Traditional Archery Discussions on the Leatherwall

Short Draw Lengths and Dynamic Spine

Messages posted to thread:
Krag 22-May-23
aromakr 22-May-23
Corax_latrans 22-May-23
From: Krag
Date: 22-May-23

The DL thread got me thinking about what I am experiencing with my short DL and the arrows I am shooting. I shoot a lot in my garage at about 5yds into a box of rags for a butt and since the arrows don't actually stick in it I can tell which have good flight or are stiff or weak - straight, left or right orientation.

A few months ago I put clickers on all my bows to stop TP caused snapshooting. This brought me to a very short but consistent DL - 25" at best. When making a change or when getting a new bow I try to use the arrows I have available this being 1816 and 2016 and a range of wood to 50# (measured on a Spine Master) and all wood at 27" BOP. I like to shoot 145gr tips on aluminum and 125gr on wood to match Razorhead weights.

With a Chapparal Kaibab marked 42# @ 27" and a Benoit forward handle ASL 45# @ 28" I am shooting 2016s at 28.5" with 145gr and three 5" feathers. Both butt and longer range testing showed excellent flight. I had some 27.5" 2016s that shoot nicely in a BB/Sage frankenbow that measured 49# @28". These all have low stretch strings. I took it a step further with the Benoit and paper tested at 5yds and got perfect holes which verified what I was seeing.

With the much lower poundage I am getting these results defy any spine chart or other tuning logic so it would appear there is a different dynamic when a real short DL is used maybe because a lot less shaft has to clear the rest. There will be lots of opinions but has anyone else experienced this or seen mention of it anywhere?

From: aromakr Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member
Date: 22-May-23


You didn't indicate what dynamic spine you have calculated. There are several factors that need to be taken into consideration, besides the type of bow string being used, i.e. the bows weight at your draw length, the depth of the shelf cut, and the arrows length other than 28". Most of the AMO charts are calculated at the bows shelf being 1/8" less than center. For every 1/16" difference than that will usually effect spine needed one spine range, thats just for the shelf depth.


From: Corax_latrans
Date: 22-May-23

I’m just gonna say that…

1) 5” feathers will mask a multitude of sins. Don’t ask me how I know.

2) Even if you’re OK with the possibility that you’re not tuned as well as it appears, you might want to re-check your “bullet holes” at 10 yards and/or 15 or 20…. And maybe even 2-3 yards just to rule out the possibility that there’s some big correction occurring right off the bat.

3) If you test them at a good range of distances and everything looks right, then who cares what a spine chart or a calculator says? I’d just suggest that if you do discover that your solution is substantially different from the typical expectations…. don’t recommend what works for you to others - at least not without a disclaimer about being different… A lot of folks get way too much feedback from the fringes and convince themselves that they need to change everything when what they’re already using really should be right on the money….

I’ve been really fortunate in that Stu’s spine calculator seems to put me dead nuts, or just a shade weak, bare-shaft…. Which is an alternate pronunciation of Dead Nuts. But my results come with carbon arrows cut to my length (28”) which basically NOBODY does these days… So I try not to push my solution to someone who’s going to be shooting arrows 10% longer….

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