Archery Talk Forum banner

1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
211 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I know there are lot's of opinions out there on this subject, and I am just looking for some recommendations. First things first, it's all about your shot, I am not comfortable with anything other than nearly a perfect broadside shot, slight quartering at the most. I'm a relatively new archer and was fortunate enough to shoot my first bull this year. He went down quick and I was happy with my equipments performance. The longest shot I would take or have an opportunity to take would be 50yds, and that is pushing it. I am shooting a
70# Tribute, 29" DL. I would like to stick with my 100gr magnum slick tricks, because that is what I'm confident in. Im looking for new arrows and would just like to maximize their performance on bigger game like elk. Not necessarily looking for arrow brands, but what kind of gpi should I be looking for? I've got some ideas but would like some confirmation if I am in the ballpark. Also ideas on arrow length would be nice probably looking at 28-29 inchers, but how do you determine this? Is there a standard as far as where the broadhead should be in relation to your hand, grip, or rest? Hard questions as much of this comes down to personal preference but what do you guys like? This has been an excellent source of info for me, thanks to those with the thoughtful, respectful posts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
284 Posts
I've used both heavy 450g (for me) arrows on elk and light 350g arrows. I've used Slick tricks, G5 Striker, and for many years I used Wasp, and razorback broadheads. I killed elk with all these broadheads, and arrow weights, never lost a single one.

The balance point for me has always been in the KE of about 60 or more. I'm not a big believer in KE providing killing power, but when you have it someplace around 60 your speed and weight combination are about right.

I like the flatter shooting lower margin of error on the 335-350 grain arrows and with the 290fps they drive deep and work well. However the heavy arrows were going 240 and drove just as deep at the lower speed because they were heavy.

More important then speed or weight (within reason) is the ability to draw the arrow back with stealth and from any position, Kneeling, sitting crouched, etc. Far too many of the guys I take hunting can shoot heavy bows at the target, but have struggled to draw the bow from an enclosed ground blind or while in awkward stalking positions in the bush.

The ability to draw straight back, and without excess movement should be priority #1. Then when that weight is known, you can decide on the arrow weight for the draw weight you can handle.

Having gone back and forth with this myself, I'm leaning towards the faster arrows which shoot flatter and eliminate much of the trajectory issues between 20 and 35 yards.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,846 Posts
Sounds like you have found a good broadhead. I'm going to go out on limb here and recommend the Axis FMJ. They have great penetration and are not so heavy that they drop like logs at longer distance. You can shoot lighter arrows and, out of higher KE bows, will stll give adequate penetration with good fixed heads like the ST or G5 Strikers. But the FMJ's will usually give good penetration even on less than ideal shots.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,477 Posts
I recommend 425-475 grain arrows for elk. I personally shoot a 475 grain arrow at around 275 fps. I also use a single fixed pin sight. This rig is good for shots on elk out to 70 yards. You really don't need a super fast arrow because the kill zone is huge and you would have to be such a bad shot to miss that it would be ridiculous ! The last elk that I killed was a 50 yard (lasered) shot. I had a ton of penetration and the 100 grain Slick Trick Mag that I use made it into the center of the spine. He dropped at the shot. I know from testing that a light arrow would not have made it in as deep. A few things to remember: a heavy arrow from the same bow as a light arrow, the heavier arrow will ALWAYS HAVE MORE KE ! Also, a heavier arrow from the same bow will always penetrate deeper (more momentum). Both of these can be tested, the KE with a chrono and calculator, and the penetration by having a new target and simply swapping arrows.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,880 Posts
i have read alot of guys who swear by heavy shafts and they do have a very good reason for this. but i have also seen plenty of guys who are killing elk with arrows between 370 and 390 grains. it comes down to personal preference really. a good gpi for you would be 9.5 or so. with a 28 inch shaft that should put you at about 310 grains or a little more then add your broadhead weight 100 or 125 to that. i have a short draw and am kinda stuck with lighter arrows but have had good success for deer with my equipment. shoot a good coc broadhead and you shouldnt have any problems no matter what weight you choose in that general area. more important than weight is practice practice practice. a light arrow in the lungs kills alot faster than a heavy arrow in the guts or shoulder
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
284 Posts
The weight of the arrow does not alone determine the KE, it's the lesser part of the formula. Velocity is squared, the weight is simply multiplied.

Here are some actual numbers from my own equipment. This is not a hobby, it's my living!

This is from a 28.5" draw, 62lb Mathews switchback XT measured over an Ohler Chronograph at 4 feet

440 grain arrow complete measured on a RCBS grain Scale shoots 240fps

335 grain arrow complete measured with the same scale only moments later no chance for mis-adjustment. shoots 287fps

Same bow same draw weight same draw length within the same 15 minute time frame. shot into a newer Block target, the faster arrow penetrated 4-6" deeper every time.

The Faster lighter arrow has 61.2 FP of KE
The slower heavier Arrow has 56.2 FP of KE

The penetration in the block target compares exactly with the mathematical finding here.

The advantage to the heavier arrow is velocity retention. I'm not exactly sure where the lighter arrows begin to be surpassed by the heavy ones but it will happen. Lighter arrows shed velocity more quickly.

Shooting to 65 yards into this block target, the faster arrows are still out-penetrating the heavy arrows by a noticeable margin. I have not been measuring it, but it's clearly 2-4" on a 100% consistent basis.

So if your concern is shooting something well in excess of 80-100 yards then the heavy arrows might begin to gain KE on the lighter ones somewhere well beyond 65 yards.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
The weight of the arrow does not alone determine the KE, it's the lesser part of the formula. Velocity is squared, the weight is simply multiplied.

Here are some actual numbers from my own equipment. This is not a hobby, it's my living!

This is from a 28.5" draw, 62lb Mathews switchback XT measured over an Ohler Chronograph at 4 feet

440 grain arrow complete measured on a RCBS grain Scale shoots 240fps

335 grain arrow complete measured with the same scale only moments later no chance for mis-adjustment. shoots 287fps

Same bow same draw weight same draw length within the same 15 minute time frame. shot into a newer Block target, the faster arrow penetrated 4-6" deeper every time.

The Faster lighter arrow has 61.2 FP of KE
The slower heavier Arrow has 56.2 FP of KE

The penetration in the block target compares exactly with the mathematical finding here.

The advantage to the heavier arrow is velocity retention. I'm not exactly sure where the lighter arrows begin to be surpassed by the heavy ones but it will happen. Lighter arrows shed velocity more quickly.

Shooting to 65 yards into this block target, the faster arrows are still out-penetrating the heavy arrows by a noticeable margin. I have not been measuring it, but it's clearly 2-4" on a 100% consistent basis.

So if your concern is shooting something well in excess of 80-100 yards then the heavy arrows might begin to gain KE on the lighter ones somewhere well beyond 65 yards.

I've noticed the same thing just shooting in the range, just trying out different bows i'll have a 340gr arrow and a 420, the lighter arrow always out penetrates it at 20 yards, somewhere down the line that will change, but if it's not caught up at 65 yards, why worry about it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
491 Posts
IMO agood 400 spline arrow well be more than enough. FMJ, ACC, Goldtip 7595 are all good, that should put you in 400 gr. range. plenty for todays fast bows
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,043 Posts
I've noticed the same thing just shooting in the range, just trying out different bows i'll have a 340gr arrow and a 420, the lighter arrow always out penetrates it at 20 yards, somewhere down the line that will change, but if it's not caught up at 65 yards, why worry about it?

The arrow bleeds off energy (from drag) proportional to at least the square of the velocity. The fast, light arrow loses energy much faster. The slower, heavy arrow retains its energy much better down range.

Ray
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
307 Posts
i have killed elk with a 340 grain goldtip 22 series and a 365 grain gold tip 22 series arrow, they all died really quick, 1 was at 78 yards and the only arrow hung up on the fletching, so i think if you find what arrow your bow likes i dont think that i would really worry about weight, as long as you can make the shot the arrow will kill the animal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
544 Posts
I use 368 total weight 29" draw and pull 67 lbs. at 296.3 fps. Works for me:wink:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,188 Posts
Most of the guys that I know of that have killed a lot of elk use a faily heavy arrow. Maybe around 450gr. or so. The advantage I see with a heavier arrow is better penetration especialy when you happen to hit a bone. The heavier arrow carries more momentum and it's harder to deflect it. I have personally seen light arrows radically change direction when they hit an elk rib. Longer and heavier gives you much better leverage when opposing forces try to throw it off course. I think you have a better chance to punch through a shoulder with a heavier arrow also. I use around 450 grain arrow with a good tough 2 blade. Anything less and I have no doubt, I would not have gotten my bull this year.
 

·
Corripe Cervisiam
Joined
·
21,226 Posts
I've killed and called in a pile of elk for buds and I prefer a heavier arrow- 450-470gr min.

We all started with lighter arrows [many yrs ago] but on elk the advantage of the heavier arrow is significant
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,015 Posts
Your gonna have a ton of people on here swear by weight but I still believe speed kills.

As far as length of arrow, I like the BH to be in front of my hand, arrows do fail from time to time and you can find loads of pics where people have arrows impaled in their hands and wrists.

Your spine is determined in part by the gpi so I would not worry to much about that as much as I would the spine rating, CXE maximas are lighter but they have the same spine rating when comparing a arrow of equal spine rating. For example a 340 easton arrow is just over 10 gpi and a CXE is about 9 gpi, so it is all a matter of what you want to shoot.

The flatter your arrow flies the less likely you are to miss because you guessed your yardage wrong, you can be off a few yards and still hit where you need to.
Good luck on your quest.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
175 Posts
This topic is similar to those we rifleman often have. Will my 243 kill an elk with a 100 grain bullet? Should I buy a 340 Weatherby for Elk and use 250 grain bullets. The only important factor is where you hit them, not what you hit them with, when limiting ones self to "ethical" shot selection.
I would be supremely confident of killing any elk with my set up on a properly placed shot within my personal maximum shooting range. By the way, I rifle hunt whitetail with either my .270 winchester with 140 grain bullets at 3030fps or my .338 Win Mag with 250 gain bullets at 2650 fps. :wink:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,403 Posts
I've only got one archery elk under my belt but I agree with those leaning towards heavier arrows. I used a 450 grain axis/slick trick this year and it worked great. One thing you could do with your slick trick to enhance penetration is simply switch to the standard 1" blades. You wouldn't have to change anything with you setup to do this, just order some extra blades.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,127 Posts
Keep things fairly simple when choosing arrows, most will work just fine, most issues are generally pilot error! (grin) To check your exact draw length, start with putting a clothes pin about 3 inches from the tip of your arrow, nock an arrow in your present bow & draw it back & anchor where you always do, at full draw the clothes pin will stop as it hits the riser of your bow, not your arrow rest! Let your draw down & now measure your arrow where clothes pin was stopped to the crease in your nock where string snaps in. That's your draw length! Or someone can mark your arrow with a pencil at the riser while at full draw!

A gpi for a good deer or elk arrow is a minimum of 9 gpi & up. I like a bit on the heavier side but nothing drastic, (sometimes 9.5 gpi)! If your arrow is 9 gpi at 29"=261 grains, then add 45 grains for fletchings , inserts & nock=306 grains, now add a 100 grn head=406 grains. I personally would use your slick trick in 125 grains for elk upping your weight to 431 grains. If you desire a heavier total arrow wt. then up your arrow gpi a bit. Do not go overboard but stay balanced in your final decision. Meaning grasp both speed & penetration, find a happy medium for both of these. You will most likely need an arrow in the 400 spine range for your draw length & tip weight, this should tune to your setup with a bit of adjustment! You want those arrows shooting like darts! (grin) Good Luck!

ElkNut1
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,750 Posts
the smaller diameter of the axis arrows can be a mjaor factor if your hunting in the wind, because they do drift less, along with that benefit the shaft does make contact going through the animal, the smaller the shaft the less the drag, the greater the penetration.. i do not like light weight arrows for hunting, but neither do i like "logs" i have found the axis to be as close to the ideal arrow as there is.. mine weigh at 392gr, 29.25 length, 100 gr tips, 4" feathers and a wrap.. it is a split between speed and weight, where i normally shoot around 63 #,, giving me an arrow weight of 13.40 per inch and figures at 6.22 gr per pound of draw weight... i would not suggest dropping to light weight nor shooting "logs" but go somewhere in the middle to get the best you can anywhere between about 390 to 420 gr ,, and to "maximize" the performance i do suggest the standard axis arrow,,, speed does not kill with an arrow never will, penetration does not kill but would be more likely too the only thing that kills with a bow and arrow is the broadhead itself, and it only damages what it touches and will do the same damage at 300 fps, as it will at 3 fps , as long as it is moving a razorblade is cutting, no more no less,
shot placement is still key reguardless of all other factors.. so increaseing the likely hood of putting it where it needs to go will increase the kill factor.. the right arrow will do that, and the right arrow if light weight may not get to the vitals at all, it is also more likely to be blown off course by wind, or contacting anything in flight, the right arrow if heavy may well not hit the target if the range is miss judged, and the bonus of weight for penetration is worthless... the right arrow is going to be the one that "does maximize" performance.. that will be the arrow in the middle weight, flatter than a heavy one, better penetration than the light one, even one inch deeper can cause it to punch through a thin wall, such as a heart or lungs...

you idea of maximizing performance is very well put!
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top