The hogs slipped into the waist-high palmettos just out of range. Mentally marking where they disappeared, I slowly crept along the old roadbed hoping to intersect their feeding path. Ten yards melded into thirty, then forty. I could hear them feeding, but the thick cover of the palmettos prevented me from seeing them.
Experience has taught me to be slow and still. Scanning the low brush, I caught movement at a mere four yards. A young pig was feeding along the edge and oblivious to my intrusion. As he moved along, I raised my bow and drew the new 5MM Easton Full Metal Jacket arrow. As the anchor found its natural place, my TruGlo Range Rover sight settled right behind the shoulder. In a moment, it was done. The pig whirled around, and my glowing green nock told the whole story. A complete pass through; my first on a feral hog. The Easton 5MM Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) performed flawlessly, and I had my first pig of the week.
Prior to attending the hunt at Osceola Outfitters in St. Cloud Florida, I picked up some of the new Easton FMJ arrows. I was intrigued with this hybrid design of a high strength carbon core shrouded with a 7075-aluminum skin. The design puzzled me and fascinated me, so I had to run them through my tests.
The blanks arrived, and I set out to cut them to length, fletch and prepare for practice shooting. The FMJ’s come with the Easton HIT system, a system designed for the small diameter arrows that melds the threaded portion of the insert recessed into the arrow shaft to ensure a snug and tight fit of either target tips or broadheads. As with all arrows, when changing brands or sizes, some tweaking of your setup is necessary. I had to get everything dialed in the way I wanted them, not to mention that I only had a few days before leaving for Florida. I needed some time on the range.
First impressions showed the arrow flew fast, and I had a LOT of tweaking to do to my rest and sights. The smaller diameter arrows flew very differently than the Beman ICS I was set up for. A few shots and a tweak here and an adjustment there, before I knew it I was shooting bullet holes. The arrows were shooting so tight, I had to shoot different targets even out to over sixty yards. I knew that these would be some deadly arrows in my quiver for the coming season.
But the practice wasn’t enough. I needed some realistic practice. I needed some long distance, elevated practice, and some close-range practice. I have noticed through the years, like a lot of shooters and bow hunters, we spend more time and effort on the shots we seldom have – the fifty-yard plus shots. When in reality, most bow kills are inside of twenty yards. Therefore, I made myself practice for the twenty, fifteen and ten yard shots. And it is a good thing I did, because the hog I shot in Florida was at four yards – practicing for shots that close are not normal. But it proved to be a good plan to practice at that distance.
While on the range, I tested shooting the FMJ’s into several different targets to see how they performed with the different target compounds. It showed that the 5MM FMJ arrows were easy to remove from all types. Layered targets, dense foam targets, bag targets, and 3D targets all proved to stop the FMJ easily and removed just as easy. The high kinetic energy did teach me that even on relatively new layered or block style targets, it is best to have a back stop because it is common to bury the arrow to the fletching and beyond at all distances. Stacking targets back to back saved a lot of re-fletching efforts. Bag targets seemed to stop the arrows quickly, as did the 3D targets. I was pleasantly surprised that the 3D targets did not tend to hold the arrows any tighter than medium-sized arrows. They were removed with relative ease.
In all, I believe seven hogs fell victim to the FMJ on this trip. It proved to be well suited for the task at hand. The 7075-aluminum shroud of the carbon core is a tough arrow and can withstand a lot of abuse – a lot more than I actually expected. Being a convert to 100% carbon several decades ago, I had my doubts about the aluminum holding up, but not only did it hold up, it enhanced the performance.
The Easton FMJ is a cutting edge, durable and accurate arrow that will leave any hunter smiling for the pictures he is able to take holding his trophy.