I used to be a super avid bowhunter (whitetail) and shot everyday religously...I've been away from bow hunting and shooting for a few years but want to get back into hunting with my bow...
My question is this, I have a Browning Ballistic Mirage that , at the time I got it, was a pretty high end bow. What I dont know is how far bow technology has gone since then. Velocities, compactness, accuracy, ease of tuning, etc....
How does a Ballistic Mirage compare against the current Bowtechs, Hoyts, etc. I'd just as soon stay with my "old" bow as it shoots really well and has killed alot of game, but just curious what the folks on the board think...
I also own a Ballistic Mirage and have been very successful with it. Though I did changed 3 seasons ago to Mathews and love everything about them. (LX, Legacy, Switchback & Switchback XT, and Drenalin) But I still use my Ballistic Mirage for stump shooting and playing around. The newer technologies that most manufacturers use now blow away stuff from just a few years back, smoother, quieter, lighter, shorter, faster, more forgiving, and most of all, more consistent. But IMO, I think the most important thing is how well do you shoot it? If you are shooting 10's "bulls eyes" all of the time and the bow is in good mechanical shape, why change, maybe just needs a tune-up and a new string. I bought all of my Mathews due to an accident, two thefts, and the last one for a backup. I do shoot tighter groups and over the last couple of years, extended my range to 50+ yards on smaller game (blacktail, antelope, predators, etc) and 40+ for larger game animals. Two of the most successful archers I have ever met use equipment 20+ years old. 1 uses a Martin Lynx and the other a Bear Whitetail Legend, both slooooowwww and LOUD. But they know there capabilities and limits. (I have bought both of them many a beers over the years via shooting contests also)
Hope this helps.
Thanks for the feedback. Do you feel like the newer bows allowed you to extend your range on the larger animals? Or was it just more practice... I know that I would have never thought to take a 40-50 yd shot at a deer, mainly worries about broadhead flight on shots longer than 30 yds, but also lack of impact velocity...But I see alot of folks talking about taking caribou and moose at 40 and 50 yards with confidence. Based on my alaska hunting experience, I would say that it can be a challenge to get within 30 yds of a bou or moose sometimes, especially in the alders, etc.
Are most folks shooting carbon arrows these days? They were just becoming popular about the time I stopped shooting. They seemed like they were quite a bit faster, but expensive and I saw alot of them break in target shooting. Of course, I did a hell of alot of straightening with my 2117's.
I shoot carbon express arrows now, but started out shooting aluminum. Side by side, shot from the same bow with same weight heads, in foam targets, the carbon arrows average 50% more penetration. The only shot that hasn't passed through an animal with carbon was one in a moose quartering away that buried in the middle of his sternum. I've buried them in stumps and roots after a pass through on bears, and didn't have to worry about straightening them, or about carbon peeling off into the game meat. The only possible down side I see is the price vs aluminum- however, isn't $5 more per arrow worth it to see more dead animals at the end of your sights? (dead critter= winter hamburgers)
Thanks willphish, when I start tuning the old girl up, Ill pick up some carbon shafts and try them out head to head. More expensive shafts are well worth the cost if the penetration is that much better. plus it looks like theyre smaller diameter, so i wont have so many "robin hoods" right?
FYI, carbon arrows, dollar for dollar are not going to be nearly as strait or even in spine consistency. Take a dozen carbon arrows, any price, and brand and spin the shafts out of the box, you will see that they aren't as strait. Also, keep in mind basic physics. Penetration (in an animal) is determined mostly by kinetic energy and the inertia of an arrow. A lighter arrow cannot have nearly as much kinetic energy, so no matter how fast it flies, its not going to have as much energy to drive it through a live target. Performance in practice targets will be different because they are designed to stop an arrow using friction, a narrower carbon arrow having less surface area will penetrate farther because there is less surface area to slow it down.
Originally Posted by dkwarthog
Use this calculator to help you figure out just how much carbon versus aluminum makes a difference in kinetic energy. Kinetic energy becomes even more important on larger game and kinetic energy calculations are required when shooting dangerous game in parts of Africa.
Also remember that carbon arrows can ruin meat if they splinter inside it, if somehow the animal snaps or shatters the shaft.
Given all that, I must confess I'm an aluminum shooter. I've tried carbon, and found that I wasn't willing to accept the performance of carbon shafts available to the average consumer. When I did use carbon shafts I bought a few dozen, spun them all and selected the straitest shafts for hunting, the rest weren't any better (brand new out of the box) than old aluminum shafts that had the spine shot out of them. I won't name names but there is at least one carbon arrow producer that has multiple grades of shafts. In a given size, the shafts come off the same line for different grades but are sorted according to straitness. Personally, I find that i get better real world penetration when hunting using XX78's than i ever did shooting the multiple brands of carbon arrows I tried. Your mileage may vary.