How to build heavy hunting arrows
Heavy hunting arrows are wildly popular these days.
Whether you want just an overall heavy arrow or you want to add weight specifically to the front of the arrow to boost an arrow’s FOC, there are products that can help achieve your goals.
Let’s start with heavy arrows. Arrow weights vary wildly
across manufacturers and individual shafts, but, generally, the typical weight
for today’s hunting arrows is between 7 and 9 grains per inch, depending on the
Once you get to 10 grains per inch and over, now you’re talking about some serious heavyweights. Easton’s 5mm FMJ arrow shaft in a 340 spine weighs 11.3 grains per inch, for example.
A 30-inch bare shaft would weigh 339 grains. By the time you add an insert, vanes and a broadhead, you could easily have an arrow weighing more than 500 grains.
Whatever you do, don’t simply increase the spine of the arrow you’re shooting in order to get a heavier arrow. That same Easton 5mm FMJ weighs 10.2 grains per inch in a 400 spine. If a 400-spine arrow is what your setup calls for, don’t choose the 340 simply to get more weight.
Stick to the spine recommendations for your draw weight and
arrow length, since that will give you the best performance.
Now let’s take that heavy hunting arrow and add on a heavy broadhead. The 100-grain broadhead is considered standard, so maybe you increase to a 125-grain head, or maybe even 150 or 175. The Northern Broadheads Wide Cuts weighs in at a whopping 175 grains.
But before you install that heavy broadhead into your heavy arrow, let’s swap out the standard aluminum insert that comes with your arrows for a brass one. Gold Tip’s standard, Accu-lite threaded insert for its .246 diameter arrows weighs 11.4 grains. But Gold Tip also makes a brass insert for its .246 arrows that weighs 100 grains. Simply swapping inserts boosts your arrow weight by 88.6 grains.
Black Eagle offers a stainless steel insert weighing 28 grains for its Spartan arrows to which you can add brass weights that weigh 30 or 75 grains. Those weights are the same diameter as the insert, and they have a threaded post which screws into the back of the insert. And they’re made so you can stack them, one behind the other.
Other arrow and component manufacturers offer a variety of heavy
inserts and insert weights to add weight to the front end of your arrows to boost
the FOC. That stands for “front of center,” and it refers to the percentage of
arrow weight that’s at the front end of the arrow.
Boosting an arrow’s FOC can help it stabilize in flight and
to punch through hide, bone and tissue.
Understand, however, that when you increase the weight up
front, you weaken the arrow’s spine. Most manufacturer spine charts make spine
recommendations based on 100-grain points. If you use a 175-grain head with a
100-grain insert, you will want to go with a stiffer arrow.
So let’s take that 30-inch, 340-spine Easton FMJ that weighs 339 grains for the bare shaft. We will add Easton’s 75-grain stainless steel insert, and then screw in a 175-grain Northern Wide Cut. Before fletchings, we’ve got an arrow that weighs 589 grains and has an FOC of about 20 percent.
That’s a heavy arrow.
Lancaster Archery Supply has a full line of hunting arrows you can look through to compare weights and find the one that’s as heavy as you want it to be. We’ve also got a full line of arrow components that you can look through to find the inserts and points that will work for your arrow build.