Weak Shaft Tuning

I just received my test kit and I would like to shoot the 300 grain tuffheads.

I have with a minimum of 75 grain steel insert. I bareshafted the  250 spine carbon express red with 375 in the head. The arrow is kicking nock towards my back. Any stiffer arrows you guys have had luck with? I’d rather not go with a lighter tip. I tried a 150 black eagle and that was way too stiff. Additionally I can’t cut the shaft any because the head hits my bow.
Thanks, Ben

Tuning from Nock Right Impact

HI Joe,

I am experiencing an issue with tuning that I have never seen before. When I was shooting your field tips the arrow after tuned, flew straight. With the broadhead, the tip of the broadhead hits dead on where I am aiming. All the way back to 20yds. However, the arrow and nock are way right. Thinking the arrow was weak, I have cut it down to my draw length and can’t cut it anymore.

I was wondering if you have seen this before or might have some ideas. For thirty years I’ve been shooting broadheads and have never experienced this.

My rest is getting a little worn, could that cause this? I know this isn’t your problem but if you have some suggestions would appreciate it.

black swan 60″ 55lbs@28in. brace 8 1/2in. Nock dead center.
300          .2445″                  .300″                          9.1

I had the same problem with the maximum reds.


Tapering Wood Shafts to Reach EFOC

I’ve been shooting a hickory longbow with poplar arrows. I matched them to grainweight about 675 grains with both 125 standard glue on field points of the two blade Zwickey broadheads. Unfortunately my entire setup was stolen from my vehicle so I’m back using an old recurve and carbon Gold Tip shafts as well as some Easton Full Metal Jackets. Because of my wife experiencing a bout with Cancer, from which via prayer and good health care she miraculously recovered and my fixed income I can’t spend more money on broadheads and arrows at this time so I’m doing the best I can in regard to tuning and EFOC. I’ve been using what I have namely using weight tubes to get total shaft weight up and inserts glued into the glue on Zwickey broadheads and Judo points for stumping. I also practice decapitating my free range roosters for the pot using  screw- in Bullheads from Magnus. However when I shoot the roosters in the snow with a 50 to 60 # traditional bow if there is ice beneath the snow both the Bullhead broadheads and the carbon and even the full metal jacket arrows will break at the point end or even at the nock end. Yes a 37 # recurve will kill the roosters and leave the Bullhead broadheads and arrow combination intact but do not cleanly decapitate the roosters as readily as the heavier poundage bows. I have not yet tried an EOF with the Bulhead for the 37# bow but that might prove to be just as devastating to tthe chickens without destroying the arrows. At the least, with the heavy bows (50-60#) the nocks will pop out  of the carbon arrows and the weight tube will evidently recoil, which may or may not be why the nocks blow out. Frankly my wooden poplar arrows seem to hold together better than any of my other arrows made of synthetic materials, whether solid aluminum, carbon or carbon with full metal jacket.

Therefore, I’m looking to build wooden English longbows and American Flatbows from staves in my shop and some really tough but excellent flying arrows from wood. I already have the wood for some of the arrows I intend to make.  I have a 3/8″  dowel cutter from Veritas which I use with a power drill to turn to make my homemade wooden arrows (so far from Douglas Fir) and it works well even in my sixty# recurve. I do have some tropical hardwood material which may prove decent for arrow making but I will probably mostly be using Straight grained conifers, poplar, oak, and hickory for arrow shafts.  In your experience in regard to making wooden arrows, will tapering the shaft from the head (pointy end) at 3/8″ diameter back toward the nock end (especially with the dense hardwoods)  down to either 11/32″ or even 5/16″provide the EFOC as per Ashby guidance? Yes I could probably purchase the woody weights from 3 Rivers but with  my financial status that is another expense I would prefer to forego.

I read where your Tuffheads can fit up to 3/8″ diameter tapers so in keeping with Dr Ashby’s findings on keeping the shaft diameter equal or less than the ferrule diameter it seems your broadheads would fit what I intend to make in regard to arrow shaft destined for EFOC. For example, just the poplar shafts in my possession of 11/32″ diameter parallel shaft with fletching can weigh 500 to 600 grains at a 32″ length. My Douglas Fir shafts I’m making will weigh 375 to 475 grains just fresh from the dowel cutter without sanding so I suppose I could foot the conifer shafts with dense hardwood, but that is more work I would rather not do.

I’ve seen replica arrows for  English warbows made of ash which were parallel and weighed around 700 grains but I’ve observed  1/2″ at point tapered to around 3/8 at nock end arrows of poplar for heavy replica warbows, as in 150# pull for those strong enough and skilled enough to shoot such amazing, yet simple weapons. Keep in mind these warbow arrows were intended to put French Knights out of combat readiness at well over 200 yards; so I think it safe to assume that although they may not have understood the why it worked of EFOC the old English arrow makers definitely knew that an arrow heavy in front was pretty devastating.

James T

Jamers-You sound very resourceful and knowledgable about arrows and Dr. Ashby research…..This will serve you well !

Tapering the heavy wood arrow will defiantly help achiveing FOC by putting additional weight over the last half of the arrow. It probably is not a effective as having the weight exactly up front but defiantly help contribute to FOC. The problem I am sure you know is that the spine will change and be considerably less than when it was parallel.

If I were doing this I would start off with the heaviest spine parallel full length shaft I could find and taper it . Then start experimenting with weight up front just as if experimenting with a carbon  arrow. Select the broadhead weight that you want to end up with. Then shooting it bare shaft start shortening the arrow small amounts at a time  if it is to weak until it will fly right . This is not as easy as following the procedure on carbon arrows that you can remove the nock  to cut the shaft…… If the arrow is to stiff add more weight up front or try shooting it with feathers to see if that makes any difference. The only other alternative is start over using a weaker shaft.

The amount of taper you put on the shaft could become a variable you experiment with….. more becomes a weak shaft ,,,less a stiffer shaft.

Experimenting is a lot of work but I do not know any short cuts,

Yes all our broadheads 190 MeatHead and 225 & 300 TuffHeads all have a inside diameter ferrule of 23/64 so they will except a 3/8 arrow and be very close to the diameter of you arrow. As you are aware we want the outside of the broadhead to be larger or equivalent to the outside diameter of the arrow so as not to impede penetration.

Good luck with you project and thanks for the detailed letter.


Footings and Tuning a MeatHead to 70#Bowtech BTX

I am trying to build my arrows and tips using the High FOC school of thought taught by Ashby. I had some questions about products I should purchase that will work with my shafts. I will be shooting a 70lb Bowtech BTX with a 350 IBO. The arrows I have are Black Eagle Carnivore with a .250 spine. I want to shoot the 190 gr meathead broadhead with a 125 gr steel adapter and a 42 grain Black Eagle brass insert.

I would like to beef up my arrows strength and integrity by adding footings. I was hoping you could tell me which I need to purchase to fit these arrows. They have an outside diameter of .303. Doing some research, it sounds to me like I will need the Arrafoot #2. If this is the case, would you also recommend the BigFoot footing as well to complement them?

Not sure if you would know this or not, but in your experience, will a .250 spine be appropriate for such as set up. This is my first try at building this sort of high FOC setup so any advice or input would be much appreciated as trial and error can get expensive pretty quick. I will be primarily hunting elk.



Kris -thanks for your interest in TuffHead products.

The # 2 Arra foot is the correct kit for that arrow. I do not feel (opinion) the addition of the big foot is necessary .It will add 5 grains more up front.In other words it is optional but also used by many who want the added strength and security.

You will need a real stiff arrow with the 70 pound bow and the weight up front .I am not the familiar with the characteristics of the Black Eagle. You did not mention your draw length …hopefully there is enough arrow to shorten to attain stiffness.

You can adjust some weight by experimenting with the adaptor.

I suggest you don’t buy a lot of anything to go with that arrow until you are satisfied it will  will work. I suggest you buy a test field point kit and test adaptor kit and start there. Order the footings when you are sure of the arrow. You can compensate for the footings (25 grain) with a heavier field point. or adaptor ..or combinations of each.

The main thing to figure out is the total weight up front (regardless of combination) that your arrow will tolerate.You than can finalize the actual ,brodhead ,,adaptor, insert and footings you choose to use.

Follow the arrow tuning on our web site and you will work it out………..Good Luck and have fun!


Broadheads for a 65#Longbow for Deer and Elk

I would like to try your broadheads on an efoc arrow setup and am wondering about your recommendation.

I am shooting a 65lb longbow. I hunt mule deer and elk in Utah, and would love to go on a moose hunt. Can you recommend one of your arrow shafts, broadheads, inserts, etc.


Cade ,

I think that a 65 lb bow will require a stiff arrow to support a heavy broad head. The arrow set up I would recommend will have a total weight of around  750 grains.  With a foc of 30 % plus.

Starting a new I would recommend the carbon express max red 250 .They are easily attainable at most archery shops and can also be purchased on our web site. They are  easily tuned for high FOC .About 9 grains per inch

I would recommend the Tuffhead 300 grain and a 75 grain titanium adaptor or ss adaptor .

The arrow insert should be a 100 grain brass 5/16.

I would use a # 2 Arra Foot footing for strength and weight .

For feathers I would use a small feather to keep the rear weight  down .I would not use any Knock collars as this just adds unneeded weight in rear of the arrow.

Follow the tuning process on our web site and you will end up with a great arrow ,

This is about the same arrow David Peterson uses and mentions in his books for hunting elk


Matching Point weight to Arrow Shaft


I wanted to try your broadheads after reading David Petersen’s book “Going Trad”

I am not quite sure what broadhead and adapter combo I need though.  I currently found a carbon express maxima hunter 450 arrow with 300 spine at 32 inches long.  I am shooting a 31 inch draw at about 66# (bow is 58# at 28″) reflex/deflex longbow. My arrow is running around 485grains.

What is the proper broadhead configuration?  I have the arrows spine-ing bare shaft nicely with standard insert and 125 gr field tip.    I have been unable to find a stiffer spine arrow than the 300 and am concerned about weakening the spine too much with front weight as I can’t shorten arrows  further.  The calculators look like I could handle the 225 gr tuffhead.  Does this screw onto the shaft or do I need an adapter??

I would want to having matching small game and field tips as well to stay consistent.

Please let me know the best combination of your products.  I am elk hunting by the way.

Thank You



You will need a adaptor in any of our broadheads….the lightest adaptor we offer is 75 grain…
We offer field points and small game blunts all in the same weight as the 225 tuffhead….they all take adaptors so the 75 grain adaptor will work for all ….if you would consider a different arrow you might look at the cx max red 350.  Probable would handle more weight up front and weighs about 9 grains per inch.



Clint the #2 is the footing you would need not the 5 for the 450 arrow.


225 TuffHead with Victory VAP

I am currently looking for a new single bevel broadhead and the 225gr Tuffhead caught my attention.  It looks like a great design, with phenomenal mechanical advantage, but having never seen one in person I have a few questions.  First it appears that your broadheads are glue in or else require an adapter.  Are they available with standard threads or do I need to purchase one of the adapters separately? Second, if I do require an adapter which one would you recommend for use with the Victory Vap? The reason I ask is that the Vap does not use a typical insert.  The model I am using is a 92gr In/Outsert which allows the small diameter shaft to taper up to a standard diameter.  Depending on the adapter design I could see some potential issues….

Thanks for the assistance and I look forward to hearing from you,

Robert H.

Trophy Hunter’s Supply LLC

Seymour, WI


Thanks for your interest  in  TuffHead products.

Yes you would need a screw on adaptor  as offered on our web site in various weights.The threads are standard 8-32 treads per inch that are compatible with your insert/outsert.

There will be no problem matching up with the broadhead  and the insert/outsert as the inside diameter of the broadhead is 23/64 .the insert/ your
Outsert OD is 11/32….

Robert, my friend, uses the same basic arrow …..he recently sent me a picture showing there is no problem with the i/o match up to the broadhead.  In his picture, I noticed the insert portion of the i/o is bent in a portion of the picture showing a possible weak points in the i/o if used on heavy arrows….just a additional peace of information…….he has since gone to using a outsert only system on the same arrow to eliminate the weak spot. You may never have a problem.

Joe F.

Point Weight for Deer and Hogs

Say I shoot traditional tackle,  Hill Style longbows in the low 50# weights.  From what I gather these bows appear to like heavy arrows.

What broadhead to you recommend for harvesting deer and hog size quarry?

Thanks & Regards,

Jim M, Houston, TX

Jim….all of our broadheads are being used on deer sized game.The 190 grain carbon steel or the 225 stainless steel are a good choice.  The ss broadhead is more expensive for obvious reasons but also our best seller

You will be happy with either choice.A lot depends on your arrow design .The 225 lend it’s self more to a high forward of center arrow (FOC)

Good shooting


Seeking UEFOC with a 50-55# Bow

Are guys having luck with the Maxima Reds in lighter weight bows? I shoot 50#@27″ cut close to center. I like to shoot an arrow between 28.5 and 29.5″. I’d like to build some ufoc arrows between 550 and 600 grains. The reds in 250 spine should get me close with about 325 grains out front, including the footing.

Thanks,  Josh


If you are striving for UEFOC ( that is weight forward of at least 30% ) I have doubts it could be attained with just 340 grains out front. With your draw length and desired arrow length of  aproxmate 29 inches it will probably take 400 plus up front….If I were to guess probably about 450 grains.  I don’t think the max red 250 will be stiff enough

I am finding most that are shooting Max Reds at your draw length and bow weight are using the 350 successfully

To be sure you would have to experiment with both spines.

I shoot CX max red 350 out of a 54 lb. long bow at 29.inch arrow length with 500 grains up front . This arrow is 32 % UEFOC  and weighs 750 grains total. I mention this just as a comparison or reference.

As long as you are building a new arrow you should strive to attain an arrow that weighs in the vicinety of 650 grains  for bone breeching capability.

The weight of the arrow is more crucial then the % FOC… FOC is a advntage in soft tissue but has little to do with penetration if you were to hit a bone.That is not to minimize the importance of high FOC but t show it relationship to total arrow weight. The perfect arrow combines both properties.

Thanks for your interest in our products GOOD LUCK with your arrow design. If you have further questions feel free to write us.

Joe Furlong

New Trad Archer Arrow/Broadhead Combination Question

I am new to archery, having purchased a 45# Bear Grizzly. I live in Iowa and after years of chasing whitetails during our black powder season want to hunt the bow season.

I thought I had a pretty good set up, until I read David Petersen’s “Going Trad” which led me to you and the Ashby studies. Dr. Ashby’s work makes perfect sense to me and I clearly need to increase the weight of my arrow and broadhead. I wish I would have read this book months ago instead of just finishing it.

Can you recommend a good arrow/broadhead combination for me? With a 45# bow is it a reasonable expectation to shoot an arrow/broadhead combination of 650 grains?

Any advice or suggestions you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely, Scott W . La Porte City IA

Scott welcome to the world of traditional archery.

Yes 650 grains is a reasonable weight for a 45 lb bow. Actually it would be what I would reccommend.

We have found that the “Max Red carbon express “arrow is a good choice as it allow for wide range of bow weights and front end weight,

I would suspect the 250 would be the correct spine for that bow. It would be best to acquire a 250 and 350 spine and experiment. The beauty of this arrow is you can purchase it from us but it is a popular arrow and can be found at your local archery shop.The 250 weighs less than 9 grain per inch. You have not said what your draw length is but for this purpose let say it is 28 inch.,


(28 inch draw would be a 30 inch arrow) x ( 9 grains /inch)  =   270 grains

TuffHead 225 broad head                                                       =   225

Broadhead adaptor        125 grn                                              =   125

arrow footing    # 2                                                                  =     25

total                                                                                         645 grains

If you follow this route I would suggest to purchase a field point kit and a adaptor kit in order to experiment with different front weight. Follow the tuning suggestions on our web site and you will come up with a good flying arrow.



Thank you for getting back to me. I’m glad to hear that I can increase the weight of my arrow and broad head with my bow.

Please forgive my inexperience, but I have a couple of more questions.

With regard to the Max Red Carbon Express arrows is it correct to say I would need to glue the adaptors into the arrows and have someone fletch the arrows for me? Do the arrows already have nocks? And, the footings would go on before the adaptors and go over the shaft of the arrow, right? Then, I would glue the broad head on to the adaptor? Is this hard to do or to do straight? Are the field points of same weight as the broad head screwed on to the adaptor or glued on?

Sorry for all the questions, I’m brand spanking new to this and want to do the right thing – both for me and the deer.


Scott ,

Yes you will have to purchase inserts separately from your arrow shaft .. I actually failed to account for this when discussing arrow weight.

Inserts can be bought in several weights we offer 50 grain and 100 grain . There  are lighter ones made of aluminum we do not offer them due to their lack of strength.

Depending on which you decide on you will be adding additional weight to the front of the arrow. This is all a numbers game. Maybe you will have to drop down to a 75 grain adaptor instead of the 125 in the example. Thus the reason for a test kit .You won’t know what total weight you can tolerate up front until you experiment.

At first you will not need to worry about feathers. When testing you will be using a bear shaft,  Later depending on the what set up you decide on you can purchase arrows from most archery shop with feathers installed.( we do not offer that service.) or you can get in to doing your own.

Read the “tunning the FOC aerrow” on our site . To get started you can purchase items separately or purchase a FOC kit as offered on our web site which will provide all items needed to experiment including two 100 grain inserts and two 50 grain inserts . Don’t worry about footings at this point they are a refinement to the arrow . While they do add strength to the arrow tip we also use them as a weight adjustment for the total arrow weight.

Good Luck and have fun.


New Arrow on 55# Bow

I am a brand new hunter looking to get into hunting elk in the backcountry. I have decided to shoot a traditional bow (recurve). I came across Dr. Ashby’s articles regarding FOC, and I’m willing to jump in head first.

Clearly, I’m a complete novice, so I have a few questions. I’m open to your suggestions.

My bow is 55lbs and I draw at 29″.

Trying to keep my gpi low, I’m planning on shooting Victory RIP XV arrows. I plan on ordering a few shafts to bare tune with. Any suggests on the shaft size? Even a few sizes that will get me in the ball park will be helpful as I am completely new to this.

I’m planning on shooting the Tuffhead Meathead broad heads at 190gr. I was going to add a 50gr brass insert and 100gr steel adapter (all from vintage archery). This would place my weight at around 340gr. Do you suggest going to a higher weight in either the insert or adaptor?

Also I’d like to use the double footing system. Which “number” sleeves will fit the Victory RIP XV? These are .204.

If you think there are any other arrows I should be looking at, feel free to make suggestions. I’m starting from scratch, so I’m willing to pay the money to get it right the first time.

Thank you!

Arrow flight during the bareshaft tuning

My question is in regards to arrow flight during the bareshaft tuning process. I have been experimenting with a new bow and have noticed that although my arrows impact correctly and where I aim at 20 yards, the arrow tail seems to whip left in a sweeping motion during flight and somehow corrects itself before impact. You mention something about this briefly in your EFOC and UEFOC Article and that it is your eyes playing tricks but you don’t really elaborate. Is this an indication of weak spine or is this normal? The main reason this is a concern is because at closer range my arrow does show weak spine and is not really going where I am looking. From past experience the opposite has always been true. The further away from the target I get the more I can see weakness in the spine from how the arrows impact. Kind of confused here and I have tuned arrows quite easily before, any thoughts?





Adding a Footing Question

Hi I would like to add footing to my arrow for two reasons . Increase spine and strengthen weak area on shaft.  I was just wandering does the footing need to be overhanging end of arrow rest or can the shaft be drawn over and on to shelf of arrow rest . If so when I release how will the step on the arrow affect flight. It should change my nocking point if footing is resting on shelf .


Water Buffalo FMJ shafts and Tuffheads

What are your thoughts on the Full Metal Jacket Dangerous Game arrow and the HIT attachment system. I switched from Grizzly Stiks recently, which I like,  but the accuracy I am getting from FMJs is impressive, but I’m sure you know Alaska Bowhunting is showing a failed FMJ shaft which is concerning.
I am planning on going on a water buffalo hunt in Argentina in April, and plan on using 225 gr Tuffheads on FMJ DG shafts.
I am currently practicing with 200 field points with 75 inserts…
How does the Tuffheads diameter work with the smaller diameter FMJ?

Lots of questions, and again I value your unbiased opinion!

70# Compound and FOC Arrows

I used to hunt with a recurve but do to time constraints. I have switched back to my compound. Do you have any information on adding weight to compound arrows and flight patterns. Can I use the same principle I used with my recurve with my compound.

I have been shooting at 70 pounds Mathews switchback. With 29 inch carbon 350 grain and 100 grain tip. Having problems with penetration can I pump up the weight and how should the weight be dispersed. I was accustom to being heavy weighted forward.

Thanks Greg

Building an Effective FOC Arrow

I am new to traditional archery, and as you can imagine, I am clueless! The Ashby studies have me set on achieving the most FOC possible. I am shooting a 50# bear Montana with a 29.5 inch draw. I have a dozen Easton aftermath 400’s full length. I would like an overall setup of 650 grains to reach the heavy bone threshold while maintaining decent trajectory. I planned to order the meatheads and 125 grain broadhead adapters. That combination with 75 grain brass inserts will give me 390 grains up front.
With that said I have a few questions…
1. Does this sound reasonable for my setup?
2. Will my arrow spine be stiff enough?
3. Will the Easton aftermath arrows fit inside the broadhead to cover the weak point where the arrow meets insert?
4. Any recommendations on what I should do differently

Thanks for your time,


What about a Lighter Stronger Adapter-Insert?

Your 11/32 Glue on adapter and insert combo” ïs a brass adapter? Is there a way to get this type glue on adapter and insert combo in a stronger metal like your stainless steel or titanium metals?

The challenge for some of us trying to keep a longer trajectory is in order to use the 225 tuffhead with our carbon shafts we also have to add an extra 75 grains for an adapter which really extends our finished arrow weight. It would be ideal to have one solid piece linking broadhead to shaft but brass is too soft and the stainless steel and titanium metals are the only option when hunting big game.

Let me know your thoughts,

Thanks, Wes