Victory Armour Piercing™ (VAP) Arrows
For many years, Victory Archery has designed and constructed carbon fiber arrows for the country’s leading arrow companies. They’re now using precision engineering and their proprietary manufacturing process to craft their own exclusive line of high-performance arrows and their newest arrow is called the Victory Armour Piercing Series.
Victory Archery boasts that their American made arrows are straight, with tight tolerances, and consistent spines made for the most demanding hunters and target shooters. Their exclusive manufacturing process weaves multiple layers of carbon fiber …one of the lightest and strongest materials known, to create a shaft with spine, weight, and straightness that is consistent from arrow to arrow. The new Victory Armour Piercing (VAP™) arrows are smaller in diameter and their unique Penetrator™ inserts provide for amazing penetration, according to Victory Archery.
In this evaluation, I’ll be reviewing the Victory Armour Piercing V1 350 arrows with Penetrator Inserts from Victory Archery. Will they hit the mark?
The Victory Archery VAP V1 arrow shafts arrived in good condition in their secure packaging. Upon initial inspection out of the package, all shafts and components were intact, and I found no visible defects in materials or workmanship. The package included one dozen VAP V1 350 arrow shafts and the new Penetrator Inserts.
The VAP V1 350 shafts weigh only 7.4 grains per inch, which helps to keep the weight of the arrows down. I prefer a lighter arrow and greater arrow velocity for hunting situations. Some like a heavier arrow and sacrifice speed…either way it’s really about the kinetic energy generated by the shot. Each set of a dozen Victory Archery arrow shafts are inspected for straightness and then sorted and combined for a guaranteed weight tolerance of +/- 0.5 grains per dozen arrows. VAP V1 arrow shafts feature a smooth polished finish and straightness tolerance of +/-0.001”, and they come standard with the Penetrator™ Inserts and Bohning “F” nocks.
The VAP V1 arrows are the next generation of their popular NanoForce shaft, which the VAP is replacing in their product lineup. VAP arrows incorporate Victory’s advanced carbon technology and manufacturing process that produces a strong and straight arrow shaft. The Penetrator Inserts have a shape (see figure 4 below) that essentially clears material out of the way as it penetrates, clearing a path for the more narrow, thicker-walled VAP arrow shaft.
Another feature of the VAP arrows is that they use the Bohning Blazer® “F” Nocks, a small, press-fit nock designed for “D” loops or string release. This nock has a double lock feature, similar to the Blazer Double Lock Nock, that is just tight enough to keep your shaft on the string without affecting its release (see figure 5 below). This should improve the accuracy of the arrow flight because of reduced drag upon release.
A word about choosing arrows – Arrows must be matched with your bow. Mismatched arrows may not fly correctly or accurately. Good arrow flight can be obtained if 10 to 16 percent of the arrow’s total weight with point attached is in the forward half of the arrow. Arrows which are too lightweight for your bow may cause you to essentially “dry fire” your bow. Every arrow shaft has a degree of stiffness called spine, which means resistance to bending. Bending, known as “archer’s paradox,” occurs when an arrow is released from the bow as the nock end accelerates before the front causing the shaft to bend in one direction, and then react in the opposite direction as it speeds downrange.
Spine strength must be matched to the bow’s draw weight to minimize arrow flexing during flight. If your arrows are too lightly or heavily spined for your bow, the “archer’s paradox” movements will be extreme, resulting in poor arrow flight and loss of accuracy (It’s better to err on the stiff—too heavily spined—side). Arrow shaft length also must be matched to your bow. Drawing an arrow that’s too short is dangerous because it may slip off the bow, while an arrow that’s too long adds unnecessary weight and weakens the spine of the arrow. Arrow manufacturers publish selection charts that match bow weights to proper arrow spine.
Click here for Victory Archery arrow selection charts.
To assemble my VAP arrows, I cut them to size and added Bohning 7” white wraps to the VAP shafts. I installed Goat-Tuff Products new Opti-Vanes using Goat-Tuff glue and my Arizona EZ-Fletch Mini tool. These have become standard use items for me in recent years, when gluing up shafts and inserts. I installed the Bohning “F” nocks and Penetrator Inserts, and I added 100 grain field points for testing. I used my Pine Ridge Arrow Inspector to spin and check each VAP arrow and insert for straightness, so it was time to put these shafts to the test.
Testing of the VAP V1 350 arrows was basic, and included evaluation of accuracy and penetration. After all; a bowhunter needs only enough kinetic energy, a razor sharp broadhead and an accurate shot to ensure a clean harvest of their game. The arrow selection is critical for two of these three variables, namely kinetic energy and shot accuracy. I’ve already mentioned some criteria for selecting the proper arrow.
Obtaining enough kinetic energy is just a matter of arrow weight and speed. The VAP arrows I used in this evaluation weighed 368 grains, including the 100 grain field-point or fixed blade broadhead. The average arrow velocity using my 70 lb. Bear Truth2 bow was 300 fps. Using a kinetic energy calculator, I determined that this equates to 73.56 foot pounds of kinetic energy. The bigger the game, the more kinetic energy needed to get a clean pass through shot, but 73.56 foot pounds is plenty to put a clean kill on a large whitetail with good arrow penetration from distances out to 40 yards. Click here for a link to a kinetic energy calculator using arrow weight and velocity.
Shot accuracy remains first in importance when it comes to successful archery hunting. Regardless of how sharp your broadhead blades are and how much kinetic energy is generated, if you miss the vitals you will go home empty-handed or worse yet, you could wound an animal and not find it. Continuing my evaluation, I shot ends of three arrows each from 10, 20, and 30 yards…and measured the results. My average groupings at 10 yards were less than one inch, while my average groupings of three arrows from 20 yards were 1.75”.
I’m happy with these results when you consider that I am not a competitive target shooter. My average groupings from 30 yards opened up a bit further to 2.5 inches, but still more than satisfactory for my purposes. The Bohning “F” nocks and Goat-Tuff Opti-Vanes did not damage during my shooting sessions, and the VAP V1 shafts were in excellent condition after taking 90 shots with the same three arrows. The Opti-Vanes performed well on these VAP V1 350 shafts, and is a combination I will use in the future.
To measure penetration with the VAP arrows and Penetrator Inserts, I shot the VAPs and another brand arrow with traditional inserts and the same field points into my Block 4×4 target…same distance and same bow. All variables were equal for the shots other than the arrows and inserts. I shot six arrows of each type into the Block target and measured their penetration. The average depth of penetration for the VAP arrows with the Penetrator Inserts was over 2 inches deeper than the other brand arrow with a traditional insert. Whether these results will translate into deeper penetration in live quarry must be tested in the field, which I plan to do this fall.
Overall the VAP 350 shafts performed very well and I was pleased with both accuracy and penetration.
Specifications as Tested:
- Overall length: 30”
- Weight: 7.4 gr / in.
- Tolerance: +/- 0.5 grains of weight per dozen arrows
- Spine: 0.350”
- Outside Diameter: 0.229”
- Internal Diameter: 0.166”
- Arrow Shaft Material: carbon composite fibers
- Finish/Camo Pattern: available in black shafts
- Nocks: Bohning “F” nocks
- Penetrator Inserts: 5/16” – 43 grains; 9/32” – 33 grains
- Street Price: $150 per dozen with vanes and inserts
Conclusion: The Victory Armour Piercing arrows pack a powerful punch in a small package. Smaller diameter than other hunting shafts, they fly true and penetrate deeply. I will try them in the field this fall and provide updates if a VAP arrow finds its mark.
Pros: penetration, accuracy, light weight
Cons: higher price
To see the full line of Victory Archery products, visit their website: Victory Archery