Bit dark, but purple shaft with bat wing fletching

Equipment review – Batwing feather fletchings

Rob Shooting

Rob Shooting

Okay, so for the past several months I have been trying out a new flethching profile on my arrow set up. In the past I have always stuck with the shield profile, with Sharon preferring a parabolic profile on her arrows. I feel that a lot of the time it is personal preference, but I’ve found a 4 or 5 inch shield to work well on my flatbows and a 3 inch has always been my preferred choice on my recurves.

These new fletching are a completely different profile called Batwing and being produced by Gateway (https://www.gatewayfeathers.com/ ). So would they prove to be a Joker in the deck or a hidden ace? Sorry had to include some kind of Batman related joke. You can partly blame Sharon for the joke as she’s nicknamed this batch of arrows the Jokers due to the colour scheme resemblimg the colours of the Jokers suit from Batman. Then again it might be nothing to do with colours and more to do with how I shoot them.

So why those colours?  Well I went with bright yellow fletchings and green nocks in the hope I would be able to see them in the target against the purple cresting.

Batwing fletching

Batwing fletching

The purple was partly because of it being club colours and a follow on from testing out the paints Lee had provided me for the Goblin Snot paint review a few months back. If you haven’t seen the review I was quite impressed by the paints.

Back to this review, the fletschings come in three sizes, 2 inch, 3 ½ inch and 4 ½ inch. Though I have all three sizes I’ve only tried out the latter two sizes on my flatbow. Of these two, I found that for my flatbow setup the 4 ½ inch have proved best. I know a couple of compound archers have tried the smaller size on their arrows with some success too.

For reference I normally shoot a 5 inch shield fletching. Whilst the 3 ½ worked ok, I found that they weren’t as forgiving when I had a poor release.

I’ve found the 4 1/2 inch offer stability in flight which is comparable to the larger five inch fletchings.

As I know some of you will be wondering about arrows speed and having put the arrows through a chrono the arrows are coming in at 176-180 Feet Per Second. That may not sound very fast but remember I’m not shooting carbon arrows, but wood ones. For those interested the arrows weigh between 455 and 465 grains, with a 80 grain pile up front and measuring 29 ½ inches being made from port orford cedar.

I wanted to wait before writing up this review so I could test them in a variety of conditions, which I think I have now managed. For those of you who shoot field, you know what it can be like shooting in a wood with variable cross winds between trees. One thing I have noticed with shooting these over the last few months  is they don’t appear to be as adversely affected by wind as my previous choice of five inch shield.

Wet weather, yes it is something that we as field archers have to encounter and despite having one of the warmest and driest summers on record in the UK we did get some rainy days. Wet weather has a huge effect on feather fletchings, often resulting in the feathers profile flattening down and offering very little stability. I was curious to see how these would cope in wet weather and whether the shape would make a difference. I have to report they don’t appear to have the same problem as normal shield that collapse and flatten.

I was a bit worried that their shape might result in them not coping with the occasional foray into the undergrowth which can happen when I miss the target, but so far so good. They don’t seem to have a problem with returning

I bought mine from Merlin Archery in Loughborough

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgYQlcB7yww

So overall I think they work pretty well and look quite cool too.

Thanks for reading.

 

NFAS proposal votes – in 2 minds

It is that time of year again when the NFAS or National Field Archery Society to give its full title open the doors to voting by its members on various rule changes or amendments. It is a great way for the membership to contribute and offer ideas for change. This year is a little different though as the NFAS committee has called on its members to support one rules change or rather, as the committee have put it, a rules clarification.

The amendment is to the shooting rules and is to clarify that archers are not allowed to use binoculars. It is this which I am a little conflicted over.
I want to show my support for the committee, who are all volunteers and are doing what they believe is in the best interests of the society. They want to remove any possible confusion concerning the rules which does make sense.

However, I have for a number of years been supportive to the idea of using binoculars. This I know is unpopular with some in the society who have a different opinion. It is my belief that with the tendency for some course layers to push targets further and further back, making it harder and harder to see if the arrow is scoring or not. I see this being a particular problem with paper faces as with a 3D you can normally tell if you are in by the sound of the arrow hitting the 3D. After all the sound of an arrow impacting a paper face is the same if it’s in the scoring area or not.
My feeling is that binoculars could help this by removing some of the ambiguity allowing an archer to see if they are in or not and potentially resulting in archers not having to take multiple arrows. I know some say it will slow a shoot down, but having shot at the 3DA competition where binoculars are allowed it didn’t appear to slow anyone down.

Can you see it?

Can you see it?

So there is my quandary do I support the committee and vote for the proposal or against the committee and vote to reject the proposal and in turn possibly have binoculars in the society.
I’m really not sure.

Thanks for reading

Sharon shooting a 3D between the trees

Shoot report – Spirit of Sherwood – December 2018

Spirit of Sherwood December shoot

Spirit of Sherwood December shoot

On a chilly and slightly damp Sunday Sharon and I headed to the Spirit of Sherwood grounds. It is a course we have shot numerous times before and you can check out the previous review here. This shoot would be a wooden arrow only

Sadly this was the first time I have ever had to withdraw from a shoot but after falling fowl of a chesty cough I did not feel up to shooting the entire course and withdrew after a few shots. A couple of days later and following a visit to the local doctors surgery I would be diagnosed with a chest infection and on a course of antibiotics. So this is a bit of a short review.

Anyway back to the somewhat brief shoot report. There were 36 targets on the course mostly 3Ds, sadly I only got to see a few, but he ones I did view were set to the normal high standards expected of SOS courses.

One of the more open shots

One of the more open shots

I spoke to a few people who said they had a long slow day, having to wait on targets. I think might be due to the popularity of Spirit of Sherwood. It attracts a lot of archers of all levels, which is great but can sometimes cause delays.

Sharon shooting a 3D goat

Sharon shooting a 3D goat

Of the few shots I did get to see was a very nicely set Ram 3D positioned by a tree stump. I think it was a great bit of course laying and what made it a good shot was that you weren’t sure of the size of the target or exact angle of the 3D.

Close up of the 3D goat shot

Close up of the 3D goat shot

I think Sharon probably had the luckiest shot of the day where she managed to get a very lucky shot on a 3D bear.

Sharon showing off her trick shooting with a lucky shot on a 3D bear

Sharon showing off her trick shooting with a lucky shot on a 3D bear

As has become a trademark of the Christmas shoot at Spirit of Sherwood there were boxes of quality street boxes located round the course.

The woodland terrain is flat with the course arranged in three loops round a central admin and catering spot, making it pretty easy to get round.

The course layers make good use of the tree covers affording for framed shots using the trees to provide avenues for archers to negotiate.

Another thing that Spirit are famous for is their cake stall and if you ever have the chance of shooting there make sure you get the cakes early as they disappear very quickly.

Archers gathering at the Spirit of Sherwood cake stall

Archers gathering at the Spirit of Sherwood cake stall

I do wonder what the future will hold for the club as their grounds are due to be visited by loggers in the next few months and going by the number of trees marked for removal I wonder what the woods will look like. Here’s hoping for the best for the club as they set some of the best courses in the NFAS in my view.

As always thanks for reading. I would also like to say thanks for following this blog over the past year. I appreciate all the comments on here or in person.

I’d like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy Christmas, with safe journeys and great memories. Good luck for the New Year too.