I am beginning to wonder if all this “ tuning” is worth the effort. I was messing around with a mixed bag of arrows, some aluminum, some carbon. The aluminums varied from 2114 to 2020. The carbons were 400 and 500 spine GT Trads. At 20 yards I couldn’t see enough difference in arrow flight to say one flew better than another. They all impacted in 6” group. Yes, I know feathers make up for a lot of things but I would expect to see a 615 grain 2020 to drop some even at 20 yards from a 50# bow. I know I am old and the brain an’it what it used to be so what am I missing? I thought I was unconsciously compensating for the difference in arrows but I was using the same sight picture.
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The whole reason I do not bare shaft tune by my eye,I feel if the shaft is coming out of the bow straight then it will be flying straight at 20 yards and further.I get my results from first tuning through paper at close range then shooting through paper at 20yrds or further.I tune my arrow 1/8” tear weak and then fletch them up,the extra weight of the fletching on the rear of the shaft then brings the arrows in perfect tune,Carbon and Aluminum.Wood shafts,pick your spine cut to length fletch and shoot,they are what they are.Perfectly matched weight and spine on Woodie’s is key to great arrow flight and tight groups,allot of work and time as well as money goes into them.is it worth it to shoot wood when we have Carbon and Aluminum that is up to each individual to decide for themselves.I like shooting all three but my best groups come from the Carbon and Aluminum shafts,no longer willing to put the time and money into perfect wood arrow.
Yep. Inconsistent/poor form is the biggest cause of poor arrow flight. It's also one of the main reasons bare shafting doesn't work well for a lot of folks. They don't have form good enough/consistent enough to benefit from it.
I have been at this since I was kid. The old method was to take three or four different spine Acme shafts and see which one flew the best, say 45-50, 50-55, 55-60 etc. Over time trial and error shows certain predictable consistencies. Fiberglass was a bit of an alteration, aluminum another, but on the whole the same method worked, it was also very beneficial to have area archery shops that allowed test shooting before shafts or arrows were ordered. Carbon was a different set of variables once again, but those that have a history with them, can pretty much predict the outcomes without a lot of side work. I have one active set of carbons, I did it completely wrong, I selected the arrow length, the point weight, and then went to see which one or two of my 28 bows I had at the time would work for them bare shafting. Feathers do alter things a little bit, a change in brace height was all i needed to do to satisfy the fletched arrows, not a big deal. When guys came to me with bad results with carbons, I can say that a carbon that is a little bit off will show more of a difference than a wood arrow that is a little bit off. However, most of the time when guys were getting varied and confusing results, more often than not the issue was with them, not the arrow. Varied draw lengths and releases seem to show up worse with carbons that are a bit off than wood arrows. Folks do like to go with the common programs. Just like one with arrow flight issues, he saw that ILfs were the way to go so he got one and commenced trying to figure out string crawling, every other arrow porpoised wildly. Adjust the bow tuning, change the brace, count the serving wraps for finger placement change the nocking point up and down up and down. I asked him, "are you planning on doing a lot of target competition?" He said, no, the one shoot that he goes too, even with his compound , he never kept score. He just thought that he needed to aim with the arrow tip. Bow sight on the compound? Of course. So I suggested a starting point shooting split with a bow sight, it was magic, all of a sudden his carbon arrows flew perfect, his draw was consistent, his release was solid and he was accurate out to 30 plus yards. Big trick? Not at all, he had confidence, which made him use stronger form, he stopped trying to get a sneak peek at the arrow in flight, and knew exactly what he needed to adjust if the arrows did not hit the mark, his bow sight.
I think you got it, Sam. I shoot wood and carbons and while I have bare shafted both, I seldom do it. I've been at this so long, I can get very close to the correct spine before I start building the arrow. So I just fletch and shoot. And I get extremely good arrow flight. In the rare instances I don't, I'll then do some bare shafting.
This has always fascinated me, but I have never really been able to bare shaft as precisely as some describe. If a bare shaft tuned arrow hits the bull's eye and an arrow guided by its fletching also hits the bull's eye, is one really much better than the other? I saw the comment that some claim significantly better accuracy, penetration, and velocity retention with the bare shaft spined arrows. He questioned if any extensive tests been done that actually bear this out. I have never seen one. If spine is close and feathers correct any minor issues, I still feel it is time to go hunting. Am I missing something other than, "They say"?
Jerry...yup. I know for a fact that you can bare shaft test woodies, I do it, but I do it the way I described so I don't break em. Try it...it is quite easy, even for a dummy like me.
Why shoot arrows that work when you can easily shoot arrows that work well with just a little bit of work? And I am not talking 1/4" cuts etc. Just getting the most correct arrow to start with...before you add feathers.
Larry: You and Chuck are saying the same thing. A wider shaft rests farther from the center of the bow, thus, the spine needs to be less. The closer the shaft gets to the center of the bow, the more spine can be increased.
As to why wood shafts don't bare shaft well. I think it's because sometimes folks start with shafts that are too far off. The shafts come out of the bow at a substantial angle and break when they hit the bale. A carbon or aluminum shaft that was as far off on spine to start would come out of the bow the same amount off kilter, but they don't break when they hit the bale.
'a wider shaft should need less spine to fly well than a narrower shaft.' That sounds backwards to me. The narrow shaft center would be closer to the bow, so it would act stiffer? Actually with my no sight window bows, I can not tell the difference between those rare 50-55 5/16" cedars and the 11/32" 50-55 cedars. The last thing anyone ever thinks about with tuning is tuning themselves. I have witnessed on several occasions that when people are checking their arrow flight, they tend to change their release and their head positions, while trying to get a glimpse of their arrow in flight. Or the vertical line method, I watched one guy swear his arrows were drifting over a foot to the left, so he thought he needed much lower spines. Looking over his shoulder while he sat and shot with his bow held vertical, (he thought he was suppose to do that), i could see he was pointing them way off to the left, he couldn't see it himself for some reason. He normally shot with a cant, when he canted his bow, his arrows flew where he pointed and flew straight, but he still thought he should double check, which got him going in circles. I understand that not everyone has over 30 arrows whose only purpose is to see which arrows would fly best out of any given bow for a variety of draw lengths and bows. The last arrows that i made for a someone, i built the arrows and before i cut them to his draw length or selected which heads they would get, i wanted him to bring his three bows and shoot them for me and i got to check the bow tuning and the arrow flight. Two of his bows shot the arrows perfect. He later said, "That arrow didn't even slow down when it flew through that buck." I love hearing that.
So....why does wood not bare shaft well ? Are they inferior?
Some people really enjoy that carbon tuning protocol. cutting adding weight changing the bow Bare shaft testing with carbon is practical because of the weight per inch of a carbon shaft. The shaft acts like its own weather vane. Wood is not the same, a fletched wood arrow with a 125 head that is cut to maybe a half inch bop beyond actual draw length, will not bare shaft worth a hoot. With wood since there is so much difference between bare shaft and fletched, there is no point in bare shaft testing. One thing that I know before I even start with my own arrows, they are going to be 27" bop, with the only exception being my one set of net length arrows I build every year.
If what I understand is true 8.5 means 8.5mm ( diameter) which is .335 while the 2020 is 20/64 or .321. Like building out your side plate, a wider shaft should need less spine to fly well than a narrower shaft.
Tom...look up the diameter of those two arrows. They are not the same are they ?
Well..as always, do whatever you want. It kinda stands to reason that a shaft that flies better all by itself will perform better with feathers than a "wonky" one will. There is an additional benefit. Make no mistake, your arrow does not come off your bow straight, even at the best of conditions. Feathers catch it and fix it by adding drag. It fixes it by bending back and forth less each time, because of the drag. If your arrow flies well to begin with, it will normalize quicker when feathers are added, and you require less feathers to do so. AND..this recovery takes place sooner / closer to you, uch that your arrow actually hits the target straight on for, presumably, better penetration. At least...I think so.
Well today wasn’t the day for trail and error. Way to windy and chilly. Only difference I noticed was the point of impact between the heavy spined 2020 and the 8.5 Metric mags was about 4” at 20 yards. Arrows were in line up and down. Now if memory serves me accourding to the charts a 2020 is 70# spine. My bow is 50#. Do you think the 175 grain point is softing the spine that much? Arrows are cut to 29”. The 3Rivers calculator says my arrow setup is 60.4#’s dynamic spine.
Feathers seem hugely important such that this makes tuning arrows unimportant for my purposes.
My friend had a bunch of carbon shafts left over from his high draw-weight compound bow days that were way out of the ballpark from being even close to the required current spine for either of the bows we currently shoot. He wondered whether he could still utilize them for flu-flu arrows. We shot them as bare shafts from our bows at close ranges (i.e., 20 yds and less). The bare shafts flew so badly that they were going down range almost sideways. Oddly enough they still hit where we were aiming at the close ranges at which we normally shoot and hunt. After those shafts were made into flu-flu arrows they flew perfectly from our bows.
My experience has been that one can mostly only discern that an arrow is not properly tuned for a bow by using techniques such as paper tuning, bare shaft tuning, and techniques such as ChuckC described above. If fletched arrows visually appear to fly great and hit where I aim at 35 yards and less, then that is completely sufficient for my needs. I have found that even feathers that have become completely soaking wet do not seem to significantly affect the flight of incorrectly spined arrows at my ranges. Only bare shafts fly wonky. I do not shoot or hunt with bare shafts. I do not agree with the arguments for my purposes that arrows that are not tuned for the bow “significantly” decrease arrow speed, “significantly” decrease arrow penetration, or ”significantly” change the point of impact beyond what I accept as good enough accuracy at the ranges I shoot and hunt.
I have used wood arrows, fiberglass arrows, aluminum arrows, and carbon arrows in the past. But for a long time my arrows are aluminum. I have quite a few 1816, 1916, 2016, and 2018 aluminum arrows. All of my 14 bows are within a relatively narrow draw weight range. I have 30#, 40#, 45#, 50#, 53#, and 55# draw weight bows. I find that any of my four differently spined shafts when fletched with 4” to 5.5” feathers will fly fine for my purposes at the distance I shoot from any of my different draw weight bows. I do check to determine which “fletched” arrows fly best at my ranges for my purposes from my different draw weight bows. Point weight, arrow length, and feather size does make a difference. All fletched arrows of my four spines fly fine from all my different draw weights, but in general, the 1816s fly “best” from my 30# bows. The 1916s fly best from my 40# and 45# bows. The 2016s fly best from my 50#, 53# and 55# bows. The 2018s might fly ever so slightly better from my 55# recurve bow. It is hard to tell because the 2016s also fly so nicely from that 55# bow.
I make my arrows in the way that most pleases me without much concern for spine or tuning. I pick the shaft weight that I want, the length of arrow I like, the point weight I want, and the diameter of shaft I want. I do always check that the fletched arrow flies great at my desired distances, but I have little concern about spine, tuning, or FOC.
Tuning arrows is a good thing. I encourage every other archer to dutifully spend their time tuning their arrows to their bow. But personally I would rather spend my time shooting and hunting rather than spending any time at all tuning my arrows.
Some good wisdom there Chuck! Take aiming out of the equation and just concentrate on form and a good release!
like that Chuck C good explination
I kinda do the same thing with a big hay bale -I dont shoot well enough to need anymore than that
Folks laughed at me, but...unless you are experienced ( in which case you would not be asking) just start by understanding a few things. Many things affect " tuning" and some of those involve the arrows and some involve the bow and you. Several different arrows might shoot fine out of your bow, even as bare shafts, but they will be set up differently. A skinnier arrow, a lighter arrow, a heavier arrow, a longer ( or shorter) arrow, a stiffer arrow. All can be better made to shoot out of a bow. Made to be better....
Most of us starting out don't have barrels of arrows sitting around. I suggest...take an arrow ( bare shaft), set up how you think it should be, and shoot it at a hill 30, 40, 50 yards away. Forget worrying about hitting anything but the hill. Shoot and watch the arrow. If it is weak it will look like it is flying toward the riser, whatever handed you shoot. If stiff, it will look like it is flying away from the riser. Amend your arrow and shoot again till it just...flies like an arrow. The purpose of the hill is so you don't worry about targets...just the arrow. The purpose for the distance is so you can actually see the arrow flight AND you won't break a wooden shaft, as can happen up close in a target.
Once you get that, put feathers on it and have fun. Once you get enough experience to think you need to fine tune even more, you will already know what to do.
Try putting a straight vertical line on your target, tape rope etc. Draw aim the arrow at the line. You will see which arrows are flying straight.
I use a large red ball as a secondary aiming point to prevent me from fudging. Even with my non-center shot bows, it can be nearly impossible to 'see' which arrow is best when they all seem to be correct. With the exception of carbon arrows , which at times to show more issues than wood or aluminum, depending on the method and the bow.