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The Best New Arrows for 2014

The Best New Arrows for 2014

When man first started using tools, and for a long time afterward, arrows consisted of little more than sticks, shaved straight and affixed with rudimentary feathers at one end and a knapped stone at the other. The advent of steel changed one end, but even archers a generation older than me were still using cedar shafts and real feathers.

Much has changed over the short span of a single generation. First came the compound bow, which necessitated stronger shaft materials like aluminum. As bows got increasingly faster and more powerful, and technology advanced, we saw first the emergence and more recently the dominance of carbon shafts. Now the focus is on technologies designed to make those shafts straighter, stiffer, faster, and stronger.

As you peruse this year's class, you'll see arrow makers have done a pretty good job of making shafts that will appeal to even the most discriminating bowhunters, regardless of their shooting system.

Bloodsport Flare Series FPS Hunter

The Flare Series FPS Hunter is a lightweight, yet very tough 100% carbon arrow. It comes with the company's Flare Nock, a lighted nock that weighs and shoots the same as a traditional nock. To convert it from traditional to a lighted nock simply requires pulling out the nock, inserting the included Flare battery into the shaft, and then re-inserting the nock. Another cool feature of the FPS Hunter and other BloodSport shafts is the patent-pending Blood Ring. This blank section on the shaft acts as a canvas that takes a 'blood sample ' as the arrow passes through an animal, helping to eliminate some of the after-shot guesswork. The FPS Hunter has a straightness tolerance of +/- .004" and is available in spine sizes 500 (6.5 gpi), 400 (7.4 gpi), 350 (7.9 gpi), and 300 (9.1). Price: $79.99 per half-dozen

Burt Coyote Company Lumen-Arrows

The folks at Burt Coyote designed their Lumen-Arrows for the proper fit and utmost performance with their revolutionary Lumenok lighted arrow nock. Each is made in North America with the highest quality carbon fibers, is squared on the nock end, and the fletching is spine-aligned for consistent flight. And, each comes equipped with a Lumenok (red, green, or pink) specially fitted to each smooth-polished shaft. Shafts are sorted to +/- 0.5 grains per dozen and a straightness of +/- 0.003", and are now available in a 3-pack in spines of 500 (7.2 gpi), 400 (8.0 gpi), 350 (8.7 gpi), and 300 (9.8 gpi). Price: $70 (3-pack)

Cabela's ACComplice

Cabela's ACComplice arrows are made of carbon fibers and an epoxy resin matrix bonded to a precision 7075 aerospace alloy core tube, and then they are polished to a smooth, nine-micron finish. Their universal nock-installation system features a factory installed UNI bushing and H Nock, and they're guaranteed to a straightness of +/- .002". ACComplice arrows are available in spines of 340 (9.7 gpi) or 390 (8.9 gpi) with HP inserts included. Price: $90 per half-dozen w/Blazer Vanes; $175 per dozen for bare shafts

Easton Bowfire

Easton added four new shafts to their already impressive and extensive line this year. First is the Bowfire; a standard-diameter, lightweight, carbon hunting arrow that's fast and easy to tune. It features Easton's full-length, new-generation 3HD White-Hot Graphics for better in-flight visibility and a micro-smooth finish. Bowfire uses standard diameter 8„32 components for compatibility with your favorite broadheads and nock systems, features three spines (330/9.6 gpi, 400/8.5 gpi, and 480/7.5 gpi) for ideal tuning with most hunting rigs, and comes with direct-fit S Nocks and standard RPS inserts precision built to Easton's specifications for field reliability and confident shooting. Then there's the Carbon Apollo, the perfect high-quality carbon arrow for beginners. It features a smaller diameter for better downrange performance in the wind, as well as superior straightness and spine tolerances for accuracy. These arrows are the right mass weight for beginner bows, making it much easier when learning to shoot. And, they come in eight sizes ranging from 5.5 to 8.4 gpi to ensure a perfect fit for archers of different sizes and skill levels. They also offer three nock options and a full range of point weights. Next is the Nemesis, Easton's latest micro-profile, H-diameter carbon shaft, also featuring new detail-graphic overlays. It comes with pre-installed red H Nocks and HP inserts, and like the Bowfire, +/- 0.003" straightness. The Nemesis is offered in spines of 500 (8.1 gpi), 400 (9.3 gpi), 340 (10.1 gpi), and 300 (10.7 gpi). Last but not least is the Deep Six FMJ, which combines the toughness of a Full Metal Jacket with an ultra micro-diameter Deep Six carbon core for more speed, kinetic energy, and durability with less friction. They come with Deep Six nocks, steel GHT inserts, and are guaranteed to +/- 0.002" straightness and +/- 2.0 grains weight tolerance. It's available in spines of 460 (9.0 gpi), 400 (9.8 gpi), and 330 (11.0 gpi). Price: $70 per dozen (Bowfire); $70 per dozen (Carbon Apollo); $75 per half-dozen (Nemesis); $115 per half-dozen (Deep Six FMJ)

Beman ICS Hunter Patriot

Now Beman shooters can show their national pride with the new ICS Hunter Patriot, tastefully decorated and made in the USA. The Patriot is offered in spines of 300 (9.5 gpi), 340 (9.3 gpi), 400 (8.4 gpi), and 500 (7.3 gpi). Looking to spice up your hunting options and your dinner fare? Beman's new Carbon Pork Chop is a reduced H-diameter, heavy-duty carbon arrow designed to penetrate the tough hide that shields a hog's vitals but will work well on any thick-skinned big game. It's available in spines of 300 (10.2 gpi), 340 (9.6 gpi), 400 (8.8 gpi), and 500 (7.3 gpi). For competitive archers there are two new shafts — the Beman Dead Ringer and Carbon SPE3D. Price: $65 per half-dozen; $45 per half-dozen (Carbon Pork Chop); $160 per dozen (Dead Ringer); $65 per half-dozen (Carbon SPE3D)

Carbon Express Mathews Edition Maxima RED

Carbon Express follows up last year's collaborative effort of Mathews dealer-only arrows in the Maxima Hunter and Terminator Lite Hunter series with a new Mathews Edition Maxima RED hunting arrow in Lost Camo. The Maxima RED series features a breakthrough in arrow spine technology that controls dynamic spine to the RED ZONE so well it only takes two spine sizes — 250 (8.11 gpi) and 350 (9.07 gpi) — to cover 40 lb. to 92-lb. bows. Every Mathews Edition Maxima RED comes with LAUNCHPAD Precision Nocks for a controlled arrow release, better shaft alignment, and more consistent accuracy. And, all Mathews Edition Maxima RED 6 and 12-pack sets are sorted and matched with a spine selection sorting tolerance of +/- 0.0025" (a maximum measurement, not an average) and a weight sorting tolerance of +/- 1.0 grains for best-in-class consistency. Carbon Express also delivers leading innovation for small-framed hunters with their new ultra-light Hot Pursuit high-performance arrow (available in two spines weighing 7.04 and 8.06 gpi). 'With the new Hot Pursuit, we're giving shooters with shorter draws an arrow that combines speed with a flatter trajectory, ' said Eastman Outdoors CEO Rob Eastman. Like all Carbon Express arrows, the Hot Pursuit shaft is laser-checked for straightness and comes standard with the LAUNCHPAD Precision Nock. Plus, the Hot Pursuit also features the exclusive Carbon Express NRG-2 low-profile performance vanes for maximum arrow velocity and greater accuracy. Price: $90 per half-dozen; $55 (Hot Pursuit)

Gold Tip Team Primos

Gold Tip proudly boasts that their arrows are made of 100% pure graphite — the most stable form of solid carbon — meaning they contain no additives of composite materials that can weaken the carbon and the shaft. And at nearly half the weight of other shaft materials, pure graphite allows for a lighter, flatter-shooting shaft, with double the stiffness. This year's new Team Primos arrow is built on the Velocity XT platform for the fastest bows on the market, while offering archers incredible durability and straightness retention. With +/- 0.003" straightness and a weight tolerance of +/- 2.0 grains, the Team Primos arrows offer outstanding consistency and less added weight. Each features a 2" VaneTec HP vane, Accu-Lite insert and nock, and is available in spines of 400 (7.4 gpi), 340 (8.2 gpi), and 300 (8.5 gpi). Price: $80 per half-dozen, $125 per dozen

PSE Radial X Weave Black Mamba

PSE has added QuietCoat, a custom process that increases penetration by reducing resistance on several of their Carbon Force arrows for 2014 — Radial X Weave Pro, Radial X Weave Bow Madness, Radial X Weave Black Mamba, Radial X Weave STL Hunter, and Sniper 2. QuietCoat allows arrows to slide over virtually any type of rest with minimal noise, and makes removing them from targets much easier. And, this proprietary process integrates the coating into the material used to make the surface of the arrow, creating an extremely durable finish. Carbon Force arrows with QuietCoat are available in spine sizes to fit every shooter's needs, with weights ranging from 6.6 to 9.2 gpi. Price: $99-$130 per dozen (Radial X Weave Pro); $85-$100 per dozen (Radial X Weave Bow Madness); $120-$130 per dozen (Radial X Weave Black Mamba); $70-$75 per dozen (Radial X Weave STL Hunter); $70-$100 per dozen (Sniper 2)

Victory VAP

Victory Archery used independent tests to confirm that the blistering speeds of their 100% high-modulus carbon fiber, ultra-small-diameter VAP (Victory Armour Piercing) arrows offer deeper penetration and more killing power than standard-diameter shafts. Additionally, their EFOC (Extreme Forward Of Center) design improves long-range accuracy and penetration. VAP arrows accept either an aircraft-grade Aluminum Penetrator II Adapter (5„16 diameter, 43 grains) or Stainless Steel Penetrator Adapters (9„32, 93 grains) for an even more EFOC configuration, and all Penetrator Adapters accept standard 8„32 broadheads. All arrows are treated with a super-slick Victory ICE coating that requires 60% less force to remove from a target and reduces the noise of the arrow as it slides over any rest. VAP arrows are available in spines of 500 (6.1 gpi), 450 (6.8 gpi), 400 (7.1 gpi), 350 (8.1 gpi), 300 (8.9 gpi), and 250 (9.7 gpi). Price: $120 per dozen

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