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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can someone tell me what this means?

I always keep a bareshaft which I shoot a few times whenever I'm practicing just to keep an eye on things.
I have recently retuned and everything has been perfect, bareshaft landing right in the middle of my fletched group, nice and straight out to 30 yards.
I haven't shot a bareshaft beyond 30.
This evening I was shooting at a range that has targets staggered at an angle 20/30/40/50/60, you get it.
I shot a group of fletched with a bareshaft at 30 and it was perfect.
I thought what the heck I'll try 40, shot the group and it looked slightly right but could have just been off on the shot.
I thought dang, I bet I can do 50 yards.
Fletched we're good but the bareshaft looked perfectly straight to almost exactly the 40 target distance (I could tell because how targets were staggered) and then it totally looked like a curveball and planed left wide enough to totally miss the bale and into the bushes.
I never found the arrow and was the only bareshaft I had so I couldn't repeat.

That arrow looked really straight till the 40, what does this mean? Bad shot/form, should I touch my rest right a tiny bit? Why would it look straight and plane off at a certain distance?
There was a really slight breeze blowing that way but it was pretty slight.
I'm scared to do it again because I don't want to lose another one.
What you guys think?
 

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I've only shot my bare shafts on as dead calm of a day as possible out to 30.....or indoors. Any breeze will effect a bare shaft because you are not getting the stabilization of rotation that fletching offers. At 50, shoot your fixed blade BH of choice and see what your results are.....that is more indicative of your tune than a BS at that distance. Since you have been shooting bare shafts fairly frequently, you know how criticial hand placement on the riser, alignment of your anchor-peep-sight housing, and execution of your release are for optimal results. At 50 yards with a fletched field point it doesn't take much to be off several inches.....and a bare shaft amplifies that in spades. It is like sighting a rifle at 100 and then shooting at 300....it doesn't take much breeze or form error to yield a really poor results.
 

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That was just a grip deal. If you get perfect bareshafts at 30 yards and or 40 yards. They will be the same at 50, 60 and 100 yards. Most times what happens at longer yardage is either anchor point changes or we simply over aim and are as looee as cams smooth with our shooting.
 

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That’s why I stick to 20 yards with my bare shaft. I did the same thing once. I was perfect at 20, so I thought why not. 35 yards, not bad. Back up to 90 yards in a “hold my beer” moment, I think that arrow turned completely around. It stuck in the backstop, but “feet” from where I aimed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the repies guys.
I am still happy with my tune, I feel like 30/40 yards with a bareshaft in the middle of my vane group is very acceptable.
I was mostly looking for others experience in shooting bareshaft at long ranges to get an idea of what could cause the "curve ball" type flight that my arrow performed.
I don't think it was caused by torque or form because it was going straight to where I aimed, untill about the 40 yard mark where it started curving sharply left.
I just didn't really think that breeze was strong enough to make it curve that sharply and it seems like it would have pushed the arrow left the whole time, not at the last 10 yards. but maybe it gusted a bit or something right then.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I've only shot my bare shafts on as dead calm of a day as possible out to 30.....or indoors. Any breeze will effect a bare shaft because you are not getting the stabilization of rotation that fletching offers. At 50, shoot your fixed blade BH of choice and see what your results are.....that is more indicative of your tune than a BS at that distance. Since you have been shooting bare shafts fairly frequently, you know how criticial hand placement on the riser, alignment of your anchor-peep-sight housing, and execution of your release are for optimal results. At 50 yards with a fletched field point it doesn't take much to be off several inches.....and a bare shaft amplifies that in spades. It is like sighting a rifle at 100 and then shooting at 300....it doesn't take much breeze or form error to yield a really poor results.
I wish had somewhere indoor that I could shoot a BS that far, with really wide bales so I wouldn't miss no matter how far off!
My main concern is why it flew straight and then curved left sharply in the last 10 yards, or at least that's what it appeared to do.
I remember thinking "great shot" as it flew, with immediate dismay following with a "what the..." Moment just after. Lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That’s why I stick to 20 yards with my bare shaft. I did the same thing once. I was perfect at 20, so I thought why not. 35 yards, not bad. Back up to 90 yards in a “hold my beer” moment, I think that arrow turned completely around. It stuck in the backstop, but “feet” from where I aimed.
I kinda feel like it was one of those moments. I really thought I was shooting so well that there was no way I was actually going to miss the whole target. I think they were 3'x3' or 4'x4' targets.
If it impacted decent I was definitely going to go for 60😆
Now I'm down another arrow and I already needed to buy some more.
 

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I wish had somewhere indoor that I could shoot a BS that far, with really wide bales so I wouldn't miss no matter how far off!
My main concern is why it flew straight and then curved left sharply in the last 10 yards, or at least that's what it appeared to do.
I remember thinking "great shot" as it flew, with immediate dismay following with a "what the..." Moment just after. Lol.
The rifling or twists in a long gun barrel give a very short and fast projectile a spin rate that stablize it in flight. However when you talk to experienced gun shooters, they will tell you that some loads are inherently more accurate from the same rifle at identical distances.....why is that? Because there is a very small margin of error or window of opportunity in optimal flight for any given setup. Compare that to a rocket where they put fins on the back while under the influence of the earth's environment and gravitational pull. Once outside our atmosphere, the rear section of a rocket can drop off as the vaccum of space has little to no effect on trajectory.

Now consider you are shooting a relatively heavy and long projectile which has a very slow spin rate (IE "clocking") and very slow rate of speed. It is also influenced a great deal more by the execution of the shot....was there any creep at anchor....was the release executed well or a bit sloppy....was pin float dead on.....was it calm enough to exclude outside influences? As long as the shaft comes off from the string with the point and nock in relatively perfect alignment produced by good tuning and form, it will continue on a straight line. But as soon as some factor of the shot or environment influences the shaft to alter course even slightly.....what is going to be the results? Just because the breeze felt slight at the spot you were shooting doesn't mean there wasn't a more influential effect down range or thermals or a slight form issue that didn't show up until well down range.

In short, there is a good use for bare shafts to assess form and bow setup.....but beyond certain parameters they can become an exercise in futility. That is precisely why they have put fletching on arrows for millennia.....so you can shoot them accurately when tuned and executed properly. That is my view on the matter, but you can continue to stew if so desired.
 

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Physics simply won't allow the object to fly straight out to 40yds and suddenly turn off before 50yds without being acted upon by an outside force, it's one of those laws things.

So, either the flight only appeared to be straight when in fact it was headed off course to begin with; vision isn't perfect and you can't always trust what you think you see.

Or, and entirely possible, the wind beyond 40yds was different than the winds on the line. Happens often in competitions, especially in open areas or around structures. That's one reason why WA events there are wind flags along the distance of the range and at the target. Tokyo Olympics IIRC there were times when the wind at the line was in opposition to the wind direction at the target.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Physics simply won't allow the object to fly straight out to 40yds and suddenly turn off before 50yds without being acted upon by an outside force, it's one of those laws things.

So, either the flight only appeared to be straight when in fact it was headed off course to begin with; vision isn't perfect and you can't always trust what you think you see.

Or, and entirely possible, the wind beyond 40yds was different than the winds on the line. Happens often in competitions, especially in open areas or around structures. That's one reason why WA events there are wind flags along the distance of the range and at the target. Tokyo Olympics IIRC there were times when the wind at the line was in opposition to the wind direction at the target.
Thank you.
This is what I was trying to confirm I guess.
You don't know what you don't know so I wanted to find out if there were any other possibilities for the arrow flight I saw.
I'm going to trust my eyes on this one, that arrow was definitely flying straight until it curved pretty sharply left.
I've definitely had those shots where an arrow went somewhere that I wasn't expecting/aiming and those I can recognize as my errors whether I could tell exactly what I did wrong or not.
 

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How do your arrows group at 60-70 yards? There is a reason we put fletching on our arrows, for guidance. It's great your bare shaft flies the way it does, but don't lose sight of the goal; to shoot tight groups at long distances.
Shoot your fletched arrows and make micro adjustments to the bow for best grouping and forgiveness of a marginal shot. A perfect bare shaft does not guarantee best grouping, it's one step in the tuning process. Some set-ups group best with a little bias in one direction or another, try it, you can always go back.
I was never asked to shoot a bare shaft or through paper for score at a tournament. You only get points for where the arrow lands.
For me on a new set-up, I shoot through paper at 6 feet, bare shaft at 10 and 20 yards, then group tune. Use whatever method you have confidence in, but don't hesitate to try a new method.
Opinions will vary.
 

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I think what happens is the accumulation of shifting forces. That arrow was never flying straight to begin with. However it starts out it's flight only slightly imbalanced. The more it yaws the more drag is created on the frontal part of the shaft. This is only exemplified at distance, it falls off the rails when the pressure in the front becomes severe enough to kick the tail violently forward. I have seen this multiple times and I've always been able to tune it out. Once it's perfect I can hit a 2 inch dot at 50 with both fletched, and bareshaft. I've also been able to get bullet holes through paper with the bare shaft at 40. I rarely go to those extremes anymore because I don't really think it is necessary. Now I just shoot fixed blades at 40 and call it good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
:), go figure.

I'm all for bare shaft > group tuning > BH tuning, but past 15-20 yds, bare shaft exercise is more of a test of form. A good thing to know, but not really mandatory.
I agree, as I mentioned I am very happy with my current tune. But I can't help but test my abilities and the limits of my equipment.
Plus I read on here all the time where people are shooting bareshafts way out there, makes a guy wonder how possible that is.
I still don't know if I can. At this point I'm assuming that it was the wind but I won't know until I try again. Not sure I'm going to because I don't like losing arrows!
Maybe if I find somewhere indoors to shoot past 40 yards...
 

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I agree, as I mentioned I am very happy with my current tune. But I can't help but test my abilities and the limits of my equipment.
Plus I read on here all the time where people are shooting bareshafts way out there, makes a guy wonder how possible that is.
I still don't know if I can. At this point I'm assuming that it was the wind but I won't know until I try again. Not sure I'm going to because I don't like losing arrows!
Maybe if I find somewhere indoors to shoot past 40 yards...
Just curious, what would the FOC of the bare shaft have been. I think I have had light arrows with big fletches get squirrelly at distance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Just curious, what would the FOC of the bare shaft have been. I think I have had light arrows with big fletches get squirrelly at distance.
I didn't check the FOC of the bareshaft but I did recently check FOC of the fletched shafts which was about 14% so bareshaft should be close to that.
That is with 3 fletch with 2" TAC driver Vanes with a wrap and normal nocks.
28" carbon to carbon 400 spine Easton hexx with H nocks, microlite inserts and 120gr points.
Can't remember the total arrow weight off the top of my head but I think they are somewhere around 375-400grs.
Draw weight is 57lbs at 29.5 draw length
These arrows are just for target/3d/practice.

I have separate bow/arrows for hunting.
 

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I didn't check the FOC of the bareshaft but I did recently check FOC of the fletched shafts which was about 14% so bareshaft should be close to that.
That is with 3 fletch with 2" TAC driver Vanes with a wrap and normal nocks.
28" carbon to carbon 400 spine Easton hexx with H nocks, microlite inserts and 120gr points.
Can't remember the total arrow weight off the top of my head but I think they are somewhere around 375-400grs.
Draw weight is 57lbs at 29.5 draw length
These arrows are just for target/3d/practice.

I have separate bow/arrows for hunting.
Would a higher FOC (14%) cause a side wind to have more effect on a bare shaft than a lower FOC (6%) due to a longer “lever” when there are no vanes? I would think that a 6% FOC arrow would “drift” rather than “curve”. Not saying your FOC is too high. The other case is flu flu arrows and how they “die” as they run out of gas (loose stability). Your arrows won’t do that at 60 yds but is more like Zhickman said. Or it was just a big gust of wind! Just some things to ponder based on what you saw.
 

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In a perfect world we'd all have set-ups that have bare shafts, TP and BH hitting togeter in 1" groups at 100 yards using the same sight pin. I recently went through a similar situation. At 20 yards, everything was picture perfect. I didn't shoot at 30 yards and went to 40. Bare shaft was 10" to 12" off center and I thought I might tweek something. I didn't. With our two week doe season coming up in 5 weeks, I pulled out a BH and shot at 40 yards. Dead nuts on and the thought of "don't fix it till it's broke" set in. If I was a tournament archer I might do differently, but I'm not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Would a higher FOC (14%) cause a side wind to have more effect on a bare shaft than a lower FOC (6%) due to a longer “lever” when there are no vanes? I would think that a 6% FOC arrow would “drift” rather than “curve”. Not saying your FOC is too high. The other case is flu flu arrows and how they “die” as they run out of gas (loose stability). Your arrows won’t do that at 60 yds but is more like Zhickman said. Or it was just a big gust of wind! Just some things to ponder based on what you saw.
I like your thinking.
I don't know which would be better, it seems like a higher FOC would be better because it would pull the shaft behind with the heavier point?

I actually just switched to 120gr points from 100 last month to see if there were any difference/advantage of higher FOC/Heavier arrow.
I didn't shoot past 30yds with the 100gr point bareshaft though so I'm not sure if there was any difference in this case.

So far I'm not really seeing any noticeable difference with the added 20grs besides a slightly longer sight tape. Maybe it's not enough of a weight difference?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
In a perfect world we'd all have set-ups that have bare shafts, TP and BH hitting togeter in 1" groups at 100 yards using the same sight pin. I recently went through a similar situation. At 20 yards, everything was picture perfect. I didn't shoot at 30 yards and went to 40. Bare shaft was 10" to 12" off center and I thought I might tweek something. I didn't. With our two week doe season coming up in 5 weeks, I pulled out a BH and shot at 40 yards. Dead nuts on and the thought of "don't fix it till it's broke" set in. If I was a tournament archer I might do differently, but I'm not.
I agree, my fletched groups are at the best of my ability and honestly I don't think the fletched impacts would have seen an improvement from any minor adjustment for the bareshaft.
But it's always interesting to see and to test.
I admit that I am one of those guys who are never done tinkering with a setup, often to my own detriment!
It's just too much fun!
 
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