3Rivers Archery Supply
EXIT holes - what's better 3 vs 4 blade?
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
welka 04-Feb-18
Bou'bound 04-Feb-18
bad karma 04-Feb-18
wyobullshooter 04-Feb-18
tradmt 04-Feb-18
Ucsdryder 04-Feb-18
osage 04-Feb-18
Trial153 04-Feb-18
welka 04-Feb-18
oldgoat 04-Feb-18
HUNT MAN 04-Feb-18
elkmtngear 04-Feb-18
JTV 04-Feb-18
oldgoat 04-Feb-18
Ermine 04-Feb-18
GhostBird 04-Feb-18
Kurt 04-Feb-18
Beendare 04-Feb-18
ahunter55 04-Feb-18
Joe Holden 04-Feb-18
crowe 04-Feb-18
Willieboat 04-Feb-18
4blade 04-Feb-18
deerslayer 04-Feb-18
Franklin 04-Feb-18
HDE 04-Feb-18
Rock 05-Feb-18
12yards 05-Feb-18
LINK 05-Feb-18
MichaelArnette 05-Feb-18
welka 06-Feb-18
ELKMAN 06-Feb-18
APauls 06-Feb-18
12yards 06-Feb-18
Franklin 07-Feb-18
goelk 08-Feb-18
Treeline 08-Feb-18
ELKMAN 08-Feb-18
goelk 16-Feb-18
From: welka
04-Feb-18
Sure to stir a fun debate, but haven't seen a post specific to exit holes. Specific to hunting ELK with FIXED blade BHs. I know many use VPAs, Exodus, ST, etc. and we all know sharp is best, accuracy kills, etc. This question is specific to whether a 3 blade or 4 blade leaves a better (more open) exit hole. Some concern about 4 blade flaps closing vs the triangle hole of a 3 blade. Experiences/thoughts? Should be interesting and helpful.

From: Bou'bound
04-Feb-18
4

From: bad karma
04-Feb-18
in 1985, it was summarized best by Marv Clyncke, an icon in Colorado bowhunting:

"Anything a broadhead does after it hits the lungs is good."

04-Feb-18
Do your part and hit ‘em good, it doesn’t matter.

After 30+ yrs of shooting 3 blade BH’s, I tried Slick Trick Viper Tricks last year. Best blood ever, as well as quickest kill. That bull was somersaulting down the hill in a couple seconds. Coincidence? Certainly could be, but you can guess what will be in my quiver from now on.

From: tradmt
04-Feb-18
It doesn't matter. A 1" wide head kills critters within 60ish yards in my experience, I wouldn't be afraid to go down to 3/4" but I don't see a need for it and it's illegal here in Montana.

If you really want to choose a 'best' broadhead, choose one that offers the least resistance to penetration that has a tip that won't curl, a ferrule that resists bending and blades that won't break. There are many heads on the market and a handful that truly fit this criteria.

From: Ucsdryder
04-Feb-18
Throw this in the mix. How about one slice. This could include a fixed blade like a German kinetic XL. The more vessels cut the more it’ll bleed. What has a better chance of cutting lots of vessels? A small cut on contact with bleeders like an iron will or a large cut on contact like German kinetics, without the bleeders. I’m not sure????

From: osage
04-Feb-18
Two blade single bevels. It's gotta exit first to leave an exit hole. Probably doesn't matter much on deer sized critters though.

From: Trial153
04-Feb-18
strangely in this i am a bit old fasioned.. I found the best performance from heads with a large primary blade and smaller bleeder blades.

From: welka
04-Feb-18
Thanks for responses thus far. Before we get too far, I guess I should have clarified to get to the question. Assume you didn't quite hit it to where it will die within 100 yard (i.e. do your part and hit lungs/heart/vessel) or goes further like an elk can - regardless of the type of BH. Was more interested on thoughts about exit hole plugging on 3 blade vs 4 blade.

From: oldgoat
04-Feb-18
History tells us there's a reason three blades bayonets are forbidden by the Geneva Convention. Triangular holes don't close up! I would imagine if the four blade one has equal sized blades all around it would be just as bad, but I don't know of any heads in that design.

From: HUNT MAN
04-Feb-18
I have had good luck with slick tricks and whackem 4 blade exits. As far as plugging up I can say one way or the other. For me the whackem fly better.

From: elkmtngear
04-Feb-18
Gotta have superior penetration to get an exit hole on a very large animal.

2 blades- less resistance- more penetration. I'm a big fan of exit holes.

From: JTV
04-Feb-18
a good 4 blade will do more damage, and leave a damn good blood trail... I havnt used a 3 blade in over 20 years, unless it was a Rocket Steelhead(XL) ... all the fixed heads I use are 4 blades, Slicks and Wac 'ems....

From: oldgoat
04-Feb-18
Hmm, forgot about those four blade models, they do have equal size blades all the way around, only four blade I've used is stinger and got crap for blood trail and it was a high to low front to back shot, should of been awesome blood trail, seen her drop though, so that counts for something. She was fattest doe I've ever seen though!

From: Ermine
04-Feb-18
Some of my fastest kills have come from 3 blades

From: GhostBird
04-Feb-18
3 blade triangular hole is hard to beat

From: Kurt
04-Feb-18
Either work fine. Lots of experience with both and no real preference for all types of game. Not a small two blade fan. YMMV.

Good luck with your choice!

From: Beendare
04-Feb-18
Personally, I dont think there is a lick of difference between 3-4 blade all else equal...in fact I think its funny some claim 4 blades

Blade angle is a bigger factor, IME.

From: ahunter55
04-Feb-18
exclusive 3 blade fixed for 44 years now. Elk, Buffalo, Caribou, Black Bears in the larger animals have fallen not far from original hit. + they always fly awesome.

From: Joe Holden
04-Feb-18
I don't think the angle is a bigger factor with 4 blades. They split matter in 2 planes (X) instead of 1(/) or 3 (i got nothing). So they would in theory penetrate through heavy matter more easily, and could cut a little more than a 3 blade. That being said, i typically run 3 blades but am blade-agnostic for the most part.

From: crowe
04-Feb-18
There are ton of factors that can contribute to a "best" broadhead. I prefer a head that flys perfectly, sharp as a scalpel, and whistles through an animal like hot butter. Over the past 30 years I've tried many, mechanicals and fixed, always feel more confident with a coc fixed. Blood trails are great but so is seeing the animal fall over in sight. I find they don't run nearly as far or react to the shot when shot with a sharp coc. Some just stand there after a couple jumps and look around before they fall over. My head of choice the last few years has been the magnus stinger and buzzcut. I will add that I'm shooting 28" 430 gr arrow, 70 lbs, plenty of kenetic for our Ontario whitetails and black bears.

From: Willieboat
04-Feb-18
Doesn't really matter.......have seen both good and shitty bloodtrails with both

From: 4blade
04-Feb-18
http://www.grizzlystik.com/Ashby-Graphs-W24.aspx

From: deerslayer
04-Feb-18
Love me some ST Viper Tricks....

From: Franklin
04-Feb-18
Each blade shot through a animals is causing linear inches of wound channel. If the animal is 12" wide a 2 blade creates 24".....a 3 blade 36"....a 4 blade 48". Now one could say "but 24" of the 4 blade is a smaller cut"....IMO it doesn`t matter.

Any of the 3 situations will cause death. Splitting hairs I think.

From: HDE
04-Feb-18
Have killed equally well with both.

It really doesn't matter.

From: Rock
05-Feb-18
I believe it all boils down to personal preference as you could argue the good points of each. I have shot both in the past and prefer the Magnus I, 4 blade head and have shot a lot of critters with these and not one of them complained!!!!!! :--)

From: 12yards
05-Feb-18
I agree with Beendare.

From: LINK
05-Feb-18

LINK's embedded Photo
3 blade hole
LINK's embedded Photo
3 blade hole
I like 3 or 4. I shot a two blade with bleeders for awhile and they were fine. This year my daughter 10 ringed a doe, with video to review, with a two blade out of a low poundage bow. The arrow was sticking out both sides and I watched the doe run 50 yards then walk another 50 out of sight. I gave her 15 minutes and we never found one single drop of blood, the arrow, or the deer. I think the clean cut sealed around the arrow. Next year she is shooting slick trick standards 4 blade. She might only get one hole but it will be an oblong hole that hopefully lets some blood out.

05-Feb-18
I think mathematically a four blade has the advantage on penetration while still making an additional slice. Blood trails have been nearly identical with both for me

From: welka
06-Feb-18
Interesting that in total it's kind of a 50/50 response. I know of 3 different outfitters that claim they will take a 3 blade over 4 due to higher chance of recovery. To each his own!

From: ELKMAN
06-Feb-18
2 blade. The slash shape is very hard to plug/seal. The bigger the better... JMO

From: APauls
06-Feb-18
ELKMAN I think that happens over a certain size. I don't know what the limit is but if it was a 1" total 2 blade I think plugs very easy. A 2" 2 blade cut doesn't. i don't know where that magic change happens. That's why the invention of the bleeder came along, was because the smaller 2 blades didn't bleed as well. Just something to help cut that flap of skin and open it up better. Once the cut gets big enough I doubt the tension is there to hold it closed.

I know you're a Rage guy and those holes don't close there is no arguing that!

From: 12yards
06-Feb-18
Where the exit hole is is far more important than if it was made by a 3 or 4 blade broadhead. IMVHO. I've shot a bunch of deer (I know this is about elk) with 2, 3 and 4 blade heads and can make very few if any distinctions on what it better.

From: Franklin
07-Feb-18
I agree 12yards....shots close to the tree the entry is high on the side and exit low on the opposite side....perfect for blood trailing. Same hit with no exit will bleed very little until the cavity fills up. IMO....2 holes of ANY kind is king.

From: goelk
08-Feb-18
I got a complete pass thru with a single bevel cutthroat broadhead and good size hole and blood trail. The animal went less than 50 yards. Total arrow weight 590 grains out of a 60 pound recurve. I was using the 250 grain head. Impressive.

From: Treeline
08-Feb-18
Goelk, I shot my elk this last fall with a 200 grain cutthroat tipped 590 grain arrow off my 60# longbow.

Didn't get a pass thru - stuck in the offside shoulder and split the shoulder blade. Did the 100 yard dash and crash. Not a huge blood trail, but adequate. Actually didn't even follow the blood trail as I heard him crash. Saw a lot more blood on the ground walking back from the elk.

I have used Snuffers, Razor Caps, Wensels, and VPA 3-blades and they all work well. Have actually gotten a number of pass-thrus using longbows in the 60-70# range. Have also used Bear, Zwicky, Steel Force, and Magnus 4 blade heads on elk. Hard to say with certainty, but off traditional bows, the 4-blades don't seem to get the penetration of the 3-blades.

Rocky Mountain Specialty Gear is now making the Cutthroat in 125gr and 150gr sizes that are shorter and would be less apt to wind plane off a compound if you are not tuned perfectly. If you really want 2 holes, I can not think of anything better. With some decent mass in your arrow tipped with a Cutthroat out of a compound, you should be able to get 2 holes in an elk from just about any angle - as well as thru big bones.

From: ELKMAN
08-Feb-18
Big enough entry and you don't even need an exit! LOL! (Always preferred of course...JS)

From: goelk
16-Feb-18
I got a complete pass thru with a single bevel cutthroat broadhead and good size hole and blood trail. The animal went less than 50 yards. Total arrow weight 590 grains out of a 60 pound recurve. I was using the 250 grain head. Impressive.

  • Sitka Gear