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What Are Archery Arrows Made of?

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what are archery arrows made of?

So ... What Are Archery Arrows Made Of?

Arrows are one of the original types of projectiles, the oldest evidence of which dates back to 64,000 years ago; although they were probably not shot from bows until a bit more recently (~10,000 BCE). With such a long and varied history, the question, “what are archery arrows made of?” is not as simple as many people may think. The arrow itself is made up of several components: the shaft, which forms the main part of the arrow, the knock, where the arrow attaches to the string, the fletching, which provides stability in-flight, and the arrowhead. Each of these parts has evolved in style and material since the arrow’s invention.

The shaft makes up the majority of the arrow, and was traditionally made from lightweight wood, bamboo, or reeds, sometimes with the front part of the shaft being constructed from hardwood in order to provide strength and keep the arrow from breaking when hitting its target. Modern arrows are now made from aluminum, carbon fiber and plastic, or a combination of these and other synthetic materials, although wooden arrows are still used, especially in traditional archery. The most important aspect of the shaft is its flexibility, known as spine, with various spine ratings being used for various reasons, the most important thing being the consistency in a set of arrows.

In the oldest examples of arrow making, the knock is usually made by cutting a small wedge into the end of the shaft. As arrows evolved knocks began to be made as separate pieces that attached to the end of the arrow, sometimes in a way that pinches the string and prevents the arrow from falling off, as is the case with modern knocks. Wood, metal, and bone have all been used to make knocks, but today they are usually constructed from plastic.

The fletching, often called the feathers, are crucial to providing stability to the arrow in its flight. Fletching was traditionally made from the feathers of the same wing of a bird, so as to provide consistency. Today most fletching is made from plastic, and either mimics the feather style or is made of three single cuts of plastic, called vanes, which some archers prefer due to their ability to withstand abuse.

The arrowhead is perhaps the most distinctive piece of the arrow, and is the most widely varied as it plays a crucial role in determining the arrows purpose. There are many different shapes and types of arrowheads, depending on what they are used for, and with designs made to create slower, or faster flight paths, varying degrees of sharpness, with some aiming to cover a larger area as in the case with bird hunting. Some arrowheads are made by simply sharpening the shaft, although most have historically been constructed from stone, such as obsidian, bones, or metal, which is still in use today.

Clearly the arrow is not as simple as is commonly thought, and ranges wildly in form and material depending on the time period and function. Therefore, if someone asks you what archery arrows are made from, you can knowingly answer: it depends. Whether or not you are interested in the construction of arrows, making them is one of the oldest forms of tool crafting in existence, and is just one more reason to take up the sport.

Combat Australia is your trusted supplier of arrows, compound bows, recurve bows, and archery accessories. Contact us today for more information or call us on 0466 110 109!



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