High-end ammo isn’t only a must for detail-obsessed rifle shooters. Bowhunters looking to tighten their groups at the range and increase in-field accuracy should also consider their ammo selection. Each of us should take into account the type of hunting we are most likely to do, along with the game we are most likely to pursue. From there it’s a matter of fine-tuning choice to our individual setups to ensure each arrow in our quiver will fly perfectly, penetrate as well as possible and ensure the best outcome we can ask each time we send an arrow downrange or across the countryside.
Four spines options (500 - 300) ranging from 7.5GPI to 9.7GPI are offered in Bloodsport’s latest - the Bloodhunter. These arrows promise +/-.004-inch straightness tolerances and serious durability thanks to the Rugged Wrap Construction. While Bloodsport has been churning out quality arrows for years now, it’s their Blood Ring that really put them on the map. This innovative feature allows you to look at your arrow after a shot on a game animal and see what the blood really looks like. This evidence of blood type and color provides the basis for intelligent trailing decisions allowing you to assess actual evidence from the hit and decide for yourself whether it’s a good idea to head out now and look for you trophy, or give it a few hours.
Carbon Express Maxima XRZ
What you can’t tell by looking at the new Maxima XRZ arrows from Carbon Express is the amount of engineering that has gone into them, especially when it comes to spine consistency. The minds behind the company have devoted serious brain power to ensuring the arrows they produce are extremely consistent from shaft to shaft and will flex as little as possible throughout the shot. This translates to better arrow performance all around and is a serious benefit if you enjoy perfect broadhead flight. Every Maxima XRZ is laser-checked for straightness (+/- .0025-inch) and batched by weight (+/- 1 grain). Choose from three spine options that weigh from 6.6GPI up to 8.4GPI.
Easton Micro AXIS 5MM and 6MM Under Armour
Easton AXIS arrows have been helping bowhunters deflate lungs for a decade and a half. The newest offerings in the lineup, the Micro AXIS 5MM and 6MM Under Armour, are certain to keep that streak alive and well thanks to their micro profile that concentrates kinetic energy while reducing friction and promoting penetration. Both Micro AXIS options will also serve you better in windy conditions, so if you’ve got an antelope or a plains’ mule deer hunt booked for 2019, you won’t have to worry about a 35mph crosswind the same way you would with a standard diameter arrow. AXIS spine sizes range from 700 to 260, meaning that just about any archer on the landscape can find the right AXIS arrows for his or her setup.
Gold Tip Airstrike
If arrow speed and long-range accuracy rank high on your list of arrow demands, look no further than the new Airstrikes from Gold Tip. These micro-diameter (.204-inch) shafts are designed with extreme front-of-center and built with high-modulus carbon to produce deadly arrow flight no matter how far you choose to fling. To ensure better penetration and easy removal while target shooting, the Airstrikes feature the exclusive Dyna-Slick coating. They are also built to +/- .001-inch straightness tolerances and +/- .5-grain weight tolerances, meaning every arrow in your dozen will perform like the next.
Victory Archery XTORSION
Victory was at the forefront of the micro-diameter movement, and their contribution to arrow technology has changed how we all look at our ammo. This year, they’re taking micro-diameter to the next level with the XTORSION, which is manufactured through a process that encapsulates layers of 304 stainless steel within high-modulus carbon fiber. This results in arrows that are thin enough to buck the wind and penetrate well, but also withstand serious abuse. XTORSION arrows are also built with a +/- .001-inch straightness tolerance to ensure that when you buy a dozen, each will fly exactly like the next.
Bloodsport Hunter Extreme
The best deal going in arrows this year might be the Hunter Extreme’s from Bloodsport, because you can get a dozen for only $80. Choose from 500, 400 or 350 spine in the .224-inch (inner diameter) Hunter Extremes, which are built to a straightness tolerance of +/-.006-inch. They are also designed with the Rugged Wrap Construction, sport 2-inch vanes and come standard with aluminum inserts.
Easton AXIS SPT
Finding arrows for shorter-draw or low-poundage shooters can be a challenge, which is why Easton has released their latest shafts in the AXIS lineup. The AXIS SPT is a small-diameter arrow that boasts of all of the components that have made these arrows so popular for 15 years. They are available in spines of 700, 600 and 500, meaning they truly will work with just about any bow on the market that is just on the right side of legal for big game hunting.
Gold Tip Black Label
Any bowhunter who is obsessed with every single detail that can contribute to - or rob them of - accuracy, should check out the Black Labels from Gold Tip. These arrows promise +/-.0025-inch straightness tolerances and +/-.5-grain weight tolerances. They are sorted and matched through a process that utilizes multiple lasers to ensure they are as close to identical as possible. Black Labels also include the 20 Grain FACT Weight for increased FOC and are built using Smart Carbon Technology.