Arrow build for Cape buffalo & Giraffe

Thomasrey

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Hi,

I'm building an arrow for 2 upcoming hunts (giraffe and cape buffalo on walk and stalk).
I'm shooting a PSE Carbon Mach 1 at 79lbs and 30".
I've shot these 3 arrows through my chrono and they tune and group well.

Arrow 1:
855gr with 250gr Cutthroat @232fps. Momentum is 0.880

Arrow 2:
905gr with 250gr Cutthroat @226fps. Momentum is 0.907

Arrow 3:
986gr with 250gr Cutthroat @217fps. Momentum is 0.949

I'm leaning toward arrow 2 at the moment as it gives me decent speed and great momentum.
For those who have shot a giraffe or a cape buffalo, what was your arrow weight and momentum? Out of the 3 arrows, what would be your choice?
 
Hello Sir!

We host several hunters each season who take dangerous game and the largest of the plainsgame animals with a bow. Over the years, hosting scores of DG bow hunters, and experimenting with many different arrow builds and bow set-ups, we have learned what consistently works and what does not...

The good news is that all three arrow builds will get the job done for you.. We have seen good performance from Cutthroats, and the 250gr. should perform well with a 20% or greater FOC factored into the TAW.

Of the three you list, I would recommend the build that gives you the best arrow flight with from the set-up that you are using. A well-tuned arrow that does not waste any momentum is paramount to getting the maximum amount of penetration possible.. I would also recommend to achieve near perfect tune, you need to construct the arrow with at least 20% of the total arrow weight FOC. The heaviest arrows with the highest FOC's are the ones that consistently achieve the most penetration.

For dangerous game, I would not be overly concerned with speed. Cape buffalo and giraffe are not prone to jump the string. Momentum, TAW, FOC, overall tune, and shot placement are all much more critical factors that are more important than arrow speed. Best of luck to you and feel free to ask questions if we can be of any help..!
 
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Hello Sir!

We host several hunters each season who take dangerous game and the largest of the plainsgame animals with a bow. Over the years, hosting scores of DG bow hunters, and experimenting with many different arrow builds and bow set-ups, we have learned what consistently works and what does not...

The good news is that all three arrow builds will get the job done for you.. We have seen good performance from Cutthroats, and the 250gr. should perform well with a 20% or greater FOC factored into the TAW.

Of the three you list, I would recommend the build that gives you the best arrow flight with from the set-up that you are using. A well-tuned arrow that does not waste any momentum is paramount to getting the maximum amount of penetration possible.. I would also recommend to achieve near perfect tune, you need to construct the arrow with at least 20% of the total arrow weight FOC. The heaviest arrows with the highest FOC's are the ones that consistently achieve the most penetration.

For dangerous game, I would not be overly concerned with speed. Cape buffalo and giraffe are not prone to jump the string. Momentum, TAW, FOC, overall tune, and shot placement are all much more critical factors that are more important than arrow speed. Best of luck to you and feel free to ask questions if we can be of any help..!

@Limcroma Safaris thank you for the reply and advise. Indeed, buffalo and giraffe are not prone to jump the string, so the speed is not a concern anymore.
At the moment my set up is as followed:
Goltip kinetic kaos 200 spine. TAW is 948gr and FOC is 28%.
However, I'm not sure about the broadhead yet, I'll do some field testing. It will be either the cutthroat 250gr, tuffhead evolution 300gr or Ironwill buff series single bevel 250gr.
From your experience, what BH would you recommend on a cape buffalo?
 
I’m headed over for buff in August. My outfitter recommended a total arrow weight of 750 grains.
I’m still experimenting with arrow/BH combinations but I am leaning towards the Vector HMR 250 spine with a VPA 300g broadhead to give me a total arrow weight of 860gn
 
From your experience, what BH would you recommend on a cape buffalo?

The three brands that you mention are all good designs that have worked well. The Tuffhead is a good broadhead, but I would not recommend the Evolution. I would recommend one of their 2-blade, single bevel designs like the DG, or the Meathead, or 300gr. Screw-in... I would also look at the VPA, Bishop, and the Ashby 300gr by Girzzlystik... We have seen the best penetration achieved with the lower angle designs over the shorter, broader angled heads.

Whatever brand you decide, make sure that it is a forged steel, solid, 2-blade design. We have seen 2-piece designs where a screw fastens the blade, or where the ferrule is not steel fail...
 
I’m headed over for buff in August. My outfitter recommended a total arrow weight of 750 grains.
I’m still experimenting with arrow/BH combinations but I am leaning towards the Vector HMR 250 spine with a VPA 300g broadhead to give me a total arrow weight of 860gn

I hate to second guess any other professional hunter or outfitter... If you feel confident with their advice, then by all means follow it... With that said, I personally would not recommend any arrow build for Cape buffalo with a total arrow weight less than 850gr. and a minimum of 20% FOC within the TAW. That weight, and how it is distributed on the arrow is critical in achieving the momentum needed for the penetration you will need on a Buffalo. The heavier the better! Best of luck to you sir!
 
..........

Of the three you list, I would recommend the build that gives you the best arrow flight with from the set-up that you are using. . ..............

...............

Whatever brand you decide, make sure that it is a forged steel, solid, 2-blade design. ......

Great advice.
Just like bullets, use the one that works best in your set up.
 
I hate to second guess any other professional hunter or outfitter... If you feel confident with their advice, then by all means follow it... With that said, I personally would not recommend any arrow build for Cape buffalo with a total arrow weight less than 850gr. and a minimum of 20% FOC within the TAW. That weight, and how it is distributed on the arrow is critical in achieving the momentum needed for the penetration you will need on a Buffalo. The heavier the better! Best of luck to you sir!
I took that to mean 750 as a minimum. I was planning for a TAW of 800-900 grains with FOC 25-30%. However, the final setup will depend on how they fly.
 
Thanks for the advice on the BH.
I'll order some cutthroat and DG tuffhead and do some field testing on bone. The bishop is an excellent BH but overpriced.
I'll post the result once I receive the BH.

I've shot a few arrows through the chrono this morning and calculated the momentum of each one. I've attached the graph for information.
 

Attachments

  • Buffalo - arrow testing.pdf
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Last edited by a moderator:
I have never been to Africa, so I would defer to the information above. I did have an interesting recent experience, while reviewing something Elburg wrote about his Grizzly broadhead, on whose shoulders all these new machined heads hope to stand. He was always concerned about shooting through bone, and his actual design objective, along with efficiency in manufacturing, was to make the ferules as low profile as possible, that was the trick with the clamshell design, and the cause of the single bevel. I don't know when he discovered the magic of the single bevel. But it was originally there just to allow the edge to be offset from the weld line.

So I do wonder about some of these machined heads that have very stout ferules. Of course, that may not be a problem with the screw in heads. I vastly prefer the stuctural integrily of glue on heads, but then you don't need stronger than strong enough if the RPS heads are delivering.
 
I shot my buffalo with 73# 975 grain arrow with 23% foc and a 180 grain grizzly singe bevel with a steel adapter for a total broadhead weight of 322 Arrow stuck in the off shoulder he went down in less than 2 minutes. arrow speed was 200fps
 
I like all the broadheads being discussed in this thread quite a bit. The arrows all seem a bit light to me and your bows will be noisy where reaction to the shot will be plausible. 1100-1200gr should be easy to achieve and will make your bow a lot more efficient. Look at the Sirius archery shafts and ethics archery inserts to weigh ‘em down a bit at a very heavy spine.
 
Broadheads with cutouts or vents just give tissue and bone fragments a place to add more friction and resistance. Smooth one piece designs are better.
 
Hello Sir!

We host several hunters each season who take dangerous game and the largest of the plainsgame animals with a bow. Over the years, hosting scores of DG bow hunters, and experimenting with many different arrow builds and bow set-ups, we have learned what consistently works and what does not...

The good news is that all three arrow builds will get the job done for you.. We have seen good performance from Cutthroats, and the 250gr. should perform well with a 20% or greater FOC factored into the TAW.

Of the three you list, I would recommend the build that gives you the best arrow flight with from the set-up that you are using. A well-tuned arrow that does not waste any momentum is paramount to getting the maximum amount of penetration possible.. I would also recommend to achieve near perfect tune, you need to construct the arrow with at least 20% of the total arrow weight FOC. The heaviest arrows with the highest FOC's are the ones that consistently achieve the most penetration.

For dangerous game, I would not be overly concerned with speed. Cape buffalo and giraffe are not prone to jump the string. Momentum, TAW, FOC, overall tune, and shot placement are all much more critical factors that are more important than arrow speed. Best of luck to you and feel free to ask questions if we can be of any help..!
I don't know what most of this means, but this is the kind of detailed advice that make his forum such a great place.
 
I like all the broadheads being discussed in this thread quite a bit. The arrows all seem a bit light to me and your bows will be noisy where reaction to the shot will be plausible. 1100-1200gr should be easy to achieve and will make your bow a lot more efficient. Look at the Sirius archery shafts and ethics archery inserts to weigh ‘em down a bit at a very heavy spine.
My personal thoughts are that 1200gr is well beyond the point of diminishing returns. The Lusk archery channel has a good demonstration on how changing weight impacts drop. There are other things to consider beyond penetration alone
 
My personal thoughts are that 1200gr is well beyond the point of diminishing returns. The Lusk archery channel has a good demonstration on how changing weight impacts drop. There are other things to consider beyond penetration alone


The only disadvantage of heavy arrows is the pingap between points. The only advantage of light arrows is the pin gap.

For perspective, my kids were hunting big game with their bows starting at about age 8. They were hunting both in Africa and in the States with setups at 32lb to 41lb draw weights at 21.5" draw length with arrows that you guys are thinking about using for Cape Buffalo.

Different strokes for different folks I guess. But for a perfect illustration of what a really powerful bow with a light arrow does to African Game, watch the American clientele in all the Driess Vissers safari videos on bowhunting. Rather amusing, yet appalling to watch grown men drawing 70lbs-80lbs failing to pass through animals that my 9 year old gets pass throughs on in Africa. A shameful display of American "we know better" using overpowered bows in the foolish belief that they will drive a very light arrow that will defy Newtonian physics and conserve energy in a light object.

If you don't have time to get a range on the animal to use your pins correctly, you probably shouldn't be shooting the animal is my opinion, obviously in the minority of all bowhunters. In Africa on dangerous game, you could easily shoot a 1500 grain arrow with a single pin if you wanted to prove it to the world. The shots are so damned close its just not necessary. My 9 year old hunted Africa with a 5-pin that got him out to 35 yards, never failing to pass through any animal in NA or Africa.

You call it your cape buffalo setups, I call it my whitetail setup. (although mine has higher FOC) :)
 
A few questions on this topic, as I'm seriously considering this now.
1. What are the thoughts on Glue-on heads with stainless inserts vs an all 1 piece broadhead with threads?
2. Are you planning to sleeve the insert down the shaft for any distance past the insert?
3. With regard to pin gap, is that really a factor? I have been assuming maximum range on a Cape would be 40-50?
 
I used a 180 grain Grizzly single bevel (not to be confused with Grizzly Stick) and used JB weld to glue a 125 grain steel adapter in. I cleaned the inside of broadhead and the adapter with sandpaper and alcohol for a good bond, also used brass arrow inserts of 125 grain for more FOC. Also sleeved the first 1 inch of shaft behind broadhead with a piece of 2117 aluminum arrow, epoxied in place. 975 grain total and performed excellent at a fraction of the price of Grizzly Stick.
 
I used a 180 grain Grizzly single bevel (not to be confused with Grizzly Stick) and used JB weld to glue a 125 grain steel adapter in. I cleaned the inside of broadhead and the adapter with sandpaper and alcohol for a good bond, also used brass arrow inserts of 125 grain for more FOC. Also sleeved the first 1 inch of shaft behind broadhead with a piece of 2117 aluminum arrow, epoxied in place. 975 grain total and performed excellent at a fraction of the price of Grizzly Stick.
I've actually thought about using 2117s for a sleeve. Is that for the Dangerous Game FMJs in 250?
 
They were just cheap Victory carbons, I also slid a piece of rubber vacum hose from Napa that just fit inside for added weight, some nock collars and lighted nock. Penetrated 22 inches and stuck in off shoulder.
 

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