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Arrow Fletching And F.O.C. Balance

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Unread 03-23-2011, 08:46 AM
Join Date: Mar 2008
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Arrow Fletching And F.O.C. Balance

Glued near the rear of most arrows are 3 (sometimes 4) feathers or plastic vanes, arranged in an equal pattern around the circumference of the shaft. These parabolic-shaped pieces of material (sometimes collectively called the "fletching") serve to help steer the arrow during flight. If the tail of the arrow is precisely following the tip during flight, the fletching slices cleanly through the air without changing the arrow's path. But if the arrow's tail isn't perfectly following the tip, friction occurs between the air and the fast moving fletch - pushing the fletch (and the tail of the arrow) back into proper alignment with the arrow's tip. So the fletching helps to stabilize and correct the arrow's flight. Easy enough!
This is a thread for discussion of the article, Arrow Fletching And F.O.C. Balance, By By Jon Henry. Here you can ask questions or make comments about the article.
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Unread 04-20-2011, 05:28 PM
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Re: Arrow Fletching And F.O.C. Balance

Very nice article and thanks for you time spent in writing it. I have said many times on this forum that inorder to be a good long range hunter you have to be a really good short range hunter.

I have switched between feathers and vanes several times during my life and there is just something about feathers that makes an arrow look good. The part a bout the Blazers falling off was interesting as I just thought it was because I didn't know how to glue them on properly.

The best thing I ever did was buy a fletching set so I could experiment with different setups.
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Unread 05-10-2011, 02:12 PM
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Re: Arrow Fletching And F.O.C. Balance

Hi Buffalobob,
Another thing of big importance that I recently learned in the gluing process. It seems that today's modern glues lose over half of their bonding strength with age. This means that i you have a glue that's anything over a year old, you should get rid of it and replace it with a fresh tube, since it will have lost most of its good bonding qualities.

Also the thinner the bead you can apply with the more downward pressure on the clamp, the higher the bond strength between the vane and shaft will be. Fresh glue and between 60 to 80 foot pounds of pressure will create an incredibly strong bond of approximately 6,300 lbs. per square inch holding your vane or feather to the shaft. This is more than 10 times what any manufacture uses to date, so it should withstand any type of heavy duty shooting.

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Unread 05-11-2011, 04:46 AM
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Re: Arrow Fletching And F.O.C. Balance

Hey Jon Henry, nicely done.

Growing up I never shot much with a bow other than the once in a while neighborhood friend who had a simple recurve or what not. In my mid teens I decided I wanted to try out hunting with a bow and borrowed an old compound and got to work with it. Didn't know squat so I simply picked up some aluminum arrows and went to town. I got good enough to keep 5 shots in a skoal can at 30yds but never got the chance to stick a deer.

Fast forward to a couple of years ago, I got back into it due to my good friends coaxing. Since I have had tendon surgery on both arms I didn't just jump into it with a top end package, I went with a bottom end package deal to see if I could even handle the prolonged practice. It only took a few months before I was looking at building my own arrows. Since then I have experimented with plenty of glue, and fletching, and learned quite a bit of what you mentioned, by reading and trial and error.

I have also worked on the FOC with one set of arrows to get upwards of 15-17%. This was done after we began to see a huge old feral hog boar which we REALLY wanted to get with our bows. I wanted something that I could be assured of getting through the massive shield he appears to have, and not simply stick him up close and have him want to return the favor. As such I went along the lines of Dr. Ashby, and went with the heavier inserts, broadheads, and smaller diameter stiffer shafts. The result was a 29" 600gr FMJ 300, that I am getting 260fps from my bow. This was also a learning experience with the fletching as the standard 2" Blazer just wouldn't stabilize these as well as the 3" Diamonds do.

Anyway thanks for the great write up as I am sure it will help out many who read it, decide what might be best for their set up. The key thing is that just like rifles, any particular bow will shoot an arrow matched to it, much more efficiently and accurately.
Mike / Tx

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Unread 05-11-2011, 04:07 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 391
Re: Arrow Fletching And F.O.C. Balance

Hi 41mag,
I couldn't agree more with your statements.

A bow or a gun is only as good as the man behind it, but matching the correct ammo to the weapon is critical regardless of who's behind it, if they expect it to perform well.

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