Contributors to this thread:
I was wondering at what poundage would you consider not using a mechanical broadhead. I looked at rage web sight and it stated a lot of variables but no poundage. I would think with an average arrow weight and average draw length there should be a poundage number. Anyway, I shoot a 398 grain 28 inch arrow at 57 Lbs with a 29 Inch draw. Not a super fast setup but accurate. What do you guys think. Thanks
I wouldn’t use a mechanical with that setup, and if you really want to, I’d only use a 1.5” cut. My bow shoots a 463 grain arrow at 305 fps. I’ve got complete pass throughs on elk and buffalo with 1.5” sevrs.
I wouldn’t use mechanicals either. You’re light on arrow weight and draw weight.
Over the past few years there have been a lot of improvements in the design of mechanical broadheads, most notably moving away from the "scissor" type opening to the rearward deployment seen on heads such as the Rage. The latter doesn't use nearly as much KE as the former and is also less prone to deflecting on angled, and particularly steeply angled shots.
That being said, I want to point out that one should not rely on KE as a gauge of the appropriateness of mechanical broadheads as this figure is what is generated at the bow and as the arrow travels downrange towards the target that KE decreases. What is most important, second only to shot placement, IMHO is momentum; this is what facilitates the penetration we want and the simply physics of the matter are that a heavier arrow generates more momentum.
As stated above you have light arrow and low draw weight; a small, rearward deploying mechanical broadhead would be the only one I'd feel comfortable endorsing for your set-up and in all honesty I think you'd be better served with a good fixed head with your set-up.
FYI, this is coming from someone who's been shooting mechanical broadheads for over 20 years (with a much higher poundage and heavier arrow).
Best of luck!
I also shoot mechanical heads and for many many years. I have to agree mostly with Mike on his post. Now the only head I shoot for big game is the rocket steel head and they are not made anymore. But you can still find them. Thier small and open to 1 1/8 inches. I have seen theses heads used by lighter setups with very good results. There's a company now and I can't remember thier name that new and making a head very simular to the rocket steelhead. Anyone know thier name?? If in doubt I would follow what Mike has stated. Ed
Tater, I shoot a set up fairly close to yours and have been successful with mechanicals over the last 5 years or so. I do shoot a FMJ shaft that increases my weight up to 450 grains combined with a head that is rear deploying, fairly narrow (1.5 inches), and a blade angle that is considered "swept back". With those criteria, one deer sized game, I get complete pass throughs given the shot angle ie if I hit the off side shoulder. When I get back to elk hunting, I will use a fixed, cut on contact, head. Hope that helps you.
Tater... I can tell you I've put arrows well into the earth on the other side of deer shooting 2-2.3" mech's (Rage mostly over the past 10 years, but a few others too)... That's shooting low 90's for KE and .58 for M.
There are many good calculators online you can use if you know arrow speed from your bow, draw weight etc.
Mike's point RE down range is a good one. A funny thing folks often dont consider - super light arrows start faster and slow quicker... Heavier arrows start slower and loose less speed down range. Guy at a local shop showed me this math fact in reality one day and it hit home... shooting through the chrono just in front of the bow was speed X. But standing at 30-40yds and shooting through the chrono (which was about 3 feet in front of the target), the heavier arrow lost much less speed - actually hitting the target going dang near as fast as the "faster" light arrow. I'm not talking about a 350grn arrow and a 700grn arrow. I'm talking realistic hunting arrows like 400grn and 500grn roughly.
All that taken into account, I'd err to mid range to heavy weight arrows if using mechs.
I think bow's are so different now, and you get so much speed even at lower poundage. I mean, a 60# bow today may be faster than a lot of 70's just 10 years ago. So it's really hard to figure how # impacts mech efficiency.
Ok, so my stab at this... and note this number is entirely personal, has no basis in any fact and is solely a rule of thumb I have for me which is based on an amalgamation of things. In other words, it's just an opinion...
I think if one uses mechs, they should shoot over 60#. I'm confident some mechs will work great with less, even 50#. But overall, I'd err to 60+... And if down there, probably erring to 1.5" cut vs 2+. And again, a moderate to heavy arrow.
I've killed a handful of Bulls with 60#, a 420 gr arrow, and Spitfire 3 blade mechanical.
You will have zero problems with that setup if you put it where it's supposed to go.
WapitiBob - that's really awesome to hear, and makes me think I'm a bit overkill. Gear is so good today, we are all lucky.
I would use a mechanical with that set up, if I were to use a mechanical.
Is your bow high IBO or low IBO? I shot similar specs as you with 400 grain arrows and Rocket Steelheads and had nothing but pass throughs. That was with bows that IBO 314-325, so not speed demons. But the Steelhead is a conservative mechanical as has been stated already. Unlike the other guys, I don't think the rear deploy heads are great penetrators. Think about trying to push a 2" blade with a wide attack angle through the hide, ribs/bones, etc. of an animal. I don't think that is a recipe for great penetration. If you choose a rear deploy, pick a 1.5' model like the Rage +P models with a more swept back attack angle. But I think conservative mechanicals like the Steelhead and Grim Reaper Razortips (1 3/8"), and I think the Wasp Jackhammer comes in a 1 1/4" model, penetrate better. I think these would be your best choices. And maybe look at 125 grain models to add a bit more weight to your arrows.
Use on what is a factor as well as poundage
Where you can run into issues with some mechanicals is the wide cut diameter at a nearly perpendicular plane to the target surface.
The more swept back the blades, the better your chances of good penetration and cutting what you need for a good blood trail and quick death.
With the right mechanical, I'd do it and not give it a second thought.
Yup. You are good to go. My son shot 2 elk and a bunch of whitetails with mini wasp Jak hammers. Deer were the usual deal, dead quickly. His Bull and cow were both shot out of a tree stand at like 10-12 yards. The bull traveled about 150 yds, the cow went less than 50. The 1.25 Jak Hammer is a deadly deadly head. Good luck 2 u!
I would shoot my snypers out of that set up, they are a 1 5/8" cut with a laid back blade angle like the rage +Ps, that said I wouldn't hunt elk with that set up
Deer, bears sure. Especially with a Rocket Steelhead
Carcus. You wouldn’t hunt elk with my bow set up or a mechanical with my bow set up
Thanks for all the knowledgeable info. What I was looking for in this post was I shoot both of these broadheads. Thunderhead 100 and rage hypo 2 inch very accurately at 62 lbs. Recently bought new bow and dropped to 57. I’m set on the thunderheads. The deal is I’m going on a spot and stalk mule deer hunt and wondering if I had to make a longer shot in the wind would a rage have the ass to get the job done. That’s my concern. Thanks again
The only time I will ever use a mechanical is a NAP Gobbler Getter on a Turkey.
>" I looked at rage web sight and it stated a lot of variables but no poundage."
This right here....
Certainly a novice when it comes to bow hunting and archery, but from everything i've read, learned, and been told it's all about limiting variables. And frankly MECHANICAL broadheads bring in unnecessary variables.
Their very name suggests a variable, since anything that is "mechanical" can AND WILL eventually fail.
Every time you use a mechanical broadhead you have to ask these questions...
Will they open? When will they open? Will they all open? Will they open all the way? Will they stay open?
All of the those are variables you are adding to every shot you take with a broadhead. Variables that can change with every shot. I honestly don't see how any of the pros of mechanical broadheads can outweigh the uncertainty that you get with every shot.
just my 2 cents.
Tater, my advice to you. Mechanicals for deer and bear. Fixed for elk and moose. I personally would try and get your weight above 425.
Tater that set up with a Rage is perfect for your mule deer hunt. Many people kill bigger animals all the time with that combo. It’s all about accuracy. Go have fun and show us a picture or two.
I wouldn't with those numbers
Tater what your asking for is advice on windy conditions on mulies. So should you shoot a mechanical..... If you have the power, and right arrow, I would. The reason I switched to the ram cat, and my friends shoot the Wasp Boss, and Exodus, is performance in windy conditions.......
I only shoot 55lbs, so I do not use a mech. either way,, you have to get out in the real world, under good windy conditions and fire away at your target, to practice what you might face.
What I have seen with the mechs, from other guys, is poor penetration, not because the head was no good, but again, not enough power from bow, and the wrong arrow, to push it.......... My friend shoots 70lbs, a good arrow, and gets great penetration.....
Mechanicals have improved a lot. My best mule deer was a long shot (67) with a rage hypo and worked perfectly. I also killed a sheep with it. Look at the new Rage No Collar +P for your set up.
A big advantage not discussed for a mechanical advantage is the ability to use smaller vanes! The wind will catch large vanes more likely than a small Broadhead. But with a forgiving mech Broadhead you need less vanes to control the arrow so you can reduce that as well. I shoot bohning heat vanes which are low profile and work well in the wind. They don’t steer a big fixed that well.
Your fine I would not be worried
You can also look at hybrids, like The Veteran broadheads. You get a 1.25" cut even if it doesnt open to the full 2". I shoot them from my 55# Obsession FXL and get expansion every time. Plus, they are as close to field point accurate as ive ever seen. Just my .02
All mechs are not created equal. Are you looking at 1.5" or 2.5" cut? Big difference.
All game not created equal either. I wouldn't hesitate using those numbers on deer or black bear for a second. They are pretty "soft" IMO and not too hard to get from one side to the other. Elk..... likely not. I'm still not sold on mechs for those and I'd probably go with a narrower cut if I did.... which kinda negates the whole purpose of using a mech in my mind.