What Happens If The Diameter of a Crossbow Arrow Is Too Large for the Grooved Track in The Barrel?

Hunting is an instinct that has been refined by our ancestors which led to the human race’s survival. One day, there might be a need for us to revert to the old hunting way.

Well, the instinct never really left us. It was just suppressed because there’s no need for it as the food sources are readily available nowadays. But do you have an idea what happens if the diameter of a crossbow arrow is too large for the grooved track in the barrel?

There’s a good reason why manufacturers specify a specific diameter of bolts for every type of crossbow. If you bought the wrong bolt size, don’t be too hard on yourself. Why this is a perfect excuse to buy another crossbow that matches your bolts, isn’t it?

Kidding aside, let’s find out the intricacies of using the right arrow for your crossbow. Maybe you are just starting with this hobby, and you haven’t refined your hunting instincts well as of yet. But don’t worry, even our ancestors started out as apprentices!

What Happens If The Diameter Of A Crossbow Arrow Is Too Large For The Grooved Track In The Barrel?

What Happens If The Diameter of a Crossbow Arrow Is Too Large for the Grooved Track in The Barrel?


If you bought the wrong diameter of crossbow arrow with a minimal discrepancy, chances are, your crossbow will still be able to fire it. Given that it’s the right length, you will probably not have any problem in that department.

At around 40 yards, you may not experience noticeable accuracy issues. However, farther than that is a different case. The problem stems from the intricate system of the crossbow.

If your bolt has a way larger diameter than the recommended, you will immediately see an issue when you load it on your crossbow. If you got a wider diameter, the bolt would sit higher on the barrel’s grove. It will give a slight deviation in the angle of release.

Instead of firing on a straight line, your drawstring will be released at a slightly downward angle which may affect the trajectory of the bolt.

A smaller diameter bolt would sit low and loosely on the flight grove. The drawstring would be wobbly and can lead to a misfire or a dry fire.

In both situations, a wider- or a smaller-sized bolt will lead to accuracy issues and may pose a danger to you as well if it misfires. Using a different bolt size other than what is specified for your crossbow may lead to accidents.

Know Your Arrows

Hunting is fun and exciting. But before you go to the Safari with your hunting buddies, here’s a short lesson about your crossbow bolts.

You want to equip yourself with more information about it so you won’t make another mistake of buying the wrong accessories and ammunition for your gear.

First, the term “arrow” and “bolt” are interchangeably used when talking about crossbow ammunition. However, the term “bolt” is specific to the crossbow and cannot be referred to as the ammunition for a bow. This good-to-know information might come in handy and win you some bragging rights, eh? Thus, keeping it in mind is wise.

Parts of a Bolt

What Happens If The Diameter of a Crossbow Arrow Is Too Large for the Grooved Track in The Barrel?

A typical bolt has four parts. The nock, fletching, shaft, and tip.

crossbow Bolt


Nocks come in different shapes. A flat nock is the basic form but has the least amount of guidance to the arrow. Moon-shaped nock anchors to the string that gives it a firm grip and solid guidance to the arrow.

A capture nock is just like a moon nock with a deeper grove. This catches the string and makes sure that it is at the center of the diameter of the shaft. Lastly, a multi-grooved nock can be universally used with most crossbows and has multiple capture points.


Fletching is usually made of plastic or feather. Other materials are reserved for different purposes but are still a subject of debate if they perform better. Fletching gives the arrow stability. Without fletching, the arrow will go off its course, making you miss the target.


The shaft is the largest part of the ammunition that carries the force from the nock to the tip of the arrow.


There are different types of arrowheads you can choose from. Each type delivers a different kind of deadly blow. A field point is an ordinary tip that is mainly used for target practice.

It doesn’t have a sharp edge that would leave a game animal a significant amount of damage to disable or kill it.

Broad-head tips are meant for hunting and delivering maximum damage. There are different types to choose from, and each type has advantages over different sizes of animals.

Learn to Lurk

Now that you have your right-sized bolts with you, it’s time to get serious about your hunting skills!

One of the best skills you could learn while hunting is making the least sound while you move to avoid being detected by your target. Don’t worry if you don’t get it right the first time! After a few hunting trips, you would get the hang of it.

Learn to Skin

There are times when hunting leads to plentiful loot. Smaller animals can be easily lugged back to the camp. However, larger game animals may need to be skinned, butchered, and portioned on the spot for easy transport.

Unless you have your 4×4 nearby, which is highly unlikely, getting a large game back to the base could be difficult, so it pays to know how to hack off your trophy.

Learn to Cook

Now that you got your game animal all dressed up, time to do the cooking! Try watching a few clips online to get educated on how to cook at camp. Bring a few herbs and spices with you and show off your cooking skills with your buddies!

Right on Target

Now that you know what happens if the diameter of a crossbow arrow is too large for the grooved track in the barrel, it is most likely for you to know how to shoot on target. Hitting bull’s eye will be easier when your crossbow is calibrated in the right way and used with the right bolt.

Related Links:

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Match_crossbow /By Wikipedia
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crossbow_bolt /By Wikipedia
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bow_and_arrow /By Wikipedia
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crossbow /By Wikihow


  • https://www.wikihow.com/Tie-a-Bow /By Wikihow
  • https://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Crossbow /By Wikihow
  • https://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Bow-and-Arrow /By Wikihow