Contributors to this thread:
is there a difference between; a fixed blade cut on contact broadhead and a mechanical open on contact broadhead. Consider the same point of impact on the elk. Will one do better than the other?
I’ve only killed five elk with a bow, so others will be more of an expert. Most mechanicals are a wider cut, than fixed heads, wider equals less penetration. However you still maybe get enough penetration or even a pass through with a mechanical. A lot depends on bones struck, angle of the shot, etc. But over all, a fixed will penetrate better because it’s not as wide and no energy is used in deploying the blades. I’ll take a scalpel sharp cut on contact fixed head, at 1” -1.25” wide, every time on elk size animals.
Pass the popcorn, please. ;-)
The interesting part of your question is "same point of impact"
If bone involved a fix is better mostly likely. If you are back and miss vitals a larger cut expandable likely would be better. If you hit an elk perfect probably doesn't matter. The weight and speed of arrow also plays a big part. Best bet is to choose the one you have the most confidence you can hit where you aimed.
COC mechs have been shown to be effective.
but….its harder to BH tune mechs without busting up a bunch of heads.
I think of my BH as a system…not screw it on and hope it shoots
I shoot every BH hunt arrow to confirm no problems with each individual arrows flight, no spine or assembly issues- perfect….. then touch up the 2 blade and in my quiver- easy peasy.
So many variables. With my short DL, coupled with shooting lower poundage these days, I would never consider using a mech on elk. However, for most people, I completely agree with John’s post.
If you had a pickup that would take you hunting and get you back home nine times out of ten without a mechanical malfunction, that left you stranded by the road; would that be good enough? Would you continue to use that truck when less expensive ones would do the job 100% of the time, if you just learned to drive them?
The more swept back the blades when open on a mechanical the better.
As far as "energy to open", completely irrelevant.
I know mechanicals have come along ways over the years but I still stick to fixed blades. I have killed a good number of elk, deer, antelope over the years. Put it in the right spot good things happen.
It's just the old: "Tell me where you will hit him and I'll tell you which head to use" argument.
Hit em in the shoulder, COC fixed is best, hit em in the ribs/vitals, both work, and hit em in the guts and a large cutting (usually mech) head is best. Then factor in that you can usually get a mech to hit where you are aiming better. Some guys like to crowd the shoulder and lean towards fixed in case of being off. Other guys hang back a little and prefer mech with margin of error. Crowding the shoulder and hitting that area usually leads to quicker kills and more blood. Hanging back could lead to longer trails and more waiting.
Once again, tell me where you will hit and I'll tell you what to use.
Why would one use anything other than a G5 Stryker 100 gr??
I like what John says… For me personally, my Wasp Jak Hammers have always performed great!
Yes there is a difference. Will one perform better? That depends on the specific broadheads you are comparing, which particular point of impact and what you consider to be better.
"If you had a pickup that would take you hunting and get you back home nine times out of ten without a mechanical malfunction, that left you stranded by the road; would that be good enough? Would you continue to use that truck when less expensive ones would do the job 100% of the time, if you just learned to drive them? "
Show me any piece of equipment that has a zero % failure rate.
Mechanicals have their place and can be used on any animal in North America effectively. That doesn't mean every person and every setup can use a mechanical in all instances. There a quite a few elk killers that will tell you that they prefer mechanicals over fixed for elk. If you are shooting 50 lbs at 27" of draw with a 300 grain arrow, you aren't talking apples to apples.
Pick your broadheads as part of your whole system and don't use a hammer when you need a screwdriver.
Ive killed 20+ elk with a arrow and guide 30 bow hunters a year for elk. Have see alot of the Variables. With that said i like a ss mechanical 2" on a 550-600 grain arrow out of a 70# bow. Thats ideal.
Can’t disagree with Adam.
For your consideration; I’m told there are outfitters who do not allow their clients to shoot mechanicals. I’ve never heard of an outfitter *insisting* on mechanicals.
You can probably fill in the blanks from there.
Personally, I don’t have enough KE to even consider a mechanical, so pretty much a non-issue in my world and I have zero experience with them…but every time I see a guy shooting a compound who doesn’t get a clean pass-through, I can’t help but suspect that it’s someone chasing speed with a low-mass, inadequately tuned arrow who has turned to a mechanical to cover up his issue, but then the extreme resistance of the mech amplifies the tuning issue and the penetration goes to hell. How else can you explain guys getting clean pass-throughs with #40-#45 stickbows - some even lighter - but other guys with #60 compounds aren’t even getting an exit??
Seems smarter to me to tune your compound to as heavy an arrow as you need to get “field-point accuracy” with a fixed-blade BH. Yes, that will cost you some speed - maybe “only” 100-120 fps faster than a Stickbow - but if you’re going to use a rangefinder anyway, what difference does it make?
Better (IMO) to have a quieter bow and a fixed blade on the front of an arrow that hits like a truck. But I’m one of those screwballs who thinks that if something has been working for the past 54,000 years, it probably still does.
Used to only hunt and kill elk with fixed. Then the Hypodermic came out and that likely evened the playing field for penetration. Usually better chance for more wound channel inside and more blood on outside -especially with a pass through with Hypodermic. Good luck to all.
The pickup analogy is terrible. Any vehicle can leave you stranded at any time. I like to keep things as simple as possible. Whisker biscuit rest and fixed blade broadheads. Drop away rests fail, mechanical broadheads fail, eliminate them from the equation. So my groups are nickle size instead of dime size. No problem if you are shooting at and hitting the center of a target the size of a paper plate.
APauls said it best. Those Canadians are so smart.
Bigger hole and less resistance with the mechanical if you stay 1-1/2 or less from what I have observed. Vented blades on every fixed I've used plug up with hair before the head even gets to the vitals.
No offence intended from my truck comparison, but I have never had a failure due to a fixed blade broadhead not functioning. I have killed some deer and many elk just from using them. The analogy of the pickup was intended to just paint a word picture. If you drive an unreliable truck that leaves you stranded at times, my apology. I did not mean to make the comparison too real for anyone. lol
“Vented blades on every fixed I've used plug up with hair before the head even gets to the vitals.”
Well THERE’s your problem…. Vents just whistle anyway. ;)
I think Swede’s point is simply that No fixed blade, EVER, has failed to deploy as intended. And hey, if a Swede can figure it out, how hard can it be??
Ok guys that say mechanical heads break…. So do fixed and yes a elk did this;)
Blades fell out of satellites on a regular basis.
^^^ if they didn't break first while in flight
Which fixed and which mechanical? This isn't apples and oranges, it's apples, oranges, grapes, plums, pears, bananas, strawberries, kiwis, blueberries, watermelons and apricots.
That said, a sharp, durable, well-designed head that gives great arrow flight and you have zero doubts about performing is key. I shoot a simple, 2 blade, resharpenable head with very low KE and momentum by today's standards. I have no reservations about how it will work. Many have that same confidence in their mechanical choice.
I guess I don’t get it, how does the vented blade that plugs with hair happen, or better yet affect killing power I’ve never heard of this, haven’t seen a ton of elk killed but never witnessed it on deer, I’m out of the loop I guess
My favorite part about mechanical threads is when people give opinions on them without ever trying a mechanical. I went many years without screwing one on the end of my arrow, then I tried them and now I prefer them for everything I hunt more often than not.
I have picked out broken fixed blade broadheads and ones where a blade or blades were detached. They were all in in a very dead elk. I may have forgotten, but it seems to me they were all in an offside front leg that moved back and forth until the elk fell over. My comparison was not intended to get the conversation off track. It was simply to say, go with the most reliable equipment you can. I get PECO 2's point. I sure had to think over my choice of equipment this past September. My drop away rest failed to drop, and I missed two bulls before I realized what the problem was. The manufacturer replaced it for free in October, so I have the same thing that went bad attached to my bow again. I am hoping that my experience with that rest was very unusual. Fortunately, I got the rest to work well enough on my hunt, so I got the third bull that visited my tree stand haunt.
Confidence kills elk. Use what you’re confident in
Tried mech. And didn't like them none gave good pass threw and head blades trashed. Spitfire and rockets now i shoot slick trick vipers very pleased with them. And some old two blade classic Magnus .
Size (think entry/exit hole!) matters! A elk is a big dude and any extra blood out on the ground is a plus!
Learn how to shoot your bow. Know your capabilities and know the capabilities of your bow and shoot what fits. If people would do this there wouldn't be a problem. I have always used mechanical heads on elk and have had no problems at all. I have not seen a single shot my brother or I have made on elk that would have had a different result if we had been using fixed blade heads.
As to your question, it all depends on where that shot placement is and the set up of the bow.
welka, what broadhead was that?
The debate ended when cnelk said "Confidence kills elk. Use what you're confident in" because that's the only "correct" answer you'll find on this thread.
All broadheads can kill an elk, some better than others.
One thing is certain, these fixed versus mechanical threads never change anyone's minds.
I gave mechanicals a honest try for a few years. I had what I considered several failures...poor penetration, deflections upon impact, and lack of deployment. I also didn't like the disposable one-and-done nature of them. I went back to one-piece fixed blades that I can kill multiple animals with, and only have to touch them up between each use.
But that's just my 2 pennies and a pocket full of lint. Your mileage may vary.
‘Confidence’ ???? The most confident bowhunter I know is also the the guy who chooses the worst shots, with the worst results. He always has a reason why it wasn’t his fault, leaving his confidence untarnished for next time.
If you confidently have your head up your ass, your head is still up your ass.
Until just a few years ago mechanical broadheads were illegal for big game hunting in Oregon. While they were still illegal, I noticed a couple of elk hunters with one mechanical broadhead in their quiver. I do not know which broadhead would have come out of the quiver if they ever had a shot at an elk, but I suspect the mechanical. But only by accident.
If you have replaceable blade broadheads, yep, they can fall apart. I like one piece broadheads like VPA that I can sharpen myself.
Well, I’m glad we finally resolved the fixed vs mechanical as an elk broadhead.
Rage Hypodermic Trypan. Convinced a lot of camp that mechanicals might be OK for elk when they saw the hole!
I never liked that Half ferrule (in the photo) of that Buzzcut with bleeder blades…..the straight 2 blades have a full ferrule and are much stronger.….
I've killed a number of bulls living here in the west and initially had mixed success with mechanicals before ultimately switching to a Slick Trick Viper back in the 2016 time frame. They flew well for a fixed blade (which was most important to me) and did enough damage to get the job done but I wasn't always wanting even better flight and missed those explosive entry/exit holes from mechanicals. I've since switched back to a mechanical broadhead, that being a SEVR 1.5 (125). As expected, they fly better and seem to a bit more disruptive on contact. I also had a less than ideal shot last year that resulted in the SEVR having to penetrate some bone. In reality it was a shot that a fixed blade would have been ideal for. That said, the SEVER got through fine and got the job done. I realize I'm exposing myself to more potential failure points with a mechanical but I like the confidence in the accuracy they present and believe some of these newer mechanical designs help mitigate flaws which plagued them on larger animals such as elk in the past.