Okay, let’s sort it out: Ranch Fairy. Love it or hate it, Troy Fowler, known as The Ranch Fairy on YouTube, should be appreciated for bringing back a much-needed conversation at the forefront of the archery community: The Benefits of Using a Heavy Darts with Part front center (FOC) baked in.
Yes, he can sometimes rub people in the wrong way. But I am definitely a fan of his work and I sincerely admire the level of research he has put into all things, darts, wide heads and dead creatures. This does not mean that I agree with everything he says, nor do I think that his ways are the best for any archer. Some hunters just don’t have the ability, the time available, or the appetite for small things to build arrows like that – and I would include myself in that group.
Make no mistake, the Ranch Fairy method of dart building, wide selection and tuning works. And there are many benefits you can get from getting rid of high speed mania. From my experience, the heavy arrows I used to shoot from my trad arc chained towards deer while the super-sonic arrows from my compound would give a 50/50 pass rate. Increase the weight of the arrow without greatly reducing the speed of the arrow and you will have a hunting arrow that will penetrate into an easier and faster arrow. This is just physics.
But almost all the latest options for building heavier darts today are very expensive. There are wide heads that cost $ 30 each. Bare darts that reach up to $ 250 a dozen. Enter that calf FOC almost as much as draining your bank account. So yes, not exactly an ideal fit for everyone. The good news? You can build your heavy hunting darts with upgraded FOC without breaking the bank. Here’s how to do it.
Choose the best shaft for a heavy budget arrow
Of course, you can not build arrows without arrow shafts and this is the first place to reduce the cost. I have shot a lot of arrows over the years and I can say without hesitation that it is hard to find a really bad arrow shaft today. Some are more straightforward than others, but if you grew up in the XX75 days, you will know that straight has taken on a completely different meaning now. While some high-level competing archers would notice the difference between the justice tolerances of 0.001 and 0.006, that level of precision does not apply to most hunting situations.
Instead, the most important factor to consider when building a heavy-duty arrow is the weight of the shaft. For the sake of our discussion, we will keep the math fairly simple and build a 30-inch arrow for a 29-inch drawing length. The final target is a finished weight of at least 500 grains — and this is not a number I found willingly. There will be little room to play with over 500, but it is important not to go below.
To understand this, I used the numbers in an EC / moment calculator and found that a 500-particle arrow would still be fast enough to provide the best combination of energy, moment and tuning. For that, I like to start with GoldTip’s Kinetic series. They offer a 300 spindle shaft that comes with 10.4 grains per inch. For our arrow, the bare axis (which will be a little less than 30 inches because we have to calculate for the stroke) will come in about 306 grains. You can get half a dozen of these shafts for about $ 70.
Choose the wide right head
I can not sharpen anything beyond a pencil. I have tried, but the magic of turning dull steel into sharp steel avoids me. That’s why I do not use wide-headed (and very expensive) headbands with a single slant that you read about in almost every forum and social media post these days. Instead, I stick to what works for me: Strong heads, proven with fixed blades with replaceable blades. I like the Wasp Archery Sharpshooter Traditional with 150 grains. And they only cost $ 40 for three heads.
Along with the standard GoldTip Kinetic inserts (with 24.8 grains) and a 306 grain shaft, you now have an arrow weighing about 480 grains. Add fletching (three Blazer blades with 6 grains each) and a standard nock (11 grains), and you have passed the 500 grains mark that comes to 509 grains. Total cost for each arrow: About $ 20 — which is about the cost of half a dozen bare shafts built for FOC.
What kind of performance can this arrow configuration provide
The EC calculator says these arrows will give about 92 ft-lbs of kinetic energy if your bow can shoot at 285 fps. I’m shooting a Mathew’s V3X (29-inch draw) and should reach that number or very close to it. Entering the above arrow numbers into the FOC calculator indicates FOC at just over 12 percent, which is consistent. However, the most important thing for me is that this number should provide accuracy with minimal hassle and tuning.
If you want to increase the weight a little more, you can do this by adding the GoldTip 20-grain Fact weight system. It costs $ 15, adding about $ 1.10 to the cost of each arrow. You would then have a finished arrow weight of about 529 grains, EC increased by about 93 ft-lbs (I reduced the arrow speed 5 fps for the other 20 grains of weight) and a higher FOC at 14 percent .
You can certainly push things and try to get a heavier arrow or spend a lot more on the bare shaft for more grains per inch. You can even choose one of the new fancy heads pushing 250 grains. But I’m not sure you can build an arrow that would work significantly better on the white tail at 30 yards down.