Which Type of Field Point is Best for Crossbows?
What is the best field point to shoot out of your crossbow? There really isn’t a right or wrong answer, well, depending upon which type of crossbow you are shooting. Older-style crossbows aren’t picky — you can get by with about anything. However, selection changes the newer you get and also how fast that crossbow is slinging arrows (bolts). Here’s a simple guide to crossbow field points based off my one-man’s opinion:
In my view, there are really about five choices for practice points for crossbows. This year I will be shooting the new Nitro 505 from TenPoint, so that definitely changes the way I will look at field points and which ones I’ll use. This thinking will change when I switch to shooting other crossbows. (And, for disclaimer sake, I do shoot a several different crossbows each year as part of my job here at Deer & Deer Hunting and D&DH-TV. )
Traditional Field Point
In the accompanying photo, this is the field point at the top. Notice its Figure-8 shape. The tip is pointy, scoops out then comes back to a solid base that fits flush to the arrow’s insert. These are the field points we all grew up shooting through our traditional bows and recurves. The aerodynamic shape allows for consistent flight patterns that can accurately mimic the flight of just about any expandable broadhead.
If you’re shooting cut-on-contact broadheads, you will need to shoot those to gauge your crossbow’s accuracy. It’s very difficult to do so with a field point.
SEVR Practice Point
These SEVR practice points are actually brand new for this year (second down from top in photo). They are sleek, aerodynamic and smooth-shooting. However, they will out-penetrate most targets when shot through high-speed (upper 400s and 500+ fps) crossbows. I absolutely love these practice points (and use them exclusively) for my Mathews VX3 compound. I will not use them out of my new crossbow, however, because they simply penetrate too much, even on bag targets.
Original Bullet Point
I guess I must have been really late to the speed game for compound bows, because it took years for me to realize why exactly guys were shooting bullet points (third from top in photo) instead of just regular field points. The whole point (pardon the pun LOL) is that the bullet design (consistent sweep from the tip to the base) decreases target penetration and, hence, saves a lot of fletchings on the target range.
Blunt Bullet Point
If you’re going to shoot field points through a high-speed crossbow, these are my vote for the best pick. Same idea as the bullet point, but with a dull, rounded tip. I have been shooting these at bag targets all summer, and have yet to ruin an arrow by sending it too far into the target. I will also shoot these into some foam-style targets (like the Rinehart 18-in-1 target) with no problems. The only problem I can foresee is when a foam target gets enough wear-and-tear that the arrow starts inching closer to full penetration. I haven’t encountered that problem yet.
Expandable Broadhead in Practice Mode
The broadhead pictured here is a SEVR in the “practice mode.” This essentially just means there’s an extra set screw in place (top blue one in the photo) that prevents the blades from deploying. As far as realistic practice goes, this is the best “field point” for crossbows, in my humble opinion. The nice thing here is the head doesn’t penetrate that much on bags or foam-style targets. However, there can be issues with removing the head from some bag-style targets when the front blades come in contact with the filler rag-like material. This will tend to hang-up the broadhead and make it a bugger to remove in some cases. When hunting season is close, I will use this head exclusively for practicing, however, and I will shoot them into the Rinehart target. Haven’t had any issues with that, yet.
Again, there are a lot of options, and no real wrong answers. I hope my insights, however, will help you in your search and also perhaps save a bolt or two from being lost or damaged (re-fletching) in the process. And, for all you archery geeks, yes, I know I left out the easy-pull practice points. I just didn’t have one handy when I took that photo!
Good luck, and let me know which style works best for you! @DanSchmidtDeer