Straighter, faster, stronger. Every year arrow manufacturers strive toward those goals, taking advantage of the latest technology to build durable, accurate arrows that will satisfy increasingly sophisticated and discriminating bowhunters. It's a daunting task, but as you'll see below, they're doing a good job of improving on all the important qualities bowhunters look for in arrows.
To make their carbon arrows, the folks at .30-06 use a Smart-Weave process involving three alternating layers of carbon fiber. The result is maximized accuracy, shaft strength, and penetration. The new Dead Stick Series offers +/- .004" straightness and shafts weighing 8.2 grains per inch (gpi) for bows 45-60 lbs. draw weight and 8.6 gpi at 60-75 lbs. Black Mesa and Ti-Tra Flex shafts offer straightness tolerances of +/- .005" and +/- .001", respectively. .30-06 Outdoors, (614) 312-1888, www.30-06outdoors.com
In a perfect union of traditional and modern, 3Rivers Archery has teamed up with Easton Archery to produce the Traditional Only carbon shaft. Easton's tough, high-strength ICS C2 carbon shaft wrapped in a quiet, no-glare PhotoFusion wood-grain finish will complement all traditional gear and accessories. The 5„16" outside diameter will fit most fieldpoints and broadheads without need for adapters, and the installed, direct-fit "S" nocks will not pinch bowstrings on traditional bows.
Custom-fitted components, such as brass inserts (50 and 100 grains) for added FOC, and weight tubes (3, 5, and 8 gpi), enable archers to customize Traditional Only carbon arrows to their specific needs. Sizes are 300 (10.1 gpi), 340 (10 gpi), 400 (9.1 gpi), and 500 (8 gpi). Archery, 1-888-329-9872, www.3RiversArchery.com
Alaska Bowhunting Supply
GrizzlyStik carbon arrows, made with a unique multi-directional woven-carbon design for structural strength and durability, have Forward Thinking, an exclusive Continuous Taper Technology that produces arrows with a spine-forward, weight-forward, and strength-forward design. Spine-forward means the shafts are stiffest behind the point for quick recovery from oscillation, a flatter trajectory, and energy efficiency. Combined with weight-forward and strength-forward qualities, this yields greater penetration, more pass-throughs, better blood trails, and more recovered game. Three series — the Sitka, Alaskan, and Safari — offer spine ranges to cover draw weights of 40-55, 50-65, and 60-100+ lbs., and finished arrow weights of 400-600 grains, 500-700 grains, and 700-1,000+ grains, respectively. This year, all models are available with optional 2" Blazer vanes. Alaska Bowhunting Supply, (206) 453-3821, www.alaskabowhunting.com
A pioneer and innovator in the world of carbon arrow technology, Beman is probably best known today for its HIT (Hidden Insert Technology) system and ViBrake technology. HIT provides a way to put inserts entirely inside small diameter (ST or Slim Tech) arrows. The small-circumference, internal-fit design not only reduces drag and increases penetration but also automatically aligns broadheads for greater accuracy and tighter groups.
ViBrake inserts, developed in conjunction with LimbSaver, dampen vibration through the use of NavCom IV. Reduced vibration translates into tighter groups. Beman has taken the technology another step ahead this year by adding a new line of ViBrake X Nocks. These new nocks come standard with the small-diameter MFX Team Realtree carbon shafts. Beman U.S.A., (801) 539-1400, www.beman.com
It makes perfect sense that Burt Coyote should make an arrow designed specifically for its revolutionary Lumenok lighted arrow nock, and that it would be called the Lumen-Arrow. New for 2009, the Lumen-Arrow is made in North America with the highest quality carbon fibers. Every Lumen-Arrow comes equipped with a Lumenok — your choice of red or green — specially fitted to each smooth-polished shaft.
Sorted to a weight of +/-0.5 grain per dozen and a straightness of +/-0.003", Lumen-Arrows are available in three sizes: 45/60 (8.1 gpi), 60/75 (8.8 gpi), and 75/90 (9.9 gpi). You can buy either raw shafts, or arrows fletched with 2" Bohning Blazer vanes. Burt Coyote Co. Inc., (309) 358-1602, www.burtcoyote.com
Carbon Express produces 12 series of hunting shafts through a tightly controlled, computerized manufacturing process, and with only the highest grades of carbon fiber to ensure spine consistency. Every shaft is laser checked for straightness to a remarkable .0001", and all shafts are electronically sorted to precisely match the weight of all arrows in a boxed set.
This year CE has teamed with Mathews to develop a line of dealer-only arrows. These latest additions to the Maxima Hunter and Terminator Lite Hunter series will feature Carbon Express' Built-in Weight Forward technology and BuffTuff durability, but they will hide in Mathews' exclusive Lost Camo finish. The Mathews Edition Maxima Hunter shafts will be available in laser-matched, spine-selected sets. Carbon Express, (810) 733-6360, www.carbonexpressarrows.com
This relatively small company devotes considerable attention to detail, resulting in some of the most accurate arrows available, and CT is moving forward to meet increased demand. Rick McKinney, president of Carbon Tech Arrows, said, "We are getting ready to ramp up production this year. So, finally, one of the best kept secrets in archery circles will become available to all consumers in the bowhunting world." The following series are now available: the all-around CT Whitetail; the tru-tapered CT Panther; the thin-walled, ultra-light CT Cheetah; the heavyweight CT Rhino; and the large-diameter CT Hippo. Carbon Tech, (916) 641-8088, www.carbontecharrows.com
Easton Technical Products
Easton has expanded its already broad line with four new shafts. Flagship of the Carbon-Core line, the Axis FMJ consists of an ultra-small diameter, thick-wall carbon core wrapped in a heavier, bone-piercing aluminum jacket, a combination that delivers high kinetic energy and maximum penetration on the biggest of game. This year Easton has taken that technology a step further with the FMJ Dangerous Game, which has an even thicker, high-density carbon core and a beefed-up alloy jacket. Available in 300 and new 250 spine sizes, it includes a new Brass HIT Break-off insert you can adjust to 75 or 50 grains to fine-tune arrow flight.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, Easton's new all-carbon FlatLine combines SuperLite carbon shaft construction with MicroLite components to shave arrow weight down to a mere 8.2 gpi, without sacrificing stre
ngth or quality. The key is the MicroLite Speed System, which consists of 7.5-grain MicroLite Super Nocks and 10-grain CB Inserts, both of which are 45 percent lighter than their conventional counterparts. The result is increased arrow speed and flatter trajectory. FlatLine sizes are 340, 400, and 500.
Easton has redesigned the A/C/C (Alloy Carbon Composite) into a new A/C/C Pro Hunting Series, resulting in a superior hunting arrow with target archery precision.
Somewhat the reverse of the FMJ, the A/C/C comprises a precision-drawn, aerospace alloy core tube wrapped in and bonded to a high-strength SuperLite carbon fiber. HP inserts ensure perfect broadhead alignment, and an all-new X Nock UNI Bushing allows for the use of the smaller diameter, hunting-optimized X Nock. Sizes are 300, 340, 390, and 440.
Finally, the ST Epic joins the Axis in Easton's Nanotube N-FUSED Carbon Series. Hybtonite Nanotubes are reportedly 182 times stronger than steel and 18 times stronger than Kevlar. They also dampen vibration. Slim Technology (ST) and the HP broadhead-aligning insert focus a bow's energy into a smaller-diameter shaft, yielding greater penetration. And the HP insert automatically aligns broadheads. Sizes are 300, 340, 400, 500, and 600. Easton Technical Products, (801) 539-1400, www.eastonarchery.com
For several years now, Forge has quietly been producing Xtreme parallel arrow shafts made of super-strong Kevlon, but this year the company has introduced new and innovative technology in its tapered Slipstream arrows. The tapered design of these shafts places the largest diameter and, thus, the heaviest portion of each shaft up front to create a built-in FOC. The diminished diameter toward the tail end improves aerodynamics and minimizes overall shaft weight for maximum arrow speeds.
To keep weight down, nocks weigh only 4 grains. The Slipstream's nock end has been beefed up to withstand arrow strikes. Slipstreams come in two sizes, one for bows up to 60 lbs. draw weight, the other for heavier bows. Forge Bow Company, (414) 732-7400, www.forgebow.com
Gold Tip makes its arrows of 100% pure graphite, which, the company says, is the most stable form of solid carbon and contains none of the additives of composite materials that can weaken the carbon and, thus, the shafts. Further, at nearly half the weight of other shaft materials, pure graphite yields light, flat-shooting shafts with a high stiffness-to-weight ratio.
Confident in the materials and composition of its shafts, Gold Tip has not changed those aspects for 2009, but it has dressed the popular XT Hunter in new Mossy Oak Treestand camo. And for target shooters the company has added a couple of new models — the Triple X and Ultralight — to its large-diameter line, as well as a new 1535 shaft size to the Traditional Series.
Formerly a subsidiary of Gold Tip, Vapor CAA (Carbon Aluminum Arrow) is now a full-fledged member of the Gold Tip family. Vapor shafts comprise a precision aluminum core wrapped with 100% carbon. Both the Vapor Pro and Vapor Hunter now come in black, as well as Mossy Oak Treestand. Gold Tip, Inc., (801) 229-1666, www.goldtip.com
PSE's Carbon Force arrows are constructed with Radial X Weave technology, a patented computer process that wraps individual carbon fibers to create shafts that are faster, stronger, and straighter than conventional carbon arrows. Beginning this year, Carbon Force arrows will be available with conventional 4" vanes or with Blazer Broadhead vanes. Carbon Force Radial X Weave arrows come in a wide range of spines to fit any hunting situation and three straightness categories: Pro, +/- .001", Predator and Black Mamba, +/- .003", and STL Hunter, +/- .006". PSE Archery, (520) 884-9065, www.pse-archery.com
A relatively new player in the arrow market with four hunting shafts, Trophy Ridge is raising the bar with its seamless, thick-walled, woven-carbon shafts that withstand abuse, recover quickly in flight, and deliver maximum kinetic energy downrange. Armor Tough Inserts employ an over-the-shaft design to increase shaft integrity and prevent mushrooming at the leading edge.
Arrows are fletched with rugged Duravane Predator vanes, and Silent Slide shaft coating ensures that the arrows will slide quietly through a Whisker Biscuit, or any other rest. Trophy Ridge arrows are available in four spine weights and four straightness classes: Wrath (+/-.006"), Hailfire (+/-.004"), Blast (+/-.002"), and Crush (+/-.0008"). The latter come with Beiter nocks for greatest accuracy. Trophy Ridge, 1-800-694-9494, www.trophyridge.com
For years, Victory Archery engineered and manufactured quality carbon arrows for the industry's leading brands. In 2006, the company stepped out on its own with products engineered from the ground up. Today, both the VForce and VForce HV arrows, sporting a smooth, polished finish, come in an array of weights and shaft sizes, as well as three straightness tolerances: V1 Series (+/- .001"), V3 Series (+/- .003"), and V6 Series (+/- .006"). Fletching options are 4" Duravanes or 2" Bohning Blazer vanes, and shafts are fitted with Bohning nocks.
Victory also participates in the Pink Arrow Project with its full line of VForce arrows in hot pink. A large percentage of the revenue from these arrows goes to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Bohning Archery also contributes by supplying its double-lock Blazer nocks and vanes in hot pink and white. Victory Archery — USA, 1-866-934-6565, www.victoryarchery.com