Buffalo arrows

Jared640

New member
Joined
May 11, 2024
Messages
4
Reaction score
1
I have read and watched alot of videos of arrow builds for buffalo. How do yall feel about the grizzstick system? Or any other products. I'm looking for an arrow setup for an August buffalo hunt. Thank in advance
 
I’m 1,000 % convinced you are on the right track. The meat eater podcast with Ed Ashby changed my life. I have no experience to add on buff hunting, but that’s what I would use. Good luck
 
I went with the Grizzly stick system (650 gr) for elk and PG. Using Iron Will and VPA two blade single bevel. I think the heavier build (800-900 gr) with high FOC as per Dr Ashby is the way to go.

Do a search on AH member @Bowhuntr64. He posts a lot of broadhead tests and also posted a video of his Cape buffalo hunt.
 
I think it depends on a number of factors. With modern compound bows with increased efficiency there is more leeway than in the past, especially compared to traditional gear like Ashby tested.

I have killed a cape buff with a 800gr arrow. Took another two to finish it off. My buddy shot his with a 650 gr arrow which actually had more KE and got more penetration. We both used iron Will buff heads- very sharp and stay extremely sharp.

There is a point of diminishing returns with adding more weight to an arrow. You need actual velocity data from your bow at each weight then calculate both KE and Momentum and see for yourself where the peak performance point for your setup is.

Buy a pack of various weight field points and chart the actual fps your bow shoots at each weight. Don’t worry about tuning yet you are just trying to get the actual fps of your bow at each. When I did this after that trip about a 700gr arrow was the sweet spot for my set up. The heavier your draw weight and longer DL will have the ideal weight higher.

Of course some countries do have certain requirements for archery equipment, though I have never heard of any being enforced. But as a disclaimer be sure to follow the rules and consult with your outfitter :)
IMG_8062.jpeg

Should include the buff :)
 
Last edited:
I've had success with the 150 grain Silver Flames several years ago. I may go back to them.. They don't rust and held up better than my Iron Will 125 wides.
 
Wildwilderness is correct. He gives great advice on this subject. Some brands and models of bows are more efficient than others.

get your Momentum numbers then tune to the arrow setup.

I started at 750 grains and settled on 1028 grains with a 75# bow. 27” draw. As he says, your draw length is a big factor.

I bought and tested Grizzlystiks but found that the spine was inconsistent and that impacts accuracy. So then settled on FMJ DG250s with 150 grains of brass and 250 Iron Will buff heads up front. One arrow at 25 yards and my Buffalo was bellowing soon after.

Then switched to traditional and tried the Valkyrie system. And then concerned myself with absolute perfect arrow flight.
And immediate arrow recovery after the release.

I did not want my arrow flexing as it entered the animal. So chose a stiff spine for my 49# recurve.

I want my arrows flying like a crossbow bolt. Zero flopping back and forth on the way to the target. I want all the energy focused directly behind the broadhead. I do not want the rear of the arrow trying to move laterally as it impacts. That has a huge impact on penetration.

I shot the Eland in my avatar with a 49# recurve 560 grain Valkyrie arrow system. He went 80 yds

It was the perfect stiff arrow flight that gave me great penetration.

PM me, I can loan you some different brands and spines to test if you like. If the lengths work out
I have some longer lengths also
 
Last edited:
I have read and watched alot of videos of arrow builds for buffalo. How do yall feel about the grizzstick system? Or any other products. I'm looking for an arrow setup for an August buffalo hunt. Thank in advance

Grizzlystiks are a great choice for Cape buffalo. They are expensive, but when you weigh the expense against all the variables that go into a buffalo hunt like the personal risks involved, and the cost of the hunt itself, making sure you have the best equipment for the job is quite justifiable at any cost.

There are other arrow shaft options you can consider that will also get the job done for you including Easton FMJ's and Bishop Archery which now makes both arrow shafts and broadheads for Cape buffalo. I would also recommend taking a look at the attached links which have some good information on the subject that cover the physics of why heavy overall shafts with big FOC's and 2-blade broadhead styles are the best performers. Good luck to you on your hunt!




 
I used 250 grain iron wills and a 700 gr grizzly stick. Shooting a 80lb Hoyt. The Buff went about 60 yards with a double lung shot. The only issue I had with the grizzly sticks was some of the weighted inserts coming lose. A little loc-tite fixed the issue.

1715688560410.png
 
I have taken 5 buffaloes, 3 of them Capes, over the years. 4 of them with Grizzlystiks and one with Easton DG FMJ’s using a Silver Flame head from Alaska Bowhunting Supply. I use Grizzlystik on almost everything now and have been Happy with them for anything where I am shooting a heavy arrow.

All three of my Cape buffalo dropped and died with just a single arrow. The first two expired so quickly that I didn’t even get a death bellow. Collectively, they ran less than 200 yards between the three of them before they died. I ran 844 grains on my first Cape, 650 grains on my second (not a planned hunt but was asked to dispatch a problem bull when I was on a plains game hunt) and the last one with a 950 grain arrow.

I am headed to Australia next week and just finished building my arrows for this hunt yesterday. I think they are going to weight out around 940 grains as I won’t be using lighted nocks this time around. I should have a LOT more buffaloes down in a few weeks and expect the Grizzlystiks to do the job just as they always have done.
 
I have taken 5 buffaloes, 3 of them Capes, over the years. 4 of them with Grizzlystiks and one with Easton DG FMJ’s using a Silver Flame head from Alaska Bowhunting Supply. I use Grizzlystik on almost everything now and have been Happy with them for anything where I am shooting a heavy arrow.

All three of my Cape buffalo dropped and died with just a single arrow. The first two expired so quickly that I didn’t even get a death bellow. Collectively, they ran less than 200 yards between the three of them before they died. I ran 844 grains on my first Cape, 650 grains on my second (not a planned hunt but was asked to dispatch a problem bull when I was on a plains game hunt) and the last one with a 950 grain arrow.

I am headed to Australia next week and just finished building my arrows for this hunt yesterday. I think they are going to weight out around 940 grains as I won’t be using lighted nocks this time around. I should have a LOT more buffaloes down in a few weeks and expect the Grizzlystiks to do the job just as they always have done.
That's great information. Good luck on your upcoming hunt. Keep us posted!
 
I have taken 5 buffaloes, 3 of them Capes, over the years. 4 of them with Grizzlystiks and one with Easton DG FMJ’s using a Silver Flame head from Alaska Bowhunting Supply. I use Grizzlystik on almost everything now and have been Happy with them for anything where I am shooting a heavy arrow.

All three of my Cape buffalo dropped and died with just a single arrow. The first two expired so quickly that I didn’t even get a death bellow. Collectively, they ran less than 200 yards between the three of them before they died. I ran 844 grains on my first Cape, 650 grains on my second (not a planned hunt but was asked to dispatch a problem bull when I was on a plains game hunt) and the last one with a 950 grain arrow.

I am headed to Australia next week and just finished building my arrows for this hunt yesterday. I think they are going to weight out around 940 grains as I won’t be using lighted nocks this time around. I should have a LOT more buffaloes down in a few weeks and expect the Grizzlystiks to do the job just as they always have done.
What bow, poundage and draw length are you shooting with these arrows?

As to the 650gr arrow how did you feel it performed compared to the heavier ones?
 
I use a Mathews Monster Safari. I have several of them, one with 85lb limbs and a couple with 70lb limbs. The 85lb one has maxed out at 90lbs in the past. It is currently at 77lbs and I am working on getting back to 80 lbs for the hunt. The 70 lb ones are always at 70lbs. All are 28.5" draw length, 80% letoff.

The 650 grain arrow didn't pass through my Cape. It got a double lung heart but didn't get past the shoulder on the opposite side. I also used that bow and arrow combination on a water buffalo years ago and wished I had my heavier bow but I didn't set out looking for a big bull - I was on a meat hunt for a buffalo heifer and was upsold on a water buffalo, which my outfitter then forgot his rifle at the lodge and just sat in the truck while I spot and stalked it solo with no backup of any kind.

A 70lb bow and 650 grain arrow can down a buffalo, but I would not recommend it. Use what is recommended. My first buffalo was a pass through with an 844 grain arrow. The last one was shot with a 950 grain arrow and also 81 lbs draw weight. I shot a bison with a 950 grain arrow at 89 lbs draw and put a second arrow into it to speed up the process. Both arrows flew through the buffalo and went off so far past them that I lost both arrows.

At this point, I would say 77lbs is the minimum I would shoot Cape or water buffalo (and prefer 80+ lbs) and I am going to be in the 950 grain range, plus or minus, on my arrows. The arrows I just built for this hunt next week are going to be 942-944.4 grains using an unlighted nock. I will have plenty of photos and data in a few week as my plan is to take at least 8 buffalo - the 7 in the package and one trophy bull add on. If I am lucky, I can get a scrub bull while I am there.
 
I use a Mathews Monster Safari. I have several of them, one with 85lb limbs and a couple with 70lb limbs. The 85lb


Save some Aussie Water Buffalo for the rest of us!

What would your minimum archery recommendations be for a trophy Elephant?
 
For elephant, I would recommend 105 Ft-Lbs of kinetic energy with a 1,000 grain arrow, minimum How you get to 105 Ft-lbs can vary, depending on how blessed or cursed you are with draw length and choice of bow. I am struggling putting on draw weight now that I am in my 50's. I cannot add it as easily as I could just a few years ago. Based on this development, I am going to try and get my elephant before I turn 55. I don't know how much longer I will be able to pull back an 85 lb bow. I will try and get my elephant and hippo in the same safari and then I will only be missing a rhino as far as the really big animals. Given rhino cannot be shot with a bow legally anywhere they can be hunted, I will be stuck with a green hunt for that and don't need the draw weight.

I have a bunch of elephant/hippo arrows set up already and never got to use them. They are 1,252 grains on a 170 spine shaft and 30% FOC. I think I can hit 117 Ft-Lbs with my bow fully maxed out. I just need to book a hunt now.
 
Typically a bow's efficiency increases only slightly with a heavier arrow. I have run arrows from 400 to 550 grs through a chorno witha couple of different bows, and seen less than a 1 lb./ft increase in KE over the range. On that basis, I am really questioning the gains in KE from 63 to 83. I would guess it would increase to something more like 64-65 lb/ft KE. I don't say that because KE is important, but more how that will actually translate to speed which would be closer to 185-190 fps. IMO I would go with a lighter arrow (500-650 grs.) with a beefy 2 blade and get a better trajectory.
IMO I would worry about dynamic spine with that much weight on the front of the arrow too.
 
Uxas, I am not sure where you are getting the gain of 63 to 83 KE. Neither of those numbers appeared in this thread. Typically, if one wants more KE, they are going to have to do that with draw weight increases or moving to a more efficient bow. Mine, for example, is rated at 350 fps IBO. I got a good speed bump when I went from a 330 fps bow to 342 and then another one to this current one. Both times I was able to also start increasing my poundage more.

If somebody is putting out 64-65 Ft-Lbs of KE, my suggestion is to stay the hell away from buffaloes. You will need 80 Ft-Lbs for those.

Also, the big gain you get with a heavy arrow is not in kinetic energy, it is in momentum and for that, the gains are quite substantial.
 
Typically a bow's efficiency increases only slightly with a heavier arrow

Sorry, but I can't agree with this assertion...

Increasing total arrow weight in combination with front of center weight distribution of at least 20% will substantially increase momentum and therefore penetration capability. Add the right broadhead design and the penetration capability increases even further. This is not an opinion, but a fact easily proven by shooting a lighter arrow and a heavier arrow into the same medium with all components being the same except for total arrow weight, and f.o.c. percentage...

If you are suggesting that an arrow weighing 500-650 grains is adequate for the necessary penetration to hunt a Cape buffalo, I strongly disagree and do not recommend this to anyone regardless of the bow's draw weight or KE calculation...
 
Dave, I think Uxas means that the bow does not get that much more efficient - as in more kinetic energy discharged. That is true. It gets more efficient, but not by a large amount.

A heavier arrow will make the arrow more efficient in pushing through the target by containing a higher momentum but that happens even if the kinetic energy stays exactly the same and one can do the math on that one fairly easily to see how much of an increase you get from changing the mass of the arrow while maintaining the same kinetic energy.

His statement was not to advocate for that weight on Cape buffalo but just what weights he has shot over a chrono to test the gains in kinetic energy and I have no reason to doubt his results on increases of bow efficiency as mass increases.

That said, I have killed a Cape buffalo with a 650 grain arrow out of a 70 lb bow (with a 28.5" draw on a 350 fps IBO rated bow). I was putting out 85 Ft-Lbs of KE and running over 20% FOC and a 0.705 slug of momentum. On paper, that is enough and in reality, it did work. That said, I would feel more comfortable with a heavier bow and heavier arrow.

For my buffalo hunt coming up, my arrows are finished and clocked in at 943.6 +/- 1.2 grains total arrow weight. Even at 77 lbs draw, I am at 99 # kinetic energy and .911 slug of momentum. I will be cranking up my bow for the final time today and doing my distance sighting in as I leave tomorrow. My expectation is to be 104 ft-lbs and .934 slug of momentum. If I reduced my arrow by 310 grains in total arrow weight, I would only lose 1.5 ft-lbs of kinetic, but momentum would drop by .153 slugs - a 16.4% reduction in momentum with only a 1.4% loss in kinetic energy. I can't see the value in that just to get a flatter trajectory. It isn't like I am trying to shoot these things at 80 yards.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
55,189
Messages
1,172,301
Members
95,912
Latest member
dkoaw321
 

 

 

Latest profile posts

Life is Short live it how you want...
jgraco33 wrote on 85lc's profile.
Is your 22HP still available? If so have the original case?
tacklers wrote on ianevans's profile.
Hi Ian, I'm contemplating my first outing, leaving UK via Dubai to Africa, taking rifles as you did.

I presume it went okay for you, would you have done anything differently? Cheers, Richard East Sussex
A.A. wrote on Msprenger!'s profile.
Are you still looking for a 375 H&H?
NRA Life, ASSRA Life, GGCA Life
 
Top