The latter is usually the case. If a particular archer prefers a certain FOC range, they may select a shaft that will require a heavier or lighter point to produce a final arrow within their desired FOC. In 2004, I sought out some 125 grain tungsten points for my ACE's to get the FOC up and have those shafts tune with flex-fletch vanes. They worked exactly as I had hoped and IIRC, my FOC was in the 13% range. Perfect for the windy fields at the Oly. trials in Ohio.
But in all honesty, I only ever hear ametuers (and I'd even say sub-1200 shooters) discuss FOC. It's really not as important as so many other things. Kinda like sub-1200 shooters debating whether spin wings or vanes are better. It's a moot point at that level.
In college, one of the first lessons in forest management we got was about limiting factors. In other words, if you're trying to raise a stand of pine trees for wood products on a certain site in a certain soil, you first address the most limiting factor (moisture, Nitrogen, hardwood competition, etc.) before you move on to the next one. It's a pretty simple scientific principle really.
Archery is the same way. An archer struggling to break 1100 really doesn't need to worry about things like FOC, vanes, strand count in their string, carbon or non-carbon limbs, etc. because it's their fundamental setup and form that is most limiting.
I'd say that an archer looking to move from 1275 to 1300 could possibly (and maybe not even then) start to worry about tiny details like FOC, vanes and which limbs may be better for them.
We should never forget though, how many great scores were shot with wood/glass limbs, dacron or kevlar strings and aluminum arrows. That to me is the ultimate "reality check."
Thanks for the info. I guess we are all looking for that little edge that will get us over the hump. I read all of these articles about professionals trying out new equipment just before a major tournament. They all talk about the 1-2 hours required to set up a new bow, but no one talks about arrow prep. Now we know why.
A forum community dedicated to bow and crossbow owners and archery enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about optics, hunting, performance, troubleshooting, styles, reviews, accessories, classifieds, and more!