By Shawn Monsen
It’s hard to believe that it’s been eight years since Easton developed AXIS arrows. Micro-diameter AXIS, with X series nocks and innovative HIT inserts, made arrows more lethal than ever and swept bowhunting into a new level of performance. The AXIS X diameter shaft has remained the performance standard against which all other bowhunting arrows are measured. It has provided hunters more success by reducing friction for more deadly penetration. As great as the AXIS is, the question remained of how to achieve the next level of arrow performance for the hunting market.
Easton has made ultra-micro diameter arrows for Olympic athletes for many years. These world-level outdoor competition shafts are least affected by crosswinds and carry more kinetic-energy-density downrange for less velocity decay. I’ve always thought these attributes would be perfect for the bowhunter, but the 8-32 conventional-thread size points, inserts, and broadheads were too big to make hunting arrows any smaller than AXIS. In order to take arrows into that realm, the creation of a new standard would be required. A new component standard designed from scratch would open the door for an arrow with more power than anything ever developed.
Target and Olympic archers have been demanding the best out of their arrows. They have pushed for smaller diameter shafts knowing that they would get better crosswind resistance and down-range accuracy. I knew those attributes would vastly improve hunting performance as well. To say I was excited when Easton called me early last year and asked if I could help test a new ultra-micro prototype would be a massive understatement.
During my first shooting test with Injexion at 100 yards and 10 mph crosswind, I saw a seven to eight-inch side drift. In the past with other shafts, I would get about a ten to twelve-inch drift under the exact same conditions. I like to test shoot crosswind at 100 yards because the effect of even a small breeze is noticeable at that distance. Even though the amount of drift at hunting yardages is far less, I always keep in mind that one inch can sometimes mean the difference between a bad shot and lost game, or a filled tag and meat at the processor.
Now let’s jump into the next detail of the micro diameter INJEXION shaft as it pertains to hunting—diameter or, in this instance, the lack thereof. Yes, size is everything and a smaller diameter means less friction for better penetration and quicker pass-throughs. I’ve seen it on my hunts with Injexion on multiple animals this year. Now, let me back up a little to explain. I started off the year with some field tips manufactured in the new Deep Six thread standard. Immediately I noticed the boattail design and higher precision thread pattern. Deep Six broadheads and field points have a higher thread count that provides 25% more thread engagement than conventional thread 8-32. We’ve all had points rattle loose and upon screwing the first Deep Six point in, it was clear the fitment was more precise right out of the package. The boattail design of the field tip was also incorporated into the broadheads. This creates an “overbore” effect, which in easy-to-understand terms means the broadhead create a channel that allows the arrow to pass through with far less wasted energy. It’s like a virtual friction-free zone that the arrow can slide through and drives the braodhead through the target. This is where the penetration gets much higher marks than a conventional diameter shaft. The broadheads ferrule itself helps create a wound channel naturally larger than the shaft. As the broadhead punches in, the shaft drives the head through with far less drag and provides about 30% more penetration in ballistic lab tests.
The Deep Six insert is precision machined with 40 threads-per-inch versus the 32 threads-per-inch used in conventional points and broadheads. The higher frequency thread pattern keeps tips and broadheads from rattling loose and improves insert-to-shank alignment. Easton Deep Six inserts and field points are made with tool-grade steel which yields 65% more strength than conventional aluminum inserts. Higher density steel also moves weight forward for higher front-of-center arrow balance (F.O.C.) for much improved arrow flight and broadhead accuracy. Easton makes a Deep Six HIT insert for the Injexion shafts and an RPS style insert for X-diameter arrows so shooters can take advantage of Deep Six broadheads with AXIS and Full Metal Jacket arrows as well.
Not only did I find improvements in my shooting, I also realized how well they were holding up to the testing I was putting them through. A thicker wall combines with the ultra-micro diameter to provide improved durability without having to sacrifice flat-shooting speed. I put a lot of time into these shafts with the one purpose, to decide if this is really the shaft I was moving to. It did not take long for the INJEXION to prove itself through hundreds of shots at 60, 70 and 100-yards including one “Robin Hood.” This is definitely an arrow for the West’s longer distance shots and will be utterly devastating on eastern whitetails for hot, buttery pass-throughs that will leave the animal standing there trying to figure out what happened.