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What the eff is FOC Weight? Plus Archery Acronyms

The first time you hear an experienced archer say the words "FOC Weight" you might think they are using a bad word that starts with F.

They're not. Its just an acronym.

FOC stands for "Front of Center" and its weight refers to the weight of the arrowhead on the arrow and where the arrow's balancing point should be.

Arrowheads are largely interchangeable and different weights of arrowheads are better for shooting different distances, depending on the type of bow you are using. Higher weight target arrowheads are often used by archers who also do hunting, because hunting arrowheads tend to weigh a lot more - and thus they need to practice using the heavier arrowheads.

Arrowhead weight is measured in Grains.

Thus you can get arrowheads in 50 grain, 75 grain, 100 grain, 125 grain or 150 grain. There are many more size than those I am listing here. Most beginner archers use a lighter grain. Experienced archers don't get into experimenting with different grains until they've been doing archery for a few years already.

[1st NOTE - If you don't like experimenting you can also try just measuring. On a 30 inch arrow the balancing point of the arrow should be 12 inches from the tip of the arrow. At that location you should be fine for most of the things you do archery wise. Only people who are trying to get an extra edge should worry about finding the perfect FOC Weight for their arrow.]

[2nd NOTE - A handy rule of thumb, on a 30 inch arrow the optimal balance point will be approx 30 cm in from the tip. On a 29 inch arrow it will be 29 cm. On a 34 inch arrow, 34 cm. Basically the ratio of inches to cm is almost exactly the ideal balancing point. It will be off ever so slightly (by like an eighth of an inch) but the difference is negligible. So if you want to calculate the balancing point very quickly just get a measuring tape or ruler that has both inches and cm.]

But lets pretend for a moment that you have been doing archery for a few years. How do you experiment with it?

Well, the truth is you have to be really scientific about it. My recommendation is taking 12 of your favourite arrows (that are all the same size, correct length for your draw) and then buy 12 arrowheads of 3 different sizes (eg. 50, 100, 125) and then experiment at your local archery range with the different arrowheads and record each round the quality of your shots.

For best results use a scoring method with the target, possibly even standard archery competition scoring.

Try different ranges of distance too. See which arrowheads work best depending on the distance.

Watch out for fishtailing arrows. If your arrow is doing that often then that means you are using the wrong weight of arrowhead. Your end goal is to get good distance and accuracy with your arrows with very little fishtailing.

In short, just keep experimenting until you determine which arrowheads work best for you. You can read more into FOC Weight on other websites, I am just doing a generic posting for now to explain what FOC Weight is.


ASA - Archery Shooters Association

ATA - Archery Trade Association

BH  - Broadhead (Arrowhead that is wider)

BP - Bullet Point (Arrowhead)

BT - Back Tension

CS - Compound Shooter

DL - Draw Length

DLDW - Draw Length and Draw Weight

DW - Draw Weight

FITA - International Archery Federation (English name), the French name is Federation Internationale de Tir a l'Arc.

FP - Field Point (Arrowhead)

GPI - Grains Per Inch (measurement of arrow weight)

IBO - International Bowhunting Organization

IOC - International Olympic Committee

NEWB - Not an actual acronym, just means someone who is New to the sport.

NFAA - National Field Archers Association

RED or LED - Right Eye Dominant or Left Eye Dominant

RH or LH - Right Hand or Left Hand

TJFA - Tree Jumped in Front of my Arrow

TS - Traditional Shooter

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