Tips and Advice – screw in points

Getting the perfect matched arrow takes time and relies on a number of factors, from overall arrow weight,  to flexibility / spine of the shaft, fletching size etc. One of  these factors is the weight of the pile or point. A heavier pile makes the arrow flex more, whilst a lighter pile makes the arrow stiffer.

For this reason we have been trying to fine tune Sharons’ arrows (Easton X7) and have recently changed her points from glue in pins to screw in points with obvious inserts into the aluminum shafts. The X7 are great arrows, and work well from here bow but we thought we might get a slight improvement. By using inserts we have a greater access to different point weights to experiment with.

Sharon Shooting

Sharon Shooting

The old piles came in at 60 grains and the feeling was it might be making the arrow a little too stiff. So we spent sometime looking at alternatives. By the way we have looked at going for carbon arrows but Sharon preferred the X7 as Carbon ones, as the carbons came in too physically light for here bow.

I’ve used a 2 part epoxy glue to secure the inserts into the shafts, which appears to work well. We’ve opted for these inserts and points which we got from Bow Sports. The inserts are 8/32 with 9/32bullet points.

Arrow points and insert

Arrow point and insert

The one thing with we’ve discovered is that the screw in points sometimes work lose. Now the easy answer to this is to apply a little glue, the only problem with this being that if you need to remove the piles the only answer is to then heat it up to break the glues bonds, which will also break the bonds of the glue used to hold the insert in.

One trick I’ve come up with using plumbers tape or PTFE tape. I cut a small piece about an inch in length and then wrap this round the threaded bolt, then screw this into the insert in the arrow.

new pile and insert

New pile, you can see the tape wrapped round thread.

The result of using the tape is to make the threaded bolt a little tighter in the insert, so making it less likely to undo or loosen.

Technical Facts for those interested in weights etc

  • Old piles / nibs were 60 grain
  • Insert 14 grains
  • New screw in points 80 grain

Hope you find this of use and as always thanks for reading.

Equipment part 4 – Failure and damage – Arrows

Damage can occur

No matter how careful you are equipment will get damaged over time and it is very important that you take the time to check your archery equipment to ensure you can spot issues before they become dangerous.

I’m going to concentrate on arrows in this section and write another one on bows in a week or so.

If you are a coach it is worth showing students and other archers the type of damage that can occur to their equipment.

One piece of valuable advice I’ve seen on a couple of sites is never assume an arrow is safe, even if it is brand new. Likewise expensive arrows can also be damaged in transit or manufacture, so always check them each time you shoot or retrieve them.

Here is a close up of an unusual style of arrow break.

arrow damage

split shaft close up

Another photo of  the same arrow shaft, you can see how it has split down its length.

split shaft full length

split shaft full length

Below image shows what happens when a wooden arrow impacts a wall  and the pile is flattened. Notice how the wooden shaft has snapped and then been forced into itself.

Arrow Damage

Compression break of wooden arrow

Sometime you can spot damage before it becomes a critical failure, below is a close up shot of a wooden arrow shaft that is showing signs of failure. You can see vertical crack lines across the arrow shaft. This will eventually result in the arrow bending or breaking.

damage to wooden arrow

Damage to wooden arrow

It’s not just wooden arrows that can fail and become damaged.

The photograph below shows what can happen to aluminium arrows . The archer had managed to hit their own nock with another arrow (great grouping in the target). The nock has shattered and the metal arrow has peeled back like a banana. This is sometimes called a Robin Hood Shot.

A Robin Hood shot

A Robin Hood shot

Obviously this arrow is no longer usable, but there are times when you will not have such a critical failure or damage. When your aluminium arrow might be only slightly bent and it can be possible to straighten them but it takes time, a level or expertise and correct straightening jig. Below shows a “slightly” bent arrow, following contact with a tree.

Bent arrows

Bent arrows

Carbon arrows also need checking regularly as they can split or worse still shatter. I’ve seen a compound shooter at a championships, release their arrow and it shatter into a million pieces, showering her and those around with carbon splinters. Fortunately no one was hurt and even more amazingly the bow was undamaged!

I know some archers now wear a Kevlar glove on their bow arm to protect them from any possible arrow failures.

It is not only at the bow end problems can occur, there are times when you are drawing arrows that the arrow may break, so it’s always worth either wearing a glove or using an arrow puller to give a cleaner and stronger grip. I’ve had to patch up a few people over the years who have cut themselves when drawing arrows that have split.

Also be aware of carbon splinters in targets. this often happens when the arrow pile has been forced into the shaft following a hard impact and resulting in the carbon shards breaking off.

A good way to test you carbon arrows is to flex the arrow, if you hear cracking or see splintering then dispose of  them. Also be aware that if you use arrow wraps, cracks can appear under these and are not always noticed.

Here are a couple of good sites and articles on testing arrows, be warned though there are a couple of graphic scenes of what can happen when an arrow fails.

Tip – if you have a carbon arrow splinter on a shoot or when practising, don’t drop it into your quiver as it will leave splinters in the quiver. Take some tape and tape over the splintered section, this will stop loose pieces breaking off and fulling your quiver with razor-sharp splinters ( I always carry a roll of micropore tape in my first aid kit that is ideal for this.) You can then drop it into your quiver and dispose of it when you get home.

As always thanks for reading and I hope you’ve found this of use.