Lighted nocks vs FOC vs arrow weight

Marbles

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
May 16, 2020
Messages
2,036
Location
Kenai, AK
So, I'm new to archery and trying to decide in my first hunting arrow. It will be used on everything Alaska has to offer, so from moose and bear in close to goats and caribou on open ground.

I'm pretty sure I want an arrow between 450 and 500 grains. This will be leaving a Mathews V3X 29, with a 29 inch draw and set at 70 to 75 pounds.

I was thinking of using Firenocks, but the extra weight in the back leaves me needing to add weight up front to keep FOC high (I was targeting 13% to 15%).

My guess is that letting FOC drop to about 11% would have little effect, but I'm curious what more experienced people think. I'm guessing that whatever effect it has would be out weighed by the advantages of a lighted nock.

I'm also guessing that going above 500 grains will have a negative effect at longer ranges (say 40 to 60 yards) and not be worth the trade off for higher FOC (which will also effect longer ranges).

Anyway, please shoot holes in anything I got wrong.

For context, I'm looking to use Iron Will single bevels in either 150 or 175 grain, a standard diameter carbon arrow with a 0.003 straightness to keep costs down and a standared aluminum insert. So, nothing overly fancy.
 

shwacker

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2022
Messages
17
I'm dealing with the same questions... It is hard to test everything, so any experience to share would be great. I'm currently running a total weight of 430 grains (including 100 grain kudupoint broadheads). FOC is about 11%. 70 lb, 29.5" draw.

Never shot an animal with a bow, so trying to get a sense of this. Will 125 or 150 grain heads make a significant difference? Should I add some trimmer line to my shafts? Other places I've read 6-7 grains per lb of draw weight.

So far I've learned:

heavier arrows are quieter and penetrate better;
but flatter shooting is more forgiving in terms of ranging inaccuracy.

This January I'm going to go try to put one in an ibex here in NM.
 

isItFallYet

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Sep 24, 2019
Messages
610
So, I'm new to archery and trying to decide in my first hunting arrow. It will be used on everything Alaska has to offer, so from moose and bear in close to goats and caribou on open ground.

I'm pretty sure I want an arrow between 450 and 500 grains. This will be leaving a Mathews V3X 29, with a 29 inch draw and set at 70 to 75 pounds.

I was thinking of using Firenocks, but the extra weight in the back leaves me needing to add weight up front to keep FOC high (I was targeting 13% to 15%).

My guess is that letting FOC drop to about 11% would have little effect, but I'm curious what more experienced people think. I'm guessing that whatever effect it has would be out weighed by the advantages of a lighted nock.

I'm also guessing that going above 500 grains will have a negative effect at longer ranges (say 40 to 60 yards) and not be worth the trade off for higher FOC (which will also effect longer ranges).

Anyway, please shoot holes in anything I got wrong.

For context, I'm looking to use Iron Will single bevels in either 150 or 175 grain, a standard diameter carbon arrow with a 0.003 straightness to keep costs down and a standared aluminum insert. So, nothing overly fancy.
With a 150 or 175 grain head and a 29” (ish) arrow, what gpi arrow are you using that only comes in around 450 grains total? I think that you won’t have any problem whatsoever being over 500 grains and shooting 60 yards.
 

isItFallYet

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Sep 24, 2019
Messages
610
With a 150 or 175 grain head and a 29” (ish) arrow, what gpi arrow are you using that only comes in around 450 grains total? I think that you won’t have any problem whatsoever being over 500 grains and shooting 60 yards.
Additionally, I’d probably want a heavier arrow if I was targeting the “big boy” bears up in your neck of the woods.
 

Mighty Mouse

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jun 21, 2019
Messages
1,632
Location
Oklahoma
Ignore FOC. Build for your desired total arrow weight and let FOC fall where it may.

That said, you could get FOC in the low teens and hit your TAW range using the components you mentioned. Example below:
Screenshot_20221003-101014_Sheets.jpg
 

KyleR1985

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jul 28, 2019
Messages
359
Once you get past 150-175gr total weight up front, you’re winning in terms of arrow stability and penetration. (With carbon arrows). Everything past that is good and great and better and no reason not to. But it ain’t worth measuring. All of your reasons for going heavy up front make sense. Do it. All of your reasons for measuring how heavy and telling strangers is dumb. Don’t do it.

On lighted nocks - my answer is half arrow performance and half shitty lighted nocks.

There just aren’t any that make sense financially and performance wise. They all suck.

Lighted nocks will reduce %FOC. More importantly, it’s doing it in a way where the mass is concentrated at the back of the arrow. And when that arrow is side loaded, this will exaggerate the effect on penetration, versus say, a heavier GPI shaft where that extra mass is spread along the entire shaft. You’ll never be able to test/quantify the effect. But it’s there. Which leads me back to shitty lighted nocks.

If they’re going to annoy me, not work, cost lots of money, offer little in the way of help finding arrows or critters, and potentially chew up energy in any direction other than through said critter, it’s not worth it.

They’re cool on videos. And they do help identify impact location and finding arrows or critters sometimes. But the amount they help has not been worth it to me.
 

sndmn11

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Mar 28, 2017
Messages
6,121
Location
Morrison, Colorado
You have to move 100-200 grains to see a drastic trajectory effect.

@KickinNDishin can still reach 60 yards shooting a 530gr arrow at 185fps. That setup has a 7yd window error of staying in vitals out to her MER.

50 gr and 15fps difference wouldn't be noticed in a pin adjustment by most archer's abilities out to 40 yards.

I'd throw whatever components you want in an arrow together and not sweat the small stuff.
 

LongWayAround

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Aug 10, 2015
Messages
1,561
I shot my first animal with a lighted knock this September. I could not care less what the extra 10gr on the ass end did to foc or spine stiffness or whatever else. Seeing exactly where that arrow landed, and finding the back half quickly was priceless.

For reference, my bow is about 65lb 29" draw. My gold tip kinetic arrows with 125gr heads weigh 495+- and leave the bow at about 260fps.

Out to sixty yards my point of impact was negligibly different than my regular knocks. Maybe 2" low.
 

MattB

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Sep 29, 2012
Messages
4,163
Guys were killing game with pointy sticks well before FOC was a consideration. Don't get too hung up on it. Guys who do IMO spend most of their bowhunting-related hours at their desk.
 
OP
Marbles

Marbles

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
May 16, 2020
Messages
2,036
Location
Kenai, AK
Guys were killing game with pointy sticks well before FOC was a consideration. Don't get too hung up on it. Guys who do IMO spend most of their bowhunting-related hours at their desk.
I unfortunately resemble that a little. With two small children I do not get out as much as I would like. One great thing about archery is I can shoot for 30 minutes in the back yard, fits in much better that a trip to the range, not to mention it is cheaper.

I can worry about FOC while playing with my daughters, hunting with them is harder at 2 and 4, though the 4 year old did decent on an overnight small game hunt.

Anyway, it is nice to know I should not worry too much about FOC and total weight. @sndmn11 @Mighty Mouse

Thanks everyone for the input.

@Mighty Mouse what calculator are you using?
 

sndmn11

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Mar 28, 2017
Messages
6,121
Location
Morrison, Colorado
Anyway, it is nice to know I should not worry too much about FOC and total weight. @sndmn11 @Mighty Mouse


I don't worry about the numbers. I do however front load our arrows quite a bit. My experience shooting recurves left me with a favoritism that way due to how easy I perceived them to tune and be forgiving.

I have zero testing evidence comparing X, Y, Z FOC % for ease of tuning nor forgiveness to shooter inducing flaws. I do know that I have never had to fiddle with arrows to get broadheads to shoot for those that are front loaded. With her arrows, I've never seen a 500-550gr arrow from a recurve at 160-180fps not pass through an elk, so that's what she ended up with since she is a 25" draw shooting 50lbs.

I also like the idea inserts being steel, but I haven't used the standard diameter aluminium like the gold tip @Mighty Mouse has above.

So, my result in shooting higher FOC arrows than what is being discussed is a product of those reasons, rather than a desire to have a certain % number. I don't know what that % is, and I also don't think there is any inherent problem with someone shooting half the % I am.

The biggest goal for an arrow is good flight, whatever weight or FOC they end up at.
 

KHNC

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jul 11, 2013
Messages
2,791
Location
NC
I have exclusively used Firenocks since I met Dorge in 2009 (the owner). No need to worry at all about the weight of the nock circuit in the rear. The arrows hit same as my non firenock equipped arrow out to 40 yards. They also hit close enough at 75 that I never worried about it for a second. My total arrow weight is 455 grains. I use a 50gr insert on my Gold Tip Hunters and 100Gr Ramcat heads. This year Im also using 100Gr SIK heads with same results.
 

11boo

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Feb 24, 2016
Messages
1,634
Location
Grand Jct, CO
I have exclusively used Firenocks since I met Dorge in 2009 (the owner). No need to worry at all about the weight of the nock circuit in the rear. The arrows hit same as my non firenock equipped arrow out to 40 yards. They also hit close enough at 75 that I never worried about it for a second. My total arrow weight is 455 grains. I use a 50gr insert on my Gold Tip Hunters and 100Gr Ramcat heads. This year Im also using 100Gr SIK heads with same results.
I bought some cheap lit nocks (28$/doz.) this summer to test.
I assumed I would be moving my pins, and was wrong. They hit right on target.
std. Nocks were 9 grains, these were 22.

I ended up really liking them, bought another dozen. Only failures have been from nock strikes.

33219881-B29D-430F-BF1E-232E846E521F.jpeg
 

KyleR1985

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jul 28, 2019
Messages
359

Slightly on a tangent. And slightly out of date. But for folks who are busy, and want to get a shortcut to building arrows with higher weight/FOC, and potentially save some money, and definitely save some time, here ya go.

It's on a saddle site, and focused on deer. But the concept can be applied otherwise.

There may be cheaper options on inserts these days. But you can most definitely save some dough buying used arrows from people chasing the dragon on FOC....
 

dreamingWest

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jan 28, 2017
Messages
503
I was focused on rifles this year as I was preparing for my hunt in the Yukon, so my typical nerding out on archery took a back seat. I'm going to use lighted nocks this year for whitetails and not sweat the small stuff (FOC, fps, etc).

Last year, a hunter in camp stuck a buck high at a steep angle, right before dark. The arrow stayed with the buck, but we couldn't find him until the next day. Part of this was the hunter didn't have any good intel on hit or reaction. Anyways, a lighted nock would've resulted in a quick recovery and a reasonable dinner time. 90% of our shots are inside 30 yards. Any negatives from the lighted nock shouldn't matter.
 

Dennis

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
May 18, 2014
Messages
191
I have spent the last two years reviewing and testing arrow set ups looking for that magical hunting arrow. I spent time trying to decide what and what does not make a difference in my hunting arrows. I think your question is a lighted nock more or less important that FOC for a bowhunter? I think seeing where you hit has it's advantages (maybe) and increasing penetration (slightly) has it's advantages, however neither are dramatic advantages in my view. Go with your gut and enjoy the journey! Good luck
 
Last edited:

dreamingWest

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jan 28, 2017
Messages
503
I should have read the OP before my post. My 30 yard whitetail arrow comment may not apply to a do-it-all arrow in Alaska. In the past, when I have nerded out on arrow building for western hunts, I always dropped the lighted nocks for better long range accuracy.
 
Top