Mechs that I've considered to be a decent head for moose: Sevr, Grim Reaper Pro Series and Rage Hypo +P.
What do you guys think? Is a mech even worth considering? If so, any first hand accounts using them on moose? Post specs if you have.
Expect the usual responses.
I’ve been in elk camps and in Safari camps where expandables were strongly discouraged, or prohibited. I’ve never been anywhere where fixed heads are not allowed.
I took around 75 deer and 3 elk with it. I was extremally happy. Great penetration, accurate, deadly.
IMO it was the best of the best of the best.
I no longer see myself using fixed heads on any NA game. #1 problem is getting the arrow to the money spot. Much more reliable without feathers on the front of your arrow.
#2 problem is doing damage once you're in the money zone. At that point the more the merrier. With how tough heads like Sevr and a Steelhead are the ONLY perceived value loss is blade edge retention against something like an Iron Will. But yet....every critter I've ever shot with a mech - even with mangled blades bleed way worse than the fixed kills I have had. The proof is in the pudding as they say. At this point I've killed more animals with mech than fixed. Never had a single failure across all kinds, and ALL my best blood trails come from mech heads. Even Rockets. I have had (numerous) big game kills with quality fixed heads where I did not find one single drop of blood prior to the animal and count myself fortunate to have found the animal. Every one of those situations was a fixed head.
As much as I love how tough they are, how well they fly, and the edge retention on an IW I doubled lunged a buck (pass through) in the snow and had maaaaaybe a teaspoon of blood over 120 yard trail a few years back. Tracked it using it's footsteps in the snow. Same situation in September I maybe lose that buck. Things can happen where the muscle flap covers up a hole etc. I get it. I double lunged my bull elk 2 years ago, arrow did not exit with IW, no blood at all. Thankfully I had heard him crash and death moan and found him due to that locational noise. Without that, could have easily lost that bull it was SUPER tight brush. Shot a buck pass through with a slick trick (which were very sharp) in the liver one year. Found that buck just by searching. He went 120 yards. No blood. I had more blood on the ground from the gut shot Rage buck I killed than I get with some double lunged fixed kills. WIth a fixed if you want it to be forgiving it has to be small. Once it is small, you're gambling on blood. It's just too small of a hole. Muscle flaps cover, you hit the opposite shoulder and only have one hole...many things can happen on even a 10 ring shot.
If anyone calls you stupid for considering it they are just not open minded. Lost animals were a thing before guys had mech heads to blame. Having blades on the front of an arrow doing 240 fps and an arrow doing 275fps is a different ball game. Things get awful finicky as the speed gets up there.
That said, if you can find the old Rocket steelhead, you would be golden. I had I guess 97% pass thru with them. If I didn't, I hit something hard. Entrance hole is small but theres almost always an exit. I honestly don't think I ever broke a blade.
Actually I just noticed you said Rocket heads not a Rocket Steelhead. You could be talking about a Rocket turkey head for all we know. They made many styles of heads. The one that everyone is talking about here is a steelhead. The model is very important in this case. They had some "deer heads" that had like 1 3/4" cut. Steelheads were 1 1/8" and I think they had an XL or Magnum that was like 1 1/4". They were around for like 30 years.
I was 5 for 5 on elk with Spitfires. Of course mech heads can work.
They just plain don’t penetrate as well as a fixed tapered design BH- thats a fact.
Another fact, is the blades can come loose in flight- I’ve seen that too….arrows doing loop D loops to the animal due to blades opening from broken rubber bands to coming loose when you pull them out of your quiver. That accounted for a couple of the mech failures I saw- still failures due to the BH. Granted its a small problem, but it happens and these mechs are NOT 100%.
Fixed 2 blade; I blew 2 arrows through an 800# moose last fall- with my measly 47# recurve using 2 blade heads. One arrow did have the fletch hung up in the broken off side rib- I call that a passthru. Moose never really knew it was hit, down in sight- 10yds.
Fact; The hair on those moose is 6-8” long and thicker- its crazy when you see one up close. The hide and bone structure is just plain heavier.
Shoot whatever you want- I don’t give a damn- I post for the guys wanting impartial knowledge and experience and they aren’t so invested in their whitetail BH that they think its the best for everything. The dirty little secret is most bowhunters shooting mech heads do that to avoid tuning. I know there are many experienced guys shooting mechs and they make those work due to their disciplined shot selections. Worth noting, The danger is a guy going on his first moose hunt with a big forward opening mech head might not have the same discipline on shot selection.
Personally, I think the best advice is for a moose hunter is to shoot an arrow on the heavier side 450-550g or more and use a strong COC head. The additional penetration from that arrow just might be the difference, YMMV.
It’s how they fly when your all jacked up and your twisting your body to make the shot.
Finally headed to BC for my Moose hunt this year. Since I do use both type of heads, I’m opting for fixed after this comment:
“The danger is a guy going on his first moose hunt with a big forward opening mech head might not have the same discipline on shot selection.”
A 505 grain arrow tipped with a Ironwilloutfitters wide is my choice, personally.
Kinda comes down to which thing are you most afraid of falling apart at the moment of truth … a mech broadhead, or the guy shooting.
If you shoot a broadhead that's a few years old and the rubber band is cracked and breaks on the shot that is not the broad head's fault. That is 100% user error. That's called not checking your equipment prior to usage. That's like shooting a cracked carbon arrow that comes apart. And I bet happens with about the same frequency. Or shooting a bow with a frazzled bow string and saying it's a crappy string when it comes apart at the moment of truth. Or blaming bald tires for sliding off the road. These are end of life items. Or you get guys with crappy tuned bows flinging boomerangs slapping a deer sideways and complaining about penetration. Same would have happened with a fixed head. Want to shoot Grim Reapers? Test the blades to mak sure nothing is stuck in the spring so that they open properly before putting them in your quiver. Rage? Are the collars set properly? Is anything loose?
Does the choice of mech head potentially add a new item to the checklist? Something additional to check before heading afield? Certainly. Just like a drop away rest does. Or a compound bow instead of a stick bow. Using a wheel bow I have to regularly check all the screws in my bow. Ensure my rest and sights are tight. Ensure my string is of good quality. I also found out after a moose hunt that my new Iron Will broad heads rust. I had never experienced that before with a broadhead. Well with the type of steel they use the excels in so many categories also makes them prone to rusting. That's another thing to check if you shoot those heads. They rusted pretty bad in my quiver over a few wet soggy days and I could never get it out once I got home. I considered that an education problem. I wasn't aware of the potential issue. But that's my issue.
I would be willing to bet that the ratio of proficient archers with proper setups moving from a fixed head to a mech far exceeds the reverse. It's simply because technology advances. There was a time when most guys would say they'd never drive a truck with a computer in it - it's just not worth the hassle and where are we today? At one point, the advantage may not have been there to make the move, and depending on your setup it might still not be there. But for those with the right equipment it can make the most sense.
But the equipment has gotten so good, that blaming the equipment is not really the answer anymore. A mech broadhead is a tool. Just like a fixed head. And there is no tool that excels in absolutely every category or situation. So we use multiple tools sometimes. But manufacturers of mechanical broad heads have been ever increasing the category so that their tools fit an ever widening range of situations. And I think we are there where some fit the situation of moose hunting.
It's easy to shoot a fixed head on the range and say it's doing it's job. It's also easy to miss, or shoot an animal in the guts and not blame the fixed head. But it is also interesting to ponder that the shot may have been made with a different broadhead....