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Gold Tip Kinetic Pro 400 Arrow Review

by Justin Zarr 12. April 2011 09:11
Justin Zarr

Each year after our annual pilgrimmage to the ATA show I usually return home with a rather lengthy list of "must haves" for the following season.  Although there's usually nothing wrong with the gear I already own, as an archery addict I simply enjoy getting new stuff.  I liken it to my wife's obsession with shoes and jeans.  Each pair does the same thing as the others, but it's always nice to have new ones.

At the top of my list for this year is the new Gold Tip Kinetic arrows.  I began shooting Gold Tip arrows a few years back when Easton discontinued the A/C SuperSlim and have been very pleased with their performance.  To date I have shot both the Pro Hunter and Velocity Pro arrows with much success, having harvested several animals with each flavor.  With an upcoming trip to Colorado to chase elk around the Rocky Mountains I decided I wanted a slightly heavier arrow for this year, and the Kinetic fits that bill wonderfully.

The Kinetic Pro shafts have a distinctive yellow label so you can easily tell them apart from the Kinetic XT (Green) and Kinetic Hunter (Orange) which have different weight and straightness tolerances.

With a 28" draw shooting roughly 65 lbs a 400 spine arrow seems to fly the best for me, and the Kinetic in that size weighs in at 9.5 grains per inch.  Compared to the Pro Hunter 5575 at 8.2 gpi and the Velocity Pro 400 at 7.4 gpi the Kinetic may be slightly slower but it's going to pack a bigger punch when it impacts the target.  With Gold Tip's Accu-Tough Nock and Insert along with an NAP Quikfletch and 125 grain tip my finished arrow weighs in at right around 450 grains with a 13.5% FOC.  All things considered that's just about the perfect hunting arrow if you ask me.

Cut, fletched with NAP Quikfletches and ready to shoot.

Now if you're asking yourself what's so special about the Gold Tip Kinetic other than it's weight, I'll tell you: the Kinetic is Gold Tip's first small diameter carbon arrow.  With an outside diameter of just .270" the Kinetic is smaller than the Pro Hunter at .285" but not quite as small as the Easton Axis 400 at .265" or the Victory Archery VAP 400 at a mere .225".  The reason many hunters have come to prefer today's smaller diameter arrows is for their excellent penetration.  The smaller surface area of these arrows generates less friction on it's way through the target, which means your arrow will not slow down or lose energy as quickly as a larger diameter arrow.

Looking at the end of an unfinished shaft you can see the Gold Tip Kinetic arrow has a thicker wall than most carbon arrows, which creates the toughness and durability that bowhunters are looking for.  As with any carbon arrow shaft, make sure you square off the ends with something like the G5 Arrow Squaring Device (ASD) before installing your inserts or nocks.

Compared directly to the Easton Axis 400 and the Victory Archery VAP 400 here's how the Kinetic Pro 400 matches up.

Kinetc Pro 400 - 9.5 gpi
Axis 400 - 9.0 gpi
VAP 400 V1 - 6.8 gpi

Kinetc Pro 400 - +/-.001"
Axis 400 - +/- .003"
VAP 400 V1 - +/- .001"

Weight Tolerance
Kinetc Pro 400 - +/-0.5 grains/dz
Axis 400 - +/- 2.0 grains/dz
VAP 400 V1 - +/- .5 grains/dz

One big difference between these hard hitting arrows is the insert technology.  Easton pioneered the Hidden Insert Technology (H.I.T.) that many of their arrows use.  This technology actually places the insert completely inside of the arrow (hence the name Hidden) and the base of your point rests directly on the arrow shaft.  Both the Kinetic and the VAP on the other hand use an insert which is essentially a hybrid of an insert and an outsert.  The majority of the insert does slide into the arrow shaft, however about 1/2 inch remains outside of the arrow with the base of the insert resting flush against the arrow shaft.  The jury is still out on this particular insert technology, but so far I haven't had any troubles with it at all.

Here you can see the Accu-Tough insert, which sticks out of the shaft by about 1/2 inch.

This is what the Accu-Tough inserts and nocks look like before being installed into the arrow shaft.  As you can see, the majority of the Accu-Tough insert actually resides on the inside of the arrow shaft.

A big plus for all Gold Tip inserts, not just the Accu-Tough series used in the Kinetic arrows, is the compatibility with Gold Tip's brass weight system.  These tiny screw-on weights are available in 10, 20 or 50 grains and allow you to fully cusomtize your setup for precise FOC.  There's been a big push lately for a higher FOC in hunting arrow setups, especially those with fixed-blade heads.  Studies have been showing a higher FOC (around 15%) can actually increase your down range accuracy.  When hunting in areas where shots of 30-50 yards are common, this can be critical.   Additionally, many people believe that a higher FOC will help increase penetration as your arrow will not have as much flex when impacting the target, thus retaining more of it's kinetic energy.

Here's an example of a 20 grain Gold Tip brass weight, which screws directly into the back of your insert.  If you need to add more or remove them once your inserts have been installed Gold Tip sells a really, really long allen key that you can use to screw them in and out.

I will personally be experimenting with the 20 grain weights to see how they effect my accuracy using both 100 and 125 grain broadheads.  The thing I like the best about these weights is that they open up the window of opportunity to use a lot of broadheads that aren't available in 125 grains.  So I can still shoot a 100 grain Spitfire Maxx and using a 20 grain brass insert weight achieve virtually the same finished arrow weight and FOC as if I had a 125 grain broadhead.  Genius!

If there was one thing I'd like to see changed about these arrows it would be an additional size/spine offering in the 340/350 range.  Many of today's bows are really cranking out some impressive speeds and requiring a stiffer spine than bows of the past.  Although Gold Tip offers the Kinetic in a 300 and even a 200 spine, a 340 or 350 would definitely be a welcome addition.  I myself prefer a slightly stiffer spined arrow with a heavier tip.  For now the 400's seem to be working out alright.  If I run into weak spine issues while paper tuning I can always chop and inch or so off the back and stiffen them up a bit.

So far the results of my initial testing have been positive.  The Kinetics are performing flawlessly out to 30 yard using my 125 grain field points with no brass weights.  As I continue to shoot longer distances I'll make sure to keep you updated on my findings.  And of course provided things go well this fall you'll see me shooting either an elk, some whitetails or both with these new arrows.

One of my first groupings at 20 yards.  Look close - there's 3 arrows there, not just two.  This is coming from my brand new z7 Xtreme which I haven't even tuned yet.  Not too shabby!

I'll be sure to continue reporting in on the performance of these new arrows as I get the opportunity to shoot them more in coming months.  Provided they tune and continue to fly well they will most likely reside in my quiver come September.

Antelope Down! Bowhunting Success in Wyoming

by Justin Zarr 7. September 2010 14:19
Justin Zarr

A few months back Todd and I decided we should go on a bowhunting trip this year.  Most of our bowhunting time is spent chasing whitetails in Illinois or Wisconsin and we figured it would be good to get out and experience something new.  After all, life is short and if you don't do it now who knows if you'll ever be able to.  So with that said, we settled on an antelope hunt with our friends Scott & Angie Denny at Table Mountain Outfitters.

The next few weeks we got our flights booked, rental car reserved, and tags ordered.  All that was left to do was wait for August to come and make sure our bowhunting gear was ready to go.  When August 26th finally showed up we were Wyoming-bound.

After a full body scan at O'Hare we boarded our plane and headed for Salt Lake City.  Unfortunately a mechanical failure with our connecting flight to Casper caused a 12 hour delay in our trip, but we managed to pass the time by working out at the local Hyatt hotel, watching a movie on Pay Per View, and of course getting in a nice relaxing nap.  We finally flew out of Utah at 10 pm and landed in Casper, Wyoming at around 11:30.

Our good friend and Pro Staff member Dustin Decroo was nice enough to pick us up from the airport and drive us up to camp.  Being a Wyoming resident Dustin had already filled his antelope tag earlier that week and volunteered to run the video camera for me during my hunt.

Six a.m. came all too quickly the next morning, and after a cup of coffee and making sure our bows were sighted in we headed into town to get our archery licenses.  By 9:15 our guide, Mr. Scuba Steve, was dropping us off in our blind which was located roughly in the middle of nowhere.  So Dustin and I packed our gear into the blind, got set up, and began our wait.

The terrain in Wyoming in quite different than Illinois!  Beautiful country though, I love it.

Within 2 hours we had our first visitors of the day as a group of 3 mule deer does paid us a visit.  This was my first hunt out of ground blind and with these deer at eye level a mere 15 yards away I thought for sure we would get busted.  But low and behold they never knew we were there, even as I snapped photos with my Nikon DSLR.  Eventually they moved off into the vast expanse of sage brush and cactus.

Our view from the ground blind.  Exciting, I know!

Dustin ready for some action with our new Sony HDR-AX2000 that we picked up from Campbell Cameras.

Our first visitors of the day.

Yours truly, watching for goats to show up.

Awhile later another mule deer doe approached with a fawn in toe, also looking for some a drink of water.  Around this time Dustin spotted a group of 5 antelope bucks on the horizon about 1,000 yards behind the blind.  Over the course of the next hour the bucks made their way slowly toward us as we munched on some cookies, drank some Ginger Ale and relaxed with our boots off.

Eventually the 5 antelope made their way directly into the water hole and started drinking.  The biggest of the bucks, an easy P&Y contender, offered up a perfect broadside shot but I couldn't take it as another buck came in and stood shoulder to shoulder with him.  I was afraid a pass through shot would take out both bucks, so after being at full draw from a minute or so I had to let down.

A few seconds later the biggest buck moved off the water hole and I came to full draw again.  Unfortunately the buck turned quartering into me just as I settled my pin on him and once again I couldn't take the shot.  At this point I started getting nervous that they were going to leave, so I told Dustin to swing the camera onto the 2nd biggest buck who was still drinking. 

When Dustin confirmed that he was on the buck I touched off my release and sent an NAP Nitron tipped Gold Tip straight through the buck's vitals.  He ran a mere 30 yards before tipping over on film - he never knew what hit him!

After a brief celebration in the blind Dustin and I put our boots back on and set out to recover my goat.  I picked up my arrow, which had passed cleanly through the buck, and headed over to where he fell.

My first-ever antelope - taken a mere 3 hours into our hunt.

For my first antelope ever, he's a great buck.  Certainly not the monster that many people hope for, but plenty big for this goat hunter!  To say I was excited was an understatement.  Less than 3 hours into my Wyoming antelope hunt and I was already tagged out.  I'll take that any day of the week!


Dustin and I with our trophy.  A big thanks to my cameraman for coming out and spending some time in the blind with me.  We'll have to do it again soon!

First kill for the Edition Quikfletch.  "James Westfall" did his job well.

Once our guide came to pick us up and we headed back to camp Dustin and I took the opportunity to ride around the area and glass for other animals.  We saw and incredible amount of game including TONS of mule deer, antelope and even a few nice whitetails down in the river bottoms.  Wyoming truly is a hunter's paradise, and Table Mountain Outfitters certainly has an abundance of trophy animals.  During our time in camp we got to hang out with Vicki Cianciarulo from Archer's Choice Media, Brenda Potts, and Joel Maxfield from Mathews who all tagged out on nice antelope as well.  What a blast!

Some WY scenery.

This was a great way to start off our season and I'm really looking forward to October when I can get out and start chasing whitetails.  For now, my antelope high will carry me through the next month!  A big, big THANK YOU to Todd Graf for allowing me to tag along on this trip and to Scott and Angie Denny with Table Mountain Outfitters.  These guys put on some of the best hunts in Wyoming, and I wouldn't hesitate to go back hunting with them.

Gear used on this trip:
(Click the red links to buy any of these products from the store)

NAP Nitron Broadheads - fly like darts and tough as nails.  A very underrated broadhead in my opinion.  I've been shooting them since 2006 and they've never let me down.  Just be careful with the blades, they're scary sharp!

Gold Tip Velocity Pro 400 Arrows - lightweight, fast, and strong.  My first animal harvested with these new shafts and they worked great.  All washed up and ready for the next animal!

NAP Apache rest - you may have read my review of this rest earlier.  It's pretty much bulletproof and deadly accurate.  A great hunting arrow rest. Edition Quikfletch - by far the coolest rendition of the popular Quikfletch products.

Axcel Armortech Sight - much like the NAP rest this thing is pretty well bulletproof and very reliable.  I can't say enough good things about this particular sight.  I'm shooting the 4 pin .019 "HS" (high speed) model.

ScentBlocker S3 Silverback Loose Fit Shirt - a super comfortable base layer that is breathable and kept me cool despite the 90 degree temps.  I'll definitely be wearing this as a base layer come October.


Gold Tip Velocity Pro Arrow Shaft Review

by Scott Abbott 14. June 2010 03:06
Scott Abbott

Being a long time Gold Tip shooter, I was anxious to get ahold of their new hunting shafts for 2010.  These new Velocity Pro arrows are designed to be a lighter weight hunting arrow highlighted with their brand new light weight components, all while maintaing Gold Tip's standard of "The toughest arrow you'll ever shoot". 

In my experiences over the years, their slogan has been very true.  I have never been disappointed in any Gold Tip purchase I have made. I truely have abused my share of their shafts in the field as well as the 3D range and they have always held up far beyond my expectations.

The arrows I am shooting are the Velocity Pro 400 shafts cut to 28 inches with 125 grain heads and Duravane Fusion vanes.  This light weight shaft and component setup allows me to shoot with 125 grain heads increasing my arrows FOC while still maintaning an arrow weight I like to shoot out of my 60 pound bows.  This arrow setup weights aprox. 370 grains while giving me a solid 15% FOC which allows my hunting arrows tipped with Grizz Trick broadheads to trek perfectly enroute to their destination.

 I am very pleased with the Velocity shafts thus far.

 This is my first group of the day shooting from 27 yards with my 60# BowTech Destroyer 340 bow.  Precise groups at over 300 FPS!

Available Shaft spines and tolerances:

  • Velocity Pro (.001” straightness +/- 0.5 grains dz.)
  • Velocity XT (.003” straightness, +/- 2 grains dz.)
  • Velocity Hunter (.006” straightness, +/- 2 grains dz.)
  • *All shafts available in three spine sizes. 300, 400, 500.

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