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The Perfect Arrow
What is the perfect hunting arrow? Im building some arrows to hunt whitetail, elk and mule deer over the next couple years. These arrows came in heavier than I was hoping for with my wraps, larger vanes and lumenocks. Kinetic energy is great but margin of misjudged shot distance is now decreased. Which has me thinking what is the perfect arrow. My current build is 502 grains at 70 lbs with a 29" draw. I think 415 is more ideal for an all around arrow but was curious as to what others thought!
Bou bound is correct. It’s a compromise, speed vs weight vs momentum vs trajectory. I like 450-475 grains at about 260 fps. That works for me for elk, bear and deer. Your preference may be different.
I’m digging the 502g Mine is 516 with similar bow specs as you.
With one pin set at 30, I can shoot 0-40 without ranging or sliding. If I’m being honest, 95% of the shots I’ve ever taken were inside of 30.
I don't ever want less than about 8grs. per pound for an all purpose big game arrow myself.
Regardless if it is a selfbow, laminated longbow/recurve or compound.
With your specs, that 502 grain arrow is awesome. Plenty of speed. I’m guessing in the mid 260’s. Lot of heft to keep driving. It’d be perfect.
At my spec, which is 26.5 inches on my compound with a creepy, mushy back wall, I’d be giddy with that. But, my draw length finds my setup around 240-245 fps with a 510 grain arrow. It’s an awesome compromise. Your spec is much better.
The perfect arrow prioritizes the attributes you want from a Chinese laundry list of factors. The experienced guys I know are all in the 430-500g ish range with a compound.
Build your arrow according your FPS you want. Then adjust from there. If you want to shoot 260 then make an arrow for that. If you want 290….make that one.
I know this isn’t the thought process currently out there….but it make sense. And I would build my arrow for what I want for FPS.
I'd suggest you build your arrow for overall performance. FPS is only one factor in performance and not even in the top tier of factors.
Blood is spot on. Good starting point is 270-280fps. If you shoot fixed heads this would be the ideal fps. They will fly like darts. I even get as crazy as spine aligning my broad heads to my arrows.
FPS has exactly -0- to do with how well an arrow flies.
The perfect arrow is what you say it is, for you.
425 grains works for me at 27" or 27.5" draw. I've killed elk, moose, deer and bear with the same arrow.
As you can see, everyone has a different opinion on what constitutes a “perfect arrow”. Get an arrow that’s a good compromise between speed and weight, (and is tuned!) and you’re golden. As long as your current setup is tuned, I’d worry about much more important thing. For comparison’s sake, my finished arrow weight is 436 grains. Due to elbow surgery, among other things, my DL is only 26”, and my draw weight is only 60 lbs. The only place I could get 270-280 fps is in my dreams, and my setup kills elk just fine.
For western hunting like you stated, since you could be taking longer shots I would recommend something that is flying 270fps or faster. If you are shooting fixed blades, I along with many others would say 280-285fps is that sweet spot for tuning them. I would think 415 grains would be a little bit on the lighter side. 502 grains, in my opinion, is a good weight; maybe can go slightly lighter (20-30 grains) to achieve a faster arrow. It all comes down to what you want for speed though and I know of a lot of people who build their arrows to get a certain speed that they know tunes well with a certain bow set up.
I fill you have a good setup, just practice judging yardage. Arrows shed energy and speed over distance. Lite arrows shed it faster. There use to be a calculated you punched in arrow wt and fps and would tell you how much you lose at distances . By my standers for me your still lite. 10 gr per pound.
The 502 should be about ideal for your setup I would think.
It should shoot quieter, retain energy, speed better at longer ranges and probably be less affected by wind.
There are a lot of variables when determining which arrow is best.
If you want to knock a few grams then I would look at your wraps, vanes, and nocks!
For me a well tune 400-425 grain arrow is the sweet spot. I just wish Easton would make Acc arrows again. Hunt
Fps does have ALOT to do with arrow flight. You want a good trajectory yet heavy enough to blow thru bone. 270-280fps is ideal. 270-280 is also ideal so good broadhead flight, more so fixed blades. They will plane less. But you know it all, I completely forgot!
Easton acc were amazing, I had them for a long time, still have some hanging on my mounts. Shot many of deer with them. Now I’m using easton pro comp.
Actually fps DOES NOT have anything to do with arrow flight. You can achieve optimal flight with an arrow traveling 150fps. Dame as an arrow traveling 300fps.
Fps does have an affect on performance as speed is what creates energy, along with the weight of the arrow.
A 550gr. arrow traveling 240fps. generates more energy than a 450gr. arrow traveling 280fps.
A certain speed, or a minimum speed is the last thing you should be considering out of a modern compound bow, especially at 70#. Any arrow you could build will be plenty fast enough. Your 502 gr would be minimum for me. I get so tired of hearing "For western hunting like you stated, since you could be taking longer shots...". The only thing that determines your shot distance is YOU, not where you happen to be hunting. The vast majority of my hunting has been "out west", and my average shot distance is in the mid to high 20s. I've never shot past 50 yards, and that has been rare. My current set up is just under 240 fps with a 550 gr. arrow. Learn to judge distance and stay within that. You never HAVE to take a longer shot. But if you do, you'll never know if you could have gotten closer.
You guys are shoot elk at 60 yards. Blood and I shoot highly pressured whitetails 40 yards and im saying HIGHLY PRESSURED. As in 100,000,000,000 Mexicans jumping over our border pressure. So speed and a decent weight matters. Fps is again is very crucial. There’s nothing you’d going to tell me to change my mind as iv tuned and worked on ALOT of bows, almost as many Mexicans jumping the border hahHahH
So what part does speed play in tuning? Not in performance, but in tuning?
Wish Easton would make ACCs again
I'm open to hearing what those parts are. And again, not talking about performance, but tuning.
An arrow traveling 240fps. covers 40 yards in about 1/2 a second. An arrow traveling g 280fps. travels 40 yards in about 3/8 of a second.
Not a dick measuring contest
Willie, I can’t even find them on eBay. Damn good arrows tho. The pro comps are nice but expensive. The axis seems like the go to. Acid in match grade bare shafts go for 120$ so it’s pretty reasonable.
Anchor point, not sure if there is or isn't a point to your previous statement or not. But in my experience the speed of an arrow has no bearing on the size of the male sexual organ either.
I wish it did. I could use some help!
Anchor point, you are confusing arrow flight with arrow trajectory.
Flight is the arrow's ability to follow the same A to Z path without fishtailing, or porposing. The rear of the arrow follows the front ect... Punching a perfect bullet hole through paper at all distances out of the bow. This will assure the broadheads will hit the same place as your practice field points, and will transfer the highest possible % of the arrows energy to the target.
Trajectory is the "arc" of the arrows overall flight path. Slower arrows produce a larger "rounder" arc. Faster arrows are flatter.
It's possible to have "proper flight" at any arrow speed. And, it's not possible to fix poor flight just by changing speed, keeping all else equal.
These are the facts, backed by every science/physics publication. You're welcome for the lesson.
"A 550gr. arrow traveling 240fps. generates more energy than a 450gr. arrow traveling 280fps."
Momentum or kinetic energy. If it's the latter, you're wrong. A 540gr arrow at 240fps generates 70.36 ft.lbs. A 450gr arrow at 280fps generates 78.36 ft.lbs. or about 11% more with a 16% increase in speed. I'll take the 450gr @ 280fps any day of the week and twice on Sunday.
"I'll take the 450gr @ 280fps any day of the week and twice on Sunday.".....and that is certainly your choice. Nobody is trying to change your mind.
"A 550gr. arrow traveling 240fps. generates more energy than a 450gr. arrow traveling 280fps."
"I'll take the 450gr @ 280fps any day of the week and twice on Sunday.".....and that is certainly your choice. Nobody is trying to change your mind."
Except the 450gr at 280fps generates more energy. Your statement was the lighter faster arrow produced less energy then the 550gr. Simple error in math? Or an effort to support the heavier is better...
Not trying to change anyones mind... OP asked a question. You posted incorrect data. I corrected and stated whcih one I'd chose. Which is quite close to my Easton Axis arrow of 465gr at 275fps.
Build something around 450 grains and hunt any animal in North America.
To steal/modify the quote from the big game cartridge community: The perfect arrow is the one in the vitals
If only KE was a top-five important factor in choosing an arrow, which it is not. It is a borrowed tool from firearm ballistics.
A sharp cut on contact broadhead on an arrow with 30 KE will out perform an arrow that has 60KE tipped with a judo point. An extreme comparison but, you get the point...
The perfect arrow is the one that you can make hit exactly where you're aiming every time and still have enough penetration to pass through the animal's vitals. Each hunter must make that determination based on their own strength and weakness'. If hunting open country, you might want to error on the lighter faster end to compensate for range estimates. If hunting stands in timber with shooting lanes well established less than 25 yards, then, heavier with more momentum is probably better.
Number one priority must remain accuracy / shot placement in my opinion.
In your quest for the perfect arrow let’s start with the first couple inches up front. Once you’ve found the perfect head you can move on down the line. Send me a PM when that is done please ;)
With your specs, I'm also with the guys that say build an arrow in the 450 grain range as a very versatile arrow weight. It might not be perfect for any animal you are hunting, but it will be very good in most situations. More important IMO is the broadhead in the end and where you put the arrow.
A heavier arrow will always carry more energy downrange…its simple physics.
The heavier arrow absorbs more of the bows energy…thats why lighter arrows make a bow noisier…the noise is excess energy that didn’t get transferred to the arrow.
That said^… its only one factor and as most of us have seen, any arrow can be an amazing penetrator with all of its energy focused on a sharp point. Its a testament to the effectiveness of a Bow and arrows lethality that all of these arrow configurations work.
Being fortunate to have taken all the critters mentioned & more with an aluminum shaft & 125 gr 3 blade weighing it at over 500 grns "total arrow weight" I'm very happy with performance. Examples, Compound-60#s, 3 Elk all right at 35 yds, complete pass thrus, 13 Mule Deer 20 thru 40 yds & all but 2 pass thrus. Whitetails, so many & excellent results, same set up + Black Bears. Oh, A Buffalo range at 42 yds, pass thru & found the arrow over 20 yds past initial hit. Throw in these arrowed with 53# recurve, Elk, Bear, Hog & Whitetails & similar arrow.. Today, with your poundage any arrow 425 & up (my opinion) for larger critters with our better than efficient tackle is more than sufficient. Just make sure it shoots like a bullet, mine do.
All comes down to broadhead design and sharpness. Less resistance getting in wins.
"...in the end and where you put the arrow."
In the end, that is the ONLY thing you don't have control over.
The perfect arrow is the one that’s tuned to your bow so that it flies exactly where you aim it.
Any given bow can put out X FPE; you can get it faster or heavier. Just one thing to remember: all arrows slow down on impact, almost none of them lose any weight.
And not for nothin’…
A huge pile of critters have been killed by arrows clocking well under 200 fps…. without benefit of a rangefinder. It’s called bowhunting.
Man, It’s hunting trad bow or compound. Enough of that stupid crap. Am I still a bow hunter if I use a range finder with my longbow?
There is no standard for a perfect arrow. Each person has their own parameters for what they want in an arrow and its flight. For me I want an arrow that flies at a minimum of 280fps. That gives me a decently flat trajectory out to 35 yards. I hold a a couple inches high or low. with my current bow I can use an arrow at about 455 grains to achieve this. I use Gold tip velocity 300 arrows then add screw in point weights to get to the speed and weight I want. I use this arrow for every species of animal I hunt and have no problems. And yes I use a mechanical head. Know what you are shooting and don't over do your abilities and everything will be fine.
Blood suggests a good technique in an earlier post - pick a speed and build your arrow to achieve it. John Dudley and Randy Ulmer have written about this method. They want to keep their speed in a range (270-280 fps or so) and add weight to their arrows as bows achieve better performance in order to stay in the 270-280 range. You could try this method. If I had longer arms, I would go with 270 fps and use whatever weight arrow that met this standard. As it is, I am at about 255 fps with a 460 grain arrow (dang, T-Rex arms).
WV M. No. My perfect arrow came from the perfect doug fir I chopped down in feb. Let dry for two months. Mill up and made about 60 shafts. Culled to 40. barrel tapered, stained, then crested. 610ish gr 29 1/4" to BOP with Grizzlys up front.