Build better arrows: your accuracy is only as good as your ammunition, and today's bow ammo leaves you few excuses.
ON THE SURFACE, ARROWS might look the same now as they did a decade ago, but down inside they have changed dramatically as arrow manufacturers continue to develop new processes that produce straighter, stronger and lighter shafts. The tighter the tolerances in the arrow factory, the tighter your arrow groups in the field.
News on the arrow-making front gets even better when you consider the latest glues, vanes, and other arrow components many of which have contributed as much to improved arrow construction as the shafts themselves. For the best in bowhunting ammunition, check out the new shafts and components discussed below.
(Note: All prices are per dozen unless otherwise specified. Arrow weights are expressed as grains per inch (gpi).)
On the MFX Bone Collector ($105), thick walls make the shafts super durable, while microdiameter increases overall penetration and minimizes wind drift. In addition, the thick walls add weight, which enhances kinetic energy and, thus, penetration. These shafts come with HIT (Hidden Insert Technology), meaning points rest directly on the shaft walls rather than on the rims of inserts, a feature that ensures precise head alignment and accuracy. Bone Collectors are available with ViBrake X-nocks, which use Sims NAVCOM IV to reduce vibration and decrease recovery time, resulting in tighter arrow groups. Having tested these arrow, I can attest to their superior accuracy and penetration. Straightness tolerance is +/- .003", weight tolerance +/-2.0 grains. The MFX Bone Collector comes in four spine sizes: 300 (10.7 gpi), 340 (9.5 gpi), 400 (9.0 gpi), and 500 (8.1 gpi).
2 CARBON EXPRESS
The Mayhem ($130), built with proprietary K-360 technology, a process that weaves several types of materials together to create a strong and consistent arrow, is available with Fusion or Blazer vanes.
"Bowhunters don't realize how important having a consistent spine is," Carbon Express Executive Vice President Lenny Rezmer said. "Consistent spine results in consistent accuracy, and Mayhem shafts are all sorted to assure spine consistency. Since the Mayhem shaft is built and sorted by machine, the shafts are extremely straight. And all arrows in a box of 12 will weigh about the same, which means tighter groups."
The Mayhem comes in two spine sizes: 250 (8.9 gpi) and 350 (9.8 gpi). Straightness tolerance is +/-.0035".
3 CARBON TECH
For 2010, Carbon Tech is offering a new arrow for the working man. It's called the CT Cougar ($75), and it was developed by former Olympic archer Rick McKinney to have a very consistent spine thanks to Carbon Tech's proprietary carbon wrapping process. According to McKinney, a consistent spine is one of the least talked about but most important features of a carbon shaft. The CT Cougar comes in two sizes: the 45/70 (8 gpi) and the 55/80 (9.5 gpi). The CT Cougar has a straightness of +/- .005".
The new multilayer, wrapped-carbon FlatLine Surgical ($140) gives you a fast, light weight arrow with the strength and power needed for the biggest of game. Made of Easton's SuperLite Carbon, the FlatLine Surgical features lightweight components.
"You can only shave so much weight from a shaft before it loses strength," Easton's Rich Packer said. "We decided to shave weight off the components so we can keep our strong shaft extremely light." The FlatLine Surgical comes with a MicroLite nock and insert that saves 48% off the weight of a traditional nock and insert. "Together yon are saving about 26 grains, which makes a big difference," Packer said.
Combine the component weight savings with the lightweight carbon shaft and you get an arrow that is several grains lighter than the average carbon arrow. Available sizes are: 340 (8.2 gpi), 400 (7.4 gpi), and 500 (6.5 gpi). Straightness tolerance is +/- .001", weight tolerance +/- 2.0 grains.
5 GOLD TIP
The new lightweight Velocity XT ($100) is designed for speed. Like all Gold Tip arrows, the Velocity XT is built by rolling pre-preg carbon fibers onto a mandrel, a process that uses less resin than do many
other carbon-shaft-building processes. "The more resin used in a shaft, the poorer the shaft's memory," Gold Tip's Tim Gillingham said. "An arrow shaft with memory will shoot more accurately and last longer than a shaft with lots of resin and other materials. Our arrows have great memory, which means they will maintain their accuracy even after thousands of shots." Available in spines of 300,400, and 500, the Velocity XT weighs 8.3 gpi. Straightness tolerance is +/- .003", weight tolerance +/- 2.0 grains.
The Carbon Force Bow Madness arrow ($100), named after the Drury Brothers' popular television show Bow Madness, is a top-shelf arrow built with a cross-weaving process. Strips of carbon are woven over each other in several directions, creating a seamless shaft that's extremely strong and consistent. The Bow Madness comes with Bow Madness graphics and Fusion Vanes. Available sizes are 200 (7.5 gpi) and 300 (8.6 gpi). Straightness tolerance is +/- .003".
Years ago, the Bohning Blazer Vane ($9/36) started the craze for super-short, high-profile vanes, and this year Bohning has enhanced the Blazer by tightening the tolerances, resulting in an even smaller vane. The original Blazer was 2" long and .6" high; the new version measures 1.987" long and .568" high. Visually you won't notice much difference, but you'll notice a difference on the grain scale. The new Blazer is lighter than the old version, which will please those bowhunters looking for a way to lighten arrows and to gain more weight forward. The lip on the bottom of the vane has a deep groove down the center for glue, which ensures good adhesion.
Duravanes' original 2.1 Fusion Vane, another short, high-profile vane, has been popular among bowhunters, and for 2010, Duravanes has introduced a 3" version of the Fusion Vane ($8/50). The increased length creates more surface area, which results in greater arrow stability. A unique blend of polymers gives the Fusion Vane its name, and this blend is what makes them adhere so well to arrow shafts. I've shot thousands of shots with arrows fletched with the Fusion Vanes, and the vanes rarely come off, even after months of shooting.
Feathers aren't only for traditional bowhunters. Gateway Feathers now offers a 2" shield-cut feather fletching called the Rayzr (S28/50). Available in 15 colors, these look and fly great on carbon, aluminum, and wood arrows. Compared to standard, full-length feather fletching, Rayzrs are quiet, due to their shorter length. They're also very light in weight. I weighed several Rayzrs on my grain scale and learned that they weigh one-third to one-quarter as much as most vanes. The result is increased weight-forward balance and arrow speed.
The Firenock Aerovane II ($25/36) has a true whole-piece airfoil with a continuous change of thickness and curved surface that improves flight path and speed. The design is similar to the wing of an owl, which is virtually silent. The airfoil design minimizes drag and makes tuning easy, because the faster arrows fly the better the Aerovanes stabilize them. From my personal testing, I have been impressed with the Aerovanes' durability.
Flex-Fletch Products is best known for its vanes with tremendous memory, meaning the vanes can be twisted and crimped thousands of times but still retain their original shape. For 2010, Flex-Fletch has created the Glow Vane ($30/50). I fletched a few arrows with these vanes and shot them in dusky light. These babies really do glow! I was amazed at how bright and easy they are to follow in flight. Requiring no batteries, these vanes are Pope & Young legal. The Glow Vanes are available in all Flex-Fletch vane sizes.
Arizona Archery's new short, high-profile Max Hunter vanes ($9/40) measure 2.15" long and .580" high. The vanes are ribbed for maximum stability in flight. They are also quiet in flight, and they adhere well to shafts.
Many of today's fast-drying glues set up in less than a minute, which leaves little time to make sure the insert is in the shaft securely. Arizona Archery has a new insert glue called Max Impact ($11) that doesn't set up completely for several minutes, giving you time to align inserts properly.
Bohning has a new insert/outsert glue called Insert Iron ($14). Having tested this glue, I can verify that once it dries, only a gorilla could pull out the insert. Insert Iron takes 24 hours to cure, giving you plenty of time to ensure proper insert alignment.
Oil from your fingertips, and other contamination, can cause poor fletching adhesion. Arizona Archery's Max Clean ($7/bottle) solves the problem. Pour a capful of the concentrated Max Clean into some water and clean your arrow shafts with the water. One bottle cleans about 500 shafts.
Maybe you want to eliminate glue altogether. If so, look at Mega Thrust Archery's Arrow Kits ($150/12), which contain everything needed to build glueless arrows. At the heart of the system is a 400-spine shaft with a straightness of +/- .003". The nock end of the shaft has helical slits that accept a special four-fletch system called Mega Thrust Stabilizers. Insert the one-piece Stabilizers and then attach a fletch-lock nock. The arrow is now fletched. At the other end of the shaft, push in a special Mega Thrust insert and lock it into place with the included Allen screw. Screw in a Mega Thrust fieldtip or broadhead, and you're ready to shoot!
The NuFletch Spectrum ($40/3), a machined aluminum, slotted ferrule you screw into the nock end of the arrow, is another glueless fletching option. First cut your shaft 3 1/2" shorter than normal and glue a threaded insert into the nock end of the shaft. Then screw the NuFletch aluminum ferrule into the insert, slide vanes into each slot in the ferrule, screw on a cap that comes complete with a nock, and you are ready to shoot. To change a vane, simply unscrew the cap, take out the old vane, and put in a new one. The NuFletch System is available for a variety of vanes, including Fusion and Blazer Vanes; and in a variety of sizes for different arrow shafts. It adds about 50 grains to your arrows but is also said to improve the dynamics of the arrows.
Arizona Rim Country Products' E-Z Fletch Mini ($47), a new fletching jig designed for shorter vanes like the Blazer and Fusion, gives vanes the maximum helical possible for tighter groups. Easy to use, the Mini will accept vanes as long as 2 1/4". Put one vane into each of the three arms, put a bead of glue on each vane, put the shaft into the fletching device, close the arms, screw on the top cap, and wait 10 minutes. Voila! Your arrow is ready to hunt.
Another new fletching jig designed for maximum helical with short vanes is Bohning Archery's Helix Tower ($53), which can fletch vanes up to 2" in length with a 3-degree right helical. The Helix Tower is designed for shafts 17/64"-23/64" in diameter.
The Nockturnal ($23/3) lighted nock from DoubleTake Archery is simple to operate. Put the nock into the arrow shaft and shoot. A string-activated internal switch turns the nock on the moment the arrow is released and stays on until it is deactivated. The switch pops off by inserting a knife tip into a hole in the side of the nock and pushing up. This nock is up to 50% lighter than similar nocks, which reduces overall arrow weight.
For maximum accuracy, spin-test your arrows to make sure the shaft and components are in perfect alignment. The Arrow Inspector ($32) from Pine Ridge Archery will tell you whether your arrows are spinning true or wobbling slightly.
Go to bowhunter.com for manufacturer contact information
|Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback|
|Title Annotation:||ARROWS & COMPONENTS|
|Date:||May 18, 2010|
|Previous Article:||The best new bows for 2010: you want the perfect bow for you? Take your pick. With bows this good, you really cannot go wrong.|
|Next Article:||A dead-on dozen: without a good sight on your bow, your hunting efforts could be totally aimless.|