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What is arrow index?
Just read an article that mentioned arrow index. What is it?
Carbons have a side that is slightly thicker and stiffer due to its “seam” . Indexing would be to load all your arrows “seam” up. Its hard to figure out where the seam is without a spine testing machine so I don’t do it. Maybe someone wiser can give you a better response but I tried. Lol
I have not done it myself, but I remember another poster here saying something like floating unfletched arrows in a tub which results with the arrows settling heavy side down, and light side up. Then Mark's and fletches them all the same for a more consistent flight from one arrow to the next.
You can use a spine tester but that only measures static spine. For dynamic spine testing shoot bare shafts at 20 yards and index the nocks so they hit the same. There will usually be a cpl that need indexing. I shot Vegas rounds for 2 days with barshaft “spine alligned” victory’s. Most were good but several needed a tweak. There is a seam on all Easton aluminum arrows as well. They roll flat coil stock into tube and weld the seam as it exits the rollers.
Same coneptt in fly rod building. One end on a flat surface, tilt at 45 degrees, flex a bit and roll. you'll feel it.
JTV- I would say that archery is as much a mental discipline as repeated mechanics. If that's true, then improving and achieving a mastery over many small and arguable things is more about confidence translating to accuracy. We're saying the same thing really but I'm an advocate of 'getting your head right' through eliminating variables and knowing your equipment is as perfect as you can make it. This allows you to focus on body mechanics and delivery.
The worst radial spine variation I've run into was with Easton Axis shafts. The fliers typically were quite noticeable, even at 20 yards, and with fletched shafts. Usually the fliers could be fixed by indexing the 3-fletched arrow either 120 or 240 degrees. I never went so far as to try and find the stiff side before fletching, because most of the time the errant flight could be cured with a simple twist of the nock. I've yet to see this problem with the Gold Tip Kinetic Kaos shafts that I shoot now.
IMHO... people have killing stuff with a bow and arrow for longer than all our combined ages put together! I would stop over thinking things. Go practice shooting at your max range plus 10 yards, weed out the crap arrows and stop obsessing about the little stuff! 98% of us couldn't tell the difference between a perfect arrow and one that is 90% perfect! 99% of errors are human induced, not the equipment!
I have killed stuff way out there with off the shelf aluminum arrows with mediocre broadheads back in the day!
Unless you are a big money, dead on shooter, you will never know the difference!
I'm with JTV..
I've been shooting victory arrow since before they put the spine alignment on them. I set them up using the spine alignment and really see no difference.
I hope folks are not saying that nock tuning is a myth.
I believe the smaller the diameter of the arrow, the smaller the core. Thus smaller tolerance regarding spine.
Based on my setup with small diameter arrows and the poundage I am shooting, indexing each arrow makes a difference for my setup.
I think of it as an aircraft CG envelope. The heavier the aircraft the tighter the CG envelope becomes.
Several years ago I read an article from Michelle ragsdale, her view was its noise about nothing
If “average” can’t see a difference, average isn’t very good.
I’m convinced there is a difference. It might be small but there is a difference. I have a spine tester. I’ve noticed that shafts that have very little deviation in spine are much more accurate than ones that are not. And it doesn’t matter in the super strait ones that don’t deviate. But the ones that clearing have a stiff side it’s helps to fletch them and shoot them with the same Shaft orientation. I spine index before I fletch arrows. I think it makes a difference in accuracy. If you don’t believe it works I guess you have never Had an arrow that didn’t group or shoot that well and rotate the nock and then have that arrow group with other Arrows.
I index the spine and index the fletchings to fixed broad heads. I’ve seen the difference it makes on a shooting machine. It’s more significant than some think.
I know smaller companies like Black Eagle will allow you to send arrows back that don’t fall into the advertised spine or straightness perimeters.
It’s only for the super anal people that say 1/2 MOA isn’t good enough.
They want to remove every imperfection. Then the only deviation is coming from the shooter.
Things like attaching the release to the loop in the exact spot every time.
Serving the loop so you can’t have the release attached at the top of the loop one shot and towards the bottom on the next.
Of course not needed for angle of whitetail accuracy. But gives the anal tinkerer something to tweak. For small improvements.
It’s kinda like a guy how likes to build the best load for a muzzle loader. And the modern ammo loader building a custom load for each individual rifle.
I try to eliminate any variables no matter how minute the difference they make. If nothing else it works in my head that I have done my best up to the point where I need to do my best in shooting the dumb thing. TMBB
"Several years ago I read an article from Michelle Ragsdale; her view was it's noise about nothing."
I also remember that article. It made a lot of sense. IIRC she said to skip the bathtub stuff and just shoot your arrows. If one doesn't behave, toss it.
If I remember correctly, the Ragsdale's also advocated intentionally de-tuning target bows, so they'd "kick" the arrows the same way each time. They were great target shooters, but I never put much faith in their technical advice.
I think the better tuners index them.
The same principle applies to graphite golf shafts. Proper positioning of shaft in golf club head to get max performance out of the shaft is called “truing”. It works to.
The people here who don't think that indexing arrows is important must not have shot traditional bows nor ever built a fishing rod. The traditional bows show it clearly in arrows that deviate left or right of the other arrows. If you build a heavy fishing rod with the spine in the wrong orientation it will try to twist out of your hands when fighting a big fish. As others mentioned, Victory shafts are excellent quality.
I’ve had success just looking through the inside of a bare shaft with a light. You can see the seam in there. Hope that helps. :)
This is probably a dumb question but has anybody done this with full metal jacket arrows? I ran them through my spine tester and essentially discovered no detectable difference.
I have both (victory vforce arrows) with the spine alignment and the older with out.. I can shoot them both and they just group the same for me. Will I continue to setup the new ones with the alignment, Yes.. But just didn't fine mine to shoot different. Maybe it's just the shooter?? :) Ed
My arrows are built with the stiffest side up. Intent is to match all arrows as close as possible.
During broadhead practice from 40+ yards or so, I found one arrow wasn't grouping. It was fine with a fieldpoint. Spun it, no wobble. Then noticed I fletched that arrow (previously with 3 vanes) about 45 degrees off. I messed up.
Refletched the arrow and it grouped the same.
As I recall, our shooting machine testing was done at 40 yards. We did bare shafts with field tips first. By indexing the nock to the spine the 3 arrow groups improved significantly. Then, we tested the same arrows with fletchings and fixed broad-heads, both indexed and not. Again, the arrows with indexed fletchings grouped better, but less significantly as spine indexing. Overall, the results were conclusive enough for me to do both spine and fletch indexing.
I have an arrow roller. Prior to fletching I roll my arrow shafts to find the high/low point then fletch them all the same. Only occasionally...at least with the shafts I use...is there no high/low point...in other words a perfectly balanced shaft. Does it make a difference...probably not but at least I'm eliminating one variable.
Good video, Jeff, but I would have included a bit more on indexing fixed broad-heads to the fletchings after you spine index. I do it by screwing the insert onto the broad-head, first. Then I use a slow drying glue to install the insert into the arrow. That way, I can spin the broad-head/insert combo until it's indexed perfectly with the fletchings. You can do it with the quick dying super glue, too, but you have to be quick at, and it's easy to not get them perfect before the glue sets up.
In 30 years of making arrows this way, using quality shafts, I've never had a "bad" arrow that I had to weed out of my quiver. If I lose an arrow, I just grab the next one out of my case with complete confidence it will fly true.
Small known weights hanging from from the center of a shaft. While slowly spinning is a cheaper way. If you don’t have the machine shown in the video.
I have a tool similar to the one in the video, now, but I used the bathtub method for years before I got it. The tub method is really pretty easy and accurate. The key is plugging each end of the arrow, so that water doesn't get inside the shaft and hinder the results. I used golf tees for the plugs, which added a little extra buoyancy to the shaft. Just place the shaft gently into the water without submerging any portion of them. The spine will consistently roll the shaft until it's at the very bottom side. Then mark and fletch just like Jeff's video suggested.
Can't remember if it was Pearson or Ulmer who told me how to do the water float method. I did it for years when I was shooting 3d. Frank Pearson had a shop in Vail . I lived in Tucson and he kinda took me under his wing for a few years. Ulmer sometimes was down there as they were good buds.
May well have been Ulmer..Frank had never emptying cases of finished arrows that Easton supplied him with. Shot a few 3d tournaments with him, he never turned in his card . These were just smaller southern Arizona tournaments and way under his class. Although 3d was never his specialty.
I used a tub that wall paper hangers use for soaking. A couple drops of dish soap helps to break the surface tension. I also sorted a new batch of shafts by weight splitting them into closely matching 6 packs. Sometimes there was little variance, sometimes there was. IMO it is very effective but not needed for hunting accuracy
I used to shoot practice quite often At the PSE range at their factory. It was handy and on the way home from work. Michelle Ragsdale was often out there shooting in the afternoon. Her and Terry were both really nice good people even though she'd tease me about my Mathews (I'd switched from PSE mainly just to be different as Tucson was a PSE town) .. Anyway back then I always thought she was super HOT. ;) And she could shoot lights out. Just meandering about the old days. LOL
Frank shoots our Safari every summer. He'll probably be here for a month since the Nat's are in Derrington this year. He's still doing pretty well; Becky bought him a Tesla.
Good to hear that Frank is still doing well. Man he's gotta be old by now. I'm 72 and he's quite a bit older than me. It's been about 12 or 13 years since I left Tuscon and I had some medical issues before that. He thought I should shoot the senior Olympics never did of course. Seems like they go by 4 year gaps in age classes and I"m thinking he's at least 8 years older than me more like 12.
Haven't seen him in near 20 years I guess. Doubt he'd even remember. He's known lots and lots of folk.
The way I met him was my wife bought hour or so lesson from him for my birthday. Turned out to be 6:30 til midnight. LOL. First thing we did was tear my Mathews apart to check everything, rolling axles on flat granite, etc. (mine was flawless,whew) His thinking is eliminate every possible mechanical equipment inconsistency first. Then any inaccuracy is the shooter and can be corrected. Level of expertise depends on your natural ability of course in the final summary.
Somebody mentioning Ragsdale got me thinking back I guess. Hadn't thought about it in forever.
Should mention the instant flaw correction he fixed in me was poor follow through. He told me to shoot like 100 people were watching me and my form It worked for me. ;)
It depends how the brand of arrow is made. Some don't have any "index" such as Carbon Tech and other woven styles.
A pricey tool but extremely valuable for building arrows.
You can find the stiffest side.
Then reconfigure the tool to help with truing up the insert or outsert assembly stage.
Indexing or nock tuning absolutely works. Static spine testing has shown unreliable results for me, dynamic spine testing is what one needs to concentrate on. Number your arrows and shoot them all through paper or bare shaft, out of a dozen they WILL NOT be the same, a twist of the nock here and there, brings them all in conformity, it's not up for debate, from my experience. The exceptions are the FMJ's , ACC, and aluminum's, but they will still benefit from nock tuning as all nocks are not created equal either...
FP's not so noticeable, put fixed heads on and you will see the need. Static spine is like measuring the bravado of a man before battle, dynamic is measuring it after he gets punched in the face....Wapiti Bob has it correct, IMO. YMMV
I've been indexing for several years and fletch stiff side up. I'm not convinced it makes a huge difference but it adds one more step of consistency and that gives me more confidence. Definitely doesn't hurt....except for the initial purchase...that hurt a little. $$
Most shooters are not accurate enough not consistent enough to know whether indexing arrows makes any difference. Just build with quality shafts and don't worry about it......imho...
The archers on this site are all accurate and consistent enough to know. We are the elite.
Yeah Bou......I reckon so...
I saw a video, not too long after the Hooter Shooter came out, of indexing arrows for grouping. They grabbed a bunch of shafts, numbered them then shot them all. They brought the flyers back into the group by turning the nocks.
When I shot the Beeman ICS Hunters, it was "necessary" to spine check, fletch accordingly then cull the couple of flyers. I quit checking static spine after going to the Axis and checking them through several batches. (mine and other's)
Shooting the shafts is really the best way to determine dynamic spine orientation, if you are a very good shooter. Otherwise, invest in a Hooter Shooter and be completely confident. Or turn your draw board into one.
On the whole shooter accuracy aspect, I'd argue there a lot of archers who are accurate and consistent enough to notice a difference from indexing. I've known many spot archers who didn't even need to walk down range to score their arrows, because they knew exactly where the arrow would be in the target the moment they released it . They could tell you if an arrow was in the dime-sized X ring, cutting it, or just out, based solely on their execution of the shot. Those guys routinely "retired" arrows when they shot the spine out of them and they started becoming less accurate.