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Iron Will Heads-Before & After!
Iron Will Head!
Iron Will Head!
Iron Will Heads!
Iron Will Heads!
We tried out these heads this year, 2 shots 2 dead bulls! These photos are from my bull, it was a 40 yard shot with a very slight quarter to me, went through both lungs but shot was a scant high. On entrance it took out a rib clean in two, I mean shattered it, it then proceeded to clip 3/8" bottom of scapula at it's thinnest point, I believe the bleeder took the brunt of it as seen in the photo.
The bull traveled 75 yards & cart wheeled there, done! There was no blood on the ground at contact & none in the 75 yards he traveled or at kill site, there was also zero blood where arrow entered his body. The arrow was lodged in off shoulder, no bone hit there just meat, it took two hands gripped tightly to remove so was in very solid, no pass-through though! The cavity was full of blood as expected & destruction by the head was devastating! My only concerns are the no blood on the ground anywhere but the bull died in sight!
On the 2nd bull it was a 5 yard frontal shot, blood exited the bull on contact & left a 25 yard blood trail a blind man could follow! The nock of the arrow was 6"-8" inside the bull, Wow! The shot entrance was where the darker mane meets the blond body color. Died in sight!
Just thought I'd share some first hand experience with these heads as a first time user of them! Thanks & ask any questions you may have!
Sounds like they got the job done! What caused the tip to break on the one? Assuming that’s what I’m seeing on my phone.
Hard to get a blood trail without an exit wound, regardless of the head. My buddy made a slight quartering in shot on this bull, with a Rage Extreme this Year (cross between a fixed and expandable)...huge entrance wound, went through near scapula, and lodged against the skin about mid-body on the far side.
Gave him a half hour, then it was dark. Very little blood, just enough to barely establish direction of travel. Foot trailed him until we saw his eyes shine. Probably went less than 80 yds.
I'm a big fan of the exit wound ;)
John, the rib chipped the tip of the head. The head did not touch the Scapula just the bleeder did, I could actually see where the bleeder made contact with that 3/8" off the scapula, it was very minor but it is bone.
Jeff, I too enjoy having two holes, my experience with heads as this are very similar with little blood loss being noticed. When using heads such as Viper-trick & Exodus Qad heads I notice quite a bit more blood flow with the larger wound channel on one or two holes. I do like the Iron Will heads, I'd use them again but also feel there are other very good heads out there. I'd like to see the bleeders on the Iron Wills be a similar size as the Viper Trick heads, I'd absolutely fall in love with those! (grin)
Paul, the question is.. are you going to continue to use them?
I had similar results last year when I shot my bull with a SOLID broadhead, pass through but not large blood trail... I want a broadhead with bone crushing durability and leaves amazing blood trails.. not sure if that combination exists or not..
Scott, the damage the head did was pretty awesome & still was relative sharp despite the chipped tip & going completely through the rib. There was additional damage although slight to one main blade that is tough to see in the 2nd photo, it's roughed up & actually serrated looking. I believe it's on the right side if you can look at it real close! Don't get me wrong, it's a tough head even though spendy!
But Yes 100% I'd use them again next year! If they'd enlarge that bleeder & put a little less angle on it they'd improve it considerably! -- Not many heads out there if any that survive with no damage at all when plowing into or through an elk. I'd give up a head a year to put an elk on the ground, the head did just that even though there was no blood trail; that can be remedied!
After having the blades on a G5 Striker destroyed on my bull last year, I packed the IW’s with me this year.
Elk 1: My buddy missed his mark on a hard quartering away shot on a good 6 point. Arrow entered the right ham and into the guts, burying up to the fletchings. We didn’t do a thorough autopsy, but the bull only went 50 yards and piled up.
Elk 2: I shot a cow at 40 yards hard quartering away. Entered last rib, blew out her neck, and buried in the dirt behind her. She died in seconds.
Both heads were in excellent shape after and still super sharp. Only complaint was a lack of a blood trail on either elk.
COHOYTHUNTER, what head did you use this past season?
Scott, thanks for your input, looks like blood trails are known to be weak, understandable for your basic two blades. I agree, they're a good solid head!
Paul another result of your two bulls is some more anecdotal evidence that a frontal shot (even with no exit) can be just as good if not better than a broadside shot. Neither shots exited but the frontal shot produced immediate blood.
I used the Magnus Stingers 4 blade. I shot a mule deer doe and bull elk and I was not impressed with the Stingers performance at all. Didn't have good blood, didn't do well on bone, etc. I am probably going to go back to SOLID's or look more at the Iron Wills, the SOLIDs performed good for me in the past, they absolutely destroy bone and stay super sharp.. I have a half dozen of SOLID's in good shape so that will save me some $$$ rather than getting all new Iron Wills..
I hear ya, I seriously doubt of those two heads one is superior over the other, they are very similar. Good luck with them!
Mike, you bet! In the last 3 years my Son has taken 3 bulls with the frontal shot, all spewed blood very well, 3 different heads too! No doubt location of impact has a lot to do with blood loss on the ground but it does seem multiple blade heads perform the best when compared to with dozens of kills & shots similar to one another. Thanks!
p.s. I will hunt with the Iron Wills again next year but the Exodus Qad run a close 2nd in my quiver! (grin)
Also, I'm in the process of a new arrow build... Going with VAP TKO Elite V1's with 95 grn insert and 100 grn head.. looking for more FOC in a micro diameter arrow.. I should be around 485 grn total weight with 16% FOC and 280ish fps so with a good broadhead, that should be bone crushing.. Just need to decided exactly what broadhead...
Penetrated through offside scapula
Penetrated through offside scapula
I was really impressed with my ironwill this year. Broadside shot and went through the opposite scapula.
Marketing is king these days. You get a few guys pimping products online, podcasts, etc, all somehow connected, the next day the message boards are flooded with regurgitated old news i.e heavy arrows, FOC, Skinny arrows, X BH etc.
What is the "Real Difference" between an IW and a Magnus? A Magnus to a Zwickey? A Solid to a Silver flame? They're all two blade heads, some with bleeders some without. They all do the same thing. Hit an animal where you are supposed to, dead animal, lots of blood, maybe not. Miss said animal hit a rock you end up with a bent or broken blade or maybe an arrow that isn't found. A bad hit with any of them will produce the same outcome.
FYI, my frontal shot this year using a COC 3blade head didn't leave one drop of blood I could find on the ground. None on the exterior of the elk as well. Its's bow-hunting stuff happens. In the 80's and 90's alot of magazine articles were smoke and mirrors. Sadly, nothing has changed, it's just gone digital.
Great info here. Thanks for sharing.
I used to think a knife is a knife until I bought a Benchmade.
I put a Ramcat through a nice bull a week ago. Blew through both sides of ribcage was dead within 20 seconds and 40 yards. Massive carnage. I carry three Ramcats and two Vipertricks in my Tighspot. Congrats on the bulls!
Well crap, I’ve got 6 of them. Being colorblind, I need a heavy blood trail. Hopefully put one in a deer in a couple weeks. They are sharp and fly well.
Thanks for the tip, I've been looking at the IW's
When I saw this thread I thought I would chime in. Last year I placed my first order for Iron Will broadheads. I practiced with one head during the summer and was pleased the way they flew, so Iron Will was the first in my quiver for a New Mexico elk hunt. I passed on a couple of smaller bulls and couldn't get a decent shot on another bull. Finally I had a nice bull coming in on day four. He was behind some thick brush at about 25 yards and must have thought something ain't right. He turned and started heading away giving me a hard quartering away shot. I let fly and hit him right behind his last rib. The arrow buried up to the fetching right into his boiler, no pass through. When we went to track him I couldn't believe the blood. I have never seen so much blood! I am colorblind and usually need a lot of help when tracking. Not this time. A blind man could have followed that trail. I was so impressed that I ordered 3 more heads 125gr. vented. I made another trip out west this year passed on a nice bull on day 2 and never got close enough again. Something to look forward to next year.
Hey Sling Shot, great looking bull!
Yes, the Iron Wills will put a hurt on a critter, I will also mention that I was surprised how sharp it still was upon retrieval, I really appreciated that! Thanks All!
COHOYTHUNTER, I run a similar arrow setup as you are considering. Mine is the VAP V-1 with the 95 grain insert & 100 grain head. I pull 66# at 27-1/2" with a total arrow weight of 425 grains, I've blown through more elk with this arrow weight that any other I've used over the years. It's been great elk medicine!
Sounds like they did the trick. I’ve been shooting Iron wills since they came out and I’ve had great luck.
They are made very well and precise. And the A2 steel is what sets them apart from other broadheads like Magnus stingers etc.
I also think and we all know..that blood trails are very subjective to shot placement. Lots of blood also has many different factors that lead to it. And not always a results of the broadhead but more of placement.
Paul congrats on the bulls and thanks for the feedback! I have been getting a lot of feedback from elk hunters the last few weeks. Pass through shots, quick kills, and good blood trails are the most common result. Here is a picture I got last week of a really heavy blood trail. I do think the sharpness and edge retention of our A2 steel blades at 60 HRC hardness give you the best opportunity for maximum penetration and slicing tissue all the way through for a quick kill, but as Justin said, shot placement has a lot to do with it.
Ermine, You are absolutely right shot placement is the key to a good blood trail. I shot a whitetail buck a few years back at 40 yards. I got both lungs but a bit high. We tracked him for about 100yds. Not one drop of blood until he tipped over and then it poured out. It was all in the lower chest cavity.
Shot this buck this evening with the iron will 150 solid. Quartering to me and came put the arm pit on the opposite side. Absolutly devestaing blood trail. Buck made it about 75-80 yds before tipping over. Still razor sharp.
Did you shoot that buck off the ground olebuck?
From a tree stand about 18'
A little low... i know. He was nervous and i figured he would drop some. I did hit about 2-3 forward of my aim point.... glad i got him.
I shot my bull with a 125gr vented Iron Will this year. 3O yard shot slightly quartered away. The shot centered the lungs. Arrow passed through and buried into to very rocky ground. Bull went 70 yards and was stone dead in less than 20 seconds. The only damage to the head was some slight serration to one of the blades, I assume was from the rocks in the ground. Blood trail would have been easy to follow if it had been needed. While doing some mid day practicing during the hunt, we had wind gusts up to 50 mph and I missed the target a couple times. Again, the ground was extremely rocky. I couldn't find any damage at all the the head I had been practicing with. These are some tough heads.
My uncle had the tip bend on an antelope scapula....no thanks.
Firsty, I've tested our broadheads on a lot of antelope & deer sized shoulder blades and never had a blade bend. It is possible he hit a rock after the pass through? I have seen just the very sharp point bend or flatten a bit on heavy bones or rocks. Either way, it's covered under our lifetime warranty.
Exactly what you should get out of a $33 head. Great results and durability. Well done
Dang I’d like to see that? I’ve hit a few rocks missing a target and have yet to bend anything on them.
Ermine, look at the first picture posted. There’s a head that hit bone with the tip broken off.
Great results guys. Thanks for posting your success photos.
I would be shocked if an antelope scapula bent the head. See my pic above as it exited on an elk scapula. I’ve killed plenty of elk with cheaper heads, but never seen that result. Very pleased.
It's a very good head & very well constructed, it reminds me of the Silver Flame heads I've shot in the past. It's only downside with me is its minimal blood trails. It needs larger bleeders! Cmon Bill you can do it! (grin)
Bigger wound channel more blood loss. Some areas folks hunt isn't too big a deal as long as hoof tracks can be tracked but quite a bit of elk country is void of it in the heavy timber/brush spots that are also hunted, in these areas blood is a necessity. That seems to be what we hunt the most so either a quick kill (within eyesight is good) is needed for minimal tracking or blood loss needs to be counted on. The chipped tip doesn't bother me at all, the head was still considerably sharp, better than most! But tracking blood was still a concern as the other two blades I've used over the years!
Iron Will 100 grain.
Iron Will 100 grain.
I hear ya for Deer hunting on their thinner hides. On elk the hides are tough & thick & have a tendency to seal up or plug off from inside the animal stuff on slit type wounds, of course the longer the slit the better on larger 2-blades. -- I wonder if the other hunter is aware there are lots of choices out there for two blades minus bleeders?
The Iron Will is a sweet killer, but larger bleeders for us elk hunters would be an awesome addition to an already very well designed head. Mine are 100 grain, maybe the 125's have larger bleeders?
In these two photos check out the near bloodless hole where the Iron Will went through both lungs, what you see on the elks hide is the only blood loss, zero blood on the ground or where it expired & in-between, this is very unusual, the crime scene where an animal dies is generally where most the blood is especially on a double lung shot as the blood will pour out its mouth as shown in Bill's photo above, that is most likely not a blood trail it's where the animal died & coughed up blood that was now filling his lungs along with other matter.
This bloodless slit is what I've experienced with two blades & two blades with small bleeders on a dozen elk kills with like heads.
Now note the size of this wound channel from a 3- bladed head with the same cutting width as the Iron Will other than the addition of the 3rd blade, there's quite a difference & this 3-bladed hole is very common not a rare occurrence. Slightly larger bleeders on the Iron Will could produce a similar hole.
ElkNut/Paul, no doubt you have a lot of experience, I appreciate the feedback and design suggestions, and I hope you don't mind a little friendly debate. I don't think you can draw conclusions about Iron Will broadheads based on one shot. That shot looks tight to the front of the shoulder, so it seems that the shoulder muscle could block the hole as it moved forward. Not sure if a 3 blade would have done any different here. I'm attaching a picture from a cow I shot 3 years ago. The hole is open, similar to your 3 blade picture, and a lot of blood poured out of her. Our total cut right now is 1.812 inches, very similar to a 3-blade 1.25" head. I will consider wider blades as I work on future designs, but there is a trade off with flight and penetration as you get wider. Also, I have tested a number of 2-blade heads with bleeders that were no longer sharp after passing through hide, so I'd rather not lump Iron Will broadheads in with others, but rather let them stand on their own performance. I have noted your suggestion though buddy and I'm asking a number of other experienced users if they would like to see any improvements going forward.
I just used a Lansky to re sharpen the 125 gr vented that had some serration to one side from driving into rocky ground after passing through a bull elk. It cleaned right up and is razor sharp again. It's going right back into the rotation!
Thanks Bill, I have taken quite a few bulls with 2 blade heads, some with bleeders & some without. I've also had the privilege of taking quite a few bulls with 3 bladed heads so have seen a few comparisons. The Iron Will head that was used this year had similar results of the other 2-bladed heads used.
No need to debate & say what's been killed & how many, the head you have at present is a very nice head, in my opinion it could be much better, it's just an observation & suggestion, good luck in your endeavor to have a superior head out there for us archers! Thanks!
I received my IW head from Bill that I won in the August drawing and it is probably the sharpest head I’ve ever touched and looks damn tough. I’ve never hunted elk as I live in the Northeast so I plan on trying it out on a whitetail. I think Bill succeeded in combining a tough, sharp, and narrow head for great penetration on large game. With that being said I wouldn’t mind a bigger cut version for us deer hunters as penetration should not be an issue. Hopefully I get to try it out on a buck this year.
Had pretty much the same thing happen today. Mine was a 15 yard shot on a whitetail does. No blood and a bent tip. Hope the warranty is good.
I dont choose heads based on what works when everything goes right. When every thing is right a walmart allen head with stamped blades will kill as good as anything. However when things turn to shit, the animal moves, I fluff a shot, or an angle changes...that's when a head like a IW or of similar ilk comes into play. An animal isnt static a lot can happen in the time it takes to dump the string to when that arrow hits. I would rather plan for the worst and not need it.
Jim, that BH has only been shot once? Is there black markings on the blade. Did it hit a rock? If so I’m not aware of a material that can be sharpened without special equipment AND be driven into a hard stone without some tip damage. Of course sandstone is not the same as granite either so some might say I shot one into a rock with no damage. All rocks are not equal. Also Cinder blocks are no where near as dense and hard as Some natural stone.
Jay, I’m not sure why it looks black. Angle of the phone? No rocks in that patch of timber. Here’s a different picture.
I would have that bad boy sharp And back in killing shape in 15 minutes.
Wow should not have bent just hitting dirt.
Almost guarantee that head hit something in the soil. Heck the pic looks like there is sandy dirt on it. Unless you dig out the area and sift through it once you recover a head how can you say "it hit just dirt?" Any time a head goes into the dirt and comes out unscathed I count my blessings, you just never know what's down there. The blade being made out of the materials it is didn't just bend on soil. Congrats on the doe though, I'm assuming shes dead.
Barely bent I bet a Magnus would have been worse.
Magnus May have, but Mike would have a new one on the way today. No I didn’t dig up the area, but I’ve shot countless deer from that tree and have never encountered a bent tip before. Guess I finally found a rock with a $30 head.
For the record, the tip on mine also bent & broke off the end of one of the bleeders in original photos shown above & it did not leave the animal, so yes they can bend on small bone hits like ribs as I did not pass through a shoulder with mine.
Like others have said, I will trade an arrow/broadhead for a bull on the ground anyday! We all have to ask, where do we personally draw the line & what's our deal breaker? It's not fair to make that choice for others!
Doesn’t Iron Will have the guarantee if it breaks?
Paul, I also had zero blood trail. She only went 50 yards and I watched her drop. The no blood issue bothers me more than a bent tip. This was the only blood found. She “pinballed” between the trees.
How are these better than magnus stingers at a third the price?
Jim, that's exactly why I suggested to Bill to make the bleeders bigger. With bleeders the size of a Viper Trick with his outstanding thick steel & hardness it could be a game changer & well worth the 30.00 bucks apiece.
Bou'bound, good question! I've taken elk with both & honestly feel the Iron Will is a stronger & tougher head. Not a fan of bending but crap happens & it doesn't sway my still wanting to use them, but I really would like bigger bleeders which translates into a larger wound channel.
Having tried both. The iron wills are Much much tougher than stingers and made from higher quality steel. They keep an edge a lot longer.
Guys I haven't said anything here, but since our heads are being brought into the conversation I will. No broadhead made today or ever made will ever be indestructible, regardless of the brand or the type of materials used. Our broadheads are made out of 420 stainless steel and have a Rockwell of 50 to 52RC. Our broadheads have taken every big game animal on this earth many times over. Can our broadheads bend or break, yup they can, but I will tell you our broadheads are going to penetrate, out of the thousands upon thousands of animals taken with our broadheads I promise you there were a lot which were not perfect shot placement hits. Will they go thru elk scapula yes they will, will they or any broadhead go thru a elk shoulder joint or the elk ridge on a shoulder blade, NO they wont. We are not perfect and we make mistakes but one thing we will always do is take care of our customers. 2019 will be our 35th year in business since I started Magnus in a spare bedroom of my parents home, we were the first broadhead to offer and advertise a Lifetime Replacement Guarantee and we always will. Every single broadhead is dialed in by hand so the total tip runout is .003 thousands or less. Iron will does a very good job on their broadheads and there are a lot of quality broadheads on the market today but no broadhead is indestructible. Iron will has a .060 thousands thick main blade in 100 grain, our Stinger broadheads in 100 grain is .040 thousands, Is iron wills main blade stronger yes physics will tell you that. Our blackhornet 100 grain is .059 thick and it is stronger than our stinger broadheads I will state this without hesitation, if one of our broadheads is damaged from a shot on a animal, any other broadhead regardless of the brand of the broadhead and of the same grain weight was shot out of the same bow, same bow poundage, same arrows and same exact angle, hit the same exact spot they would be damaged also. If at any time you damage one of our broadheads, email us a picture with your name and address and we will replace it, its that simple and always will be, if you ever mess up sharpening our broadheads send it to us and we will replace, If we need you to send one back to us we will always make up for your shipping with a extra broadhead. American made with American materials and American labor we make broadheads full time every day. The picture attached is bryan dickess owner of Mikes Archery in ironton Ohio, cape buffalo taken with a 125 grain stinger broadhead, one shot. Cape Buffalo have big overlapping ribs . Thank you and good luck hunting to all of you
Mike, I blame your stinger buzzcut for costing me an arrow 3 years ago. I shot a bull and the arrow passed through and flew down the hill into oblivion. I’m not sure it even slowed down going through the bull. I’ve moved to a different head as my primary, but I still carry one in my quiver and have total confidence in it out to 100 yards!
Well now wait a minute!!!! This means Bill owes me a new arrow & Iron Will Head! I'll settle for just the head though! (grin) --
This year my Son called a bull in to me, I heard him bugle back to my Son & come running in from above me, he didn't come straight on but above & left to right. I drew as he went around a thick but small island of trees, he stepped out looking for my Son who was 25 yards from me & to my right & now the bull was 15 yards from me broadside. I settled my 20 yard pin on him with the Iron Will staring right through his lungs & squeezed! The bull turned the instant I released & the arrow & head flew harmlessly in front of his neck & into oblivion as we were both on the crest of a mountain top, no need to even look for that arrow! (grin)
Bright side was as the bull bolted my Son bugled instantly, the bull slowed to 45 yards & then bolted again through some sparse timber to 65 yards & my Son bugled aggressively a 2nd time & the bull whirled around & came back looking for this other bull, that put him at 42 yards quartering to me, I shot for 40 & blasted a bit high but through both lungs! So I guess it took two arrows!! It was a fair trade! (grin)
This is what you get for the higher cost of Iron Will Broadheads: A majority of our selling price is just the cost of the materials and manufacturing processes. Blades are made of A2 tool steel, cryogenically treated and triple tempered to achieve both a high hardness (60 HRC) and a high impact strength. The higher hardness increases strength and edge retention. Ask a knife maker the difference between 52 and 60 HRC. You can get a 60 HRC blade sharper and it will retain the edge much longer through hide, bone, and tissue for more slicing and less pushing tissue aside. Also, the higher impact strength and strength in general will give you the best chance of not bending or breaking the blade on bone impact. Bending or breaking blades uses up energy and greatly reduces penetration. Our very sharp points do bend on a rock, but generally won't on bone unless there is some side impact or rotation of the bone as the blade point enters, based on our high speed video testing. Even then, it's only about .040" of the very tip or about 1% of the blade, which doesn't affect its ability to penetrate. (By the way, we do have a lifetime guarantee and will replace this if you are not satisfied with your ability to sharpen it out). A lesser blade could bend or break on these marginal shots. Also, we use grade 5 titanium and hardened stainless steel to make our ferrules. These materials are about twice as strong as 7075 aluminum, which we could make ferrules out of for about 1/4 the cost. In our early testing, we found that aluminum ferrules would sometimes bend on bone impact, so we chose stronger, higher cost materials. Is this overkill? On many shots, yes. No doubt lower cost broadheads have killed every game animal on the planet. We feel Iron Will broadheads give you the best chance to penetrate and slice through an animal when something goes wrong and shot placement isn't perfect. Is it worth the extra cost? That is up to you. If not, Magnus has a great warranty and makes a fine broadhead for the price.
Last Saturday, I killed my fourth animal with an IW vented 125 grain. It was a free range aoudad ram (estimate 260 pounds) in Texas. The shot was 19 yards broadside. The arrow went through the lower chest straight up from the leg. The aoudad trotted 30 yards, stopped for maybe five seconds and collapsed, dead. I found the arrow laying on the ground about 20 yards past where the aoudad was standing. Like the brown bear, black bear and wolf that I shot in the past four months, the head was in excellent shape. I touched this one up on a Lansky sharpener and hopefully will run it through a Kansas white tail in two weeks.
Mike & Bill, thank you for your thoughts & comments, it's appreciated! You both make excellent points!
I personally use Magnus heads and find them very durable, I shot 7 Animals with the same Magnus Black Hornet Ser Razor. I would have taken more but the last buck I made a bad shot on and he took my arrow with him. One of those I shot through both shoulders and took out the bottom of the spine, another was stuck in the spine. I have stuck them in 4 X 4 posts, tree stumps and not mess them up. I have videos of all 7 of the deer I shot with the same head on my youtube channel along with a few of the screw ups where I hit things that you are not supposed to shoot with a broadhead. I have shot lots of other heads and have yet to find one that leave a blood trail like the Black Hornet Ser Razor does..