Target arrows differ from hunting arrows for a couple of reasons. This is why it’s hard for most archers to find the right fit. If you’re not into hunting you’ll still need to do some research before you can find the best target arrows for a compound bow that fit your specific needs.
And yes, we said specific needs. Don’t think that all arrows are interchangeable. There are multiple factors that determine whether or not a set of arrows goes with your bow, or your own size for that matter.
Without overcomplicating the issue, we’ve reviewed two of the best target arrows for compound bows if you’re more inclined towards having fun than becoming an Olympic gold medalist.
However, keep in mind that some arrows may be used for both hunting and target practice if you switch the arrow heads. It’s just a matter of having a proper spine rating? What’s that? We’ll explain a bit later in the article.
Misayar M7-HHX 30” Carbon Arrows
Although these arrows are also advertised as hunting arrows, they seem to shine more during target practice. Still, the 12-pack comes with both broadhead and target points so you’re free to switch between the two. The weight of the broadhead point is 100 grains.
The arrow shafts are made from high-end carbon. Each arrow has a 30” shaft of 7.8 mm diameter. At the ends they feature 3” fletched plastic vanes which are suitable for both hunting and practice applications.
The interesting thing about the nocks is that they’re not glued in place. This means you can modify the arrows to fit your bow’s requirements or your personal preferences. These arrows work just as well for recurve bows, compound bows, and long bows, but we wouldn’t say that the Misayar 30” carbon arrows are great for long bows.
As with most Misayar archery products, you know you’re about to make a cost-effective purchase. These arrows are designed to withstand the level of abuse that most beginners inflict on them in the early stages of the learning process.
Let’s talk a bit more about the vanes. Although it’s nice that they are adjustable, the plastic is not high-end. If there’s something that gives first with these arrows, it’s usually the vanes. However, when they bend, they’re easy to fix by submerging them in boiling water.
This loosens the material and lets you reshape it to regain a straight flight pattern.
The grain weight on the arrows is a little over 400 excluding the arrow head. However, we noticed that there are some inconsistencies regarding the weight which should take into account, especially if you want your target practice to evolve into more than just a hobby.
All things considered, you should get a few hundred shots in with these arrows, which is surprisingly good for the price.
The highlight of the M7-HHX is their low price point. For the money, the arrows work really well for target practice and they’re quite durable as well.
The spine consistency is a bit lackluster. Although this may not matter for pure hobbyists and other amateurs, if you’re looking to learn, you might have to aim for something more expensive and with a better track record. You can’t expect to improve much from shooting with the M7-HHX all day long.
• Adjustable vanes
• Low enough spine rating for some adult bows
• Good price to performance ratio for beginners
• Cheap enough that they’re expendable
• Spine rating is inconsistent
• Vanes bend easily
AC Archery 31” Carbon Arrows
Whenever you’re looking for the best target arrows for a compound bow, the price should always be high on the list of priorities. Target arrows should be able to withstand a heavy pounding or at least be cheap enough that you don’t mind ordering more when they break.
The carbon arrows have a 500 spine rating. The fact that they’re longer than most may not be ideal, but remember, we’re talking about having fun at target practice and not hunting deer or elk. For practicing on the range, they’re more than enough.
While the level of progression you can achieve is not much to speak of, the arrows are expendable to the point that you can at least get accustomed to using a bow. They’re good to practice your stance and release technique without worrying that they’ll break if you do something wrong.
We also find it sweet that the set features 12 arrows instead of 6. Believe it or not, there are plenty of comparable beginner-friendly arrows at the price point that only come in a 6-pack. That’s value for your money right there.
One cool thing about the arrows is that they should work on a 60 or 70 pound compound bow too. What’s the secret? The trick is to use an overdraw arrow rest. If you use one that gives you a 5 or 6 inch overdraw then the arrows can be used with high draw bows too.
Do keep in mind that they will flop more than usual and likely favor flying to the left. But, if you’re just trying to have some fun, it’s pretty good nonetheless.
We’ve noticed some inconsistencies in some of the fletchings. The height may be off sometimes so you could get significantly different results from arrows of the same set. But, all things considered, you do get a lot more than you would expect judging by the price and the low-quality packaging.
For the money, the AC Archery 31” carbon arrows seem to have decent spine rating consistency. Granted, they’re not as stiff as some would like them to be, but it’s hard to notice any significant flaws in the shaft design.
The uneven fletching can be disturbing at times, especially considering all the other aspects that limit the efficiency of these arrows. Also, unlike most plastic vane arrows these aren’t easy to fix with just boiling water nor are they as resistant to water. Be careful when you decide to shoot them outside as your overall experience will be a lot more affected by the weather conditions.
• 5” turkey feather
• Beginner friendly
• Good for target practice
• Uneven fletching
• Not stiff enough for high draw bows
Best Target Arrows, what too look for?
A lot of people often wonder if going for the top brands is very important if the only purpose is shooting at foam targets or targets in general. However, some would argue that buying high-end target practice arrows is essential.
We beg to differ. Although companies like Easton or Shiny Black are known for high-end craftsmanship, their arrows come at a premium price. Whether or not you actually need that extra level of consistency depends on what you want to achieve from your target practice.
Do you want to become an expert marksman and eventually enter competitions? Do you want to become a full-time bow and arrow deer hunter?
If either of those cases apply to you, you might want to consider getting the best target arrows for a compound bow that money can buy. They don’t degrade easily and they shoot consistently over a long period of time so you can actually feel the progress being made.
However, if you’re just looking to shoot around without a particular goal, then there are plenty of good, albeit expendable, arrow sets you can purchase, just like the ones reviewed in this article.
These can save you lots of money and still give you what you need – ammunition to launch at a target, homemade or store bought. And, at the end of the day, you might not even need the best-performing arrows in order to hit a large target. You just need one that works with your bow and doesn’t cause it to dry-fire.
Feathers vs. Vanes
Feathers used in archery usually mean turkey feathers. They’re light and flexible and are mostly used with recurve bows.
Vanes are the premier choice for target practice with compound bows. They are more forgiving in bad weather conditions as they don’t hold water, nor are they influenced too much by wind.
They are also a lot more durable than feathers. Plastic vanes are great for shooting targets outdoors as even Olympic archers seem to prefer them.
The best target arrows for compound bow are usually equipped with field tips. They’re sharp enough to penetrate foam targets and don’t carry too much weight that can affect other design features of the arrow.
You don’t want broadhead arrow tips as they’re usually designed for hunting. They’re also heavier and have a higher learning curve to them.
You also shouldn’t worry too much about how sharp or blunt the tip is. After all, if you’re shooting hay or foam targets, so the arrows won’t bounce back nor will they shatter upon impact.
You might also want to keep an eye out for replaceable arrow sets. You can even find affordable sets. What makes these arrows special is that they usually come with two sets of tips – one for target practicing and one for hunting.
However, don’t think that they’ll be super reliable for both activities. Budget arrows will still be budget arrows but they will give you a sense of what it means to shoot with a heavier arrowhead. You won’t be reliably taking down deer, but you should be able to better understand the differences between target archery and bowhunting.
Whether or not the arrows break has more to do with the quality of the shaft and adequate spine rating to draw weight ratio.
The arrow spine is the rating by which manufacturers express the stiffness of an arrow. As this topic is rather hard to comprehend by even some experienced archers, it’s important that you don’t focus too much on understanding it right away.
What’s more important is that you pick a spine rating that goes with the draw weight of your bow and the draw length.
Choosing Your Arrows
First you have to gauge your own draw length. This is not the same as the bow’s draw length. To do this you have to measure your wingspan from between the tips of your middle fingers and divide the distance by 2.5.
So what’s the right arrow size for the bow’s draw length? It’s usually one inch more than the draw length. For a 28” bow the arrow should be 29”, for a 27” bow the arrow should be 28”, and so on. If the arrow is too short there’s a high risk of hitting your hand in the process of shooting.
If the arrow is too long you’ll lose both speed and accuracy with your shot.
Now let’s talk about arrow weight. The general rule of thumb is to stay within 5 to 6 grains per pound of draw weight. This is what’s recommended for shooting at targets. Light arrows tend to fly in a straight line.
Hunting arrows are better when they’re between 6 and 8 grains per pound of draw weight. They need to be heavier so they can penetrate the animal easier.
The important thing to keep in mind is to not get arrows that are rated lower than 5 grains per pound. This could almost induce a dry-firing effect in certain bows.
It’s also worth mentioning that the weight of an arrow is calculated by taking into consideration all of its parts: shaft, insert, tip, nock, and fletchings. So do keep this in mind as some manufacturers list the spine rating separately from the weight of the tip.
This is one of the reasons why a lot of beginner archers end up with arrow that have overly high spine ratings and then have to contend with too much flexibility. As a general rule, the insert, fletching, and nock usually don’t weigh more than 35 grains.
That leaves the arrow shaft and the arrow tip to be weighed separately.
There’s also a formula for minimum safety requirements. As recommended by the International Bowhunting Organization or IBO, the minimum safe arrow weight in grains for target practice is as follows:
Maximum Draw Weight (lbs.) X 5 grains per pound = Minimum arrow weight safety value expressed in grains
Whether or not you’ll need the best target arrows for a compound bow is something only you will know. Archers set different goals for themselves and maybe you’re the type that just wants to have some fun but don’t have too much cash to throw at your hobby.
If that’s the case, we recommend either of the two arrow models reviewed in this article or similar ones that better fit your compound bow’s specs. Depending on how serious your plans are, you’ll have to do more or less research to find the best fit.
As for what are the absolute best target arrows for compound bow? There is no such thing. If you’ve followed our guide then you should know that different bows have different requirements both for target practice and hunting.