Arrow/Broadhead penetration

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Arrow/Broadhead penetration

Unread postby Uncle Lou » Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:36 pm

I read a great article the other day on Arrow/Broadhead penetration. It was written by Todd Smith and was in Archery Business. Todd is a long time traditional archer and he did a great summary and presentation of information from Dr. Ed Ashby. I know Todd and am going to ask him if I can print his entire article here, but at the end of his article he said Dr. Ashby's information could be found at the following links.


This was a compilation of work from Dr. Ashby that Todd summarized and presented.

I used to really get into technical articles like this and this one really took me back to my scientist roots

In summary he presented the 12 factors to improved penetration.

1. Structural Integrity - The most important factor in arrow penetration is structural integrity. If any component of your arrow fails, penetration either stops or is greatly reduced

2. Arrow flight - If an arrow is not flying perfectly it is wasting valuable energy. Tune your system to make sure your arrows are flying well.

3. Arrow Forward of Center (FOC) - tests have shown that Extreme FOC defined as 19-30% forward of center and Ultra FOC defined as over 30% forward of center enhances penetration from 40 to 60%. Dr. Ashby has done some amazing tests to confirm this theory. Dr. Ashby does not say that you have to have 30% FOC, he just says that 20% is better than 15% and 30% is better than 20%.

4. Broadhead mechanical advantage - Long narrow heads have an advantage over shorter wider heads. It takes less energy to push them through. It takes less energy to push them through. This is second only to Extreme FOC and Ultra FOC in enhancing penetration.

5. Shaft Diameter to Ferrule Diameter Ration - You'll lose up to 30% of your penetration potential if the shaft is larger than the ferrule where they meet. Its best to be slightly smaller in diameter than the ferrule of the broadhead.

6. Arrow Mass - Heavy arrow absorb more energy from the bow and carry momentum better. The study states you should shoot the heaviest arrow that delivers a trajectory that the archer can live with.

7. Broadhead Edge Finish - Broadhead edges that have been honed sharp and stropped smooth have a 26% advantage over smooth filed edges and a 60% advantage over coarse serrated edges. Although a much debated issue, this is based on Dr. Ashby's testing on animals.

8. Shaft profile - Tapered shafts show an 8% penetration gain over parallel shafts and a 15% gain over barrel tapered shafts. Barrel tapered shafts often used by long range target shots are the worst for penetration.

9. Broadhead/Arrow Silhouette - Smooth transitions and slick arrow finishes enhance the potential of penetration. Don't use broadhead ferrules with bumps and irregular surfaces, as they impede penetration especially in bone.

10. Type of Edge bevel - Single bevel heads outperform double bevel. Single bevel means flat on one side. Single bevel heads due to the rotational force split bone and allow continued penetration. VERY IMPORTANT to note, Only if no bone is encountered does this factor rank 10th. If bone is encountered, this factor jumps toward the top of the list.

11. Tip design - In all testing where bone was encountered a tanto tip performed best. I dont know what this means. All the pictures show cut on contact tips, but it also states a round tip is second to the tanto at not skipping off when bone it is encountered or angles are encountered.

12. Arrow Mass 650 and above - It is stated that when bone is not encountered this factor is least important. However, as soon as bone is encountered this factor ranks near the top of the list. This report said of the extensive data collection on hitting bone. Dr. Ashby reported 100% success in breaching the heavy rib bone of Asiatic buffalo with an 82 lb recurve at 27-inch straight ended longbow with this mass arrow, which sounds believable. He also reported, 100% success on breaching the heavy bone with a 42 lb. at 27-inch recurve, with this same minimum arrow mass of 650 grains.

To read the reports go to:
www.Alaskabowhunting.com
www.TradBow.com
www.TradGang.com

Also check Todds website out at toddsmithco.com

I have not read the full reports, but read the article cited above. Good reading and look forward to your comments.


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Re: Arrow/Broadhead penetration

Unread postby virginiashadow » Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:42 pm

Scary Sharp broadheads, high FOC, perfect arrow flight=the basics of great penetration.
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Re: Arrow/Broadhead penetration

Unread postby Schultzy » Thu Mar 17, 2011 3:17 am

Yep, that's great Info Ashby has. I've read It a bunch of times. I'd bet at least 70% of the set ups (bow and arrow marriage) are not In tune with each other.
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Re: Arrow/Broadhead penetration

Unread postby Uncle Lou » Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:10 am

I could be way off base, but I would guess that those with an interest in traditional are more into these principals than the compound only group. Seems to me, that compound shooters are more into speed. Again I could be wrong.

With compounds once you blow through an animal, like most compounds do, what more do you need to worry about penetration.

Funny part is I used to look at that, could call it overpenetration - blowing clean through, as wasting energy. Meaning all the energy in the flight after exiting the animal was wasted. I thought the arrow should be heavier to deliver more of a blow to the animal.

Many observations, which I recorded, during a couple group pig hunts, showed me something contrary to the last paragraph. Documenting about 20 pig kills, I noted that arrows that remained in the animals -delivering all the bows energy, didn't do well at killing (very possible that other factors that Ashby cite for penetration were not in play here and delivered poor penetration). The arrows that zipped clean through the pigs killed quicker.

Reinforcing that bows kill by hemorage, not shock. Initially, I was thinking along the lines of rifle hits, when I first thought we needed to deliver more energy into the animal. Where Ashby, I believe, is teaching how to convert the energy to penetration to deliver hemorage.
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Re: Arrow/Broadhead penetration

Unread postby Indianahunter » Thu Mar 17, 2011 10:05 am

Uncle Lou wrote:I could be way off base, but I would guess that those with an interest in traditional are more into these principals than the compound only group. Seems to me, that compound shooters are more into speed. Again I could be wrong.

With compounds once you blow through an animal, like most compounds do, what more do you need to worry about penetration.

Funny part is I used to look at that, could call it overpenetration - blowing clean through, as wasting energy. Meaning all the energy in the flight after exiting the animal was wasted. I thought the arrow should be heavier to deliver more of a blow to the animal.

Many observations, which I recorded, during a couple group pig hunts, showed me something contrary to the last paragraph. Documenting about 20 pig kills, I noted that arrows that remained in the animals -delivering all the bows energy, didn't do well at killing (very possible that other factors that Ashby cite for penetration were not in play here and delivered poor penetration). The arrows that zipped clean through the pigs killed quicker.

Reinforcing that bows kill by hemorage, not shock. Initially, I was thinking along the lines of rifle hits, when I first thought we needed to deliver more energy into the animal. Where Ashby, I believe, is teaching how to convert the energy to penetration to deliver hemorage.


Well, I can say that it is something that I have been interested in for a long time as a compound shooter. However, my interest came from the fact that I have a 26" draw length and needed to gain more penetrating energy.

That is why I stress to people the importance of a shootable bow over high poundage which most people think of only for reasons of speed.
I will take a slower arrow with the right sharp broadhead, heavy arrown and a strong FOC over speed any day.

It is a great article, I read it at the Alaska Bowhunting site a few years ago and for deer hunting turned me on to the Silver flame broadheads which I still shoot to this day.

Good Stuff thanks for posting.
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Re: Arrow/Broadhead penetration

Unread postby Stuart » Thu Mar 17, 2011 10:56 am

Thanks for posting :)
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Re: Arrow/Broadhead penetration

Unread postby Schultzy » Thu Mar 17, 2011 11:57 am

I could be way off base, but I would guess that those with an interest in traditional are more into these principals than the compound only group. Seems to me, that compound shooters are more into speed. Again I could be wrong.
Being speed Isn't on our side a person has to take advantage of everything he/she can. I do know plenty of traditional bowhunters though whose arrow set ups are far from Ideal. They about not getting pass throughs. They usually go on to say It's the broadhead, I gotta find a different one. BS, It's the Indian behind the bow who hasn't a clue what tuning Is about. One of my closest hunting buddy's Is so guilty of this. He's going on his 6th different broadhead In 15 years of shooting a traditional bow. Him and pass throughs don't go In the same sentence. He's asked for help and I've tried to help him but he won't take me serious enough.

With compounds once you blow through an animal, like most compounds do, what more do you need to worry about penetration.
Why doesn't every new compound out there get pass throughs with these Rage broadheads? I'm sure some of the times It could be the broadhead opening before Impact but the main reason Is the arrow set up Is terrible. Never have I heard so many complaints about not getting pass throughs with bowhunters who shot these Rage heads. A pile of KE Is needed, most don't have It cause they haven't a clue on what It Is or what It Is even about. Trust me, more bowhunters then you think have no clue on what bow or arrow tuning Is about. I used to be one of these bowhunters who thought his bow and arrow were In perfect tune with each other for 22 years. That changed 3 years ago. Mostly the bow tuning part changed. A friend from Texas opened my eye's and helped me a ton.
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Re: Arrow/Broadhead penetration

Unread postby virginiashadow » Thu Mar 17, 2011 2:37 pm

I can say without a doubt that I did not do a good job arrow tuning when I shot a compound. Last year when I switched to hunting with a recurve I finally worked on arrow tuning. It took me months of tinkering to finally figure out what the heck I was doing as my form developed. I learned more about arrow flight/FOC/penetration/etc in one year shooting my recurve than I did in the nearly ten years total I shot a compound. I felt compelled to do whatever I could to maximize my bow and arrows efficiency. I was scared to death that if I did not that I would wound an animal and lose it, so I did not take that chance.

I am upping my arrow weight even more this year, from around 540 grains to around 600-650 grains with 200-250 grains up front.
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Re: Arrow/Broadhead penetration

Unread postby Uncle Lou » Sat Mar 19, 2011 12:47 am

Indiana, Thanks for the silver flame broadhead suggestion. I started playing with broadheads a lot since 2007, pretty expensive hobby.

Schultzy and/or VirginiaShadow

could you be so kind to start a thread on arrow tuning. What your buddy refuses to not learn from you, I would and also think others here would love to hear about it.

I want to know the basics before the advanced stuff. Honestly, I have played with weighing, and spinning and numbering my arrows, but really don't fully understand what it means to "tune an arrow" outside of selecting them. Then when you add or select the broadhead and "tune" this, I am curious to hear more of the steps of what we can do.

If you could reference an article,
Or
If it is easier use your buddy as an example, tell us how he is set up and how you would change it.
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Re: Arrow/Broadhead penetration

Unread postby Schultzy » Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:07 am

Uncle Lou wrote:Indiana, Thanks for the silver flame broadhead suggestion. I started playing with broadheads a lot since 2007, pretty expensive hobby.

Schultzy and/or VirginiaShadow

could you be so kind to start a thread on arrow tuning. What your buddy refuses to not learn from you, I would and also think others here would love to hear about it.

I want to know the basics before the advanced stuff. Honestly, I have played with weighing, and spinning and numbering my arrows, but really don't fully understand what it means to "tune an arrow" outside of selecting them. Then when you add or select the broadhead and "tune" this, I am curious to hear more of the steps of what we can do.

If you could reference an article,
Or
If it is easier use your buddy as an example, tell us how he is set up and how you would change it.
I'll see what I can do. The thing Is there's different ways to get the same thing. How I do It might not be how someone else does It. At least we both get there though, that's what matters. I'm not real familiar with the compounds of today so the tuning of one of them would be better said by someone else. The most Important thing In any compound though Is that their center shot. That needs to be the very 1st thing that needs to be achieved. Nothing else after that will matter If this Isn't done.

I just got a phone call from the Ford dealer I ordered my truck from. I guess the truck Is In so I gotta run to go and check this thing out. I'll post more later on what I do In a different thread.
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Re: Arrow/Broadhead penetration

Unread postby virginiashadow » Sat Mar 19, 2011 5:13 am

Uncle Lou, the best thing I did last year was bare shaft tune my arrows. After my form developed shooting my recurve (took many months) I shot 3-4 arrows unfletched at my target from 15 yards. I looked at how the arrows impacted the target and made small adjustments to my arrows/tip weight in order to get my arrows to spine correctly. I started out with a ballpark idea of what I wanted for my completed arrow/arrow weight but it actually took me physically doing some work to get my arrows to fly true.

I saw a quote from a guy on a traditional archery website that has stuck with me..." I want my arrows shooting the same, fletched or unfletched from 15 yards and in....that means my arrows are spined correctly. So if I am hunting in the rain and my feathers get wet, I will have the confidence to still shoot at a deer knowing my arrows will hit their mark." After I bareshaft tuned my arrows by slowly making adjustments to the length of my arrows and the tip weight, everything started to fall in line. The one good thing about shooting heavier arrows out of a slow moving recurve is that you get too watch the flight of your arrows in some sense. You can see what they are doing every now and then when your eyesight/mind is in tune with your shooting.

Here is a really good guide to help get you started. I am by no means a guru or anything at this stuff, I am just a stubborn guy who works hard to make things work. Schultzy probably could provide you with a lot more detail.

http://www.eastonarchery.com/pdf/tuning_guide.pdf
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Re: Arrow/Broadhead penetration

Unread postby Schultzy » Sat Mar 19, 2011 8:01 am

virginiashadow wrote:Uncle Lou, the best thing I did last year was bare shaft tune my arrows. After my form developed shooting my recurve (took many months) I shot 3-4 arrows unfletched at my target from 15 yards. I looked at how the arrows impacted the target and made small adjustments to my arrows/tip weight in order to get my arrows to spine correctly. I started out with a ballpark idea of what I wanted for my completed arrow/arrow weight but it actually took me physically doing some work to get my arrows to fly true.
Right on Brett. In order to bareshaft a persons form needs to be flawless. Bareshafting to me Is the best tool out there for tuning your bow and arrows.

The big reason why some people shoot expandables Is because they can't get a fixed blade BH to fly good. I've heard this a ton. It Isn't the fixed blade BH's fault, It's the spine of the arrow or the center shot being off If your shooting a compound. Or even maybe the Indian themselves with bad form. Read Ashby's reports and Info. He explains stuff better then anyone can.

As for my hunting buddy that won't let me help him. He needs a stiffer arrow. He's pulling 52lbs pound with his longbow. His arrows are full length 1916's tipped with a 150 grain 3 blade Wensel Woodsman BH. Not sure what the weight of the Insert Is but I'm guessing It's right around 30 grains or so. 180 grains give or take on the tip of his 1916 arrows Is making his arrows bend way to much. His arrows are loosing all of their energy trying to straighten out thus why he's not getting pass throughs all that often. Back 10 years ago when he shot 125 grain 2 blade Satellite Titans he almost always got pass throughs. The lighter tip weight Increased the spine of his arrows and made them stiffer so they didn't bend near as much. His other problem Is his brace height on his longbow. It's too short. It needs to be another 2 Inches longer I bet. I can see that without even measuring the brace height. The problem with him Is, he don't want to learn bad enough. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make them drink. ;)
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Re: Arrow/Broadhead penetration

Unread postby DEERSLAYER » Sat Mar 19, 2011 5:07 pm

I have never had to "tune an arrow" for spine to get good arrow flight since I started shooting in 1972 (granted I was only 7 and did't have a clue :lol: ). It only requires picking an arrow off the manufacturers chart and a properly tuned bow. The exception of course would be wood or homemade arrows.

And speaking of the simplicity of arrow charts, how in the heck did your buddy come up with a 1916 arrow tipped with a 150 grain head? :shock: He is WAY under spined. Assuming a 29" arrow he should be shooting between 38lbs and 43lbs. All he has to do is look at the Easton arrow selection chart to see the spine of a 1916 is only capable of supporting a 75 grain head (maximum) at his poundage and to see that he should be shooting a 2212, 2114 or 2018 (listed from lightest to heaviest). He would probably be the best off with the 2018. Again, assuming a 29" arrow.

Schultzy wrote:...The lighter tip weight Increased the spine of his arrows and made them stiffer so they didn't bend near as much...

This something that I have heard many times and this is actually somewhat of a misnomer that confuses some people. The spine of an arrow is a constant. It does not change. Not matching the tip weight to the bow/arrow combination is just classic Indian error syndrome. :mrgreen:
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Re: Arrow/Broadhead penetration

Unread postby virginiashadow » Sun Mar 20, 2011 2:25 am

Deerslayer, the "dynamic spine(not sure if that is a term but it is when you actually shoot your arrow)" of an arrow changes based on the increased/decreased weight attached to the front or back of it. Meaning, when you shoot your arrows they either bend more or less based on the increased/decreases tip/rear weight.

You would be surprised how many bow shops just give guys 100 grain broadheads regardless of the set-up. Many people don't have a clue as to what is going on with their arrows (and that used to be me and I am still learning).
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Re: Arrow/Broadhead penetration

Unread postby Schultzy » Sun Mar 20, 2011 10:40 am

DEERSLAYER wrote:I have never had to "tune an arrow" for spine to get good arrow flight since I started shooting in 1972 (granted I was only 7 and did't have a clue :lol: ). It only requires picking an arrow off the manufacturers chart and a properly tuned bow. The exception of course would be wood or homemade arrows.
Not necessarily. Some of these charts are off.

And speaking of the simplicity of arrow charts, how in the heck did your buddy come up with a 1916 arrow tipped with a 150 grain head? :shock: He is WAY under spined. Assuming a 29" arrow he should be shooting between 38lbs and 43lbs. All he has to do is look at the Easton arrow selection chart to see the spine of a 1916 is only capable of supporting a 75 grain head (maximum) at his poundage and to see that he should be shooting a 2212, 2114 or 2018 (listed from lightest to heaviest). He would probably be the best off with the 2018. Again, assuming a 29" arrow.
His longbow Is not 100% center shot but very close to It. He needs some bend to get around the riser. A 1916 will work with the correct tip weight as will a 2016 and probably a few other arrow sizes. Play with the tip weight and you can do wonders with different sizes.

Schultzy wrote:...The lighter tip weight Increased the spine of his arrows and made them stiffer so they didn't bend near as much...
DEERSLAYER wrote:This something that I have heard many times and this is actually somewhat of a misnomer that confuses some people. The spine of an arrow is a constant. It does not change. Not matching the tip weight to the bow/arrow combination is just classic Indian error syndrome. :mrgreen:
Virginia Is correct. Spine will change depending on tip weight, brace height, etc.


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