I've used Rage since 2015 for bears and deer. But this year I'm kinda leaning towards going to a fixed. BUT I read on here that some high end brown bear guides recommend Rage. What do you guys think? Should I just keep it simple and stay the course with Rage or move on to a fixed? I should say the reason for the fixed is I want that clean pass through. I am shooting a 420 gr. arrow, 27" draw at 67 pounds.
Fixed for me. Zero chance of mechanical malfunction. If well built , zero chance of integrity failure. For a brown bear hunt , cost is irrelevant , and the success of your hunt may very well reside at the business end of your arrow.
You couldn’t pay me enough to use a mechanical broadhead. I used to work part time in a Cabela’s archery shop, and the number of guys who had issues with rage broadheads was absolutely astonishing. And what was even more amazing was how they all kept buying more. I am convinced that people who shoot rage are incapable of learning. I’m currently shooting 200gr Valkryie.
I shot the standard 3 blade muzzy for about 15 years (and shot about 15 bucks with them) with ok results.
But it occurred to me that most broadheads are 3 for $40. Which means that the store bought them for $20. Which means that many were made in China for $10. Which means $5 worth of labor and materials for 3 heads. $1.67 heads are too cheap for me when I spend so much time and money hunting for it all to depend on less than $2 worth of metal.
NAP Spitfire since about 2000 for deer, bear, coyote, in this countty and Kudu, Zebra, Wildebeeste, Gnu, and assorted smaller critters on a couple of South African trips. Never a problem related to the broadhead and pass throughs on all but one of two Zebras. 65-70 lb. bow and 29 inch draw. From what I've seen on six black bear trips watching folks using several types of broadheads any broadhead in the chest cavity kills the bear rather quickly. Hits in the guts regardless of broadhead type seem to often result in lost animals.
Bear have thick fur that can dull a head quick. I’d go with a quality head that stays sharp from impact to exit. I found the Iron Will to be sharp from start to finish. As much as I like Slick Tricks the blades would dull and chip when shot through deer.
Adam I had a good laugh because it's true! Really why mess around with success? The jury has spoken, so I sharpened up some Rages. Do the new ones come sharp? Anyways I got them shaving sharp, so Noah and I will be using them.
I do the same, broadheads are fun to mess around with. We must visit the same pro shops as I’ve shot all the same heads as you plus a few lol.
Also agreed with your assessments on basically every head save the Sevr. Been super impressed with it so far. I also have no rattles on mine. The way I hit my giant deer last fall would have folded a rage up even though I like them too.
Have to wonder if being shot out of a crossbow affected it at all? Speed related maybe?
t-roy this is my process: Stay Sharp guide, bastard file, fine grit sandpaper 3,000 - 4,000 - 5,000 , smooth steel then a leather strop. That's the order I go through to sharpen them.
Adam I have definitely considered the crossbow, but Sevr advertises that it works with crossbows. I talked to another guy about this and he said the tabs aren't very big on the them and this could also contribute to the failure. They are definitely a solid head. They only rattle after you've shot with them in the quiver and the washer flattens out. They are a pain to replace the blades. I agree most mechs aren't designed to be shot hugging any bone. I'm not an ardent supporter of fixed or mechs. The video is just my observation, and guys will continue to have success with Sevr, I just won't use them again.
It's definitely fun trying new stuff out, but I think I'll take your advice and just keep it simple with the Rage.
I watched a YouTube video the other day - buddy put three mbh arrows into the bull. All the arrows appeared to be well placed, but none went in more than halfway. Not sure which head he was using - and maybe he was only pulling 40lbs - I don’t know. The good news is that the elk died within view. Maybe this is actually a selling point for his mechanical heads, but I don’t think that I’d count on the same outcome on a brown bear.
Have used a lot of big 3-blades over the years with solid results. A little different game though with the longbow.
I do like the old carbon Snuffers and have never had an issue with getting them plenty sharp. Killed a lot of critters with them over the years and they work quite well on elk. Killed several black bears with them as well. Never have tried the stainless version.
The new VPA 1 1/4” 3-blades have performed very well also. I like the solid, non vented ones - super tough! The VPA seems to sharpen easier than the Snuffer and cuts almost as big of a hole.
I would recommend either of those or the Cutthroat 3-blade to anyone wanting to shoot a bear with a traditional bow.
Although I don’t have much experience with expandable broadheads, and wouldn’t recommend them for trad bows, I would expect a big cutting expandable to work quite well on a bear off a compound.
I think the narrative that mechanicals are prone to failure is patently false. It's really not that complicated...force in some form or fashion opens blades and they cut.
I've seen the same thing on videos....animals running off with arrows only penetrating minimal amounts. I've not shot a ton of different mechanicals but I have had great results with Trypans, Spitfire and Sevr 2.0 and 1.5. The only negative I see from shooting mechanical heads is that animals run like they are on fire after you hit them with a big mechanical.
MA I’ve only shot a couple critters with them but so far I am impressed. My buck dressed out at exactly 240 lbs. big bodied mature buck. His leg was up, my shot was low and the head hit the main leg bone center and the entire head passed through the bone then through the heart. Besides hitting the actual shoulder knuckle that’s the worst place to hit a whitetail for bones in the front half. So to have him drop in sight in the field was awesome. I shoot the titanium 1.5’s
I have really enjoyed the holes and bloodletting of rages. After watching that broadhead review guy on YouTube torture test them I figured they be tougher than a Rage and I thought 1.5” is a big enough slice. So far so good. I haven’t had the rattle complaints David has and I played with the blades for fun and didn’t find it too difficult so those weren’t issues for me that I could see he had. In his video there he has a wicked rattle.
I’m not usually a follower so to speak but that Lusk guy on YouTube has shot and tested nearly every head known to man and he uses them so he’s prob a better recommendation than myself.
None of the 13 sevr's rattled initially but the ones that lived in my quiver rattled, don't practice with the sevr's in your quiver, my buddy broke a tab on a sevr 2.0, it still opened and the deer didn't go far, I was surprised as they are tuff heads
If it’s mechanical, it can malfunction. The biggest complaint I hear about Stingers is split aluminum ferrule. Looking at any mechanical, same design. I’ll stick with my COC heads. And yes, I’ve shot Hypodermics and Spitfires.
Are you guys overlooking the difference between “prone to “ and “susceptible to”?
Mechanicals CAN fail to open (and sometimes do). Fixed DON’T open, so they cannot “fail” to do so. But they can still “fail” structurally if you have enough horsepower.
Adam’s head did everything you could ask. I just don’t have the Oomph to use a mechanical… and I’m not sure where longbows came into this one, because (JMO) there’s no 420 grain arrow coming off of a longbow that any sane person would use to hunt with a mechanical up front. It’s just too low-percentage.
Ask Nick Muche what he suggests. I think it’ll be along the lines of t-roy and, anyone else who’s done it. If successful people choose a certain technique, tool, guide, etc…, it’s best to take their experience to heart. That’d be my advice.
I’ve killed bears with a TON of different heads from fixed, to mechanicals to Hybrids. Several have been with Grave Digger Hybrids. May try a 2” Sevr this year…Put it in the “boiler” and they all work.
I am amazed at how many bear videos I watched where there was no pass though and not all hit the opposite shoulder. I've killed 10 bears, with 7 P&Y and never not had a complete pass through; 6 were with my longbow. Bears are not hard to kill and their ribs are similar to a whitetail. Also, I have had very good results using Sevr's on big whitetails. It's almost impossible for them not to open up; are you sure that your friend didn't leave in the screw that's used for practice? I'm headed up to Alberta next week trying to best my 20+" bruin and will have Sevr's and Iron Will wides in my quiver. I also have a steel 125 Vortex that I may use. I first sharpen the Sevr and Vortex blades on my Lansky before using. One note on the Sevr rattle as I also hated it. They have come out with a new, stronger washer and sent me some and it seems to work much better. I agree though that assembling them can be frustrating until you get the procedure down, which can take a while.
I worked in alot of black bear camps over the years, especially after I retired 12 u years ago,,,,, just enjoyed bear camps......... although for the most part I shoot a trad bow, and fixed heads,,,,,,,,,,,, I have seen mechanicals be devastating on bears, and quick recoveries...................... I think those who have issues with them, are not shooting enough poundage, and delivering the needed KE, and a heavy enough arrow...............................
I have seen the same issues with fixed heads, but that is a different issue. When a guy with a stick bow hunts, my boss always wanted them close, and low in the stand, 10 feet max, for a good shot angle,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
also I worked at a camp once, where the average ladder stand was 24 feet. I said to the young guide, WHY, are you kidding me, shot angles will be terrible,,,,, New guide, had to live and learn,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
He said some clients, dont like being too low, when it comes to bear stands, my answer was, dont book that guy,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
I've dragged out over 200 bear and I won't allow a mech head. I want 2 holes, not 1. Have seen horrible stuff with mech heads. Granted, a bear shot perfectly will seldom make 50 yards with either, but in thick nasty cover, I wanna see a bloodtrail. Why anyone shooting at close range thinks they need a mech head baffles me? Guess they may be better if you hit em "to far back".
I've only shot a few bears. All with traditional 2 blade heads. Hit the off shoulder and had no exit on one. That was a tough trail but he didn't make it far so likely would have found him with no trail. The rest were pretty easy to follow and fairly short. I like heads I can put a new edge on and put back in the quiver.
Out of the four bears I have shot three were shot with Wasp Jak Hammers two never left the bait site my biggest was 408lbs dressed. It traveled about 75 yards and Stevie Wonder could of tracked it. The hardest track I had was with the wensel woodsman 85 yards very light blood trail. I used the 1.25 Jak hammers . These heads fly great and deploy even on steep angels. I have found with Jak Hammers of my ACC arrow is over 400 grains and above 265fps I will get an exit hole. This set up has worked well for me for over 26 years
Just by that comment you should be going to fixed. Tune them so they fly straight shoot a bunch into targets, check for straightness, resharpen, shoot again.
Zwickey, Bear heads have probably killed more game over time than any of the new stuff.
PS. Used a expanable this winter on a deer, yes got the deer but the head is now junk. Same head turned to pieces after shooting turkey last spring (which I did not recover). Also into the junk pile, no more for me.
“Zwickey, Bear heads have probably killed more game over time than any of the new stuff” I really think this is no longer true. Modern day Bowhunters have been shooting a ton of stuff every year, for years with all types of new mechanicals and other fixed head. The last time I saw someone shooting a zwickey was in the 90’s
I've killed all my bears with mech's, if your not using a mechanical for bear your not using the best tool for the job, provided your pulling over 50lbs, just choose a good one. I wish rage would make the snyper that rocky mt made, I still have 5 or so packs, they are awesome, perfect size cut, big time swept blades, sharp as fuk, and a rubber band for blade retention, as I do not care for the no collar or the shock collar.
I gotta agree carcus. Stay away from the shoulder with a big, SHARP mechanical and it’s a dead bear within 200 yds, even with a straight up gut shot. Shoot a bear through the guts with a fixed blade head, even if it’s razor sharp, and he could go 1/2 a mile or just get lost in the jungle, especially if it rains, near impossible to find. And I do all of my spot and stalk hunting on antlered game with a fixed blade. I think they have more positives than negatives on that type of hunt but on a very controlled situation like a baited bear hunt, mechanicals are the way to go.
I emphasize SHARP because many, many heads are truly not sharp, mechanicals and fixed, some are dull right out of the package. Most hunters don’t even check or know what to do about it if they aren’t so why check I guess?!
You fellas seem to have the exact opposite experience then me. I've only seen about 10 bears shot with mech heads because of such dismal results, I won't let anyone hunt that wants to use them. All of my stands are from 8_12 feet high and most are set up for 10_12 yard shots. None further then 15_16. I can't think of one bear that has died within 50 yards when shot with a mech head. Most go 75_100. I don't know the brands they were shooting. Never asked. These are all adult men so guessing at least decent poundage. I myself have shot over 50, my ex,probably 10,15,my brother about 8 along with many friends that have shot fixed. I've lost 2 using nothing but plain old 100 grain 3 blade Muzzies. The furthest I've trailed and found a bear shot by me was about 120 yards.(liver hit). One made it maybe 60 yards. All the others have been dead within 50 yards. Most are dead 25_40 and have seen quite a few die in site. My brother's bears have never made it 50 yards. My ex struggled a bit as she tended to hit them a bit too far back. The "middle of the middle" is the biggest bunch of crap I've ever heard of! Once I got her to start going right behind the shoulder midway up, she did great even at 45#s. In a nutshell, my experience with mech head have been almost 100%failure rate. Poor penetration, poor bloodrails and way longer drags. For bear, or any animal I want 2 holes. . Bear die very fast when shot through both lungs or heart. I don't enjoy trailing bear in thick cover after dark and have had to every single time with mech heads shots. Not one time have I seen the "red carpet" that is the mantra. Seen it ,any times with plain old Muzzies though. These are my experiences, and nothing is gonna change it. Well maybe if I went with the "middle of the middle" mindset.
Chris Beck with his Magnus black hornet ser razor blood trail on a successful whitetail hunt.
Chris Beck with his Magnus black hornet ser razor blood trail on a successful whitetail hunt.
Rattling junkie- thanks for using our magnus snuffer ss broadhead, which is a good broadhead but its not one of our broadheads which i would first recommnend. The magnus snuffer is made in america but it doesnot come razor sharp, its the only broadhead in our lineup which doesnot come razor sharp and its the only broadhead in our lineup which we donot make at Magnus. We have a laser welding factory here in the united states which makes the snuffer ss for us. The snuffer ss does have our lifetime replacement guarantee and if you ever damage one we replace it. i have been blessed to bowhunt 42 years and take big game animals with every broadhead we make. The 2 broadheads in my quiver at all times is the Magnus Stinger Buzzcut 125 gr 4 blade and the Magnus black hornet ser razor 4 blade. All of our broadheads are made in america with american materials and american labor. We have a no hassle lifetime replacement guarantee. You damage one of our heam ds in any way, doesnot matter what the broadhead is shot into and we will replace. No broadhead made today or ever will be indestructible. if you ever have a question and or a concern on our broadheads please email me at [email protected] or [email protected]
Bearman, Interesting that your experience is very different than Mike's, who I would believe has been involved with well over 100 bears shot/recovered and he encourages mechs if hunter has enough KE. I'll have both in my quiver next week but may go with the Vortex steel for the first shot.
Bearman, I'm guessing that your experiences must be from many, many years ago, because it is the exact opposite in my experience in the past fifteen years even. I killed a bear with a Rage on the weekend about fifteen years after swearing off them. Down in ten yards. We shot five other bears with Rages, and one with a Spitfire, all dead within twenty yards. Another one shot with a Slick Trick took three arrows and some chasing. And the Slick Trick is a good head. We shoot them all from the ground. Sometimes we can chase a bear up a tree, then it's an easy shot.
I've killed as many bears as you and have watched countless dozens more die with good mechanicals. They just flat out work. If you're going to use a shitty mechanical you'll have shitty results. No different than a fixed head. The early Rage were junk and I still much prefer a Spitfire, but don't want to use up my meager supply on bears when a Rage does the trick.
I'm certainly not a 100% mechanical head fan. If I'm hunting elk, moose or deer I would much rather have a deadly sharp, Iron Will broadhead with a 450+ grain arrow and a 70 lb bow. That's because I may take a quartering shot, away or toward me, and I want the best penetration, with the most likelihood of a complete pass through. Penetration is better with a fixed head.
But yes on a baited bear hunt, especially out of a ground blind I think mechanicals are truly the way to go. Stay away from the shoulder and penetration isn't a problem, they will zip right through a bear even at 50-60 lb draw weight and a not particularly heavy arrow. Out of a tree stand I think that hitting the shoulder blade is much more likely and that is where a mechanical does not do well, especially with a light grain weight arrow, they just don't penetrate as good as a fixed blade head and are more prone to breaking blades. Sometimes the bear is hit too high and penetration is again poor and the mechanical is blamed for not killing the bear but he wouldn't have died anyway, fixed or mechanical. To me what matters is how the broadhead does on marginal hits, not a perfect double lunger, who cares on that, they all die fast no matter what. The guts and even all the way back to the middle of the ham is a big area, the biggest area of the whole bear actually, and a bear will die fast with a sharp, mechanical in that area, they might not die fast with a fixed blade head.