The folks at Easton have given us here at Bowhunting World an exclusive sneak peek at their new arrow shafts that the archery world has been buzzing about for a few months now and allowed us to share some of what we've learned after doing some serious field testing.
The new shafts are built around the Deep Six platform. Deep Six shafts and compatible broadheads were introduced in 2012, but their initial acceptance by bowhunters was a bit slow. However, as Easton marketing Director Gary Cornum told me in a hunting camp this past spring, "The thing about Deep Six is, it is not a gimmick. It is the real deal, performance wise, and we always felt that if we kept showing people the advantages they would catch up as well. And they have, thanks in no small measure to an increasingly-large choice in quality broadheads available for use with Deep Six shafts."
One of the keys to Deep Six performance is the fact that they incorporate a smaller-sized insert and broadhead thread standards that enables higher performance ultra-micro diameter arrow shafts that were previously the exclusive territory of tournament archers. Also, Easton Deep Six HIT RPS inserts are 65 percent stronger than conventional aluminum inserts, the higher-density steel moves weight forward for increased Front Of Center (F.O.C.) performance, and Deep Six components also provide 25 percent more thread engagement to keep points secure and rattle free. Deep Six inserts, broadheads, and points work together as a system and will not work with older, conventional 8-32 thread.
Today, there is an increasing number of high-quality broadheads that mate with Deep Six inserts, a very good thing. But one big downside has been cost. Deep Six arrows are expensive, and these new "Experimental" shafts we've been testing are an attempt to provide shooters and hunters with Deep Six-compatible arrows at a much more affordable price.
As we all know, cheaper doesn't necessarily mean better. So I have been running these shafts through a bit of a torture test for the past month to see how they perform. In a word, wonderfully.
Shooting a 70 lb. Mathews ChillR with 28-inch draw, my 340 Experimental shafts were cut 28 3/8-inches long and fletched with NAP QuikFletch. These arrows weighed in at 333 grains; with a 100-grain field tip total arrow weight is 433-grains. My chronographed arrow speed is tight at 280 fps.
I have been shooting them almost every morning for a month in the desert near my southern Arizona home into both a bag target and a couple of Rinehart RhinoBlock targets — which are pretty stout — and so far, no problems. The only time I had an arrow become unusable was when I overshot the target trying to get an 80-yard pin set, and the rocks and gravel pretty much ate two of them up. But that's to be expected.
Shooting both field points and an NAP Kill Zone practice head I have gotten very consistent accuracy from 20-80 yards. And so next week I will start a series of multi-state whitetail hunts with this combination in hand. While I do not know what Easton will decide to finally name these new Deep Six-compatible arrows, what I do know is they fly great and are really tough. I can't wait to get them in the deer woods.
Come back next week and I'll let you know how the first of these hunting trips went.