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The Truth About Arrow Penetration: PT 2 The Findings

After decades of study, here are the results of Dr. Ashby's research on arrow penetration.

[caption id="attachment_6007" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Maximum arrow penetration is something most archers aspire for. Maximum arrow penetration is something most archers aspire for.[/caption] In part two of this series on arrow penetration we will identify the 10 elements Dr. Ashby concluded on the subject. After learning about Dr. Ed Ashby's life and beliefs you can have a better understanding of his purpose for the research project. Without further delay here are Dr. Ashby's final thoughts.

1. Structural Integrity

The most important area for archers looking to improve their arrow penetration is the craftsmanship of their arrow. Will is crumple upon impact, or will it stand up to the test? If any part of an arrow is weak or break on impact, the arrow will not have desired penetration. This includes broadheads, inserts, the shaft, and other arrow components.

2. Perfect Arrow Flight

The next most important aspect of your gear required for maximum arrow penetration is having perfect arrow flight. The best way to achieve this is by bareshafting, or paper tuning, your bow.

3. Extreme Forward of Center

If your arrow is structurally sound and flying perfect, you can next improve your arrow penetration by having an extreme forward of center balance point. This means that if you were to balance the arrow (complete with broadhead) on your finger, the balancing point would be much closer to the broadhead than the nock. There are several ways to achieve this from buying specialized shafts, heavy broadheads, or special inserts.

4. Broadhead Mechanical Advantage

Simply put broadhead mechanical advantage means having a broadhead that is correctly designed for maximum penetration. After years of study, Dr. Ashby concluded a well built single, or two blade, broadhead will outperform other designs.

5. Shaft Diameter to Ferrule Diamater Ration

The next most important aspect to consider if you are looking for maximum arrow penetration is the diameter of your arrow shaft where it meets your broadhead. Having an arrow shaft that is slightly smaller than your broadhead where they meet is ideal.

6. Arrow Mass

When discussing arrow mass, Dr. Ashby was referring to the weight of the arrow. An arrow with a higher weight will out penetrate a lighter arrow if all the above criteria is equal. When Ed Ashby was hunting with a traditional bow he refused to hunt with an arrow that had a total weight less than 650 grains.

7. Razor Sharp Broadhead

If the other six criteria have been met, the next most important factor for arrow penetration is having a sharp broadhead. A sharp broadhead is more likely to cut through any tissue it happens to encounter.

8. Arrow Profile and Lubricant

The design of your arrow counts. Dr. Ashby determined thinner shafts will outperform thicker shafts, taking for granted they meet the same criteria listed above. Ashby also recommended using some sort of lubricant to enhance your arrow's penetrating ability.

9. Type of Edge Bevel

When we near the end of our list on factors for increased arrow penetration the smallest differences began to emerge. After completing his research, Dr. Ashby determined a broadhead with a single edge bevel would out penetrate a double edge bevel, especially when bone impacts were made.

10. Broadhead Tip Design

Finally when pursuing maximum arrow penetration Dr. Ashby determined a Tonto tip would outperform a standard arrow tip for penetration. A Tonto tip has a steeper tip than the rest of the cutting edge. For example, if your cutting edge was 23 degrees, the Tonto tip would be more like 30 degrees. In conclusion these are the 10 most important factors for maximum arrow penetration. The list is in descending order with the most important factors at the top. How many of these factors you incorporate into your own setup is a personal choice and each archer makes their own decisions. With the knowledge gained from Dr. Ed Ashby, we can move forward better armed to make the best decisions. NEXT: HOW TO SIGHT IN A BOW THE EASY WAY
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