Re: going back to fixed broadheads?
I'm not going to get into a mechanical vs. fixed broadhead debate with the following information. I'm also not going to product push or persuade you to go with any particular make or model of broadhead, I'm simply going to give you some insightful information that will hopefully allow you to make an informed decision on what broadhead to choose. Here goes.
Much like anything else, when it comes to selecting a broadhead, first determine what species of animals you're going to be hunting with it. Secondly, determine what characteristics are most important to you (Sharpness, durability, cutting diameter, etc.) and how they match up to your particular bow set-up. (For example, if you have low KE, you don't want a huge expandable broadhead).
I've been a bowhunter for 10 years, and out of those 10 years, I've used mechanical broadheads for 8 of those years. I started out with Rocket Wolverines for 6 years which were the Over the top expandables then I went to Rocky Mountain Snypers, which were slip-cam expendables for 2 years.
After dealing with rubber bands and tinkering around with mechanicals for years, I wasn't happy with them anymore. I wanted to find the "Perfect Broadhead" that I could use on virtually any game animal. So in the summer of 2011, a friend and I started buying and testing out all kinds of broadheads, looking for ones that offered us everything we were looking for.
This is what we come up with;
<span style="color: #CC0000"><span style="font-weight: bold">In the G5 Broadhead line-up:</span></span>
These broadheads are manufactured using metal pellets that are melted down and poured into molds to improve density. There are 2 problems with that, 1.) High density means they're more susceptible to breaking than bending (Both are bad, but I would rather something bend and still be on my arrow vs. breaking off completely) and 2.) tiny air bubbles that may form inside of the mold will cause structural weakness.
What we found to be a huge problem with the G5 broadheads is they have a design flaw. Where the main body of the broadhead joins with the screw-in threads, that area of the broadhead is super thin. When your broadhead is screwed on, the insert is positioned directly overtop of this weak area and it will break very easily. This happened to my friend and I on deer during the 2011 hunting season.
<span style="color: #CC0000"><span style="font-weight: bold">Rage Broadheads:</span></span>
These broadheads are the rave with bowhunters and are either loved or hated, there is no middle ground. In my opinion, there are a lot of design flaws with the Rages. Those are, 1.) The main body of the broadhead is thick and that will impede penetration due to drag. 2.) The blades are long and thin. (Think about how much leverage and torque you can apply to something that is long and thin vs. something that is short and thick! Long and skinny means blades break, bend and deform because more toque and leverage can be applied to them. If your blades break and deform, you no longer have a functional broadhead!) 3.) To big of a cutting diameter. Most peoples bows really don't have the gusto to push 2"+ of cutting diameter through an animal and if you're only getting one entry hole in an animal and you're hunting from a treestand, the entry hole is going to be high on the body and a poor blood trail follows due to lack of a pass through and the subsequent 2nd hole lower in the body cavity.
<span style="color: #CC0000"><span style="font-weight: bold">Thunderheads and Magnus:</span></span>
The only problem I had with Thunderheads are blade retention. Sometimes when I would have the broadhead screwed on my arrow, 1 or more of the blades had a wiggle to it and I was nervous I would loose a blade.
Magnus broadheads, the blades were held onto the furrel of the broadhead via a screw. If the screw got loose, your blades could shift causing erratic arrow flight. They added length to the overall arrow and both Magnus and Thunderheads didn't supply me with enough cutting diameter.
<span style="color: #CC0000"><span style="font-weight: bold">Rocket Broadheads:</span></span>
I wanted to move away from over the top expandable broadheads. I deem that as 'dead technology' nowadays. Again, long narrow blades that were often dull was a huge deal breaker with me. I used them for the first 6 years of my bowhunting career, but I was new and didn't really know to much or give much thought into things like I do now.
<span style="font-weight: bold">Personally, the main reason why I moved to a fixed blade broadhead is because I didn't feel there was a mechanical broadhead on the market today, that was reliable, sharp, bombproof and could be used on a slew of different game animals. Simply put, I had/have no confidence in any mechanical broadhead on the market today. </span>
<span style="font-weight: bold">Which brings me to the "Heavy Weights". The broadheads with a huge following because they simply perform.</span>
<span style="color: #CC0000"><span style="font-weight: bold">Slick Tricks and QAD Exodus</span></span>
The Tricks and Exodus broadheads are, in my eyes, Perfection! Both designs are excellent for a wide range of game animals and both are fabulous in just about every category the savvy bowhunter is concerned with.
The Exodus and Tricks offer cutting diameters in the 1 1/4" cutting diameter range (Give or take 1/8" to 1/4" depending on model). Personally, I feel a broadhead between 1 1/4" and 1 3/4" cutting diameter offers the perfect blend of cutting diameter without sacrificing penetration.
Both the Exodus and Tricks come from the package razor sharp, fly extremely well from tuned bows and losing a blade isn't a concern with the way their blades are retained. It's nearly impossible to lose a blade due to blade retention (You can break one on bone or rock upon pass-through, but having one come loose isn't going to happen.)
There is a reason why the Slick Tricks and QAD Exodus have the following they do in the bowhunting world, and that's because these two heads, are without question, the real deal when it comes to putting critters on the ground. If you want to bowhunt deer with them, they fit the bill. If you decide to go bowhunt Moose someday, they'll fit the bill there too. I hunt a variety of game animals and I don't want to swap out my broadhead if I want to go somewhere to hunt. I know the Exodus or Tricks will do the job on just about anything.
The blades are short and thick, meaning torque and leverage cannot be applied to them as easily as long and narrow blades. That means breaking, bending and deforming is LESS LIKELY to occur. I've put 1 single Exodus through a black bear in New Brunswick, a doe last year here in PA and VERTICALLY though a does spine this year at 3 steps from my tree, and that head still looks like I just pulled it from the package. I sharpen the blades on my Gatco sharpener, and put it back into the quiver.
Hopefully, that gave you some insight and thigs to look for or consider the next time you go to purchase a pack of broadheads. Look at anything and everything with a skeptical eye and you can quickly begin to see what the real deals are.
<span style="font-weight: bold">In conclusion, these are the main points when considering a broadhead;</span>
1.) What game animal am I going to use it on. Some require tough heads, others (such as turkey) require large cutting expendables. Match the gear to the game.
2.) Blade Retention- Are the blades loose when I tighten the head onto my arrow? How are they retained? Can I loose one easily?
3.) Blade Sharpness- Self explanatory.
4.) Blade shape and design- Are these likely to bend, break or deform when torque and leverage are applied to them?
5.) Flight Characteristics- How well do they fly at EXTENDED RANGES. (Always shoot longer than you normally would when testing broadheads, the longer the shot, the greater the chance an error will expose itself.)
6.) Get the perfect blend of cutting diameter and penetration that your bow can handle. If it don't penetrate, who cares how big it cuts? Remember, that single entry hole will be high on the animals body if the arrow comes from a treestand!
7.) The 'Tinkering' Factor- If I have to look at my broadhead in the moment of truth to make sure a blade isn't prematurely deployed or If I'm worrying about it opening in flight and throwing my shot, it has no place in my quiver. Bowhunting is full of variables as it is, Im not going to introduce one into the equation. Especially in the area of broadheads because that means all the scouting, hard work, money, time and effort is about to payoff, my broadhead, the most important part of the equation shouldn't be the Achilles heel. Me executing the shot I worked so hard to get should be the only determining factor in success or failure, not a broadhead throwing my shot or worse, costing me an opportunity to shoot altogether due to a malfunction in the heat of the moment.
8.) If you remember anything, remember K.I.S.S.. That stands for, Keep.It.Simple.Stupid.
PS. As for mechanical broadheads go, My friend uses the NAP Killzone expandable broadheads. He put one through the shoulder blade of a buck last year and that head wasn't damaged at all. It was impressive! If for some reason I quit using QAD Exodus (Isn't going to happen, but if it did) I would probably shoot the NAP Killzones. They are pretty legit from what I seen my friend do with them.)
I often wonder,Why do people get mad, when you tell them the truth?
"You can't fix stupid!"