Blogging Future and answering questions

So over the last few months I’ve had a few questions from fellow archers at shoots, many of whom are followers of this site. In response I’m going to try and answer their questions now.

Why not YouTube?

A couple of people have asked why I don’t produce video or YouTube blogs like other archery reviewers. There are quite a few UK based sites such as the Merlins archery adventures , Wolfie instinctive archery , Nathan Skyrme add to these the US sites like 3D Archery  and you can see there are quite a few.

Perfect face for radio

Perfect face for radio

The simple answer is, I have a perfect face for radio 🙂
I’m also too self conscious when in front of the camera, so prefer a written or at least typed blog.

What are your future plans for the off the arrow shelf blog?

Autumn, or Fall for my American readers, is here, making for shorter days and longer nights. It also marks the slow down in the field archery calendar with less shoots along with less time and opportunities to practice.
This will mean a slight switch in articles as I post less shoot reports. My plan is to write a few more equipment reviews on items archers might feel useful.

Timber Creek Cobra

Timber Creek Cobra

I’m presently working on one on the Bear Grylls walking trousers, Leatherman multi tools, Timber Creek Cobra, along with testing the prokill24 target faces. I am always looking for other ideas for reviews, so let me know if you have any suggestions.

Example of the Prokill target face on the practice bosses

Example of the Prokill target face on the practice bosses

The winter months give me some time to catch up on my reading so I’m looking at literature reviews along with general archery or coaching related topics, including the use of mobile apps and cameras to support archery coaching.

How many Off the arrow shelf blogs are there?

The original blog is the one on WordPress which has been going for a number of years and has over 260 articles.
I recently started a tumblr site too as I found there was quite a lot of good material on there along with reaching a larger audience.
I can also be found on instagram, which is my latest adventure into blogging.

So there you have it. I’m always happy to hear from readers and it’s even better when I actually get chance to chat with you at shoots. Please come over and say hello.
Thanks for reading.

Equipment Review – Timber Creek Wooden arrows

Timber Creek Arrows

Timber Creek Arrows

I recently picked up some Timber Creek wood arrows from Merlin Archery care of Jim Grizzly Kent  and thought it worth putting a review together.
First impressions are positive.
The shafts are 11/32 with a 4 inch feather shield fletchings and black nocks. Made from Siberian spruce, these were spined as 50/55 as I wanted to use them with my flatbow.
The varnish finish is good being smooth and flawless over the entire length of the arrow.
Only thing I don’t like is the nock colour. Whilst they look great, fit well on the string, they are black which makes them very hard to see on longer targets. I like the thread binding at the front of the fletching as this can protect the tip of the fletching.
The shafts are straight and with the clear varnish you can see the quality of the wood grain.
Close up

Close up of fletching and nock

Having weighed them the six arrows come in 30 grains variance which is pretty impressive for unmatched out of box.
The piles are 100 grain field point which will be fine for most but I prefer an 80 grain.

100 grain piles

100 grain piles

Out of the box they are 32 inches in length and come pre – piled and ready to shoot.  Only thing I’ve noticed is the piles on two are very slightly proud of shafts, probably due to the shafts being slightly less than an 11/32. So if shooting a bag boss they can snag on the fabric. In fairness this is not an uncommon problem with wooden shafts and one I’ve encountered when making my own.Initial goes
I’ve tried shooting them at full length and they fly ok at about 12 -15 yards but really need to cut them down to my draw length. At 20-25 yards I was noticing the difference of pile weight and length. My normal arrows are fitted 80grain points so will probably fit 80 grain piles for true comparison.

Further testing 
Having now cut them to my draw length and fitted 80grain points I can add a couple of extra observations.
Being spruce the wood feathers or crumbles a little when tapering them. I found the same with other spruce and to be fair these were better quality.
Removing the old piles was easy using a gas ring to heat them for about 10 seconds and then unscrewing with a pair of pliers. Not sure if the 100 grain field point will blunt if a wayward arrow were to hit a rock, but this is the same for other pile designs and the reason I prefer steel to brass.
Having shot them they fly very slightly high and to the left but only slightly which makes me think slightly stiff.

Grouping at 15 yards

Grouping at 15 yards

Flight wise, they are very good and I’ve shot them a couple of hundred times.
I’ve not missed so badly as to bounce them off a tree yet so not sure of durability but am sure I will find out soon.

UPDATE – First casualty and note to self. If you shoot your own arrow it breaks. Managed to shoot the pile off one.  Yes pile, not nockthat takes skills.

First casulaty

First casulaty of the testing

 Those interested in the Timber Creek range of bows might like to know i recently picked up a Timber Creek Cobra and hope to write a review in the near future.
 If you don’t have the time or expertise to make your own arrows I think they are a good buy being good quality components assembled well. Priced at just under £5 each it’s not bad value. (http://www.merlinarchery.co.uk/timer-creek-wooden-arrows-basic.html)

Overall a 8.5 to 9/10 due to the nock colour.

Thanks for reading