Building your own arrows is a great way to become more in tune with your archery equipment.
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Building your own arrows is a great way to learn about your equipment.[/caption]
Archery is one of those sports that offers so much more than meets the eye. It has such a great history and rich tradition that goes along with it. Part of that history lies with the paleolithic people who invented the technology. Some folks, myself included, become enamored with the self sufficient lives of those ancient people. Stone Age people had to possess the knowledge needed to produce all of their own archery equipment from their surroundings. This task required an intelligent and skilled artisan who would have known his equipment better than anyone.
Today people don't have to head to the woods to build archery equipment. In fact we get most of our equipment from archery retailers. That doesn't mean we can't better understand our equipment. Building your own arrows is a great way to enhance your knowledge of your setup and learn more about the characteristics of your arrow.
If you've ever been interested in building your own arrows, this brief introduction will guide you in some of the basic decisions you will have to make.
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Choosing the right arrow shaft is important when building your own arrows.[/caption]
Anyone looking to build their own arrows should start by selecting the proper shaft
. Shafts should be carefully selected to ensure the correct arrow length and spine are used. As far as length goes, most folks typically give themselves around 1.5 inches to 2.5 inches of headspace from their riser to the end of the arrow. Cutting your arrow too short could cause a safety concern. Shafts cut too long don't pose much of a threat, but change the stiffness of the spine.
For spine be sure to utilize your arrow manufacturers spine selection chart. This article should help beginners
understand the concept.
For arrow building purposes be sure to select bare shafts when you buy your arrows.
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Inserts are used for screw in points.[/caption]
The next step when building your own arrows is to determine the point system you want to use. Folks wanting to use screw in points will need to determine what kind of insert
they want to use. Screw in points offer the advantage of using field points for practice, then swapping out for broadheads when you hit the hunting grounds.
Inserts are pretty universal. Most are aluminum and of similar quality. One thing to be aware of when choosing your inserts is to make sure they match the diameter of your shafts. Not all arrow shafts are the same diameter, so choosing the wrong insert could make your inserts useless. Inserts also come in a variety of different weights. Standard insert weight is around 10 grains and makes almost no difference in arrow flight. On the other hand people interested in maximizing arrow penetration might opt for heavier inserts.
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Glue in points must be used without an insert.[/caption]
Deciding on points goes hand in hand with choosing your inserts. If you've decided to buy inserts, you've already decided to use screw in points. Rather than using screw in points and inserts some people choose to use glue in points
on their shafts. The major advantage here is the increased structural integrity of your arrow shaft. A solidly glued point will be much stronger upon impact than a screw in point.
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Fletchings help the arrow fly. Plastic vanes and feathers are the two different building materials.[/caption]
Deciding upon the type of fletching you want to use will be the next step for building your own arrows. To begin, there are two different types of fletchings; vanes
and feathers. Vanes refer to fletchings of plastics while feathers are obviously not plastic.
Vanes are more resilient and tend to hold their shape better. Feathers are a traditionalists favorite and add some allure to your setup. People using traditional bows typically use feathers on their arrows for arrow flight reasons.
You also must decided on what design you want for your fletchings and how many. Almost universally today you will see people using three fletchings. In the past using two or four fletching setups was also common. There are also different designs to choose from with the longer designs typically giving more stability, and the shorter typically helping arrow speed.
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Arrow nocks are the final component when building your own arrows.[/caption]
The final basic component of modern arrow systems is the nocking system
. Crossbow shooters have a variety of choices when choosing nocks. Flat nocks, half moon nocks, capture nocks, and universal nocks
are all options to choose from. Vertical bow shooters are pretty much limited to capture nocks these days.
Lighted nocks are another option shooters have today. This article
will help to shed light on whether lighted nocks are right for you or not.
Building your arrows is a great way to learn more about your archery gear and your sport. The basic questions to ask are pretty straightforward. As you get more involved you will begin to understand arrow flight more in depth and tweak your equipment to suit your needs. This all adds to your overall body of knowledge on the subject of archery. Anyone looking to build their own arrows should be encouraged to get started!
NEXT: ARROW TUNING; THE BASICS