Choosing Your Broadhead
In the last several years there has been more written about the pros and cons of broadheads than in all the years I have bow hunted. All of the debating is not over who makes the best head but which is best, fixed heads or mechanical heads. Both sides of this debate feel they are right and will argue they are right until the end.
That being said, I will not try to convince you which head you should be using. What I will do is point out what I have learned about both and give some field experiences I have had with both types of heads. In the end I will tell you what head I have been using the last five or six years and why I prefer that head. The one thing common to both type of heads is I recommend buying the best head you can afford. Don't try to save a dollar buying close out or cheap heads. This is what gets the job done!
Fixed broadheads have been around the longest period of time and are the most common head used today. They are available in several weights, many designs and cutting diameters. Over the years I have tried many different heads and have had good and bad results. Today, I feel the design and quality of fixed heads are at their best.
Most of the fixed heads used today have replaceable blades that do not require sharpening like most of the heads from years ago. They are much sharper than what we were able to get our old heads.
I feel you will get better penetration with a good quality fixed head than most of the mechanical heads. I have had more complete pass through shots with fixed heads, but then I have hunted longer with them.
To shoot fixed heads you will need a well tuned bow if you hope to hit where you did with your field points. Fixed heads will tend to catch wind and plane if they are not coming out straight. Don't take this the wrong way, fixed heads will group and hit where your field points do, it just requires tuning for them. Don't practice all summer with your field points and then put fixed broadheads on and go hunting. You will need to practice with the broadheads to see how they shoot.
One thing I will caution you about is the blades are extremely sharp and will cut your finger before you know it so be careful if you shoot fixed heads. The other thing that requires caution is when you are in the stand nocking an arrow. Make sure you don't hit your bow string, you may get a big shock if you do.
Mechanical broadheads have not been around near as long as fixed heads. They are still improving their design every year. I feel there are more mechanical heads on the market today that are cheap and do not perform very well as a result. If you are considering mechanicals, there are two things to remember. First, don't buy the cheaper heads, like the old saying goes, you get what you pay for. The second thing to stay away from are the large diameter heads. The larger diameter heads will not penetrate near as well as the smaller ones will. Stay with 1 3/4" diameter or less.
The thing I hear the most about mechanicals are they will not penetrate very well on deer sized animals. I will agree that on the larger heads that could be a problem The next thing I hear is that someone lost a deer because they were using mechanicals. Regardless what type head you use you will still have to but a killing shot on the deer to kill it. The last ting is I hear people talking about the head opening in flight. I don't know how someone would be able to tell if it opened but some say they can. I have not had any problems with heads opening in flight myself.
You still need to have a tuned bow to shoot accurate but if your bow gets a little out of tune it will have less effect on arrow flight shooting mechanicals. They fly just about like field points do. You still need to practice with them before you go hunting to make sure they are hitting where your practice arrows did.
Mechanicals are safer when nocking arrows because they are closed, no sharp blades to come in contact with.
Both type heads will serve you well if you buy a quality head, the main thing is that you have confidence in the head you are using.
For the past five or six years I have been using mechanicals with great results. I have not had the first problem with them and have killed numerous deer and one turkey with them. I have total confidence in the head I'm using as well as a couple of others in our group.
I have had great results with 75 grain Rocket Miniblasters and 100 grain Rocket Steelheads.
As far a fixed head, I keep 100 grain Thunderheads also and would not think twice about going back to them.
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