Archery Equipment Guides
Archery bows have a long history, both as an ancient weapon that was used for hunting and for fighting opposing armies. Archery equipment played a vital role in shaping civilization, as the bow was once a powerful weapon of civilizations of Egypt, India, Greece, Persia and many other countries.
Old archery equipment like bone and stone arrow heads has been discovered by archaeologists throughout the world. Earlier bows and arrows were crude and inaccurate; however with time and innovation, the archery equipment became deadly effective on the battle fields. In the hands of a capable bow hunter, much food was brought back.
Modern Archery Equipment Today archery is mostly confined to recreation sport like target archery and bow hunting. The archery equipment is high tech, being made of different composite materials for strength speed and accuracy. The modern longbows, crossbows and recurve bows are more powerful than ever before. The compound bow of today, looks like a space age contraption, with cables and cams, giving it tremendous speed and flatter arrow trajectory. The amount of tension that an archer has to hold while aiming is also significantly reduced with the high tech design, this makes aiming easier as well.
Today arrows are made out of aluminium alloy, carbon fibre and fibreglass. Some are a mixture of materials to gain strength for impacting the targets and lighter weight for speed. The wood arrow is still popular with traditional archers and also is more economical for the beginner. There are a wide variety of different arrow heads on the market. Field points, judo heads, broad heads for hunting and target points are just some of the arrow heads that are available, the correct point for the situation will save a lot of ruined targets or lost arrows.
Without the rear fletching or vanes on the arrow it would tumble when released. The fletching is generally made of plastic or feathers and it helps stabilize the trajectory of the arrow. The nock at the very end of the arrow helps secure it temporally to the bow string, until fired. Other archery equipment that helps the archer become more efficient with the bow, are items like bow sights, arrow rests, stabilizers.
Other essential archery equipment like shooting gloves, archery release aids or tabs, arm guards and archery quivers can make archery easier. Archery equipment is something that you can build up over time as you might need it, such as an arrow jig for making arrows or 3d archery targets. While you can certainly go bow hunting or target shooting with minimal gear, the right quality archery equipment will make archery even more enjoyable and fun.
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Archery Broadhead For Hunting
Archery broadheads are arrowheads that were originally made of stone and bone many thousands of years ago. They were used for bow hunting and later on evolved and used by archers in medieval times for war with deadly effect.Today’s modern broadheads are made from steel and other strong materials.
They are designed to cause maximum damage to their target by its razor sharp cutting blades.
The broadhead is equipped with two, three or four blades that can inflict a fatal wound on the target. With razor sharp broadheads, bow hunters can and have taken all game species on earth, ranging from the rabbit to the buffalo in Australia, to moose and bear in North America, to antelope and rhinoceros in Africa, just to name just a few.Types of BroadheadsThe type of broadhead you choose depends on your bow hunting preference and game hunted.
Some designs and stylesare the; fixed blade head, replaceable and mechanical blade broadheads. Each design has their own positives andnegatives; here we will go through some characteristics of each broadhead. One popular type of broadhead is the fixed blade broadhead. It is the oldest form of archery broadheads.
Its blades are always in the open position and fixed. This broadhead can be designed in two, three, or more blades and come in weights from around 100 grains, 125, up to 250 grains. Quality fixed archery broadheads are very effective, as they cut on impact and are more resilient than mechanical blades. They are fixed and therefore minimal loss of energy on impact.
Unfortunately, some fixed broadheads have a tendency to plane and move off course. This also depends on the arrow fletching and broadhead used. However, this weakness can be surmounted by experimenting and tuning your archery gear. A variation of the fixed two blade broadhead is one that you can attach small bleeder blades to it. This may give you more cutting area, with minimal drag and width.The second type of broadhead is the mechanical blade broadhead.
This type of broadhead flies similar to a field point as the blades are partially or fully concealed. It also experiences less wind resistance because its blades are not open and only deploy on contact with the target. Most mechanical blade archery broadheads cause wider wounds, which leads to more bleeding. This creates a better blood trail that allows easy tracking of the animal. It also facilitates a more humane kill.
The disadvantage of mechanical archery broadheads are that they sometimes malfunction and don’t open properly depending on the structure hit and also angle. They can also be unreliable sometimes and can fail due to wear and tear precipitated by moving parts. The mechanical broadheads sometimes can lose a bit of energy when opening up.
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The mechanical expandable broadhead is effective due to its ability to inflict a large diameter wound on the animal.Other types and designs of archery broadheads include the replaceable blade, which are popular with North American archers. Most replaceable blade heads are razor sharp and don’t need initial sharpening. The most well-liked brands have a cut-on-contact tip. The blades slide under the tip and can be sharpened and replaced if need be. Most have around a 1-inch cutting diameter.
The replaceable blades are sharp and compact and most are ideal for an instant razor edge.Some replaceable blade broadheads (and fixed blade) have vented blades that help minimize wind planning. Some brands can make a whistling sound when the arrow is fired, thus scare game. Like most equipment in archery it is give and take, and archery broadheads are no exception. The cutting area of replaceable blades depends on the brand.
They may not have the capacity of the expandable broadhead in terms of the size of the wound inflicted. The type of broadhead to use depends on the type of game you want to hunt. For tough game like wild boars and buffalo, the fixed two blade broadhead is popular with bow hunters in Australia.For lighter skinned game, like goats and deer, the three blade and replaceable blades are gaining popularity.
This obviously depends on you bow set up, preference, bow poundage and arrow weight/spine stiffness, etc. As a lot of bow hunting and archery techniques and gear come from America, Australia soon follows the trend. By no means is the mechanical broadhead new in Australia, however, it is starting to get a following. For archers who have trouble getting a razor sharp edge on their broadheads, the replaceable blades are worth considering, although the cost is sometimes expensive, but razor sharpness is a must.
What weight broadhead do I use?For broadhead weight, a general rule in Australia is, the bigger and tougher the game hunted, the heavier the arrow and broadhead should be used.For big game like buffalo, which have tough hides and strong bones, the broadhead weight might be 180 grains to 220 grains. For lighter game, like foxes and wild goats, a broadhead of 100 grains to 125 grains, up to 150 grains will do. This again depends on you bow set up, preference, bow poundage and arrow weight/spine stiffness, etc.For more information on how to get the best accuracy and penetration out of your archery broadheads check out the article on broadhead accuracy.
Whether your target is a deer or bullseye (The gold.), how can you find the perfect archery bow?
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Unfortunately, the process isn’t an exact science – there’s no magical formula that you can use. However, by following some basic tips, you can increase your chance of finding the perfect archery bow. Here are some of the most crucial tips:
- Think about the archerWhile this seems like an obvious matter, many people overlook it when shopping for archery bows. Consider factors such as the size, strength, and age of the archer. Will he or she be able to “grow into” a larger archery bow? Will the archer’s age or strength negatively affect his or her ability to draw back the bow’s string? These are important matters to consider, to ensure that a bow doesn’t overpower the archer.
- Consider the pros and cons of each bow typeEach archery bow has its positives and negatives. Like compound bows with the latest gadgets and aggresive cams will make your bow faster, however the more high tech accessoriesyou add to the bow, the more can go wrong. Recurves can offer simplicity, however, they are generally not as fast as the compound bow. Longbows can be very accurate (Just look at footage of Howard Hill shooting) however, to be consistent and proficient without a sight on it, you may have to practice shooting often.
- Fact in the bow length when target shooting, the length of the bow won’t be much of a factor. However, when bow hunting in the field, consider that a longbow and other lengthy bows can become quite bulky for the archer. So remember that when choosing a bow, a long one can hit branches, shrubs, etc. On the positive side, a longer length archery bow will reduce finger pinch and is said to be more forgiving.
- Understand the need for speed While you won’t need to secure a PhD in Physics to understand what influences the speed of an arrow, it’s crucial to have a basic knowledge about what influences it. The Archery Manufacturers Association (AMO) conducts a standard test to assign it a speed.
The speed indicates how many feet-per-second the archery bow propels the arrow.
Another organization, the International Bow hunting Organization (ISO), uses a different standard to measure speed, so its speeds are significantly higher than AMO’s.
What does this all mean?
When buying a archery bow, remember that faster bows shouldn’t be your only consideration regarding speed. Yes, some modern compound bows are very fast and the arrows have flatter trajectory, which is great for accuracy. However, bows that shoot ultra-fast are more difficult to control.
Experts usually suggest bows with AMO speeds of 235-245, and IBO speeds of 290-305.Longbows and recurves have harvested all bows hunting game on the planet, so speed in the bow should not be your only consideration. Select a brace height that’s comfortable for you this is the distance between the bow’s string, and the bow’s grip—when you haven’t drawn the bow. What’s so special about the brace height? This feature of a bow will have a big impact on the speed and precision of the archery bow.
(This depends on style/make of the archery bow.)
A bow with a shorter brace height will have a power stroke that’s lengthier—thus boosting the arrow’s speed. On the other hand, bows that have lengthier brace heights provide more forgiveness in accuracy. So the bottom line is that you should choose a brace height based on the type of archery that you plan to do—keeping in mind that power is particularly important when hunting, but not at the expense of accuracy. If you’re looking for the perfect archery bow, these tips will help you to hit the target.
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Hunting Archery Arrows
When bows were first used, the archery arrows where just as primitive in design. The first arrows were merely sticks with a point on it and no aerodynamics such as feathers on the base of the arrow were used.
As time progressed man had learned to use a straight shaft with bird feathers at the base, and rocks, shells, and other materials were used to make sharp points. The shaft was normally made from various types of wood in those days and the weights and straightness would vary greatly.
The wooden arrows would eventually warp, especially in wet weather, making accurate shots even harder with the primitive archery equipment.However, the archery bow was recognised as a great hunting tool and eventually a devastating military weapon.
The arrow then advanced with the bow and in time, was designed to become more consistent and straighter.
- Modern Arrows – Today the archery arrows are made from a variety of resources, like fibreglass, aluminium alloys, carbon fibres and other composite materials, with wood still obviously being popular with traditional archers.
- The aluminium arrow at one stage became very popular, because of the lighter weight and durability. Today the carbon arrows are widely used in both bow hunting and target archery, because of their accuracy and spine stiffness.
- The carbon arrows weight, combined with its straightness, provides a more flat trajectory and had much higher speed arrow.4
- Some archery arrows now combine alloy with carbon and have durability, while still being a reasonable weight.
- Arrow Points – Today, arrows have been designed to interchange the arrow head for different types of game.
Some archery arrows are designed with an aluminium screw-in type of connection where the tip can be easily screwed into. Some of the types of tips are target points and field points used for 3D archery, field and tournaments. There are other types of arrow points also, such as; judo tips and blunt heads for small game bow hunting and special bow fishing arrows and points designed for taking fish. Broad heads another important part of an archery arrow is the point or tip that is used.
For bow hunting the arrow head is called a broadhead, which is basically a pointed cutting edge. The broadhead has two, three or four blade sides that should be razor sharp. Fletching And Vanes Fletching is the material used at the rear of the arrow to guide it and is still made from bird feathers as mentioned above, as well as plastic, called vanes or flights. For bow hunting the normal length of the fletching for a hunting arrow is commonly four or five inches long. Three flights are generally used with some bow hunters using four to help steer the arrow.
For target archery, field and 3D archery the shooters might use two to three inch vanes, with shorter ones becoming more popular because of the more advanced archery equipment like release aids and arrow rests.NockThe tail end of the arrow that connects to the bow string is called the nock, also spelt noc. The nock should attach to the bowstring with only a slight pressure to tap it off.Archery Arrow SafetyNo matter if you are bow hunting or competing in target archery, arrow safety is a priority. Carbon arrows, alloy and wood arrows, or any arrow for that matter, should always be checked for cracks, splinters and damage.
Remember when you are loading and shooting your bow, a tremendous amount of energy is transferred to the archery arrows, so the arrow should be sturdy enough.Use the correct spine stiffness of arrow for the poundage and draw length of your bow. Never use a too lighter arrow shaft, as the force when released could shatter the arrow.
There are a huge variety of archery arrows available today to suit everything from target archery, 3D archery, bow hunting to field archery in all sizes and materials to suit your archery needs.
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Hunting Arrows, Which Are The Best?
Hunting with the bow and arrow has been part of man’s survival for thousands of years. Archery bows have developed over the years to the modern fast compound bows, recurve and longbows of today. Hunting arrows have also become more advanced, with a wide variety of materials used, such as carbon, alloy, but what makes a good bow hunting arrow?
This article aims to look at the advantages and disadvantages of aluminium arrows versus carbon arrows. Which one makes the best hunting arrows? Here are some considerations to think about before buying hunting arrows.
Aluminium VS Carbon Graphite Hunting Arrows.
Aluminium and carbon graphite are two of the most well-known materials used for making arrows, particularly hunting arrows, which require great craftsmanship in order to be truly effective weapons, as they need to be durable and accurate.
In bow hunting, there can be no room for mistake, so archers must always be armed with the best archery equipment and hunting arrows are no different. Aluminium and carbon graphite each have their share of pros and cons, so it’s best to study them first before making a decision.
Hunting arrows made from aluminium are relatively heavier than their carbon graphite counterparts, with all things being equal. This permits them to sustain greater kinetic energy after the arrow is released and they contact the target. Arrows with greater kinetic energy have greater impact as well as deeper penetration.
However, since aluminium gives these arrows weight, they also suffer from a decrease in effective range. The drop in inertia is more rapid, and the trajectory after a specific range of distance falls low, this also affects bow hunting accuracy. Aluminium arrows also tend to develop tiny bends in their shaft after some time of repeated use. The effects of the usual wear and tear are usually too small to be noticed by the eyes, but they affect the arrows’ flight trajectory as well.
One of the carbon graphite’s arrows advantage is the possible safety features it offers. Carbon graphite arrows do not have the tendency to develop permanent bends in their structure; they adapt to the forces involved in the situation, in other words, more flexible.
For instance, if the force of impact that is placed upon the arrow is greater than usual, or if the arrow is shot forth at a target that is extremely difficult to penetrate, it will simply split or shatter into broken pieces. This is sometimes safer because then you won’t be left exposed to accidents by using the same arrow for another bow hunting session; you’ll simply just have to replace it.
Of course you still should inspect the carbon arrow for any micro cracks or splinters to be safe. No matter how skilled an archer you are, you can never be accurate with a bent shaft, so it’s best to go for carbon graphite arrows that let you know right away if you have defective weapons in your hand. Carbon arrows are relatively lighter as well, which helps obtain a flatter trajectory.
This eliminates a bit of guess work of how far the target or bow hunting game away is. However, as stated before a heavier arrow will penetrate better, so it is a bit of a tradeoff between speed and penetration. One solution is to go for a happy medium and that might mean a heavier carbon arrow, so you still have the advantages of carbon spine stiffness, but also a heavier hunting arrow.
The Beman or Easton arrow selection guide should steer you in the right direction. Another factor to consider is the game you are hunting. A big game animal will generally require a heavier shaft compared to a light or small game animal.
The Hunting Arrow Verdict
Most serious target archers use carbon arrows these days, so you can be sure the carbon arrows are accurate. So for bow hunting, as long as the shaft is correctly spined for the bow and heavier enough for the game intended, the carbon arrow is the way to go.Another option is to look at the combined carbon/alloy hunting arrows made by Easton archery.
The cost of carbon arrows can be expensive though, especially for newcomers, so it might be advisable to use aluminium hunting arrows for a start. You can buy some alloy ones like, the Easton Gamegetter arrows for a reasonable price and they are a durable hunting arrow. When beginners have a bit more experience than they might can later upgrade their hunting arrows to carbon graphite once they have practiced enough and have significantly improve at the sport.
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