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Tent pole crossbow bolts
28 May 2012, 20:03,
RE: Tent pole crossbow bolts
The tail flights need to be fairly stiff due to the acceleration forces of a crossbow. Anything that is flimsy will not aid accuracy and may be worse than using no flights at all. Stiff leather was used originally and is easy enough to come by. Alternatively the plastic walls on commercial grade food containers or any suitable non brittle thicker plastic sheet that can be found in a myriad of domestic settings - can be cut up into suitable flights. This is what I use on my Atlatl. It needs to be understood that what works well on an atlatl or sling will not necessarily work well on a crossbow. The flights must maintain their integrity during acceleration & profile in flight.
It is worth keeping in mind that there are two alternative methods that can be used. 1 is to use a drogue or thin material streamers that extend out the back of the bolt. This will stabilise the flight but will create some drag. For closer range this will not cause undue problems although devising the nock routine would be interesting. The second method is to have the bolt nose heavy & with no tail flights. This will also stabilise the bolt in flight. It will not fly as far or have any accuracy at longer ranges but it is not bad at closer ranges. These two methods are not as effective as a correctly constructed & fitted tail flight but they are useful to know in an expedient situation.
It is worth remembering that all bolts need to be somewhat nose heavy anyway and a light target arrow with a heavy duty tail assembly may find its balance point shifted out of tolerance.
I was thinking about the pointy end next. If you could find a bit of thin walled tube that would slip closely over the carbon shaft, then you could find a size of nail that minus its head, will push firmly inside the the tube until flush up against the front end of the carbon shaft. Chamfer the tube edges at approx 45degrees first. Then trial shorten the nail until the nose weight is correct. Epoxy in place. Use this first prototype as a pattern for many more. This should prove a fast, expedient & strong mounting method for the point. The nails come hardened as a matter of course and will be superior to sheet steel constructions.
28 May 2012, 21:10,
RE: Tent pole crossbow bolts
TL I have decided to build a work shop in my garden I am going to build it from pallets of all things and then I can really get working on many projects, I have a ton of tools that just don't get used as no bench to use them on, plus I need space from the kids you know tools go walk about and all that, as soon as this is built I shall look at the suggestions made in this thread and get cracking on designs.

Thanks for all the people that posted tips and suggestions, and even another perspective.
Do not look for a sanctuary in anyone except your self    ཨོཾ་མ་ཎི་པདྨེ་ཧཱུྃ

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