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piledriver_smallFor 2010 Carbon Express has introduced three new hunting shafts: the Mutiny, PileDriver and Mayhem.  This review will take a look at the PileDriver and shortly another will cover the Mayhem.

Carbon Express sent a dozen of the standard PileDriver shafts for analysis and testing.  The first thing that struck me about the shafts is the immaculate finish.  According to the Carbon Express website the PileDrivers are finished with a special clear coat that adds durability.  Whatever the case, the arrows look extremely nice with the clear coat and green graphics.  The PileDrivers also come standard with Bulldog Nock Collars and matching nocks.

The hunter version of the PileDrivers has an added camouflage layer to the front half of the arrow to add a little weight and beef up the FOC.   PileDriver Hunter 450s are the heaviest of Carbon Express arrows and come in at a hefty 13.6 grains per inch for those people that want that extra “unf” on big game.

For an explanation of how all measurements for this review are made, see the following articles:

How to Measure Arrow Shaft Specifications

How to Destroy and Arrow (in the name of science!)

piledriver2

Carbon Express PileDriver Models, Price and Availability

The PileDriver comes in two main models, the standard and the hunter.  The basic differences is a camouflage paint job on the hunter version that adds a bit of weight.

PileDriver gpi Spine Diameter
250 9.7 0.412” 0.298”
350 10.4 0.345” 0.301”
250 Hunter 10.4 0.402” 0.304”
350 Hunter 11.3 0.345” 0.308”
450 Hunter 13.6 0.300” 0.318”

All PileDrivers carry the same tolerance specifications regardless of model:

Straightness Weight tolerance Spine tolerance
+/-.005” +/- 1 grain na

The PileDrivers are a relatively new arrow to the market and haven’t quite made it to all archery shops yet, but I was able to find them at the majority of online shops.  There was a pretty big variance in costs per dozen:

Shaft Arrow
Standard $80-$96 $90-$106
Hunter $90-106 $100-$116

piledriver_nocksCarbon Express PileDriver Shafts: Weight

Grains Variance
1 329.573 -0.872
2 329.697 -0.748
3 330.067 -0.378
4 330.175 -0.270
5 330.283 -0.162
6 330.391 -0.054
7 330.515 0.070
8 330.546 0.101
9 330.793 0.348
10 330.839 0.394
11 331.317 0.872
12 331.317 0.872
Average 330.460
Median 330.445

As a mid-range shaft, the PileDriver holds excellent weight tolerances.  With +/- 0.872 grains measured on the dozen I tested; they are easily under the  +/- 1 grain spec.  There were no major outlaying shafts; they were all quite evenly spread throughout the range.  The measured dozen had a grains per inch of  10.725 which is slightly higher than the 10.4 stated on the website.  As long as this number is consistent across all different dozens, it’s not an issue.  In fact, it would be welcome by many hunters that are looking for a heavier arrow.

Carbon Express PileDriver Shafts: Inside and Outside Diameters

All of the PileDriver shafts tested had an exact inside diameter of 0.243″.  The outside diameter measured 0.301″  for nine of the shafts and 0.3015″ for three shafts.  Half a thousandth difference across all the shafts is excellent and nothing to “split hairs” over.

Carbon Express PileDriver Shafts:  Spine Consistency

Label Side 1 Opp. Label Side 2
1 311 312 311 311
2 312 310 312 310
3 312 312 313 314
4 312 311 311 313
5 312 311 313 314
6 313 312 313 311
7 313 312 312 311
8 314 313 312 314
9 315 312 313 314
10 316 317 318 317
11 318 317 318 317
12 318 317 318 317

While the PileDriver shafts do not have a spine consistency tolerance, which may lead you to believe they wouldn’t be very good, they had a maximum difference of 0.007″.  Once again, for a mid-range shaft, these are excellent numbers.

piledriver3Carbon Express PileDriver Shafts:  Straightness

Straightness
1 0.0020
2 0.0025
3 0.0030
4 0.0035
5 0.0040
6 0.0045
7 0.0050
8 0.0055
9 0.0055
10 0.0075
11 0.0075
12 0.0075

Carbon Express’s straightness specification calls for +/- 0.005″ for a total span of 0.010″.  The measured values were all well within this range and the worst shafts bested the spec by 25%.

Straightness
1 0.0020
2 0.0025
3 0.0030
4 0.0035
5 0.0040
6 0.0045
7 0.0050
8 0.0055
9 0.0055
10 0.0075
11 0.0075
12 0.0075

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