Understanding the Importance of Crossbow Nocks

Nocks are more important than many hunters believe when it comes to accuracy with crossbows. (Photo: Brad Fenson)

Nocks are more important than many hunters believe when it comes to accuracy with crossbows. (Photo: Brad Fenson)

That little piece of plastic on the end of your favorite crossbow arrow may seem unassuming, however the nock plays an important role in safety, accuracy, and consistency with every shot. The nock fits tight into the end of your crossbow arrow and is as important to your arrow as a launchpad is to a space shuttle. It is the single point of contact for your arrow, with the lightning-fast forward movement of the crossbow string.

Nocks must fully engage with the string for accurate flight. (Photo: Brad Fenson)

Nocks must fully engage with the string to transfer the energy from the bow to the arrow. (Photo: Brad Fenson)

Your nock must always fully engage with the string to transfer the energy from the bow to the arrow. To do so an arrow is seated onto the barrel of the crossbow, and back to the string, where it will disengage the dry-fire inhibitors on most modern crossbows. There is a lot going on in the back end of a crossbow, and the nock must fully capture the string every time to prevent the string from jumping over, or riding under, the arrow which would cause a dry-fire that could damage the bow and injur the shooter.

Over the years there have been many different crossobw nock designs from a half-moon or flat to more recently TenPoint’s Omni-Nock. With different crossbow manufacturers there are a number of specific nocks that must be used to achieve full string capture every time. Not every nock is interchangeable between different crossbow manufacturers.

Tuning your crossbow's arrows, nocks and other components is vitally important for accuracy, especially if you change anything with them. (Photo: Brad Fenson)

Tuning your crossbow’s arrows, nocks and other components is vitally important for accuracy, especially if you change anything with them. (Photo: Brad Fenson)

Part of the problem is where the string lines up on the nock with different bows. Not always being perfectly centered, some nocks can’t always capture the string. Other problems exist with nocks improperly inserted into arrows. Take a half-moon for instance—if turned 90-degrees in the wrong direction, usually parallel to the cock feather on your arrow, which is placed down, the edges of the nock could cut the string. With this type of nock, it is important to always make sure the nock groove is parallel to the string, and you always place the cock feather down when loading an arrow.

So, is there a crossbow nock that can always capture the string no matter how the arrow is loaded into your crossbow? Yes and no.

The Omni-Nock from TenPoint Crossbows works perfectly every time, regardless of which arrow you choose to shoot or which vane is placed into the barrel of the crossbow. The Omni-Nock design features six micro-grooves that form three bowstring channels, ultimately eliminating the indexing problem associated with other half-moon and capture nocks. Having three string channels on every nock means you can never load your arrow incorrectly. No matter what feather you put down when loading an arrow, the nock will fully capture and engage the string. When hunting in low light conditions, or when stressed by the sudden appearance of a big buck or monster bull, you channel your arrow and continue your hunt worry-free.

Nocks often are ignored but have a vital role for bowhunting success. (Photo: Brad Fenson)

Nocks often are ignored but have a vital role for bowhunting success. (Photo: Brad Fenson)

TenPoint, Wicked Ridge, and Horton Crossbow Innovations models all utilize, and recommend, the Omni-Nock. While the Omni-Nock will work in other crossbow brands, it is always best to refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations just to be sure.

Omni-Nocks can be purchased in a 12 pack and come in a variety of colors. TenPoint also makes an Omni-Bright 2.0, which is a lighted version of their popular crossbow nock. They are easy to set up in your favorite arrows and can be turned off after each shot with minimal effort to prolong battery life. Each package of six comes with inserts for the three diameters of crossbow arrow shafts.

Never underestimate the importance of your nock and always check for the specific style you need for your crossbow when purchasing new arrows. If the arrows you want don’t have the proper nocks for your bow, buy them separately and make sure to change them all out.

— PAID PARTNER CONTENT.  This content is brought to you by a D&DH advertising sponsor.