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What Grain Arrow For Deer: Calculated

Having the right arrow for the job is really necessary. But it is difficult to know which arrow is suitable for which situation. 

So what grain arrow for deer?

Different arrows are needed in different deer hunting situations. Medium-weight arrows are ideal for hunting deer in around 30 yards range. Open hunting is best with 5.50–6.00 grains of arrow weight per pound of draw power. Elk requires arrows with 8 grains per pound with 70-pound bows. 

This is just the short take on the matter at hand. All the details can be found in the article.

Arrow Grain Calculation

Let us first understand how arrow grain is calculated. And how it affects other factors such as speed and momentum. 

Grains Per Inch:

Arrow weights are typically measured using the global benchmark of grains per inch(GPI). The arrow shaft’s weight is determined by the GPI of the arrow. 

GPI contains the length of the arrow, its diameter, and the thickness of the wall. As well as the component that makes up the shaft. But the nock, the insert, the point, and the fletching are not counted toward the GPI. 

The GPI of the arrow is described in depth on the company’s page. As well as on the product box.

When utilizing GPI estimates, lighter-weighting shafts weigh between 5 and 6 grains per inch. The weight of midweight shafts ranges from 7 to 9 grains per inch. Meanwhile, heavier shafts weigh 10 grains or more per inch.

Grains Per Pound:

GPI and GPP, which stands for grains per pound, are sometimes mistaken for one another. Nevertheless, the computations for these two terms are quite different. 

GPP is the overall weight of the arrow divided by the poundage of the bow. The overall weight of the GPP factor takes into account things GPI does not. Including the mass of the shaft, the nock, the insert, the point, and the fletchings.

A lightweight arrow is between 5.5 and 7.25 grains for every pound of draw weight. The weight of an arrow classified as a “midweight” ranges around 6.5 and 8 grains. Arrows with a heavy weight weigh more than 8 grains.

Grains Chart:

Below is an arrow grain weight chart.

Arrow WeightArrow SpeedKinetic Energy Momentum 
350 gr.340 fps89.75 ft. lbs.0.527 Slug/ft. per. sec
480 gr.290 fps89.54 ft. lbs.0.617 Slug/ft. per. sec
750 gr.175 fps50.95 ft. lbs.0.582 Slug/ft. per. sec

The high-velocity configuration creates almost as much kinetic energy as the combination with the heavy arrow. But the heavier, slower arrangement has far more momentum. Think about momentum since it has a direct effect on how deep the arrow will go.

Heavy Or Light Arrows

Arrows with less weight may be shot at a quicker rate. This increased velocity makes the arrows fly more straight, which in turn makes it easier to form clusters.

Arrows with less mass are likewise more forgiving at greater distances. This is due to their lighter weight resulting in a slower rate of descent.

Nevertheless, lighter arrows might be harder to adjust. And more unforgiving in gusty conditions.

Be sure you use the recommended arrow weight for your bow. Simply, arrows that are too light won’t be able to store enough of the energy produced by your bowstring. This results in the bow vibrating which may be harmful to the apparatus.

The energy released by the bow is dissipated into the heavier arrow. That, therefore, travels at a slower speed. 

Bowhunters use heavier arrows due to their greater penetrating power. And the ability to withstand the effects of the wind. 

Heavier arrows are quieter to fire as well. Because they absorb more of the energy released when they hit their target.

Arrows For Different Hunts

The answer to what grain arrow should i shoot for deer would differ based on the situation.

What grain arrow is best for whitetail?

The majority of deer hunters are unlikely to consider taking a shot farther than 25 yards away. It is difficult to successfully hunt whitetail deer in many parts of the country. 

That is due to the lack of available open cover. Therefore, it is quite unlikely that an unhindered shot with good odds could be taken beyond that distance.

Furthermore, hunters generally position the stands with just a shot of 15 to 20 yards as the objective. Within this context, the speed of the arrow is not very important.

Only some places provide the opportunity for lengthier shots and necessitate a faster arrow speed. These places are around the margins of fields. Or hanging from the overgrown fence lines that separate them.

You may be shooting a whitetail deer with modern high-energy compound bows. In that case, penetration is often not the main concern for you. Though 60 and 70-pound compound bows have different effects

Heavyweight arrows with a grain load of between 8 and 9 grains per pound are excellent options. This results in arrow speeds that fall anywhere between 220 and 235 feet per second.

The distance of the shot might be close to 30 yards. The ideal option, in this case, is an arrow of full length and medium weight. The arrow should even have a broadhead of medium size.

You may be using these arrows with bows weighing in the range of 70 pounds. In such cases, these shafts provide arrow speeds in the region of 260 feet per second. When using bows with reduced draw weight, the draw speed naturally decreases significantly.

But you may be comparing them to shafts traveling at a considerably greater speed. Here,  arrows with a medium amount of weight are far less likely to plane offline. 

However, they still maintain a sailing speed that is smooth enough to account for certain range calculation inaccuracies. When shooting from 25 to 30 yards out, mistakes are most prevalent.

What Grain Arrow is Best for Open Hunting?

Open areas greatly increase the frequency with which arrows may go closer to or even beyond 40 yards. The benefits of a fast-flying arrow are evident. Such hunting can have mule deer and whitetails found in open terrain and mountainous regions, respectively.

To kill one of these creatures cleanly from the ground, a high degree of penetration is not necessary. However, given where they live, they seldom provide a good up-close opportunity.

High arrow velocities will just worsen the situation here.

An arrow speed of 270–280 feet per second is a suitable target in such conditions. This is for those who shoot using a release mechanism. While those who fire with their fingers will need a little less practice.

This can only be achieved with a very light arrow. 5.50 — 6.00 grains of arrow weight per pound of draw power is ideal as arrow weight for deer.

What Grain Arrow is Best for Elk?

When hunting elk, many shots are fired at close range under the cover of the forest’s dense foliage. In some cases, time is not of the essence.

But. elk country is not a place where you can rely on simply close shots. The number of parks and open ridges is excessive. Typically, lengthier shots are found here.

However, the size of the creature should not be overlooked. There is no denying the massive size of elks.

This presents the challenge of ensuring that your arrow has sufficient power. However, you must maintain your pace for those extended shots.

When hunting elk, bow poundage is often turned up by one or two turns. It is increased from what it is when hunting deer.

This results in a more rapidly flying arrow with an inherent advantage in penetration. Thus, a bowhunter using a 70- to 75-pound bow may still achieve respectable speeds. From a lightweight arrow of the heavy weighing class. Alternatively, from the upper end of the middleweight range.

So the best arrow weight for 70 lb. bow is 8 grains per pound. A 50-pound bow will need a different arrow

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Do heavier arrows penetrate better?

When it comes to penetrating obstacles, heavy arrows undoubtedly excel. In particular, on larger wildlife such as elk. The energy of the arrow travels through the creature. The motion of an arrow depends critically on its weight.

Do thinner arrows penetrate better?

Skinny arrows do penetrate better. Due to the fact that their velocity is maintained better. That’s why their kinetic energy is greater, allowing them to penetrate more deeply and over longer distances.

Is a 450 grain arrow good for hunting?

A 450 grain arrow is good for hunting. The 78.32 ft-lbs of energy produced by a 450-grain arrow moving at 280 fps is more than enough to take down most western wildlife.


And with that, we know what grain arrow for deer. Different situations call for different types of arrows. 

Our article will help you find the ideal arrow for your deer hunt. Good luck!

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