Field Point Accuracy With Broadheads

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arrow tuning
Arrow tuning is a big part of any project whose goal is to improve accuracy with broadheads. Make sure that all components of your arrows line up perfectly to prevent wind-planing. Hunter shown wearing Mathews Lost Camo.

Step Three: Tuning Your Arrows

Now, hopefully you have a well-tuned bow that is shooting broadhead groups that have approximately the same center point as your field point groups. The next step is to tighten those broadhead groups. If your broadheads have a wider dispersion, the arrows themselves (and their components) are most likely to blame – not the bow or your shooting form. For a hunting arrow to be accurate, all its components must line up perfectly. Again, looking at the paper airplane, the tip and body must be perfectly in line or the plane will veer.

Arrow Nocks

It goes without saying that the arrow nock needs to be installed so it's precisely in-line with the arrow shaft. Most modern indexing arrow nock systems take care of this for you.

Arrow Shaft

The arrow shaft must be straight. Keep a dozen arrow shafts aside to be used only for hunting, or take all your arrows to a pro shop to be straightened.

Arrow Inserts

Typically, it is harder to achieve field point accuracy with fixed-blade broadheads than with mechanical broadheads. Hunter shown wearing Mathews Lost Camo.

If your arrow inserts fit loosely when installed into the arrow shaft, they will not all be perfectly square when the adhesive sets up. Your broadheads can end up pointing in any direction when you screw them in. Even small differences here result in huge differences 20 to 30 yards down-range.

Whenever the broadhead is pointing in a direction other than directly in line with the arrow shaft, it will steer the arrow. This would be like bending the nose of a paper airplane one direction. As I'm sure you know from experience, it will turn and dive dramatically when you throw it. If your arrow inserts aren't lined up, one arrow might hit four inches high at 20 yards and another six inches low. Such random accuracy is completely unacceptable, and for many bowhunters a major source of headaches.

Construct a simple arrow turning cradle to test your arrow inserts. Cut two notches on opposite sides of a cardboard box and laying the arrow in them. (Or lay the arrow shaft in an arrow straightener.) Satellite offers the Chuck Adams Arrow Rollers that accomplish this same purpose. Screw in a broadhead and turn the arrow shaft while comparing the broadhead's tip to a fixed point. The tip of the broadhead should not waver. If it does, set the arrow aside for later.

Hopefully, you'll find enough arrows that have arrow inserts properly installed to meet your bowhunting needs. (The rest can be used for practice.) If not, replace the arrow inserts in your arrows with better ones. Some testing has shown that Easton RPS aluminum arrow inserts, Saunders aluminum inserts and Arizona Archery Enterprises composite inserts are the best available of the ones we tested. We found the ones from AAE to be the best. They are molded permitting tighter control of tolerances. Their light press fit with the inside of the shaft insures that each will be squarely aligned.

 
Mechanical broadheads have much less exposed blade surface in flight and for this reason they wind-plane less and are generally more accurate than fixed-blade broadheads.

Arrow Fletching

A knuckleball is just as unpredictable in archery as it is in baseball. Helical fletching is installed on the arrow at an angle to make it spin and is the only choice for hunting.

As you increase the angle of the helical, you increase the stability of the arrow. But at the same time you make it harder to tune with an archery release aid (one of the arrow fletchings must slip through the gap in the arrow rest and a high degree of helical makes this more difficult). As a general rule, use the most aggressive helical angle you can and still get your bow to tune. Mail order arrow companies use about three to four degrees of helical (this is also what Easton's technicians recommend).

Step Four: Micro-Tune Your Arrow Rest

Even if your bow is shooting bullet holes through paper and your arrow components are perfectly aligned, your hunting arrows still may not hit the exact same place as your field points. You can either move your bow sight to account for the small difference, or you can fine-tune your arrow rest.

Bob Mizek, Production Manager for New Archery Products, has a simple technique that really works. Its seems like magic, but it’s not. It is simply amazing how much difference tiny changes in arrow rest position have on broadhead group location. Basically, if your broadheads group separately from your field points, move your rest very slightly in the direction you want your hunting arrows to go.

If the broadheads are high or low, left or right of the practice arrows, move the rest very slightly downward or upward, to right or to the left, respectively. We repeat: very slightly. These tweaks are all that's required to point your broadheads along the right initial path to hit the same place as your field points. Also, expect to move your sight pins very slightly after you finish with this step. But surprisingly, when you’re done your field points and broadheads will hit the same place.

You don't have to use mechanical broadheads to shoot fast and accurate in the field this season. With a little extra attention to fine tuning, you can be just as accurate with fixed blade broadheads.

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