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Senior Member
Posts: 107
Reply with quote  #51 
Given what I've been reading here and elsewhere the past few years, and some of my own recent experiences, I'm becoming convinced that a lighter, faster arrow is more effective than I had previously thought.  I've always shot relatively heavy arrows, 550-600 grains or more, in part because that's just what a 65# plus spine 11/32 POC shaft cut to 29 inches BOP and tipped with a 125 to 150 grain head weighed. One the other hand, it's been pretty easy to make 500 grain carbon arrows. Got the same penetration on the last couple of deer and a turkey I shot with the lighter arrows that I did with heavier arrows previously.  Complete passthroughs. So, if I can get the same or very similar performance and better trajectory, what's not to like. 

I know the long held and offered advice is to go up in arrow weight as bow weight goes down, particularly to relative light weight bows, say 40# or so.  I'm not sure I buy that anymore. More experimentation on my part is in order.

I have some old stock 5/16 inch POC shafts tapered to 9/32, spined at about 60# (nope, they're not forgewoods) that I think I'll be able to make into 500 grain or so arrows.  Looking forward to giving those a try this fall.  Though lighter than I've been shooting, they'll still be pretty heavy gpp-wise because I've dropped down in bow weight to 45-48#.  Tough to make a woodie any lighter than that though.
Steve Graf

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Senior Member
Posts: 838
Reply with quote  #52 
I shot high FOC carbon arrows for a number of years.  It took me a while to figure it out, but what I learned was that those arrows fly perfectly, no matter how badly they are shot.  They fly perfectly to points other than where I had aimed them.  If they hit a deer, they definitely mashed their way through without a doubt.  The problem was where they hit.

I think the accuracy problem stems from the position of the vibration nodes.  The more weight up front, the closer the nodes are to each other, and the more forward they are (as an extreme example, consider an arrow with a heavy point and zero mass.  The nodes would both be in the point of the arrow).  Thus any error in release gets amplified.  Wood arrows, having their weight distributed more evenly along their length (lower FOC), have widely spaced nodes.  I think this accounts for why they are seen as more forgiving.  An arrow's trajectory is defined by the line drawn between the two nodes.  The farther apart the nodes, the more stable the line.  The closer the nodes, the less stable.  If the nodes were on the same point (as in the zero mass arrow), then the line could take any direction...

Which brings me to my point.  Accuracy should be the first goal of arrow design, not penetration.  If accuracy is diminished in pursuit of penetration, the end result of a shot is less predictable.  An arrow of any weight that is flying true will pass through the ribs of a deer.  Decent speed and a forgiving nature define the good design of an arrow.

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Posts: 1,713
Reply with quote  #53 
Interesting read Steve. My carbon arrows have 20% FOC and they go where I want but the wood arrows I like to shoot have 14% FOC.
"Practice not until you get it right, practice until you can't get it wrong." - Unknown
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