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Discussion Starter #1
We may be spending too much on supposedly straight .001 arrows.I want to read Opinions from you to fellow archers. I went out and tested my standard .003 vs an .001 standard carbon arrow and I actually don't see any difference. Both hit where I was aiming with about the same penetration. I can drop a deer with either one with no problem. Only difference is one cost me $129 a dozen and the others were like $65 a dozen. Not calling any manufacturer names but this does make u think. I want to try a .006 but don't have any. I would like to see all 3 sizes tested with pics. Interesting...Read on..


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CARBON ARROW STRAIGHTNESS & DIAMETER

Carbon Arrow Selection & Research Guide *| *Chapter 3

Read the*Arrow Safety Bulletin****
ARROW STRAIGHTNESS SELLS

DOWN TO THE THOUSANDTHS`*What makes one carbon arrow cost $149 a dozen and another cost $69 a dozen? There are a number of ways a particular carbon arrow might be perceived as a "premium" arrow (cool graphics, clever nocks/inserts, special materials, flashy marketing, etc.), but nothing affects the market value of a carbon arrow like*advertised straightness, where the difference between the penthouse and the trailer park is just*five thousandths of an inch. An arrow that's advertised to have a +/-.001" straightness is automatically an elite pro-grade arrow worth big bucks. An arrow with a lowly +/-.006" straightness is the entry-level hunter grade arrow which is sold as a basic commodity. Make sense? Most carbon arrows are advertised to have a specific straightness tolerance between .001" and .006". You won't find many arrows with straightness tolerances outside that range. This is what the customer base expects and accepts. So that's what we get, and the pricing is fairly linear and predictable from +/-.006" to +/-.001". The straighter the arrow, the more expensive it typically will be. Does that make sense mathematically? Probably not. The entire spectrum spans a few widths of human hair. Nevertheless, that's the carbon arrow market - where straightness is king.

HOW TO THEY MEASURE THAT?*Before we get too deep into this topic, it's worth noting that there doesn't seem to be an accepted universal method for HOW arrow straightness is measured. Per ATA/ASTM standards, arrow straightness should be measured along the full length of the shaft minus two inches. But as we understand it, this is NOT how things actually go inside the industry. On a number of occasions, we have heard arrow companies accuse each other of cheating their straightness measurements - either by measuring only short sections of their arrows, or by obtaining their straightness numbers via undisclosed measurement methodologies. Every arrow manufacturer is absolutely sure their numbers are accurate and their competitors' numbers are fabricated. If you think the bow business is cut-throat, you should witness how the arrow companies go at it behind closed doors. To avoid being shanked at the next trade show, we'll stay neutral and assume that*everyone's' arrow straightness numbers are reasonably honest. But just be advised, there are certainly some cowboys in this market. A tolerance of +/-.001" is good work for a CNC mill on aluminum alloy. The idea that a piece of thin flexible tubing can hold that tolerance along a full 28"+ length is, well, quite fantastic.

STRAIGHTNESS CLASSES: GOOD, BETTER, BEST`*Arrows are essentially priced on the good - better - best model, like many products. We all know how that works. Maybe you just want the regular, or maybe you're a premium high-octane kind of buyer. Well, let's examine the typical straightness "classes" of arrows and see how this works. Most standard-grade carbon arrows have an advertised straightness of +/-.005-.006". These shafts are usually marketed exclusively to the hunter and beginning archers. For the purposes of big game hunting and general target use, standard-grade shafts are more than adequate. A typical human hair is about +/-.002"-.004" in diameter, so even a basic carbon shaft of +/-.006" straightness is quite remarkable, and much straighter than you could possibly perceive without specialized equipment. But these "basic" arrows sell cheap (under $80/dz typically). To entice buyers wanting something a little better, most arrow shaft manufacturers also offer mid-grade shafts which will have an advertised straightness of around +/-.003-.004" along with a moderate pricing premium. But for the real experts, for the high-octane buyers who only get the best, every arrow maker has their pro-grade shafts which claim a straightness of +/-.001-.002", which is truly outstanding. As you might expect, these premium grade arrows fetch a premium price (+$130/dz). If you're the kind of buyer who spares no expense, then by all means, buy the straightest shaft you can find. But before you shell out the green for a +/-.001" shaft, there are couple things you might want to know.

CUT FROM THE SAME CLOTH`*The difference in a +/-.006" shaft and a +/-.001" shaft is more razor-thin than you might think. Today, most carbon arrow shafts are constructed by taking very thin layers of carbon sheets and rolling them up into perfectly straight tubes (usually 6ft. long or so), much like you might roll-up a big map. The layers are wound around a metal mandrel, then the carbon tubes are heat-treated to bond all the layers together. When the heating process is complete and the carbon tubes cool down to room temperature, they are cut into sections (raw shafts). Some of the shafts, particularly those that come from the center of the roll, retain their ±.001" straightness while other sections distort slightly from the heating/cooling process. As we understand it, the results vary from run to run and day to day. In most cases, even the manufacturer doesn't know how the day's crop of shafts will come out. But once the shafts are made, the manufacturer measures the straightness of each shaft section and sorts them accordingly for banding and sale. One sort may be named and marketed as one arrow, another sort as something else. For example, the Beman Bowhunter +/-.006" and the Beman ICS Hunter +/-.003" are just two different sorts of the same shaft - same raw materials - same construction technique - different wrapper. Same is true for the popular Gold Tip Hunter ±.006", Gold Tip Hunter XT ±.003", and the Gold Tip Pro ±.001" shafts. They're not different arrow shafts. They're just different cuts of the same raw product.

CAREFULLY GUARDED SECRETS`*Small variations in the daily manufacturing environment (humidity, pressure, air convection patterns, etc.) along with tiny deviations in the characteristics of the raw materials ultimately determines the straightness of the finished product. On one particular day, the manufacturer might yield an entire batch of +/-.001" shafts, or an entire batch no better than +/-.006", or even a mixed bag of straightnesses, all from the very same processes and materials. The finer tricks of the trade are carefully guarded secrets, as the art of consistently building straighter arrow shafts is literally a technical exercise in splitting hairs. But make no mistake, arrow manufacturers would rather avoid the +/-.006" days. The more ±.001" days a manufacturer has, the more money they can make. Why? Because straighter shafts are worth more in the marketplace, whether they cost more to manufacture or not. So don't be fooled into thinking that your set of $129 +/-.001" pro-grade shafts are somehow fundamentally better constructed, stronger, or made from finer high-tech materials than basic $69 a dozen +/-.006" hunting shafts. This is seldom the case. Most of the time, the difference in their regular unleaded and premium is just a few thousandths of an inch. There is even some discussion suggesting many of today's +/-.006" shafts aren't really +/-.006" shafts at all. They're better than that - mostly +/-.003-004" shafts. But since arrow manufacturers sell a LOT of entry-level shafts, they need product to fill those orders. If enough of the*crooked*+/-.006" shafts aren't available, they build-out the entry-level shafts with the next best sort. Ha! Free upgrade. Who doesn't love the sound of that?
DOES ARROW STRAIGHTNESS MATTER?

OF COURSE IT DOES`*From a pure physics standpoint, yes! Arrow straightness certainly does matter. We all remember how a bent aluminum arrow fishtailed and corkscrewed wildly. Yes! Straighter arrows undeniably fly more accurately. In long-range laboratory conditions with a mechanical shooting machine, the straightest arrows with the best spine consistencies will always group best. But try to keep this issue in reasonable perspective. You are not a mechanical shooting machine. You don't shoot in laboratory conditions, and you probably don't shoot at extreme distances (100+ yards). The straightness difference in a +/-.006" arrow and a +/-.001" arrow is mathematically minuscule. We're not talking about the kind of distortion you would see in a bowed 2x4 at Home Depot. We're talking about tiny hair widths. So we have to admit, the real world benefit of a +/-.001" arrow probably has more to do with selling arrows than shooting arrows. The truth is, only a handful of the world's archers actually have enough shooting skill to truly differentiate between a very good +/-.003" arrow and a "pro grade" +/-.001" arrow. And within the typical bowhunting range, any difference would be practically imperceptible. Nonetheless, bowhunters tend to attribute their successes or failures to their equipment rather than to their actual skills. So owning and shooting a set of professional grade +/-.001" arrows may provide some bowhunters with an edge in confidence, even if the actual technical advantage is negligible. If you're one of the many archers who believe that success is only one more purchase away, buy whatever arrows you like. Just remember that super-straight arrows won't correct poor shooting form. In the end, the benefits of a good practice regimen and proper bow tuning will FAR outweigh the benefits of shooting expensive arrow shafts. But don't tell the arrow companies we said that.

ARE CARBON ARROWS STRAIGHTER THAN ALUMINUMS?*Yes and no. While a carbon arrow's advertised specs may be no straighter than a typical aluminum shaft, carbon arrows resist distorting and "bending out of shape" much better than aluminum arrows. Though an aluminum shaft may BEGIN with a similar +/-.003" straightness, its straightness quickly deteriorates through normal use and handling. So after a few months of use, your aluminum arrow set may contain a few arrows that are at original specs and some that are grossly out of straightness. Carbon arrows generally do not retain this kind of "memory" after being stressed (bent). So your carbon arrow set stays much more straight and uniform - even with heavy use. Some archers even joke that there are only two states of a carbon arrow: straight or broken, but never bent. While that's not entirely accurate, it does help to illustrate the point.





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Well, there are a few "average" archers like you and I who couldn't tell the difference. But, this is AT where there are a TON of backyard pros who will tell you that it is a huge difference.

Maybe Shane will chime in. He is the resident AT expert.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well, there are a few "average" archers like you and I who couldn't tell the difference. But, this is AT where there are a TON of backyard pros who will tell you that it is a huge difference.

Maybe Shane will chime in. He is the resident AT expert.
IKR

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Blue Marlin
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Well, there are a few "average" archers like you and I who couldn't tell the difference. But, this is AT where there are a TON of backyard pros who will tell you that it is a huge difference.

Maybe Shane will chime in. He is the resident AT expert.
Nailed it.

Then some guy who's done it all will be here shortly to sell you some third handed knockoff arrow puller that turns .003 shafts to .001 and tell you bout the time he used a .006 shaft to hit a deer behind a tree.
 

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Ice Cold
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You absolutely need .001 arrows and they must be 6 fletched with at least 25% FOC

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(aka lug nut)
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Why stop at $129 a dozen arrows. Easton ProTour arrows are $423 for a dozen tubes. Then, you need the pin nock bushings. That's another $12. Then, some Beiter Pin Out pin nocks. $16.56 for a dozen nocks. Then, don't forget the tungsten points. Yup, still 120 grains, but super dense, so these 120 grain points are a bit shorter, so you get a little bit more FOC, for better penetration through the straw bale target, or the Stramit Target. Hold onto your horses. $235 for a dozen glue in target points. That's more than your arrows. So, let's figure you already have a large supply of vanes. $423 plus $12 plus $16.56 plus $235 = grand total of $686.56 for a dozen arrows. That breaks down to $57.21 PER arrow. So, not only are Easton ProTour arrows at 0.001 straightness, these babies are also hand weighed, and weight matched and coded for the weight code. So, if you have a particular weight code Easton ProTour set of arrows, you can special order THAT particular weight code. Hey, when you pay nearly $700 for a dozen arrows, you get customer service. Yeah, I have students that shoot $700 a dozen arrows. Can these guys REALLY shoot good enough to spend $700 for a dozen arrows? Some can, some not really.
 

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I see a lot more difference in the spine of the cheaper arrows than the straightness of most of the more expensive arrows. I can see a difference in spine when I go to nock tune also with fixed broad heads. But keep in mine I have a long draw length and I am not cutting much off most shafts. My wife shoots a 24" arrow and shoots .006" arrows, I can pick where to cut the shaft with a Ram spine tester. A lot has to do with one's goals. I want to be able to hit an X-ring at 35-40 yards with a fixed broad head with any arrow in my quiver (not have a favorite arrow), some are happy hitting a pie plate!
 

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My advice is buy the best arrow you can afford. The very, very average archer won't see the difference from a .001 to a .006 arrow in performance.
 

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I’ve found lots of value in the premiums for myself ($$wish I didn’t $$). But they are more consistent for me. I’ve had one out of the last 5 dozen that was aggravating. But I shoot 30-31 inch shafts also with fixed blades. Typically I’ve found using some .003 and .006 shafts I always ended up with a couple I couldn’t get to tune with broad heads.
 

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At the distances I have been shooting (50 yards and less) I don't see a difference. I did buy a dozen .001 for the same price as the .006 and as long as I nock tune the arrows I don't notice a difference. Though the .001 does make me feel better!
 

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In the old Easton print catalogs they say their arrow run out is measured at 180 degrees of shaft rotation. So a shaft with .002" in the spec sheet will have a total run out spec of .004" when spun 360 degrees. I've always been curious how the different manufacturers come up with their numbers.
 

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Well, there are a few "average" archers like you and I who couldn't tell the difference. But, this is AT where there are a TON of backyard pros who will tell you that it is a huge difference.

Maybe Shane will chime in. He is the resident AT expert.
Not too long ago I posted of shooting some arrows that were just plain warped, better than .025" wobble at the point end. All have hit the X on 3D targets out to some distance, 38 thru 41 yards. True to my normal manner of things these arrows don't have the ends squared, nor are they spine indexed. Point of impact is right with the same arrows of .003" and better for straightness.

I used 3 arrows of like warp at a local 3D and scored a 296/300

As I understand Bowcore arrows are no longer available in the U.S. I use the Giants, .414" in diameter, .400" spine and were quoted at .003" straightness. Hardly so.
 

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Good thread! Excellent input from everyone. Admitting that costs for a few thousandths in straightness isn't gonna make up for lack of shooter skills makes sense. If I'm getting this right it's a combination straightness AND spine consistency?
 

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In another thread I posted of a national staff shooter trying the old Carbon Express Rebels, .005" for straightness. I made up one for him and he shot X after X from 20 and 30 yards. I made another and he repeated. So sold him and made up a dozen. A week or so later he came back and bought two more dozen.
 

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Back Yard Champion
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Hey, as much as I agree that straightness maybe isn't all much of a factor I like my .001" arrows. Of all the years I've competed my arrows have been .0025" for straightness for the most part (Carbon Express CXLs). And I've used arrows of .001" for straightness, Victory and Absolute that are super and just as super but no longer made Muddy Outdoors Virtues, HT3 in .400" spine.

Here's the Virtue.
 

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Good thread! Excellent input from everyone. Admitting that costs for a few thousandths in straightness isn't gonna make up for lack of shooter skills makes sense. If I'm getting this right it's a combination straightness AND spine consistency?
I think you are close, shaft length makes a difference, someone with a 31" or 32" inch arrow might notice it more. Fixed broad broad heads is where is really shows up for me (with my 31" shaft). I think spine is more important than straightness. I have found that the cheaper arrows have a greater variance in spine between arrows. If you are willing to do more work and find the spine, nock tune and cull out the bad ones, you can make the cheap ones work. After culling out the bad ones, how much did you save. If you are just shooting deer out of a tree stand at 20 yards, you can get by with .006 arrows. Not so much if you have a 31" draw and shoot a fixed head and want to be able to hit a 1" circle at 40 yards every time.
 

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Buy the cheap ones and spin check before cutting, determine how much to cut off each end of the shaft and you will probably have 001 arrows. Now maybe the high end shafts have better spines tolerance but not all for sure!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
At the distances I have been shooting (50 yards and less) I don't see a difference. I did buy a dozen .001 for the same price as the .006 and as long as I nock tune the arrows I don't notice a difference. Though the .001 does make me feel better!
I'm with you and the pie plate guy!

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I use premium arrows, but will also humble myself and drink a PBR, Bud, or Coors from time to time to balance things out.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
An .001 arrow is just about almost perfect. I mean come on now, just like name brand gun manufacturing, every single gun that is put together is not gonna be perfect. There's always that person that forgets to change a filter or a machine that malfunctions during the process and thousands of guns have already been shipped out before anyone even notices the problem. and you are the one to get the nice Colt (sorry Colt) luv Colt(example) with the burr in the chamber causing your gun to jam. It's always the person at the arrow factory that's ready to go home and doesn't even care about archery. So an .001 arrow to me will have to be consistent every time at the manufacturer. I can imagine how many arrows have been sold under the .001 size and are really .003> going on the truck. Where talking millions of dollars now. What would they do without stickers, probably use sharpies to mark the arrows and somebody will buy them. I try to be a careful buyer, that way I can put that extra money towards something else I want and not just go overboard because someone said there the best. Live and learn.

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