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#4001947 - 04/16/10 Arrow weight VS speed
JJHACK Offline
Campfire Outfitter

Registered: 01/30/01
Posts: 7668
Loc: Touchet Wa. & Ellisras South ...
I was testing a bow today that has been used as the most successful hunting machine I've known in my life. There has never been a lost or wounded animal with this bow, and it's taken several hundred head of big game from Small deer and African Antelope up to American Bison in size.

Here is the data from my freshly back from the factory calibrated Chronograph.

This was with a 63lb Switchback 28.5" draw

330 grain arrow with 100 grain point 280fps
355 grain arrow with 125 grain point 270fps
375 grain arrow with 100 grain point 266fps
400 grain arrow with 125 grain point 260fps
417 grain arrow with 125 grain point 254fps
450 grain arrow with 125 grain point 244fps

I have killed big game with every one of these combinations. The majority have been with the 400 grain weight. I have strayed from that over the years but I always seem to come back to this combination.

When I see how pathetic the speed is with this compared what others are getting I feel embarrassed! like I'm shooting a kiddy bow. The 280fps seems good but it's with a light weight 330 grain arrow.

Is it worth going down in weight to 355gr to get to the 270fps speed? That is a 45 grain weight loss from the 400 grain weight.

What is worth more 45 grains of weight or 10 fps?
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#4001957 - 04/16/10 Re: Arrow weight VS speed [Re: JJHACK]
JJHACK Offline
Campfire Outfitter

Registered: 01/30/01
Posts: 7668
Loc: Touchet Wa. & Ellisras South ...
An interesting look at Foot Pounds of Energy here. I decided just out of curiosity to calculate this to see what it looked like. As a side note, let there be no doubt that 60fpe with a Slicktrick will kill any animal under 2000lbs without any problem at all.
-------------------------------------------------------------------
330 grain arrow with 100 grain point 280fps 57fpe
355 grain arrow with 125 grain point 270fps 57fpe
375 grain arrow with 100 grain point 266fps 58.9fpe
400 grain arrow with 125 grain point 260fps 60fpe
417 grain arrow with 125 grain point 254fps 59.7fpe
450 grain arrow with 125 grain point 244fps 59.5fpe
---------------------------------------------------------------------

It would appear that the 400 grain weight is the best combination for Energy with this bows draw weight and cam curve.

Also funny to me that it's the combination that shoots so well and has been the primary combination used for well over 100 big game animals( hunting and culling). Guess I should not have been surprised by what I already knew from experience, but it was a little surprise to see this work out with the math formula's as well.
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#4001996 - 04/16/10 Re: Arrow weight VS speed [Re: JJHACK]
SAVAGE14 Offline
Member

Registered: 03/04/10
Posts: 54
Loc: michigan,wayne county
your draw lenght hurts you . plus shot placement is more important than speed . think about recurvesand long bows

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#4002065 - 04/16/10 Re: Arrow weight VS speed [Re: JJHACK]
Tom264 Offline
Campfire Kahuna

Registered: 12/19/06
Posts: 21643
Loc: above you.....
JJ I personally think 400 grains is about the perfect weight in any speed for archery.

I myself shoot 417.? grains (I know what your saying, .?) yeah, I weigh all my arrows and broadheads to the tenth of a grain = anal...I know.

Anyway I shoot at 299-300 fps, never had a problem with blowthrough with any broadhead and would use this combo for any game I encountered with the exception of Africa big 5 and NA Grizzly.
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#4002573 - 04/17/10 Re: Arrow weight VS speed [Re: Tom264]
B_Lance Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 413
Loc: Out West- between liberal heav...
I'll always choose the heavier arrow-within reason.

With penetration being the critical factor and you always get better penetration with the heavier arrow...its simple for me.

Every accomplished bowhunter I know who has killed a pile of animals uses a heavier arrow [425gr+] And the funny thing is they ALL started out with light fast arrows.
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#4002679 - 04/17/10 Re: Arrow weight VS speed [Re: B_Lance]
JJHACK Offline
Campfire Outfitter

Registered: 01/30/01
Posts: 7668
Loc: Touchet Wa. & Ellisras South ...
My Glen Del buck is pretty new and I never shot from the back. So today I shot it from the back for a little off the cuff test.

I shot three weights ( 355-400-450) five times at 25 yards.

The deepest penetration 100% was the 400 grain arrow, then the 450 grain which was about 1.5 close to 2" less and then the 355 which was between 2" and 3" less.

All very close but it's again kinda interesting that the penetration meets the exact result of the calculated amounts of FPE. There is something really great about having seen this for many years and many dozens of animals. Then to drag out the tools, science and math with the calculations only to find that what I knew from experience was matched up with the engineering we have all been taught all along.
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#4003135 - 04/17/10 Re: Arrow weight VS speed [Re: JJHACK]
krp Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 01/05/05
Posts: 10542
Loc: arizona
The 400 grain arrow is spined the best, therefore hitting square the best, shooting the straightest, penetrating the most.

You are shooting 125s on all three.

put a 100 even 85 on the 355 and a 150 on the 450 and see if it will bring them into spine.

400 is not a magical number, just with that arrow spine, with the length cut and the 125 used.

Use an arrow that weighs 300 instead of 275 and add a 100 head, still 400 total and see if it shoots as well and penetrates as much.

you are most likely underspined on the 355 and overspined on the 450. Either means the energy in the arrow is not square behind the broadhead, losing penetration.

KE is dictated by poundage/energy. As you show, a difference in 35% of arrow weight only loses 5% of KE, not enough to worry about. The small percentage you gain in momentum from a heavier arrow will only be realized if the spine is correct on all compared weights.

This all relates to tuning issues people have because they buy a bow a set it at 70 lbs or whatever, cut arrows and buy a head weight. Then try to adjust nock and rest. Sometimes it's close and others it isn't because one of the three do not work with the other two for spine. You have three different weights that probably all were charted for your poundage and yet your numbers prove that it's just a start on spine and not an endall.

Spine effects arrow flight more than any other factor.

Kent

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#4003152 - 04/17/10 Re: Arrow weight VS speed [Re: krp]
CRS Offline
Campfire Ranger

Registered: 12/22/05
Posts: 2435
Loc: Black Hills of Dakota
When I did KE and momentum testing on longbows, recurves and compounds, without a doubt, every time I incresed weight, this lead to increased energy, and decreased velocity.

Started at 270gr and went all the way up to 1300gr. There are some flatter and steeper sections when I plotted the data. I attributed it to the changing in dynamic spine.

So I agree with krp above.
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#4004121 - 04/17/10 Re: Arrow weight VS speed [Re: CRS]
kenner Offline
Member

Registered: 01/02/09
Posts: 73
Loc: SoggyFoot, Oregon
"Pathetic speed"?.... What's pathetic is seeing 15-20" of penetration from these super-bows, at close range....

Go with the added weight. Shoot a narrow, cut-on-contact, two blade. Read the "trad" articles/forums and see what the other side is doing. We're shooting much heavier arrows at much reduced speeds and the arrows go right through and out the other side.

Arrow penetration: If there's a problem,there are several factors:

I. Too light of arrow. (425grains is a light arrow.) Stick with the old idea of 10-12 grains/pound. (500-550gr would be ultra-efficient with a 63# compound) I think "Uncle Ted(Nugent)" has even dropped his poundage down and will tell you that a 50# bow, with a two-blade broadhead, will get the job done... But then, every "50#" bow is different... it's about what speed the arrow leaves the bow.

II. Broadhead has too much resistive, or cutting surface/too steep angle and/or too many blades.

III. Poor arrow flight. Your arrow should look like a torpedo in flight, going straight towards the target.

If not, you need to tune your arrows by changing the head weight, the length, or the amount and angle of fletch.

(krp is spot-on!)... when you changed your head weight, you changed the way your arrow flew and how it entered the target. An arrow is a system, a bow is a system, the archer is a system,, and any change in this ecosystem, can do a lot of change. I'm glad you're asking the question!!.. It'll lead you to a whole new dimension of archery and obsession.

Broadheads require more fletch. They also can come off a rest differently. The height of your nock point will make a radical change in flight as well.

In order to get penetration, your arrow has to be going straight and not slam into the animal sideways. One needs a sharp, narrow broadhead, on a heavy arrow... One doesn't need speed.

Good shootin'.... Ken

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#4005780 - 04/18/10 Re: Arrow weight VS speed [Re: kenner]
CRS Offline
Campfire Ranger

Registered: 12/22/05
Posts: 2435
Loc: Black Hills of Dakota
Quote:
When I see how pathetic the speed is with this compared what others are getting I feel embarrassed! like I'm shooting a kiddy bow. The 280fps seems good but it's with a light weight 330 grain arrow.


JJ,
I hunt with a 60lb recurve and longbow, 600-620gr arrows, COC heads. (Magnus Journeyman, Eclipse, Bear super razorhead)

I use wood arrows painstakenly matched for spine and weight. I also like the skinny carbons like Beman MFX and Easton Axis with weight tubes for my desired weight.

The setups are tuned to perfection using the bareshaft/fletched method described on OL Adcocks website.

I know that neither of these setups are over 200fps.

I have to go back quite a few years to remember any animals I have shot that were not complete pass throughs. I also have to go back to the early 90's to recall the last shot I took over 20 yards.

IMO arrow flight is utmost importance to aid penetration.

As far as the embarrassed statement. I don't think you really mean that. Do you feel embarrassed using your plain jane 30-06 when someone else is using a magnum?
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#4005857 - 04/18/10 Re: Arrow weight VS speed [Re: CRS]
B_Lance Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 413
Loc: Out West- between liberal heav...
Penetration test on foam is not a good predictor on animals. Foam targets stop an arrow with friction on the shaft with a very different dynamic in actual animals.

I've done tests on some dead water buff to see the effect a very heavy arrow next to a light arrow shot from the same bow- no contest.

If all you are shooting is deer, its less of a factor. On elk, it makes a difference.
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"Most people have the will to win, few have the will to prepare to win."

Things turn out best for people who make the best of the way things turn out-Art Linkletter

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#4006200 - 04/18/10 Re: Arrow weight VS speed [Re: B_Lance]
JJHACK Offline
Campfire Outfitter

Registered: 01/30/01
Posts: 7668
Loc: Touchet Wa. & Ellisras South ...
CRS "embarrassed" was stated as tongue in cheek"

B_lance I know that foam is different as I wrote through the thread it was an "off the cuff" additional data point. However the consistency was identical for the arrow weights used. I only wanted a comparison between them. Never believed it was like checking meat and organs.
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#4006388 - 04/18/10 Re: Arrow weight VS speed [Re: JJHACK]
CRS Offline
Campfire Ranger

Registered: 12/22/05
Posts: 2435
Loc: Black Hills of Dakota
JJ,
I knew you weren't serious, that's why I called you on it. All in fun. You obviously have more than enough actual experience to know what works, and what doesn't. But what I like, is the fact you are always trying learn and make it work better.

If you want to learn more, I would suggest reading all the articles done by a gentleman with the name Dr. Ed Ashby. He has studied this exclusivley for many years. Much of it on African game.

He continues to study this issue to this day. His findings are enlightening.

The problem is the list of variables:

1. Different species and individual variations within that species and shot presentation/placement.
2. Is the animal moving at the shot.
3. Bow being used. Obviously higher KE = more penetration
4 Arrow material being used. Faster recovery, less energy lost at impact.
5 Shaft size being used. Smaller diameter pentrates better.
6. Weight of arrow. Heavier will pentrate better.
7. Broadhead design. narrower has more of a mechanical advantage. Easier to penetrate. COC head is easier to push through hide vs tipped or mechanicals.
8 Tuning/arrow flight of the arrow. Perfect arrow flight is probably the most important.
9 Distance of the shot impacts KE delivered.

There are lots of variables, many combinations will work.
But these combinations can be maximized for optimum performance.
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#4006412 - 04/18/10 Re: Arrow weight VS speed [Re: CRS]
JJHACK Offline
Campfire Outfitter

Registered: 01/30/01
Posts: 7668
Loc: Touchet Wa. & Ellisras South ...
I have no ego on this or anything else for that matter. I'll take advice to improve what I can do or to learn any trick I can.

I do have strong opinions on things I have seen dozens and even hundreds of times. Ego's are a bad thing to a mans future. Too big an ego means no more education.

I have been blood tracking game as you might imagine for decades. I've seen enough blood trails to quickly sort out most of them without effort.

About two weeks ago I was bow hunting texas with my Partner(girlfriend) and we folled a blood trail for about 100 yards where it ended abruptly and died.......? I stood and scanned the area and mulled over the next option. She had never done this before and stood next to me waiting on my directive. Then she said Maybe he turned around and backtracked over the same blood trail. Hmmm She is a lady that has never blood tracked before and yet blurted out some thought that popped in her head.
1) Laugh it off as being sooo cute from her to think this?
2) maybe she's right?

I ask her to slowly go back as she came and look on the left side for where the boar left, and I would take the right side. We found that the boar went in a big circle and was laying dead about 25 yards behind the end of his blood trail. So she had nailed this event perfectly. An Ego in that event could have led to hours of further searching or a lost hog. Although I would like to believe I would have found it by eventually backtracking it was quite clever for a novice to have had that opinion and then been willing to say it without fear of ridicule.

Don't ever let an Ego get in the way of your education or good advice!
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#4007590 - 04/19/10 Re: Arrow weight VS speed [Re: JJHACK]
kcnboise Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 11/21/04
Posts: 980
CRS mention Dr. Ashby's studies - here's a link to them http://www.tradgang.com/ashby/ . Read the first report for an overall discussion of momentum, kinetic energy, and penetration.

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#4009266 - 04/19/10 Re: Arrow weight VS speed [Re: kcnboise]
centershot Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 08/02/05
Posts: 2805
Loc: Southern Idaho
With the advent of Laser Rangefinders speed doesn't mean too much to me. Unless you shoot a lot of 3D's where catching a line once in a while helps your score, then a smooth quiet shooting bow shooting 400gr arrows in the 250-260 range is a very lethal combination. As for being slow, My recurve is shooting 165fps....

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#4009418 - 04/19/10 Re: Arrow weight VS speed [Re: centershot]
Fischer Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 02/12/08
Posts: 477
Loc: Lithia - Central Florida
.

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#4019863 - 04/23/10 Re: Arrow weight VS speed [Re: JJHACK]
B_Lance Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 413
Loc: Out West- between liberal heav...
Originally Posted By: JJHACK
I have no ego on this or anything else for that matter. I'll take advice to improve what I can do or to learn any trick I can.

I do have strong opinions on things I have seen dozens and even hundreds of times. Ego's are a bad thing to a mans future. Too big an ego means no more education.


Don't ever let an Ego get in the way of your education or good advice!


You have a very good attitude about this and I appreciate your openness. If my replies "sound" snide in any way that is not my intent.

In my many years of bowhunting I didn't start to appreciate heavy arrow until maybe 6-7 years ago. Back when I started hunting in the 80's I had good sucess with pass throughs until I switched to overdraw and shorter faster [and lighter] arrows. I still killed pretty much everything but looking back now, I realize the speedy setup was not as lethal. All of my longtime bowhunting aquaintances have gone through this same speed phase and now ALL shoot arrows on the heavy side.
It really became apparent on a waterbuff hunt [link;]
http://www.digitalpublisherpro.com/Magazine.php?member_id=2&pub_id=119&issue_id=375
My buddy had issues with a lighter setup and almost got a guy killed.

Multiple reasons for the heavier arrows inc. quiet with less string jumping, tuning etc. You really appreciate it when you make a bit of a high shot on something like a big boar and the arrow blows through both shoulders.

So bottom line, with me heavier is almost always better especially if you have a rangefinder. [I'm shooting Axis 300's with 125g Snuffer at 465gr]
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Things turn out best for people who make the best of the way things turn out-Art Linkletter

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#4020730 - 04/23/10 Re: Arrow weight VS speed [Re: B_Lance]
kenner Offline
Member

Registered: 01/02/09
Posts: 73
Loc: SoggyFoot, Oregon
So, JJ,, You've heard from the "old 'n slow", trad group. Compounds are so very efficient.. So take advantage of that. Go with a heavier arrow and make a good poke. But,, if you might be the slightest "curious".....

I understand wanting every arrow the same... I've made my own, ultra-spine tester and make each wooden arrow with exacting precision.... And I load each cartridge precisely, choosing the last piece of powder to make the exact charge.....

But really,, keep your yardages within 20-25yds,, and lob a slow, heavy arrow. Your forebearers didn't have your technology, or rangefinders..... Technology has taken us further from the true hunt and made it into a target shoot.

Wish I could find the pic of a longbow archer lying flat on the ground at full draw to send you and show others.... Really,, the simpler you get,, the simpler it gets... and the yardages shrink from 60yds,, to 16yds and 6yds.. Really! I've had deer at <10 ft,, elk under 10yds,, and coyotes in super close.. even know people with scars from coyotes that bit them, when finding out the "screaming bunny",, wasn't.

So.... Go simple and heavy. If you stay with the compound,, shoot feathers and shoot heavy and balanced/tuned. If you want to stray to "another way".... Welcome!!

Again,, so happy that you're asking the questions and have been pleased to see the respectful remarks left by others.

Good shooting,, and Have fun!... Ken

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#4020820 - 04/23/10 Re: Arrow weight VS speed [Re: kenner]
JJHACK Offline
Campfire Outfitter

Registered: 01/30/01
Posts: 7668
Loc: Touchet Wa. & Ellisras South ...
I've been an archer since I was ten years old hunting bunnies ducks geese squirrels and pheasants

I've always from the very beginning been very proud of the closest shots I have made. To me the archery hunt is about the "HUNT" not the shot. Under 20 yards should be a done deal and it really reflects the skills of the hunter.

The shots over 35-50 yards more seem to reflect the equipment and the shooter. I'm not a "shooter" I'm a Hunter. So the bragging rights in my book go to the close range archer not the long range skills of high dollar equipment and precision target accuracy. It's really hard for an animal to jump the string under 20 yards, far more common between 25-30 and up.

I whole heartedly agree with the range opinion you have offered. I will gladly study game patterns and behavior to figure out where to place myself in anticipation of their arrival, or by stalking to within the range needed for a shot. Archery is about the hunt for me, not so much the shot. I enjoy shooting at 50 yards, makes the 20 yard shots feel simple! But I rather doubt I will be launching arrows anytime soon at game that far.

My furtherest shots in my life on game have been several elk in the 30-35 yard range, and the longest shot of my life was 38 yards on a Mtn Lion. Never shot a hog, deer, or bear over 30 yards with my bow. Also never shot any African animal over 30 yards. I should also add that I have never lost an animal that I have shot. So the close range pride in hunting skills have always put me into the best range I can be successful at.
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#4049529 - 05/02/10 Re: Arrow weight VS speed [Re: JJHACK]
Hunter333 Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 03/24/08
Posts: 441
I really enjoy this topic. I always bought into the heavier the better b.s. up until about 4 years ago. Like someone else stated the correct arrow spine matched to the length of the arrow and the weight of the head is the key.
I have been shooting extremely light arrows 5.5 grains per inch at 29" with a 75 grain broadhead with a draw weight of 62 lbs.at 325 fps. I have taken my share of whitetails with this combination and never have I not got a complete pass thru.

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#4049891 - 05/02/10 Re: Arrow weight VS speed [Re: Hunter333]
Razkul99 Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 08/16/07
Posts: 478
Loc: Utah
What you are referring to is finding the most appropriate arrow spine(stiffness) and foc(rest/balance point) which essentially ensures the fewest shaft oscillations and least sporadic arrow flight.

Because stiffer(overspined) arrows are better suited to accept higher levels of energy transfer generated by compound bows, overspined arrows perform/fly much more efficiently than underspined arrows. Given the information you provided, you are likely underspined but to know for sure, we would have to know exactly what arrow you are shooting.
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#4050063 - 05/02/10 Re: Arrow weight VS speed [Re: Razkul99]
AlaskaCub Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 01/12/06
Posts: 5474
Loc: Temple, TX
I think it all depends on what you hunt. I have killed whitetails,turkey,black bear, moose, dall sheep,and caribou with a bow. None of the critters up here will duck or jump a shot. I shoot arrows that weigh well over 500 grains because I want penetratiion for Alaska animals, and my bow has a draw eight of about 72lbs. But I have to say that whitetails have done some crazy shiznit to me with a bow in hand. If I were hunting wiley whitetails, I would want the fastest and quietest bow/arrow combination that shot well. But for larger animals with bigger vital areas and not quite the cat like agility to avoid an arrow, penetration is key. We regularly shoot animals with a bow up here at or past 50 yards. A buddy whacked a Grizzly at 62 yards with an arrow that weighed near 600 grains and was being pushed by a 70+lb draw weight. Heavier arrows tend to stabilize (read buck the wind) better than lighter arrows , and also tend to be more forgiving. All depends on what your hunting me thinks.

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#4051779 - 05/03/10 Re: Arrow weight VS speed [Re: AlaskaCub]
JJHACK Offline
Campfire Outfitter

Registered: 01/30/01
Posts: 7668
Loc: Touchet Wa. & Ellisras South ...
Agreed white tails are a soft fragile easily killed animal, much like a Kudu in Africa. However use the same kit on Wildebeest or Elk and you will learn in a hurry the difference in the weight VS speed decisions.

Of course there are people who have killed all kinds of game with light fast arrows, but that does not mean to me that it is a consistant killer as a heavier slower arrow.

One interesting thing I know for a fact is that under 30 yards the difference between a 335 grain arrow and a 440 grain arrow point of impact is not even worth the time to consider a change. If you're feelings about archery being a close range effort are like mine then you really have no need to use anything ultra light weight.

I frequently have a selection of arrows and points that range from 335-355-380-390-400-410-435-440 grains and the only single difference I know for sure is the sound of the shot. Every arrow I shoot under 380 grains causes such a loud release that they actually scare me as if something on my bow broke or came loose.

The 390-410 grain weight is so quiet and fly so well that its hard to find a really good reason to shoot anything lighter. The victory arrows are light and spined perfectly, but make a hella loud limb/cable noise when I release.
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