6 Best Arrows For Target Practice: Get accurate target shooting With These Arrows?

Bows are pretty easy to understand; arrows, on the other hand, can be tricky to wrap your head around, especially if you are new to archery. There are lots of arrow types to choose from, all with their own unique features, pros, and cons. 

And when choosing arrows for target practice, knowing which arrows to buy will be key. So let’s closely look at the science of arrows and see which ones are the best for target practice.

AQuick View Of My Top Arrow Picks For Target Practice

Last update on 2022-11-28

best arrows for target practice

Choosing Arrows For Target Practice: What To Consider

The main things you should consider when looking for arrows for target practice are;

Types of Arrow Based on Material

The most common materials used to make arrows are:

  • wood,
  • carbon,
  • aluminum,
  • and a mix of carbon and aluminum.

Wooden Arrows

Wooden arrows are as old as archery itself. These arrows are affordable, and it may be tempting to go for them when you are a beginner.

wooden arrows

But I would advise against buying wooden arrows. But why avoid wooden arrows, you may ask? However, inexpensive, these arrows tend to warp and break easily. Furthermore, because wood is an organic material, wooden arrows aren’t uniform.

Arrows made from wood differ significantly, and you will notice that each arrow flies differently. 

Aluminum arrows

Aluminum arrows are pricier than wooden arrows but offer more in terms of versatility and sturdiness. Most use screw-in tips meaning you can easily switch between bullet, field points, and broad heads.

Aluminum arrows

They are more sturdy than carbon arrows, making them ideal for target practice, where it’s common to knock arrows against each other.

Carbon Arrows

Carbon arrows are usually very stiff and are thus ideal for heavier bows. They are mainly used with compound bows. Carbon arrows tends to be very thin and are better at penetrating the game than aluminum arrows.

carbon arrows

The downside of carbon arrows is that they are pricey and can also splinter, though not often. When a carbon arrow splinters, toss it away. 

Aluminum/carbon mixes

These hybrid arrows are usually made of aluminum and wrapped with carbon. They are light and stiff, meaning they perform well in long-range shooting. They are perfect for outdoor target practice and are common in competitive target shooting, including in the Olympics. 

So which arrows are best for target practice? Regarding carbon arrows vs. aluminum arrows for target shooting, aluminum arrows are ideal for target practice. However, for competitive shooting or shooting targets at long distances, go for aluminum/carbon arrows.

The Arrow Spine

Something else to consider is the arrow spine. So what is the arrow spine? The spine is how flexible an arrow is. An arrow that bends easily is considered weak, while one that only bends slightly is considered stiff.

arrow spine

So should you go for a stiffer or weaker arrow? Well, it depends; a stiffer arrow will be ideal if you shoot with a heavy bow with a heavy draw weight. If you use a lighter bow, however, you can opt for a weaker arrow.

Also, if you use a compound bow with aggressive cams, you need to use stiffer arrows. This is because the aggressive cams exert a lot of force on an arrow. This is also why wooden arrows are not recommended with compound bows.

Wooden arrows are not strong enough to withstand the force exerted even by a cheap compound bow which are under 200 dollars. And what happens is that if you try to fire a wooden arrow, it will splinter on your hands which will be a painful experience. 

The Arrow Spine Deflection

How is it measured now that we know what the arrow spine is? You will often hear the term arrow spine deflection used in relation to the arrow spine. What this means is how flexible the arrow shaft is.

To measure the flexibility, a 28-inch-long arrow is used. A 1.94lb weight is then hung from its center. How much the arrow bends because of the weight hanging from the center is measured and given a deflection rating. 

If the bow bends one-half inch at the center, it is considered to have a spine deflection of .500″. Therefore, a stiffer arrow will have a lower deflection rating, while weaker arrows will have a higher deflection rating. For target practice and hunting, you want an arrow with a deflection of between .500 and .300.

Your Bow’s IBO Rating

What is the IBO rating? IBO stands for the International Bowhunters Organization, which has a standardized test for bows. The IBO standard requires that you use an arrow with 5 grains per pound of draw weight is used. This means that if you shoot a bow with a 70-pound draw weight, you should use a 350-grain arrow. 

The speed at which the bow can shoot is marked as the IBO rating and is what most manufacturers use for their bows. Thus the higher the IBO rating, the more powerful the bow and the stiffer the arrows required. 

Diameter Of The Arrow Shaft

Should you use thin or thick arrows? The diameter of the arrow shaft matters a lot. For indoor target practice, you want to use thicker arrows. These are better at penetrating targets for outdoor shooting; whether target shooting or hunting, you want thinner arrows.

Thinner arrows can withstand the effects of the wind. Thus they perform better outdoors than thicker arrows. 

Weight Of The Arrow

The weight of an arrow is measured in grains or grains per inch. How heavy an arrow is will depend on the material used, how thick its shaft is, and how thick its wall is. The thickness of the arrow walls is how thick their walls are. That is, if you were to saw the arrow in half, the thickness of the material that makes up its wall. 

Heavier arrows are best for hunting as they maintain more kinetic energy. However, they travel slower than lighter arrows. Therefore, if you use a more lightweight bow for target practice such as crossbows under $1000 , you will want to use lighter arrows. And if using a heavier bow, use a heavier arrow.

Arrow Straightness

Ideally, the straighter the arrow, the better. How straight an arrow is, is measured in tolerance of + or -. For example, an arrow with a straightness tolerance of +/- .001 of an inch is straighter than one with a tolerance of +/- .003 of an inch. 

Typically the straighter the arrow, the pricier it will be. Carbon arrows tend to be very straight, with a tolerance of +/- .001 and +/- .006 inches. It is worth noting that this is not the most important thing to consider when it comes to arrows.

Length Of The Arrow

As a general rule of thumb, you should select an arrow whose length is 2 inches longer than your draw weight if you are new to archery. As you become more experienced, you can move to arrows 1 inch longer than your draw length.

You can use a draw length indicator to measure your draw length. This is basically an arrow with measurements on it. 

Weight Of The Tip

The weight of the tip you use on your arrow will also matter. These tips come in varying weights, and how heavy a tip is will influence how well your arrow shoots. Heavy tips are best for heavier arrows, while lighter tips are best for lighter arrows.

Different Types Of Arrow Tips

For target practice, you may want to go with lighter tips and use heavier tips for hunting, which you will typically use heavier arrows.

Indoor vs. Outdoor Arrows

I have already touched on this topic briefly, but which arrows should you choose from indoor target practice, and which are best for outdoor target practice? What matters here is how thick the arrow is.

Thicker arrows are affected by winds and are not ideal for target practice. Thinner arrows, on the other hand, have a small surface area and are less affected by winds. This makes them suitable for indoor target practice. 

Arrows with a diameter of 25 to 23 are best for outdoor shooting. However, for indoor shooting larger diameter of 27 is recommended. 

Carbon Vs. Aluminum Arrows

Should you go for carbon or aluminum arrows? Aluminum arrows are cheaper compared to carbon arrows but are less durable. Thus, aluminum arrows will be a good option if you are on a tight budget and are using mostly soft targets.

However, for practicing on harder surfaces such as plywoods, you will be better served by the more durable aluminum arrows. 

Why Avoid Wooden Arrows For Target Practice?

Aluminum and carbon arrows are the best arrows for target practice. Wooden arrows, on the other hand, are not recommended for several reasons.

  • First, wood is less durable than aluminum and carbon; thus, wooden arrows tend to break easily.
  • Wood, as an organic material, tends to splinter very easily, which can be dangerous when fired from certain powerful bows. 
  • Wooden arrows are also very inconsistent in their shape and performance. It is harder to make uniform arrows from wood than from aluminum or carbon.

Today’s 6 Best Arrows For Target Practice

GPP Archery Beginner’s First Arrows

If you are new to archery and want a pack of arrows to practice with that are inexpensive while being tough and reliable, you cannot go wrong with the GPP archery beginner’s arrows. They come in a pack of 12 and feature a fiberglass shaft.

Ideal For Beginners And Kids

These arrows are perfect for beginners and even kids. According to the manufacturer, they are designed for bows with a draw weight of less than 40 pounds. However, in my view, the maximum draw weight they can handle is somewhere around 25 lb pounds, very much in the kids’ bows territory.

Reasonably Accurate

The 2.5-inch shield-shaped vanes on the arrows make them fly straight and give them decent accuracy. But being for beginners, I would not recommend them for long-range shooting, but they are most suited for close-range target shooting.

Quite Tough

They are not quite indestructible as pricier hunting arrows, but they are also not flimsy. I have been able to punch through ¾ plywood with them. Also, their tips are pretty short; thus, while they are good for kids, caution should be taken.

Verdict

There is a lot to love about these arrows; they are perfect for beginners and are pretty accurate. My only concern with them is that the tips come off way too quickly. Also, the vanes are made of plastic and can easily be torn. But for the price, it is understandable if you are a beginner or teach kids archery; these arrows are sufficient.

Carbon Express Maxima RED Fletched Carbon Arrows

As a beginner, you do not need to spend hundreds of dollars on the best arrows for target shooting. And the Carbon Express Maxima Red Fletched arrows are pretty affordable. You get them in a pack of 6 arrows measuring 31.5 inches long.

Remarkably Accurate

One of the things that surprised me about these arrows is how accurate they are. From 90 yards, I was able to get them inside 2 inches consistently. The angled vanes help with this, and so does the dynamic spine control that controls arrow flex when in flight.

Versatile Arrows

Unlike the GPP archery beginners’ arrows, these ones can also be used for bow hunting. Thanks to the dynamic spine control, you can use them with arrows of 40 to 92-pound draw weight. 

Protected From Nock End Impact 

The arrows also come with Caron Express’s BullDog nock collar. This collar protects the arrows from nock-end impact damage. This gives the arrows durability.

Loose Inserts

These arrows come with loose inserts. This benefit is that you can cut them to fit your draw length. Though you may need to get this done by a professional if you are a beginner. 

Verdict

One complaint you will hear about these arrows is that their vanes aren’t the most appealing. However, this has no impact on their performance and comes down to preference. My main complaint with them is that the inserts aren’t the best, and you may be better off buying new ones overall, though they are among the best arrows for target practice.

Carbon Archery Target Hunting Practice Arrows 30 Inch

Next up, we have the carbon archery target hunting practice arrows. These come in a pack of 12 fiberglass arrows with a carbon shaft and TPU plastic drop-type vanes. The tips are made of stainless steel, and you also get 6 gift nocks.

Ideal For Target Practice

These arrows are inexpensive and can be used with recurve, compound, and even traditional bows. As for the draw weight, they are suited for bows with a draw weight of between 20 to 55 lb, which are the kind of arrows you would expect with beginners.

Decent Accuracy

The plastic vanes are angled to give the arrows more accuracy. They are accurate enough for beginners. The stainless steel arrow tip is removable, so you can remove and add one that suits you better.

Versatile Arrows

The nock is adjustable, and you do not require glue to fix the nock. This means you can adjust the nock to fit either a recurve, compound or traditional bow.

Verdict

For beginners, these are some of the best arrows for target practice. However, the fletchings tend to come off too easily. They can be attached easily, though. Other than this, they are great for beginners practicing their archery skills.

Carbon Express Maxima Red SD Carbon Arrow

The Carbon Express Maxima Red SD carbon arrows are available in either the .350 spine or .400 spine variants. For this review, I picked the .350 spin version. Like other Carbon express arrows, these feature a stiff rear, a weak midsection, and a stiff front section.

Well Designed And Balanced

Due to the front and rear being stiffer than the midsection, the arrows are well balanced. Also, the front being stiffer helps eliminate broadhead oscillation. The arrows also feature a .203-inch inside diameter that offers better penetration and reduced wind drift. All these combine to make the arrows ideal for outdoor target practice.

Good Accuracy

The weaker midsection also translates to better flex, which helps in improved accuracy. The arrows are also equipped with angled fletchings. At first glance, they look like blazer vanes. However, they are actually Q2i Rapt X vanes. However, they are the same profile as the blazers, so this wasn’t a big issue for me.

Durable Arrows

Target practice arrows tend to split after being used for a while. I haven’t had an issue with these arrows splitting, though. They have been effective on wooden and metal targets without splitting.

Verdict

The inserts sold for these arrows are my main issue with them. The inserts are not good at all, and you are better off buying other inserts. I would recommend River’s archery inserts from ethics. Other than this, these arrows are among the best for outdoor target shooting.

ARCHERY SHARLY Feather Arrows 31-inch Feather Fletched Arrows

The Archery Sharly feather arrows come in a pack of 12 arrows. The arrows measure 31 inches long and feature a 7.6 mm carbon shaft. They are suited for traditional compound recurve bows with draw weights of between 35 and 50 pounds.

Great Accuracy

One of the best things about these arrows is their accuracy. This is because they feature natural turkey feature vanes. As we have already seen, feather vanes are great for accuracy. The arrows fly straight, and the feathers are bigger than on some other arrows, such as the Musen Arrows.

Removable Tips

You get traditional bow arrow tips on these arrows. However, they can be removed, and you can attach a broadhead. This gives them more versatility for target practice and can also be used for small game hunting. However, I would recommend sticking to target practice with these ones. 

Lightweight

Thanks to the carbon shaft, these arrows are pretty lightweight. This, combined with the feather vanes, mean they fly faster. They weigh about 25 grams with the tips included and have a shaft diameter of 6.2mm.

Verdict

These are some of the best arrows for recurve bow target shooting for beginners. Nonetheless, they are not without their cons. The main being that the tips tend to come off, especially when they hit something hard like a wooden target. Overall, though, they are great for beginners.

PANDARUS Archery 30/32/28 Inch Carbon Practice Hunting Arrows

The Pandarus archer 30/32/28 arrows are an excellent option for young archers who are still new to archery. They come pre-assembled and are ready to use out of the box. They are also quite affordable, which is what you want from such arrows.

Designed For Beginners

These arrows are designed to be used with bows of draw weights of between 25 and 50 pounds. The nocks are also not permanently fixed and can be adjusted to fit your bow. The angled vanes help make the arrows accurate. 

Durable Arrows

The arrows are pretty well made and durable. The tips do not come off easily, which is nice to see for arrows this cheap. The tips are made of blued steel and not stainless steel, as described. But they are tough enough to withstand plenty of shots through the plywood and other targets.

Decent Accuracy

The arrows are also quite accurate, considering the price. They fly straight, thanks to the angled plastic vanes. The vanes seem to hold up better than some other cheap arrows I have used.

Verdict

For the price, these aren’t groundbreaking. Also, the cock feathers on the arrows aren’t properly aligned to the nock. This results in the nocks constantly coming off or getting damaged. Though you do get extra nocks when you buy the arrows. Overall, they are great for young beginners.

How Wind Affects Arrows

When an arrow is shot from a bow in a windy environment, it will be affected by the wind. The wind will cause it to move sideways and may miss the target. The velocity of an arrow, its size, profile, and weight will determine how much it will be affected by wind.

A lighter arrow is more likely to be affected by wind than a heavier arrow. To minimize these effects, you want an arrow with a small diameter and with short fletchings. The broadhead needs to be short as well. 

How To Read Arrow Numbers: Reading Arrow Measurements

If you have ever bought arrows, you know that they are usually labeled with numbers that can be confusing. So what do these numbers mean? And do they matter to the overall quality of an arrow? Let’s find out. 

Wooden Arrows

Wooden arrows will typically have a four-digit label. And the good news is that this four-digit number is pretty easy to understand. It typically refers to the weight of the bow you can use the arrow with.

Thus if the arrow has the number 4055, it means the arrow can be used with bows with a bow weight of between 40 and 55 pounds. Wooden arrows aren’t the most practical, and it is unlikely that you will buy wooden arrows for target practice. So let’s look at the other arrow types.

Aluminum Arrows

When it comes to aluminum arrows, the four-digit number labeled on them refers to the diameter of the arrow. On the other hand, the second number refers to how thick the arrow’s walls are. The arrow diameter is measured in 64ths of an inch. 

So, for example, if an arrow has the number 1916, it means it is 19/64ths of an inch in diameter and its wall and 16/1000ths of an inch thick. The thickness of the arrow’s walls is usually measured as thousands of an inch.

Carbon Arrows

For carbon arrows, the number used is usually a three-digit number, such as 350, 400, or 300. This usually refers to how much an arrow will bend when 2 pounds of force is exerted on its midsection. 

This means an arrow with a designation of 400 will bend 0.400 inches. However, some manufacturers use a four-digit number similar to wooden arrows. And identical to wooden arrows, the number usually denotes the draw weight of the bows the arrow can be used with.

Where to Buy Arrows for Target Shooting

You already know what the numbers mean in the arrow. If you know those numbers buying the arrows should be a lot more simpler. To choose the right hand for your bow, you need to consider its draw weight. Also, you need to consider the type of bow and the arrow length you want.

Find An Arrow Chart

Arrow manufacturers will have a chart describing the kind of arrow you need to buy based on the three factors mentioned above. Using this chart, you will find the best arrows for target practice based on your type of bow, its draw weight, and the length of the arrow you want.

Use An Online Store

Alternatively, buying your arrows online can use the reviews to determine if a specific arrow will find your bow and your overall needs. 

Buy From A Pro Store

If you want to deal with a professional for advice on the best arrow for your needs, you can opt to buy from a pro store and ask the professionals. 

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