Arrow building

Bj812

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ok so im in the process of building some arrows that will weigh around 620 grains. The arrows will be d stroyer piledrivers at 11 gpi x28". I am adding 100 grain inserts and a 200 grain vpa broadhead. I might not be thinking about this clearly so maybe someone can help me out. With an arrow of this weight and the foc being so high do i need to run larger vanes than say 2 inch blazers to help stabilize the arrow?
 

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High FOC arrows typically need less vane for stability (CG forward = increased stability). Blazers should be fine. That said, if you want more spin for the broadheads, Rayzr feathers work well. However with feathers there’s a learning curve.

All that said, those arrows might not be stiff enough for all that front end weight. What’s the stiffness (try to target like 170-250s, 350-400 flex too much when loaded heavy)? Might consider grizzlystik or something similar if it’s not stiff enough.
 

Bj812

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BoubronTrail I hadnt thought about that. I was planning on doing it with 350s. The last ones I built with the old pile drivers came in around 550 grain. Thats with a 100 grain insert and 100 grain head. Since then they have dropped the gpi of the 350s making them lighter. Maybe ill just stick with my current setup. After doing the calculation there would be about 111 grain difference between the two setups. Ive been shooting the 550 grain arrows for a few seasons and they do fine. Would 111 grains make that big of a difference hunting plains game?
 
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BoubronTrail I hadnt thought about that. I was planning on doing it with 350s. The last ones I built with the old pile drivers came in around 550 grain. Thats with a 100 grain insert and 100 grain head. Since then they have dropped the gpi of the 350s making them lighter. Maybe ill just stick with my current setup. After doing the calculation there would be about 111 grain difference between the two setups. Ive been shooting the 550 grain arrows for a few seasons and they do fine. Would 111 grains make that big of a difference hunting plains game?
 

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ok so im in the process of building some arrows that will weigh around 620 grains. The arrows will be d stroyer piledrivers at 11 gpi x28". I am adding 100 grain inserts and a 200 grain vpa broadhead. I might not be thinking about this clearly so maybe someone can help me out. With an arrow of this weight and the foc being so high do i need to run larger vanes than say 2 inch blazers to help stabilize the arrow?


Great topic to bring up! Boy are we in the same boat over here, building lots of arrows these days!

A couple of things we learned that might help you out.

First, your spine stiffness may be a problem. One great way to solve a spine problem is by using heavy, long inserts up front. Those 2" ethics archery stainless inserts are adding weight but they are also creating a 2" shorter arrow because the insert of 2" is making the front of the arrow inflexible.

Second, if you do go with a heavier, longer insert up front for spine reasons, you're going to get that 620gr arrow over 650gr. That is magical. In the studies by Ashby and others, they found a substantial increase in bone breaking at the 650gr mark in all poundages and velocities of bows. It is not a linear improvement in bone breaking probability, it hits 650gr and it happens with much increased frequency. You're so close, why not go the extra 30gr or so and get there?

To your original question: For stabilization, as others have pointed out, you get extreme FOC or ultra FOC and you actually need less steering with vanes. You're nearing the point now where the analogy of "a bullet with a string attached" is a good analogy for the weight forward arrow and the light shaft behind it. Blazers are so darn foolproof (WITH A HELICAL TO MATCH YOUR SINGLE BEVEL VPA) that they are hard to pass up. We've tried AAE max hunters, AAE stealth 2.0 in 4 vane and 6 vane, bare shafts, and Blazers. Blazers proved to be the most forgiving over longer distances. The pro move here would actually be to use real feathers but you're giving up a lot of durability, yet gaining penetration and more FOC.
 

rookhawk

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For comparison here's my arrow build:

31.25" shafts (sirius archery 4mm shafts, Orion .166" 200 spine) (334gr total)
Blazer Vanes (18gr)
Standard nock (8gr)
Reflective vane wrap under the vanes...helps recovery and eases reflecthing later on (12gr)
135gr combo up front of stainless post and aluminum sleeve
150gr Iron Will Single Bevel Buffalo, no bleeder

Total Arrow Weight 657gr

Bow:

Gearhead archery B24, 32" draw length, 68lbs draw weight. (345 IBO)

The setup above is sufficient for every creature in the lower-48 of North America and all plains game in Africa up to and including eland.


My son's setup is weaker so we built a lighter arrow.

Gearhead archery b24 short draw. 22.75" draw length. 42lb draw weight. (342 IBO)

He's running a 25" Axis 6mm shaft. Blazer vanes. Reflective wraps. Ethics archery stainless insert/outsert. 150gr Iron Will single bevel. While running a 500 spine which should be wrong, with the 2" insert glued in its actually correct. He's at about 23.5% FOC and if I remember correctly, somewhere around 520gr total arrow weight. A slightly lighter setup than this is what he used on safari, but the current setup is what he'll be using for bear in two weeks. It's all the power he needs so we aren't messing with his draw weight any further for at least a year. (he's ten, but the setup is sound for everything smaller than eland)
 

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BoubronTrail I hadnt thought about that. I was planning on doing it with 350s. The last ones I built with the old pile drivers came in around 550 grain. Thats with a 100 grain insert and 100 grain head. Since then they have dropped the gpi of the 350s making them lighter. Maybe ill just stick with my current setup. After doing the calculation there would be about 111 grain difference between the two setups. Ive been shooting the 550 grain arrows for a few seasons and they do fine. Would 111 grains make that big of a difference hunting plains game?
Disclaimer: I haven’t hunted PG yet.

IMHO, for close range broadside on most PG, you are probably only risking a longer tracking job. However you also losing the ability to safely stretch your range or take angling shots (especially on the heavy stuff). I’ve seen plenty of elk taken with 400gr whitetail setups, but that doesn’t mean that the margin for error wasn’t reduced significantly. It means the person shot in the within that window.

That said, @rookhawk made a good suggestion getting the deep well inserts to artificially (may not be best word) stiffen your arrows. I haven’t tried it, but in theory it should work as column strength (stiffness) is a function of free length and material strength. Shortening your free column length (flexible length) should increase stiffness. You can test by paper tuning and confirming a reduction of yaw right out of the bow.

Look into the Ranch Fairy (not joking) videos. He’s well versed in the Ashby school of thought, and he has some great demonstrations of the pitfalls of certain setups and how to’s.
 

rookhawk

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Disclaimer: I haven’t hunted PG yet.

IMHO, for close range broadside on most PG, you are probably only risking a longer tracking job. However you also losing the ability to safely stretch your range or take angling shots (especially on the heavy stuff). I’ve seen plenty of elk taken with 400gr whitetail setups, but that doesn’t mean that the margin for error wasn’t reduced significantly. It means the person shot in the within that window.

That said, @rookhawk made a good suggestion getting the deep well inserts to artificially (may not be best word) stiffen your arrows. I haven’t tried it, but in theory it should work as column strength (stiffness) is a function of free length and material strength. Shortening your free column length (flexible length) should increase stiffness. You can test by paper tuning and confirming a reduction of yaw right out of the bow.

Look into the Ranch Fairy (not joking) videos. He’s well versed in the Ashby school of thought, and he has some great demonstrations of the pitfalls of certain setups and how to’s.


@BourbonTrail if you want to see the worst of America, watch the 12+ hours of videos by Dries Vissers safaris on youtube. (An advertiser here on AH). Dries' videos are actually top-notch and they spend a lot of time showing perfect shot locations on all the African game animals. The embarrassing part is the American clientele with their deer and elk setups and their overcompensating for small members by having speed bows. An appalling amount of the shots do not get pass-throughs. An appalling amount of shots with super-speed bows are so noisy the warthogs and springbok duck the shots and laugh at even close ranges.

A really, really important thing people do not understand about bows with heavier arrow setups is this. The archery calculators online lie. They lie tremendously. DO NOT trust archery calculators.

Once you set up your favorite whitetail bow with whizzy fast whitetail arrows, get the weight, FOC, and FPS as shot over a chronograph. That is truth to start with. Then tune and shoot a heavy arrow over the chronograph AFTER you plug in the numbers in an archery calculator. You'll be astounded by the following truths that come to light:

1.) Heavy arrows make your bow dead in the hand with no vibration and very little noise. This is how you get animals to not jump the string. Ninja quiet.

2.) Heavy arrows sit in the bow longer during launch and efficiently drain the power from the limbs and string. This is why #1 is true, it is quieter. But beyond that, all that additional time to begin acceleration while generating momentum results in much more efficient power transfer to the arrow rather than vibration, sound, and residual power in the bow remaining after the arrow is at velocity.


My son's setup for examples:

22" DL, 32lb draw weight. 347gr arrows going 200fps. The arrow (a two blade magnus stinger) would not pass through a turkey.

22" DL, 32lb draw weight. 468gr arrows going 174fps. The arrow (a two blade magnus stinger). The calculator lied and said it would be 163fps. Pass throughs on deer no problem.

22.75" DL, 42lbs. 560ish grain arrows. His bow is launching them at 164fps. With 23%+ FOC his setup its just smoking. But the archery calculator says it should only go 133fps.

Archery calculators do not accurately predict observed velocities with heavy arrows nor do they correctly assess the increasing momentum. All things KE being equal, more momentum conserves energy and gets bone breaking and pass throughs that KE alone does not.

But this is all anecdote until you try it yourself and see real-world numbers. The fallacy that you end up with huge pin gaps with heavy arrows isn't true. The fallacy that the fastest bow in the world is fast enough to avoid animals jumping the string is also a myth. (all bows are too slow...find a way to get them not to jump the string with quiet, not with speed)
 
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550gr off 68Lbs is plenty for plains game especially if your draw is below 28”Shot placement and super sharp broadhread ,clean kills.

Practice ,practice from various shooting positions,hit engine room,consistently,done
 

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@BourbonTrail if you want to see the worst of America, watch the 12+ hours of videos by Dries Vissers safaris on youtube. (An advertiser here on AH). Dries' videos are actually top-notch and they spend a lot of time showing perfect shot locations on all the African game animals. The embarrassing part is the American clientele with their deer and elk setups and their overcompensating for small members by having speed bows. An appalling amount of the shots do not get pass-throughs. An appalling amount of shots with super-speed bows are so noisy the warthogs and springbok duck the shots and laugh at even close ranges.

A really, really important thing people do not understand about bows with heavier arrow setups is this. The archery calculators online lie. They lie tremendously. DO NOT trust archery calculators.

Once you set up your favorite whitetail bow with whizzy fast whitetail arrows, get the weight, FOC, and FPS as shot over a chronograph. That is truth to start with. Then tune and shoot a heavy arrow over the chronograph AFTER you plug in the numbers in an archery calculator. You'll be astounded by the following truths that come to light:

1.) Heavy arrows make your bow dead in the hand with no vibration and very little noise. This is how you get animals to not jump the string. Ninja quiet.

2.) Heavy arrows sit in the bow longer during launch and efficiently drain the power from the limbs and string. This is why #1 is true, it is quieter. But beyond that, all that additional time to begin acceleration while generating momentum results in much more efficient power transfer to the arrow rather than vibration, sound, and residual power in the bow remaining after the arrow is at velocity.


My son's setup for examples:

22" DL, 32lb draw weight. 347gr arrows going 200fps. The arrow (a two blade magnus stinger) would not pass through a turkey.

22" DL, 32lb draw weight. 468gr arrows going 174fps. The arrow (a two blade magnus stinger). The calculator lied and said it would be 163fps. Pass throughs on deer no problem.

22.75" DL, 42lbs. 560ish grain arrows. His bow is launching them at 164fps. With 23%+ FOC his setup its just smoking. But the archery calculator says it should only go 133fps.

Archery calculators do not accurately predict observed velocities with heavy arrows nor do they correctly assess the increasing momentum. All things KE being equal, more momentum conserves energy and gets bone breaking and pass throughs that KE alone does not.

But this is all anecdote until you try it yourself and see real-world numbers. The fallacy that you end up with huge pin gaps with heavy arrows isn't true. The fallacy that the fastest bow in the world is fast enough to avoid animals jumping the string is also a myth. (all bows are too slow...find a way to get them not to jump the string with quiet, not with speed)
I absolutely agree.

I haven’t seen the videos in question, but I watched other African hunt videos that displayed the light arrow/speed bow myth thoroughly.

By contrast, I watched an archery pig hunt with the Ashby high FOC setup, and the arrow achieved full pass through end to end. It even achieved cutting off 3 ribs and taking out the front shoulder. After watching that a few years ago, I promptly switched up my archery game.
 

Bj812

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Thank you guys so much for your input. I will look up the suggested videos and start rethinking my weight and spine choice. Much appreciated.
 

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ok so im in the process of building some arrows that will weigh around 620 grains. The arrows will be d stroyer piledrivers at 11 gpi x28". I am adding 100 grain inserts and a 200 grain vpa broadhead. I might not be thinking about this clearly so maybe someone can help me out. With an arrow of this weight and the foc being so high do i need to run larger vanes than say 2 inch blazers to help stabilize the arrow?
You’ve got a lot of good responses on here with some great info. The arrows I used were also a very heavy setup with high FOC. I’d have to look up what all the number were. But I just used the basic 2” blazer veins and they worked great. I was shooting a 260 spine Easton Axis 5mm @28” with a 200 gr VPA 2 blade(non vented) with a hit brass 75gr insert. Just as important(if not more) is how tuned is the bow to that arrow and vise versa? Africa is definitely a place where you want that arrow hitting straight on for better penetration. Hope this helps
 

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You’ve got a lot of good responses on here with some great info. The arrows I used were also a very heavy setup with high FOC. I’d have to look up what all the number were. But I just used the basic 2” blazer veins and they worked great. I was shooting a 260 spine Easton Axis 5mm @28” with a 200 gr VPA 2 blade(non vented) with a hit brass 75gr insert. Just as important(if not more) is how tuned is the bow to that arrow and vise versa? Africa is definitely a place where you want that arrow hitting straight on for better penetration. Hope this helps

Just thought I'd mention that I used to use a similar setup as you. 260 spine Axis 5mm, 75gr HIT. They weren't very durable and the dumb BAR ring adapters are a joke. Ethics archery makes a stainless or aluminum collar you can put on the outside of the front of the arrow. It will add a bit of weight but it significantly improves the rigidity of the broadhead.

Next build, in lieu of HIT inserts, use the ethics inserts plus collars and you'll be very happy. Also use hot melt instead of epoxy, that way you can heat them up and index your broadheads to the cock vane easily.

The other thing running through my head is the sentiments "African animals are hard to kill" and "I don't need that much FOC and weight, I'm just killing whitetails". The two go together. The African animals have their vitals on the shoulder so you must hit them correctly with heavy arrows, otherwise you're in for a long chase as the shots are farther back than you suspect. With whitetail deer, you CAN hit them in the shoulders but it ends badly with bad arrows. Good 600gr-650gr arrows for Africa allow you to shot a better shot on white tail deer too. Just go through the shoulders and call it a day...if you trust your arrow system.
 

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For what it is worth- several years ago I had two arrow setups for Africa. I tried some of the more popular "heavy" arrow setups, but was not satisfied. I found a setup that worked for me and the arrows flew like darts! I was shooting 73#'s @30" I used a 250 spine small diameter VAP arrow with blazer vanes, a 92 grain insert and a 200 gr. VPA double bevel two blade broadhead. a total of 630 gr. It went through zebra like butter.. I know there will be a lot said about this, but I used the same arrow with a 300gr. VPA two blade (730 gr total- This arrow achieved 240+ FPS) and had complete broadside penetration through a buffalo. (28yd shot) The broadhead penetrated the tough, mud covered hide, dense shoulder muscle, through the middle of the rib (not glancing), through the body cavity and did the same on the opposite side (including exiting through the rib). The broadhead was partially protruding through the skin on the off side.
In my opinion, with a well tuned bow and proper arrow placement a +/- 600 grain arrow will be fine for African game. As said earlier, don't trust the archery calculator for heavy arrows. They are not accurate and will undermine your confidence in your equipment.
 

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With a 68# compound bow I would look at a 340 or 300 spine, 75-100 gr. insert and a 125-150 gr. BH. 4-fletch 2" blazer with helical will work.

My personal preference is 3-fletch 3" Bohning X-vane with helical or or 4-fletch 3.60 Flexfletch vane with helical. Both will control a BH nicely.

I would stick with 5mm Easton Axis or FMJ shafts. I know they provide great straightness, I cannot speak for other brands.
 

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Just thought I'd mention that I used to use a similar setup as you. 260 spine Axis 5mm, 75gr HIT. They weren't very durable and the dumb BAR ring adapters are a joke. Ethics archery makes a stainless or aluminum collar you can put on the outside of the front of the arrow. It will add a bit of weight but it significantly improves the rigidity of the broadhead.

Next build, in lieu of HIT inserts, use the ethics inserts plus collars and you'll be very happy. Also use hot melt instead of epoxy, that way you can heat them up and index your broadheads to the cock vane easily.

The other thing running through my head is the sentiments "African animals are hard to kill" and "I don't need that much FOC and weight, I'm just killing whitetails". The two go together. The African animals have their vitals on the shoulder so you must hit them correctly with heavy arrows, otherwise you're in for a long chase as the shots are farther back than you suspect. With whitetail deer, you CAN hit them in the shoulders but it ends badly with bad arrows. Good 600gr-650gr arrows for Africa allow you to shot a better shot on white tail deer too. Just go through the shoulders and call it a day...if you trust your arrow system.
I never used the BAR component. Never needed them. Sorry to hear your same arrow setup was last reliable then my experience with the same setup(curious if they’ve been slacking in the process plant). Also, I’ve never had to melt the glue around the inserts in order to have my BH in line with the cock feather. With that set up you can use the little grinding stone that comes with the inserts and grind the end down until the BH is in line to your preference

I used the same setup for Whitetails and it’s done great
 

rookhawk

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We’re operating in two different wave lengths It seems. Glad it’s working for you, but I find the HIT insert with no bar ring to be one of the least durable arrow setups ever conceived.
 

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An appalling amount of the shots do not get pass-throughs.

Light arrows are part of the problem... Another part is that many of those non-pass thru's are the result of some of these hunters using expandable broadheads. Especially the hunters who are shooting these over-the-top expanadables or giant blades like Rages that cause too much friction eating all the kinetic energy to be ethical or effective..

I know Dries and he has a good group of experienced bow hunting PHs, but I agree with your assessment... For the life of me, I do not know why they allow their clients to shoot these terrible set-ups, and then video the results??
 

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