Contributors to this thread:
First Broadhead Choice
I'm showing up late tp the bowhunting party at age 46, but better late...
I started shooting a bow because my kids take lessons after school and you can't just let kids have all the fun. I just kid of got into it and decided this is the year to start hunting with it.
Im shooting a Diamond SB1 and I can put 6 field points into a softball size out to 30. Not great but better than I thought Id get.
The question is broadheads. I want simple and effective. Was really thinking about Cabelas Lazer Strike2. Good reviews and good price.
Save yourself alot of time, money, and aggravation...pick up a pack of Slick Trick Viper Tricks, and you'll never look back. Good luck and welcome to the wonderful world of archery & bowhunting!
Or even better skip the tricks and get qad exodus!
Honestly, just about every BH on the market will kill a deer as long as you do your part. When I first started bow hunting my cousin would buy the craziest one available for me to try each year. That's right, I have killed deer with Brax, atom, toxic, Grimm Reapers and grave diggers. Some worked better than others but at the end of the day, they all will kill. I think you will find that people swear by brand 'x' or 'y', but imho what is at the end of your arrow is a whole lot less important than your ability as a hunter to wait for a good shot and stick one through the vitals. If they are a good price, yes you should buy them.
Find someone local to help you get set up right. Best of luck!
If you are using the hostage rest I advise going with a mechanical head that flies similar to a field point. That rest, imo, is extremely hard to tune for a fixed blade broadhead
Charlie has the best advice! Find a bowhunter nearby to help mentor you a little as you get started.
I like " Low Profile " broadheads.. That is broadheads that are maybe 1 1/8 to 1 1/4 inch wide.. Always found them to fly the best, with 2 inch vanes , or so... That being said, what flys best out of one rig, might not be as good for another, considering all things. ( vanes, arrows, poundage, bow, etc:)...Your on the right track by reading reviews about BH...and the more questions you ask on sites like this, the more you will learn, and it's Free.....Good Luck..
Love the QAD EXODUS swept blade heads. Awesome.
Just got my viper trick they do me a good job
I have yet to ever tune a bow that I couldn't get slick Trick standards to shoot well from.
I'm with carcus and Barrera, QAD exodus. My son shoots them out of a low poundage bow. He's had fantastic results.
I shoot rage 2 blade 125's out of a 72lb bow and I love them.
Eskimo 125 grain 4-blade has worked for decades.
Try to find one that hits with your field points without having to adjust your sights or rest. I've had good luck with Muzzy 4 blades , Magnus Stingers. Muzzy heads are a great bargain as well.
I've always had great success with my NAP Thunderheads.
I would recommend not using a mechanical head if you are shooting less than 60 pounds. If you are shooting 60 pounds or higher, the Cabelas heads you mentioned should work great. They are a good head.
Check out WASP and Slick Trick fixed broadheads product lines. For me they fly like darts hitting the same spot as similar grain field points. Depending on bow poundage you may have to stay away from mechanical broadheads.
I shoot the same mechanical for 95% of my hunting. But the same qualities that are a benefit to flight also hide tuning issues. I think it's wise to pick a quality fixed head, that matches your hunting conditions and animal, then get your bow and your form tuned to have that head hit with your field points.
Since a broad head likely costs less than your snacks for the day, it's not the place to penny pinch.
Appreciate the replies.
The fixed vs mech issue is pretty tough to figure out as far as which way to go. I've read numerous times various draw weight rules of thumb, but the problem is these are all over the map. 50, 55, 60, ect and the manufacturers don't seem to say a lot about it.
Obviously, the reason I like the mech option is the reports of them flying like field points. There seems to be a LOT more issues tuning fixed and finding a fixed that flies right.
My bow has been set up and paper tuned by the shop and I intend to have it paper tuned again before buying broadheads.
I guess the reason I'm seeking opinions rather than "just asking the shop" is that when the only tool you have is a hammer... The shop's answer will no doubt be "this brand that we carry right here..." Nothing against being in business to sell stuff, but want at least a little broader sense of recommendations rather than one guy at the shop.
Finally, I get that broadheads aren't the place to penny pinch, but then again what part of bowhunting would everyone agree IS the place to penny pinch? You see my point? Is it impossible that a $7 broadhead could fly as well as a $15 or $20 head?
A two dollar head may fly as well as fifteen dollar head It's what happens when you hit your target that the difference maybe noticeable
" the reason is they fly like field points" well will so many other cut on contact heads, if you have a tuned bow..... honestly I never had problems getting anything to shoot, I really have not, from slick tricks to the large Razor Caps....... get to a good bow shop, get the bow tuned, learn how to tune it......
work with someone locally,,,,,,,, as for myself, I like the 125 grain Wasp, but there are lots and lots of good heads
good luck, and welcome to the club
asking a question like that is like asking, Chevy or Ford? you will get great arguments for both.
It was simple for me, I bought a bunch of broadheads and tried it for myself. After many different types, both mechanical and fixed. I narrowed it down to Slick Trick and Wac'em.
Both are deadly accurate and solid heads. I like them both. Currently shoot the Wac'ems since they fly just slightly better out of my current setup.
Zwickey Eskimo, Bear Razorhead, Muzzy 4 blade are the three I have had the best luck with. The Muzzys are only 1 1/4-1 1/8" but plenty big enough to do the job (115 or 125 gain). One tough broadhead for replaceable blades.
Like a lot of guys di d the "mechanical" experiment, not likely to go that route again.
Aussie made Outback Supreme's
VPA, check them out. Easy to sharpen and very durable. You will not be disappointed.
This year for my main go to head will be the Slick ViperTricks... Been using the Slick Trick series of heads for many many years... all Fly Good, but since they Discontinued my favorite the RazorTrick, I'll use the Viper this season ... in tuning/testing it has been super accurate, and with it being a Slick, I know it will be sharp ..
Do you prefer mechanical s or fixed?
Who ?? ... Me, I like 'em both, I use both for deer, but lean slightly towards Fixed ..... I'll use both this season .. ViperTrick and Steelhead (or the XL version) ...depends on how I feel on any given day ...
I'll chime in and recommend any broadhead by Magnus. The stinger line is fairly low profile, penetrates well, and fairly easy to tune. When it comes to penny pinching, keep in mind that the magnus heads are about $8 each and have a lifetime warranty. If you damage/dull/break a magnus head all you have to do is send it in (or several of them) to Magnus and they will replace them with new heads; your only cost is the shipping cost to magnus.
Pick 5 bh that appeal to you and research them.
VPA fan here, but there are dozens and dozens out there equally effective.
More useful advice...watch your fingertips. I've seen noobies and crusty veterans alike slice a fingertip clean off because their grip extended their fingers a bit too far and a blade clips them at the shot. Saw my dad do when I was about 5 years old and it scarred me for years.
It's a bit difficult to be a newbie these days with all the crazy options. Go into any box store or pro shop and you'll likely only find arrows that are straight fletched with 3" vanes nearly begging to be combined with mech heads. Add that to the speed that bows are achieving now and tuning a bow for a novice can become a nightmare. Certainly different from when I got into bowhunting back in the 70s. I wish you luck. As far as broadheads go the easiest to tune in the replacement blade category that I've found are Slick Tricks. Plus, they are tough! There are many other great options and I've not shot or had clients shoot each and every brand but the STs have been great for me.
VPAs are great penetrators, tough heads, reusable on multiple animals so long as you don't lose the arrow, and they're super easy to sharpen.
I am a huge fan of the Slick Tricks. Every BH they sell will kill any animal you want to shoot and are tough as nails. They come razor sharp and are perfectly straight. I spin each one on an arrow straightener and have never had the slightest wobble.
If you havenot tried our black hornet/black hornet ser razor give them a try, they fly great and they make a hole. .060 thousands main blade. thanks
If a broadhead doesn't fly like a field point it is inherently and severely flawed by design.
I shot Magnus 4 blade stingers and stinger buzzcuts when I shot wheels. With my recures: Magnus 4 bladr stingers and Bear Razorheads.
My brother like 3 blades. He shot some Cabelas brand similar to the CLP, may be the same thing. It killed them but the broadheads were junk, the replaceable blades were crazy thin and just would not stay on when penetrating a deer. I finally got him to shoot Magnus snuffers and the trail was great. If the deer wouldn't have broke the arrow the broadhead probably could have be reused but couldn't find it.
The woodsman broadheads from 3 Rivers are a good alternative to Magnus Snuffers.
I have no real experience to fixed. I think they are quite a bit weaker againt bone. But you get a larger cutting diameter: better blood trail potential and insurance in case of a gut shot. One thing to consider: our deer check in station is also a butcher and also bowhunts: they have to cut more meat away due to the extra brusing from the larger cutting diameter. Less ground meat in the end.
Woops, last paragraph, first sentence.
I have no experience with EXPANDABLES.
VPA, check them out. Easy to sharpen and very durable. You will not be disappointed.
Dropped with in 50 yrds
Dropped with in 50 yrds
My first and only choice is the magnus black hornets aweasome penetration and great blood trail fly rite with my field points
Slick Trick mags this year
30 guys & 30 different comments saying use these. What Charlie Rehor said if you have a local "decent" bowhunter to get info from. Me, 60 years of bowhunting with a 3 blade fixed. Always fly great with little or no tuning. MUZZY has proven itself tons of time on just about any biggame we have access to. About $40 for six. I've used 3 blade fixed Rocky Mountains over 40 years now (no longer made) 8 family members used 3 blade fixed too. Good luck & welcome to new adventures..
Magnus Stinger Buzz Cuts are the best I have used in 35 years of bowhunting. They fly like my field points, American made and have a Lifetime Warranty.
those are good heads, that is for sure
Like many have said already, any well built broadhead put in the right place will do the job. I personally would give another vote to the Magnus Buzzcuts. They fly just like my field points with very good penetration and they are a fixed head! To answer your questions about fixed vs expandable: Please don't use expandables on elk or other larger game. I have seen expandables not open on elk, using a fixed head will eliminate any chance of that happening.
I buy broadheads with the intent of only using it once.
So far Bear (Razorhead), Muzzy, Wac'em, Montec, VPA, and Swhacker have all killed equally well. This year I will add Slick Trick Standards to the list.
HDE - why the mentality of "only use once"? Wouldn't a better built head capable of many kills over and over be a better choice from start to finish, from entrance to exit? Doesn't crumple on bones - rather it splits them? Doesn't contribute to energy loss? The VPA, Montec, Magnus Stinger/buzzcutt/black hornet by my logic, are the better choice provided that shot placement is the #1 priority (as with any BH).
Just tried out a Red River R1 in 125gr. today. Good looking head and flew great. Will need some on the quiver on my next hunt.
Grouse - There are as many good heads as hunters today. Many have been noted, like Slick Tricks, Wasp, NAP's full lineup, Magnus, etc. Amazing heads for sure.
You will find, for sure, that the fixed v mech debate is never ending. And point blank, there are a bunch of awesome mech heads today too - Grimm Reaper, Wasp, NAP, Rage, etc all make amazing heads.
Tuning is not as brutal (most of the time) as is often thought. Hit up google for the Easton Tuning Chart, and search here or YouTube for "Walk Back tuning". You can do those on your own, gain skill with your bow and a better understanding of how it works - you will develop competence, and with it, will come REAL confidence in your ability and knowledge of your weapon.
That said, if you are shooting a good deal of energy (I like the 60# +) mentality for big mech heads - someone mentioned that above as well.
So, if I'm saying a mech head is good, why do I note tuning? because even if mech's fly "like a field point" putting a great tune on your bow will help you shoot it best overall - so you should tune it as well as possible - mech or fixed.
Have fun getting into it all this year!
"...why the mentality of "only use once"?"
Jack - because I may not recover the arrow and broadhead after the shot for whatever reason. If I get to use it again, then that's a bonus. So normally, if I can buy 4 of brand 'X' for the price of 3 of brand 'Y' knowing that X will kill as good as Y, then I'll buy X all the time. I have lost arrows completely from misses and passthroughs both.
Guess I should've said "at the risk of getting to use it once" instead of intent...
"at the risk of getting to use it once". When it comes to BH's , I have learned over the years to minimize risk as much as possible. At one time or another, I have seen hinges, replaceable blades and weak ferrules fail... I definitely advise using strongest, toughest BH with least points of failure... A head you can practice with and sharpen yourself (sharper than factory) so that you minimize risk on accuracy, and risk on impact.
As I said, I've lost heads due to misses and passthroughs (getting lost in the underbrush). Structural integrity has or had nothing to do with it, nor would it ever in those cases.
However, instead of only having two left out of the pack, I have three. Now in the case of last year, I recovered the head, resharpened and put back in the box. And yes, it was a VPA solid.
g5 Montecs will always have my vote. Simple, accurate, no moving parts.
I have been using Magnus 125gr stingers and buzzcuts,4 blade and 2 blade since I started bowhunting 10 years ago,cant say enough good things about them. From their awesome customer service, lifetime warrenty no questions asked free replacement,they fly just like my field points and leave great blood trails. Plus the added bonus of supporting a business in my own home state of Kansas!
As you can see you will get many, many different broad head recommendations. I have enjoyed superb success using Wasp Boss SST 3 blade fixed broad heads. They fly extremely well, are bomb proof tough and the blades are hair popping scary sharp. Although not difficult, setting up your arrows to shoot broad heads well requires you do a few things and doing a Goggle search for "how to set up your arrows for broad heads" should give you the information that you need to be successful. Unless your arrows are set up correctly with broad heads, it is an utterly pointless waist of time trying to shoot them, not to mention frustrating in the extreme. If your bow needs tuning you should also find all you need to know again on websites like this one. I strongly advise you do some research tuning for broad heads prior to sighting in with them so you will be best able to interpret any issues that may arise and how to fix them. Best of luck.
Vortex Broadheads www.vortexbroadheads.com
Here is bryan dickess with his cape buffalo taken with a 125 grain Magnus Stinger down in less than 40 yds.
Check out the new head on the block. Iron Will outfitters, you won't be disappointed in the product at all.
Charlie has the best advise, work with someone local and also try shooting as many different broadheads as possible some will fly and some may not. Fine the one that fly's best for you and you like the looks of and price. With that said IMHO you can not go wrong with anything from the Magnus selection of heads.
Magnus, lifetime warranty and they can be resharpened. Amazing heads, VPA are also a great choice. I think its the most important thing you can buy. It is what will kill the animal.
Here are a bunch of fixed heads that I have used that fly great, and are tough and dependable. In no particular order: VPA, Innerlock, Steel Force Phatheads, Slick Tricks, Magnus Stingers, Muzzy 100gr, Muzzy MX-3, Muzzy MX-4, Thunderheads. I may be missing some. All, I repeat, ALL of the above are good heads. I wouldn't hesitate to send any of them into an animal. This year I also have a pkg of QAD exodus that I would like to drill into an animal that I have full confidence in. Tune your bow, and then shoot what you feel like, but there are a lot of good choices out there. For a replacable 3 blade, I'm always surprised the Innerlocks aren't more popular. They fly really good in my experience and are a touch more forgiving than a Muzzy per say. Phatheads are COC and wicked tough, anyways you get the point. Lots of good choices.
Dead ringer 2" 2 blade rampage all the way
Lots of info here, most of it I agree with. I like simple. You don't have to buy what your shop recommends, I don't (they are rage fanboys) but I do buy from them and value their input. As also mentioned, find someone nearby to learn from/with. Aim Small,
Seriously, buy a head that is known to spin test well, put the ones you buy on your arrows and spin test them for true build, pick one and ensure it hits exactly like your field points, then go shoot something. That's something all these threads leave out. Another is the COC designs tend to buckle over on the tip when they hit something hard. So, but a chisel tipped head of good construction and, the rest is just individual preference.
Good luck and do as others have stated, find a mentor or pro shop that knows what they are doing. What you learn now is either going to be a lifetime of good habits or, a good while of anguish and time spent beating out bad habits in the future.
with bleeder blades...
I'm just a regular bowhunter just adding my 1/2 cent of what I like and that's two 4-blade thunderheads (wax insert threads or heads will loosen and blades will fall out) and two 2 blade Magnus stingers will be in my quiver this year. I'm huge fan of slick trick's especially the 4-blade mags and highly recommend you check those out,,,,,,, slicks are cheap they have a solid steel body that smashes thru bone and they tune up perfect.. VPA' as well as G5's, hell razor, Magnus SS are all one piece heads all pretty nice heads.
as far as mechanicals I'm old school my ultimate favorite mechanical was the Nap Shockwave followed by the scorpion,, spitfires opened way too hard for me to even try them, rage I'm still on the fence..
If I was your local neighbor I'd recommend a 1 piece head like G5 and do not let the sizes fool you ,but a head thats not too big, for your first head,,,,,,if it doesn't fly right your bow or Arrows are NOT tuned so if its crunch time get a pack of rocky steel heads and worry about re-tuning after you killed your first deer. q
I 100% agree with the guys who said if your bow is tuned then any broadhead should fly fine as long as it spins true on the arrow shaft. The guys who cannot get a fixed blade to shoot perfectly with his or her field points does not have a well tuned bow. Maybe if you are shooting over 300 fps with a wide fixed blade you may get some planing but for the most part no. I myself like VPA broadheads very easy to sharpen and they are well made. Shawn
I have some Kudupoints on the way. Going to give them a try. Appear to be extremely tough. We will see.
Many excellent broadheads will shoot great with a tuned bow. The bow is still tuned at the moment of truth, It's the shooter that causes the problem, in the heat of the moment. Too many hunters only practice under ideal conditions and never practice those "out of form" shots.
Be sure to shoot your choice of head under a variety of conditions. Leaning forward and back, slightly bent over, one knee, unlevel footing, up, down and across hills.
And shoot through varying amounts of brush with your target partialy obscured.
Then you'll know how "tuned" your system (which includes you) really is.
Good luck out there. It's fall and the rubber meets the road now!!!
VPA, tough head, penetrate well and are easy to sharpen. I have shot 2 elk, antelope, and a bear with VPA's and have hit some bone and the heads have stayed together and penetrated.
Also, ditch the straight vaned arrows for a helical (I fletch my own arrows and have had lots better luck tuning with my own creatings)
But you have to have a tuned bow - this is where finding a good local bow shop or another hunter to help out comes in handy.
I previously used SlickTricks and had lots of blade issues when hitting even the light ribs. yes they flew good, but had performance issues.
Ken Moody Safaris's Link
Bear Track's Link
That's odd regarding Slick Tricks. I've never had any performance issues but blade lots can differ and a bad lot can get out to the public from time to time.
I am almost 100% sold on Kudu Points now. I don't think you can find a higher quality broadhead but I'm a traditional archer and prefer two blades. Even with a compound I don't think you can beat them. www.kudupoint.com
As an outfitter and guide for near 30 years, I've seen more broadheads fail from poor placement than poor choice of broadhead. In fact with near 800 guests from the top of Manitoba to the bottom I've guided, I'm not sure I ever saw a broadhead fail. In my opinion, there probably are no poorly made broadheads on the market today.
I am a huge fan of cut on contact broad heads. I never trusted mechanical ones, but to each his own. There are numerous heads out there for cheaper to outrageous prices. A good shot placement and keeping them sharp is more important than anything. Good luck and welcome!
Good luck with your selection.
Beartracks - its how the broadhead performs when it hits where you don't want it to that sometimes determines 'performance'. I agree that most any broadhead placed well will perform. Case in point is my 2015 antelope and my VPA's. Initial shot was a frontal that clipped a major artery and a lung. Buck ran off to 70 yards and stood broadside bleeding well. But I still followed up with another shot. this one I put a little too far forward and it hit the shoulder bone. But the VPA broke the bone went through the chest and out the middle of a far side rib. Granted, that shot wasn't necessary, but the broadhead performed well when slightly misplaced. Now what if that placement would have been the first shot?
Ken, when in Africa in 2012 I was using slick tricks. They did well and put animals down, but I shot a blesbok at 20 yards through the shoulder blade (first animal before I got used to the placement when they are drinking at waterholes)! arrow didn't even exit the far side, and 2 blades were broken. On a kudu that I hit through ribs only I had a broken blade and a rolled blade. Granted, none of the animals (including these) went more than 100 yards, that was not a performance issue I was willing to live with so I have since only shot VPA's.
Even though we try hard to not misplace a shot, sometimes they dont fly true.
" Even though we try hard to not misplace a shot, sometimes they dont fly true."
And one question from that is why don't those shots fly true. Shooting lights out at the range and broad heads "....flying like field points....".
I don't believe there is a broad head that actually "flies like a field point". Not really possible, given the aerodynamics of design. Some way more than others, of course.
You can create a situation, with tuning and form, that will have your broad heads hit the same place as your field points and then only as long as both of those remain constant.
So what comes "out of tune" under actual hunting conditions that causes the errant hits ? And there seems to be two extremely different opinions on how to mitigate for the situation.
The age old: "Tell me where you'll hit em and I'll tell you what head to use." still rings true.
Just remember that there's no free lunch...
Moving parts are more prone to failure than things that are welded or brazed in place.
Cutting width costs you penetration.
And not just cutting width, but the ramp angle: If you were pushing a wheelbarrow full of rock up the to top of a 10-foot high retaining wall, would you want a 10-foot ramp, a 20-foot, or a 30-footer?
2 smaller holes leave more blood on the ground than 1 big one, especially if you typically shoot down from trees.
High-powered bows deliver enough "energy" to drive a very wide mechanical all the way through a deer, but that doesn't help you a lot if the combined forces of the impact energy load and the leverage provided by wide-cutting blades are enough to cause a structural failure
And good Risk Management takes into account not only the probability of an adverse event, but also the magnitude of the consequences; most MDs are pretty comfortable with a patient being likely to suffer a good number of relatively mild side-effects if it'll keep the patient alive to complain about them...
"Tell me where you'll hit em and I'll tell you what head to use."
Exactly. But JMO... If you tend to hold tight to the shoulder, you're more likely to need penetration against bone than a 2" cutting width. If you normally hold back off of the shoulder, going for the double-lung, then you might occasionally get a shorter blood trail on a marginal hit if you use an expandable.
Like I said - JMO, but how much blood on the ground is necessary in order for you to recover your animal? I mean, really....?? Unless you've got Magic Arrows that turn them into ghosts... they're gonna bleed, or maybe not - but they're gonna kick up leaves and trample the grass and bend/snap twigs and brush out of the way; and unless they're headed across a road, a rock, or a parking lot, they're gonna leave some hoof-prints, and if they're running hard, they're gonna be pretty deep.
Anyway, I'd rather have 5 medium-length, medium-light blood trails than 4 super-short ones and one that's a real Mother.
And FWIW, we've got one guy over on the Leatherwall who swears by these:
He's taken 300-some-odd black bears - most of those with a #35 "Kid's" recurve - as well as a coupla deer and a coupla Elk every single year (if not 3-4 of each), with a whole bunch of what-have-yous thrown in for variety's sake... and he's still using the same box of heads that he started out with in 1958. When one gets bent, he just peens it back to straight on a rock.
And not to play favorites - if you aren't skilled enough to feel confident sharpening your own, those Magnus Stingers.... Cut my finger on one and it bled FOR DAYS.
When I tested them on my Bowtech Commander (not a terrifically high-speed rig, but fast enough for 1 pin to about 23 yards), they did not group right in with the FPs at first; in fact, they were not shooting to my point of aim. But I made a few very small adjustments to the rest until they came up to where they hit where I was aiming, and I walked'em back to about 40 yards making small adjustments as needed. Then I shot some FPs, and they flew "just like a broadhead!"
If I were to go back to a modular head, I would go with Thunderheads. I've also tried the NAP HellRazor and found them to be less durable than I would expect; I subjected one to pretty much a worst-case scenario on a too-hurried follow-up shot, and it emerged severely deformed.
Now... Maybe the deformation allowed it to penetrate when a sturdier head would have been stopped cold. That's a possibility on which I guess I don't have much of an opinion, because any time you would run into a situation such as that, you're in deep scat to begin with.....