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Super heavy arrow speed
Anyone ever played with heavy arrows? I just started dabbling awhile back and did some chronographing this evening with the new bow was pretty impressed to say the least 232fps with a 828 grain arrow, 250FPS with a 728 grain arrow and 283fps with a 532 grain arrow! Thinking that 728 grainer will be this years elk arrow.
You are talking the path of the heavyweights that roamed the woods before us. Good luck. Arrow speed does not kill but it's weight will do the job.
What is the draw weight of your bow?
Super heavy arrows are a solution for a problem that in my estimation primarily exists on the internet (as opposed to in real life), so I personally don't feel the need. How many times have you experienced inadequate penetration on elk?
The 530 gr arrow is by far the best scenario.
Personally never, but it’s fun to play with and honestly Iv never read much about super heavy arrows on the Internet that’s why I brought the subject up. I don’t need a 84# bow or an 800 grain arrow To shoot an elk no one does but I have them and they are fun.
There is a ton of information on the internet (and on this site) on super heavy arrows, but there is a reason that most people only use them on dangerous game. They are overkill for NA game and the tradeoff in trajectory isn't worthwhile.
Your heaviest arrow is only 10 gr per pound of draw weight, that is not super heavy. That is what most consider a proper hunting weight with trad bows.
Matt the purpose of a heavy arrow is to absorb most of the bows energy.
And, as most rely on an expandable broadhead to help with an errant shot.
With Fubars set up he has more room for error towards the shoulder of and Elk and certain angles and shot are now an option.
Also with that set up there isn’t a bone in a deer’s body to be concerned about hitting. With the proper broadhead of course.
I would go with the 532 grain arrow, unless you plan on shooting 20 and under
At those speeds his heavier arrows would have relatively low arc out to 40 yards.
Fubar, what’s your bow?? I get 285fps at 71lbs w/505 gr. arrow out of Hoyt Carbon Spyder Turbo. Fly like darts. Just wondering why you have 13lbs more of draw to get similar fps.....
It’s a prime logic, some of them hoyts sure are quick but I never found a hoyt I get along with yet, especially the turbos.
Gotcha! I think you’ll be fine with any of your choices. When you’re confident, everything seems to work better!
“I would go with the 532 grain arrow, unless you plan on shooting 20 and under”
LMAO! You guys sure are spoiled with speed! There are a lot of good Barebow shooters who can shoot unmarked distances out to about 30-40 yards just fine at 165 or 170 FPS.
That said, if I could shoot 530 grains at 280 feeps from a stickbow without excessive noise and without turning it into an unexploded bomb and/or guaranteeing blown-out shoulders, I surely would like to give that a try.
I have NOTHING against speed per se; I just don’t much understand why anyone would hunt with an arrow under 400 grains or why people use arrows that are too fast to fly well with a fixed-blade head when they’re using a rangefinder anyway.
If I had access to Fubar’s equipment, though....
Leaving Tuning out of this for the time being, I would graph out arrow weight versus velocity from whatever the lightest arrow is that you can imagine using all the way up to the heaviest, preferably in about 20 grain increments. 10 would be even better, if you had the patience for it! Maybe the data would trend along a flat line, but I would expect that it would be some kind of a curve, and there’s a pretty good chance that you would be able to see a point at which velocity starts to drop a lot more quickly with every added increment of weight. Maybe so? Maybe so not… I know for certain that velocity stops increasing appreciably once you get light enough, because at some point you are approaching the dry fire speed of the bow.
With most things in life, there is always a Law of Diminishing Returns that will come into play at some point, and I try to avoid going noticeably past that.
When I hunted Australia, I used a 610 gr arrow out of a 67lb Hoyt Carbon Defiant; it was shooting 245 fps. Shooting heavy arrows really makes your bow quiet and dead in your hand.
The 530s ain’t spined for this bow so that’s a no go anyway but I shot the 728 out to 40 in a buddies shop this morning, and trajectory is pretty close to the 530 out of my old bow so I’m thinking that’s going to be a non issue.
I’ve hunted for the last couple years at 276 FPS and 555 grains of arrow with a 2 blade cut on contact. It kills elk. ;)
So does 434 grains @ 246 FPS, although I’m envious of you guys with gorilla arms. What I wouldn’t give for even an “average” draw length!
I’m a 28.25”. I too share your envy! It looks like I might be going to 180fps in the near future!
^^^^28.25”?! Heck, you’re one of those I’m envious of! I was 26 1/2” until my elbow surgery, now I’m a whopping 26”. I’ll trade ya anytime your want! ;-)
“What I wouldn’t give for even an “average” draw length!”
I’m 5’ 4” and draw #email@example.com”.....
How long is your DL?
Some of you guys kill me. ;-) My 65 year old, 5' tall, 100# wife shoots a 45# Carbon Element at 24 1/2" draw, with a 421 gr arrow at 199 fps. That's 9.4 gr/# with a 16.8% FOC. She has killed 6 of the Colorado Big 8, and 7 of the Big 9, including moose (she shot clean through a cow at just over 30 yards), only needing black bear and cougar to complete both. But then, she is a great bowHUNTER, and better than average shot. Skills and proper selection and set-up of equipment matter way more than arrow speed. Arrow speed is so far down the list, that it's really irrelevant.
Ziek my wife shoots a very similar setup Hoyt powermax 24 inch draw 505 grain arrow shot a cow at 24 yards last year and her arrow was stuck in a tree a few yards behind it.
Ziek, I agree with most of what you posted, but what kills me is when people dismiss speed as “irrelevant”. Regardless of how “irrelevant” some of you think, it’s still a factor in determining penetration potential, not to mention arrow trajectory. It certainly isn’t the end-all, be-all, but given the choice, I’d take a 450gr arrow @ 270 FPS over that same arrow @240 any day of the week.
You can kill an elk with a 223. Doesn’t mean it’s the best option. 4” will get it done, but most would choose 8”.
The extra mass is harder to stop after it gets going.
The heavier arrow will compensate for “things happening” between release and impact.
Have seen more than a few elk and even deer lost due to light arrows and poor broadhead choice with a little less than perfect impact.
Have seen a number of elk and bigger critters die from less than perfect shot placement with a heavier arrow and solid broadhead that penetrated and reached vitals.
Why not hedge your bet and go heavy?
"Matt the purpose of a heavy arrow is to absorb most of the bows energy."
No, it isn't. You are talking KE which has very little correlation to penetration. The reasons most guys chase heavy arrows in this day and age are to increase momentum and to a lesser degree chase the Ashby-centric bone breaking threshold (theorized to be around 650 grs.).
I still say that guys who are chasing heavy arrows for light/medium game are making unacceptable trade-off's and chasing a concept that isn't likely to yield a demonstrable benefit in the field (i.e. chasing a solution to a problem they do not have). Play around if you want to, but I've seen more guys screw themselves by changing things up frequently because they get bored or whatever than with settling on a balanced set-up in terms of arrow weight and speed and getting really comfortable with it.
Ashby would scoff at my arrows they are to balanced for his theory’s of extreme FOC. My thinking is if I’m shooting a 728 grain arrow at dang near the same trajectory that Iv been hunting with and gotten comfortable with the past few years, I’m actually changing less than I would be if I changed to a lighter arrow. I guess I feel like I’m not giving up anything more than what I’m used to but gaining penetration at the same time.
I shot 620 grain arrows for many years out of round wheel compounds in the 76-92# range. Usually around 220-235 fps depending on the draw weight and the bow.
Had a wild hair to borrow the money and go try to kill an elephant once. Upped the draw weight to 100# with different arrows weighing 800-1000 grains.
I measured penetration by how far my arrows stuck in the dirt on the far side of an whitetail. Angle of shot or bones didn't really matter.
Sounds like fubar has a mean machine with that set up!!
427 grs at 293 fps and 64 Lbs/30" draw .. I'm happy with that !!
Wait, your buddy has a 40 yard range in his shop? That's awesome!
No he just let me set up a target and shoot along side his semi
“The heavier arrow will compensate for ‘things happening’ between release and impact.”
“Why not hedge your bet and go heavy?”
Well, up to a point, right?
Two things come to mind. First is that there is something to be said for a set-up that reduces the amount of time available for “things” to “happen”.
Of course, cutting the shot distance to under 35-40 yards is quite effective in that regard....
And a flatter trajectory can also help improve precision in shot placement when you have to hold between the pins (or you’re not using any anyway).
That said... We’ve got a guy on Leatherwall who is as serious a student of Archery as I’ve come across, and he has run a whole bunch of experiments in which he keeps coming back to 9.4 GPP as providing the greatest amount of penetration from any given bow. And he’s not the only one to come out right around 9...
I have no idea what the optimum might be for Compounds, but I’ll bet that it’s NOT the 5 GPP that’s responsible for the crazy fast speeds they advertise....
The problem with light arrows (JMO) is that if the arrow is “too fast” to tune with a fixed-blade head and you “cure” that with an expandable, then you have a great deal of resistance in the front and no mass to drive it from the rear. P
Point being, it is not a given that a heavier arrow will necessarily penetrate better than a lighter arrow from the same bow.
The hard part is that nobody seems to be able to agree on what test medium is the best substitute for live tissue.....
“The hard part is that nobody seems to be able to agree on what test medium is the best substitute for live tissue.....”
Here’s a radical thought. Shoot a reasonable arrow weight at a reasonable speed at live tissue. That way you can spend your time worrying about things that really matter.
In the off season?? What are you, NUTS???
I shoot about 575 grains - that arrow hits like a Mac truck! Funny thing is we keep talking trajectory - I rarely shoot a deer past 20 and elk less than 30....
Sounds like a plan, Lee!
Gotta day, though.... you guys who shoot high-efficiency 70-pounder comppunds are looking at about TWICE the KE of a #60-#65 recurve or LB.
So it’s a bit mind-blowing to me that you ever DON’T get a pass-through - almost as if you’d have to deliberately hamstring it....
I guess there’s a limit to how much weight I feel like I need in that shaft, but there’s a limit to how much speed is really useful as well. Too light an arrow just leads to excess noise and penetration problems, so I’m always open to a happy medium...
A "balanced" set-up for any given bow is about 9-10 grains of arrow weight per pound of draw weight, and take whatever speed that gives. Higher FOC will also help. Unvented blades fly just like vented out of a tuned set-up and don't foul hair and tissue on impact. 3-blade COC heads deflect less at impact than 2 (and there is almost always some amount of deflection at impact). Stiffer dynamic spine at IMPACT transfers energy more efficiently. And you're bowhunting - keep your shots at bowhunting distances. That is the recipe for success. Control what you can, and maximize your chances for success for things you can't control. The one absolute is you can NEVER control what/where your arrow actually hits, no matter how hard you try. Maximizing penetration potential and shorter shot distances can make a difference.
Hmm, Ive been blowing thru deer/big deer for 20+ years using arrows from 375-425ish grs at speed of 270-310 fps using both fixed and Rocket Mechs .. .... never for a need for a heavy arrow and my fixed heads always flew great, but then again I know how to tune a bow ... I prefer my GoldTip Hunter or Velocity XT arrows 6-ish gpi range ... they dont fail me ... I would only go to 450-475 grs for elk/moose/grizz. using a performance compound qnd a good COC head... hell, I quit 70lbs 10 yrs back .. 60-65lbs will do the job on any critter in North America ... ... ..
Hard to find any fault with what Ziek wrote.
One thought for JTV: a calf Elk is a damn big deer.
28/60 471 grains @ 250fps out of Carbon Icon perfect balance for NA game in my opinion. Draws like butter and so light you don’t mind carrying it. I lost two with light arrows with what looked like good shots and vowed never to go back light again.
JTV I can agree with you to some extent. If you only hunt whitetail deer, it's not AS important. They are about the easiest big game to penetrate. But many of us hunt larger game regularly, and I don't want to have different set-ups for different critters, when one set-up will work BEST for all hunting. In any case, I prefer to strive for best results, not just adequate. And I would be surprised if EVERY deer you hit resulted in a complete pass through, or even that you recovered EVERY deer you hit. That would be extraordinary no matter your set-up, unless the 3 deer in your photos are 20 year's worth.
"Hard to find any fault with what Ziek wrote. One thought for JTV: a calf Elk is a damn big deer."
And yet ladies are blowing through them with 429 gr. arrows at 199 fps.
Do you think the arrows know that they are at 9.4 gr/lb. of draw weight? The theory seems silly.
I'm somewhere around 90 archery killed deer (bucks and Does) thru the years (32 yrs bow hunting)(130 or so including firearms) .. I take less deer now yearly which is only one or two as that is my two archery tags, my kill for thrill and high numbers are over with ..... the 20+ years back I speak of was when I started using Carbon Arrows exclusively, the very first year Gold Tip started making internal component Carbons.. ie : Hunter XT's or what ever they were called back then.. a year or two using ACC's also, which I still have 9 left from those years back ..... there were some kills that were not complete pass thru's, like this year kill, but the penetration was still very good considering a few spine hits which required a follow up.... I will say, Ive never lost a deer due to not getting enough penetration, and yes, most kills were two holes or pass thrus ... with the handful lost and it is just a handful, there are some good complete misses also ;0( , the losses were high or low hits and I would say the critter 'prolly lived .. I did say that if I went for larger game I'd go heavier and stick with COC heads, but I sure as hell would not increase draw weight, I'm fine with 62-64 lbs till I cant draw that any longer ... hell, guys are killing LARGE game with traditional gear that generates a portion of the KE/MO I get now or would get if I used a heavier arrow (450-475grs) .. I'm not hunting Cape Buffalo or such, then and only then do I see the need for extreme weight ... I will also say, short draw/low poundage shooters will benefit from a slightly heavier arrow and also by using a good fixed head, preferably a COC ...
A 395 gr arrow flying at 295 fps shoots through mature bull elk at 30 yds no problem.
950gr, FMJ-DJ, shot from a Mathews Halon 32/6 at 66lbs-198fps. Got 25" of penetration on a Cape Buffalo W/ Bishop single bevel B-Head.
“Do you think the arrows know that they are at 9.4 gr/lb. of draw weight? The theory seems silly.”
YOUR “theory”, as I understand it, is ENTIRELY absurd.
The reason 9.4 GPP seems to work out well has nothing to do with Sentient arrows; that just seems to be about the sweet spot for efficiency for stickbows.
So, that means someone shooting 45 lbs of "stickbow" draw weight should be ideally shooting a 405 gr arrow assuming 9 grns per lb draw weight?
Yet, that same arrow with a compound set at 60 lbs and flying at 280 fps is too light...
Sure as hell dosnt reason does it ^^
Comparing stickbow “sweet spot for efficiency” with that of a compound is apples and oranges.
It makes sense if you know what we're talking about. It's not about what might work, but about maximizing your set-up for best penetration potential. If all you can pull is 45#, you either accept the limitations of that set-up, or don't hunt at all. I personally wouldn't shoot at any big game with a 45# long bow. It's just too marginal. And it doesn't matter whether you're shooting a long bow, recurve, or compound. 9 - 10 grains of arrow weight per pound of draw weight is a good rule of thumb for maximizing penetration potential with any bow and draw weight. And that is way more important than a few more feet per second. It's also not as critical shooting a higher energy bow (compound) at higher draw weights. My set-up is 65# Carbon Element at 28" with a 550 grain arrow at 15% FOC. That's about 8.5 grains/#. It chronos at 238 fps. If I went to 60#, I would shoot the same arrow at whatever speed it shot because penetration potential would be MORE important. ANY speed you get out of a compound bow at typical poundages with 9 grains per pound of draw weight, plus or minus a bit, is plenty fast enough. Arrow speed is the LAST thing you should be concerned about.
Actually, arrow speed should be a concern. Where do you think momentum comes from? And once arrow speed drops off, so does momentum. If an arrow starts out slow, it doesn't build momentum down the line, it looses momentum. Do you really think you've got the same momentum 3 feet in front of your bow as you do at 20 yards? Momentum calculators and chronographs show you exactly how many slugs you loose at 20 yards.
You’re right , Ziek. You’ve got it all figured out and the rest of the world are idiots. As I’ve said time after time...shoot an arrow of reasonable weight at a reasonable speed and you’re good to go. According to what you pass on as gospel, I need to shoot a 574gr arrow to “maximize” my penetration potential. Bullshit.
I really thought that 728 arrow at 250 was smoking
Now you’re talking pure HERESY, Ziek!!!!
fubar, compared to me...you are! In fact, you’re faster than me shooting an arrow that weighs darn near 300gr heavier! I always wondered why I just keep bouncing off those elk and moose. Now I know! SMH!
"If all you can pull is 45#, you either accept the limitations of that set-up, or don't hunt at all."
Well that sucks! Guess my teenage daughter doesn't get to bowhunt next year, or maybe we just have to keep shots under 20 yds.
Who cares about loss of efficiency of a mechanical system. The same 9 gpp arrow from the 45# bow is just as adequate for the 60# bow. The trade-off is more speed from the 60# and yes, speed does matter.
Matters, yes; Be-All, End-All, not so much.
The good things about mass are:
1) You don’t lose any
2) Mass = Inertia, which helps stave off the speed-robbing effects of Drag
Everybody likes a flat trajectory (well, mostly),but if a somewhat heavier arrow quiets your bow by extracting more of the stored energy and carries more of that energy farther down-range, then what’s not to like?
3) Drag increases exponentially with velocity
So the smart money is to use an arrow that carries the most momentum at the ranges at which you expect to be shooting.... And fer Pete’s sake, use a broadhead that will give you two holes whenever you miss really thick bones and won’t fall apart when you do hit them.
This is next level thinking but, likely practiced by many more here then not. How about just getting an arrow that tunes to your setup, buy the broadhead you want to use, get everything setup, and go shoot it through stuff? Because what we do here in the lower 48, all this GPP, FOC, etc... out of a compound setup and traditional setups being drawn farther then 25-26 inches, is just fireside debate. It really is.
I understand preferences. I also understand that there are optimum arrow setups for every bow/arrow combo. But, indians killed stuffs with rocks, spears and with bows and arrows that won't come close to today's lowest draw weight trad bow performance. No matter what you use, attempting to kill stuff with bows and arrows means that sometimes, things don't work out right. With any particular setup. So, trying to base an extreme choice on what we likely can't control is not sound preparation.
Easton made 2 different size arrows: 2240 and 2440.
Gotta take you to task a little, WV - Getting tired of people dismissing Stone Points as mere “rocks” when a well-made flint point is WAAAY sharper than the very finest steel scalpel....
I agree about some of it, though; doesn’t matter how efficiently the bow transfers energy to the arrow of the arrow comes off the rest flying sideways or if the bow sounds like a door slamming shut. Doesn’t matter how fast your arrow flies if the bow is loud enough, and it doesn’t matter how quiet your bow is if the trajectory prevents you from being able to hit the target.
I like to keep is simple - start out with some horsepower to spare so you can afford to give up a little efficiency for the sake of tuning and sound suppression. I still DON’T understand using a broadhead that promises to impede penetration unnecessary, but stickbows are apples & oranges....
One more thought....
Every bow puts out X, similar to how each of us has our own level of strength.
When it’s time to split a cord of wood (or a single log, for that matter)....
Do you reach for a camp axe? Or a Maul??
Dang it GF, making me agree with you... #10lb maul, for decades. wyobullshooer, I think I'm your new level of envy: 31 in draw plus D-loop , lol.
505gr at 289fps, the biggest issue I have is trying to find my arrow after it passes through an elk! Only twice has an elk held the arrow with this set-up, one was a total srew-up shot where I still recovered the poor guy, and a frontal but that 32" arrow was completely inside him, found the nock end after rolling the rib meat. Mass over speed but both IF you can!
In 1994 I was shooting 237 fps at 83# with a 450 grain arrow at 29" draw on a Browning Mag Reflex. I don't know the OPs draw length but assuming they are close, and making some other reasonable extrapolations, roughly a 20 to 25% increase in speed in 25 years. So roughly 1% per year performance improvement. I think the best years of archery technology improvements are behind us and we are approaching a much flatter part of the improvement curve.
My arrow is around 460 grains but I only get 244 fps due to my 27.5 inch draw length and the design of my bow (long brace height). I will bring that arrow to the archery shop whenever I buy a new bow, just to see what the performance difference is. The best characteristic of my current rig is that it is whisper quiet - it needs to be, given its speed. V/R - Rich
I used to shoot an 85# draw weight compound with 31" draw, 900 garain total arrow weight. I was getting 215 FPS. Shooting barebow I was very effective out to 30 yards and with Zwickey Delta broadheads I got pass throughs on everything including big hogs no matter the shot angle
Impressive performance on all of those Fubar! I'd probably go with the 728 grain arrow or I'd probably try to build an arrow that would get me around the 270 fps range.
I’m actually onto a new build that will be in the low 700s the 728 was a 6 fletch arrow just for messing around with 6 fletch new arrow will be same shaft but 4 fletch and a 7” wrap with 315 up front thinking it should be around 715 total.
For Cape buffalo, I used 975 grain arrow at 200 FPS, with 74 pound bow. Last fall, 510 grain arrow at 255 FPS, 64 pound bow. The arrow went through the elk about as far as the elk ran after being skewered. I’m in to a compromise on arrow weight and speed. For all but the toughest game, I like arrow weight, 500 grains, plus/minus 20 grains, and speed, 260-280 FPS.
Blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, bla. heavier arrows between 9-12 granins is for recurves/longbows for folks chasing elk. The stinny arrows out of a ugly compound is just that for compounds to generate the speed. I like big sticks and cannot deny. 6 deer and 19 elk now with a heavy arrow out of recurve suits me just fine. Oh pound for pound shooting a recurve or compound at 10 grns per is not that much faster. coumpounds need the light arrows for speed. Recurves the heavy for pass thrus.