I was in the market for some new arrows, since I was running low on my normal hunting arrows, Carbon Express Maxima Hunters. The RedHead arrows immediately looked similar to the higher priced Carbon Express models, so I did some investigation. The RedHead arrows have a Buff Tuff camo wrap on the front 2/3 of the shaft, which is the exact design of the Carbon Express arrows. This creates a forward weighted arrow, which transfers more energy upon impact. Bass Pro calls their design “Front of Center,” while Carbon Express states theirs is “Weight Forward” either way the fact is both arrows are front heavy. Both arrows utilize apparently the same “Buff Tuff” wrap, which is Realtree Hardwoods HD camo.
A check on shaft weight revealed that the Carbon Express Maxima Hunters weighed 8.0 (gpi) each in the 250 size and 9.0 (gpi) in the 350 size. Compare those numbers to the RedHead Carbon Max2 Hunters, which had a minuscule difference with the 250 size, weighing 8.1 (gpi) each, but the 350 size weighed the same as CE at 9.0 (gpi). The slight difference in the 250 size weight should hardly be noticeable, but we’ll confirm that later in the shooting tests.
Further investigation revealed that both brand of arrows had the same specifications as far as straightness and weight tolerance. Both the Carbon Express Maxima Hunters and the RedHead Carbon Max2 Hunters had an incredible straightness factor of plus or minus .0025 of an inch. Both arrows had the same weight tolerance of plus or minus 1 grain. These are the absolute highest standards in hunting arrows, thus it proves both shafts are composed of the best materials and have very little deviation between arrows resulting in the most consistent construction and flight from one batch of arrows to the next.
The only difference that was apparent between the two arrows was that the Carbon Express Maxima Hunters had their “Bulldog” nock collars at the rear end of the shaft, while the RedHead Carbon Max2 Hunters had the normal press fit nocks. The difference being that the CE arrows will not lose nocks, which does occur but it is rare.
Alright on to the actual range test. Since we were curious as to the flight quality of the RedHead vs. Carbon Express we tested them side by side. Since I had been shooting the Carbon Express 250 size arrows for several years my bow was already sighted in for them. I shot a dozen and they all grouped well with no “flyers”. Next, I shot twelve RedHead arrows and without any change in sights these arrows had the exact point of impact. I repeated the range test several times at distances up to forty yards and every time the arrows had the same point of impact. No flyers or erratic behavior in the RedHead arrows.
Additionally, the 350 size arrows were shot by Joe Frye, our web master. Here are his findings after field testing the heavier sized arrow. The RedHead Carbon Max 2 arrows fly as true as any arrow on the market. The FOC technology is amazing and can be seen by balancing the arrow on your finger. The factory glued fletching is clean and the standard 3 degree offset. The camo wrapping on the arrows is tight with no signs of a loose edge after 100 shots into a small layered foam target.
After well over one hundred shots, neither of us noticed any irregularities in the RedHead arrows. The Carbon Max 2 arrows performed flawlessly and gave both of us the impression that they will perform perfectly in the field. The Blazer vanes that our arrows came with were still properly glued on the shafts and the Buff Tuff camo wrap was still tight and uniform. The inserts were still square and properly anchored in the shaft.
Although we have yet to harvest any animals with the RedHead Carbon Max 2 arrows, it should be obvious these arrows stack up to the best premium arrow on the market. Normally, the RedHead Carbon Max 2 arrows sell for $129 a dozen, but currently Bass Pro Shops has them on sale for $99 dozen. That is a full fifty dollars less than the Carbon Express arrows. The age old saying normally rings true, except this time “You get what you pay for- for less”! Once again Bass Pro Shops and their RedHead line have proven that sportsmen can save a bit of money and have a quality product that will perform.