Being a Traditional Archer, I am always looking for the best arrows available, while keeping with the aesthetics important to me as a stick bow hunter. I recently saw a press release in Traditional Bowhunter Magazine, introducing a selection of traditional, carbon, arrows and shafts by Black Eagle Arrows. I was aware of the fine reputation that Black Eagle had in the arrow industry from my compound bowhunting friends and decided I wanted more information. After a quick visit to the Black Eagle website, I learned they offered 2 wood grain finished products that would interest the Traditional crowd. The first is a very unique arrow named “Instinct” which is a micro-diameter shaft, and features a 100 grain stainless steel outsert. The shaft comes 34” in length and weighs 9.4 GPI, in the 400 spine offering. It can be ordered fletched and crested or as bare shafts. The second arrow in their traditional lineup is the “Vintage” which comes in a more standard profile with a 14 grain insert and .244” inside diameter. It also comes in a 34” length and weighs 9.2 GPI in a 400 spine shaft. The “Vintage” can also be ordered as a completed arrow or bare shaft.
Anxious to see these arrows up close and put them to the test, I ordered a dozen of both the Vintage and Instinct. I decided to order the micro-diameter “Instinct” as a completed arrow in a 400 spine stiffness and the “Vintage” as a bare shaft, also in the 400 spine. A quick call to Black Eagle and my arrows were on the way.
The day they arrived, I quickly opened the box and was thrilled with what I saw. The “Instinct” arrows were fletched with two, 3” orange barred feathers, with a yellow barred cock feather , all with a strong right wing Helical. These were neatly glued to a hand painted cresting that created a truly Traditional look.
The rest of the shaft had a Duracoat wood grain finish, that was one of the best I have ever seen on a carbon shaft. The arrows had a matching push-in orange nock and included the 100 grain outserts, ready for installation. After reading the supplied instruction for the outserts, I cut the shafts for length and began installing the outserts. As instructed, the shafts had to be lightly sanded for the outserts to fit properly but with care they passed spin testing perfectly and were glued with the supplied glue.
The finished 30″ arrows weighed just shy of 400 grains and when adding a 200 grain head, I had my target weight of 600 grains and a very front-of-center weighted arrow, which I prefer. With the micro-diameter shaft, I was almost perfectly center shot on my cut-to-center longbow and slightly inside of center on my recurve bow. Now all was ready to see how this arrow would fly and put it through some field testing.
I first shot this from my Striker 60” longbow @ 54 pounds @ my 28” draw length. The first arrow was about 4” right of the bullseye and the second hit almost the same spot. The arrow flight was a perfect spiral and seemed to hit hard with great penetration. The next few shots still hit slightly right and I figured the narrower shaft was changing my instinctive aiming point due to it’s closer to center setting on the shelf. After a few more shots I started hitting my mark, as my instinctive aim adjusted.
Now I was ready to try some stump shooting to see just how tough these new arrows were. After several shots at stumps both hard and rotted, I knew Black Eagle had a winner. With the 100 grain stainless steel outsert fitted with judo points, the front of the arrow was super strong and took any punishment I handed out.
I then switched to my Great Plains “Cazador” pulling 58 pounds at my 28” draw. The shelf on my Cazador is cut 3/16” past center and often requires a stiffer shaft compared to other bows. The Black Eagle Instinct arrows seemed a bit under spined for this setup, at their 30” length. I wanted to try them at a shorter length but was reluctant to cut my present arrows because of the great flight I achieved out of the Striker Longbow. This gave me the perfect opportunity to try out the “Vintage” I had received.
The Black Eagle Vintage Arrows, WOW!
Inspecting the Vintage bare shafts, I fell in love instantly. The woodgrain finish was so natural looking you had to look twice to see it wasn’t real wood. The clean Black graphics in the crest added to the Trad look without taking away from the overall natural appearance. The shafts came with press in nocks installed and included 14 grain aluminum inserts. These inserts were drilled and tapped to allow additional weights behind the insert. This was important to me as I generally add weight to the front end to obtain my 600 grain target weight. This also allows for extreme front-of-center weighting, which I desire.
I decided to fletch the shafts with 5” shield cut feathers in a left wing helical. I went right to my fletching jig, and started building my arrows to my exact specifications. (see photo 0446, 0641, 0338).
The Duracote finish proved easy to adhere to, and resulted in superior adhesion. I then replaced the supplied nocks with Black Eagle smoke colored ones that were a better fit with my chosen fletching and the black cresting on the shafts. I then cut the 34” shafts down to 29 inches and was ready to install the inserts. I added 100 grains of weights to the back of the inserts and glued them in place. I then added a 150 grain field tip to match the weight of my Grim Reaper Hades hunting head. Now it was again time to head to the target butts and see how these new arrows would fly and react shooting from my Cazador recurve.
The first shot told it all. The shaft flew laser straight with a tight spiral from the helical fletching and hit dead center in the center ring. The next several shots all flew straight and true. I knew I had a winner. I switched to my 150 grain, 3 blade Hades broadhead, a solid stainless steel fixed bladed head by Grim Reaper and experienced the same flight and accuracy I had with the target points. I again went to the stump shooting with Judo point and smacked several imaginary deer with no damage to any of my arrows. These are one tough arrows and looked as good as they shot. The next week, I harvested a nice 8pt. buck with the new Black Eagle Vintage arrows and had a complete pass through with no damage to the arrow except the need to clean some fletching.
In summary, these new offerings from Black Eagle are standouts in the traditional woodgrain market. They will now be my arrows of choice and I have already ordered another dozen Vintage shafts to be made up into finished masterpieces. Performance, Traditional appearance and toughness, says it all!