[Ansteorra-archery] Archers Opinion? input please :)

Eadric Anstapa eadric at scabrewer.com
Wed Nov 16 10:14:01 PST 2005

David Ruff wrote:

> I am wondering if archers out there have an opinion about using other 
> woods then cedar for arrows. I make shafts in the 3 woods above and 
> its been my experiance after shooting all three woods that all of them 
> fly the same. Cedar seems to lose on the toughness part as dougfir and 
> ash seem to take abuse better.
> With the laws putting a tax on cedar shafts (wonder whos brillant idea 
> that was) it seems to me that cedar - while nice - is unnessasary for 
> a match set of target or hunting arrows.
> Whats your thoughts?
> Input please - good, bad or indifferent
> Ulrich

I have used Port Orford Cedar (really an aromatic Cypress and not a 
cedar at all), Chundo (Chundo is a marketing term as is simply a Native 
American word for lodgepole pine), Ash, Douglas Fir, and Sitka Spruce.  
Here are my thoughts.

We know the benefits of PO Cedar, it is lightweight, straightens easily, 
and  smells nice.  The downside is that is breaks easily.  Miss the 
target and hit the frame/stand and it will likely snap wright behind the 

Chundo is also lightweight and is tougher than cedar so ya dont break as 
many shafts.  However, my experience is that is doesn't stay straight as 
long, seems to be more sensitive to humidity, and is harder to 
straighten that Cedar but still not too hard.

Douglas Fir is heavier than the above but not too heavy and also 
stronger  .  It also seems to want to stay straight better than chundoo 
but seems to me to be even harder to straighten and get straight to 
begin with.

Ash is heavy and strong.  If ya need a heavy shaft to balance a heavy 
point then its a good choice and is a good choice for hunting arrows so 
ya get the penetration ya need.  Of course because of it's density is is 
harder to straighten.

Sitka Spruce I have grown to like the best.   Sitka spruce was used to 
build wooden airplanes because it has about the best weight to strength 
ratio of any wood.  It is very light and very strong.  It is also very 
uniform in weight.  It straightens easily and stays straight.  I love it.

Now as far as tax is concerned....

It doesn't just apply to Cedar, it applies to ANY arrow shaft of any 
material and also to lots of other archery equipment such as points 
broadheads, quivers, etc. 

The Federal Excise Tax (FET) has been around for decades.  The U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service describe Federal Excise Tax's role in the following 

"The Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act, popularly know as the 
Pittman-Robertson Act, was approved by Congress on September 2, 1937, 
and begin functioning July 1, 1938. The purpose of this Act was to 
provide funding for the selection, restoration, rehabilitation and 
improvement of wildlife habitat, wildlife management research, and the 
distribution of information produced by the projects. The Act was 
amended October 23, 1970, to include funding for hunter training 
programs and the development, operation and maintenance of public target 
ranges. Funds are derived from an 11 percent Federal excise tax on 
sporting arms, ammunition, and archery equipment, and a 10 percent tax 
on handguns. These funds are collected from the manufacturers by the 
Department of the Treasury and are apportioned each year to the States 
and Territorial areas (except Puerto Rico) by the Department of the 
Interior on the basis of formulas set forth in the Act."
 It is used to fund wildlife conservation , hunter education, etc.  It 
is one of the few taxes that you pay where the money is earmarked to go 
to specific programs.  The FET also applies to guns, ammo, some fishing 
supplies, etc.  There is somewhere around a 11% FET on almost all 
archery equipment that is to be paid by the manufacturer.  In the past 
this FET was only paid by domestic producers and imported good weren't 
taxed.  That changed and now imported archery equipment gets taxed as well.

If you make and sell bows or crossbows as a manufacturer then you are 
supposed to collect the FET and submit it to the government.  If you are 
not doing that then you are in violation of the tax laws.

In the past shafts were not taxed.  It was deemed that shafts alone were 
not a piece of archery equipment.  The needed nocks, and points, and 
fletches before there were an arrow  (broadheads are taxed separately).  
So often it was not until the completed arrow was assembled that a tax 
was payed.  This was why when you bought arrows from some places they 
would come complete except without points and the points just came 
loose.  These people where trying to get around the law by saying that 
they were selling you components rather than completed arrows.

If you make a sell completed arrows or bolts you should be collecting 
the FET and submit it to the government.  If you are not doing that then 
you are in violation of the tax laws.

Legislation last year changed some things.  First it got rid of the Tax 
on youth bows (the classified that as bows under 30#).  It also 
corrected things and started taxing imports as well so that the burden 
was not placed entirely on domestic arrow producers.  And, it changed 
the tax so that now there is a 39 cent tax on every arrow shaft.

If you make and sell arrow shafts then you gotta pay that 39 cent FET 
and submit it to the government.  If you are not doing that then you are 
in violation of the tax laws.

So, if you go buy simple doweling from the local lumber yard, or raw 
lumber regardless of what wood it is from, and make arrows from it, you 
just manufactured arrow shafts.  Keep them for yourself and there is no 
tax to be paid.  But if you sell them you are supposed to collect the FET.

Arrow shaft manufacturers complain about the new changes to FET because 
it puts all of the burden on them and substantially increased the cost 
of their products with a $4.68 FET applied to every dozen of raw shafts. 

Archery stores, distributors and anyone else who assembled the 
components into completed arrows may or may not like the change.  They 
were supposed to be collecting the tax all along.  However, many of them 
were not.  Now the cost of their raw shafts have gone up and it is 
eating into their profits so if you are a big distributor then you 
probably dont like the changes either.  But if you are a small shop that 
doesn't manufacture any raw components then you no longer have to bother 
with the FET since it has been paid before it gets to you.  In the past 
when you assembled and sold a completed arrow you were liable for 
collecting the tax.

Look at it this way.  If a completed dozen arrows cost $45 from a 
fletcher.  The old 12% excise tax that should have been collected would 
have amounted to $5.40  or  45 cents per arrow.     Now there is a 39 
cent FET on the raw shaft from the manufacturer  and the fletcher 
doesn't have to collect the FET.

Oh yeah,  did you notice earlier  that I said quivers were taxed.  Yep, 
thats right  if you make and sell a quiver you should be collecting the 
FET and submit it to the government.  If you are not doing that then you 
are in violation of the tax laws.
For the average Joe the price of arrows went up  because imported 
archery goods are now being taxed and there are fewer loopholes to get 
around paying the FET.  Personally I dont care because these funds are 
earmarked specifically for good programs and a portion of them come 
right back to my state every year in ways that I can see.


HL Eadric Anstapa
/eadric at scabrewer.com/ <mailto:eadric at scabrewer.com>

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