Three times in his record, Nephi mentioned that he had broken his bow, but not once did he say that any of his arrows were damaged. Yet in 1 Nephi 16:23, Nephi says that he "did make out of wood a bow, and out of a straight stick, an arrow." Why would he need to make a new arrow if his old ones were still intact?
David S. Fox, in a letter to F.A.R.M.S., suggests an answer: . . . If a bow's draw weight and the arrow's stiffness are not perfectly matched, the arrow will stray off the intended course or fall short of the mark. . . . Nephi's steel bow likely used heavier, stiffer arrows than his simply fashioned wooden bow could handle. . . . The arrows from the steel bow when shot from the wooden bow would be like shooting telephone poles. . . . Anyone unfamiliar with the field of archery would have almost certainly omitted such a statement. Another bull's-eye for the Book of Mormon.
In addition, William Hamblin concludes that the length of Nephi's old arrows may have been another, perhaps even bigger, problem than their weight or stiffness. ["Nephi's Bows and Arrows," in John Welch ed. Reexploring the Book of Mormon, F.A.R.M.S., pp. 41-43]
1 Nephi 16:23 A sling and with stones ([Illustration]): Assyrian slingers . . . from Sennacherib's palace at Nineveh c. 690 B.C. [Tyndale House, The Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Vol. 1, p. 115]
1 Nephi 16:23 A sling and with stones ([Illustration]): Sling stones found at the main gate of Lachish. Probably used either during Sennacherib's siege of the city in 701 BC, or during the Babylonian attack c. 588/7 B.C. [Tyndale House, The Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Vol. 1, p. 115]