their arrows at a retailer, throw a field tip on it, zero it to their bow sight, and then throw a broadhead on it and go hunting.
While you can make this work, you are selling yourself short by not understanding the role weight plays in how efficient your arrow is when you shoot it. That’s why we created the Arrow Weight Calculator below. This is a critical part of the arrow buying process and something to understand before you buy.
*If you aren’t sure what to put into the form fields below, continue reading down the page here as I go over this in detail so you can get the most accurate results possible. Use the example at the bottom of the page for optimal results.
Why Knowing Your Arrow Weight is Important
The weight of your arrow will dictate its speed, kinetic energy, and momentum (penetration capability). In addition, it will dictate how flat your arrow flies and at what distance the arrow is effective for the type of target you are shooting at. A light arrow will fly fast and flat but might have issues with target penetration.
A heavy arrow can provide a large amount of penetration capability, but it might only be effective at shorter distances depending on the IBO speed of your bow, your draw length, and the draw weight you are shooting. For more information on how to calculate this, use the speed, kinetic energy, and momentum calculator here after you calculate your arrow weight below.
A light arrow set up for hunting and maximizing speed might be around 350 grains. A mid-level hunting arrow is anywhere between 400 and 500 grains. A heavy arrow is anything above 500, but some large game areas like South Africa only allow arrows over 600 grains to be used for the type of game animals hunted there.
How to Weigh Your Arrows
When using the calculator above, there are several factors to consider to ensure you weigh everything correctly. Obviously, you can always weigh your arrow on a scale and I suggest that you do, but if you can’t or you are using the calculator to wargame different arrow setups, make sure you follow the guidelines listed here before you begin using the calculator.
Each component adds to your total arrow weight and can have an impact on how your arrow flies. It is important to remember that every time you make changes to the weight of your arrow, it is also important to re-confirm your zero and make adjustments on your bow sight if needed.
Add all of the following arrow components together to get the total weight and make sure all values are represented in grains. This is the standard weight measurement for arrows and will allow you to use the total found in all the other arrow calculators on this site.
See our List of Archery Calculators below:
Calculating Arrow Weight
Add all the component weights described below together and that will provide you with the total arrow weight. Let’s go!
Arrow Shaft Weight
Calculating the shaft weight of your arrow is pretty straightforward. Just remember that the weight of the shaft is not the arrow spine measurement. A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that the labeled spine measurement of 250, 300, 350, 400, etc., is the weight of the arrow. This is not the case. The weight of the arrow shaft is measured starting with measuring from end to end without anything else. Make sure your arrow shaft is the right length before you do this.
This does not include the nock, inserts, field tips (broadheads), or fletchings/vanes. For carbon arrows, some call this the carbon-to-carbon measurement. This is measured in inches but needs to be converted to decimals for anything less than a full inch to use the calculator below.
Once you have the measurement, you then multiply it by the grains per inch (GPI) of the arrow. This should be provided by the arrow vendor or manufacturer. In most cases, this can be found on the arrow selection charts on the vendor’s website.
Your calculation should look something like this: 300 Spine Arrow at 27″ x 10.7 GPI = 288.9 rounded = 289 grains.
Field Point and Broadhead Weight
Remember that your field points and broadheads must weigh the same. Don’t use a 100-grain practice tip and then try to hunt with a 150-grain broadhead. This will only lead to some very bad shots. You can normally find these weights on the packaging when you buy them. Don’t guess. This is not an item to estimate when it comes to weight.
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 all the way up to 300 grains or more.
Insert and Tip weights can be manipulated to increase your arrow’s forward of center (FOC) and allow you to optimize its flight and penetration capabilities.
The nock normally only weighs in the range of 5-10 grains. Lighted nocks on the other hand can weigh anywhere from 15-30 grains depending on the diameter of the arrow and the model of the nock.
Fletching and Vane Weights
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.
There are other things that can be added to increase the weight of your arrows. Inserts with half-outs, outserts, broadhead adapters, and even cresting paint. You don’t need addons like these unless you are working on building extremely heavy arrows, so if you have a zero value here that’s fine too.
Now that you’ve collected all this data, you can use the arrow weight calculator above to see what your total arrow weight in grains is or what possible setups exist for you and your bow. Good luck!
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