Dead Straight – The Best Hunting Arrows

What's a good hunting arrow and what makes a good hunting arrow? What are some of the best ones you can buy?

Hunting, specifically bowhunting is ever popular in countries where you can legally do it. It’s one of the most challenging experiences you can enjoy with a bow. The thrill of the hunt, tracking, waiting. Finally getting in close proximity to your prey, being able to smell them and hear their sounds, see their breath on the air. If the hunt doesn’t get your heart racing (or you live in one of those places where it’s illegal) then maybe the competition of a 3D tournament is more your thing. If that's the case you may want to check out our guide on the best target arrows instead. Hunters… read on.

We’ve looked high and low to compile this list of some of the best arrows for hunting on the market today. Here are our findings.

Top Hunting Arrow Picks

Budget

Aluminium

Speciality

The Best

Note: Our individual reviews are below, but you can also click any of the links above to check current prices.

What makes a good hunting arrow?

Toughness / Durability

When you miss, who knows where your arrow is going. Trees, rocks and the dirt are all good resting places. For a hunting arrow to survive a life like this, is has to be tough. Arrows manufactured from carbon are amongst the strongest and most durable arrows made today.

Accuracy

Accuracy of arrows depends really on the quality of the build and the archer! How straight and uniform are they. Are they given weight and spine tolerances so you know the batch you have will all be similar?

Price

Always a concern for most of us but an enthusiastic hunter will see the value in buying and maintaining good arrows. Good arrows cost a little more but will last longer and perform better.

Penetration (Weight gpi)

The heavier an arrow is, the more punch it packs when it hits. That ‘punch’ is technically called kinetic energy and a heavier arrow has more of this than a light one. The harder an arrow hits the target the further it will penetrate and the more chance there is of a clean kill.

Arrow weight is measured in GPI (grains per inch). A grain is a unit of mass equal to 0. 0647 grams. The reason arrows are measured in grains per inch is because a good arrow is manufactured at maximum length (32”-34”) and then cut to the size of the archer. If you know the GPI and you know the arrow length you can work out the weight of the arrow shaft when cut.Before you decide whether a heavy arrow is better than a light one, ask yourself what am I going to hunt with it? A heavy (9-9.5 gpi) arrow would be good for Elk or Deer but for just hunting Turkey you’d be okay with around 7 gpi.

Wind Drift (Surface Area)

The fatter the arrow spine and the larger the fletchings the more of the arrow that is exposed to the elements and can be blown by the crosswind. A skinnier arrow with a low profile fletching will help to reduce this effect.

Fletchings / Vanes

You’ll find nearly all hunting arrows come with short 2” vanes. A shorter lower profile vane won’t slow the arrow as much as a larger one. A faster arrow packs more punch. An arrow with a short vane also won’t make as much noise through the air. Some animals can hear arrows in flight and react accordingly! Hunting is also usually done outdoors and the lower the profile of the vane the less it will be affected by a crosswind.

Budget Hunting Arrows

ANTSIR Outdoors Carbon

Cheap hunting arrows for target practice, beginners or hunting with a lower draw weight bow. ANTSIR don’t supply manufacturing tolerances or weights for these arrows so you aren’t getting the quality you’d get from the well known manufacturers. However, you can’t argue with the cost. These were on sale as a pack of 12 last time we looked and the cost per arrow is exceptionally good in comparison to the others listed here.

ANTSIR Outdoors Carbon 30-Inch 7.8mm Shaft Removable Arrows with Field Points Replaceable Tips for Recuve & Compound Bow( Pack of 12)

They come supplied with 5/16 screw in, nickel plated fields points. Fixed nocks (which can be rotated if you’re willing to get the pliers out). The vanes are plastic and depending on the packaging they may be bent out of shape. Apparently you can rectify any bent or out of shape vanes by simply using a hairdryer to warm them up.

These are, without doubt good value for money. Probably not for the professional hunter though.

Key Features

Price Range:

Low

Material:

Carbon fiberglass mix

Color:

Black

Straightness Tolerance:

Unknown / not specified

Weight Tolerance:

Unknown / not specified

Assembly:

None needed, complete arrow

Specifications

Size/Spine

Shaft Diameter

Length

400

0.307" / 7.8mm

30"

Pros

  • Low price
  • Good weight
  • Field tips included
  • Great for practice

Cons

  • Durability
  • Quality
  • Fixed  length (30")
  • Not for high poundage bows

MAK Hunting Arrows (M.A.K)

More target and practice arrows from M.A.K. These come with nickel plated field points and the last we looked they were also being supplied with 3 free broadheads. We wouldn’t however encourage you to hunt larger game with these. They aren’t designed for high poundage bows. Small game, you’ll be fine. These have nocks that are removable and adjustable and a colored or ‘cock’ feather so you know which way is up when nocking your bow.

Good value for money. Again probably not for the experienced or large game hunter, but great otherwise.​

M.A.K [Hunting Arrows] 30-Inch 0.309 inch Outer Diameter Carbon Outdoor Archery Practice Target Arrows with Replaceable Hunting Broadhead for Compound & Recuve Bow(Pack of 12)

Key Features

Price Range:

Low

Material:

Carbon fiberglass mix

Color:

Black

Straightness Tolerance:

Unknown / not specified

Weight Tolerance:

Unknown / not specified

Assembly:

None needed, complete arrow

Specifications

Size/Spine

Shaft Diameter

Length

Unknown

0.307" / 7.8mm

30"

Pros

  • Low price
  • Good weight
  • Field tips included
  • Great for practice

Cons

  • Specifications Unclear
  • Fixed  length (30")
  • Not for high poundage bows

Aluminium Hunting Arrows

Easton Game Getter XX75

The Easton Game Getter XX75 is a well known arrow. It’s an aluminium arrow. 7075-T9. T9 is a heat treated and cold worked alloy. Cold worked to improve strength. This arrow has been around for some time and is a tried and trusted bow hunting favorite. It’s also relatively well priced.

These arrows come with uni-bushings that allow you to adjust the nock alignment, nocks and inserts but they aren’t cut to size. They have a hard-anodized black finish.​

Easton Game Getter XX75 Factory 4-Inch Vanes (6-Pack)

Key Features

Price Range:

Low/Medium

Material:

7075-T9 Alloy

Color:

Black

Straightness Tolerance:

+/-0.003"

Weight Tolerance:

Unknown / not specified

Assembly:

Need to be cut to size and finished

Specifications

Size/Spine

Available in 300, 340, 400, 500

Pros

  • Low price
  • Good weight

Cons

  • Aluminium construction

Speciality Hunting Arrows

Gold Tip Twister Flu-Flu

The Gold Tip twister Flu-Flu is a feather fletched arrow that has been specially designed to minimize flight distance and ensure easy arrow recovery. These are best for hunting small game or shooting aerial targets. Times when you aren’t sure where your arrow will end up and bright colorations will help you find it. To quote the manufacturer they are designed to ‘put em down and still be found’. If you’re shooting aerial targets with these, they aren’t designed to fly further than about 100 yards, even when you fire them into the air. Again this means you can get them back.

Gold Tip Twister Flu-Flu 400 Arrows with Spiral Wrap Feathers

They’re a durable arrow, well made, however the speciality nature of the feather means the price is higher than some of the best hunting arrows.

Key Features

Price Range:

High

Material:

Carbon

Color:

White/Black

Straightness Tolerance:

+/-0.003"

Weight Tolerance:

Unknown / not specified

Assembly:

Need to be cut to size and finished

Specifications

Size/Spine

Shaft Diameter

Weight (GPI)

400

0.204" / 5.2mm

9.5

Pros

  • Easily Locatable
  • Enforced Short Flight
  • Best for small game/aerial targets
  • Durable Feathers

Cons

  • Expensive

The Best Hunting Arrows

Carbon Express Maxima Red

There’s a lot of buzz around the Maxima Reds. It’s the top of the hunting arrow product line from Carbon Express. Maximas are supposed to help control dynamic spine. This is the flex of the arrow introduced in flight. With a broadhead fitted this is dynamism is exaggerated and the dynamic spine management of these arrows helps to get it back under control.

Carbon Express Maxima RED Fletched Carbon Arrows with Dynamic Spine Control and Blazer Vanes, 6-Pack

Maxima Reds come in 250 or 350 sizes, apparently that’s all you need with these arrows, 350 covers everything right up to 29” 92 lbs draw. These are fletched with 3x Blazer vanes, which are reckoned to be one of the best vanes on the market. All these arrows come in a matched set (minimum 6) and these sets are matched with a weight tolerance of +/- 1 grain. You can be sure they are straight because they’re laser checked to within 1/10,000 of an inch. The nocks on these come with proprietary collars called ‘Bulldog’ collars that help to protect the arrow against impacts and feature ‘Launchpad’ nocks that are self centering on the shaft.

Key Features

Price Range:

Medium/High

Material:

Carbon

Color:

Black/Red

Straightness Tolerance:

+/-0.0035"

Weight Tolerance:

+/- 1 grain

Spine Tolerance:

+/-0.0025"

Assembly:

Need to be cut to size and finished

Specifications

Size

Spine

Shaft Diameter

Weight (GPI)

250

0.417"

0.295" / 7.49mm

8.11

350

0.342"

0.300" / 7.62mm

9.07

Pros

  • Dynamic Spine Control
  • Matched Set
  • Accurate
  • Launchpad Nock
  • Blazer Vanes
  • Bulldog Nock Collar
  • Low Manufacturing Tolerances

Cons

  • Cost

Carbon Express Mayhem Hunter

This is a quality hunting arrow. It’s one of the most popular arrows they’ve made to date. Carbon express have designed this arrow with build in ‘weight-forward’ technology. In simple terms that means that the balance point of the arrow is forward of center and the back end of the arrow is light and stiff. This improves recovery out of the bow and increases speed. These are claimed to have the ultimate combination of speed, accuracy and penetration all in one arrow package.

Carbon Express Mayhem Hunter Fletched Carbon Arrows with Blazer Vanes, 6-Pack, Mossy Oak Obsession Pattern

Mayhems come in 250 or 350 size and are fletched with 3x Blazer vanes. Available in a matched set (minimum 6) with a weight tolerance of +/- 1 grain. Laser checked to within 1/10,000 of an inch for straightness. The nocks on these come with proprietary collars called ‘Bulldog’ collars that help to protect the arrow against impacts and feature ‘Launchpad’ nocks that are self centering on the shaft.

Key Features

Price Range:

Medium/High

Material:

Carbon

Color:

Mossy Oak Obsession Camo

Straightness Tolerance:

+/-0.0035"

Weight Tolerance:

+/-1 grain

Spine Tolerance:

+/-0.0025"

Assembly:

Need to be cut and finished

Specifications

Size

Spine

Shaft Diameter

Weight (GPI)

250

0.481"

0.303" / 7.69mm

8.8

350

0.347"

0.300" / 7.62mm

9.8

Pros

  • Durable
  • Accurate
  • Weight Forward Technology
  • Precision Nocks
  • Low Manufacturing Tolerances

Cons

  • Cost

Gold Tip Ted Nugent

Gold Tip are a respected and popular arrow manufacturer and just in case you didn’t know ‘Ted Nugent’ is a bit of a ‘ledge’ (legend to anyone over 40) in the world of rock and roll, everyone's favorite uncle and a strong supporter of preserving outdoor heritage. Ted asked Gold Tip to create these signature series arrows for him. Love him or hate him, the result is a great arrow, good for both hunting or 3D.

Gold Tip Ted Nugent Arrows with Raptor Vane (Pack of 6)

They come in 3 color choices, each with a zebra print design on the shaft. You can get them ‘fletched’ with 2” raptor vanes or shaft only. They need to be cut to size and inserts added. These have GT Nocks, which are Gold Tips push-in nocks and each weighs about 11.5 grains and also come with Accu-Lite inserts at 12.1 grains each.

Key Features

Price Range:

Medium

Material:

Carbon

Colors:

Pink, White, Purple

Straightness Tolerance:

+/-0.006"

Weight Tolerance:

+/-2 grain

Assembly:

Need to be cut to size and finished

Specifications

Size/Spine

Shaft Diameter

Weight (GPI)

300

0.313" / 7.95mm

10.8

400

0.301" / 7.64mm

9.3

500

0.297" / 7.54mm

8.4

Pros

  • Eye catching
  • Durable
  • Good balance of price / performance

Cons

  • Branding (for some)

Easton 6mm FMJ

Easton 6mm FMJ Arrows with Blazer Vanes (6 Pack)

Easton are a name you’ve probably heard of. Find a group of hunters and I’ll bet at least one of them has shot or is shooting Easton arrows at some point. The Easton 6mm FMJ (Full Metal Jacket) are a carbon core arrow encased in a 7075 alloy metal jacket. Manufacturers love to quote tech stuff at us… 7075 alloy…. It’s a an aluminium alloy with zinc as the primary element. Has a strength comparable to steel and high corrosion resistance. 7075 gets used in aviation and marine applications amongst other things. That jacket adds weight to the arrow, and weight adds penetration force.

You can get FMJ’s in 4mm, 5mm and 6mm diameter. We’ve picked 6mm as it’s the newest of the 3 diameters and provides the heaviest arrow. These come with pre-installed H nocks.

Key Features

Price Range:

Medium

Material:

Carbon Core/7075 Alloy Jacket

Color:

White/Black

Straightness Tolerance:

+/-0.003"

Weight Tolerance:

Unknown

Assembly:

Need to be cut and finished

Specifications

Size/Spine

Shaft Diameter

Weight (GPI)

320

0.236" / 6mm

10.6

390

0.236" / 6mm

9.7

470

0.236" / 6mm

8.8

Pros

  • Quiet
  • Designed For Ease Of Target Removal
  • Good Weight

Cons

  • Aluminium Jacket May Bend

About the Author David James

Hi there! I'm Dave, the founder of targetcrazy.com. I'm a passionate bowman and a fan of all target sports in general. I created this site to share my knowledge with you and help you make more informed choices! Please let me know what you think of my work, comment, like, rant, speak up!

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