If you're a veteran of the Archery Shooter's Association you'll know that all of their classes have maximum speed limits to maintain a level playing field. This can vary across classes but it is important to check the rules on their site, before setting up your bow.
Arrow speed helps conceal yardage mistakes and tighten pin gaps, so you want to shoot as fast of an arrow as your class rules allow. I personally plan to shoot Men's Pin 45, a new class for 2022. This class allows any length stabilizer, an immovable sight that relies on multiple pins rather than a sliding singe pin, and the yardage is known. Without the need to judge the yardage the speed of the bow is slightly less important. However, the extra speed will still slim pin gaps and allow for a tighter bracket when using multiple pins. For those reasons, I shoot to hit right at the maximum speed for my class, 280fps. There is a 3% buffer to account for chronograph discrepancies and I'll often let a set up sit just over 280 if it is performing how I want.
This particular set up, "The Rat Bow", ended up shooting 290 fps with a 396 grain arrow. This is obviously too fast, but a good problem in this instance as I prefer to add heavier tips in large shaft 3d arrows such as the Gold Tip X-cutters. This seems to aid in wind management and tunability. I replaced the 20 grain F.A.C.T. weights with 50 grain weights and shot again. This shot registered 282 fps and after a couple more to verify I called it good to go!
The next day, I went out to sight "Rat Bow" in and found this bow to shoot extremely well and have incredibly narrow pin gaps. I believe this was the result of decent speed, but also the fact that the pins are close to the riser. Target sights generally sit pretty far from the riser as this allows fine tune adjustments/aiming. However, as a side effect, it also shows every little movement you make and opens up your pin gaps. If shooting a multi pin class I strongly urge you to consider adjusting your sight bar to a shorter setting or simply using a standard hunting sight that stays close to the riser.
Within an hour the bow was sighted in to my liking with pins set to 20, 30. 40, and 45 to allow tight pin gaps at the further yardages that I am sure to deal with at the pro ams.
This bow was always one of my best shooters in factory form. Unbelievably, it's current form of misfit parts and pieces seems to make it even better. Follow along as the rat bow journey continues!
Rat Bow Playlist -