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For 2011 Carbon Express released the Carbon Express Maxima Blue Streak arrows and shafts, claiming they are the most accurate hunting arrow in the Carbon Express line.  They are made with the patented Dual Spine Weight Forward technology and come in bare shafts or pre-fletched with Blazer vanes.

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

How to Measure Arrow Shaft Specifications

Carbon Express Maxima Blue Streak: Models, Price and Availability

The Blue Streaks come in two varieties: the basic version and the “Select” version.  Between the two versions there is only one spec differences; the Selects have a straightness tolerance of +/- 0.001″ while the basic shafts are +/- 0.0025″.  Both versions are available in three spine sizes and are available pre-fletched.

All versions come with inserts, nocks and Bulldog Nock Collars (even with the added weight, I really love these and they have saved many an arrow)

Size Weight Spine Spine Tolerance Outside Diameter Straightness Weight Tolerance
Bare Shafts (Blue Streak)
150 6.5 gr./in. 0.508” +/- .0025″ 0.284″ +/- .0025? +/- 1.0 grains
250 7.4 gr./in. 0.413” +/- .0025″ 0.290″ +/- .0025? +/- 1.0 grains
350 8.3 gr./in. 0.347” +/- .0025″ 0.295″ +/- .0025? +/- 1.0 grains
Fletched with Blazer Vanes (Blue Streak Select)

150 6.5 gr./in. 0.508” +/- .0025″ 0.284″ +/- .001? +/- 1.0 grains
250 7.4 gr./in. 0.413” +/- .0025″ 0.290″ +/- .001? +/- 1.0 grains
350 8.3 gr./in. 0.347” +/- .0025″ 0.295″ +/- .001? +/- 1.0 grains

 

A quick perusal of stores shows the shafts selling for $150-$160 for the basic shafts and about $170-$180 for fletched arrows.  The “Select” variety are going for about $5-$10 more for shafts or finished arrows.

Carbon Express Maxima Blue Streak: Weight Consistency

The actual weights for the dozen Blue Streak shafts under test are as follows for uncut shafts:

Weight
Shaft # grain
1 266.9
2 267.0
3 267.5
4 267.1
5 267.2
6 267.5
7 267.4
8 266.8
9 267.4
10 267.7
11 266.9
12 267.0

For this dozen, the weight tolerance came out to +/- 0.45 grains; with the stated tolerance +/- 1.0 grains so these shafts are well within the weight tolerance.

Carbon Express Maxima Blue Streak: Straightness

The stated specification for straightness on the shafts is +/- .0025″ for a total span of .005″

Straightness
Shaft # Total +/-
1 0.0035 0.0018
2 0.0060 0.0030
3 0.0050 0.0025
4 0.0030 0.0015
5 0.0025 0.0013
6 0.0070 0.0035
7 0.0045 0.0023
8 0.0035 0.0018
9 0.0030 0.0015
10 0.0050 0.0025
11 0.0040 0.0020
12 0.0030 0.0015

 

While overall the shafts are extremely straight, there were two shafts (2 and 6) that fell slightly out of tolerance on straightness.

Carbon Express Maxima Blue Streak: Spine Consistency

Carbon Express’s spec for spine for the Blue Streaks is +/- 0.0025″

Spine
Label 2 Opp Label 4 Total
352 351 353 351 351.75
354 353 352 353 353.00
353 354 354 351 353.00
351 352 351 351 351.25
352 354 352 353 352.75
353 361 352 354 355.00
353 354 353 351 352.75
356 356 355 354 355.25
352 353 355 353 353.25
354 356 357 355 355.50
353 356 357 355 355.25
351 352 355 351 352.25

 

There was a total difference of 0.004″ and a range of +/- 0.002″ across all of the dozen shafts; which is very impressive indeed!

Weight Forward Dual Spine Technology

According to the Carbon Express webpage:

Dual Spine Weight Forward technology is a breakthrough in arrow design that delivers unparalleled accuracy and performance. The fusion of two different carbon materials creates 2 spines in 1 arrow, resulting in rapid recovery and guidance control.

There has been a lot of questions and some controversy over exactly what this means.  In order to have a complete review, let’s take an in-depth look and some measurements of these shafts.

The shafts have very definite and distinct patterns of weave on the front and back of the arrow:

Carbon Express Maxima Blue Streak weaves

The back of the shafts have a much larger weave pattern that is about 9 1/8″ long from the back.  Under the arrow label the transitions occurs to the smaller, tighter pattern.  In theory the front section should weight more per inch than the back.  I took a 6.025″ section from the back (which is all I could get before getting to the label and I didn’t want the label to affect the outcome) and from the front and weighed them.  These sections were first cut then precisely ground with a F.A.S.T. tool to the exact same length:

Exactly the same weight which comes out to 8.2 grains per inch.  Each of these sections have only one of the weave types.  I decided that to be thorough I should weigh a larger section so I took larger section from the front and back and weighed them again.  This time the sections were 13 5/8″ and the back section included the label area.  Using a solvent I was able to remove all traces of the label.  Again:

Interesting!  Once again, the sections weigh precisely the same amount.  It appears that there is no difference in the weight per inch of the front vs. back and the shafts themselves do not contribute to any “weight forward.”

The Dual Spine testing was much more difficult.  In order to test the front vs. the rear spine, the normal span of 28″ and a 1.94 lb. weight could not be used.  At first I tried using a 14″ span on the front and rear, but could not detect a definite difference. I believe that was mostly due to the fact that the rear section of the arrow only has just over 9″ of different weave.  Next I tried measuring with the 6″ sections, but the deflection caused by the 1.94 lb. weight was minimal, though I did see a small difference.

I ended up taking the shaft portion to my work and using some specialized deflection equipment to do more testing.  In the end I was able to confirm my findings on the 6″ sections with my personal equipment.  The difference I ended up with across all test methods was about 2.2% difference, with the back being stiffer.  Unfortunately it’s impossible to put that into “arrow spine” terms because it’s not possible to measure across 28″ and use the proper weight.  I would like to have a full arrow of each of the different weaves for testing, but I don’t think that’s possible!

Shooting the Carbon Express Maxima Blue Streak Arrows

In the end what matters is performance.  I took the dozen test shafts and fletched them up with four Mini-Fusion vanes, cut them to 29 3/8″, installed the CE inserts and matched them up with 125 grain field points and broadheads.  This resulted in a 405 grain arrow with just under 13.5% FOC.  These were test shot mostly out of my Destroyer 350 at 30″ and 68 lbs.  The size 350 arrows tuned very easily and quickly out of my bow with both paper and bare-shaft tuning.

I have shot these arrows probably around a thousand times or more and I can honestly say they have been excellent.  There have been no problems with fliers or any erratic performance and my groups have been tight all the way to 80 yards without problems.  The shafts are definitely more fragile then the CE Mayhems that I normally shoot out of that bow, as evidenced by the two that I killed.  One hit something hard in a target at a public range, the other went through a target and took out some plywood along the way.

One thing that is very apparent about these arrows, they look good!  I love the very visible carbon weave pattern offset with the blue and white graphics.  The blue anodized Bulldog collars look extremely sharp on these arrows.  Over my time shooting them, I have received several compliments on how good these arrows look.  If you are “vane” about your arrows, these are some great ones!

Summary

Even though I was unable to show any weight forward results from my testing, I can say these are great arrows.  I could find no visible quality issues, they look great and the fly better.  The great consistency of these arrows makes them very accurate, much more so than I can certainly shoot.  They are definitely not the cheapest arrows on the market, but if you like tight specs and quality arrows, the Blue Streaks may be for you.

After my initial results in weight and spine testing, I did talk to Carbon Express about my findings.  With their suggestions I was better able to see the difference in spine, but as can be seen by my results, I saw no “weight forward”.  I will be contacting them again and will update this article with anything new and interesting.

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