Where to shoot a white tail

6 tips to increase arrow penetration

Feb 24, 2020

There are several different factors that impact the lethality of your shot, from grain weight and cutting diameter to placement and the quality of your broadhead – but we can’t forget about penetration.

Arrow penetration can easily make the difference between an immediate double-passthrough or hours spent following a faint blood trail – especially if you’re shooting a light draw-weight or a short draw-length bow. Combining penetration with speed and accuracy will give you results – and a bit more room for error as a not-perfect shot can still lead to a kill if it penetrates deep enough to hit vitals. After all, the lungs are only a couple short inches away from the shoulder or front leg.

Here are 6 tips to increase the penetration of your arrows without compromising too much on speed or accuracy so you can experience more lethal shots and better blood trails.

Shoot a heavier broadhead

Generally speaking, a heavier shot is going to penetrate deeper. Aside from shooting a heavier arrow, shooting a heavier broadhead is also an effective way to up your penetration. A lot of hunters like to use 100-grain heads (they’ve long been somewhat of an industry norm) but increasing your weight to a 125-grain is a good way to pack an extra punch behind your shot. This also increases your arrow’s FOC, which can in turn boost penetration, as well.

Up your FOC (front-of-center)

That bring us to our next point. FOC, or front-of-center, represents the percentage of your arrow’s total weight located in the broadhead-end of the arrow. When more weight is positioned in the end of the arrow ultimately delivering the blow, it not only drives deeper but is also more wind-resistant for a truer flight. An FOC of 10-15% is generally recommended by arrow manufacturers, but upping this to 20% or beyond may deliver the penetration you’re looking for.

Reduce your arrow’s shaft diameter

Another way to achieve deeper penetration is to switch to a smaller-diameter arrow shaft. These are more aerodynamic and have less surface area to be affected by wind drag, which means they fly faster and with more energy and get sent deeper.

But make sure you don’t sacrifice too much on weight. The goal here is a small arrow that’s fast but that also delivers a high GPI rating (grains per inch) somewhere in the 9-11 range.

Up your draw weight – if you can

Every pound of draw force you add to your bow will increase your penetration energy by 1.5%, so if you can shoot a higher draw-weight and still consistently hit your target, you should.

Not sure if your draw weight is too much for you to handle? Try holding the string back for at least a minute – if you can do so without any kind of shaking, try shooting at a target. If you’re at least as accurate as with your normal draw-weight, you should be okay.

Reduce cutting diameter

A larger cutting diameter of your broadhead means there’s more resistance for the target’s tissue to impede the drive toward the vitals. Reducing this allows the arrow to penetrate more freely.

Either a mechanical or a fixed-blade broadhead with a cutting diameter of around 1 3/16” should work well.

Shoot Wasp

Wasp Archery carries an unrivaled collection of the industry’s best broadheads, designed to maximize penetration and to deliver only lethal hits when you need them. There’s a good reason our products have been trusted by hunters and feared by animals for over 45 years.

We give you unsurpassed accuracy, strength, and penetration so you can experience the best blood trails of your life — and so you never have to blame your broadhead again. Shop our products today to add a legendary name to your arsenal.

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