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Arrow Length

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Arrow Length

Postby Fuzzy Dog » Fri Mar 16, 2012 10:37 am

I'm sure this has been asked and answered, but I can't find a good answer.

Is it important to accurate shooting that all of your arrows be the same length? If so, what makes it important?

I've seen all manner of stuff on how length affects spine, but that's not what I'm wondering about.

My question is, assuming that you've properly tuned all of your arrows to the bow(s) they're supposed to work with, does having all of your arrows the same length matter to your accuracy?

Thanks.
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Re: Arrow Length

Postby Jim Casto Jr » Fri Mar 16, 2012 10:52 am

My first thought is yes, but only if you're gapping off the tip of the arrow. Of course it's pretty obvious that your gaps would change with each arrow.
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Re: Arrow Length

Postby Howattman » Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:07 am

If the LENGTH was the only difference, probably not.....but it would be rare that length would be the only difference. Aside from spine, arrows of varying lengths will also very likely exhibit different weights, which will affect trajectory to some degree. I guess it depends on what you mean by "accuracy". For hunting or dicking around in the 3D woods you likely wouldn't notice a lot of diffence, but for serious targets.....yeah, probably.
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Re: Arrow Length

Postby lostaro » Fri Mar 16, 2012 12:34 pm

I notice a difference with arrows that are too long. Impact point is different, I'm obviously "seeing" more of the tip than I realize....while not using it to aim intentionally. Also I just hate have an extra inch or so of arrow sticking out front. As for overall accuracy I doubt most of us could tell with arrow flight being equal.
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Re: Arrow Length

Postby Penny Banks » Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:30 pm

Last fall I made seven arrows for me to use in my wife's one piece ACS. I was using it to start shooting again after my gerfuckulation. Six of the seven were 30" bop with the remainder full length 32".

If I just loaded and fired I could always tell when the long arrow was in flight. There was some tail wag and it never flew where the others did.

Got talked into shooting that bow again a couple of weeks ago and I cut and tapered that odd shaft to match the rest. Now no difference. I do not know why.
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Re: Arrow Length

Postby Bender » Fri Mar 16, 2012 8:39 pm

If you're shooting woodies then conceivably one could have arrows of different lengths that wound actually being well tuned. Then the issue of different weights or if you're gapping would adversely affect accuracy. If shooting synthetics of different lengths then you're all screwed up. If all of the same deflection/spine rating then the only way they could all be well tuned would be if you then went and put different point weights on each one. The sight picture differences and arrow weight issues remain. OOORRR you could shoot different lengths of different deflection/spine ratings so you could maybe then use the same point and get decent tune with each arrow. Sight picture differences and arrow weight issues STILL remain.
But realistically different lengths will adversly affect state of tune which will adversley affect accuracy in 2 ways. One is you're nocking an arrow. Is it "short" or is it "long"? Is it going to try and hit left or right? Who the hell knows? Plus as you get further away from proper tune the bow and arrow become less forgiving. Sure a shooting machine can shoot a mistuned set up. A human being? It becomes less and less likely.

So now naturally the question becomes why the hell would you WANT to shoot arrows of different lengths? Nothing good can come of it. And if you're thinking of a cute trick for competition to use different length arrows for different yardages, that is generally frowned upon, and actually expressly aginst the rules in some venues such as IBO, NFAA, and IFAA.
If you're trying to salvage some stray arrows, I understand, but really do everything you can to get them all to match.
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Re: Arrow Length

Postby Jett » Sat Mar 17, 2012 12:00 am

I have different sets of arrows for particular bows & being of being made of differing materials & weights they are necessairly of varying lengths. When one of these gets buggered at the tip I always salvage them. Most of the time these won't return to the set they came from, though Occassionally, one will be okay if I cut off no more than a 1/4". And some that have more cut off can - sometimes - be corrected by heavier tips. But as general rule, the bulk won't shoot as before. And not being a great shot myself, I figure if I can see a difference it must be considerable. But having numerous other bows I can usually put the shortened arrows to use. Or at least find someone who can.

Oddly, though, (as Bender touched on) I've found that most of the wood arrows that break cleanly at the tip I'm able to simply re-taper the shaft & have it perform as before more often than not. This has always puzzled me. It seems logical the reverse would be true since the taper reduces length more than cutting a 1/4" or less off an aluminum shaft & takes off a tad less weight (unless you're shooting telephone poles!). I dunno why. Maybe it's just because I'm a lousy enough shot not to notice the difference in the woodies, but good enough to detect the change in the metal/synthetic shafts (which is rare because carbon or fiberglass arrows hardly ever survive any kind of damage, but once in a while one of these will mushroom at the tip).
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Re: Arrow Length

Postby Matt_Potter » Sat Mar 17, 2012 9:17 am

Couple of years ago I was shooting at the local archery shop during my lunch break and an older Mong guy came in to have a new string put on his compound. Missoula has a large population of Mong that settled here after VIetnam by and large very good hard working people. We have a mong kid working at the shop who is just great.

Any how I wander over to pay for my range time and took a look at this guys bow - It was BEAT and had had 5 arrows on it all different lengths and all different spines with differnt broadheads and only one pin on the sight.

I'm not shy so I asked the guy how the heck he could hit the broad side of a barn with it. The guy smiled and pointed to the first arrow and said 10 yards - the second 17 yards - ect ect. then he smiled and left. Once he was gone I called bullshit on it to my buddy that was running the place he resonded no I have shot with the guy and he can flat out stack them - I do know the guy and his family are elk killing machines.

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Re: Arrow Length

Postby Bender » Sat Mar 17, 2012 10:09 am

That does make sense, he was tweaking with arrow length in order to generate arrow weights that worked out such that the one pin would always be spot on for a particular arrow at a specific yardage. If he was using a release it would work out even better because the bow/arrow combination would become less sensitive to differences in dynamic spine caused by the different arrow lengths.
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Re: Arrow Length

Postby Fuzzy Dog » Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:09 pm

The genesis of my question was that I have a number of different bows, with nominal draw weights (i.e., I haven't put them on any scale that's been tested for accuracy) ranging from 38# to 53#.

I also have a couple of sets of Beman ICS - either camo bowhunter or bowhunter 500s that are 31.5" and seem to shoot very nicely with 175gr points from bows in the 45 - 48 range. I have some Easton Vapor hunters - 400 spine that seem to shot reasonably well out of the 50-53 range - at 32" with 145gr up front. I also have some Whitetail 25/45's - no idea what the actual spine is that are 32" and shoot pretty well from the 38-42 pound range with 175gr (or 50gr inserts plus 125gr field point).

To the extent I have an aiming style, it's using the arrow like a rifle barrel and adjusting where the point is for the distance - the same way you'd do with a rifle sighted in for a given distance when shooting at other distances.

I realize that there's a strong probability of getting different flight characteristics from, for example an ICS 500 if you shoot some that are one length and some that are another out of the same bow. But, if you're switching from one bow to another, assuming you get a set of arrows tuned for each bow and use them only with that bow - do you need them to be the same length as the sets tuned for other bows?

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know. I should pick one bow, match arrows to it and quit fucking around with all the others, but that ain't real likely.
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