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Compound shooting aluminum?
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Contributors to this thread:
RD in WI 15-Dec-22
fdp 15-Dec-22
Jaquomo 15-Dec-22
12yards 15-Dec-22
DanaC 15-Dec-22
fdp 15-Dec-22
EmbryOklahoma 15-Dec-22
Boreal 15-Dec-22
Jaquomo 15-Dec-22
Lost Arra 15-Dec-22
Cheesehead Mike 15-Dec-22
fdp 15-Dec-22
12yards 15-Dec-22
Toonces 15-Dec-22
Jaquomo 15-Dec-22
fdp 15-Dec-22
Bigdog 21 15-Dec-22
RD in WI 15-Dec-22
RD in WI 15-Dec-22
x-man 15-Dec-22
fdp 15-Dec-22
fuzzy 15-Dec-22
Bigdog 21 15-Dec-22
RD in WI 15-Dec-22
Matt 15-Dec-22
fdp 15-Dec-22
WhattheFOC 15-Dec-22
RD in WI 15-Dec-22
Jaquomo 15-Dec-22
fdp 15-Dec-22
badbull 15-Dec-22
WV Mountaineer 15-Dec-22
fuzzy 15-Dec-22
RD in WI 15-Dec-22
TGbow 15-Dec-22
Cheesehead Mike 15-Dec-22
fdp 15-Dec-22
Bigdog 21 16-Dec-22
fuzzy 16-Dec-22
MDW 16-Dec-22
Grey Ghost 16-Dec-22
fdp 16-Dec-22
goyt 16-Dec-22
Ironbow 16-Dec-22
Corax_latrans 16-Dec-22
MPDH 16-Dec-22
Jaquomo 16-Dec-22
Bowfreak 16-Dec-22
WV Mountaineer 17-Dec-22
Bigdog 21 17-Dec-22
PushCoArcher 17-Dec-22
tm 17-Dec-22
DanaC 17-Dec-22
fdp 17-Dec-22
RonP 17-Dec-22
DanaC 17-Dec-22
WV Mountaineer 17-Dec-22
x-man 17-Dec-22
Corax_latrans 17-Dec-22
[email protected] 17-Dec-22
jjs 17-Dec-22
Bigdog 21 17-Dec-22
ahunter76 17-Dec-22
From: RD in WI
15-Dec-22
Are there any compound shooters out there shooting aluminum arrows for hunting? I am considering an aluminum experiment this off-season and wonder how the aluminum shooters are faring in their journey. Thank you upfront for any advice or insight you are willing to share. Just for general information, I am currently shooting a carbon arrow - Victory VAP Elite .166 with the 95 grain stainless steel insert. Thanks again.

From: fdp
15-Dec-22
Yes....they work just peachy and have for 50 or so years. The material the arow is made from is of little importance as compared to how well it is matched/tuned to the bow.

From: Jaquomo
15-Dec-22
Why? Only reason I could see for going back to aluminum would be for price if I was destitute. Carbons recover quicker from paradox. They are either straight or broken. They (theoretically) deliver energy more efficiently.

Back when I switched to carbons for my trad bows, I got all kinds of grief from some of the jerks on the Leatherwall. "Might as well just shoot a compound", said one mushbrain. Then after George D. Stout declared carbons were acceptable in the religious dogma of the time, tons of trad shooters discovered the advantages, and carbon became grudgingly accepted by all but the checked flannel shirt/fedora crowd.

From: 12yards
15-Dec-22
I shot aluminum arrows from the late 1970s until 2007. I've shot carbon ever since. My lethality has not changed but my arrows have lasted much better since switching to carbon.

From: DanaC
15-Dec-22
"Why?"

Easier to hit weight if you're looking for 'heavy' without front-loading/high foc.

From: fdp
15-Dec-22
Aluminum arrows offer much better precision in spine matching, they also are superior in weight consistency, they offer a far wider range of spine offerings than are offered in carbon shafts, and they are physically heavier than carbon typically which can be an advantage.

All of those things aren't necessarily of paramount importance when shooting a compound due to the tuneability factor, but those are all attributes that they have.

15-Dec-22
X2 - 12yards. I shot Easton 2315 game getters from 1992-2005. Killed a bunch of animals, but moving to carbon has sure helped the pocket book or at least let me hunt with an arrow more than once. Unless it was a pass-they, they were bent or broken.

OP… you say you’re going to experiment, can you expound on your reasoning?

From: Boreal
15-Dec-22

Boreal's embedded Photo
Boreal's embedded Photo
Shoot FMJ or A/C/Cs get the best of both worlds and don't worry about this. :)

From: Jaquomo
15-Dec-22
Dana, that's a myth. Various thicknesses of weedeater string, or weight tubes, allow infinite weight choices in carbons without affecting spine, FOC, arrow flight.

Ftp, yes, aluminum arrows come in a wide variety of spine choices because aluminum is not nearly as forgiving as carbons. They flex way more coming off the string, so precise spine matching is critical.

From: Lost Arra
15-Dec-22
Jaquomo: " Carbons recover quicker from paradox. They are either straight or broken. "

Or lost :-)

15-Dec-22
I shot XX78 2413's through 2009. I never had any problem with them and still have a bunch including the Super Slam Selects with the bottleneck on the nock end. In 2010 I switched to carbon for one year and in 2011 I switched to FMJ's and never looked back...

From: fdp
15-Dec-22
"They flex way more coming off the string, so precise spine matching is critical.".....no, they don't. A carbon arrow with a static deflection rating/spine of .340 flexes EXACTLY the same amount as an aluminum arrow with a static deflection rating of .340, or even a wooden or glass arrow for that matter. That's what spine is. Now...do carbons recover from that flexing faster than aluminum? Maybe, but I've never seen any slow motion footage that verifies that to be the case. Putting things inside a tubular shaft, particularly things that can and will move like weed eater line, etc. is a poor substitute for weight in the shaft. And yes....it does affect spine. It doesn't necessarily affect the static spine which is what is measured on a spine tester, but it does have an affect (no matter how little or how big) on the dynamic spine which is how the arrow behaves when it is shot. And if you can get the arrow the weight you want it without adding anything to it, why wouldn't you do that?

From: 12yards
15-Dec-22
DanaC, I would also say that there are carbon arrows out there where you can build a heavy arrow, similar to aluminum w/o front loading too much. Carbon Express Dstroyer Piledrivers will get you right up there as will some of the carbons marketed to trad archers from Gold Tip and Easton.

From: Toonces
15-Dec-22
I shot carbon for a while, went back to aluminums. They seemed straighter, easier to build and tune. I don't see any reason to shoot carbons over aluminums.

From: Jaquomo
15-Dec-22
From Archery Business: "Carbon shafts are stiffer than comparable aluminum arrows, meaning they recover quicker from flexing that occurs once the shaft is released. This in turn makes bow tuning simpler because a single-size carbon shaft will tune perfectly for a wider range of draw weight/arrow length combinations than aluminum arrows will." There are plenty of slo-mo videos of carbon vs. aluminum recovery. There are many reasons why competitive shooters use carbon, paradox being only one of them.

Not sure where you get the idea that weight tubes or weedeater string moves inside the shaft, but they don't. And paper tuning with and without string or tubes proves that adding weight the full length of the arrow does nothing to affect the dynamic spine. Adding weight on the tip, OTOH, definitely affects the dynamic spine.

My question to you is, have you ever shot carbons weighted with string or tubes?

But the bigger question is, why mess around figuring out the exact aluminum shaft when tuning is undeniably simpler with carbon shafts, penetration is demonstrably better, and they are more durable?

I shot aluminum for decades. Then a better solution came along.

From: fdp
15-Dec-22
I've shot carbons and aluminums weighted with tubes (home made and commercial) weed eater line, rope, wooden dowels, and other things as well.

From: Bigdog 21
15-Dec-22
Tried carbon wasn't happy. 2315 for 40 years never let me down. X7 2312 for 3-d

From: RD in WI
15-Dec-22
Thank you for all the replies. My main interest is an accuracy comparison. I shoot a .001 straight, micro-diameter carbon arrow with about 17% FOC. This arrow shoots very well for me. In truth, I shoot this arrow better than I did the Easton A/C/C. I want to see if I can shoot aluminum arrows equally well in outdoor settings. I was hoping that current aluminum shooters could give me some insights on issues they have - fletching clearance and the like.

From: RD in WI
15-Dec-22
Cheesehead Mike: Have you shot better with the FMJs or is your shooting equally good regardless of the arrow material?

From: x-man
15-Dec-22
I've never heard of a carbon tuning fork... just saying

All of that resonating vibration in an aluminum shaft is robbing energy from that arrow that is not lost from a carbon arrow, all else equal. Ninth grade physical science education should be plenty to figure that out. ;)

From: fdp
15-Dec-22
"fletching clearance and the like."...fletching clearance is about correct/proper tune and has nothing to do with the material the arrow is made from. You can get complete total clearance from wooden arrows, fletched with plastic vanes, shot off the shelf of a non centershot longbow which should be the worst combination imaginable.

The amount of centershot that exists in a modern compound, and to a lesser degree in a modern Olympic ILF riser creates a degree of forgiveness in arrow spine that is unprecedented.

I've never seen a carbon tuning fork either. But by the same token I've never seen a wooden one either.

From: fuzzy
15-Dec-22
Before 1997 I used to stack aluminum arrows in the 10 ring off a compound and have killed lots of critters with them too.

From: Bigdog 21
15-Dec-22
Aluminum has put many animals down and yes even pass threw. Long before carbons came along. Wt speed and broadhead design . Is more important. But to buy a a dozen alum. Vs carbons of equal value alum. Are more precision. Better buy.

From: RD in WI
15-Dec-22
FDP- I have a limited amount of space for my blazer vanes when they are attached to a micro-diameter arrow. When I attach a set of vanes to a 2317 aluminum, I expect that I will have some clearance issues given how much greater the aluminum arrow's diameter is in comparison. Fuzzy- do you shoot equally well with the carbon arrows?

From: Matt
15-Dec-22
"I've never heard of a carbon tuning fork... just saying"

Have you ever seen a carbon arrow straightener?

From: fdp
15-Dec-22
"I have a limited amount of space for my blazer vanes when they are attached to a micro-diameter arrow. When I attach a set of vanes to a 2317 aluminum, I expect that I will have some clearance issues given how much greater the aluminum arrow's diameter is in comparison." .........clearance on what?

From: WhattheFOC
15-Dec-22
Yah - Either straight or broke. … I used to accumulate so many aluminum arrows that were too bent to hunt with, but to straight to throw away. With carbons, there is never any doubt.

From: RD in WI
15-Dec-22
Clearance between my fletching and my cables.

From: Jaquomo
15-Dec-22
I bet there aren't but a couple people on the entire Bowsite who can shoot well enough to see any measurable difference in accuracy with a couple thousands of an inch difference in straightness. But after a few dozen shots with an aluminum, it likely will lose some of that straightness simply due to delivery and impact shock, and pulling torque. That will never happen with carbons.

From: fdp
15-Dec-22
RD, going to aluminum will require you to change some things us on your set up and tune, but that's to be expected Ted.

I still wouldn't think it be an issue. If you want to try them then it would be worth the effort. Nothing is better than personal experience in situations like this.

From: badbull
15-Dec-22
"for hunting" ....The main reasons that we all switched are stated above. The main reason I switched is the most common one above " bent arrows". Compounds , especially at higher draw weights, do a really good job at bending aluminum arrows.

15-Dec-22
I love xx78 arrows. I’m not sure how many deer I’ve shot with xx78 2413’s out of a compound. They almost always passed through every animal due to their weight. And, i can’t remember ever bending one while shooting an animal.

They are tough. Real tough. Direct hits might break a Nock. But, you are t going to bend them. Or mushroom them like a carbon.

Anyone who has some xx78 in 2413, I’ll happily buy them from you if they are 27” long or longer.

I like the weight. I like the quieter bow. I like the pass through at any angle. I didn’t worry about it. I’ve shot deer in every angle you could imagine. From right up the butt hole to between the eyes with them. They just keep driving. I love ‘em. I just can’t find them anymore.

From: fuzzy
15-Dec-22
RD yes no real difference in accuracy with properly spined carbons.

From: RD in WI
15-Dec-22
Once again, thank you for all the input.

From: TGbow
15-Dec-22
I've never shot compound but a lot of folks still use aluminum with compounds. I think carbon or aluminum will work but I like aluminum, especially the thicker walled shafts. You won't get any shaft material more precise from shaft to shaft than aluminum.

15-Dec-22
RD, I can't say for sure that I shoot any better with FMJ's but my equipment has evolved over the years. I now practice out to 110 yards and the setup I was shooting back when I shot aluminum didn't allow me to shoot those distances.

From: fdp
15-Dec-22
What would the material a shaft is made out of have to do with how far you can shoot it?

From: Bigdog 21
16-Dec-22
FDP he needs to read about Howard hill and others. plus Olympic shooters. Back in the day when it began. Lol.

From: fuzzy
16-Dec-22
I'd like to add that the 1997 date was the last time I shot compound not last time I shot aluminum. I didn't go completely to carbon o. Stickbows til about 2015

From: MDW
16-Dec-22
Have been shooting aluminum's for the past fifty years and have some in the quiver that have killed multiple animals. To me they are easy to straighten and durable. Have a lifetime supply on hand so see no reason to change.

From: Grey Ghost
16-Dec-22
Back when I was competing in archery, all the top spot shooters were using the ultra fat Easton aluminum arrows, for their extra line cutting qualities. We'd all switch to the skinnier ACC arrows for 3D because they were less affected by wind. Both had a limited number of shots before you had to straighten them, or retire them. When I quit competing, I went to an all carbon shaft for hunting due to their durability. I've been shooting the same dozen Carbon Express Maxima shafts for at least 6 years. I'll never go back to aluminum.

Matt

From: fdp
16-Dec-22
I think that one of the things that happens on threads like this is that there is a mistaken impression that one choice of something is the do all/end all...but it's typically not. There isn't anything wrong with carbon, I shoot them, I also shoot aluminum, and I also shoot old fiberglass arrows and I them out of recurves/longbows and compounds. They each have their place, they each have their good and bad attributes, but in all actuality when used for hunting they are more similar than they are different with the exception of a couple of features, they each have their champions and distractor's.

From: goyt
16-Dec-22
IMO, aluminum will work just fine for you. If you are at a 3D shoot you may want to pull your own arrows. AL arrows need to be pulled straight back to avoid bending them. If you shoot a good grade they will last just fine. Check them occasionally.

From: Ironbow
16-Dec-22
My favorite thing about aluminum if I bought a 2117 today it would match a 2117 I have from 40 years ago. I can’t do that with carbon.

I shoot carbon mostly because of speed and penetration has been great. I got pass throughs with aluminum too but shot much heavier arrows (2219) out of heavier bows than I shoot now. And killed 7 deer with the same 2219.

16-Dec-22
I am with Frank on this one. It’s very difficult to have the “best” of everything in one place, although I’m sure there are those who would say that that’s what the FMJ’s are for…. Which is fine, if you can afford to shoot them.

I have way too much fun out on the 3D course to shoot an at arrow that I can’t afford to lose or damage.

For the ultimate in precision, aluminum (JMO) has the edge, but you might have to use a shooting machine to prove it. With a Human involved, that forgiveness that Jaq mentioned appears to trump Exactitude.

And the argument that an aluminum arrow somehow “robs” energy through oscillation may be technically correct, strictly speaking, but it’s just ridiculous, as a practical matter. Just contemplate for a moment the difference in the KE figures for a 40 pound longbow and a 60 pound compound. The longbow will throw one of those “horribly inefficient” wooden arrows, clean through a deer, if the set up is tuned right, and a lot of compound shooters can’t get a pass-through for Love nor Money…. so I would put broadhead design about a mile ahead of arrow composition on my list of things to worry about.

From: MPDH
16-Dec-22
Putting weight tubes in an arrow to up the physical weight has to change the dynamic spine.

It does it because the weight increase causes the bow limbs to slow a bit, which in turn makes the arrow act stiffer.

From: Jaquomo
16-Dec-22
MPDH, the arrow itself doesn't stiffen. The energy transfer from the bow to the arrow changes with the additional weight, just as it would with a heavier arrow of any material. It changes the trajectory.

The difference is that carbon has a wider range of tolerance no matter what the weight - within reason. I shoot the exact same arrows with my compounds, longbows, and recurves, with or without added weight. If I was still shooting aluminum, and I shot a LOT of aluminum over the years, both hunting and competition, I would probably need 4-5 different shafts.

Shoot whatever you like, that works for you for the type of shooting you do.

From: Bowfreak
16-Dec-22
I don’t buy an accuracy advantage for Aluminum. Maybe when they are in pristine condition and haven’t been pulled from targets.

If there was an accuracy advantage aluminums would be winning Vegas every year.

17-Dec-22
Do you guys that keep saying aluminum bends easily, did you shoot XX78’s or XX75’s?

From: Bigdog 21
17-Dec-22
Most Vegas shooters preferred X23 . Alum.

From: PushCoArcher
17-Dec-22
WV Mountaineer I think they mean compared to carbon. My xx75's where tough but still need a new dozen after 2 seasons. Looking back I honestly think I bent most of mine pulling them out of target's. I was pretty late to the game to switch (can't remember exactly when) but once I got my first set of carbons I've never looked back and have no interest to. But good luck and let us know how it goes.

From: tm
17-Dec-22
Shoot whatever you want, but carbons do bend, I had to send several to a company that wouldn't believe it, they bent shooting at 3D targets when cold. I could see the bends with my eyes.

From: DanaC
17-Dec-22
The old green Gamegetters bent easily. Newer XX75 shafts or even black GG's not so easily. IMO the culprit is using thin wall aluminums. .016 or thicker are tough.

From: fdp
17-Dec-22
The most precise arrow in the planet is the Easton X7.

From: RonP
17-Dec-22
doubtful that anyone left the woods or mountains with an unfilled tag because they used aluminum rather that carbon, or vice versa.

with stickbows, i have always been able to tune aluminum much easier than carbon. at my draw length and draw weights, a 1916 or 2016 plus or minus 1/4-1/2" in length or 25-50 grains in point weight and they shoot like darts and are more forgiving of a bad release.

it's rare but i had bows that just wouldn't tune to my liking with a carbon arrow.

i like carbon for their toughness and quietness but if i had to choose just one, i'd choose aluminum.

From: DanaC
17-Dec-22
How many of Chuck Adams' super slam animals were taken with aluminum arrows?

17-Dec-22
I’m just the opposite Ron. I much prefer carbon on traditional bows over aluminum. And, I don’t shoot traditional bows that aren’t cut at least to center. I prefer 1/16 to an 1/8th past because it makes tuning with carbon arrows a breeze.

If you have a bow riser cut this way, it’s been my experience that carbon is much easier to tune. It’s so accepting of length and tip weight versus a bow that’s cut to or short of center. Aluminum is too but, not nearly as broad a range of acceptance.

From: x-man
17-Dec-22
I doubt anyone hunts with X7's which are likely in the top five but not the top three. You won't find any Olympians using X7's either. 20 yard indoor target specific arrows for the most part.

17-Dec-22
“I shoot the exact same arrows with my compounds, longbows, and recurves, with or without added weight….. If I was still shooting aluminum I would probably need 4-5 different shafts.”

I’d be interested in your specs, there, Lou. Pretty sure I recall you shooting lower #50s but longer DL than I’ve got to work with. Fletched, I can shoot 600s +175 and 500s +200 pretty much interchangeably from my go-to #55 LB (it will sort the bare shafts about a foot apart at 40 yards) but the #50 LB only likes the former and the #55 recurves like the latter and the 400s I’ve got from my dalliance with the (#50) compound… I need about #60 to tune with that, but that’s why I have that bow ;)

So I’m finding that I need 3 shafts to cover (net) high #40s to low #60s… If I get nitpicky with aluminum I go 1816, 1916, 2016 and 2117 for the same range….

17-Dec-22
Aluminum? The one season I hunted with a compound I shot cedars.

From: jjs
17-Dec-22
2016 all the way

From: Bigdog 21
17-Dec-22
When I shoot compound 3-d ,indoor and hunted with x7 2312. Only 20.00 more then XX75 they also made a XX78 that was a X7 camo it was chuck Adams fav. Shaft. I use wood mostly but some carbons still laying around here.

From: ahunter76
17-Dec-22

ahunter76's embedded Photo
ahunter76's embedded Photo
Aluminums for decades for everything. Did Carbons 2 years & went back. My 1913s & 1716s for all outdoor targets are in their 4th season this next summer. My hunting Aluminums, 2216s & 2219s I have no idea how old they are. Re-fletched so many times & yes, they are still straight. I've killed 5 animals 3 times with an arrow & then retire it (15 critters, 3 Aluminum shafts-new head each time). Say what you want, they are still the best.

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