Crossbow Ballistics with JJ

Remember as a kid when you shot an arrow high into the air and were delighted when it stuck in the ground, point first? It stuck because its metal tip made the arrow front-heavy. While aerodynamics are more complicated than that, what you should know is that by manipulating your arrow’s FOC (Front of Center) weight, you can alter its ballistic characteristics to your advantage–and the best way to do this is to go with a heavier broadhead.

When a bowstring is released and an arrow takes flight, energy rapidly transfers down the shaft to the tip. Once this happens, the arrow is essentially pulled through the air by the tip, rather than pushed by the nock. This allows smooth steering of the arrow, and also increases momentum and therefore penetration when it strikes a target.

Most experts agree that fixed-blade broadheads fly better with an FOC of 12 to 18 percent, with 15 ideal for most hunting setups.

So why don’t all arrows have greater FOC built in? The main reason is that a 15-percent FOC doesn’t come without some tradeoffs. First, if weight is simply added to the tip, it results in a heavier overall arrow and therefore is slower by a few FPS. Slower arrows don’t shoot as flat, and they don’t sell as well. Secondly, arrows owning a higher FOC drop at an exponentially faster rate as range increases.

At an early age Jeff was kicked in the face by an exposed hammer shotgun, stunting his growth but also sparking a passion for guns, hunting and the outdoors. Since the crack of that old gun, he's traveled the world, hunting, shooting and writing for national outdoor magazines. His Youtube page adds a bit of practicality to tacticality, dispels hunting and shooting myths, gives fairly honest reviews of guns and gear because he's not beholden to anyone, and offers real-world based tips--that might well be wrong. Rest assured, Jeff is no Navy SEAL, although he stayed at a Holiday Inn once in San Diego.