Ask Gold Tip
Do you want to ask one of the leading pro shooters in the country how he would do it? Tim Gillingham has 28 years of dedication to the sport of archery. With National Championship tiitles in most of the major archery venues, he is one of the top pro shooters in the world. Labeled as a "tinkerer" by his peers, he is constantly seeking the answers pertaining to better performing archery and bowhunting equipment. He can answer about any question you might have pertaining to archery and bowhunting.
Please limit questions to technical oriented subjects.  All other questions should go through to Gold Tip at
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Top Questions/Answers    
What are the 3 most important things to consider for extreme broadhead accuracy?

Well, let’s go over them.  You can refer back to the broadhead tuning section on the website that explains this in detail.

  • First you need to make sure the broadhead spins perfectly.  A wobbly broadhead will not fly consistently.  Use the methods in the broadhead tuning section to ensure perfect broadhead alignment.  This applies to mechanical broadheads as well as fixed blades. 
  • Second, you need to have enough fletching on the arrow to control the broadhead.  Larger heads require more fletching and my absolute favorite is 4-Fletch.  Use 4-2”high profile vanes like the Blazer or Vanetec 2” HP and they will control just about any fixed blade on the planet.  If you are using mechanicals you can opt for the standard 3-fletch or go to a lower profile, quieter 4-fletch.  Clearance is a must.  Use spray foot powder to double check this.  On some bows with tight clearance, 4-fletch is the better option as it give a tighter fletching pattern.
  • Make sure every arrow reacts dynamically the same.  All arrows have a sweet spot.  I find this by shooting the arrow through paper at 5yds and making sure they all shoot exactly the same tear.  If I have one that doesn’t play well with the others I will rotate the nock to the next fletching and that will usually fix the problem.  Remember, broadheads fly opposite of a paper tear so, if you want you want your broadheads to fly like your field points as close as possible than you will need to make sure you have a good paper tear at 5ft/15ft/30ft.

Do these three things and you wont have a favorite arrow any more, you’ll have 12 of them.

Do I need a heavy arrow for hunting out west?

No not really.  More elk and mule deer are harvested every year with a 5575 in their lungs than just about any other arrow size.  Weight does not necessarily mean penetration.  I would categorize the following things to be most important for penetration.

  • Shot placement is number one.  You hit the animal in the right place it will go right through.  If you hit the opposite rib dead center at 50 yards on an elk, you probably wont blow through even if you are shooting 80 foot pounds of energy and a 430 grain arrow.  Set you bow up with a reasonable amount of speed that will help with yardage errors.  That will be the biggest factor for great penetration and good shot placement.
  • If you are going to change anything from your deer hunting setup to your elk hunting setup, change your broadhead.  Use a broadhead that is more sloped and uses a less choppy action of cutting.  Although many kill elk with 2” cutting diameter broadheads, being a little more conservative and option for 1 1/8” to 1 3/16”  is a little more realistic for reliable penetration.
  • Good arrow flight is paramount for good penetration.  Loss of energy due to the arrow striking the animal any thing less than perfectly square will result in penetration loss as the energy is not expended directly down the center of the shaft.  Make sure you bow is paper tuned very well and your shooting skills up to par.
  • Weight consider for me is only a happy medium.  I like a 400 grain plus arrow but mainly to help with longer range accuracy and shooting in the wind.  I would not shoot my bow below 280 feet per second just to make sure I shoot the magical 400 grain arrow.  I would go to a lighter arrow or a faster bow.
What FOC do you use for different setups?
I am kind of irritated about this subject, especially in it’s exploitation for marketing purposes. The average bowhunter can use their favorite 85/100/125 grain head for bowhunting with great results. They have been confused by marketing to believe that front of center is the “Holy Grail” and they have to get it perfect when it is far from the truth. I try to stay in the 8-12% range but a little over that for hunting or FITA/Field archery and no big deal. I have even won National 3-d Tournaments running as light as 6%. I typically hunt with a 85 grain mechanical head which puts my FOC around 8% and routinely shoot 4” groups at 100 yards with that setup. Keep it simple and if you want to play around a little there is nothing more conducive to this than the Gold Tip weight system. Pull the nock, use the weight wrench to screw a 10, 20 or 50 grain in the back of either your insert or favorite Gold Tip target point and if you like it leave it, if you don’t you can take it back out. It is exceptionally good for fine tuning a traditional setup.
What is the biggest form flaw you see in most new archers?

I think face contact with the string is a really bad problem.  It causes oscillation of the string and arrow flight issues.  Just turn on the TV and you can see all kinds of guys burying the string into their face mask.  You want to establish and anchor point for the release on your jawbone with just the string touching the tip of your nose and not into the side of your cheek as shown below


Establishing an anchor point that is not influenced by the face or clothing with make your setup much more consistent and eliminate any unpleasant surprises.  Usually too long of a draw length is the culprit.

What should I use to remove adhesive from old fletching before installing new vanes?
Use a knife or razor blade to remove the fletching being sure not to dig into the carbon or camo layers of the shaft.  With Gold Tip shafts, you can then place them in acetone for 10-15 minutes to loosen the glue and then either lightly scrape the rest of the residue off or use a green abrasive cleaning pad to make sure the shaft is clean of debris.  Rinse with water and you are ready to refletch.  Note:  If you do use acetone, make sure to remove the nocks and rinse everything thoroughly before replacing them as acetone can damage the polycarbonate material in the nock 
I just wanted to say thanks for the advice on the GT 22's. So far they fly great and I will put them through the paces at the R100 this weekend in Saginaw MI.I was concerned they may be to stiff but you talked me into them anyways and I'm glad you did. I have 2 buddies that are now going to convert from their fatboys as well. Jeff
As far as stiffness goes, my personal opinion is that an arrow cannot really be too stiff.  If you think of it rationally, a well tuned bow delivers the power stroke out of the jaw of the release and directly down the back of the arrow.  Now with a finger shooter, spine becomes a critical factor as the arrow needs to be able to bend around the problem created by the finger release.  I personally believe in tuning the bow and the archer to the arrow instead of tuning the arrow to the problem.  By tuning the bow and the shooter you establish good nock travel and the power stroke of the bow going directly down the center of the arrow.  A bow with good nock travel can shoot about any arrow you put through it, where a bow with bad nock travel will only shoot one arrow well as it has to bend around the problems the poor nock travel has created.  These problems included oscilllation caused by the anchor point or the release, grip issues and tuning issues.  One thing to remember with stiffer shafts though is not to run a tiny vane.  You need the extra vane to gain control if a subpar shot is made and give you a forgiving setup.
   The only exception to an arrow being too stiff is when you are shooting long distances 80-100 yards and you want to limit the drag on the arrow by using a small vane.  In this case you need an arrow that will fly very stable as a bare shaft, at even 50-70 yards, to the point where you can add a small vane and it will do the rest of the stabilizing.  In 3-d and hunting, however,  we are typically ok shooting bigger vanes as the distances being shot are shorter and the drag effect is not a negative.        
Can I use the 3555 and not the 5575 on my Browning compound at 62lbs draw weight and draw length at 28" to shoot and hunt Elk? I will be using the muzzys 100 three blade broadheads.
You need to follow the selection chart carefully to make sure the arrow is stiff enough for your bow.  if you will look at the selection charts, you will see the 3555 being too weak and the 5575 or any other .400 spined arrow as being optimal.  You can go stiffer but going weaker will cause erratic grouping and and arrow that is over-flexing and could be subject to breaking more easily if it becomes damaged.  If you want the lighter shaft,  shoot the 400 Velocity.  It is the same weight as the 3555 but stiffer like the 5575.   
I currently shoot about 64 lbs, and my 5575 arrow travels about 224 ft/sec. with 125 grain field points. I was thinking about switching to a 100 grain tip to gain some speed and reduce yardage error. My question is, is there a arrow weight to poundage "rule of thumb" that I should follow?
I think the 125 is a little excessive also.  If you want to pick some speed up, try the new Velocity arrows.  Rule of thumb is to not go below 5 grains of arrow weight for each pound of bow weight.  For you that would be a minumum arrow weight of 320 grains.  
what does the Flex It First logo mean?
The Flex it First logo is to teach you that you must flex your shafts to test for safety.  We cant control what happens to the arrows once they leave the factory so a simple flex test will tell you if an arrow is safe to shoot.  You need to check you arrows periodically and especially after shooting groups and if you miss the target.  Any suspect spot can be simply checked by a simple flex at that point on the arrow shaft.  If an arrow has been damaged, you will see the carbon seperate or the shaft will break.  if it handles the flex test it will be safe to shoot.   
How do you prepare carbon shafts to replace flecthing,what do you use to remove glue.
The best way to remove glue for refletching with a Gold Tip shaft is to strip the vane down to the base with a razor blade.  You can either scrape it all off with a knofe or just put the arrow in acetone for 15-20 minutes and then rinse the shaft and lightly scrape the residue. I then use a green scouring pad to rough the surface up, rinse, dry and then refletch.   
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