Arrow Weight

Planopurist

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Jul 11, 2017
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475
You probably shouldn’t add more than 25 grains to that arrow up front before it may become too weak. (I’d have to run the numbers to have a better idea)
IF you’re going to do that, I’d do it with a field point first, to see what you think about trajectory and grouping.

There’s no right or wrong, only what amount of give-and-take you’re willing to live with - speed, momentum, noise dampening, grouping, etc.

Welcome to the rabbit hole.


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Billy Goat

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Ask around any meat cutter in the west, and ask how many Elk they’ve cut broadheads out of that someone killed with a rifle, or another bow hunter. This is the dirty secret that everyone that says….. Awww whatever arrows you want to shoot are just fine. Either it hasn’t happened yet, or they just don’t talk about those.


People put heavy arrows in non-lethal spots too. I have seen it myself. They don't always carry thru too, despite the claims.


Arrows kill from hemorrhage, not by breaking down an animal. Taking a quartering towards angle on an animal is always risky, and that's about the only angle where bone should be a concern on elk.
 

TheACGuy

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Apr 3, 2022
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33
I am shooting a ~500 grain arrow (just about balls on +/- 1 or 2 grains) and am quite happy with the performance so far. 60lb Bowtech Revolt X at 31”. Haven’t had this arrow out in the woods yet, so time will tell.. but so far so good in the back yard. I’m hunting mainly timber so shots over 30 yards are pretty rare in my neck of the woods, not too worried about trajectory with that being said. This particular arrow is a GT Hunter 300 (or Hunter XT) shaft with a GT Series nock, blazer vanes, GT 50 grain insert, and 125 grain head. Pretty basic set up.

As others have mentioned, which might be the way you want to go if worried about pushing the limit on spine.. GT F.A.C.T. Weights. They come by the dozen and you’ll also want to buy the wrench for them, which is just a super long allen key. Alternatively since it seems you can remove your inserts relatively easily, you can opt out of buying the wrench to save a few bucks and instead install the weights on the back of the inserts before reinstalling the inserts. If you do decide to go this route, try not to get epoxy on the weight itself, as it would become very difficult to remove the weight if you didn’t like the outcome. I have a mix of 20 grain and 50 grains F.A.C.T. weights (also available in 10 grains) just so I can play around a bit. I did buy the wrench as well, as popping the nock out and accessing the weights from that side of the arrow is a whole lot easier than uninstalling and reinstalling inserts.

Or you can just say screw it, leave your arrows alone if they’re doing the job just fine and save a few bucks instead. Naturally I like to tinker with my gear, so I can’t blame you if you choose the rabbit hole lol.
 

Dennis

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May 18, 2014
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I would like to add my two cents to this debate. Yes lighter arrows are faster and can make up for slight yardage errors and I for one followed that crowd for years. I thought if I could shoot farther accurately my success would increase, however what I found was the opposite. I found out that hitting them was not my problem but lack for straight line penetration was. While I love shooting foam targets at distance there was a disconnect for me between the sport of archery and hunting success. I like you started off watching the Ranch Fairy and listening to his journey of harvest failures which were similar to my mine. However my failures were on elk, deer and antelope in the mountain west. I noticed that my light arrow setups failed at both close and longer distances and my harvest rate was declining. Based on declining harvest success rates I became a Ranch Fairy and Troy Fowler supporter and follower.

As to your basic question about adding tip weight. Yes you can add tip weight to most arrows however increasing tip weight decrease spine stiffness. Matching tip weight to perfect bare shaft arrow flight is a journey all by its self. Troy does a good job of explaining how to achieve perfect arrow flight on his YouTube channel. Happy hunting and good luck to all,
 

5MilesBack

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Ask around any meat cutter in the west, and ask how many Elk they’ve cut broadheads out of that someone killed with a rifle, or another bow hunter. This is the dirty secret that everyone that says….. Awww whatever arrows you want to shoot are just fine. Either it hasn’t happened yet, or they just don’t talk about those.
How many of those meat cutters pulled those BH's out of a rib on the entrance side of the vitals? If that's the case, then the shooter's setup had bigger problems than shooting a 400gr arrow.
 

ElGuapo

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Sep 30, 2017
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Reno, Nv
I don’t shoot 220 like some of you guys must, but I have absolutely no issue shooting very well out to 80 yards, which is exactly what I was doing with my lighter arrows. My pass through ratio has gone to almost 100% as well. The thought that you’re limited to 20 yards is complete nonsense, and is simply somebody spouting off about what they already wanted to believe to justify what they already wanted to think.

Also, it’s not ALL about arrow weight at all. It’s mostly about perfect arrow flight (tuned without fletch), and good cut-on-contact fixed broadheads. Arrow weight follows these 2, and it all makes a big difference.
 

5MilesBack

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Also, it’s not ALL about arrow weight at all. It’s mostly about perfect arrow flight (tuned without fletch), and good cut-on-contact fixed broadheads. Arrow weight follows these 2, and it all makes a big difference.
Archery is a game of tradeoffs. Lighter arrow......faster arrow and smaller pin gaps. Heavy arrow.......slower arrow and larger pin gaps (trajectory). We all have to choose something on the spectrum that suits our needs best. But regardless what that is.......there's always a tradeoff.
 

GatorGar247

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Aug 18, 2020
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When Troy learns how to properly tune a bow I'll take him more serious. But adding a bunch of weight to an arrow until it Flies decent isn't tuning a bow...
 

MattB

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Sep 29, 2012
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Ask around any meat cutter in the west, and ask how many Elk they’ve cut broadheads out of that someone killed with a rifle, or another bow hunter. This is the dirty secret that everyone that says….. Awww whatever arrows you want to shoot are just fine. Either it hasn’t happened yet, or they just don’t talk about those.
Ask them where in the animal the broadhead was located. If an arrow hits something hard enough not to pass through, it will likely be lodged in the spine or scapula where an additional 100 gr. of arrow weight probably would not have made a difference. That generally results from poor shot placement, the risk of which can be exacerbated by the looping trajectory of a heavy arrow.
 

KyleSS

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Calgary, Alberta
Lots of good info in here, I'm definitely not shooting hogs at 30 yards up here in Alberta
I'm also from Alberta. My bow config is a 72lb bow, 29.5" draw and I'm shooting a 465 grain arrow at 292 FPS. I have had no issue killing elk, moose, mule deer, white tail, cougars, bears, or sheep.

I don't like a super heavy arrow because if you misjudge the yardage (no chance to range) then you run the chance of a poor placed shot or even a miss
 

Stalker69

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Ask them where in the animal the broadhead was located. If an arrow hits something hard enough not to pass through, it will likely be lodged in the spine or scapula where an additional 100 gr. of arrow weight probably would not have made a difference. That generally results from poor shot placement, the risk of which can be exacerbated by the looping trajectory of a heavy arrow.
Or leg, or hip I've seen them broken of in a skull even. No matter how much those arrows weigh where going to make a difference. Many times people get a false sense of " they can shoot them any where, and from any angle", and a heavy arrow is going to get a pass through or for sure kill. Its NOT the case tough. Probably just as many wounded or lost with heavy arrows as lighter arrows. False sense of " security" many times.
 

ScreamingPotato

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Put me in the leave it alone crew. My wife bought me a surprise new bow last year so I needed a set of arrows, went high dollar and over 500gr total. Hunted with them last year and really not happy with the trajectory difference from my old 435gr arrows. I guessed yardage on a decent buck slightly uphill, was off by 3 yards and completely missed underneath him as he stood and watched without even flinching. I'm shopping for new lighter arrows this summer and have to re-tune the entire rig all over again now.
 

Arctic Hunter

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Get some 100 grain brass inserts and see if you can get them spined right. You can find them on line. It’s more than you need in my experience, but when we all shot aluminum most everybody was around that weight. And nobody ever thought about penetration being an issue.

Misjudging yardage was though. But that was before everybody had a laser finder.

If 500 grains makes you happy and you can live with the trajectory and speed, go for it. You definitely don’t need it though.
 
OP
dirtshooter

dirtshooter

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I will probably buy the weights that screw into the inserts or just find 50gr inserts and go from there, it's the cheaper option for sure and enough people have chimed in saying they have similar set ups and have no issues killing animals
 

HandgunHTR

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I think a lot of people who watch (or hate) RF get caught up in the "heavy arrow" and "FOC" part of the discussion and completely forget about the first two items on the 12 item list.
Those items are: #1 Perfect Arrow Flight and #2 Structural Integrity.

In my experience a lot of guys who are using lighter arrows still do those first two things (very well tuned bow and arrow set-ups and using quality components) and that is what is contributing to their success.

I actually run three different arrow setups on my bow. One light set up (right around 405 grains) for shooting target and 3D, another "whitetail" set up (525 grains), and a heavy set up (630 grains), for black bear over bait, hogs, and exotics over feeders. I am archery hunting elk in CO this year. I will be using the 525 grain arrows. They fly perfectly with fixed blade broadheads, are tough as nails, and coincidently have a bit higher than average FOC.

All in all, I am saying that a lot of people want to swing way too far one way or the other (RF is 100% right or he is 100% wrong). I am just saying that he does make some good points, but not everything he is saying may be good for your style of hunting. Don't throw the baby out with the bath water.
 

Billy Goat

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I think a lot of people who watch (or hate) RF get caught up in the "heavy arrow" and "FOC" part of the discussion and completely forget about the first two items on the 12 item list.
Those items are: #1 Perfect Arrow Flight and #2 Structural Integrity.

In my experience a lot of guys who are using lighter arrows still do those first two things (very well tuned bow and arrow set-ups and using quality components) and that is what is contributing to their success.

I actually run three different arrow setups on my bow. One light set up (right around 405 grains) for shooting target and 3D, another "whitetail" set up (525 grains), and a heavy set up (630 grains), for black bear over bait, hogs, and exotics over feeders. I am archery hunting elk in CO this year. I will be using the 525 grain arrows. They fly perfectly with fixed blade broadheads, are tough as nails, and coincidently have a bit higher than average FOC.

All in all, I am saying that a lot of people want to swing way too far one way or the other (RF is 100% right or he is 100% wrong). I am just saying that he does make some good points, but not everything he is saying may be good for your style of hunting. Don't throw the baby out with the bath water.


It was Ashby who came up with the 12 factors for penetration, RF came around and started to focus the attention on extreme FOC.


I got turned off early on, when he was pushing heavier arrows. 750-800 gr. I believe over the years he has backed off and come around to what is more moderate weights.
 

galamb

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Mar 28, 2022
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Inverary, Ontario, Canada
The thing that gets forgotten or overlooked (or ignored) about Ashby is that he was looking at Traditional Bows hunting very tough African Game at close range and not 300+ fps compounds shooting thin skinned deer at distance.

My Trad Recurve has trouble breaking 180 fps with the lightest arrow recommended for it (about 408 grains minimum was builders recommendation). Even at that "blistering speed" it's only making mid 30's KE.

I need "mass and momentum" and trying to shoot further than 25 yards is not even a consideration if I stick to my own ethical ability.

So when some try to apply arrows that I will build for "that bow" to a very fast compound it is not going to translate very well.

If I was making 80 lbs of KE or better out at 50 yards I wouldn't be building a 575 to 600 grain arrow with an FOC over 20 either because there would be more disadvantage then advantage in most hunting situations.
 

Rick653

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Jun 19, 2021
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Cleveland Ohio
If you're worried about penetration on an animal I think you're easiest solution is just a good broadhead. I like VPAs for my compound and Grizzly for my recurve. Haven't tried Iron Will, but I think some people like em....

Getting that arrow tuned correctly is going to get you farther than anything else tho
 

jesse1004

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Mar 11, 2022
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First thing you need to do is block ranch fairy on your YouTube page. Then go buy some GOOD broadheads and learn how to sharpen. Tune your bow and get your arrows flying straight and you'll be good to go. I use to rack my brain over similar things. But after pass thrus on a few critters with arrows weighting about 475gr and only moving about 170fps, I reliezed quick that what's on the front of the arrow is way more important than trying to make crazy numbers on arrow calculators. And getting that arrow flying true is way up there too. Good luck!
 
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