Gap Shooting and Longest Arrow Possible

Frank Lawler

New member
Hello All,
I would like to purchase the longest arrows possible in order to improve my gap shooting. I use a 32# recurve, DL 26.5" from nock groove to arrow rest, and the rest is set back 1.5" from the front of the bow, so I only have 1" of arrow sticking out in front of the riser with my current 29" shafts. Is it feasable to try a full 32" long shaft, and if so, how would I calculate arrow spine given the discrepancy between draw length and arrow length? Economy arrows would be fine, provided they don't weigh considerably more than my current 290 gram arrows. Anything much heavier would give me too much arc at longer distances. I have some 380 gram aluminum arrows which provide a much more workable gap at indoor distance than the 290's, but I'm not able to shoot them very accurately much further back. Recommendations appreciated. Thanks.
 

lbp121

Member
Is it only me that doesn't understand the term 'gap shooting'? I've been an archer 16 years but this term hasn't reached me as yet.
 

geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
Gap shooting is usually done by aiming with the point of the arrow. At some shorter distances, aiming the arrow point on the gold, sends the arrows too high, so the arch may point the arrow down at the blue ,for example. The space from gold to blue is the "gap". As the distance increases, the point is raised so the gap gets shorter for those distances.
 

lbp121

Member
Thanks Geoff, we live and learn. I have used the technique and even won SCAS bare bow comps but never heard the term!
 

Frank Lawler

New member
To simplify my question, how should I treat 4" of overhang when considering arrow spine? According to Byron Fersuson's book, moving the arrow rest back (away from the point) stiffens the arrow. This seems to imply that a shaft with considerable overhang should fly stiffer than one of the same length with normal overhang.
 

lbp121

Member
I'd reckon that every extra inch of arrow was worth allowing for 5lb bow weight. ie if the current spine is good at one length increasing it by 2 inches means trying an arrow that would normally work for 10lb heavier limbs.
 

Del the Cat

Well-known member
By far the simplest way is to make your own wooden arrows, materials available from plenty of sources, I use Quicks, not necessarilly cheapest, but good service.
I wouldn't get into overthink about spine.
If you are shooting recurve then the arrow isn't going to have to flex much to get round the bow.
Your solution may well not work anyway.
It's a catch 22 situation!
1. Longer arrows will be heavier and thus give a softer trajectory.
2. If you draw a picture of the triangle formed by the arrow, your anchor point and eye you will see that a long arrow when lined up on a fixed point (say the horizon for simplicity) is now aiming lower than a short one! (E.G As an extreme example if you anchor 3" below the eye a 6" arrow would be pointing up at about 45 degrees if you bring it's point upto the horizon. Whereas a 4 foot arrow would be almost horizontal)
I think the biggest factor inhibiting good shooting without sights is 'thinking'.
Del
 

blakey

Active member
Hello All,
I would like to purchase the longest arrows possible in order to improve my gap shooting. I use a 32# recurve, DL 26.5" from nock groove to arrow rest, and the rest is set back 1.5" from the front of the bow, so I only have 1" of arrow sticking out in front of the riser with my current 29" shafts. Is it feasable to try a full 32" long shaft, and if so, how would I calculate arrow spine given the discrepancy between draw length and arrow length? Economy arrows would be fine, provided they don't weigh considerably more than my current 290 gram arrows. Anything much heavier would give me too much arc at longer distances. I have some 380 gram aluminum arrows which provide a much more workable gap at indoor distance than the 290's, but I'm not able to shoot them very accurately much further back. Recommendations appreciated. Thanks.
I use this technique a lot. It works well for the shorter distances. Get the longest arrow you can about 1 spine higher than the one you currently use, fit inserts and play with field point weights till you get a setup that bare shaft tunes reasonably well. I only use cheap allies. I'm guessing you'd be shooting 1816s at the mo. If you get 1916s, Blues or jazz, dirt cheap, fit inserts on full length shaft, bung in 145gn field points and see how you go POB at 20M. I've shot full length 2317s out of a 37 lbs compound bow with 100 gn brass inserts and 300 gn points to get POB at 18M. This was shooting 3under index anchor to corner of mouth. I always carry 2 sets of arrows, heavier for out to 25M, lighter for out to 60M. Cheers
 

Frank Lawler

New member
I like the idea of two sets of arrows. Besides my 290 gram skinny carbons (PO at 44m), I also have some recently purchased 390 gram 1816 aluminums (PO at 33m), which work much better for me indoors at 18m. However, being so heavy I really can't use them for field archery. My idea was to possibly find a long yet also light carbon shaft that might perform well from 18m out to 50m. Perhaps that might be too much to expect from just one size?
 

blakey

Active member
I like the idea of two sets of arrows. Besides my 290 gram skinny carbons (PO at 44m), I also have some recently purchased 390 gram 1816 aluminums (PO at 33m), which work much better for me indoors at 18m. However, being so heavy I really can't use them for field archery. My idea was to possibly find a long yet also light carbon shaft that might perform well from 18m out to 50m. Perhaps that might be too much to expect from just one size?
Perhaps not? 18M to 50M could be achieved using the same arrow and changing anchors. Split finger for 50M. 3under index anchor for 30M, 3under ring anchor for 18M. Or you could stringwalk, which I am currently attempting. Good luck. Cheers
 

Frank Lawler

New member
Maybe it's time to give three under another try. Meanwhile I have some 32" Beman Speed Shafts at .500 spine on order. With three sets of arrows and possibly a three under style, I have plenty of options. Appreciate all the responses. Thanks.
 

blakey

Active member
Maybe it's time to give three under another try. Meanwhile I have some 32" Beman Speed Shafts at .500 spine on order. With three sets of arrows and possibly a three under style, I have plenty of options. Appreciate all the responses. Thanks.
I would think 500s much too stiff unless you are sticking serious weight on the end. I shoot a similar setup to you and I would not go higher than 650. Most in our club shooting 32 lbs are using 780s. Cheers
 

Frank Lawler

New member
I would think 500s much too stiff unless you are sticking serious weight on the end. I shoot a similar setup to you and I would not go higher than 650. Most in our club shooting 32 lbs are using 780s. Cheers
Are you sure? According to Beman's spine chart, a 670 is the recommended spine for 28" at 27-31 lbs, or 29" at a maximum of 26 lbs draw weight.
 

blakey

Active member
Are you sure? According to Beman's spine chart, a 670 is the recommended spine for 28" at 27-31 lbs, or 29" at a maximum of 26 lbs draw weight.
I always work off the easton chart. 500s will give you 40 lbs and up. Our club uses Beman Flash 660s for beginner classes because they don't break easily, but they are stiff enough to shoot out of 40 lbs compounds. 900 spine Beman Flash would be right for 28/30 lbs beginners bows but they are too fragile for newbies. I'm assuming Beman uses the same spining method as Easton? If not I apologise. Cheers
 

Frank Lawler

New member
I always work off the easton chart. 500s will give you 40 lbs and up. Our club uses Beman Flash 660s for beginner classes because they don't break easily, but they are stiff enough to shoot out of 40 lbs compounds. 900 spine Beman Flash would be right for 28/30 lbs beginners bows but they are too fragile for newbies. I'm assuming Beman uses the same spining method as Easton? If not I apologise. Cheers
The way I read the Easton chart, for 31" at 30-35 lbs, they recommend a shaft spine from 500 to 570. Seems they do not make a shaft 32" long for that draw weight catagory.
 

blakey

Active member
The way I read the Easton chart, for 31" at 30-35 lbs, they recommend a shaft spine from 500 to 570. Seems they do not make a shaft 32" long for that draw weight catagory.
The 31" refers to the draw length of the archer, not the length of the arrow. The Easton arrow charts are all based on a 29" arrow. I thought you said your draw length is 27", same as mine. Most people with our draw length would shoot an arrow an inch or so longer, for clearance issues, particularly when shooting broadheads. if you had a draw length of 31", I believe that would increase the poundage of your bow at release by some 12 lbs, depending on the design. So for a 42 lbs bow you could use 500s. It took me a while to get my head round spine, but once you are in the ball park, you can check your set up by bareshaft tuning. A 30 lbs recurve @ 27" will bareshaft well with 880s. I hope I've managed to explain that. I apologise if its confusing. But please note that you can still get good flight out of stiff arrows by increasing the point weight. Cheers
 
Hi Frank,
Get hold of a copy of the Easton's spine chart; it used to be near the back of the Quicks catalogue. What you are going to need is a considerably stiffer arrow spine. The Easton spine values are for the deflections of the arrows under specified conditions; so you will be looking for an arrow with a lower value of deflection.
For this to work, you have to already have identified the arrow spine that works well for you with your existing length. If your arrows are 29" long and you wish to go to 32", then the calculation for the spine of the 32"arrows will be 29 cubed, divided by 32 cubed times your existing spine value (=0.744x existing spine).
Regards,
Dave
 

Frank Lawler

New member
This then, would be the general formula for dealing with overhang, provided one has first determined correct spine for conventional arrow length?
 
Hi Frank,
Best not to think of it as overhang. What this calculation does is to give you the ability to change from one arrow length to another and maintain the tune of the bow/arrow. It would work just as well if you had found some overlong arrows that tuned in well but you wanted to change to some shorter ones. Don't forget, though, if something else changed as well, such as using different piles that went a long way in to the arrow shaft compared to the originals, then that would stiffen up the shaft and so would have to be taken in to account.
Regards,
Dave
 
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