Upgrading Your Archery Ammo
There is no question that when it comes down to choosing the right arrow, the task can be a little daunting. There are hundreds of different arrow models, spines, diameters, straightness and so on. So, how does an archer choose the right arrow for their specific situation? Here are a couple factors that we look at to help you narrow down your choices.
- What is your Draw Length and Draw Weight?
- Do you know what kind of Broadhead you plan to shoot?
- What style of hunting are you planning on doing? Is it going to be on a backcountry Elk Hunt? Close Quarter Whitetail and Turkeys? An Alaskan Moose Hunt? Windy Muley Hunt out West? Or simply flinging a few arrows in the back yard with the family?
Arrow Labels have a few different numbers. The first number, which a lot of archers misinterpret, is the Spine Label. This is typically measured in 500, 400, 330-350, and 300. These are the most common spines you will find and will match a vast majority of archery across the world. This number is actually measured as a deflection in inches under load (while being shot). THIS IS NOT YOUR ARROW WEIGHT! We hear a lot of archers say they shoot a 400-grain arrow, or a 350-grain arrow. The spine of the arrow in measured in inches, not in weight. A 400 Spine arrow has .400 inches of deflection when being shot. This is a lighter weight arrow, that is typically used for draw weights between 45-62ish pounds.
To simplify, the LARGER the Spine Reading number, the Lighter weight the arrow is, and allows more flex for lighter draw weight ranges. The Smaller the number, the Stiffer the arrow, and used for Heavy Draw weight, and longer draw lengths. Selecting the proper arrow spine is KEY for not only better arrow flight, but also your SAFETY!
The Second number you will see is the GPI, or Grains Per Inch. This is your arrows weight. The higher the GPI the more mass weight your arrow will be. Lighter arrows are going to shoot faster and flatter, a heavier arrow will carry more energy, but will have more drop, and shoot a slower speed.
The last number is the straightness of your arrow. It is common sense that a straighter arrow, will shoot straighter. But more important than that, a straighter arrow will shoot a broadhead more accurately. You measure this from end to end at rest. A .006 straightness arrow is your lower price point, entry level arrow. Arrows with a .001 straightness are going to be your premium arrows and will offer premium performance as they are nearly perfectly straight.
Narrowing down what broadhead you are wanting to shoot, helps choose your overall arrow weight. When researching broadheads, there are a lot of options, and probably even more opinions on which ones are the best. However, the success or failure of a broadhead often is a direct reflection of the arrow choice, and the shooters draw length and weight.
Fixed Blade Broadheads
A Fixed Blade broadhead is going to require less energy to pass through game, than a larger cut mechanical head. A Fixed Blade broadhead pairs very well with just about any legal to hunt setup, and arrow selection. For many hunters choosing to shoot fixed blade broadheads, arrow selection is pretty simple, as most arrows will have enough overall weight to carry the energy needed to pass through an animal.
For hunters who want a large cut with a mechanical Broadhead, a heavier arrow is going to be much more efficient and effective. Think of it this way; shooting a light arrow and a large cut head is like plowing snow with a small compact car. There isn’t enough weight and momentum to push the larger cut head through game and hide. There is a reason snowplows are big, heavy trucks. An arrow with a higher GPI is going to work much better for any mechanical head.
Making an arrow selection can be pretty challenging, but determining your needs and knowing your setup will make choosing the perfect arrow a simple task. The archery staff at Coyote Creek Gun & Archery are here to help answer any questions you may have when choosing arrows, and offer custom fletching, arrow wraps, and arrow cutting to help you be more successful, and shoot better this fall. Stop in to check out our large inventory of archery products and test out any of our bows in our indoor archery range.
Mike Benjamin, Archery Specialist