Any bowhunter that tells you KE is king - is either uniformed, misinformed or trying to sell you something.
Case Study - Why KE doen't Measure Arrow Penetration
“Cape Buffalo with a Baseball?” – In the late 1940’s, US military trauma surgeon Dr. Frank Chamberlin researched the theory of shock waves produced by bullets traveling over 2500 fps. The term used to describe the “wave” was Hydrostatic Shock and the formula used to measure the bullets potential “wave” was Kinetic Energy (KE). Dr. Chamberlin never used the KE formula to determine bullet penetration. Instead Chamberlin determined that KE killed through the hydraulic effect “shock wave” the was produced by a supersonic projectile. Hydrostatic shock killed by trauma to body cells not by hemorrhage from bullet penetration.
Incorrectly benchmarked in bowhunting, KE has absolutely no indication of penetration or for measuring the tissue destruction protentional of projectiles traveling less than 2500 fps - none.
On the other hand, Dr. Ed Ashby’s 30 years of arrow penetration research quantified momentum, arrow mass and forward-of-center (FOC) as true predictors of penetration at arrow impact. Ashby’s research especially holds true when heavy bone is encountered. Arrows and broadheads kill through laceration (hemorrhage) created by penetration - not hydrostatic shock. The deeper an arrow penetrates, the higher the chances of lethality and animal recovery.
This video demonstrates our point. The government of South Africa requires bowhunters to produce 80 ft/lbs of KE to hunt Cape Buffalo. A major-league baseball weights 2300 grains. Using the KE formula - 2300 grains x 147 fps (100 mph) = 114 ft/lbs of KE. Using the KE logic, any pitcher that can throw 100 mph is legal to hunt Cape Buffalo with a baseball.
Ask yourself, with that high of a KE number (114 ft/lbs), how far do you think a fastball will penetrate a Cape Buffalo?