Contributors to this thread:
Carcus’ post from the Sevr thread led me to start this thread. I think the Sevr is close to being great, but I too think there is something to the pivoting blades and lack of blood. So far though, it has the least amount of negatives for me compared to other mechanicals. I’m always looking for a better mousetrap, so tell me your favorite mechanical and why?
If you have enough kinetic energy, I believe the rage hypodermic is my fav mechanical. Great entry holes. Decent penetration. Great wound channel. Again, just my opinion.
Rocket steelhead original . Small great flight and great blood trails. Rocky mnt sniper would be next.
Wasp Jak Hammer. One of The original mechanicals. Possibly one of the best broadheads ever created.
Can't complain at all with the original Rocket Steelhead just like HUNT says. I shot it in a 125, but those things penetrate like a demon and tough as nails. I am partial to a bigger gash these days and have had great results with Rages. Also had great results with Sevr with 4 kills so far. 3 of the 4 were not 100% ideal shots, and still great results. I'll try and add a few more test cases. If ever I wanted to penetrate though I'd use a steelhead.
Spitfire or rocket steelhead
Rage Hypo. I've shot Rage for years and never had the issues other people have stated. I like the new no collar system they have on there newest models. Great blood trials and entry/exit holes.
I loved the Trypan. Could not stand them opening in my quiver. It is hard for me to pay $20 per broadhead for the NC design. I realize that is a minimal cost, but there are other good options out there.
I also liked the Rocket Steelheads and the Rocky mountain Snypers. Wasn't a fan of the Rage when they first came out with the "O" ring design. I actually put grooves in the blades for a rubber band (the way a Snyper was). I still have some like that but use mostly the Rage coller design now. I don't shoot as much weight as I used to so on the 2" cut types I take 1/4" off the back of each blade to help penetration. I tag alot of deer right from my treestand because I see them go down :-)
Also love the rage no collar for deer/bears.
Shot tons of mechanicals over the years, for me, rage hypodermic is at the top of the list.
I've shot several, but keep returning to Rage Hypo's or Extreme's. Really liking the newer chisel tip Extreme NP.
Everyone always hates on Rages. They just keep working reliably and really well for me.
I shot the original rocket steel head for quite a long time and killed a ton of critters with it. It was great for deer. Since they changed and outsourced their work overseas I switched to spitfire Max heads and have been really happy with them. However they now change their design and don't have the mule skinner blades on the front. I haven't killed anything with the new design yet. Hoping to change that in the next couple weeks.
I wish they still made the Rocky sniper or at least had a 3 blade mechanical head the had the blades hidden as well as those. The rage 3 blade has so much blade exposed in the closed position.
I have a Rocket Steelhead, Snyper and 2 Grim Reaper Pro Series in my quiver. I used Rage for a few years, and had nothing but success with them, though I do prefer a clean pass through and I did get pass throughs just not clean ones. But they are a killer head for deer and bear.
1. Rocket Steelhead 125 2. G5 Deadmeat V2 3. Grim Reaper 1 3/8" (Pro or Razortip)
Trying out some Swhacker #269s right now. Only 1 deer so far, jury is still out but I liked the performance and ability to practice with them.
what do you mean a clean passthru vs a passthru?
2 blade, 100 grain rage...best one I have found in 31 yrs of bow hunting.
The only mechanical I've used is the Rocket Steelheads in 100 XP version and the 125s. Both were extremely effective. I still have one in my quiver along with my fixed heads.
I've probably killed 50 plus animals with the original snyper 2 blade, imo they are best mech that has hit the market. The biggest problem with rage is the blade angle.
A snyper and a rage hypodermic
I really like vortex. They have done me well
WYelkhunter, I mean finding the arrow 10 yards or more down the blood trail, but it passed through the whole animal vs the arrow stuck in the dirt at the point of impact.
I have tried a few, don't have a favorite. Back to fixed blade COC for me.
carcus, I agree with you. I remember when I first decided to try a mechanical for the 2008 season, it was between the Steelhead and Snyper. I picked the Steelhead, but wish I would have bought a ton of both. I did stock up on Steelheads and have a pretty good supply.
My favorite mechanical is the ridin' bull in Urban Cowboy ;o). Never shot mechanical heads out of my stickbows but several of my wheel bow friends have had great experience with the Vortex heads over the years.
Like Dino says Wasp Jak Hammer is my all time favorite. I started shooting them in 1996. No need to switch now.
Another shout-out for rocket steelheads. I still have a bunch. Looking for a replacement to start saving on my trusted steelheads, as have not found anymore in the last year or so. So I'm going to pay attention to this tread. Ed
I have killed 72 deer with my Jack-Hammers. They are my favorite and will get a big buck soon. I also have killed several with Rocket Steel heads and they worked just fine.
I’ve liked most of the ones I’ve tried. (All listed above) Killed the most with Spitfire Max and Jack Hammers. Lately been using Vortex and Sevrs. I’ve killed TONS of stuff with mechanicals and only once had a unique experience. Had a Spitfire do a 90 degree turn on a quartered away doe. She died right away though, so you could say I’ve never really had a failure with a mechanical head….Can’t really claim a “favorite”.
I don’t know if I have a favorite but have shot Rage 1.5 + P with good results.
Starting using SevR 1.5 and 2.0 last year. Unfortunately the only results I have so far are a spine hit doe and a coyote at 10 yards. Both were shot with a 1.5.
I can estimate a guys age by his post on this subject.
I killed a pile of critters with the old style NAP Killzones. They changed the materials it seems like a few years ago though and they are no bueno now. Been using Sevr the last couple years but not a big fan of the blood trails or the penetration so still hunting for a replacement head.
100gr 2.5 Vortex since late 90’s for whitetails
Get off my lawn! ;-)
Charlie, you must be in one of them high-end nursing homes that has computers. :)
NAP Spitfire (100 grain) for 20 plus years now. Kansas, Minnesota, Canada, and South Africa. Never had any reason or any desire to change.
I’m game Charlie how old am I?
Have you used the Spitfire since they outsourced them?
I like fixed 2 blades….but the best mech Ive seen is that Evolution Outdoors head…great penetration for a mech.
Full disclosure, Im friends with the inventor.
Wasp Jak-Hammers since 1997.
Shot a lot of critters with Sonorans before they became Schwackers. I swear I can shot them better a distance than a field points. Great blood trails but not as durable as some shorter ferruled mechs I’ve shot.
I've been using the vortex 125 steels for the past few years and love them.
I think that it depends somewhat on how much kinetic energy you can get from your setup as to your choice especially on bigger game animals. I have seen good results from Grim Reaper, tried Synpers ( based on advice from a very trusted resource "Randy Ulmer"), and tried other mechanicals before going back to fixed blades such as Wasp and Slick Tricks. OK Charlie, based on my post how old am I ? I do have confidence in your age estimating prowess. Badbull
Slick Tricks or Magnus.
I’m old Charlie.
So are the stealheads and snypers total junk now, or do you guys not like them because they are outsourced?
They don't make them anymore PECO2.
Be aware - we can also estimate the flatness of your brim by your post on this subject.
I posted rocket steelheads and spitfires
How old am I and how flat is my brim?
I would say that if you shoot Rage, you are young, have a flat brim hat, and buy a new bow every year.
The first mechanical I used was a Meat Seeker. It was a piston design, killed a mule deer with one. It worked, not a huge entry or exit hole. How old am I?
I neglected to mention that I glued Schick razor blades onto 3blade Bodkin broadheads at one time because that would make guessing my age too simple. Badbull
badbull...I Pliobonded 1/2 of a Schick Injector to each blade of a MA3 large....getting them out to 1.5" cutting width. Shot a few animals with them before switching to 4-blade Zwickeys.
As per my favorite mechanical...it is a 1.5" original made in the US (not anymore) NAP Spitfire. Excellent steel blades, very sharp, and they stay sharp with the cutting edges protected until in the animal. Plenty tough for my 65# compound shooting 475 gr arrows (total arrow weight). Did my "expensive" hunts to complete the archery super slam with them. Very accurate and good blood trails.
I may have to try Jackhammers. Almost did last year and then stuck with my trusty heads. Shot my first deer with a Wasp fixed blade and it would be fun to use Wasps again. Certainly get good love anytime mechanical heads are discussed.
Late 40's for me Charlie - what was your guess?
Curious if u guys that love those old steelheads so much have tried the “ mini” wasp jak hammers… I feel they would be very similar in performance, but feel the Jaks would have the edge in terms of durability as their blades are thicker.
I am trying to understand the love for Steelheads due to their small diameter cut. They are smaller than many fixed blades. What made them so great from a wound perspective? Other than flight, how are they better than most 3 blade fixed heads?
Ironbow, I don't know an answer beyond this- my bro recommended them to me before I knew anything about anything. I tried them, they worked and just kept working. Flew great, pass thoughs, good blood trails... they just worked for me.
Ironbow I found that steelheads are the same cut as most fixed heads I used. Only difference is they were same for toughness, same for penetration but way more accurate. If you're a fixed lover that finally wants to dabble in the occult, a steelhead is a good place to start.
I’ve used a pile of them, starting with the vortex in the late 90s, and I have settled on the 125 Rage hypodermic… Best head I’ve ever used, without a doubt. Shot a lot of critters with them now, and I’ve always been very pleased with the performance. I will say I don’t think wide cutting mechanicals are for everyone though. If you have a lower poundage, short draw, and a light arrow set up, best to stick with something a little smaller.
deerslayer, l could not agree more with your last sentence. I think that you summed up very nicely what should be considered, Badbull
Bowfreak..... I had about a dozen, maybe a few more, heads starting ten years ago. Other than losing one or two to pass throughs where I couldn't find the broadhead I still use the same heads just put new blades on after one shot. Back several years ago, don't remember when, I purchased a bunch of replacement blades that showed up on ebay from, I think, a sporting goods store that went out of business and I'm still working my way through that supply. I don't think I ever used more than three (9 blades) in a season. I noticed when getting ready for this season I probably will need more blades in the next year or two. I think that will likely be my first encounter with the "New" version apparently made in China. I may keep an eye on ebay to see if any of the old replacement blades show up otherwise I'll at least try the "New".
The quote below is taken directly from a NAP ad I found on the internet. I did find some references from a few years ago that seemed to indicate that at least some of the NAP products were made in China.
"Let’s start with the Spitfire since it is one of my favorites. You may recall that I switched over to the Spitfire because of the success I had with the Grim Reaper Razortips. The entire 2022 NAP Spitfire lineup is made in America with high quality materials and craftsmanship."
Wasp Jakhammer. Tough and deadly.
Another vote for Spitfire's
The yellow packaged "Spitfire XXX" that I have (2019 or 2020 vintage) say right on them "Made in Taiwan". Blades were much duller and softer steel than the US made Spitfires. Hope all the production is back in the US now, and they are correctly separating heads that are designed for crossbows and open much harder from the Spitfires for regular bows. I ran into a batch of Spitfires that had thick dimple retaining plates that opened much too hard vs the originals made before NAP was purchased by a conglomerate.
@ Kurt, I don't think anything has changed. A pack I picked up from Cabelas in August of this year.
Huh. No one has mentioned the G5 Deadmeat head. That’s my current favorite.
I’ll also shoot rage at times but not very confident with them on bigger animals. But to be fair I’ve not shot them at bigger animals
I’ve shot 30-40 some animals now with the Deadmeat. From turkeys up to elk and waterbuck and wildebeest and zebra. I like them a lot.
I don’t wear flat brims or buy new bows every year either ;)
I went through my fixed head phase. I got to where I wanted to be able to shoot 80-100 yards for practice and possible second shots at wounded game (there’s a story behind this and a wounded zebra at 100 and no idea where to aim to get a second arrow in). And no matter how obsessive I was over tuning I could never get good flight with fixed heads at long ranges. I think due to my imperfect form. Twist my wrist just a hair and miss by a foot at 90.
I was driving myself nuts with fixed heads as I’m obsessive about my gear being right. I’m not a good shot. So I want my gear to be perfect so I can’t blame it when I miss ;)
Bake - what is your bow/arrow setup? Zebra seems like its a pretty big critter!
During the wounded zebra story I mentioned, I was shooting a Mathews Heli-M at 71 lbs, 27.5 inch draw. FMJ arrows and 100 grain VPA fixed heads. The zebra stopped up the hillside at 100 yards, and there was a second zebra lined up right behind him. So I had to be careful not to shoot too high and wound the other zebra. . . .
At the time I was shooting a 3 pin sight out to 60. I put the bubble on the zebra and shot way under him. Fortunately, the previous wound ended up hitting an artery and after my follow up shot missed, he died really quickly anyways.
I came home and switched my setup up and got a sliding sight and started practicing out to 100 yards and beyond
I shot a second smaller-bodied zebra with the G5 Deadmeat. And I have updated to a Mathews Vertix at 70 lbs and Day Six arrows about 28 inches long. And I shoot a Spott Hogg Slider and mainly practice at 80 and 90 yards anymore. Makes those 40 yard shots seem like chip shots and really tightens up the form
I liked everything about the Deadmeat other than they sound like cymbals in a quiver. Granted, I haven't tried them for years but the rattling was a deal breaker for me. Do they still rattle like that in your quiver? I mostly noticed them when I shot my bow with a full quiver of Deadmeats.
I shot 3 blade fixed Muzzy in 125 when I first started hunting... After getting back into hunting post college/partying days, I was using the cheap Wal-Mart accessible 3 blade Carbon Express Torrid--they had a chisel tip or a razor tip. I killed every deer I shot with them. The last buck I killed was an 8 yrd shot, full pass through and stuck in the ground behind him, but all 3 blades broke off---not sure if it was on ribs or in the ground. The buck died within 20 yards of being shot. After that I got some NAP Killzones and some 2" Swhackers 2 blades in 100 gr. Killed some coyotes with the Killzones, and I just killed my first deer with the Swhacker. He was dead inside of 10 yards as well. I'm shooting a PSE @ 70lbs and full length arrows..my draw is probably around 29". The only deer I've shot with a mechanical that I didn't find was my fault... I stuck it into the shoulder on an extreme quartering away shot...pretty sure the arrow slid between hide and ribs. I saw him limping around during Muzzleloader season feeding with some does, so I believe he survived.
Anyway, I like the Swhackers so far---the interior damage was impressive. No blood trail, but he tumbled after about 3 steps and had a chest cavity full of blood. My brother shoots lot of deer and swears by the Rage Hypodermics...they definitely make some big holes.
125 grain Steelhead entry side.
Yearling whitetail buck Elite Synergy 55 pounds ish. Exit was about the size of a garden hose. Do you need a bigger hole. Maybe made it 70 yards.
Have probably shot close to 50 animals with original 2 blade Rage and in more recent years the Rage Hypodermic. Carcus, Rage has a +P model with the blades more swept back. Have shot many animals up to the size of elk, kudu, zebra, sable, wildebeest, etc. with them (mostly Hypodermic on the bigger animals).
Man, I've shot a bunch over the years that I liked, Vortex, Rocket steelhead and sidewinder, spitfire, jackhammer, swacker, and Hypodermics.
I've shot by far the most animals with the hypodermics, id guess between 80-100 animals (including pigs). Recently started adding a few sevrs in the quiver with my hypodermics and they are a hell of a head also. I'll probably use the sevr for brownbear this coming spring.
Spitfire Maxx with the razor tip