Carbon arrows ????


Dec 11, 2000
This is a pretty interesting report and i thought i would share it with you :

Let's say you take two different brands of shafts..Let's say Dozen one is called "CarbonTip", and dozen two is called "GoldExpress". Now let's assume that both dozens are closely matched for spine from shaft to shaft, and that there's a weight tolerance of +/- 2grains in each dozen, but the CarbonTips are .001 with a TIR(total indicator reading) of .002, and the GoldExpress are .003 with a TIR of .006. Considering both of these dozens are well matched, I do NOT think that many folks are going to ever notice a difference. A good shooter *might* notice a difference with fixed blade heads at longer distances, say 35 yards plus with a high speed bow, but for the majority of us It's like comparing XX75's with Uni-Bushings to XX78's w/ will probably never see a difference.

Now....let's take a look at a much more realistic(unfortunately) Scenario...

Let's say that the dozen Gold Express are advertised as .003 straightness..Yet the manufacturer gives no TIR rating or guarantee beyond that (which is how most IC type shafts are sold). 6 of that dozen might be pretty straight...003 to .006 over the shaft.. 3 have runout to .009, two have runout to .011, and one shaft is perfect..003 over the whole length. Well, on a couple of them you could probably cut down the arrow and get rid of the bad section...really depends on how long of an arrow you shoot..If you have a 27" arrow, it might be real easy to cut it down, but what if you use a 30" arrow? Think I'm exaggerating? My first dozen Carbon Express, and several dozen ICS Hunters have been as bad or worse than the example I just gave. Having a shaft with that much runout is no better than the old days of crooked glue on nocks on aluminums..Ever shot a broadhead at over about 220 FPS with a nock glued on crooked? It's not pretty.Chances are if your shooting ICS type arrows, you're probably shooting quite a bit over 220 FPS.

Now, let's say that in addition to the straightness anomaly, that the shafts are not weight matched...The weight varies up to 17 grains...On a fast bow shooting in the 5-6 grains per Lb range, that will add up to 3-5 FPS difference, maybe 6 (especially on a single cam bow which seems to be more efficent with super light arrows, and often breaks that 5gr/1FPS rule.) FPS. That's going to effect point of impact, especially when we have a broadhead attached (that's the whole reason expandables showed up on the market in the first place folks, but that's a story for another time.)... Think about that differnce when we are already shooting a "hot setup" say 275 FPS, or what about 300 FPS? Combined with that questionable can see the problems adding up.. BTW, that 17 grains is "AVERAGE" of the first 3 dozen Goldtips I bought (2 dozen of the original XT's and 1 Pro 75/95), some had a variance up to 22 grains!!

Now let's also assume that the spine tolerances are not that great...Let's say within a dozen Shafts rated as a .340 spine(same as a Acc 3-60 or ICS 340) your getting ratings of spine that varies from .395 to .325 or so...That's like jumping from a 2314 to a 2514 in aluminum terms, or an Acc 3-49 to a 3-71 Hyperspeed. Again, I've got a dozen goldtips that bad...I've also had Carbon Express (the original first year run, not the Selects) that ran from .380-.350...not that great either.... ICS Hunters seem top be the most consistent in this area...they have al been tight spine-wise.. You would not shoot several different spine aluminum arrows in your bow at the same time, so why would you want that with carbon?

All this adds up to a pitiful arrow...That's how Goldtip got such a bad rep their first few was absolute junk...The first year of Carbon Express production was pretty bad, and Beman STILL cannot get the straightness runout fixed...I've had 1 dozen 500's 3 dozen 400's and 4 dozen 340's (including the original ICS 340's now what they call the "field" shaft). I HAVE YET TO GET A DOZEN THAT MET THEIR ADVERTISED TOLERANCE..... EXCEPT!!!...a dozen 400's I bought for my Magnatec..I cut them to 26" because of the built in overdraw, and they were scary accuarte, because now they had the strightness to go with the tight spine, and pretty good weight tolerances..

What I'm trying to say is that unless you spend the bucks to buy matched shafts, your not going to get consistency along the lines of aluminum , or ACC arrows. Do you think that in the lower grades of carbon your going to get the better matched spine and weight even if not the straightness? I've got some oceanfront property in AZ I'd like to sell you if you do. That's third rate(or worse) shaft material folks...

You'll notice that Beman no longer advertises a TIR for their ICS shafts (but they do for the Pultruded shafts)..and it's darn tough to find the blurb on the per inch straightness...005..about the same as the least consistent aluminum Easton makes, but at least they have a TIR guarantee on the aluminum.. this is Bemans highest quality ICS shaft??!!

Carbon Express makes no guarantees either...except on the high dollar selects and then the straightness is only guaranteed to 28", along with the tight weight. But that's the length I normally shoot in an arrow so the selects work great for me..they are quite consistent WITHIN the dozen. However I've had 300 Selects vary up to 19 grains from one dozen to the next dozen...

Goldtip at least recently has began to publish "standards" for weight , and straightness (with a TIR!), even for their cheap arrows . Their recent 3D Pro shafts have been the best of the ICS types I have seen, I've bought two dozen in the past year 55/75's and 75/95s. Both dozens have been tested and are .001 over the whole shaft AS ADVERTISED, within 4 grains AS ADVERTISED, and spined very well. The dozen XT Hunter's I bought recently were close, but not quite up to their spec as far as straightness..I had two shafts that had runout to .008 and.009 (guaranteed to .006), but luckily I chopped off the bad ends on those two. They still had a weight spread of 8 grains, but at least that's within advertised specs. Spine was pretty good as well.

My fianl point: You don't need .001 straightness and every shaft within 1grain to get great accuracy, but you do need to make sure that all your arrows are spined well,are all as straight as possible(at the least consistent from shaft to shaftt o shaft), and not too crazy as far as weight variance goes.

Unfortunately almost all of us who buy ICS type arrows are NOT getting what we pay for.

Terry aka Coydog

New member
Dec 10, 2000
Menlo, WA
DKO, Hmmmm, makes me wonder if I should go back to my old standby Easton xx75's, considering the price Im paying for carbons. Thanks for the report. :cool: