How much arrow speed will I gain from lighter arrows?

February 24th, 2009 / Posted by David
How much arrow speed will I gain from lighter arrows?

Question:
I am happy with my penetration right now but would like more speed. If I drop my arrow weight, how much will I have to increase my bow’s draw force in order to keep the same penetration?

Answer:
Most of today’s bows have fairly high efficiency values. That means that they convert a high percentage of their stored energy into kinetic arrow in the arrow. Efficiency does change with arrow weight: the heavier the arrow the higher the efficiency. With today’s bows, a 50 grain difference in arrow weight will produce an efficiency change of approximately 1 to 2 percent. (This only holds true for arrows within a range of between 350 and 600 grains. Outside of this range the efficiency changes faster.)

In simple terms, if you drop your arrow weight 50 grains your efficiency and penetration energy will go down about 1.5 percent, on average.

Now lets look at how much you have to raise your draw weight to counteract these losses. For every pound of draw force, your arrow’s speed increases by about two fps and your kinetic energy increases by approximately .75 to 1 percent. So if you drop your arrow weight by 50 grains you have to increase your draw weight only about 2 pounds to get the energy back again.

What typ of arrow do you hunt with?

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