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Muley Crazy Magazine January/February 2014 : Page 53

F or the past three years, I have become progressively aware that the archery industry is saturated with options and opinions. Much like avid reloaders, each hard-core archer swears by his or her set-up and equipment. I also have observed that a wide range of guys get it done with very different equipment. With that being said, I in no way, claim to be an expert, nor do I care to be. I learn from the pros and the guys at the shop; but most importantly, I shoot every day. Since the dawn of archery, the hunting arrow has evolved into a complicated beast. A relatively simple blueprint will include four parts: broadhead, shaft, vanes, and nock. What I am about to discuss in this write-up is my personal arrow set-up and why it has worked for me. But before I get into the arrow break-down, I feel it is important that I tell you that I shoot a PSE Omen Max with a 29.5-inch draw, set at 70 pounds. The particular arrow I will be discussing is one I built after an ibex hunt in New Mexico, where high winds were turning my arrows sideways while in flight! With anoth-er ibex tag in my pocket for the 2013 season, I knew I need-

Getting Technical with Zac Griffith

Zac Griffith


With so many options on the market today, the search for the perfect arrow set-up can be frustrating to say the least. But if you are looking for a short-cut to that bone-crunching, flat-shooting, speed demon of an arrow...then this article is for you!

TODAY'S HUNTING ARROW

For the past three years, I have become progressively aware that the archery industry is saturated with options and opinions. Much like avid reloaders, each hard-core archer swears by his or her set-up and equipment. I also have observed that a wide range of guys get it done with very different equipment. With that being said, I in no way, claim to be an expert, nor do I care to be. I learn from the pros and the guys at the shop; but most importantly, I shoot every day.

Since the dawn of archery, the hunting arrow has evolved into a complicated beast. A relatively simple blueprint will include four parts: broadhead, shaft, vanes, and nock. What I am about to discuss in this write-up is my personal arrow set-up and why it has worked for me. But before I get into the arrow break-down, I feel it is important that I tell you that I shoot a PSE Omen Max with a 29.5-inch draw, set at 70 pounds. The particular arrow I will be discussing is one I built after an ibex hunt in New Mexico, where high winds were turning my arrows sideways while in flight! With another ibex tag in my pocket for the 2013 season, I knew I needed a stiffer, harder-hitting and lowerprofile arrow that would be as “windproof” as possible. After countless hours of research and more field tests than I can remember, what I ended up with was the most perfect all-around arrow set-up I have discovered to date.

Broadhead: Grave Digger Chisel Tip
At first sight, this broadhead looks like a 2-blade, fixed. They have a carbide chisel tip, 1-inch stainless blades and stainless ferrule—nothing fancy. But where this head is unique, and I feel unbeatable, is in the 1 3/4-inch reardeploy blades. You see, this head is a hybrid…fixed front blades with a mechanical rear. The blades use no bands or o-rings, just pair of indentations on the rear blades that face each other. Once closed or overlapped, the concave piece cups the convex. They have an adjustable set-screw (that can be locked down for target practice). The rear blades are also curved; reducing friction and allowing the blades to cross and keep the sharpened edge up and in contact with the animal.

The heads are precisely machined, they fly like field tips, and are very quiet. Having four blades provides an unheard of 4-inches of cutting surface. I have killed four big game animals this year with the Grave Digger 100-Grain Chisel Tip, including a bull elk, and they have proven to provide total devastation!

Arrow Shaft: Victory Archery VAP 250,V1
The VAP (Victory Armour Piercing) is aptly named. These shafts are unreal when it comes to penetration. They are ultra-thin in diameter, yet thickwalled and are straight to within +/- .001.” The concept behind these narrow shafts is that the broadhead ferrule is wider than the actual arrow shaft. This eliminates friction behind the head and allows for greatly increased penetration. I literally have to line two Block targets at 100 yards because they blow right through the first one.

At 9.7 grains per inch, they are lighter than most 250 spined arrows but they have an “insert-outsert” that tapers from the shaft diameter to the broadhead. These outserts come in aluminum (50 gr) or what I use, the stainless steel (90 gr) outserts. Essentially, I am shooting a 200-grain broadhead on a super stiff, but narrow, shaft—the down range retained energy is unbelievable. This is due to a sky-high FOC (Forward of Center) rating. High FOC enables greater stabilization of arrow and thus more efficient flight and higher retained energy.

Wraps: OneStringer
Arrow wraps are a relatively new, customizable addition to bowhunting. I designed my own 7-inch wraps at onestringer.com for around $15/dozen. Wraps are great for arrow tracking and arrow retrieval. Use a bright color that stands out in the terrain—fluorescent yellow has worked well for me and visibility on film is awesome. The wrap adds about 8 grains to the rear of the shaft, which can help stabilize your arrow.

Vanes: Mini-Blazer 1.5-inch vanes
I mentioned earlier about the ibex hunt and wind. Vanes are the most windaffected component of the arrow.

Knowing this, I went to my local bow shop and looked at several options. I opted to use the Mini Blazer Vanes as they are only 1.5 inches long and .4 inches in elevation. But I learned that total surface area is most important in vane selection, so instead of a threefletch with full-size Blazers, I did a 4- fletch with Mini Blazers. They are substantially lower profile and just as accurate and stable—much more aerodynamic. The high FOC of my arrow setup also allows for a more stable arrow with less drag—even using smaller vanes. Again, less drag mean less friction and thus higher retained energy.

Nock: Nockturnal-G
Lighted nocks are a great tool to archers in states they are allowed. Besides being awesome to watch, they greatly assist in deciphering shot placement and arrow retrieval. Due to the narrow VAP shafts I shoot, narrow diameter nocks were required. I shoot the Nockturnal-G because they are light, bright and super easy to activate and deactivate. The G has a small piston inside the nock that forward inertia will cause to compress and activate the light.

The Nockturnal-G lighted nocks have a long-life lithium battery; in fact, I have shot my target arrows hundreds of times with them and none have died yet. The nocks do add a few grains to your arrow weight so site in and adjust your charts for the new adjusted weight. Well there you have it. I hope that was informative and that my experience will help and assist your decision-making this off-season…because NOW is the time to make adjustments and get settled for 2014!

Read the full article at http://www.onlinedigitalpublishing.com/article/Getting+Technical+with+Zac+Griffith/1602424/190871/article.html.

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