Understanding Carbon Arrows

Axis.jpgMany of today’s serious bowhunters are finding that
carbon arrows offer real benefits.  There are three kinds of carbon
arrows on the market right now: pultruded, cross-weave (internal
component) and carbon/aluminum composite.  Pultruded carbon shafts
have uni-directional fibers that don’t have enough burst strength
to withstand internal components.  Therefore, the point and nock
fit into outserts that go over the outside of the shaft
instead of inserts that go inside.  There hasn’t been much
innovation in pultruded carbon shafts recently.  Typically, they
are considered economical options to a company’s top of the line
carbon shafts and weigh approximately the same as SuperLite aluminum
sizes in the same stiffness range.

Internal component
carbon shafts are made with a cross-weave of carbon fibers in alternating
layers.  In this orientation the fibers
are able to counteract forces from the inside, permitting the shafts to support
traditional point inserts and nocks that slip inside the shaft.  Internal component carbon arrows are where
most of the latest developments have been centered.  They are available
from several companies and are much lighter in weight than aluminum

The final category of carbon arrows are hybrids, those composed of
both aluminum and carbon.  The most popular and prevelant of these
shafts is the Easton a/c/c.  Available in a variety of sizes these
arrows offer the straightness of an aluminum arrow combined with the
strength of a carbon arrow and are loved by bowhunters and archers who
demand the highest quality arrow available.  However, they do cost
significantly more than both standard carbon or aluminum arrows.

While all styles of carbon arrows tend to be more bend-resistant and
penetrate significantly better than aluminum, they share one
disadvantage.  Carbon arrows are smaller in diameter and require
that the arrow rest be positioned with the support arms closer
together.  This makes it more difficult to achieve perfect arrow
flight as the fletching has less room to pass through.  Although
the rather recent advances in total containment and dropaway arrow
rests have eliminated many of the fletching clearance problems of
two-prong rests and are gaining popularity with archers every day.


Testing done by AFC/Game Tracker, and confirmed several times since, has shown
that small diameter shafts (especially those made of carbon) produce better
penetration than large diameter shafts of the same weight shooting the same
broadheads.  This is due to the reduced amount of surface area, and therefore reduced friction, of carbon shafts.

Just recently, several companies have begun producing even smaller
diameter, thicker walled carbon shafts that have quickly gained
popularity with bowhunters across the globe.  Shafts such as the
Eason Axis ST, Beman Max 4, and Carbon Express Maxima are
micro-diameter carbon shafts that pack the punch of an aluminum arrow.


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