If you’re even remotely into Archery, you must have mazed around the idea and question of the different types of arrows and fletchings?
Maybe you wanted a better partner to your bow, or maybe you just wanted to know your equipment better, either way in the next couple minutes you’ll be walking out with the answers to exactly those questions.
Arrows and Their Types:-
Arrows are projectiles shot off a bow, and they’ve been on this planet for as long as around 65,000 years now!
So obviously our forefathers and their forefathers have twisted, shaped and baked the arrows to their needs over time, and that’s what gives rise to the different “types” of arrows.
Grounds for “Arrow type” Classification and their Types:-
Just like a Car has different top speed, acceleration, and materials of its making, similarly, an Arrow too has some significant grounds on which they can be classified into different types:-
Tip Construction: –
Different arrows are made for different purposes, and so are their tips. A tip made for armor or bone piercing will be a lot different compared to an arrow made for soft target practicing.
Similarly, the arrows made to be shot off the best recurve bows will probably be slightly different than the arrows to be used with a longbow or a compound bow.
Let’s start the arrow classification based on their tip-construction:-
- Blunt Tips: – They’re primarily made out of plastic or rubber. Primary use: – Killing small animals, in the likes of Squirrels and Rabbits. They are primarily distinguished because they aren’t “pointed” and are instead blunt.
- Bullet Tips:- As the name suggests, these are the most commonly used arrow tips with the “piercing” head. They resemble the looks of a “bullet” and are primarily used for hunting bigger animals, such as the Deer.
- Bow Fishing:-They’re primarily made using steel, and are used to fish. They are capable of easily penetrating hard fish Their primary difference indicator is the barb which is attached to them to facilitate the retrieval of the fish.
Another influential metric which comes into consideration when we’re talking about arrow types is its nock design.
- Press-Fit Nocks:- They are one of the most common nocks being used currently, they can be used with almost all kinds of arrows including the aluminum ones. Installing them is exceptionally easy as all we have to do is, “press till it fits”.
- Pin Nocks:- These are nocks which can be installed on those aluminum pins installed on your arrow shafts. They help you reduce arrow deflections and increase accuracy.
- Over Nocks:- Primarily used with Carbon arrows, they are installed by sliding the nock over the arrow shafts.
- Cross Bow Nocks: – I’m pretty sure I don’t need to spell it out, these are nocks meant for crossbows. And they take the liberty of boasting their own types:-
- Half Moon Nock
- Capture Nock
- Flat neck Nock.
Shaft Make and Material:-
Last but not the least, shaft material holds sufficient power over the “type” of an arrow as well, so let’s get acquainted:-
The most common materials used in the construction of Arrow shafts are:-
- and Wood.
Other factors include:-
- The weight of the shaft.
- & length.
So that was about “Arrow” types, if you got a hold of whatever I’ve discussed above, you won’t have problem classifying your arrows anymore.
Now let’s have a look at the other part of this piece, which will be concentrated upon the types of “Fletchings”.
Types of Fletchings:-
Those 3-4 feathers or plastic vanes which you find attached to the rear part of your arrow are what we call fletchings.
Their primary use can be phrased as “slicing the air”. When the arrow is airborne, the fletching helps cut through the air and keep the arrow on its track, if they were to be absent, the arrow would start acting as a rudderless ship, and won’t hit the targets.
There are two dominant type of fletching based on their material of construction:-
- Plastic Vanes
Plastic Vane fletchings generally dominate the market, for the same reasons as “plastic” dominates the general grocery stores.
It’s easy to maintain, doesn’t break or tear as easily as feathers, and it doesn’t require tender maintenance. In addition to that, it’s cheaper compared to feathers.
Types of Plastic Vanes:-
- Standard Plastic Vanes
- Special Plastic Vanes.
Standard Plastic Vanes:-
The standard plastic vanes are primarily made out of Rubber or Duravanes, and can be fletched in any type, including helical, straight as well as offset!
Special Plastic (High-Profile) Vanes:-
They’re like the version 2.0 for the standard plastic vanes. Made primarily out of a Urethane based element, which resembles plastic more than it does rubber.
Compared to the standard vanes:-
- It has a “rougher” texture unlike the smooth texture with the standard vanes.
- And is more fiber-like (giving you a tougher feel).
- Additionally, it has a straight edge rather than having the slightly curved edges as in the standard plastic vanes.
But the “easy maintenance” isn’t a free gift, you need to compromise on your weight and speed as well as accuracy; let me explain.
Feathers aren’t as popular as plastic vanes due to their modern advantages such as durability or color availability.
But even though feathers aren’t as “attractive” as plastic vanes, they land a cut-throat competition to plastic vanes as far as serious archers are concerned.
Because feathers are significantly lighter (as much as about 3x lighter!), meaning your arrow gets a boost in terms of speed, and you obviously get to carry more arrows without giving yourselves a weight-lifting experience.
In addition to all that, the stabilization with Vanes isn’t as great as feathers either! So although vanes make for an all-weather archery choice, feathers would make a more accurate, lighter and better option.
So that’s what I had in my arsenal about the different types of Arrows and fletchings. Honestly, you can classify arrows in a hundred different categories, but I’ve enlisted and explained the most commonly used ones.
If you want, you can further look for the exact wood used in the making of the arrows, the exact angle and curvature of different fletchings and what not, but as far as a detailed, explanatory guide about different arrows and fletchings is concerned, I suppose this does the job, doesn’t it?