March 31, 2015
By Tony J. Peterson
The difference between so-so arrows and top quality, precision-matched shafts is imperceptible to the naked eye. I firmly believe this is why so many hunters walk into a big box store and buy arrows that fit into their price range without giving their ammo much thought.
Having spent quite a bit of time shooting different arrows and interviewing the folks who designed them, I'm confident in saying that one of the best ways to increase your accuracy is to buy better arrows. This is true while shooting targets throughout the summer, but becomes even truer when things get serious and it's time to screw in some broadheads. How well you shoot your blades has a lot to do with a well-tuned bow and proper form, but also plenty to do with exactly what arrows carry them downrange.
If your arrows are getting a little beat up, or are simply interested in a fresh dozen, there are plenty of options on the market.
Following are 10 that are worthy of any bowhunter's consideration:
Beman | Carbon
If you're a grab-and-go kind of bowhunter then Beman
has a perfect arrow for you — the Carbon
. Sold in packs of four, each arrow is fully assembled from nocks and vanes to the business end which is fitted with a practice point.
Each is weight matched, checked for straightness, and a good fit for anyone shooting bows up to 70 pounds and requiring arrows no longer than 29.5 inches. The made-in-the-USA CARBON's are some of the most value-priced ammo on the market, coming in at just $25 for a four-pack.
Black Eagle | Outlaw
Relative newcomer to the arrow scene, Black Eagle
, has quickly garnered a following thanks to offerings like the Outlaw
. Outlaw shafts are very well-priced for the quality, with each batch coming weight sorted (+/- 2 grains), straightness checked, and spine-matched. If you think any of those things aren't important to overall accuracy I've got bad news for you...
Multiple spines and weights are available, ensuring that anyone with the itch to hunt everything from bunnies to musk ox will be able to find the right Outlaw shaft for the job.
Black Eagle | Renegade
Any shafts designed to catch less cross-wind and penetrate deeper will get my attention. This happens to be the case with the Renegade from Black Eagle
, which offer the same precise spine, straightness and weight tolerances we've come to expect from the company.
Renegade shafts, which are available fletched or bare, utilize a 56-grain outsert to ensure shoulder-blade crushing abilities without compromise. Choose from four spines and four weight options ranging from eight to 10.9gpi.
Carbon Express | BLU RZ
Three spine options - 150, 250, and 350 - are offered in the new Maxima BLU RZ
arrows that utilize the RED ZONE technology to handle the dynamic stress of each shot and in turn offer up broadhead accuracy that is unparalleled. To understand how this work, picture just how much force is suddenly imparted on your arrow when you trip the trigger of your release.
That dynamic stress coming from the nock and pushing through the arrow can cause accuracy problems on lesser arrows. It's technical, but extremely important to better shooting. As with all CX arrows, the BLU RZs are matched by weight and spine to ensure that when you pick up a fresh dozen, they'll be as close to identical from shaft to shaft as you're going to find anywhere.
Carbon Express | Maxima PNK RZ Mathews Edition Arrow
Ladies the world over should consider the new Maxima PNK RZ Mathews Edition Arrows from Carbon Express
. Built off of the popular Blue Streak and Maxima RED arrow platforms, this combination of the two is perfect for delivering maximum energy downrange and for excellent broadhead flight.
Of course it doesn't hurt that the PNK RZ arrows are laser checked for extremely tight spine, straightness and weight tolerances. These arrows are available as 150s that weigh 6.59gpi, and all come standard with CX's LAUNCHPAD Precision Nocks and Bulldog Nock Collars.
89.99 per 6
Easton | Deep Six XD
It's now common to meet hunters shooting micro-diameter shafts, although that wasn't the case even five years ago. This shift in our way of thinking has come straight from the engineers at Easton
, and I'm confident we haven't even come close to seeing the micro-diameter wave peak yet. Part of this is that there are still plenty of folks shunning the smaller shafts, and part of it is because we are only beginning to see what can be done micro-diameter wise.
Case in point, are the new Deep Six XD's from Easton
, which are built with high-strength carbon composite fibers, utilize the Deep Six components, and are designed to penetrate extremely well. Four spines are offered in the new Deep Six XD's, which are sure garner a large following for hunters looking to shoot better at all ranges while simultaneously achieving better penetration on all game animals.
69.99 per 6
Gold Tip | Kinetic Kaos
The original Kinetic arrows from Gold Tip
are still some of my favorite arrows, although in my quiver they've now been replaced by the smaller diameter Kinetic Kaos
. Available in spines ranging from 500 to 200, and weights of 11.6 to 7.6gpi, Kaos arrows are perfect for a wide range of shooters.
To ensure that those shooters have a quality experience at the range and in the stand, each Kaos utilizes the precision nock aligning GTO Nock Bushing and the Ballistic Collar, which aligns broadheads and adds extra strength at the right spot. This cements the shaft-insert-broadhead connection alleviating any worry of a failure should you slip up and aim a little to close to the shoulder and see that cringe-inducing too-far-forward hit.
Gold Tip | Team Primos
Go ahead and try to find a bowhunting category of products that doesn't sport the Primos' name. We will wait. While you're searching, take a look at the new Team Primos arrow from Gold Tip
. Designed specifically to aid in speed and penetration, each Team Primos shaft is built to a +/- .006 ' straightness tolerance (+/- 2 grains of weight).
Spines of 500, 400 and 300 are available, as are weights in the 8.6 to 10.9gpi range, which is right up my alley considering that I'm a big fan of finished arrows that tip the scales somewhere around 450 grains or more depending on the critters I'm after.
Of the limited man-skills I was born with, carpentry of any sort did not make the cut. I'm competent enough to drill a pilot hole and carry heavy stuff, and that's about it. On the pilot-hole front, which is when you drill a smaller hole to make a larger hole easier to drill, there is now an arrow that utilizes the same concept — Slash Arrows
. Don't laugh, because it's based on sound science and makes more sense than it may seem on the surface.
Each arrow, once outfitted with the INsetBlade weighs a total of 460 grains, which is right in my wheelhouse for everything from hogs to moose. At the front of each arrow you can affix a normal-sized fixed or mechanical head. A couple of inches behind the leading broadhead are the second set of deployable blades that are set at a 90-degree angle, and will open easily thanks to the pilot hole created by the first head. It sounds crazy, but after messing around with a few and taking them on a hog hunt, I'm confident there is a method behind the madness. If cutting surface and big entrance wounds are your thing, then Slash Arrows speak your language.
99.99 per 3
Victory Archery | RIP204 Arrows
Micro-diameter arrows are the future whether you like it or not. It has taken some time for manufacturers to get the process down, but now there are fewer and fewer reasons to shoot standard diameter shafts. If you're hesitant though, you might consider Victory's new RIP204 arrows
, which are manufactured to a +/- .001 ' straightness.
Each RIP is designed with Victory's high-modulus carbon and spine aliment process, and each features the new aluminum alloy 'R ' nocks, all of which contribute greatly to better accuracy. Those features, along with the slimmer shafts which increase penetration and catch less crosswind, mean these arrows are ideal for hunting situations ranging from baited bears to migrating caribou, and anything in between.