January 11, 2023
When I started researching and, later, testing several 2023 arrow options, I had to smile. I remember when thick aluminum shafts with five-inch flimsy fletchings were the rage. Now, modern-day arrows sport micro-diameter builds that slice through the wind and penetrate like crazy — most feature F.O.C. enhancing features with multiple insert options. Top-tier arrow manufacturers have made it easy for bowhunters and target archers to find that just-right arrow for their specific shooting needs, which is something every stick-and-stringer should appreciate. Here are some great 2023 projectiles you shouldn't ignore.
Easton Sonic 6.0 Match Grade Arrow
A feet-per-second booster, Federal’s Sonic 6.0 is now offered in a Match Grade +/-.001” option for bowhunters seeking the ultimate in spot-on precision. Easton’s Acu-Carbon process ensures maximum weight and spine consistency, and the 6.0 Match Grade comes in a plethora of spine options to ensure there’s a Sonic 6.0 right for every archer’s setup. Easton’s Sonic 6.0 Match Grade shafts come fletched with two-inch factory-helical fletched Blazer vanes and pre-installed, color-coded by spine nocks.
$117.99 half-dozen fletched; eastonarchery.com
Gold Tip Force F.O.C. Hunting Arrow
The minds at Gold Tip never stop, which means relentless innovation never stops. Enter the .246-inch inside diameter Force F.O.C. Hunting Arrow. Engineered to give bowhunters a micro-diameter, lightweight arrow with a high Front Of Center design, this +/- .5-grain weight tolerance shaft ensures exceptional accuracy and absolute accuracy. Smart Carbon Technology means no fillers, and brass and aluminum inserts are included to increase shooter customization. Gold Tip Force F.O.C. Hunting Arrows are available in spine sizes of 250, 300, 340, and 400.
Carbon Express Maxima Photon SD Arrows
Carbon Express continues to impress, and there is zero doubt shooters will feel the need to give this arrow manufacturer's Photon SD a downrange workout. Fabricated from a custom weave of 30-ton carbon, Carbon Express engineers note that Photon SD arrows recover 25 percent faster, leading to superior shot-to-shot consistency, especially at extended ranges. With a .203-inch inner diameter, the Photon minimizes wind drift and allows the arrow to track perfectly behind the broadhead upon entrance. The Photon is available in 300, 350, and 400 spine sizes and, of course, features the tried-and-true Red Zone.
$249.99 dozen; $134.99 6-pack fletched; feradyne.com
G5 Mark 203 & 244 Hunting Arrows
Yes, you read the headline correctly; G5 has jumped into the arrow arena, and why not? Makers of some of the best broadhead designs (fixed and expandable) to date, G5 continues to raise the bar. Branded the Mark 203 & 244 Hunting Arrows, G5 created the line to give bowhunters arrow options that work as well in the Rockies as they do in the Midwest and East. The numbers reflect each arrow's diameter, and each sports 3-layer construction, which centers around the base layer with two layers of unidirectional carbon at 90 degrees. The mid layer has 2-4 layers of unidirectional carbon at 0 degrees, and the outer layer is a rugged, 3K weave of carbon. The Mark 203 features a machined aluminum half out insert paired with an aluminum sleeve for added protection, and the Mark 244 has a machined aluminum insert designed for easy installation.
$114.95 6-pack Mark 203, $94.95 6-pack Mark 244; g5outdoors.com
Victory VAP TKO
Available in multiple spine sizes, Victory's VAP TKO is a micro-diameter hunting arrow renowned for its accuracy, penetration, and toughness. Easy to pull from foam targets via Victory's ICE NANO Ceramic Coating, the design of the TKO shafts reduce the torsional deflection associated with the twisting of the arrow shaft at launch, allowing the shaft to stabilize faster and penetrate deeper at distances close and far. The TKO Series comes in three arrow models: the Elite/V1, Gamer/V3, and Sport/V6, and Victory has crafted a new 50-grain SHOKTL outsert to up F.O.C.
Black Eagle X-Impact Fletched Arrows
If you want to become a long-range assassin on the tournament trail and in the woods, give Black Eagle's X-Impact shafts a go. Created from 100 percent high-modulus carbon, these lightweight shafts allow for more point weight up front, which means better inflight characteristics and more penetration on game animals. The X-Impact is offered in multiple spine sizes, and fletched arrows come with Micro-Nock Orange Black Eagle nocks, 2-inch vanes, and Black Eagle's Black Anodized Outserts.
October Mountain Products FlightDeck Arrow Spinner
As good as today's arrows are, I won't put an arrow in my quiver before spin-testing and, later, shooting that arrow. Loaded with purposeful features, OMP's FlightDeck Arrow Spinner is an all-in-one spinner/square system. After the arrows are cut, you must square the ends to ensure bullet hole performance. The spinner is frictionless, the non-slip rubber on the bottom means no movement, and the FlightDeck comes with a prep station with a .22 caliber brush to remove burrs from inside your shafts.
Easton 5MM Legacy Fred Eichler Signature Arrow
Over the past 100 years, Easton has produced some of the finest aluminum and carbon projectiles. For 2023, Easton partnered with renowned trad hunter Fred Eichler to create the 5MM Legacy Fred Eichler Signature Arrow. A carbon arrow with a dark teakwood flare finish, this 5MM arrow is available in five spines from 340 to 700 to match any traditional shooter's need. Constructed with detail, accuracy, and durability in mind, these arrows showcase a high-visibility white dip, hand-fletched 4-inch left-helical natural turkey feather fletches, HIT components, and Easton's 5mm X Nocks.
$105.99 6-pack fletched; eastonarchery.com
Victory RIP TKO
This season, let it rip with Victory's RIP TKO. With a .240-inch diameter shaft, the RIP TKO is smaller than standard hunting arrows, which minimizes wind drift and increases penetration. MaxxKe Technology boosts kinetic energy during impact, helps arrows recover quicker in flight, and makes them ultra-durable.
October Mountain Products Phoenix Fletching Jig
No, it's not a fancy-to-do new arrow, but for those that prefer to build their flyers, this jig is as good as they get. Not all fletching jigs are created equal, and if you've spent time building your projectiles, you know this. Easy to use and capable of fletching a three-fletch shaft at 120 degrees and four-fletch shafts at 75 and 105 degrees to better ensure sight clearance, OMP's Phoenix die-cast and machined aluminum jig sports an oversized base plate with four rubber feet. The Phoenix Fletching Jig allows for five degrees of offset adjustment right or left at one-degree increments, and four accessory cutouts keep glue and fletchings at hand for quicker builds.