aliminum vs carbon

old man

Active member
Joined
Aug 14, 2011
Messages
435
Location
shelton CT.
would like to hear the pros and cons of aluminum vs carbon arrows for elk hunting. always believed weight killed better than speed. also which produces the most energy?
 

Gerald Martin

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 3, 2009
Messages
5,606
Pros of aluminum. Heavier weight, easy to work with if you fletch your own. Straighter from the factory. Can be fletched with a radical helical if that's your thing. Cons- bend easily, larger diameter more affected by wind.

Pros of carbon. Much more durable. Thinner shaft doesn't impede penetration at all and not as susceptible to wind drift. More available. They tend to run lighter in weight which is bad or good depending on what you want.

I always struggle to get my arrows to weigh as much as I would like with carbons. With aluminum I was @ 500 grains of arrow weight with my setup, with carbon I'm @ 400 grains. I always got better penetration with a heavier arrow, but my trajectory was definitely more arched with the heavy shafts. It becomes a matter of compromise between penetration and drop.
 

maxx

Active member
Joined
Jul 31, 2015
Messages
717
There are some heavier carbons out there. I am shooting gold tip kinetics and they are around 440 grains. If I bump up to a 125 grain arrow that would get me to 465. Pretty heavy compared to what a lot of people shoot today.
 

shoots-straight

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 6, 2005
Messages
6,223
Location
Bitterroot Valley
There are some heavier carbons out there. I am shooting gold tip kinetics and they are around 440 grains. If I bump up to a 125 grain arrow that would get me to 465. Pretty heavy compared to what a lot of people shoot today.

Compare actual spines on both aluminum, vs carbon. Carbon manufacturers tend to spine their arrows on the lighter side for weight reductions. If you go spine for spine they are pretty close in weight. At least that's what I've found in my limited research of shafts.
 

kenton

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 19, 2014
Messages
1,178
Location
Ohio
I maintain several hundred arrows for a youth archery program and the aluminums are much easier to work with but the carbons will take more abuse. I have nothing against carbons but I shoot aluminum. I like a very heavy arrow (nearly 700 grains) but to be fair, hunting whitetails my shots are always 35 yards and under. Out west, a flatter trajectory might be better.
 

mtmander

Active member
Joined
Apr 29, 2014
Messages
845
Location
Philipsburg, MT or NC
I like carbon , I get better accuracy with them
We can debate the choice but I think it comes down to what you feel more confident with shooting , you have to hit them before you worry about penetration
 

StrutNut

New member
Joined
Jun 21, 2011
Messages
567
Location
Blaine, MN
Like many I started off with aluminum and went to carbon and wont go back. Carbon are much more durable, I get all the weight I need for complete pass throughs with my Easton Axis arrows, I can shoot with a nice right helical fletch using my AZ EZ mini tool, Very accurate and really handle the cross wind better. I also think they are quieter when drawing them back especially in cold temps. I really see no need to ever going back to aluminum shafts. So far I have gotten complete pass throughs on game as large as elk and cant wait to try a archery moose hunt some day.
 

St52v

New member
Joined
Jul 11, 2012
Messages
141
X2 on full metal jackets. 460+ grains at 29-30" with blazer vanes and 100grain head. I just re fletched them with the easy fletch and goat tuff super glue. No worries about scraping the old vanes off with a razor blade ect. Those pictures you see of carbon arrows blowing up and sticking in people's hands and arms scare the hell out of me. I know I will not check them often enough by flexing them.
 

ccc23454

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 22, 2010
Messages
1,644
Location
Wyoming
love the durability of carbon! i cant count the number of aluminum arrow i have bent or creased during shooting sessions or travel. i know a dozen carbon arrow last me A LONG TIME, i was buying aluminum arrows nearly every year, the carbon are a true improvement!

C
 

old man

Active member
Joined
Aug 14, 2011
Messages
435
Location
shelton CT.
yes carbon is a little more durable, but gets lost as often as aluminum, bent aluminum can be straightened enough for target practice but broken carbon can't be used for anything. I now use carbon for 3d but still not sure about using them for elk hunting. what is the longest range I can expect to be able to kill an elk at with a well placed shot?
 

Mthuntinfool

Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2014
Messages
579
Location
Noxon Mt
what is the longest range I can expect to be able to kill an elk at with a well placed shot?

My belief is get them as close as you can, but I have seen elk killed clean with one shot at 60+ yards. just like with a rifle, don't shoot past what your comfort zone is. my personal limit is 50 yards. I can shoot farther than that if need be, but 50 is as far as I can consistently shoot accurately.
 
Joined
Oct 7, 2014
Messages
572
Pardon my ignorance, but I can't imagine any reason someone would shoot aluminum arrows in 2015 other than being stuck in their ways.

A quick Cabelas search shows 71 options for carbon shafts and 5 for Aluminum which tells me that there generally isn't much interest.

Carbon is a wonder material and the ability to consistently manufacture it inexpensively has really grown in the last decade. Aluminum, especially the extruded and hydro-formed stuff used in arrows has a yield strength very close to its tensile strength which means it can't bend very far without breaking. Aluminum has a definite fatigue life regardless of loading where as carbon so far has proven much more similar to steel in its extended life. Aluminum is limited from a design prospective in that its property are largely fixed in all directions where as carbon is directional meaning it can be stronger in one direction and flex in another to tune the spine of the arrow.

Truing an aluminum arrow requires an additional tool to have around where as the concept with carbon of its either good or broken is a pretty huge asset in the field.
 

Delw

Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2000
Messages
5,786
Location
Peoria ,Az
I only shoot alum Full metal Jacket ones.
Reason being I shoot lots of varmits with my bow(yotes and foxs) and we live in Az where its very rocky.
and the final reason I witness 2 different guys with carbon arrows through there arms that was 2 too many. Yes I know the bend test and I check hers every time we go out,
slower bows I probally wouldnnt have a problem shoting carbons but the faster bows I cant bring myself to doing it.

My daughter Shoots competition and hunts with her bow's, she shoots carbons for hunting and alum for competition(go figure ) However after the last 4 weeks of deer and elk and popping squirrels she is going to go with Full metal jackets.

as far as how long a shot closer the better, the use of good broadheads is more important than range.
Daughter shot a decent little buck opening weekend at 60 yards perfect double lung shot, arrow went right through. we tracked puddles of blood every 5-10 yards for 3/4 of a mile. then it flat out stopped. next morning we found just little drops for the next 3/4 mile and one big puddle from what apears to be a cough. spent over 12 hours on my knees following a blood trail. couldnt find buck.
we went back 2 more weeks giving it a day for each search again to no avail. shes pretty bummed about it. She called my buddy and he loaned her some Gravediggers cut on contact 100 grain. arrows are flying very true.
she is shooting 46 lbs out of a carbon rose
she was using 75 grain muzzys in the above photo's

The muzzys are a pretty small dia compared to the grave diggers.

I personally am still using my old rocky mountains from the 80s and some other ones they are all 125 grain if I recall and are very big in dia. only reason I havent switched to newer broadheads is cause I got 30-40 rockys left ;)
 

Attachments

  • 14.jpg
    14.jpg
    152.7 KB · Views: 276
  • 15.jpg
    15.jpg
    167.3 KB · Views: 284
  • 16.jpg
    16.jpg
    152.6 KB · Views: 280
  • 17.jpg
    17.jpg
    105 KB · Views: 280
Top