Speed vs. weight...recommendations for bowhunting arrows?

rusty

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Jul 27, 2012
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Hi folks,

I'm shooting a PSE Vendetta XS at a 27 1/2" draw length and 62# draw weight, with a STL Hunter 200 shaft at 26". With a 100gr tip and the 2" Blazer vanes, my arrows weigh 335 grains and come out around 305 fps. I'm getting around 67 foot pounds of KE.

I was talking to a guy at the range today who suggested that this setup would be better for 3D but that for hunting I should look at getting the weight of the arrow up a bit (he figured 380 grains). By my calcs this would drop the speed to around 285 fps and the momentum would go up about 7% at the bow.

Would like some other opinions...mostly using this rig for deer and elk hunting. Is it worth dropping the speed by ~20 fps to pick up a little more weight? Could I keep the same arrow shafts if I did?

I'm reluctant to change anything right now as I'm shooting out to 50 yards really well, but I wonder what the feeling is here.
 

OR Archer

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In my opinion that is way to light of an arrow for hunting. I personally prefer an arrow in the 415-430 range for my hunting. Ill take momentum over KE any day of the week. Heavy arrows penetrate better.
 
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rusty

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What's the best way to increase the arrow weight? Go to 125gr tips? Would like to keep the same shafts if possible. How long is your 415gr arrow?
 

cmeier117

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Juat make sure if you add a 125 point that it doesn't make your arrow spine to be not stiff enough. You could also add an arrow wrap or put a heavier insert in.
 

RosinBag

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You shoot a pretty short arrow, so getting the arrow weight up that much without changing shafts would be difficult. If you go to a heavier point it is going to weaken the spine of your current set up and that may not help you either. A heavier hunting arrow at 280 - 290 will be much better than the light and fast set up you have now. OR Archer is right on the money, momentum first and KE second usually makes a pretty solid hunting arrow.
 
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rusty

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How can I determine whether these shafts need to go or not? I'm assuming as well that the stiffer shafts will be heavier.

The CE Mayhem 250s for example are 8.9gpi. I'm a little worried that going to a heavier shaft will drop the FOC.

Looks like I need to consider a heavier shaft with a 125gr broadhead for next season. Could always crank the draw weight up a few pounds as well I suppose.
 

OR Archer

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I have a 27" draw and shoot my arrows at 27" and use a 100gr head. I shoot an Easton Injexion 330 shaft. In the past I have used FMJ 400s and Axis 400s. The FMJs would weigh in at 425 and my Axis 400s would be right around 400 which is the lightest I'd go for my hunting setups.
 

OR Archer

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Ill give you a real world example of how a heavy arrow will out penetrate a light arrow, especially at distance. We were having a little novelty shoot the other day after our BBQ. Target was set at 108 yards. Two shooters shooting pretty equal setups bow wise missed the mark and each hit the 2x4 frame. Shooter shooting a heavier Axis arrow had about 6" of penetration through a 2x4. Other shooter with a real light arrow set up, well only his field tip stuck in the 2x4. That right there only proved what I already knew and why I will always choose a heavy arrow for hunting over a light fast one.
 

Juan_ID

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I too shoot my setup no less than 400 grains, right now it's at about 418 I think. My local shop owner convinced me long ago and I'll never go under 400 grains... EVER. Just a little extra insurance in my eyes...
 

G Posik

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Light arrows are like tennis balls. Heavy arrows are like bowling balls. Which would be worse to get hit with? I shoot a 70# longbow and my arrows are 715grains total weight, I have some at 1000grains. When I shot a wheel bow my arrows were 675 grains. I have never had an issue with pass thru. I shoot hogs in the shoulder plate and no worries. Try a heavy arrow and see how much more penetration you get in a foam target. you can get 100 grain inserts for almost any arrow and about a 200 - 250 grain broad head.

Glenn
 

Chem-E

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Im shooting a 455 gr arrow at 276 fps with 83 ft lbs Ke at 40yds for my hunting set up. Easton FMJ 300 with 50gr inserts and 100gr points. I shoot an Axis 340 for 3D, but had to jump to the 300 spine for the heavy hunting arrow.
 

Nick Muche

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You arrows are fine.... for 3D...

In terms of hunting... I would add about 100 grains and the only way that is going to happen is if you switch to another arrow. Gold Tip Kinetics, Easton FMJ's or ACC's... There are plenty of arrows out there that can bring up your total arrow weight to the 400-430 range even with them being 27".

I highly recommend that you find a heavier set-up before you try to shoot an animal with them.

Will your current set-up work? All things being perfect to include a perfect shot behind the shoulder.... then yes. But, I wouldn't ever count on every single thing going exactly how you want when it comes to bowhunting and wild animals.

You won't regret going to a heavier shaft when you miss a few inches towards the shoulder and you watch it blow right through.

Best of luck!

PS... My arrows are all come in to 419-421 grains, out of a 70lb bow.
 
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rusty

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Thank you very much for all the feedback. Sounds like I've got some work to do this week! I've got pass throughs on both animals I've shot with this rig but admittedly both shots were behind the shoulder enough to make that happen. The last thing I want is to lose an animal because of a bad setup.
 

IAHNTR

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You could try arrow tubes if you really want ot keep the same arrows.

If you have a 27" arrow and add a 5 gpi tube that equals 135 grains (spread out the length of the arrow). And, they're not the much $. I used 3 gpi tubes last year with just fine results out of a Mathews MR6. Then you could bump up the tip weight and keep the FOC.

Take a look at these... In 3, 5 or 8 gpi weights. (good reviews too)

http://www.3riversarchery.com/product.asp?i=6731X
 
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rusty

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Yeah, that's what I'm going to try first. Sorta wish I'd thought about this before buying another dozen STL Hunter 200s and all my 100gr broadheads for the year. I'll hit the proshop tonight and see what my options are. I think I'm going to try a heavier insert and go from there.
 

larryschwartz

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The heavier insert will make the spine weaker (less stiff) if that is all that you do. Adding the tubes will make the spine stiffer which should counteract the added weight up front of the heavier insert or point, and hopefully keeping the spine/stiffness about the same for you.
 

Lawnboi

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With short arms like me its tough to get heavy enough arrows when you want them heavy. Im running 475g right now. FMJ 340's w/ 50g brass insert and 100g heads.

Im a huge advocate of heavy arrows and this is why. A light arrow has one advantage, trajectory, thats it imo. The difference in trajectory is not much at hunting distances for me <50yds going from heavy to light. Plus with a heavier arrow i can actually shoot over small obstacles and still hit my mark. really nice when your in higher brush.

Now to the positives of the heavy arrow. First off your bow is going to be much quieter. This will be the most noticable difference. Now comes the arguement that the faster arrow is getting there a little faster, but the heavy arrow is going to be much more quiet coming out of the bow, thus hopefully not spooking whatever your shooting at, and not sounding like a gun is going off.

Next a heavy arrow will not be affected by the wind nearly as much as your lightweight setup (especially with the thin FMJ's)

Last A heavy arrow is going to carry the momentum to push through an animal, and who dosnt like getting pass throughs.


The only real other thing im not coviering is how a lighter arrow will get there a hair faster. Does this matter? IMO absolutely not. 270fps vs 330fps. After playing paintball for a number of years and being shot at by balls traveling between 250 and 300fps (depending on the course 'speed limit') i can tell you there is no way to tell the difference. It is almost insignificant, and you; a human can easily dodge both, so think about a deer. A heavier arrow will quiet the bow, hopefully not making whatever your shooting at not go nuts.

25g will make almost no difference. When getting a new arrow be sure you get the correct spine, especially if your adding a good amount of weight up front.

My suggestion would be this, go to your proshop, pick up 3 fmj's or axis arrows with brass inserts in them (or without them) That should put you around 400-500g depending on how you set them up. Shoot them a little and see the difference the heavy arrow makes, then pick from there.
 
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rusty

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Is there a table or calculator you guys like for the spine calculation? I've tried calculating the "effective draw weight" using the Carbon Express formulas and according to that I might be OK (though just barely) with a 125 and a heavier insert (total ~200gr up front). This would also give me about 15% FOC which has gotta be good, and would allow for a weight tube for now as well. I'm guessing that the short 26" shaft is significantly stiffer than a 28" one.
 

swat8888

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I'll have to disagree a bit with the "heavy" arrow theory...for the sake of argument 450gr or more. My opinion may be more in theory at this point since I have been shooting 467gr arrows. After my recent hunting experience chasing sheep I am going to try and lighten up to around 425gr arrows. I think the few inches in trajectory flattening I would get out of a little lighter arrow is the difference between hitting and missing when you have to judge w/out a range finder or if you misjudge the wind a bit. That slight difference was quite possible the difference in me coming home without a tag and having one at the processor right now. Granted, I failed myself by not accounting for the wind enough...but the off the cuff shot I had to take may have been a little flatter and hit a little lower...even an inch would have probably crippled my sheep enough to keep him from running off.

Looking at some lighter arrow setups now and going to see how much my gaps really shorten up shaving off 40-50gr. I will absolutely be keeping my 467gr arrows for elk, moose, 'bou, mulies, bear..etc. They do shoot quite and straight....penetration is good too....just not perfect for every situation.
 
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