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Choosing the right arrow tip can make a big impact on performance for both hunting and target shooting.
The good thing is the fact that there are limited choices for what's available, meaning you don't have to spend endless amounts of time picking the best option for you.
The article below is going to summarize the three main categories of arrow points, as well as the different types within each of them. From there, I'm going to give a quick summary and the pros and cons associated with each pick.
The following list contains the different practice arrow tips:
Field points, or field tips, are more often than not the general term used to describe any practice arrow tip, but this name does define a specific type.
Traditional field points are largely used for target practice, but can also be utilized for small game hunting in certain situations.
Field points have a conical shape, meaning they have a very narrow tip that expands to a wide base so the arrow has high penetration while not getting stuck in the target.
These are great from the novice that just picked out their beginner compound bow, to an experienced competition archer!
Unlike the field points, bullet points are used solely for target practice.
As the name suggests, these tips are shaped in a similar fashion to standard bullets, having a full conical shape. In other words, it pretty much has the same diameter from end to end.
Additionally, if you're looking for a relatievely cheap option, this might be your pick!
As you can guess by the name, these points are designed solely for target practice.
Target points are usually shaped with a very hard-edge, direct cone design to improve consistency and accuracy. Additionally, this build allows for one of the highest penetrations available when it comes to practice options.
Many archers say these fly similarly to their broadheads, making it an easier transition from target practice to hunting.
Combo points have a very similar shape to the aforementioned field point.
This point has a narrow conical shape with a more smooth transition from the tip to the base. As a result, these offer many of the same qualities as a field point, but with a little less friction when removing from archery targets.
Additionally, they can be used for both targets and small game hunting.
When it comes to competition shooting, pin points are going to be your top pick.
These points have a straight, rigid angle from the base to the tip, making it a straight flying, high penetrating target point.
While these aren't commonly used by hunters, they track extremely well for competition archers looking to get any advantage available to them.
The following list contains the different hunting arrow tips:
Over the past 10 to 20 years, mechanical blade broadheads have grown in popularly due to their unique designs and wide cutting power.
Unlike the broadheads mentioned below, a mechanical broadhead's blade are hidden or pinned down during the flight of the arrow. Upon impact, the blades rotate backward and expand, creating a large cutting diameter.
Since the blades are tucked in during flight, they usually produce straighter and more consistent flight patterns. However, since the impact ultimately causes the expansion to occur, a much stronger and faster bow is required.
Fixed blade broadheads are the most popular style of hunting arrow tips, mainly because they've been around for so long.
As the name suggests, these hunting tips have fixed blades (anywhere from 2 to 6) attached to the head.
Since they have no moving parts, many hunters like the consistency and reliability of these broadheads.
As you might have guessed, hunters took the design of the fixed blade broadhead and made some slight improvements. From there, we have what you call the removable blade broadhead.
The design of the removable broadhead is almost exaclty the same as the fixed blade, but these have removable blades.
The removable blade options allows hunters to keep the head of the broadhead as is, and replace the blades if any damage occurs... extending the life of these tips.
Although you could categorize this under a fixed blade broadhead, I thought it might be important to call this one out separately.
Single bevel are different as they are usually a solid, single-piece broadhead with only two blades. And as the name would suggest, they are only beveled on one side, as compared to two on standard broadheads.
Many hunters like the s-haped cutting pattern of the single bevel, and say that it's the perfect match to break bone.
The following list contains a few additional miscellaneous practice arrow tips:
Bludgeon tips offer a very different type of lethality - one that's not related to your standard points.
These points are primarily used for small game hunting, and use blunt force trauma to extinguish the target game - not through cutting or penetration.
Most bludgeon tips have a flared head that either screw into the insert of the arrow, or that go directly over the field point.
Additionally, since they do not have sharp points, a missed arrow can be easily found as it will not slide under grass or brush.
Very similar to bludgeon tips, some archers routinely use blunt tips for small game hunting as well.
When it comes down to it, there's really not much of a difference. The cylinder shape is used to transfer blunt force to the game being hunted without any penetration.
Overall, you might say that blunt tips are just a "watered-down" version of bludgeon tips.
The most unique arrow point on this list has to be the judo point. They are called "judo" points as the tip easily grabs onto objects around it.
This point consists of a blunt or sharp point surround by three to four extending arms around the tip. These tips help the arrow latch onto brush, preventing it from sliding under grass or sticks. As a result, the easier arrow to find if you ever miss the target.
The structure of this point makes them ideal for field archery or small game, as again, they are easy to find if ever lost.
Another uniquely designed point, with a very specific purpose, is a fish point.
This field point style tip has an added screw-off or retractable barb that flares out from the tip so the fish doesn't slide off once punctured.
As you might expect, these tips are solely made for bowfishing, and are not be used for target practice.
When it comes to arrow tips, most are going to be made out of steel. However, there tungsten points are an option for a few reasons.
Tungsten is more dense than steel, meaning it takes a far less amount of tungsten to equal the same weight as steel. Additionally, these points are much tougher than steel points, and since they are so tough they cost much, much more.
While it may not matter to many everyday hunters or target shooters, for those that want a slight edge, and an improved FOC, you might want to entertain switching to a tungsten point.
- Bullet points are the best arrow points for bag targets.
- Combo points are the best arrow points for foam targets.
- Field points are the best arrow points for grass-type targets
Also, we have a great blog summarizing the different Ways To Carry A Bow While Hunting!