September 29, 2014
My fascination with small diameter arrows goes all the way back to 1990 when I was on the US Archery Team for the first FITA Compound World Championships. This tournament was held in in the Fiords of Northern Norway. It was a very windy place.
When I arrived, I had both aluminum arrows and Easton ACE, small diameter shafts ready to go. The ACE, at that time, was the smallest diameter shaft available. After spending a few days practicing in the wind, I chose to compete with the ACE. It turned out to be a wise decision.
Many of my competitors were using larger diameter arrows and they were struggling in the wind. The competition was extremely tough, and I think my arrow choice gave me just the advantage I needed to win. There may have been better shooters there, but none were better prepared.
I haven't forgotten that lesson learned long ago. Nowadays I do the vast majority of my shooting and hunting in the windy west. Since that tournament in Norway, I have always used thin diameter shafts to hunt with.
Recognizing the distinct advantage of skinny shafts, I've gone so far as to machine down the ferrule of my broadheads to the Inside Diameter of ACE and X10 arrows, glued them in, and hunted with them. This was extremely tedious and also problematic.
I'm not the only one enthralled with small diameter arrows. If you want to know which arrow is the most accurate for shooting outdoors, under all conditions, don't look at the TV celebrities and outdoor writers. Look at what the top FITA outdoor target competitors and Olympians are using. For years, the top shooters have been using ultra micro diameter shafts like the X10.
The limiting factor in using these thin arrows for hunting has always been the small inside diameter of the shaft. Up until recently there have been no inserts or broadheads that will fit into these shafts.
Easton solved this problem when they introduced their new Deep Six insert system. These inserts are based on HIT (Hidden Insert Technology) and are made of stainless steel. They have 25 percent more threads per inch (which increases thread engagement) and are longer than standard aluminum inserts. The added length tends to improve concentricity (broadhead alignment). The stainless steel inserts are also much stronger than aluminum.
The Injexion arrow was designed in conjunction with the Deep Six insert system. It is a very small diameter, thick walled arrow. It now comes in 3 versions: The all-carbon Injexion, the aluminum and carbon A/C Injexion, which is carbon wrapped around an aluminum core, and the aluminum and carbon FMJ Injexion, which is aluminum wrapped around a carbon core.
After these arrows were designed, Ted Palomaki, one of Easton's senior engineers, called and asked me to test the prototypes and give my opinion.
For years I have tested all the arrows I shoot (and many other arrows as well) through a shooting machine, to see how they group at 100 yards. I keep records of the performance of these arrows, so I have a pretty good idea of what the better arrows on the market are capable of.
I tested the A/C and the all Carbon versions of the Injexion and both grouped better, straight out of the box (with no tuning), than any other arrows I have ever shot (other than X10s). There were also fewer "flyers" — of which I define as any arrow that won't come into a 2.5 inch group at 100 yards, despite turning the nocks.
During my testing I found no statistical differences between the groups shot by the AC or the all carbon shafts. In other words, they were both just as accurate.
Let me explain why I think this shaft is so great: First of all, it is very small in diameter. The Injexion arrows are .242 inches in diameter as compared to the Axis (one of the thinnest shafts previously available) at .269 inches, which translates into a cross sectional area of nearly 20 percent less.
This small diameter does several important things:
1. It reduces the effect a crosswind will have on the arrow.
2. The small diameter also allows for much thicker walls, increasing the durability — Easton says 32 percent more impact resistance.
3. The smaller diameter shaft is easier to start spinning, so you can get away with much smaller fletching, which also helps with cross wind drift.
4. The small diameter shaft increases penetration — 56 percent more Kinetic Energy Density, which is one measurement of a projectiles potential to penetrate. Easton says this will give the arrow 31 percent more penetration.
5. The same attributes that minimize crosswind drift also minimize down range decay of velocity. So the arrow will retain more kinetic energy down range than a larger diameter arrow of the same weight. This means your pin gap will be smaller.
In addition to being small in diameter this arrow is very well made. It is extremely straight and uniform in spine and diameter — all things necessary for great groups at long distance.
If it sounds like I'm excited, it is only because I am. It isn't very often that you are handed a product that will truly make you a better bowhunter. Easton's new Injexion arrows and Deep Six components, however, definitely will.