How do you Determine kinetic energy of an arrow?

You'll need 2 metrics to calculate kinetic energy:

1. Velocity or arrow speed (fps):

Use a chronograph or our arrow speed calculator to find yours.


2. Mass arrow weight in grain:

Use a kitchen scale to determine it. Note that the arrow weight INCLUDES shaft, nock, fleching, insert and point.

The Kenetic Energy Fomula:

KE = (m*v2)/450,800
  • KE: Kenetic Energy (ft. lbs.)
  • m: mass arrow weight (grains)
  • v: velocity or arrow speed (fps)


If you're shooting arrow at 280 fps and your mass arrow weight is 400 grains, then the KE = 400*280*280 /450800 = 69.65 (ft. lbs).

What is good kinetic energy for an arrow?

Check out kinetic energy recommendation for hunting game:

Kinetic Energy


15-25 ft-lbs

Small Game (rabbbit, groundhog, etc.)

25-41 ft-lbs

Medium Game (deer, antelope, etc.)

42-65 ft-lbs

Large Game (elk, black bear, wild boar, etc.)

65-80 ft-lbs

Toughest Game (cape buffalo, grizzly, moose, etc.)

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About the Author

Hi, I'm Robert Gate, a hunter from Texas and Founder of ArcheryTopic.

I first learned archery from my dad when I was 12 years old. He gave me a Mathew bow as a gift and instantly fell in love with the pursuit.