Making your own high speed archery arrow nocks

in archery •  3 years ago  (edited)

A while ago a video came out of a Danish guy, Lars Andersen, who showed off his rapid shot archery skills. You can see the video here:

The video set off a lot of discussion and a lot of criticism. I understand the criticism but I'm also not a stick-in-the-mud so I don't take life or archery that seriously. Instead I pick up some points from his video and have started trying speef shooting, and let me tell you, it's a lot of fun!

One of the points is that the standard nock (the forked piece of the arrow you attach to the string) is too narrow to be conveniently used rapidly. Lars apparently use nocks that are wider. Someone else also realized this and created the Fang nock, which with its wide fork is really fast to load. It has started becoming a bit popular even.

But it still costs money, and if you like to create things just for the fun of it like me, here is what you can do:

Go to your hardware store and get yourself a bag of thermoplastic beads. These have a million and one uses, so you'd want to have these around anyway.

Then pour up a dash of boiling water in a small bowl and add a big pinch of thermoplastic beads to the water. It will melt in hot water and will be moldable for a couple of minutes. Now wait while the beads turn transparent.

Prepare your arrow shafts. Remove any residues of glue or pieces of previous nocks, etc.

Carefully pick up the pieces of melted plastic. Careful! the water is hot! Squeeze them together and roll a rough cylinder shape between your hands.

Press the end of the cylinder down around the arrow shafts about an inch and roll it into a rough cone shape around the shafts. Finally flatten it to a rough shape that feels comfortable to hold between your fingers.

You can leave it on the shaft or take it off now to glue it back later. Sometimes it will not stick very well, so take it off, but if it sticks, just leave it there. In these pictures I took it off because I thought it would be easier to work with. In hindsight I realized that it would have worked just as well if I had left them on, if not better.

Now you need to let the plastic cool or you won't be able to cut it. To speed up the process you can run it through cold water.

Now you have the rough shape, so you want to make the notch for the bowstring. Measure you bowstring and select a drill bit of that diameter. Mine was roughly 3 mm wide, so I got me a 3mm drill bit.

Find a good spot in the center behind the end of the arrow shafts and carefully drill a hole through the plastic. Drilling produce a bit of heat, so the plastic may start to melt. If this happens don't worry, but it is a minor inconvenience to get plastic residue on your drill, so go slowly or cool it down with water.

Now you take a knife and carve a wide V-shape from the corners of the triangle down to the hole. You want the tip of the V to not go so deep into the drilled hole, leaving a bit of a "grip" for the notch to grip onto the bowstring. Otherwise, make the top of the V as wide as possible as this is the part that will catch your bowstring.

Now you just need to take a knife and whittle the plastic down to a nice aerodynamic shape. 

As you see, there are rough snags and sharp edges, but you can soften the plastic over a heat source to remove all sharp edges and shape it into the perfect shape.

A candle is convenient but left some soot on the nock. But that's ok.

If you chose to remove it from the shaft to work with it, you can either glue it back on, or just soften the plastic over a heat source and press it down over the shaft for a tight fit.

And remember to align it correctly with the vanes! The shape of the nock will make you able to feel how to nock the arrow without looking.

There you go! This nock will help you quickly nock your arrows, even without looking.

Originally posted on

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Crazy good video! Really enjoyed the nock learning tutorial. I shoot traditional and recurve bows. I'm not Robin Hood but I'm not bad either. Takes practice but with bows practice is a whole lotta' fun! Keep shootin'!