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Crossbows - Everything about Building, Modding, and Using your Crossbow Gear

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3 posters

    2 flight and 3 flight crossbow bolts

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    Hermit
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    Post by Hermit Sun Oct 27, 2013 8:53 am

    I have just looked at African archer's new crossbow.Stark simplicity,excellent craftsmanship,a bow anyone would be proud to claim.I noticed that this bow is designed for a 2 flight bolt.I can see that there are obvious advantages in bow construction to using a 2  flight bolt,enabling the prod to be mounted higher in the stock or tiller and reducing string friction,for example.
                                                 Never having any experience with with either bolts or arrows with 2 flights,I should like to know if any of our forum members have done any kind of comparison tests between 2 and 3 fletched bolts,and what the results were,in particular the effects on accuracy.
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    Post by African Archer Sun Oct 27, 2013 1:55 pm

    Hermit hi , thanks for the complement on the bow.
    i have done a few tests, but the 2 fletch bolts are period to the older crossbows, as you said , it does make the installation of the prod easier as there is no slot for the third flight to move in. But i do have an old crisbow 2000 which was ment to use a three flight arrow, but out of interest i fletched some carbon shafts with only 2 flights , but increased the length on them, 3 in, and they fly 100%, i dont think the flights are as important as the shaft is and how it is set up, foc, spine or lack of spine, and of course how the bow is tuned. one thing large flights or 3 flights would do , is to help steer large broad heads, but even then those 2, 4 in flights on the shafts do a great job steering my 160 grain ace broad heads, so its all about finding a safe balance.
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    Post by actionbow Sun Oct 27, 2013 2:15 pm

    There's a way to shoot 3 fletch without a groove. If the tiller top is sloped right the bolt can load with the cock fletch upward while the two other fletches rest on the sloped tiller edges. I have a couple bows that work this way and it's very effective. I notice no difference in accuracy. The benefit is I can buy bolts off the shelf in a sporting goods store.
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    Post by African Archer Mon Oct 28, 2013 3:42 pm

    Actionbow yes that would work and wouldn't affect accuracy, my only problem would be is that my bolt clips are quite long and would get in the way of that flight, and that would destroy it
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    Post by actionbow Mon Oct 28, 2013 3:47 pm

    I have solved that with a wider bolt clip with a groove. Basically cut lengthwise and each side bent to contact the bolt flat. It even looks cool.
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    Post by Hermit Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:52 am

    Archer,you are welcome,I believe excellence in any undertaking deserves recognition.Your answer raised another question that interested me.I understand the basic operational theory behind the longbow,how the arrow flexes on release around the handle,and flexes in the opposite direction,then flies true.I know also that spine is the amount of flex the arrow shaft has,and is important to accuracy.What I was'nt aware of,is that it had any relevance to crossbows.When I built my first,and only crossbow 40 odd years ago,after experimenting with bolt length,I arrived at a length of 10 ins. as being the most effective(from a 150lb. aluminium prod).With such a short length of bolt,I would doubt that spine was a factor.From the information on the net,it seems people use bolts up to 24 ins.in length,when such a bolt is fired from a crossbow,guided by the tiller groove,does it try to react the same way as an arrow fired from a longbow?if so,I can see that spine may be a factor.When you are going to build something,the more you know and understand about it,the better your build is going to be,so any information that can be obtained is helpful,particularly in the design stage.thanks,in advance,for your help.
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    Post by Hermit Tue Oct 29, 2013 10:13 am

    Thanks for the advice Actionbow,an included angle of 120 degrees,or maybe a bit less on the tiller top would allow the flights on a 3 flight bolt to sit flush.My reason for doing away with the flight groove,is that the prod can be mounted closer to the top of the tiller,reducing the string angle.The advice and ideas I have been given by you all,has already reduced the amount of time I will have to spend on construction,and probably unsightly modifications I would have to make.Thanks to you all.........
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    Post by actionbow Tue Oct 29, 2013 1:19 pm

    Since a crossbow bolt will generally travel along the tiller spine isn't as much of an issue. A properly aligned bow effectively avoids the archer's paradox.
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    Post by African Archer Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:35 am

    Hermit, the bolts iv made from balu wood are very stiff, they are 9.5mm thick, and iv made them all the way to 20" , and these iv shot through my 150lb crissbow all the way up to my 400lb med bow and have never noticed flex, as far as im concerned you don't want any for of flex as it leaves the xbow as it would introduce some form of inaccuracy.
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    Post by Hermit Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:14 am

    The reasons I made my original post are the same as yours Archer,plus the fact I favour short bolts.As I hunt for meat,and not trophies,and the animals I hunt are all big game(Moose for example can weigh as much as 1500lbs.)my 2 main concerns are accuracy,and penetration over my practical hunting ranges(up to 100yds).With regard to bolts,the hardwoods available to me for shafting are limited.Birch is the only one that grows locally,maple comes from Eastern Canada,2000 miles or so away.Oak does'nt grow in Alberta,but is available.My location is rural,and fairly isolated,and most requirements have to come in by post,so I have to be creative,and sometimes improvise.Your postings have been useful,confirming my original thought that bolt spine is not really a crossbow issue.Thank you.
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