There are several different models of 50 lb. and 80 lb.-pull pistol crossbows available, but the only bolts sold are molded plastic or aluminum tubes with molded plastic fletches, both of which have target tips, and these are about 6-3/4 in. (17 cm) long. Not that these are not formidable, but you really can't get any decent distance, there is not enough knock-down power for hunting after 10 meters, and there are no field point or broad head bolts available for the serious pistol crossbow archer for competitive target
shooting, or small game hunting.
After analyzing the commercially available bolt's overall length-to-fletch size ratio, balance point, fletch length, etc. I have come up with plans to make a decent field point bolt for competitive shooting, and a decent broad head for hunting. I have tested them, and find that they are sufficiently accurate for me to document this process so that others may benefit from my effort.
NOTE - Crossbow hunting is not allowed in many locations - check your local laws first. Pistol crossbows are
not allowed for hunting anywhere! This document is for educational purposes only. The author neither approves of,
nor advises using these in opposition to any jurisdiction's regulations! Use these at your own risk.
People buy Pistol Crossbows mainly as a novelty item, and because of the low price, but do not respect it as a weapon. It is treated as a toy. This should NOT be the case. This is a weapon, fully capable of killing a person, pet, or game animal. It should be handled
the same as any other weapon.
In order to fully comprehend its use and potential as a weapon, it is necessary to provide accurate device nomenclature so that it can be referenced to any serious crossbow archer in terms that they can understand.
Because of the extremely short power stroke (6-3/8 in.) on these weapons, and the additional weight of the wooden bolts and their tips (double to triple the weight of the commercial bolts), it is advised to limit the effective accuracy range to a distance of no more than 10 meters (11 yards).