Who else is running heavy/high FOC?

Mossy-Back

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Jan 5, 2019
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Western Oregon
There's some really good vids on heavy arrow building/tuning. Check out Ranch Fairy on youtube. Or grizzly stik. I just got done building a dozen Gold Tip hunter xt's. 555 grains total weight, 16% Foc. Using 100 gr brass insert and will be using the 125 gr Strickland Helix. I shot the bare shafts through paper at 5 yds and was able to get them shooting bullet holes just by nock tuning. I never realized it would make such a difference, but I'm definately sold. Can't wait to hunt with them.
I’ve been watching a lot of Ranch Fairy’s videos and also communicating directly with him. He’s shown that heavy, high FOC arrows work extremely well and penetrate well even in tough quartering to shots, through bone and tough hide, and out of low (40 pound) draw weights.
While he does tout the greater effectiveness of heavy/high FOC, he warns not to get hung up on any particular weight/FOC goal. What he has stressed most is that arrow flight is more important and that a straight flying arrow will penetrate better than one that is not. Mess around with insert and point weight and find what flies well.
 

Maxxis31

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Aug 6, 2014
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NE Oregon
What is your arrow setup? Have you had one go through bone, besides ribs?
I shoot a 490gr arrow, its a RIP TKO with 75gr Brass Insert, 25 grain IW Impact Collars and a 100gr Rage Trypan on the front. I shot my bull this year through the front shoulder quartering too me on a follow-up shot, It went through the shoulder, through the ribs, windpipe and both lungs and stuck in the far side ribs, broadhead looked great with a small bend on the tips of the blades. I have blown through elk with arrows from 390-420gr with COC fixed heads and only upped my weight to shoot large cutting expandables. IMO for deer hunting, it's pretty silly to build an arrow that heavy, even if you do have time to range every single shot your margins for a yardage error is way bigger and your more likely to make a poor shot on an animal lobbing arrows at them, there is a reason success rates are lower with traditional gear.

I try to avoid listening to fairy's:)

You can see the crease from the top of his shoulder right above my hand in this picture, that is the front top of the shoulder where I hit.

IMG_4352.jpg
 

Mossy-Back

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Western Oregon
Glad you’ve had good results with your setup. I’m over in western Oregon where it’s thick, and will be hunting Roosevelt elk next year. Close shots and big bodied animals. If I do more hunting on the east side of the state where it’s more open I may switch to a lighter arrow for a little more flat shooting, but I’d probably still not shoot anything over 40 yards.
 

sdkhunter

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Apr 13, 2012
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In my testing arrow weight is only part of the penetration factor. For example in extensive testing I did about a year ago with a good friend, a 380 gr VAP or Gold Tip Pierece out penetrated a Easton Dangerous Game arrow over double it’s weight (around 700gr)... I’m not saying heavy is bad, if that’s your cup of tea, go for it, there are some advantages as there is always two sides to a coin. For me, bow hunting is more about yardages and distances - I don’t want a super heavy/slow arrow when I’m snap judging yardage hunting. On the first bull I shot with my VAPs about 6ish years ago, I got a complete passthrough at 60yds and it stuck several inches in the ground after exiting (was a little above him). This year I shot my bull at 30yds and a Ulmer Edge expandable cut through him like melted butter with a complete passthrough - I just don’t feel like I need anymore punch, I’d rather gain a little more fudge factor on yardage.
 
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bullbugle307

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Jul 19, 2018
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I use those ridiculous expandables and with my arrow set up i still pull them out of the dirt everytime.
I'm not necessarily against mechanicals, but I see in videos where whitetail guys are constantly getting horrible penetration, even at shorter ranges. And more often than not they're using a mechanical and recovering a stiff animal god knows how long after the shot, usually the next morning or afternoon. Hopefully it's not spoiled, but you know a lot of the time it is after being dead that long.

I'm guessing often times a really light arrow and low draw weight is a big part of the problem. Guys are obsessed with tight pins and ease of shootability, and there's arguments for that. But it comes at a price, especially on larger animals and subpar shots. If you're getting pass thru with a huge wound channel, obviously that's ideal. You do what works for you.

For me, primarily hunting elk, light arrows, low draw weight, and a 2.5 inch cutting diameter (which is what I consider in the "ridiculous" range) seems like a recipe for disaster, especially if I mess up and hit the shoulder.
 
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JonathonJEB

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Aug 4, 2015
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North Georgia
Ive only shot one whitetail with my current set up so far and it did great. Im shooting a 50 lb compound with 28 inch draw. A 510 grain arrow, 400 spine. I think the FOC was right at 15%. I have 100 grain black hornet ser razors with 100 grain brass inserts. It does great out to 40 yards. I haven't shot it any further.( Also it was a pass through on the white tail)
 

Fire_9

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Mar 25, 2015
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Lewistown, MT
In my testing arrow weight is only part of the penetration factor. For example in extensive testing I did about a year ago with a good friend, a 380 gr VAP or Gold Tip Pierece out penetrated a Easton Dangerous Game arrow over double it’s weight (around 700gr)... I’m not saying heavy is bad, if that’s your cup of tea, go for it, there are some advantages as there is always two sides to a coin. For me, bow hunting is more about yardages and distances - I don’t want a super heavy/slow arrow when I’m snap judging yardage hunting. On the first bull I shot with my VAPs about 6ish years ago, I got a complete passthrough at 60yds and it stuck several inches in the ground after exiting (was a little above him). This year I shot my bull at 30yds and a Ulmer Edge expandable cut through him like melted butter with a complete passthrough - I just don’t feel like I need anymore punch, I’d rather gain a little more fudge factor on yardage.

How did you perform your tests?
 

TimeOnTarget

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SD
I'm not necessarily against mechanicals, but I see in videos where whitetail guys are constantly getting horrible penetration, even at shorter ranges. And more often than not they're using a mechanical and recovering a stiff animal god knows how long after the shot, usually the next morning or afternoon. Hopefully it's not spoiled, but you know a lot of the time it is after being dead that long.

I'm guessing often times a really light arrow and low draw weight is a big part of the problem. Guys are obsessed with tight pins and ease of shootability, and there's arguments for that. But it comes at a price, especially on larger animals and subpar shots. If you're getting pass thru with a huge wound channel, obviously that's ideal. You do what works for you.

For me, primarily hunting elk, light arrows, low draw weight, and a 2.5 inch cutting diameter (which is what I consider in the "ridiculous" range) seems like a recipe for disaster, especially if I mess up and hit the shoulder.

I completely agree on elk. I reduce my cutting diameter by over an inch and fixed blade when chasing elk, same arrow weight. I'm not interested in mechanicals in general when elk is on the menu.
 

TimeOnTarget

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What is your arrow setup? Have you had one go through bone, besides ribs?
Gold tip Pierce Platinum 250s 125grn heads and using gold tips insert weight system. 72ish lb draw weight. Ribs only, and the blades are bent after doing so. To follow up another post, this is my experience on deer. I dont shoot mechanicals and the cutting diameter decreases by over an inch for elk.
 

Mossy-Back

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Western Oregon
For me I just want a setup I can run for everything without needing to change up my sights. Same weight for deer, elk, turkey, etc. And just change heads.
 

sdkhunter

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How did you perform your tests?
I don't want to take over the thread but here is a recap but feel free to PM me with any questions. We spent a lot of time on our testing (and tried to be as objective as possible) and were pretty happy with the results. We used around 15-20 arrows, everything from various Gold Tips, Easton's and Beeman's and Carbon Express - same length and then recorded our overall arrow weight on an arrow scale and shot arrows through a Chrono. Our lightest arrow was a Carbon Express Bluestreak RZ and heaviest was an Easton FMJ Dangerous GAME arrow. I did all the shooting (to make it as consistent as possible) as my buddy made sure my arrow was at the correct distance (we wanted to make sure we were exactly the same distance from the target - we would even move up 4" if need be). We used a brand new Vertix set at 28" and 62#. For the target we used a Brand New Morrell High Roller and tried to keep arrows at least 2" from the edges - if they were closer than 3" we re-shot that arrow. We chose that target because it's extremely consistent material AND it's rated to stop arrows and bolts up to 450 FPS - so it's MUCH more dense than animal flesh (no arrow pierced\started showing through the back of the target). We would shoot a group of arrows, then bring a tape measure down and record the total amount of penetration - we shot each group 3 times. After we completed testing all the arrows I turned to him and said - but what about hitting really hard hide - how would that impact penetration? So we came up with we affectionately called "Hog Skin". We found a heavy duty cardboard box and cut out four sqares of thick carboard that fit over the target and then taped the edges together with packing tape to make one big thick piece of cardboard - close to an inch thick. We then re-shot our arrow groups with our 'hog skin' on the front of the target and re-measured. To be honest - neither of us had ever seen this detailed experiement with todays technology\arrows done and we felt like some of the old school mentatility didn't really really translate to the newer equipment/arrows/setups but yet wanted to prove it - and we are both stat freaks and bow junkies so we wanted to know for ourselves more than anything. Here are a few shots from our testing. Again - shoot me a PM if you want to discuss our findings/results - I love talking bowhunting, setups, tuning, arrows, etc.
 

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Stay Sharp

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Dec 12, 2019
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Wisconsin
I like to run from 20 to 23% FOC. I like a heavy setup and in the last few seasons have used 1,400 grain arrows, 700 grain and 550 grain.

Solid glass and alum. 1,400 grains for this 11 footer.



700 grain and 20%FOC for this Water Buff



700 grain and 20%FOC for this Hawaiian Vancouver bull and hogs.





700 grain and 20%FOC for this Eurasian boar



700 grain and 20%FOC for this Russian boar



700 grain and 20%FOC for this Red Stag



550 grains and 22% FOC for this Bull.



I enjoy better flight and tuning when the FOC moves further from the fletching.
 
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