Rage 125 crossbow and a Matrix 380 Excalibur
First I wish to say this IS NOT a bash fest I desire to start. I am simply wanting to share some information in which I have learned through experience of 40 years of bowhunting, and shooting all types of bows.
I have always been a fixed blade guy, and have used many heads, and have been using Slick Trick 125 magnums out of my Excalibur Matrix 380. They are also my head of choice out of my compound--NO issues at all.
Well--last year I experimented, and used the Rage 125 crossbow extreme heads. I encountered no issues, and was able to take several deer using them out of my Matrix 380.
NOW--onto August 2016. As always I enjoy shooting all of my bows through out the years--not just hunting. As usual I had my Matrix out, and using the Rage practice head I fired two arrows/bolts into my Rinehart target aiming at two different dots. I was bench shooting, and at 20, 30, 40 yards--bullseyes.
I had it in my mind I was going to use the Rage heads again this year-UNTIL I had some surprises happen.
As I always do--I shoot the real broadheads to make very sure they will hit exactly where I want them to. So--off comes the Rage practice heads, and on go some brand new Rage 125 grain crossbow extreme heads. The first shoot-bam-dead center bullseye--great right-thats what one would want. I cocked, and loaded up again, and upon firing the arrow/bolt planed wildly-missing the target by at least four feet. I know this as I watched the leaves, and branches behind my target in the brush. I spent about 30 minutes until I located the bolt, and inspected it VERY carefully. I noted two sets of tabs broke off the shock collars instead of just one. I know full well how to align, and use the Rage products. SO--I continued shooting using stock factory bolts, and also several other bolts I made from 2219 aluminum at 20" to continue my shooting. I had several great shots hitting where I wanted, but I also had a total of THREE(3) more occurrences where the arrow planed wildly with the same noted shock collar issue.
What is happening is that the shock collars are breaking at the shot allowing the blades to no longer be retained--BAD--VERY BAD.
I have also experimented with other shock collars I have--same results. Last year I encountered NO--not one single issue like this.
What this has done to me is totally destroy my confidence in the Rage head. I am so thankful I did this prior to using them again this year to hunt. WELL--just this morning I tuned the Matrix 380, and am eating up the target at 20, 30, 40 yards using the trusted Slick Trick 125 grain magnum heads. These will be in the quiver this year once more.
It is VERY important for me to say--I am NOT here to bash the Rage product. It simply was, and is the wrong head out of, or shot from my Excalibur Matrix 380. In doing research I am not alone in my findings. Last year I had GREAT success using the Rage heads--thought I had found a head I loved. I admit--they definitely did their job on the deer I shot. Thankfully I did not encounter any issues, and I am VERY glad I did not. However in having the issues rear their ugly head while shooting in my back yard range I cannot in good faith continue to use the Rage 125 grain crossbow extreme head being shot from my Excalibur Matrix 380.
For me--the experiment is over. I will not be deviating from a proven fixed blade design in my equipment. I have never lost a deer using the Slick Tricks, and I do not intend to take chances. I mean NO offense, I am NOT bashing the Rage product in any way. It simply isn't for me. I am simply sharing information in which I feel would be valuable to others in the hope I prevent any grief, and disappointment with others using similar equipment as myself.
All my best to all, and may you take the buck of a life time this year.