Should I be concerned about F.O.C.?
The simple answer is yes, but there are many factors to consider before deciding what your F.O.C. percentage should be. With the proper knowledge, you can make your own decision.
What does F.O.C. stand for? Front of Center. F.O.C. is the percentage of an arrow's total weight that is carried in the front half of the arrow.
Depending on who you talk to the sweet spot for F.O.C. percentage can vary pretty drastically, but the industry standard for hunting is in the 10%-15% range.
How does F.O.C. affect arrow flight? A high F.O.C. arrow will fly with better stability but it will lose trajectory quicker and start to nose-dive. An arrow with low F.O.C. will fly flatter for longer distances, but can fly erratically. It's pretty simple...you want the front end of the arrow pulling the back end of the arrow. This will give you the best arrow control and maximum penetration.
Important things to consider when you are deciding on your goal forward of center percentage:
1. Are you target shooting? Field points are more forgiving than broadheads. Your F.O.C. percentage can be on the lower end of the standard, which can help with trajectory.
2. Are you hunting small game? Again, you may not need a high F.O.C. percentage because it is easier to get a pass through on small game animals.
3. Are you hunting big game? A higher F.O.C. percentage is more critical for a lethal, ehtical kill on a big game animal. You need that mass and energy to pass through larger animals.
Undoubtedly, you have heard both sides of the F.O.C. debate. "I want my arrow to be fast and accurate. Shot placement is king." or "I want a super heavy, high F.O.C. arrow and I am willing to give up speed to know that I will get a pass through. Things happen and I am never guaranteed the perfect shot placement." There are extremes on both sides, but the bottom line is that you need to be concious of your F.O.C. and make sure your arrow is performing properly. Whether that be at 8% or 20% F.O.C.
Take a couple of hours and run some test arrows with varying percentages and make your own decision.
There is plenty of subject matter to find on the innerwebs...especially on YouTube. Just look up "Arrow FOC."
Calculating your F.O.C. is fairly simple. You just need a tape measure and a calculator. Here are a couple of links:
Great video to give you a visual on how to calculate F.O.C.: https://www.bowhunting.com/bowhunt101/understand-arrow-foc/
Simple arrow calculator: https://archerycalculator.com/arrow-front-of-center-foc-calculator/