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As the world of crossbow hunting evolves, so does the essential crossbow accessories that make our experiences more enjoyable, efficient, and successful. One of the most important factors in any crossbow setup is the choice of the bolt. This comprehensive guide will delve into the best crossbow bolts in 2023, discussing the top picks that cater to various uses, preferences, and budgets. Discover the differences between aluminum carbon bolts, explore the importance of bolt length and weight, and learn how to maintain and care for your gear to ensure peak performance and longevity.

Best Crossbow Bolts: Short Summary

  • Choose the right bolt for your needs, considering material type, length, weight and shaft diameter.

  • Understand different types of vanes and nocks to optimize performance.

  • Store securely away from heat & moisture. Replace worn components as needed.

Best Crossbow Bolts for 2023

The best crossbow bolts, bolt makers, and bolt manufacturers for 2023 include the Carbon Express PileDriver, TenPoint Evo-X Center Punch, Gold Tip Nitro, Barnett Head Hunter, Ravin Premium and Wicked Ridge Match 400 models.

Carbon Express PileDriver

Carbon Express PileDriver


  • Ultimate penetration

  • Knockdown power

  • 4” ultra durable vanes

  • Straightness tolerance of 0.004”

  • Half Moon Nock

If your looking for good crossbow bolts for your hunting crossbow, the PileDriver carbon arrows are specifically designed for hunters who need powerful and reliable performance when hunting large prey while also being considered a budget bolt. Crafted with modulus carbon fiber and offer incredible internal strength of 33 million pounds per square inch which helps to ensure spine integrity after multiple shots.

The 20-inch shaft is composed of a lightweight carbon material while the 4-inch vanes help to keep them stable during flight. With a total weight of 442 grains, they deliver maximum kinetic energy on impact giving you superior accuracy and penetration power.

Rounding out the features is Carbon Express’ Lazer-Tech technology offering an additional layer of protection against wear and tear while providing extreme durability throughout its service life in most challenging environments.

TenPoint Evo-X CenterPunch Crossbow Bolt

Best Crossbow Bolts


  • EVO-X’s most accurate crossbow arrows ever with Alpha-Nock

  • Strong modulus carbon fiber construction

  • LAZER-TECH carbon weave exterior – greater strength and spine consistency

  • Polymer Alpha-Nock – for use on 2019 and newer TenPoint crossbows

  • Slightly offset 3.5″ Bohning X Vanes

  • Fitted with an 84-grain insert

The TenPoint Evo-X Center Punch bolts are a great option for crossbow shooting. Constructed from modulus carbon fiber at 33 MSl and wrapped in an exclusive Lazer-Tech carbon weave, these 20-inch length bolts weigh a total of 445 grains, making them suitable for many types of crossbows.

Additionally, they’re fletched with 4″ Vanes to ensure stability and improved flight accuracy. These bolts deliver on both power and precision, makingthem suitable for hunting as well as target shooting situations.

Moreover, the TenPoint Evo-X bolt is highly praised by archers as one of the best bolts on the market.

Gold Tip Nitro

Best Bolt for Speed


  • Built for the most powerful crossbows

  • Brass 90 grain insert improves F.O.C.

  • Aluminum Moon or Aluminum Flat

  • Heavier weight Laser IV shaft

  • Factory fletched

Gold Tip Nitro Crossbow Bolts are a great crossbow bolt and a popular choice amongst 2023’s hunters looking to maximize crossbow speed, thanks to their specific design and premium performance. These bolts are specifically designed for today’s fastest and most powerful of crossbows, boasting incredible kinetic energy capabilities due to their heavyweight structure.

They are also incredibly accurate and consistent with each bolt providing the same level of power and accuracy as the last. Gold Tip also provides easy-to-understand charts helping you choose the right arrow bolt for your next hunt or target practice session.

Their industry reputation is further solidified by real hunter reviews praising their durability, allowing them to withstand even extreme hunting conditions without compromising performance.

Barnett Head Hunter with Lighted Nocks

Barnett Head Hunter


  • Includes lighted nock (Half Moon Nock)

  • Easier to use, easier to find

  • Lightweight and strong carbon construction

  • Multicolor strobing lighted nocks installed

  • Bohning vanes

are one of the top options for crossbow bolts in 2023, thanks to their superior performance and accuracy. These bolts come with a carbon shaft construction that provides strength to ensure deep penetration with each shot.

Additionally, they feature moon nocks that give them a secure yet accurate fit on most crossbows. These 20-inch bolts also offer 100-grain field points for greater penetration and effectiveness against game animals such as deer or smaller animals like rabbits.

Their lightweight design (8.1 ounces) ensures hunters have no trouble handling them while out in the field, making this an ideal choice when practicing or hunting small to medium size game.

Ravin Premium

Ravin Bolts


  • Lighted nock design – easier to find in the field

  • 100% pure carbon construction – light and strong

  • Ravin-engineered polymer clip-on nocks

  • High-impact threaded inserts made of brass

  • High-impact aluminum nock bushings

  • 2″ high profile offset vanes

  • .001″ straightness tolerance

are designed with superior accuracy, speed, kinetic energy and performance in mind. These bolts come with 20 inches of length and a weight of 400 grains for maximum velocity when fired from a crossbow.

With an impressive straightness tolerance of 0.003”, they deliver consistent and reliable flight patterns without fail. Other features on the Ravin Premium Crossbow Bolts include offset vanes which ensure improved stabilization in-flight, as well as inserts and nocks that make installation easy.

Suitable for both hunting and target shooting purposes, these bolts are best used with crossbows that have a minimum velocity of 400 fps or higher to ensure accurate hits every time.

Wicked Ridge Match 400

Wicked Ridge Bolt


  • Lightweight carbon arrows forhunters

  • 61-grain aluminum insert – 14% FOC for tighter groupings

  • Fletched with slightly offset 3.5″ Bohning X Vanes

  • Alpha-Nock installed

The Wicked Ridge Match 400 is a top pick for crossbow bolts in 2023, thanks to its accuracy and consistency. The arrow is constructed with a unique 20-inch carbon shaft, slightly offset fletching, aluminum insert weighing 58 grains and Q2i Fusion X-II 3.0 Vanes that all work together to deliver superior performance out of the box.

Designed by TenPoint, these arrows are ultra-lightweight and perfect for small game hunting or target shooting alike. Hunters will love the high degree of durability compared to other carbon options on the market as well as their affordability, given they’re made right here in America – allowing them be confident every shot will count whether it’s for sport or protection.

Carbon Express Mayhem

Carbon Express Mayhem


  • Advanced carbon materials

  • Superior spine consistency

  • Max .004” straightness tolerance

  • 3” crossbow-specific low profile vanes

The Carbon Express Mayhem Carbon Crossbow Bolts feature advanced carbon materials that provide superior spine stiffness and consistency. Constructed with a multi-layer weave of laser-tech carbon, these bolts are designed to maximize both diameter accuracy and performance when shooting high-powered crossbows.

This bolt offers exceptional downrange accuracy and stability, the Mayhem Crossbolt is great for target practice or hunting. The combination of strength from the ballistics grade carbon construction along with its precision weighting delivers a consistent experience shot after shot.

This reliable performance allows users to have confidence in their setup regardless of the distance from target allowing for optimal shots each time used. Furthermore, compatibility with various models make it an ideal choice for those wishing to get precision accuracy without sacrificing quality or dependability when using additional upgradeable options on their system!

How We Picked the Best Crossbow Arrows

Before compiling this list of the best crossbow bolts for 2023, we conducted exhaustive research and analysis as well as considered user feedback and evaluated key features and performance.

Research and analysis

This guide was created through a careful review and consideration of the best crossbow bolts available in 2023. We thoroughly researched each brand of arrows, looked into user experience reviews, evaluated key performance features, and considered vital factors that would be important to any hunter. An emphasis was placed on reliability as well as accuracy when selecting our recommendations for the best crossbow bolts. Information about construction materials, durability testing results, maximum speed specifications were taken into account while making this guide. Additionally authenticity certificates were also checked along with compatibility across various platforms so we can provide clear guidance which will help hunters make an informed decision when investing in one or more of the recommended options reviewed here today.

Carbon Bolt vs. Aluminum Bolt

When choosing the perfect crossbow arrow, it’s essential to understand the differences between the two primary types: aluminum and carbon crossbow bolts. Each bolt shaft material offers distinct benefits and drawbacks, making the decision a matter of personal preference and intended use.


Carbon crossbow arrows are typically a lighter arrow than aluminum arrows. They’re known for their high-speed performance and minimal flex, and smaller diameter bolts making them an excellent choice for those who prioritize speed and distance. However, being a light arrow can also cause them to bind to the target, making them challenging to remove.


Aluminum arrows are an affordable option that provides consistent accuracy. They’re less prone to bending and less resilient to impact than carbon crossbow bolts, making them suitable for most crossbow hunters. Among the various options, aluminum bolt is a popular choice for their affordability and performance.

Ultimately, the choice between aluminum or carbon comes down to the individual’s needs and preferences. Those who prioritize speed and durability may opt for the carbon option, while those who value affordability may lean towards aluminum crossbow bolts.

Selecting the Right Length

Selecting the proper bolt length is crucial to ensuring safety, accuracy, and optimal performance so it is important to stick with the recommended bolt length for your bow. Lightweight carbon shafts are often preferred for their speed and durability, but the right length is also a significant factor to consider. The size of the crossbow typically dictates the length of the bolt. This means that it is essential to be aware of your crossbow’s specifications and choose bolts that are compatible with the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Shorter crossbow bolts offer increased stiffness, less flexibility, greater penetration, and improved acceleration. However, they also experience more rapid velocity loss when fired at extended ranges. By selecting the right bolt length for your crossbow, you can ensure that you’re getting the best performance possible from your setup.

Optimal Bolt Weight for Different Uses

Bolt weight plays a crucial role in crossbow performance, influencing factors such as precision, penetration, kinetic energy, and stability. Choosing the right weight for your intended use can make all the difference in your crossbow experience.

Lightweight Bolts

Lighter bolts have a higher velocity, which can be advantageous when targeting smaller or faster-moving game. However, they may not have the kinetic energy and may not penetrate as deeply as heavier bolts, potentially leading to less effective shots.

Heavyweight Bolts

Heavier bolts, on the other hand, offer greater penetration depth and can be more silent during flight. This makes them ideal for hunting larger game or when taking shots at closer ranges.

Crossbow bolts typically range from 300 grains to 500 grains, providing a wide variety of options for different uses based on crossbow draw weights. For example, it’s suggested that lighter bolts be used for hunting medium-sized game such as whitetail and coyote, while heavier bolts are recommended for hunting larger game like elk, bears, and moose.

When selecting crossbow bolt weight, it’s also important to consider the power of your crossbow. Heavier bolts should be used for powerful crossbows, while lighter bolts should be used for weaker crossbows. This ensures that you’re getting the most out of your setup and maximizing your crossbow’s potential.

Shaft Diameter and Compatibility

The diameter of the arrow shaft is an essential factor when selecting quality bolts, as it ensures compatibility with your crossbow model and third-party components such as broadheads and nocks. The typical external diameter for crossbow bolts is.300-inch, providing a standard size that works with most crossbow setups.

Inserts play a crucial role in crossbow bolt compatibility, as they are small brass, aluminum, or plastic sleeves into which field tips or broadheads can be securely fastened. By selecting a bolt with the appropriate inserts, you can ensure that your bolt is compatible with your crossbow and any additional components you wish to use.

It’s important to adhere to crossbow manufacturers’ guidelines to guarantee safety and avoid damage to your crossbow. By choosing a bolt with the correct shaft diameter and inserts, you can ensure a seamless and enjoyable crossbow experience.

Understanding Fletching and Vanes

Fletching and Vanes

Fletching and vanes are critical components of crossbow bolts, providing stabilization and guidance during flight. These small feathers or plastic vanes are attached to the back of the bolt, and their design can have a significant impact on the bolt’s performance.

There are several types of vanes available for crossbow bolts, including straight, offset, and helical vanes. Straight veins are more beneficial as they help to increase speed and reduce drag. Offset and helical designs, on the other hand, enhance bolt centricity and provide improved stability during flight.

Understanding the different types of veins and their effects on bolt flight can help you choose the best option for your needs.

FOC (Front of Center) Weight

FOC (Front of Center) weight is another critical factor to consider when selecting crossbow bolts. The further forward the FOC, the more the arrow is stabilized and guided by the fletching at the back. For long-distance competition shooting, an FOC weight of 11-16% is suggested, while a higher FOC weight of 10-15% is recommended for hunting due to the larger size of the broadhead compared to a field-tip.

By understanding the importance of fletching, vanes, and FOC weight, you can make more informed decisions when selecting crossbow bolts, ultimately improving your accuracy and overall performance.

Nock Types and Selection

Selecting the appropriate nock type for your crossbow bolt is crucial for avoiding increased string wear and decreased precision. Nocks come in various designs, including flat moon nocks, half moon nocks, half moon hybrid nocks, and capture nocks, each with their own unique benefits. Flat nocks are the oldest nock design, featuring a flat surface that allows the mechanical force of the string to propel the arrow from the crossbow.

Half-Moon Nocks

Half-moon nocks, on the other hand, have a concave groove that aligns with the crossbow’s string, providing more precise alignment and improved accuracy. Half-moon hybrid nocks and capture nocks offer additional features, such as deeper grooves that prevent vertical movement of the string in relation to the arrow axis. These designs can help to further improve accuracy and reduce the risk of dry firing.

Lighted Nocks

Lighted nocks are an excellent option for those who wish to track their shots more easily, as they feature an integrated LED light that illuminates upon impact. While these nocks may not be permissible for hunting in all states, they can be a valuable addition to your crossbow setup for tracking and retrieval purposes.

Broadheads vs. Field Points

Crossbow bolts can be fitted with either broadheads or field points, each designed for specific purposes. Broadheads are a type of arrow heads which consist of two or more blades. They can easily be affixed to the shaft of an arrow or bolt for replacing its field tip. These specialized points are designed to create the necessary blood loss required for hunting larger game animals, such as elk, buffalo, or bear.

Field points, on the other hand, are arrow tips designed to optimize aerodynamic arrow flight for target practice or competition shooting. These points provide a more streamlined profile, allowing for improved accuracy and consistency in flight.

Some crossbow hunters may prefer to use mechanical broadheads, which offer better flight paths and accuracy compared to fixed-blade broadheads. These broadheads feature expandable blades that deploy upon impact, providing a larger cutting diameter and increased lethality.

Choosing between broadheads and field points will depend on your intended use, whether it be hunting or target shooting.

Maintaining and Caring for Your Crossbow Bolts

Proper maintenance and care for your crossbow bolts are essential to ensure their longevity and peak performance. To preserve your bolts, it’s crucial to store them in a secure container away from heat and moisture, inspect them for any signs of damage, and replace any worn components as needed.

Using fiberglass and wooden shafts with modern crossbows is not considered safe, as they may not be compatible with the majority of contemporary crossbows. By sticking to carbon and aluminum bolts, you can avoid potential safety hazards and ensure that your crossbow is functioning optimally.

Modifying the FOC (Front of Center) and mass of a crossbow bolt can affect the scope’s efficacy, particularly with a ballistic reticle. By maintaining proper bolt weight and balance, you can ensure that your scope is functioning correctly and providing the most accurate and consistent performance possible.


In conclusion, the world of crossbow bolts is vast and varied, offering options for every level of experience and intended use. By understanding the differences between carbon and aluminum bolts, selecting the right length and weight, and maintaining your bolts properly, you can ensure that your crossbow setup is optimized for safety, accuracy, and performance. So grab your favorite crossbow bolts and embark on your next hunting or target shooting adventure with confidence!

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