There was a time when carbon arrows were uniformly “one-size-fits-all.” This is no longer the case, meaning arrow consumers must put a bit more thought into arrow purchases rather than grabbing what’s most readily available at a local archery outlet. The bowhunter now has the ability to select shafts to meet specific goals presented by particular terrain, overall conditions or the size of the game itself. This leads to more efficient bowhunting, giving you an edge that leads to increased success. So come along as we explore the possibilities.
There are certain venues and game, where longer shots are par for the course. Thin-skinned, light-boned pronghorn and Southwest Coues whitetail come immediately to mind, the former due to wide-open habitat, the later because of their neurotic demeanors. Range estimation becomes hyper-critical and as ranges stretch a wider forgiveness latitude assures fewer missed shots. A lightweight, fast arrow is where it’s at here, carbon arrows weighing, say, 7.5 to 8.5 gpi (grains per inch) in the 330-340 deflections (arrow stiffness) the majority of bowhunters shoot (60-65 pounds at 29-30 inches).
Great examples include Easton’s proven 6.5mm Flatline, exceptional Hexx and unsurpassed Da’Torch. Flatlines weigh 8.2 gpi in 340, hold standard Super Nocks and exceptional straightness tolerances. Hexx and Da’Torch shafts hit the scales at 7.9 gpi, hold H- and X-Nocks, respectively, and include .001-inch straightness tolerances, a great confidence booster welcomed in precision long-range shooting arenas. These are three arrows that serve you well on grassy prairies or open desert wastes.
At the opposite end of the spectrum are the largest big-game animals, such as commonly-hunted elk, or more infrequent moose, bison or African hunts. These are big, tough animals with thick hide and sturdy skeletal structure. Penetration and absolute reliability should arrows encounter heavy bone is where emphasis must be placed. Parameters are found in the 10-plus gpi range, and the industry has delivered, producing skinnier, heavier arrows engineered to drive deep and withstand extreme abuse with aplomb.
Easton leads the way with a wide variety of heavy hitters. Full Metal Jackets, or FMJs, are the ultimate in this class, skinny 4mm (G-Nock) FMJ Injexions weighing 11 gpi in 330 spine, 5mm (X-Nock) FMJ weighing 11.3 in 340 and 6mm (H-Nock) FMJ 10.6 gpi in 320. Carbon and A/C Injexions, with G-Nocks and Steel H.I.T. inserts, have emerged as pile drivers as well, the former weighing 10.2 gpi in 330, the later 10.5 gpi in 330. For the traditionally minded, there is the Easton Axis Traditional, weighing 10.3 gpi in 340 deflection.
Keep in mind, too, heavy arrows always translate into quieter shots, such shafts are better at absorbing a bow’s available energy, reducing vibrations that produce shot noise. This makes a perfect recipe for the average whitetail/treestand hunter, as in whitetail hunting silence is golden. In fact, silence beats speed every time in the string-jumping race; so, if you want to beat a buck to the jump, go heavier and quieter, not lighter and faster.
Understandably, not every archer can afford to purchase a different shaft for every bowhunting scenario. Compromises must sometimes be made. This means riding the middle—a shaft light enough to relinquish decent speed, but heavy enough to assure ample penetration on bad angles or larger game. There are plenty of options here as well, shafts weighing from plus-8.5 to the upper 9 gpi.
Easton offers the original slim-profile, 6.5mm (S-Nock) BowFire (9.6 gpi in 330), 6mm Aftermath (9.6 gpi in 340), 6mm Axis Under Armour (9.6 gpi in 340), to the 6mm Bloodline weighing 8.7 gpi in 330 for those seeking a bit more speed. Beman is all about riding the middle, with the newer White Out and Hunter Realtree 8.8 gpi in 340. These are arrows that serve perfectly in whitetail treestands, or while running and gunning elk.
For more information on Easton Arrows, please visit https://eastonarchery.com