Yes that's a strong statement. I'll be waiting for the bashing to begin. Let me tell you why Vortex broadheads are superior. 1. Unbreakable 2. Blades sharpened to the tip therefore no DEFLECTION. 3. Fly great because of the very small blade exposure. 4. Blades as designed to bend under extreme loads and not break. 5. They completely deploy after entering the animal NOT ON IMPACT. Broadheads that deploy upon impact loose energy trying to push a completely deployed blade through hide and bone. 6. Vortex broadheads have been time tested since 1988. 7. Vortex broadheads don't deploy in flight and have been tested to over 450 fps. 8. Vortex broadheads are guaranteed to deploy 100% of the time. Get you some Vortex broadheads.
Steve, you make some big comments, but every time someone suggests sending a pack of heads to lusk archery to do a Broadhead test you go quiet. He’s don’t like 100 tests and tests them all the same way. Is it perfect? No, but at least it’s consistent and non biased. He’s on YouTube. If you send him a message or post on there he’ll tell you how to get the heads to him. I’d love to see how they perform.
Dr. Ashby speaks of mechanical advantage, and ironically, it has nothing to do with moving parts. I will give you credit to your claims, because you did claim "best", amongst other mechanical broadheads. I have shot everything, and it all kills, as long as you hit where you should, and you shoot the deer at the optimum angle (or lack there of), but after truly breaking it down, I have to ask why the need to shoot a mechanical in the first place? Is it just to skip broadhead tuning, and jumping from field tips to broadheads without any further research? Can I assume you specified "amongst mechanical broadheads", because they still fall short of a tuned arrow to a tuned cut on contact fixed broadhead? I cannot see the impacts of the other animals, but the young lady and the split G2 buck were deer that would have died with any sharp broadhead. I'll give most credit to the shot placement on those two, and am more interested in what a broadhead will do when the shot didn't go as planned. Please know I'm not bashing, just making conversation that has probably been beat to death lol.
Clickbait... and a given right to all who sponsor the site. Well done.
Steven- I like the heads and have used them a bit. I've only used them for local whitetails, so my experience doesnt amount to much of a 5 star review. My only complaint is that the blades are far from sharp out of the package. Sharpening them is a PIA, but a necessary step prior to using. Any plans in the works to improve the blades?
Love the conversation guys, I'll be in and out on this . I'm packing and getting ready for my wife's Desert sheep hunt that starts on the 1st.
John As for Lusk testing the heads he's welcome to purchase a pack if he wants to test them. I see some issues with his testing and a few things I don't agree with such as penetration shooting into ballistics gel first through a board. Shaft pinch is a major issue in this type of testing do it's giving false results each and every shot. Pete The advantage to a mechanical broadhead is obviously cutting diameter!! we all know that if we make a bad hit the bigger the hole in that animal the more chance of recovery. As I'm sure you are aware I outfit for a living and guide over 60 archery hunters per year. I can say with 100% certainty that animals that are hit bad with a small cutting diameter head are likely to be non recoveries, and those that are hit bad with a large cutting diameter mechanical are more likely to be recovered. I'll post some animals where the shots were bad hits and recovered.
Lol you want him to buy the heads and won’t even donate a set of “the best heads on the market” to prove it? He doesn’t buy heads, many manufacturers donate heads because they’re confidence in their product. You’re right, his tests aren’t perfect but they’re consistent across the board so every head will be negatively impacted by any flaw. If you’re going to make outlandish comments at least have the stones to back it up. Sounds like you’re not too confident after all to prove how amazing they are! I’ll stick with tried and true heads, not “mine are the best because I say so”.
Matt, someone already posted above that the Broadheads don’t come sharp out of the package. Right there the test is worth seeing.
He does a flight test, which I would assume any mechanical would excel in, but it’s still a VERY valid test.
He does a penetration test, and the fold over mechanicals have always shown to struggle in penetration, but Steve has said his design will out penetrate everything else, so I’d love to see it.
And lastly, maybe it’s not a replica of bone and hide, but there’s been enough heads shot to show that some heads are more durable than others.
Lastly, why wouldn’t you send him a pack?!!! His annihlator test got 47k views!!!! If it’s truly the best mechanical out there, imagine all the sales you’d see from 10-47k bow hunters seeing the head, probably many for the first time.
Seems like pretty cheap advertising for 15 dollars worth of heads!
John He does a penetration test, and the fold over mechanicals have always shown to struggle in penetration, but Steve has said his design will out penetrate everything else, so I’d love to see it. Broadheads that have a smaller entrance hole in the wood will have more shaft pinch therefore have less penetration in the Ballistics gel. If you watch my myth busting video explaining this you will see that the test Lusk does is invalid for penetration.
Point taken on the sharpness, although I have always found the out of the package sharpness to be adequate.
In the very few of Lusk's videos I have watched, the flight test was just shooting at a single ~12" balloon at 80 yards. It always struck me as odd that he did that as it indicates very little. He doesn't comment on where he hit the balloon (dead center or on the edge), doesn't shoot for groups, doesn't measure wind drift, doesn't speak to any retuning that was required. Moreover, the test involves a human shooter and not a machine, so it doesn't even isolate the BH as the predominant variable. It is just "did it hit the balloon or not?". Not VERY anything in my book.
Your comment on the penetration test gets at the heart of my question. When a specific test notably reduces the penetration a specific subset of MBH's due to the method of actuation, and that reduction in penetration isn't noted in the field on actual game, how valuable is the data generated by that test? My opinion is that is can very well be misleading/counter productive to incorporate that into one's decision-making process.
Or maybe it is just me? Too stuck in my ways to elevate the findings from YouTube videos above my actual experience in the field...
Why is it so many guys who’s fixed heads “fly like darts” at the range end up hitting shoulders and guts?
I’ll venture to say form, or rather a break down of perfect range form. That perfectly tuned setup has now been handicapped by poor form and like it or not, the mechanical will be less affected by that break down and more likely to hit closer to your mark.
Steve what about the broadhead keeps it shut at impact yet allows it to open inside the animal? Serious question as I’ve considered trying your heads. I don’t do facebooger this is my Facebook so links to these videos would be good.
“ Why is it so many guys who’s fixed heads “fly like darts” at the range end up hitting shoulders and guts?”
I’d say the answer to that 95% of the time is targets don’t produce nerves or the desire to lower the bow arm to see impact. Rushing a shot even with good form is something a target doesn’t produce. I’d guess most misses aren’t necessarily attributed to broadhead flight more so that just simply pulling off the animal as a result focus of the shot sequence. Don’t ask me how I’ve come to this conclusion.;) Your point is still valid though.
The Vortex is a solid head with a long track record to back it up. I shoot a bunch of animals each year with a bunch of heads. I like to compare and have first hand experience when talking about things. Vortex are tough, fly accurate and flat out kill. Steven has spent his life in the field and knows what he is talking about.
Link- there is a robber O ring that keeps the heads shut and when they open the O ring slides down the shaft of the arrow.
Come on Ambush! Bias much? I think the comment about missing the mark applies to all people who miss the mark. I'm not sure form or broadhead means a hill of beans in that broadly painted remark? You want my opinion? I'd say the need to feel accepted amongst the ranks of hunters, and worse yet, trophy hunters, makes people choose to release the string, when they might or should let down instead. Add the fact that TV shows show people taking insanely long or inappropriate shots, only feeds their prowess to take a shot they shouldn't. Shooting a static target in the back yard under optimum conditions, in short sleeved shirts, on level ground, with the perfect stance, is a far cry from hunting in an elevated position, in cold weather, wearing a lot of layers, at a target that moves, that has bone, and doesn't allow do-overs or excuses like "I pulled that one". I think everyone knows hitting a deer in the vitals is ultimately the most important thing. The debate over fixed or mechanical will never be solved in our lifetime, because most of it is opinion. I'm a scientific sort of person, and there's thousands of years of evidence to debunk the debate that one head is better than another. Remember, paleo man used stone and sticks to survive. I guess the evidence is a bit overwhelming, because here we are today lol. Be good!
And Paleo man lived in small groups that were limited by their ability to secure food. Starvation was a common death and inhibitor to population growth. So the sticks and stones weren’t all that great.
"Link- there is a robber O ring that keeps the heads shut and when they open the O ring slides down the shaft of the arrow."
I would tweak that response just a bit, in that the blades are able to deploy when the o-ring slides back. The o-ring usually grabs a few hairs or feathers and get drug down the shaft, so the BH is in the animal an inch or so before the blades actuate. I've tended to see 1"+ entrances (hide stretch) and 2 1/2" exits with a 2" cutting diameter. I like the manner the heads deply as, unlike a Rage, the full blades are not having to push/cut through the hide. I think this provides for better penetration and likely better blade retention.
"people taking insanely long or inappropriate shots"
Maybe we should focus on being a better hunter by getting closer to the animal, instead of focusing on a head that flies better in wind at long distances, or makes us miss by less and corrects for our small or big miss, if we choke at long distances.
And we did a full circle to show your bias. Again, it won't get proven here, but if you're suggesting bad form favors a mechanical broadhead shooter versus a fixed blade broadhead shooter, I can only surmise that you shoot a mechanical broadhead, and are bias. I'll show my bias now. There might be some people that would argue that those who truly broadhead tune their bows because they indeed shoot a fixed blade, might just be more apt to practice good form better than those who assume field tip accuracy, because it says so on the box? Let me ask a hypothetical question to you. What broadhead would you choose to have if two exact shots were off their mark, and hit bone? If you choose a larger cutting diameter from a mechanical, but trade that in for less penetration due to weaker steel and thinner blades, than I still favor a cut on contact fixed blade. Perhaps a two blade single or double bevel that has much heavier steel. You cannot assume that everyone shoots poorly. I sure don't. I have shot everything there is. I've just concluded over time, that some things are more reliable when an animal perhaps moves, or the hunter misses his mark. Yes, the argument that a 2 inch blade makes a bigger hole, applies when hit perfectly. You brought up the shoulder, and please don't suggest that mechanical broadheads haven't hit the shoulder.....as often as fixed have? Yes, planing certainly can happen with a fixed blade, but there are pros and cons to anything.....just ask the guys who are bias. They'll tell you brand a through Z is the best lol. I'm a firm believer in the fundamentals of archery, over the products. Take care, and straight shooting!
The blades may be unbreakable, but the aluminum ferrules are not. I’ve shot them every year for deer season since 92. I’ve had a couple ferrules snap inside the insert. A couple on deer and a couple on hogs. I won’t waste them on the hogs anymore. I prefer fixed heads on them. But come opening till closing of deer season I have 3 - 2.5” Vortex in my quiver and 2 MX-3s
The Vortex BHs are obviously great .... I looked at them, and settled on Sevr BHs. Better? Worse? Highly subjective. Just look at every subject on Bowsite.... no matter what, you'll have detractors. I'm satisfied with the performance of the Sevr broadheads. I really doubt I'll look any further. To each their own, your milage WILL vary.
I have killed 72 deer with Jak Hammer's so i am not going to change. They work for me every time . If you guys remember Bowdad he was having trouble tuning his fixed blade broadheads out to 35 yards. He called me and wanted to know where he could get some of those heads I used to kill hogs. I told him to come to my house and I would fix him up with some Jak Hammers. He left two days later to go out West Elk hunting. He got a really nice bull and brought me a cooler full of elk steaks. He made a long shot and got his bull. He said penetration was fantastic and blood trail was great. He is in the happy hunting grounds now but he was a special friend and I miss him.
Ok, I didn't know that. Thanks for clearing it up!
I seriously don't get too involved with.... this is the best, that sucks debates.... I like to make my own decisions, and rest assured, I don't follow crowds. Like I said in an earlier post, they look like great BHs, and deliver results. I went with another brand.
Bowfreak, bias aside (the irony lol) please indulge me with your research. I never made a claim about one being more forgiving. My claim was that mechanicals were, when bad form was involved. I actually responded to the post that showed fixed blade users were the one hitting deer poorly, as if the mechanical was magic beyond the giant cutting holes lol.
Is it just me or did anyone notice that the sound man with the javelina is holding a fixed blade head? I thought these were mechanical kills?
I have a new pack of the Vortex Steel 125's I'd be willing to send to have tested if the one of the owners of the company won't send a pack. What's the address Ucsdryder? Never seen this Lusk sight but will check it out.
FTR I did use them on a couple turkeys this year and liked them and was going to try them this year on deer but never drew my bow back.
No, I'm saying to people, quit relying on the easy way out. I'm suggesting that form is imperative, and quite frankly the most basic thing to start with. I feel as an archer, and hunter, we owe it to the game we kill, to be quick about their death. That means we should do everything possible to improve our odds to do so. I'm saying don't take the shot, when it's not perfect. Letting an animal walk because they didn't offer the best shot is the sign of a far better hunter, than one who gets lucky with a poorly hit deer. I'm saying you should limit your shots to a reasonable distance, because an animal is not a target, and I don't care how well you shoot in your back yard, it is not real life hunting. I'm suggesting that any broadhead will kill a deer as long as the broadhead is sharp, and the deer is shot where it should be. I'm also suggesting that a completely tuned, fixed blade broadhead that has been sharpened to a mirror sharpness, is the better choice when bone is involved. I could care less about what a mechanical does on the perfect shot. I expect that, and I've witnessed it myself. I want to know how it performs on a bad day. Let me remind you, I'm not calling your product bad. Hell, I've never shot it. What I'm suggesting, is there are better choices for other reasons, and that goes well beyond the cutting diameter. Please take note, that although you're a sponsor, there are key players not chiming in. There is a reason for that. It would be detrimental to talk poorly about a product, they likely would not endorse. That's not suggesting your product is crap. I'm sure it is the best mechanical on the market. What I'm suggesting, is those who've done their own research have come to different conclusions, for many reasons. Please know I'm just giving my opinion, and my bias, and I'm speaking out of turn, because I have not shot your product, but you yourself described things I'd avoid. 41 years of doing this, and I swear until the day I no longer hunt, I'll be striving for something unattainable, and that my friend, is greatness. Even greatness is arguable lol. Again, best of luck to your wife on the sheep!
They are a great head and flat out work. Everything I’ve shot with them has died in short order. I agree with all the points about a big mech. I disagree however, about not wanting the head opened before penetrating at all. I want “full money” on my entrance hole. After going through merely ribs or hide I’m not worried about getting to the other side of an animal. You’re only ever guaranteed one hole. I like it big.
12yards' question is one that's confused me too. The claims that the shape on the left will outpenetrate the shape on the right (all other things being equal) seems to defy physics, at least in my simple mind. Maybe all other things aren't equal. Maybe I'm missing something. Not sure, but I am confused by that statement.
BTW, I'm not a Vortex hater and not bashing on them. I've never tried them, but would give the a shot based on the recs of a bunch of people who I respect and appreciate their info. But, I do think the question above by 12yards is a reasonable one, and I'm curious what the answer might be.
I’ve also never shot a mech where blades snap. I’ve had Grim Reapers, Rockets, and Rage all bend so that’s same deal as Vortex. It’s actually “inferior” steel as far as holding an edge that bends.
Like I said, Vortex are still a great head though, and I liked the American Archer version with a steel ferrule.
As the owner of the company though it does kind of baffle me that you think people will trust your own videos more than a third party? Makes no sense. You wanna show a durability video. No one has any idea if the head is that durable or you simply deleted the 4/5 videos where the head snapped and showed the one that didn’t. Kind of baffling. If the head is good I’d want independent testers regardless of how imperfect the tests may be. Your tests aren’t perfect either. But no one can really trust your home grown tests anyways as you control both the test and the result.
To be clear I’m not knocking the head. It performs as advertised IMO, and kills stuff dead. I just prefer other characteristics and marketing efforts lol. And since it’s the internet and I can give my opinion everywhere no one wants it there you have it! Lol
Midwest, it's interesting that you say that. I've been told for a very long time how important blade angle is on fixed heads regarding penetration. ...and with fixed heads, you're talking about a very small number of degrees difference in angles. The Vortex vs. many other mechanicals have a dramatically different angle- enough so that I'm skeptical that the impact on penetration is negligible.
Another thing that contributes to penetration is cutting diameter and the Vortex has a very large cutting diameter (obviously). In my mind that cutting diameter comes with both pros and cons, but one of the cons is that it's a liability when it comes to penetration. So, regarding penetration, there are two strikes against the Vortex design, at least in my mind.
All that being said, there's something to "the proof's in the pudding" and I do respect the opinion of many who have chimed in advocating for the Vortex heads. I'm just trying to raise what I think are legitimate questions about them.
There is no magic. Common sense is all thats needed to estimate the penetration capability of a head. There are things like material quality and manufacturing quality that aren't visible but I've never been surprised about how a head penetrated.
Less optimal designs can penetrate great with enough force.
I think the penetration claims come from the fact that the blades don’t open until they’re inside the animal? The problem is that if you don’t get a pass through then you have a field point size hole with the shaft plugging it on one side and no hole on the other. Someone feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.
I too have no issue with the head. I just find it odd that he’s unwilling to have anybody else do a test, but does his own tests. Call me a pessimist but tests done by the manufacturer don’t hold much weight for me.
Scoot, I'm just comparing a Vortex to a slip cam design like Rage. The Vortex claims greater penetration due to not being fully open until inside the cavity so there is no energy wasted cutting hide and bone with the full 2" of width whereas the Rage is fully deployed and cutting immediately. At least that's the way I understand the theory.
I agree with Adam's comment above. You're only guaranteed 1 hole, I'd rather it be a big one. :-)
All the pics I've seen seem to indicate that the entrance is not FP sized, although it's certainly not fully-deployed size.
Here's the thing though, most the time I don't have two holes, it's because I hit the offside shoulder. I've never hit an animal in the guts and not passed through. If you hit offside shoulder, you don't need a second hole because most of the time, that animal is going to die in 50 yards or less and if not, then shortly thereafter in most cases.
"I think the penetration claims come from the fact that the blades don’t open until they’re inside the animal? The problem is that if you don’t get a pass through then you have a field point size hole with the shaft plugging it on one side and no hole on the other. Someone feel free to correct me if I’m wrong."
The penetration claim is probably based on not pushing the full cutting diameter through the hair and hide.
I am not sure where the notion that you would get a .2" (field point-sized) entrance from a head with a closed diameter of 7/8", but that is not correct. My experience with Vortex entrance holes is that they are generally at least ~1.25". I've attached a photo to better demonstrate.
I have rarely lost an animal shot with a mechanical broadhead. I lost my first whitetail, after many years, this year shot with a fixed blade muzzy 100. The hit was back in the liver and I lost blood. I am quite certain, given the track history, that had I used a mechanical I would not have lost blood due to the large exit holes.
Wards - they look cool. I almost gave em a whirl this year. I've been on a bit of a broadhead wanderlust the last few years. I LOVE Rages - sorry - and have nothing but good experiences with them... Sometimes, you just like to play with new stuff. And that's me lately.
I tend to agree with Apauls on this, I want a massive hole going in, and as far as the arrow goes there after. Am I reading this thread correctly that with Vortex the blades cut going in but really are opening fully when inside the critter?
Where they are over the top, how do they not deflect going in? If so, that's great! It's just hard to square the physics in my mind.
"Matt that’s definitely a big entrance. If that’s the case, how do you explain the claim that they penetrate better with a blade angle that physics would say hinder penetration."
First, that is a 1"+ hole through the hide and hair and not a 2"+ hole like a Rage. Hair and hide are much tougher to cut through than lung tissue, so my sense is a fair bit of energy is lost in gaining that 2"+ entrance with a Rage. I caution to attribute the poor penetration that many TV huntertainers get with Rage to the deployment method, but I am sure it is a contributor.
If the second point is in regards to 12yards' diagram above, my thoughts are 2:
* The diagram is not a very accurate depiction of the difference in blade profile between a 2" Vortex and a 2" Rage. They are much closer than represented.
* I believe people overstate the amount of resistance between the different profiles as it comes to the internals of animals. My sense is both designs tend to stretch tissue a bit before cutting, so trying to use a combination of common sense and physics has the potential to lead a person to an inaccurate conclussion.
Thanks for the reply, Matt. I appreciate both your experience and info on this topic. I've never seen a Vortex head in person. However, when I look at images on the intrawebs it looks to me like 12yards is correct- the angles are pretty darn different. Maybe these pics are misleading, but it sure looks that way to me at least...
Agree Matt, that the blade angle on a Rage is similar to a Vortex. I don't use Rage, or any head, that I think has a bad blade angle. When I used mechanicals I used a Steelhead, mainly because they had a reputation for penetrating similar to fixed heads. They worked great. I'm sure these heads work great too, and Rages too, if you are shooting enough poundage, use a heavy enough arrow, and put the head in the right place. I shoot lower poundage now due to bad shoulders so I use COC fixed heads. This is also why I am so afraid of heads that have such a flat cutting angle.
Scoot, the blade profiles are quite different, but if you were to look at the blade angle (draw a line from the middle of the set screw through the outer tip of the blades) I think you would find they are fairly similar.
That Rage is turned a bit in the pic which makes the blade angle look more favorable.
The biggest difference is the Rage blades are straight but the Vortex have an angle to them. The shoulder closest to the ferrule on the Vortex is close to 90 degrees, but the swept portion toward the tips (arguably where it is most critical) has a less aggressive angle than the Rage.
A counter point to consider, if memory serves the Rocket Steelhead had a shallower/less efficient blade angle than either and yet was still highly regarded for penetration. Food for thought....
I don't see any similarity in the blade angles between the 2 in that picture. The blade comes straight out, perpendicular to the shaft before it angles back. That section is going to impede penetration.
And the section that angles back has a more efficient blade angle than the Rage, which would improve penetration - no?
I will leave it with this: * If i can be helpful to anyone based on my experience with Vortex, feel free to PM me. * To be clear, I am not a staff shooter and pay full price for my heads like most everyone else here. My comments are in the context of a ~25 year customer and believer in the product.
Thanks for your responses, Matt. I know you are a believer and not paid to be so, and that has great value to me. Those who are paid to form their opinion about a product... they don't offer much useful info for me. I'm not trying to nitpick or be argumentative here- just asking questions about a head I've never used. The design of it immediately makes me skeptical, but your reports are consistent and I don't doubt them for a second. Thanks to all for the info- I appreciate it.
My beef with all BH makers is the quality/temper of the steel. I like the fact that the Vortex blades don't shatter, but I wish more heads were made of a higher RH steel that I could just touch up and reuse again.
I shoot fixed and mechanicals, depending on the situation. Jak Hammers, Innerloc and Vortex are my 3 favorites. I won't shoot rage on principle alone...
"And the section that angles back has a more efficient blade angle than the Rage, which would improve penetration - no?"
I don't see it being enough to possibly make up the difference. So I'll leave it at that, and not argue with your success using that head. I have tried Rage, and said on my other thread I would try the Vortex between the two given only those 2 choices. I might just get a pack of each and do my own penetration test.
In my opinion the vortex is a tougher head than the rage. Rage seem more fragile and can open up prematurely while vortex will stay closed forsure because of the o ring. But obviously both work well for people
With that said. I have a short draw length and I prefer fixed blades. I shoot Iron Wills
I've always preferred mechs with orings, I still shoot the rocky mountain snyper that uses one, I still have a few packs left as I bought 16 packs when I heard they sold to rage, when I run out I might give vortex a try
"What requires more energy? to slice a bone or to chop it?"
Given the same weight arrow/broadhead combination, I'd still rather have a swept back angle on the blades. If a flat angle of attack was the best thing to get through bone, you'd see fixed heads with a flat front. They don't exist that I know of. I think your question is a bad one. When you chop something you are using a very heavy tool which generates a lot of momentum. Given the same weight axe, I would bet a pointed axe head would penetrate a tree trunk further than a flat faced axe. But I'm no lumberjack.
I am a fan of Vortex heads. They are great heads. The two issues I have with them is that I like to resharpen heads and I am not talented enough to sharpen their blades. I wonder if you could hold them in a stay sharp clamp or something like that? The biggest issue I have with them is price. I can pick up a pack of Trypans for $30 and I have never found Vortex anywhere near that price.
I really liked the old steel broadhead. I believe it was a 1.5" cut head (maybe 2"). Whatever it was it was a great head.
Earlier this year I chat with a broadhead manufacturer about a redesign of one of their heads. The chat was about making a little smaller head, down from 2 inches (a mechanical) when open to 1.5 when open. But also this new head had to have blades that were more swept when open than the one pictured in Bownbirdhntr. You can see that the head in his picture has blades close to the main body of the head that are not very swept back. I not a fan of heads that don't have blades that are not swept back right off the main body of the head when open.
In Ermine, picture above you can see what I'm talking about about blades being more at at about 90 degree off the main body to blades that are more of a 45 degree off the main body. Would " I " use a mech head that the blades are at more 90,, yes.. But only on deer size game. Anything bigger I would use a mechanical head that's when open only about 1.5 inches wide with swept back blade that would cut way easier thru bone and flesh. Also the blades I prefer don't have vents to catch in them to catch flesh or anything else that could get in the vents to impede the head from penetrating. A small head with swept back blade would also not need as much kinetic energy. That why I guess have seen such good results from the rocket steel head 100 on larger game and also on folks shooting lighter setups on deer size game. Just me 2 cents. Ed
I've had killzones and rage snap blades, not the case with the vortex blades. Like Charlie said above, the bend but not break was what sold me on them. They do come out mangled sometimes but at least it's all there and doing its job. I get that it is a inferior steel for holding edge but I've never had issues with sharpness as the edge stays protected when not deployed.
I tried a Rage once on a cow elk. Made what I thought was a good shot, eventually had to empty my quiver to put her down. That cured me of the mech infatuation. If I was to shoot a mechanical I would look at these, but probably go with a Grim Reaper. I'd shoot a mech at turkeys.
GG, classic internet response. I take it you would walk away from a broadhead you had killed ~75 animals with and watched another ~25 killed with because a Youtuber published a video that did not favor it?
No, Matt, I walked away from Vortex broad heads over 20 years age because I hated them. The design hasn't changed significantly since then, so my opinion hasn't changed.
It seems whenever irrefutable evidence is shown that fixed broad heads outperform MBHs in controlled tests, the MBH fanboys response is always "well, they kill stuff for me, so your test doesn't mean squat." Then they start talking about "one big hole is better than 2 small holes" and other similar nonsense.
Steven, I don't remember the model of Vortex that I tried. It looked identical to the current offerings, I may still have one laying around here, somewhere,
For the record, unlike many die-hard fixed blade advocates, I gave MBHs a legitimate chance to convince me for several years, and was never impressed. I know the fanboys claim the designs have come a long ways since then, but I just don't see it from either a engineering or materials perspective. To me, they are just a one-and-done disposal product for guys who don't know how, or don't care to tune their bows correctly. Similar to the disposal blade knives that are so popular right now, for the guys who can't sharpen a real knife.
By comparison, I'm still using the same 9 one-piece fixed blade broadheads that I bought over a decade ago. I've killed multiple big game animals with several of them, and they are still going strong after a quick touch up. I know that doesn't make manufactures much money, but it s saved me quite a bit over the years.
And, yes, I'm familiar with all the talking points for MBHs. More accurate, more forgiving, less prone to wind drift, bigger holes....yada yada yada. I just don't buy any of that nonsense, based on my own in the field experiences.
I'm not knocking Vortex, but I don't like mechs. Anything with rubber bands to hold the blades together and worrying IF it will open or not is worries I don't need. Never have to worry if my fixed head is going to work. I've tried G5 Tekans, Havocs, watched my Dad lose a good buck with a Grim Reaper and I realized they are not the best option, end of story. The post above that said claiming they are the best mechanical broadhead isn't saying much pretty much summed up my thoughts as well. They obviously work, but I've moved on from having a desire to ever shoot a mech again. A well built fixed head takes out the worry for me. Shoot what you are confident in.
Steve, never shot a vortex and never will. Don’t like a broadhead with two long flimsy blades (breaks, bends, or both). Heck, you guys even brag about the way it bends as if that is a good thing! Second, I’m sure the that big flat blade angle is going to lose all its energy and penetration as soon as it T-bones a couple elk ribs. Finally, really great products prove themselves over time and don’t require claims like “best”. If this thing has been around since 1988 it should be selling itself. By the way I was using punch cutters in 1988. Not a very good expandable either.
Did you happen to look at all the elk pictures I posted? I could post hundreds of elk and large African game killed with Vortex. Oh and by the way they do sell themselves. Flimsy blades. That comment made me laugh out loud. The photo attached is one broadhead being shot 12 times through 3/4"plywood. Do those blades look flimsy to you?
The fact that these threads always turn into "I've been bowhuntin' for 40 years and my old Bear Razor heads have never failed me" just points to the inability to change with the times. I resisted changing to mechanicals for many years. I have only been shooting them exclusively 5 or 6 years. They are the best option to kill the stuff I hunt the majority of the time.
That 3 inches of penetration you got on the plywood proved my point. That’s probably what an elk hit through rib bone would do. You probably kill some and lose some. Of coarse we only post pictures of the dead ones. Penetration is king in my book. Not a wide cut 3 inches deep. And, I’m sure some of the shots don’t hit anything to hard so they penetrate deeper occasionally.
You guys ever watch a gladiator movie??? Let's go with you said yes. Now have you ever seen said gladiator run into battle with his sword held sideways???? Let's go with no on that question. Why doesn't he run into battle with it sideways well because your not gonna penetrate as far as he can with it pointed forward and cutting on contact. Look at the picture above this a mechanical broadhead only went 4 inches maybe through a 1/2 or 3/4 inch piece of plywood. Last thing everyone who shoots mechanical broadheads watch "ranch fairy" on you tube and let me know what you think. He makes some good points. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hZZ36HidJGw&t=495s Go ahead and skip to about the 6 minute 30 second mark
I've read this whole thread and there is a lot of talk about penatration which I talked about in my last post but nobody talked about a high f.o.c (front of center) the research that has been done it needs to be at 19 percent so basically your 100 grain mbh isnt gonna get you there. Why is there no 200 grain mbh? Or am I not looking in the right spot for a 200 grain mechanical broadheads
This is my personal experience for what thats worth. I shot vortex last year along with The Veterans and both functioned identically. The entrance holes were on the smaller side at about 1" and the exits were close to 1.75". The blades on the The Veterans were SUBSTANTIALLY sharper than the Vortex, however, i had blades break off all 3 times i used The Veterans while both the Vortex looked pretty much as they did prior to the shot. Now, these were on whitetail deer and not elk or moose. I had complete pass throughs on all of them and all the shots were under 35 yards. I believe i am going to finish out this season with the Afflictor K2 hybrids and see how it shakes out.
Disclaimer: I have used Vortex heads for turkeys only, but it’s been several years ago. Killed a pile of birds with them, too. Shooting Bullheads on them now. Using VPAs currently for big game, so I could hardly be considered a fanboy, quiver licker, or whatever moniker you choose. If I do go back to MHs, I’d definitely give the Vortex heads serious consideration, though.
""Why is Matt’s comment considered a non-answer, yet we are to accept your “in the field experiences” as a legitimate argument, GG??"
You're right. I assumed Matt's opinion was purely based on the fact he has killed 75 animals with Vortex blades, or so he claims. Perhaps he has actually done unbiased testing of other blades to come to his opinion that Vortex are superior. If so, I apologize for discounting his opinion.
My opinion is based on field testing both MBHs and fixed blade heads, as well as observing the results of both style heads on many animals shot by clients when I was guiding. I honestly don't recall ever seeing a MBH that survived impacting an animal without damage. At best, the blades were bent and needed to be replaced. At worst, the head was completely destroyed, never to be shot again. Penetration was usually worse with MBHs, and bloodtrails were often longer.
Having said all that, my experiences with MBHs are admittedly several years old. Perhaps their technology has improved since then. I'm willing to give Vortex another try, based on the comments of respected hunters, here.
"You're right. I assumed Matt's opinion was purely based on the fact he has killed 75 animals with Vortex blades, or so he claims. Perhaps he has actually done unbiased testing of other blades to come to his opinion that Vortex are superior."
Very nice passive-aggressive undertones in that reply! Haha... whatever...
"I'm willing to give Vortex another try, based on the comments of respected hunters, here."
Nice backpedaling! Are you saying the guys who you disrespectfully respond to are now "respected hunters"? Just curious who you're referring to...
For the following I will be discussing mechs on deer/bear and smaller animals. I live in Manitoba so I don't have the liberal tag numbers many states do, so I haven't shot 300 deer. But I have noticed unequivicolly that mech heads as a general group have led to shorter and more graphic blood trails over fixed heads. No question. I've killed animals with many many styles of heads. Many fixed heads, and many mech heads. Every bow I've shot has been tuned to shoot any fixed head I own, from the old staples such as Muzzy's and Thunderheads, to the new and shiny like Iron Wills. With the energy that a modern compound delivers on a decent arrow, penetration is simply a non-issue for most adult males shooting reasonable poundage.
Smaller holes lead to issues with black bears in particular as black bears have a real pension for clotting their wounds. Be it the hair, or fat, or whatever it is, small holes are not favourable on black bears. After a lot of shooting different mechs, I have settled into the 1.5"-2" 2 blade mech arena as my preferred head style for deer/bear and smaller. I may also move that way with elk in the future. I am unsure as of yet. The blood trails are violently graphic, and short. I have never experienced a "failure" of any kind - with any head. But I am very anal about my equipment. Many hunters are scared of a rubber band. I actually prefer a rubber band. They just work.
These are my experiences as an unbiased hunter who likes to experiment with different head styles. I really don't give a rats ass what you shoot, but it is really annoying to the average reader to see certain posters dominate discussions with their opinion when they do not even have the field experience to back up their opinion on a subject. I may even theorize that a head design will not penetrate well due to it's "flat blade angle at the outset", and even throw that into a conversation, but when non-biased users pipe up saying they have enjoyed excellent penetration I would simply watch and listen. Maybe purchase and use a pack if my curiosity is peaked. And truly, when speaking of Vortex, my curiosity was peaked, and I have actually bought several packages of heads, and they have performed very very well. Just as advertised. As I've mentioned before, with my risk assessment on shots and how they may go I prefer a large entry hole, so I prefer a different head style as my go-to, but that is a matter of personal preference.
Do the Vortex perform as advertised? With my experience of about 5 or 6 animals, 100% they do. Would I anticipate a failure? Never.
The last 2 I used on a coyote and whitetail buck came through with the ferrule (stainless steel) unscathed. Were the blades toast? Well they were dull, but I could resharpen them. Will I? Not likely. 95% of mech heads are designed for the blades to be throwaways. That seems to on it's own create a visceral reaction among purists. "the blades were bent and beyond repair" is a complaint mentioned above. Yes, true, they were designed that way. Don't buy a disposable face mask and get upset when it doesn't last 14 wash cycles.
In my personal risk assessment, the shooting form that is necessary to carry "on the range" accuracy into the field is touchier with most fixed heads than it is with mech heads. To me, seeing as broadhead failure is a non-issue, I would rather remove some of the accuracy risk besides the fact that I have had better results with bigger holes. Honestly, I can shoot a grapefruit at 70 yards most shots with fixed heads. Many can shoot better than me I know, but I have zero issues flinging fixed heads, and yet myself, and many others like me still decide to use mech heads. There must be something to it! For the first time in my life I am between jobs for 2 months, so I have an embarrassing amount of time to devote to bowsite and meaningless drivel posts like this one lol.
I will say this, for all my experimentation a few standout heads for me are in no particular order: Rage heads for entry holes and blood trails, Iron Wills for accuracy forgiveness in the fixed head category as well as edge retention, and Rocket Steelheads for toughness/penetration/accuracy in the mech head category.
The blades are not bent, they are not in the center of the axis. I've been using this head for many years and have killed everything from preds to moose with never a failure. But that said, with the new owner's decision to go off shore and "lump" all Spitfires together, when I'm out of blades to re-sharpen and good ferrules, I will move on. No need to shoot junk with the choices out there.
If a mechanical broadhead hits an animal where it was aimed, makes a massive entrance wound (and in my case normally an exit hole as well), produces a large blood trail, kills the animal quickly and leads to a short recovery, did the head fail if the blade bent?
"I’m not really a mech head fan but does everyone notice that Grey Ghost is pretty much a douche bag on every thread?"
So having a difference of opinion based on ones experience with mech's makes one a douche bag?
Thing is, perception is reality. If someone has had past bad experiences with "X" broadhead, their perception is mechs are shit and that's their reality. Me, I was the biggest Rage basher in God's green earth. My background in automation and engineering was my basis. My last eight whitetails were killed with Rage 1-1/2" Hypodermics. Big entrance and exits. Horror show worthy blood trails, albeit somewhat short.
Now, here's the caveat. You wanna proclaim that brand "X" out performs others. Prove it. Back it up with controlled, verifiable and repeatable results. Pics of dead animals ain't a controlled test. Hell, I can find numerous pics of elk killed with a .243 and can proclaim that Federal Premium 100 soft points are the best elk cartridge out there. 'Cept anecdotal evidence is NOT empirical evidence.
As far as GG stirring the pot on Pat's Kansas hunt. Yeah...paid mucho $$ to shoot big deer over corn. Pat loves that hunt, good for him. But I suspect that if it was someone other than Pat and a regular Joe Blow Bowsiter shot a 145" buck over a pile of apples in Bum-Phuc New Jersey....well let's just say I'd bet the level of shown enthusiasm here would be somewhat diminished.
JMO... that and $5 will get you a lousy cup of coffee at Starbucks.
75% of the dudes posts are to look down upon somebody for somethin. But its everybody else that needs to have “thicker skin”. Fanboys crack me up too......
Although, this may be the first time in history he’s admitted that maybe, just maybe, his opinion isnt the only possibility. Im super excited to see if he actually checks them out or cops out instead citing the same useless BS as normal. I mean that with all due respect, as Ricky Bobby would say....
Vortex obviously is a killer, but so is every other broadhead made. I agree with many comments above that there seems to be more than enough reputable bowhunters here vouching for these heads, but it does seem silly that the only tests the owner is willing to put the head he is so obviously confident in is his own tests. Yeah, dead animal pics show they work, but every broadhead maker in history has dead animal pics. Maybe ur not afraid, but it seems like ya could be?
"So having a difference of opinion based on ones experience with mech's makes one a douche bag?"
No, it is the smugness with which he champions his opinions based on minimal experience as somehow being more valid than the significantly greater collective experience of people and how he implies other people are being dishonest when sharing their perspectives to elevate his own that make him a douche bag.
But then again, that is just an opinion based on my experience.
"I'm guessing slitting the ferrule at an angle like that would keep the core of the ferrule thicker, therefore stronger than slitting in line with the center axis."
True, but why. The weakest point is still going to be the little screw that holds it in place, and the small cross section of blade surrounding it. Not bashing Spitfires. Shot the 2 blades for several years before settling on Rocket Sidewinders.
To me testing a Broadhead by hitting cement, plywood and gel is worthless. Testers have agendas too. Vortex is a family run business competing with giant conglomerates. I like the little guy whenever possible.
I value, field experience on actual kills by bow hunters I know. Kill some animals and report the results.
So far this year I’ve shot 7 deer using Vortex Steel 125’s. One of the Broadheads was lost in the woods, two blades were bent and tossed. The remaining 10 blades were cleaned up and re-sharped with a tool called “Stay Sharp” (google Stay Sharp). I re-use and re-sharpen the good blades.
PS: Thread title is designed to get attention. Lots of great heads available today. As far as internet marketing goes this thread is a home run for Bowsite sponsor Vortex.
Midwest, you’re correct and the deployed blade pocket is deeper to handle side loading.
Bow bender, in all the Spitfires I’ve shot into animals, not one has sheared a screw, so I wouldn’t consider that a weak point.
Charlie, you are bang on. So many testers claim to be “replicating” field conditions. So what could possibly be more consistent with real live tests on animals than actually shooting them through real live animals. One person shooting several animals is anecdotal, but hundreds of people shooting several animals becomes a body of evidence.
Ucsd, if the dollar was even and Free Trade included broadheads, I’d try some.
I bought some Vortex heads last Summer after all the great reviews. Went to practice with them & couldn't figure out how to keep the blades closed. Contacted Vortex & they said to use a wire tie like on a bread sack. Didn't really want to do that so I'm hoping they come up with a practice head some day!
I like to shoot a number of different broadheads at animals, to get first hand knowledge. I currently have 4 different heads in my quiver now. I once shot 1 mule deer and 8 whitetail in a row with the same Vortex 100 grain. I had to sharpen the blades a couple times but that is expected. On the 9th animal I bend a blade on the pass through. Tough heads.
Ambush, wards has also been touting their own testing by shooting into plywood to show the durability and the penetration at quartering shots. The irony of it is that Charlie, the guy that just posted that plywood is worthless posted about “how impressive” the plywood results were. Lol.
So apparently the tests are only worthless when conducted by an unbiased 3rd party.
So no one has really answered my question regarding blade angle. From a pure physics standpoint, the angled head has to penetrate better than the flat faced head. On the Vortex however, does the entry hole cut pave the way for the flatter portion of the blades to enter the body? Is that what aids penetration on this head? I can see that being a factor for sure. Once inside, not much inside the animal will really slow down penetration as organs aren't really that tough, especially lungs. I suppose the exit could cause issues if a rib or off-shoulder are hit.
The other thought is that, for deer and bear especially, you really don't need a sharp angle of attack to get good and/or adequate penetration. They just aren't that tough of animals unless you center a large shoulder bone.
And as far as throwaway heads. I've now shot 3 deer with 150 grain Magnus Stinger 4 blades. Two ended up useless with bent ferrules. I understand I can get new ones under warranty, but many fixed heads with aluminum in the design aren't going to hold up 100% either.
And then my final question/thought is, what is adequate poundage/arrow weight, etc? My old aching shoulders have me down below 60#, but I have a 29.5" draw length. Am I good to shoot a mechanical? I've seen women using them at much lower draw lengths than I shoot.
"One person shooting several animals is anecdotal, but hundreds of people shooting several animals becomes a body of evidence." I don't buy this, because we only see the animals that are recovered. How many animals are not recovered when shot with this broadhead? This head could have a 60% success rate and we don't know because we only see the recovered animals.
Vicky of Ralph&Vicky (can’t spell the last name) shoot Spitfires and on one video she shot a big northern moose with graphic results. I believe she shoots fifty pounds, but not sure of her DL.
Everybody has bias in their thought process. I won’t shoot a true cut to tip head because I’ve seen the tips curl and penetration suffer. I don’t like two blades because of the single cutting plane. But thousands upon thousands of animals are killed with them every year and some guys will use nothing but.
Plywood would be about the only test medium that I’d consider valid and then only for structural integrity, not penetration.
Haha Peco, you beat me too that, as I was just going to edit my previous post to include something like that.
I do think the premise has some validity. But I’d also like to think that a reasonable person would quit using a head that failed expectations attributable to design, pretty quick. And that head wouldn’t remain on the market in its present form for twenty plus years.
"Bow bender, in all the Spitfires I’ve shot into animals, not one has sheared a screw, so I wouldn’t consider that a weak point."
I've never sheared a blade either. In Spitifres, Rockets or Rage Hypo's. But from a purely engineering standpoint it IS the weakest part. Actually it would be kinda cool to run an FEA on some of the models. Now, if someone can just get me the 3D models...
As far as trying Vortex's... I sorta keep a setup, cuz for me, if it ain't broke... The only change and it's not so much of one as I have been shooting them for a few years as well, is if the stars align and I can make it out for elk, I would switch out the Rage Hypo's for Vipertricks.
Looks like I missed a bunch of posts while I was gone. Here's my wife's ram she killed on day three of her hunt. She did a great job and held her composure under pressure. She hiked a total of 28 miles. The unit she drew is a wilderness unit and one of the hardest units in the state to hunt.
Shoulder shoot a big whitetail with one out of a 55# bow than shoot the same arrow with a coc head and see which does better. I 100% agree a mechanical punches a huge hole when hit behind the shoulder or in the guts but don't do well when hitting heavy muscle or bone. Shawn
Ive seen where coc broadheads went right thru the boiler room and didnt kill the deer....but at least there was a pass thru, right? I bigger cut head would have had a much better chance at cutting something vital. There are scenarios for everything Shawn and nothing is an always or a never, wouldnt you agree?
Yessir, theres a thread about it right now.... Obviously that situation is an anomaly. You see where that arrow entered and exited and you would take that 99 out of 100 times but it just goes to show that the “ fixed blade Broadheads can’t fail and mechanicals can fail so they will“ crowds don’t have it all right like they think they do.
I'm willing to bet my house more deer are hit "just a little back" (liver/guts) than are hit in the shoulder. There is just more area there than bone structure and when an animal moves at the shot, it puts the shot back, not into the shoulder.
Sorry but when a deer drops at the shot it actually moves down and back not forward. Just go look at slow motion video on You Tube. As is coils to run it no doubt goes down and back not forwards. Never shot a Vortex but others of similar design and no matter what anyone says they do not penetrate as well as a COC head, it's a proven fact. I am not saying folks should not shoot them, they are just not for me. Shawn