Changing arrows for elk

gobears870

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Feb 13, 2018
Messages
95
Location
TX
My current setup is:
GT Hunter XT 340
27 3/4” carbon-to-carbon
100gr fixed broadhead
50gr insert
63lb draw weight
Hoyt Carbon Element G3 340 IBO

This gives me a 430gr package with 12% FOC. I’ve killed whitetail with it - even dropped an old buck in his tracks at 20 yards - and these arrows group tightly at 30 yards. I have not started shooting at 50-60 yards yet.

I’m gearing up for my first archery elk hunt in ‘22 and thinking of changing things up a little for penetration and longer range. If I move to a 125gr broadhead on these shafts I’m looking at being in the 450gr/14% FOC range that I think would be a very nice setup. But I think I could be underspined here, so investing in a dozen 300-spine shafts might be in order.

Or I could just stick with the current program, which seem to fly well for me, and experiment with different 100gr heads.

Any thoughts from the crowd?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

5MilesBack

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If anything, I'd throw on some 125's and call it good. An extra 25gr of end weight may not even show up in tuning, and if it does......shouldn't take much to tune to that.
 

Mighty Mouse

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Your 340 spine arrows would handle an extra 25 gr on the front just fine. I wouldn't add weight just for the sake of increased FOC, but a heavier arrow does tend to improve penetration potential (at the cost of larger pin gaps/less flat trajectory). You could experiment with 125 gr field points (or add Gold Tip FACT weights behind your insert) to see how an extra 25 gr affects your trajectory.

qSpine output for 27.75" shaft with 150 gr on the front, 33 gr on the back:
Screenshot_20220108-153136_qSpine.jpg

qSpine output for 27.75" shaft with 175 gr on the front, 33 gr on the back:
Screenshot_20220108-153110_qSpine.jpg
 

MattB

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$200 per 1% increase in FOC which you won’t notice in the field. Why not?
 

Shawn_Guinn

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Mar 18, 2018
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If you hunted elk every year I could see tinkering but for a trip every few years shoot what you got now .
 

Elkmagnet

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Jul 12, 2021
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Like others have said, I wouldn't change a thing. Your current set up will kill an elk.
I've been archery elk hunting for many years. I've killed elk with arrows ranging from 395 gains up to 550 grains. My current set up is 445 grains.
 

jonnyviceroy

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I’ll add to the crowd, foc is necessary but highly over focused on. The difference you would find with all the hassle would again be negligible.
 

KyleR1985

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Jul 28, 2019
Messages
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76/30, 530gr arrow going roughly 290fps.

300spine, 225 total weight up front.

If I back down poundage, I'll decrease weight to stay in the 270-290fps range. Easy to tune bow, plenty good trajectory.

Shoot as heavy of an arrow that you can, with as much FOC as you can, that allows for the trajectory(speed) you find acceptable. For most people this would end up being in the 450-550 range. Arrows in that range have turned gazillions of elk rib cages into sprinkler systems.
 

Payback

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I've been archery elk hunting for many years. I've killed elk with arrows ranging from 395 gains up to 550 grains. My current set up is 445 grains.
Did you notice any difference between the 395 and the 550 grain arrows? How’s you end up at the 445 grains you’re at now?
 

Elkmagnet

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Did you notice any difference between the 395 and the 550 grain arrows? How’s you end up at the 445 grains you’re at now?
No real difference noted. In my early days I hunted with the lighter 395 gain arrows. I took several animals with this set up, I cannot recall ever losing an animal due to poor penetration. I then went to the heavier 550 grain set up, I always read/heard momentum is the key (and maybe it is). A few years back I missed a bull of my dreams using the 550 gain set up, took a broadside shot at 52 yards, bull compressed to load up and the arrow literally knocked dust off the top of his back. A clean miss! So I wanted to get back to a flatter shooting arrow. My current 445 grain set up has killed my last three bulls. The difference in trajectory at 52 yards when comparing the 445 grains vs 550 grains is about 8". As a side note, I'm shooting 70lbs with a 30" draw.
 

KyleR1985

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No real difference noted. In my early days I hunted with the lighter 395 gain arrows. I took several animals with this set up, I cannot recall ever losing an animal due to poor penetration. I then went to the heavier 550 grain set up, I always read/heard momentum is the key (and maybe it is). A few years back I missed a bull of my dreams using the 550 gain set up, took a broadside shot at 52 yards, bull compressed to load up and the arrow literally knocked dust off the top of his back. A clean miss! So I wanted to get back to a flatter shooting arrow. My current 445 grain set up has killed my last three bulls. The difference in trajectory at 52 yards when comparing the 445 grains vs 550 grains is about 8". As a side note, I'm shooting 70lbs with a 30" draw.

If a bull is at 55 yards and you guess 50 yards with a 70/30 bow, a 450 grain arrow will hit about 6" low, a 550 grain arrow will hit about 7" low.

If a bull is at 45 yards and you guess 50 yards with a 70/30 bow, a 450 grain arrow will hit 4.5" high, a 550 grain arrow will hit 5.5" high.


For being off by 10 yards (you really should be using a rangefinder past 30 yards if you can't guess within 5 yards), same spec bow, 450gr arrow 8" high at 40, 13" low at 60. 550gr arrow 10" high at 40, 16" low at 60.


The actual real world difference, in how you would actually aim, is 1.5" if you're off by 5 yards, and 3" if you're off by 10 yards.



If you're using your 30 yard pin to guess at shots around 50 yards, you probably shouldn't expect positive results.

The difference in trajectory of these two setups is marginal, provided normal hunting circumstances.
 

Elkmagnet

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The difference in trajectory of these two setups is marginal, provided normal hunting circumstances
I guess it depends on how you want to define marginal.

So here are some real world numbers from my set up, measured with chronograph.

445 grain arrow @ 289 fps
550 grain arrow @ 266 fps

My ballistics calculator shows 9" difference in trajectory at 50 yards, to me that is significant,
 

KyleR1985

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I guess it depends on how you want to define marginal.

So here are some real world numbers from my set up, measured with chronograph.

445 grain arrow @ 289 fps
550 grain arrow @ 266 fps

My ballistics calculator shows 9" difference in trajectory at 50 yards, to me that is significant,


You don’t have a 450gr arrow, and a 550gr arrow in your quiver, and you might accidentally choose the wrong one to shoot an elk at exactly 50 yards.

You are shooting one, or the other, with its flight characteristics set and known to you. And you’re either right or wrong on guessing the yardage. If you’re right, there’s nothing to talk about. If you’re wrong, the difference between the two arrows’ POI, as I outlined above, is 1.5” if you’re off by 5 yards, or 3” if you’re off by 10 yards.

Comparing the POI of the two arrows with a fixed distance and fixed POA is completely useless. It doesn’t give you any real world data. And it gives an impression that the difference between these two arrow weights out of your bow is more significant than it is.
 

Elkmagnet

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You don’t have a 450gr arrow, and a 550gr arrow in your quiver, and you might accidentally choose the wrong one to shoot an elk at exactly 50 yards.

You are shooting one, or the other, with its flight characteristics set and known to you. And you’re either right or wrong on guessing the yardage. If you’re right, there’s nothing to talk about. If you’re wrong, the difference between the two arrows’ POI, as I outlined above, is 1.5” if you’re off by 5 yards, or 3” if you’re off by 10 yards.

Comparing the POI of the two arrows with a fixed distance and fixed POA is completely useless. It doesn’t give you any real world data. And it gives an impression that the difference between these two arrow weights out of your bow is more significant than it is.
You are correct! Nothing to further discuss since the said elk was ranged at 52 yards. My sight was set at 52 yards and still missed! Most would agree the lighter arrow is flatter shooting and more forgiving when yardage is misjudged or off a bit. And this is why I've settled my current arrow weight.

Sorry to the OP. This has taken a bit of a turn off topic.
 
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