12 Fac­tors of Ar­row Pen­e­tra­tion

12 Fac­tors of Ar­row Pen­e­tra­tion

For most bowhunters, re­gard­less of ex­pe­ri­ence lev­el, the quest for max­i­mum pene­tra­tion is pri­or­i­ty number one. Un­for­tu­nate­ly, the lion's share of in­for­ma­tion and re­sources avail­able (whether it be the lo­cal shop, You­Tube or so­cial me­dia) are all steered to­wards pro­motion of a cer­tain prod­uct or prod­ucts. These resources, clev­er­ly dis­guised as un­bi­ased prod­uct “test­ing” and/or an or­gan­ic “dis­cov­ery” of the lat­est and great­est (en­ter rev­o­lu­tion­ary wid­get X here), when you strip it down, it’s really just a com­mer­cial.

Day Six was start­ed for one rea­son and one rea­son only; to help bowhunters become more suc­cess­ful, in spite of the hunt­ing in­dus­try, by cre­ating prod­ucts that ac­tual­ly con­tribute to the hunter’s suc­cess, rather than pad­ding a cor­po­rate bot­tom line. We man­u­fac­ture gear by uti­liz­ing pro­cess­es and ma­te­ri­als that are just not pos­si­ble for com­pa­nies only in­ter­est­ed in prof­it. But it’s not all about the gear.

Every day our mis­sion gets hard­er and hard­er to achieve as “mar­ket­ing companies” dis­guised as archery man­u­fac­tur­ers send forth their army of in­flu­encers, “experts”, and gu­rus to flood all avail­able plat­forms with “data”, “test­ing”, and of course the un­bi­ased re­views. We tru­ly em­pathize with to­days bowhunter as they at­tempt to fil­ter through all the in­for­ma­tion out there to achieve the com­mon goal we all have, be the most ef­fi­cient and suc­cess­ful as pos­si­ble in the field.


To that end, we have com­prised what we feel are the twelve fac­tors need­ed to achieve max­i­mum pen­e­tra­tion on big game and here they are in or­der of im­por­tance.

1. Ar­row flight
2. Ar­row flight
3. Ar­row flight
4. Ar­row flight
5. Ar­row flight
6. Ar­row flight
7. Ar­row flight
8. Ar­row flight
9. Struc­tur­al in­tegrity
10. Ar­row mass
11. Broad­head ef­fi­cien­cy
12. Ar­row geom­e­try/re­duced di­am­e­ter


As you can see, we have a very strong opin­ion on the im­por­tance of ar­row flight with the ac­tu­al gear fall­ing to­wards the bot­tom of the list. In a nut­shell, ar­row flight is 90% of what gen­er­ates max­i­mum pen­e­tra­tion and all the oth­er things com­prise the re­main­ing 10% but that’s where all the goobers on the in­ter­net di­rect their fo­cus. Why is that you ask? It’s sim­ple, you can’t pack­age and sell the ma­jor­i­ty of fac­tors that contribute to good ar­row flight, ie. a tuned bow (not just pa­per tuned but that’s for an­other time), a prop­er re­lease, a myr­i­ad of oth­er vari­ables, but most im­por­tant­ly the grip hand and ap­ply­ing con­sis­tent, re­peat­able pres­sure to re­duce torque.


Ar­row flight is EVERY­THING! So what’s the eas­i­est way to achieve great ar­row flight con­sis­tent­ly, for us it boils down to bare shafts. The bare shaft has no mer­cy, no tol­er­ance for er­ror, and will show you ex­act­ly what you are do­ing wrong. If archers would prac­tice with bare shafts in­stead of fletched ar­rows, it would force them to perfect their com­plete sys­tem with every shot. The fletched ar­row is the en­abler of the medi­ocre, it’s the make-up cov­er­ing one’s flaws, it’s a par­tic­i­pa­tion tro­phy....you showed up, you shot some groups, but you’re still far from win­ning.


In a for­mer life I spent a lit­tle time in a race car and dur­ing prac­tice ses­sions we would set the car up to be re­al­ly loose so it took ma­jor fo­cus to keep it out of the wall. As a re­sult of prac­tic­ing with a very un­for­giv­ing set up, once the car was di­aled in correct­ly I would be in­cred­i­bly smooth and con­sis­tent­ly fast. The con­cept of prac­tic­ing with bare shafts is the same premise.


It is important to note that you should never shoot bare shafts with broadheads, only field points.


In fu­ture ar­ti­cles we will dis­cuss prop­er bow tun­ing, shot ex­e­cu­tion, and sev­er­al oth­er as­pects to achieve the best ar­row flight pos­si­ble. We will also dis­cuss the gear and while sec­ondary to ar­row flight, still all im­por­tant fac­tors to op­ti­mum pen­e­tra­tion and suc­cess. We just want to get the mes­sage out there first that the gear isn’t a magic bean that will solve all prob­lems, rather at­tempt to get hunters fo­cused on what’s tru­ly im­por­tant and with­in their con­trol re­gard­less of bud­get con­straints.


Hav­ing trou­ble get­ting good flight with your bare shafts? Pick up the phone and give us a call. It’s why we do what we do as we love help­ing folks get where they need to be.


 Bryan Broderick - Day Six Gear