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Bow bullets: modern archery ammunition is more durable, accurate quiet --and deadly--than ever before.

THE SWEET SENSATION of bowhunting success--or the pain of defeat--rides on one simple, single instant of arrow flight. That's why good arrows are so important.

To help you enjoy the best possible arrow flight, we have compiled a list of the latest and greatest. Arrow shaft makers never cease improving their products, and you will find just the right shafts here to ensure the sweet sensation of bowhunting success.


Doug Easton revolutionized archery in the 1930's when he introduced the aluminum arrow shaft, and his tradition of quality continues with Easton's XX78 Super Slam. Sizes in this line range from 2114-2613, all of which boast a straightness tolerance of +/- .0015", weight tolerance of +/- 1%, and strength rating of 100,000 lbs. per square inch (psi).

Easton's XX75 line in Realtree, Mossy Oak, and Camo Hunter versions remains a bowhunting staple. All XX75 shafts have a straightness tolerance of +/- .002", weight tolerance of +/- 1%, and strength rating of 95,000 psi. The XX75 Legacy, with its cedar wood grain finish, remains popular with traditionalists.

For an economical option, look at Easton's XX75 Gamegetter with its new hard-anodized graphic, +/- .003" straightness, and weight tolerance of +/- 1.25%. Easton has simplified spine ratings at 500, 400, 340, and 300.


Easton's A/C/C, with an aluminum core and carbon overlay, opened the door in this category. New for this year is the ST Axis Realtree, featuring PhotoFusion Realtree APG on the latter portion of the black shaft. The ST Axis, available in four sizes--500, 400, 340, and 300--has a straightness tolerance of +/- .003". All ST Axis shafts come complete with Easton's X-nock installed.

To take the concept a step further, Easton has turned its A/C shafts inside out to create the exciting Axis FMJ (Full Metal Jacket). Aluminum on the outside improves durability and, according to Easton, reduces friction by as much as 70%, which makes for easy arrow removal from foam targets. Additionally, the smooth aluminum surface causes very little wear on arrow rests. Available in four spine sizes--500, 400,340, and 300--Axis FMJ's have a straightness tolerance of +/- .002".

Gold Tip has taken its line to a new level with the CAA--Carbon Aluminum Arrow--which starts with a thin aluminum core and then uses an accuracy-inducing process to wrap carbon over the aluminum. CAA shahs are available in five spine sizes: 500 (8.4 gpi), 450 (8.6 gpi), 400 (8.7 gpi), 350 (9.6 gpi), and 300 (9.9 gpi).


In addition to hard-hitting bows, PSE makes hard-hitting arrows. The Carbon Force Radial X Weave Black Mamba, designed for high-poundage bows and super-tough big game, comes only in a 400-spine rating. Straightness tolerance is +/- .003". Black Mambas come with kinetic energy tubes of 10.5 grains (gr.) per inch, stainless steel collars, and inserts.

PSE's Carbon Force Radial X Weave Pro boasts a straightness tolerance of +/- .001", weight tolerance of +/- 1 gr. per dozen, and Beiter nocks. Spine weights available are 100, 200, and 300. For an economical alternative, look at PSE's Carbon Force Radial X Weave STL Hunter, with a straightness tolerance of +/- .006", in spine ratings of 100, 200, and 300.

New for 2007, Easton's popular ST Axis small-diameter carbon shafts are dressed up in Realtree and Mossy Oak camouflage. Straightness tolerance is +/- .003", weight +/- 2 gr. Spine ratings are 500, 400, 340, and 300. Easton's ST Epic is larger in diameter than the ST Axis but smaller than most all-carbon arrows. The ST Epic has a straightness tolerance of +/- .003", weight +/- 2 gr. ST Epic's are available in black or Realtree HD Green, and use a special insert with a long stinger for precision, group-shrinking fit, especially with fixed-blade heads. An additional spine rating of 600 will please archers shooting lightweight bows. Easton's economical ST Carbon Excel has a straightness tolerance of +/- .005" and a weight tolerance of +/- 2 gr. H nocks come installed, and HP inserts are included.

Carbon Impact's Hot Shaft XLT's come in two grades--Yellow and Blue. XLT Yellows have a straightness tolerance of +/- .003" and a maximum weight variance of +/- 3 gr. XLT Blues come in at +/.006" straightness and +/- 4 gr. in weight. Both XLT Yellows and Blues are available in 55/65 and 65/75 spine ratings.

Carbon Express flies high with its Maxima Hunter, which has a straightness tolerance of +/- .0025"; Built-In Weight Forward technology that assures stable, accurate arrow flight; BuffTuff finish; BullDog Nock Collars; Timber Illuzion camouflage; and two spine ratings, 250 and 350. Finished arrows are available with 4" vanes or Blazer vanes.

The Carbon Express Terminator Lite Hunter has a straightness tolerance of +/- .0035", Realtree Hardwoods HD Green camo with BuffTuff Plus2 Construction, and Built-In Weight Forward technology. For more demanding bowhunters, Terminator XP Select shafts boast a straightness of +/- .0025", BuffTuff with Illuzion camo, and BullDog Nock Collars. Terminators come in two sizes, 4560 and 6075.

The Carbon Express Rebel Hunter, dressed in Oak Illuzion Camo, has many of the same features as the Maxima Hunter and Terminator, but with a slightly looser straightness tolerance of +/- .005", it fits a tighter budget. The Carbon Express Heritage, with a cedar-grain BuffTuff finish, is sure to please traditionalists. Red (2 gpi) and yellow (3 gpi) weight tubes can be inserted into any Carbon Express shafts to increase kinetic energy.

In Beman's Team Realtree MFX, thick shaft walls combined with micro-diameter MFX construction ensure durability and excellent penetration. A 10" camo logo adds a great look without the added cost of full-shaft camo. A straightness tolerance of +/- .003" and weight tolerance of +/- 2 gr. assure consistency and accuracy. MFX shafts come with Direct Fit X-Nocks installed and HIT (Hidden Insert Technology) inserts. The Beman Classic boasts similar construction but with a wood-grain finish that will appeal to traditionalists.

For hunting adventures that include magnum game, Gold Tip's Big Game Series has to get serious consideration. This shaft, spined for bows shooting 75-100 lbs. and weighing 10.6 gpi, assures good penetration on the biggest animals. Straightness tolerance is +/- .005". This shaft comes standard with GT Series nocks and inserts. Finish options are camo and black.

The Vapor Pro Series from Blackhawk features Radiant Armor Coating for durability and easy arrow removal from targets. Straightness tolerance is +/- .002", weight tolerance +/- 2 gr. Vapor Pro Series are available in four sizes--2000, 3000, 4000, 5000--with 2000 suited for low-poundage bows progressing up to the 5000 for brutish draw weights. This is a high-end arrow with a high-end price.

For a more economical option, look to Blackhawk's Vapor Hunter, which carries a straightness tolerance of +/- .006" and a weight tolerance of +/- 2 gr. Vapor Hunters are available in four sizes--2000 to 5000--that give weight options from 6.7 gpi to 11 gpi.

The VForce from Victory Archery is rated at +/- .5 gr. weight per dozen for the 300, 400, and 500-spine shafts and +/- 3 gr. on the 200's. Arrow weights range from 6.2 gpi on the 200's to 9.2 gpi on the 500's. With the VForce HV, you can choose among three tolerance ratings to fit your needs and budget. The V1's rank at the top of the industry standard with a straightness tolerance of +/- .001". The V3's balance price and quality with a straightness of +/- .003". The V6 Series completes the range with a straightness tolerance of +/- .006" and a budget-conscious price.

Carbon Tech's CT Panther is a "tru-tapered" shaft with a powerful front end. The uniform inner diameter accepts Carbon Tech's standard nocks and inserts. However, the outer diameter tapers to give the shaft an increased FOC (Front of Center) for better flight and penetration. Spine of the arrow is tunable--cut the shaft at the nock end to increase spine, cut at the insert end to decrease spine. CT Panthers have a straightness tolerance of +/- .005".


Carbon Impact and Beman offer shafts that may give us a glimpse into the future of arrow technology--internal arrow stabilization. Carbon Impact's Stealth XLT shaft has a vibration-dampening device factory installed at the optimum point within the shaft to quickly stabilize the arrow in flight. In essence, this "built-in arrow stabilizer" smooths out arrow oscillation, and optimizes FOC balance to improve accuracy and penetration. The Stealth XLT is available in 5000, 6000, and 6500 spine sizes, and Yellow and Blue grades with straightness tolerances of +/- .003" and +/- .006", respectively.

Beman's ICS Hunter Elite and Camo Hunter shafts come with a ViBrake insert featuring a specially designed Navcom Stinger. Once inserted, the Navcom material moves freely to soak up excess arrow vibration. Beman had set out to make a quieter arrow but quickly realized the Stinger was doing much more--stabilizing the arrow quickly in flight. During testing, Beman has found that arrows fitted with Navcom Stingers stabilize up to 10% faster at 40 yards than do arrows without. The resultant straighter arrow, flight increases accuracy and penetration. ICS Elite's boast a straightness of +/-.001" and come with direct fit Super Nocks.
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Title Annotation:GEAR SPECIAL 2007: ARROWS
Author:Dolbee, Dave
Date:Jul 15, 2007
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