Back in December of 2015, Thom Jorgensen and I were wrapping up a hunt for wild hogs in South Carolina. We began our planning for antelope in 2016 during this hunt and, in one of our conversations, the topic of broadheads and arrow weight came up. We would both be using a lighter broadhead for pronghorns than our current setups and I would need more weight up front than my current 125 grain brass adapter provided. Thom asked if I had heard of “Traditional Archery Solutions“. He explained that owner Jon Hand makes one piece adapter/inserts using stainless steel. The adapter sized for 5/16 diameter carbon shafts weighed 215 grains. I did the math in my head and figured on having roughly the same forward of center (foc) ratio I was already shooting. The following week I placed an order for a dozen of Jon’s inserts.
I immediately built a few test arrows and started to tune when they arrived. With only a minimal difference in frontal weight, tuning didn’t take long. However, the weight was not exactly what I wanted, so I called Jon. I learned, thirty seconds into the call, that Jon knew already knew me from Simply Traditional and social media. We probably spent 5-10 minutes just talking about bowhunting in general and “catching up”, so to speak, before cutting to the chase. “Jon, I need just a little more weight in my adapters than what you offer. I would like an adapter/insert that weighs 250 grains.” Without hesitation Jon replied “No problem”. He even went on to ask what shaft I planned to use and offered to make them specifically to fit my Black Eagle arrow shafts. I went ahead and ordered another dozen and waited for their arrival.
I shot these arrows exclusively, over the course of the summer – on the 3d courses, in the back yard, and stumping in the woods. I not only shot them, I abused them – purposely shooting them into trees, boards, steel barrels, and more. I did not break a single arrow. I also never lost a point in a target or in a tree. Part of this was the JB Weld I used to adhere the points, but it was mostly the design of the adapter. The points mount to the adapters perfectly, which makes for better adhesion from the bonding agent. One side benefit of using a glue together system is that there is no rattling or noise from loose points.
Soon it was August and time to go to Wyoming. Thom and I were shooting very similar arrow setups, including the “Simply Traditional” Magnus Classic single bevel broadheads, Black Eagle arrow shafts, and the Traditional Archery Solutions adapters. We both tagged out on Antelope during our 3-day hunt, shooting Pope and Young class Antelope bucks, and were EXTREMELY satisfied with the performance of our arrow setup. As for my antelope, I truly believe my arrow configuration made all the difference with the recovery of my buck. My 23-yard shot was just a little forward of where I wanted it, impacting the clavicle on the entrance side. This was mostly due to the bucks reaction to the shot. Many setups would’ve failed, resulting in a wounded or lost animal. I have seen adapters break, broadheads fold, and carbon arrows splinter and mushroom. My arrow split the clavicle upon entry and kept going. It broke the off shoulder and the broadhead stopped short of exiting the skin on the opposite side.
I watched my buck move straightaway for 100 yards and bed down. Afterwards, one of the local guides saw the damage and said that in 30 years of guiding bowhunters on antelope, he had never seen that level of performance from an arrow. He stated that a shoulder hit on an antelope had little hope for recovery because there would be almost zero penetration. This is why I hunt with gear that is heavier than normal. I find it best to hope for the best, but plan for the worst. When Murphy rears his ugly head, I want to know that my equipment provides me with a little margin of error.
I attribute a huge part of our arrow performance to the heavy adapters from Jon. His adapters provided the weight we wanted up front for higher FOC. Plus, the adapter-to-broadhead connection acts like a solid piece of steel. This is the strongest combination I have found for mounting broadheads to carbon shafts. I admit that this setup is a bit more expensive than other solutions yet, but the durability actually saves money over time. With the exception of one arrow destroyed by my antelope, the dozen arrows I built in January are still in service.
If you are looking for new options to increase FOC and want a solid one-piece design that increases strength and durability, or simply want to get rid of screw-in points, check out Jon Hand’s adapters at Traditional Archery Solutions. I am glad I did and will be a customer for years to come!
Jon Hand is 49 years old and lives in the great state of Nebraska. He is a traditional bowhunter and his largest antelope to date was a 74″ beauty. He owns and operates Hand Machine where he also hand crafts the stainless steel adapters that are sold under the Traditional Archery Solutions brand.