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I am still relatively new to crossbows and have been shooting for about a year. I have a KI Ripper 415 with a Hawke XB30 1-6x32, and I’m using the KI crank cocker. My bear stand is setup for a 35 yard shot and this is the distance I’ve mainly been practicing at. I have 6 BE Zombie Slayers built by South Shore for my hunting arrows. With field points I am shooting all six at about 1” - 1.25”. I tried Ramcat Hydroshock 100 grain and my groups were over 5”. I recently switched to 100 gr EVO-X center punch and got my groups to about 2”. My arrows are 22” long, FOC is 19.5%, and arrows have 2” Blazers. None of my broadheads group where field points do. I’m not so worried about shooting with my field points (would be nice though!), but I want to tighten my groups. I realize practice will help, but I’m looking for any other tips. Sorry for the long post, just trying to give all the info I can.
 

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I'm no expert at all, but if your South Shore made arrows are shooting 5" at 35 yards I'd be giving South Shore a call. Something ain't right. Also don't see how a 22" arrow and a 100gr head has 19.5% FOC
 

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I’m not so worried about shooting with my field points (would be nice though!), but I want to tighten my groups. I realize practice will help, but I’m looking for any other tips. Sorry for the long post, just trying to give all the info I can.
You may want to get a spin tester from Pine Archery. Your broadheads may not be perfectly aligned with the center line of the arrow. This can create a little wobble down range.
 

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Spitfires by NAP!
 
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I am still relatively new to crossbows and have been shooting for about a year. I have a KI Ripper 415 with a Hawke XB30 1-6x32, and I’m using the KI crank cocker. My bear stand is setup for a 35 yard shot and this is the distance I’ve mainly been practicing at. I have 6 BE Zombie Slayers built by South Shore for my hunting arrows. With field points I am shooting all six at about 1” - 1.25”. I tried Ramcat Hydroshock 100 grain and my groups were over 5”. I recently switched to 100 gr EVO-X center punch and got my groups to about 2”. My arrows are 22” long, FOC is 19.5%, and arrows have 2” Blazers. None of my broadheads group where field points do. I’m not so worried about shooting with my field points (would be nice though!), but I want to tighten my groups. I realize practice will help, but I’m looking for any other tips. Sorry for the long post, just trying to give all the info I can.
Are you shooting from a rest or ???
 

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I don't think there is an issue with my South Shore arrows since they shoot around 1" at 35 yards with field points. I can accept that that might be the current limits of my skill level. Plus groups immediately improved when I changed broadheads with no other changes. I double checked my FOC and I get 19.5% with both the Center punches and the Ramcats. I get 18.3% with field points. I used this method WHAT IS F.O.C. AND HOW DOES IT AFFECT ARROW FLIGHT? -.

I am shooting off of a bench with a rest and sand bags.

With the spin tester, if you find that there is an issue with a broadhead, can you align it to fix the problem?

The Center Punch is basically the NAP Sling Blade. What is better about the Spitfire? I hate to keep buying broadheads if I don't understand the fundamental issue and just hope for the best. But it's only money I guess!

Would decreasing my FOC a bit help? Should I be using a different fletching? I have read about and tried aligning the blades of the Ramcats with my fletching with no effect. Does this make any difference with mechanicals? I understood that to be one of the advantages with mechanicals.

At this point I feel okay about shots from my bear stand at 35 yards, but I would like to improve my groups to move on to elk and other big game hunting where I might be shooting 50 - 60 yards.

Thanks for the help!
 

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Spitfires have been around for at least 20 years. That is how long I have been using them. They are a mechanical 3 blade without bands to hold them closed. They fly like their same weight target tips.
NAP Sling blades are two blade mechanicals.
 
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Given the time of year, I’d be looking for a low profile mechanical broadhead, maybe even Spot On’s magical Spitfires. Something is going on. Ramcats are a “fixed” head that flies really well for me, though I’m not shooting quite as fast as a Ripper. I have an otherwise very nice crossbow that won’t shoot broadheads, even Ramcats, well enough. Not sure why, as it shot them well last year. For me, I have two other bows that shoot them like lasers, so that’s what I’m using this season. I will try to figure out the problem in the off season. You have to get ready fast, so a mechanical should be able to do that. My friend who has a Ripper swears by Shwackers.
 

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With the spin tester, if you find that there is an issue with a broadhead, can you align it to fix the problem?
Brandtl... I applaud your critical thinking and meticulous approach to this problem. There are multiple levels to the spin question. (1) perfectly square shaft end (2) perfectly flat insert face (3) perfectly concentric installation of insert (4) perfectly straight broadhead and threaded stud. SSAS takes critical care of 1-3. Wobble with the spin tester is probably a bent broadhead. I shoot Black Eagle Zombie Slayers as SSAS Spynal Tapps with 125 gr Ramcats.

Some things to consider:
Do your arrows impact the target square with the face at every range? If no, they are fish-tailing (ala Archer's Paradox). There is a balance between draw weight, shaft stiffness, and front end mass. Force at the nock will bend a weak shaft until the inertia of the front end mass (insert and tip) is overcome and begins to move. Ultra high speed video can show this wiggle. The frequency of this oscillation determines the angle at impact. Arrows get stiffer as they get shorter and "weaker" as mass increases on the front end.

Eliminate the variables. Start with ONE arrow and shoot it repeatedly. A SSAS custom arrow is CAPABLE of going thru the same hole out to 40 yards. If it doesn't, "tune up" the archer.😁 If it does, all's well with the target system. Now, take the blades out of a Ramcat (remember left-handed threads) and screw it on to the same arrow and test that arrow for consistency out to 40 yards. If the hole pattern is acceptable, put the blades back on and shoot it 3 more times. If it flies true, take it to the woods. If not, try a different head, but know that you, the bow, and the arrow are not the source of the error. Good luck.
 

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Well said, Jake. Another possible source of problems that many don’t check is the nock. Sometimes rotating the nock 180 degrees can bring an arrow right in. I found long ago that a misaligned broadhead can make an arrow veer off to the angle it is launched, but a problem near or at the nock can cause it to be downright erratic. I would add that I’ve never seen a Ramcat that didn’t spin true, even ones that have been through deer. My 380 recurve (295# draw) will put Ramcats about 3” low at 40 with BEEs, but with stiffer Spynal Tapps, they are right with field points and under 1”. That’s spine. My RDX will shoot just as tight with field points, but cats are maybe a 6” pattern. I think I, (once again), have a cam bearing about to fail.
 
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