Carbon Express Arrows
Real life penetration test
Pronghorn
Contributors to this thread:
Ziek 24-Aug-16
Ziek 24-Aug-16
Ziek 24-Aug-16
Ziek 24-Aug-16
Ziek 24-Aug-16
Ziek 24-Aug-16
Drahthaar 24-Aug-16
LINK 25-Aug-16
Bowfreak 25-Aug-16
Mad_Angler 25-Aug-16
Bowfreak 25-Aug-16
Ziek 25-Aug-16
Glunt@work 25-Aug-16
Paul@thefort 25-Aug-16
deerslayer 25-Aug-16
Bowfreak 26-Aug-16
Genesis 26-Aug-16
Seminole 26-Aug-16
Medicinemann 26-Aug-16
Ziek 26-Aug-16
loopmtz 30-Aug-16
Ziek 22-Sep-16
joehunter8301 22-Sep-16
razorhead 22-Sep-16
Florida Mike 22-Sep-16
LC Archer 22-Sep-16
Ziek 22-Sep-16
drycreek 22-Sep-16
wildwilderness 23-Sep-16
GhostBird 23-Sep-16
writer 24-Sep-16
Greg / MO 25-Sep-16
From: Ziek
24-Aug-16

Ziek's embedded Photo
Ziek's embedded Photo
I thought it would be interesting to share the results of my pronghorn shot this year. Pronghorns are about the same size as most whitetails and the hit was similar to some whitetail hits due to the resultant angle, so it should be pertinent to many bowhunters.

This is how he ended up. That is the front of the arrow sticking out. Not very impressive until you see what was hit, and the fact that he was already bugging out when the arrow arrived.

From: Ziek
24-Aug-16

Ziek's embedded Photo
Ziek's embedded Photo
Initially he was drinking in about the same location and stance as this little guy at about 22 yards. He was already gathering himself to leave as the arrow arrived, causing the hit to be a little high, and slightly quartering to.

From: Ziek
24-Aug-16

Ziek's embedded Photo
Ziek's embedded Photo
The arrow went through the back edge of the shoulder blade.

From: Ziek
24-Aug-16

Ziek's embedded Photo
Ziek's embedded Photo
Then through the center of the spine. I put the BH back into the hole after removing the back strap.

From: Ziek
24-Aug-16

Ziek's embedded Photo
Ziek's embedded Photo
This is the view from the inside. You can see the 150 gr VPA is almost completely engaged in bone, and the spine is completely broken.

The arrow exited the body cavity after cutting through the second to last rib.

From: Ziek
24-Aug-16

Ziek's embedded Photo
Ziek's embedded Photo
This is a photo of my BH, on the left, after recovery, and after it had been thrashed around in the muk for a while.

The one on the right was my wife's, a 125 gr VPA. Her hit was through the lungs at about 25 yards. However, her buck was also gathering himself to leave and after exiting, it re-entered the offside leg and shattered the femur.

Neither show any damage after hitting significant bone, and will be ready for service again after a quick touch-up.

From: Drahthaar
24-Aug-16
You can't beat a VPA broadhead. Forrest

From: LINK
25-Aug-16
Hard to beat VPA broad heads. If you would quit taking those 101 yard shots the goats wouldn't have time to move.;)

From: Bowfreak
25-Aug-16
Ziek,

I am not seeing the arrow in the first pic? It looks to me that your setup worked pretty darn good!

From: Mad_Angler
25-Aug-16
bowfreak, I think the arrow is the muddy thing sticking out the side of the lope

From: Bowfreak
25-Aug-16
LOL!!! It is obvious now....I thought it was a leg at first.

From: Ziek
25-Aug-16

Ziek's embedded Photo
Ziek's embedded Photo
Bowfreak. It's that wad of mud sticking out to the right (his left) in the photo. That goop is more like some kind of foul putty. We call these water holes, but cesspools would be more accurate. Every time these guys come in for water, they just wade out, drink, pi$$, and $hit before leaving. Fortunately, I was able to lasso his horn and didn't have to wade out to get him.

From: Glunt@work
25-Aug-16
Sorry, a non-vented fixed blade head cannot be tuned out of a modern compound and they don't get sharp enough. Obviously an elaborate photoshop job :^)

From: Paul@thefort
25-Aug-16
Nice Mike. Paul

From: deerslayer
25-Aug-16
"Pronghorns are about the same size as most whitetails "

Maybe if you're hunting in Florida! With the exception of the deep south, an average whitetail doe weighs 115-130 dressed out. The average antelope buck weighs that much on the hoof. I am still amazed how small pronghorns are compared to even an medium sized whitetail.

Regardless that's a great goat, and great result. Congrats!

From: Bowfreak
26-Aug-16
I think it is a more fair comparison given that Pronghorn bones are so strong. I don't think they are as tough as deer but nonetheless the information is pertinent.

From: Genesis
26-Aug-16
More of a tribute to quality arrow flight IMO...

From: Seminole
26-Aug-16
The 150 VPA is the m1 tank of broadheads. Great job!

From: Medicinemann
26-Aug-16
I think it's pretty cool that you were able to lasso him, instead of getting muddy in the retrieval!! Did you actually pack a rope with you for that reason?

From: Ziek
26-Aug-16
I always carry some strong cord in my kill kit, and that did the job on only the second throw.

Some thoughts on my set up. While arrow flight is very important, that kinda goes out the window if the target is moving rapidly when the arrow arrives, as is often the case, especially with some species like pronghorns. The force vectors change instantly, similar to an untuned arrow hitting a stationary target. My approach is to do everything to minimize the consequences of that.

First, by starting with proper tune. Then selecting a quality BH. The BH must not fail. Any edge or point damage during impact will severely impede further penetration. Design is also important. Vents do nothing to improve arrow flight out of a tuned bow. In fact, they create turbulence in flight. Turbulence increases drag. Extra drag at the front of the arrow is a destabilizing force. More significantly, they impede penetration by fowling in every tissue they penetrate, especially as the arrow starts to deflect from several forces at impact and while cutting. An un-vented head has no holes to fowl, resists deflection better, and is stronger.

How you drive that BH is also important. You need enough mass behind it to keep it moving. Mass is more important than speed. I target about 9 grains per pound of draw weight as a good compromise. My set up is about 8.5 and my wife, who shoots a much lighter bow so it's more important, is at about 9.5. A stiffer shaft also transfer energy more efficiently, aiding penetration.

Where that mass is concentrated is also a factor. Higher FOC creates more stable arrow flight and helps to minimize deflection at impact. I'm at about 15% and my wife is at almost !7%. All the weight in the tip would be ideal, but obviously that's impossible.

It's impossible to create the "perfect" arrow. All you can do is make compromises based on what you think is important, and the results you're willing to live with. Point integrity and arrow deflection during penetration are the two things that have the most impact on penetration. While the things you can do to improve terminal performance are limited and have to be balanced with other attributes, they add up when taken together. I don't do anything, no matter how trivial it seems, that negatively effects terminal performance without good reason.

I also bias my efforts to mitigate what I can't control during a shot. I have control up to the point the arrow is released. But no matter how disciplined you are in shot choice, you simply can't control what happens once the arrow leaves the string. That's why I bias towards terminal performance when making equipment choices.

From: loopmtz
30-Aug-16
Thanks.. Great info! Good job on the antelope!

From: Ziek
22-Sep-16
Brought to the top in response to 'Antelope scapula' thread.

22-Sep-16
Love my vpa. Shot an elk frontal at 16 yards. Arrow was right against back leg between hide an guts when it stopped. They penetrate amazing!! Gives me confidence to take those types of shots! Good stuff

From: razorhead
22-Sep-16
congrats on your goat,,,,, nice pics..... shoot what you believe in,,,, for me its a 125 grain Ram Cat,,, shot a ram last year, 42 yards, downhill shot, went thru the right quarter, thru and out the left shoulder.... VPA are very good heads, lots of good heads out there........ I shoot something that flies well for me,,,,,,,

your correct on the mass, that's why I shoot a fmj....

From: Florida Mike
22-Sep-16
FYI Lopes are bigger than Florida deer... But so are most german shepherds. Mike

From: LC Archer
22-Sep-16
Ziek Great shot on the goat. Can you share your total arrow weight and speed for additional reference? Thanks Dave

From: Ziek
22-Sep-16
Total arrow weight - 550 gr., FMJ 300. 238fps out of a 65# Hoyt CE.

From: drycreek
22-Sep-16
These Texas does will average 85 to 100 lb. field dressed, but I think whitetails are tougher than pronghorns normally. Always an exception to the rule though. My buddy busted one right through the lungs last year that ran 300 yd. before he gave it up. Of course, on the prairie, he was still in sight when he fell. I would have hated to track a whitetail in a thicket that far.

23-Sep-16
"Pronghorns are about the same size as most whitetails " I think this is very accurate for southern whitetails. Where I hunted in Southern Virginia we would weigh all the deer killed WHOLE. On average the does weighed 90Lbs "LIVE" weight, and the 2-3yr old bucks 120lbs "LIVE" weight.

Midwest and Canadian whitetails will be bigger for sure.

I have noticed poorer penetration on Pronghorn than whitetails though with the same equiptment.

From: GhostBird
23-Sep-16
Ziek... thanks for sharing your thoughts on broadheads. I concur. I'm shooting 150 grain unvented three blade VPAs and they are tough.

... oh, congratulations on the pronghorn!

From: writer
24-Sep-16
Genesis brings up a great point about perfect arrow flight.

From: Greg / MO
25-Sep-16
Midwest whitetals = 2x pronghorn.

Nice post still though; enjoyed your pics.

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