Listed below are the three types of broadheads to select from: cut-on-contact, fixed-blade, and mechanicals. I threw in one among my trusted Zwickey Deltas from the ‘80s only for previous time’s sake. (Writer photograph)

Query: I’m 14, simply moving into bowhunting, and I’m combating broadhead alternative. I perceive the necessity for ultra-sharp blades and good arrow flight, however I can’t determine on the kind of broadhead. I ought to point out I’ve a 26-inch draw size. Randy E., Alaska, by way of e-mail

Reply: I’ve spent 42 years taking pictures broadheads and have developed some opinions which will ruffle a couple of feathers. Listed below are some ideas.

First, broadhead testing is a fairy story. There, I mentioned it. Taking pictures broadheads into plywood, metal barrels, tires, foam/3-D targets, slabs of beef ribs, or ballistic gel, on no account replicates actuality. You would possibly draw some comparative evaluation, however these exams aren’t any predictor of efficiency on an animal. I might dive deeper into this, however as you make your alternative, view such exams with skepticism.

A lot of the talk falls on which “fashion” of broadhead — cut-on-contact broadheads (two or three-blade), fixed-blade broadheads (with or with out replaceable blades), or mechanical broadheads with shifting elements.


I’m glad you talked about your draw size, as a result of I’ll begin with the fashion of broadhead that undeniably penetrates the perfect — the cut-on-contact two-blade. It’s widespread sense and physics.

Right here’s a narrative. In my early years, my buddy and I shot a standard fixed-blade broadhead. My buddy arrowed a pronghorn, and after we received to it, the buck hadn’t but expired. So, to hasten its demise (and never wreck an arrow), he knelt behind it and tried to thrust an arrow into the pronghorn’s chest. The arrow snapped in half and didn’t even start to penetrate the pores and skin.

A pair years later we’d switched to Zwickey two-blade Delta broadheads and had the same state of affairs when issues “received Western” with a cow elk. We delivered the coup de grace by slipping a Zwickey-tipped arrow into her coronary heart. It solely took two fingers to push it in.

This received me to questioning if I might measure the power wanted for a broadhead to penetrate tanned elk disguise. I rigged up a scale and measured three kilos of power to push a Zwickey by way of the disguise. After I tried varied ferrule-type broadheads, regardless of how exhausting I attempted, I merely couldn’t push it by way of the pores and skin. The purpose was made. This simple “ease” of penetration is important to conventional archers and an amazing profit to those that shoot low draw weight and light-weight arrows. Or in your case, a shorter draw size.

Throughout my years of taking pictures cut-on-contact, two-blade heads, I seen one thing else. I noticed extra animals expire nearby again then. Whitetails, elk, and caribou scarcely reacted to being struck by my arrow. I shot a bugling elk at eight yards, and his solely response was to show his head and watch me shoot him once more. I imagine that was as a result of he felt little to no “influence” when my ultra-sharp Zwickey zipped by way of his chest. Conversely, a broadhead with a ferrule should “punch” by way of the pores and skin, entering into and popping out, and I imagine the animal reacts to that sudden influence. Sure, it occurs quick, and a few would possibly scoff on the idea, however that’s my expertise.

Whereas the cut-on-contact broadheads have their benefits, most bowhunters fall into the opposite two broadhead-style decisions. Mounted-blade broadheads with replaceable blades are a favourite with bowhunters who need ultra-sharp blades and fail-safe development. Nonetheless, based mostly on gross sales figures, the overwhelming majority of bowhunters use mechanical broadheads, which provide glorious arrow flight in addition to devastating wound channels — however a phrase of warning on that. Opposite to what some imagine, opening a mechanical broadhead takes little or no vitality, however driving these wide-cut blades by way of fur, pores and skin, and muscle does require a number of vitality.

You don’t say what your draw weight is, or the burden of your arrow, however a cut-on-contact broadhead may be the best way to go, at the least for now.

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