broadhead testing

225nontypical

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Aug 18, 2014
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I finally had the time to do the biggest broadhead test I have ever done. after 7 hours and what ended up being close to 300 pounds of bones it's done.
first I want to say what a pain the back side this was! I don't think I will ever do another test this big, it was just to much. I think I shot close to 150 arrows yesterday and gave myself a blister from my new release.
let me explain the test and how we did it. we tested all the 100 grain heads in one group, 125's in another and 150&200 grain in another
first was a very basic shootabiity test, this was done at 80 yards, all the heads were spun tested and then shot at 80. I did not test them at closer distance first to make sure they flew well first. (only one head did not fly well at 80) this test was done with my axis 300's for all the 100&125 grain heads, the 150 and bigger were done with my blackeagle Ximpacts I did this because I wanted to keep everything as close to the same as I could within each group and the Valkyrie head had to be on the Ximpact arrow.
second was the ballistic gel test. the test rig was set up as follows, the first layer was fresh (had been frozen since December) deer hide than foam, MDF, 13" of ballistic gel and then MDF. this was a straight up penetration test with a secondary test of the hole each head left in the hide. this test was done using the arrow that were going to get used for the bone test (again so that I could be as consistent as possible), I didn't have enough axis arrow to shoot all the heads and leave them in the gel.

Third and the hardest test was fresh bone. it was really difficult to get enough bone close to the same size and have it be fresh. we ended up using a different leg bone for the 150&200 grain heads. it was not as thick but had a much flatter face to it. don't get me wrong it was still thick and heavy! this test had some big surprises for me.

I know the question is coming and I am not going to answer it. what the best broadhead? well being 100% honest I don't think there is a best broadhead! I think there are many great heads on the market and it depends on what you are looking for in a head. I would say most of the heads I test are good quality heads only a couple that I was not impressed with. there was not a head in the group that didn't have some damage to it when it hit the bone some worse then others and some came out in many many pieces. The video wont be up loaded until tomorrow or the next day. but below I will list all the heads and how they did. please understand we made a few mistakes on this test and did not always shoot perfect, we also did not measure the arrow penetration of each head (4 hours sleep was killing me). But in the video and pictures you can see how they did with most heads being very close in overall penetration. I wish we would have measured them as I know people would have liked to look at real numbers but we didn't and I am sorry about that.

100 grain heads (listed in the order they were shot)
1. muzzy tocar, this head shot well
2. VPA 3 blade
3. Iron Will
4. tooth of the arrow
5. vpa 2 blade
6. ram cat with fire nock blades
7. Afflictor K2
8.interloc shape shifter
9. Dirt nap

125 grain heads
1. Atac
2. Exodus
3. shuttle T
4. magnus black hornet ser
5. magnus black hornet
6. magnus stinger
7. magnus stinger buzzcut
8. Anarchy
9. Kudu
10. Iron Will
11. Wasp drone
12. Muzzy phantom SC
13. Bishop Pipe line holy trinity
14. montec

150 and 200 grain heads
1. Iron will without bleeder blades
2. Iron will
3. bishop pipe line 2 blade
4. German kinetic
5. Valkyrie (200 grain)
6. cutthroat (200 grain)
 
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225nontypical

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ok time to run down how they all did

1. muzzy tocar, this head flew well at 80 yards, it penetrated the gel well and was on par with all the other heads, it deflected on the bone test and so we didn't get a really good idea of what it could do.
2. Vpa 3 blade, this head flew well and again was on par with the other heads on the gel, on the bone test this head was sticking out the back of the bone a little but did not go all the way through, it however came apart. it lost one blade and one of the other blades folded over so it looked like a 2 blade.
3. Iron Will, flew good at 80 (I like how this head fly's), it was on par with the other heads in the gel, I messed the shot up on the bone and was out of arrows so I did not reshoot it, plus I had shot them into bone a bunch (including in this test in the 125 and 150 grain test).
4. tooth of the arrow, this head flew well and was a top penetrator on the gel test, on the bone it got stopped inside and when we dug it out it only had 2 blades left
5. VPA 2 blade, this head is the only head that just would not fly well for me, it was high left every time by like 12". on the gel it was on par with the other heads, on the bone again I made a bad shot (this was the last group and I was really struggling to keep my pin steady). It was still in ok shape after the deflection
6. Ram cat, this head flew well and did good on the penetration test, on the bone it went all the way through but only as a fancy field point. the blades came off as it went through the first side of the bone.
7. K2 this head flew well and opened on the broadhead target, it did not do great on the gel test and didn't open. on the bone it blew up into pieces and a lot of them.
8. shape shifter, this head flew well but didn't open on the broadhead target. it did well on the gel and did open. on the bone it also became a fancy field point but did go all the way through the bone.
9. Dirt Nap flew well at 80 and did on par in the gel, it however came apart on the bone and only went part way through.
 
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225nontypical

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On to the 125 grain heads
1. Atac this head flew well, it did good on the penetration test, on the bone it stuck in but did not go through, it came out in ok shape the tip was bent and the bleeders were kind of messed up. (I actually messed the first shot up but we had another arrow so i shot a new head, the first one was bent).
2. Exodus, this head flew well and did good on the penetration test, on the bone it actually blew through the bone and went into my bag target. It was pretty beat up but kept all the blades.
3. Shuttle T, this head flew well and did good on the penetration test, on the bone it went through but only came out with one blade.
4. Magnus black hornet SER, this head flew well, on the penetration test it and the rest of the Magnus heads did not make it all the way through the gel but were really close. These were the only heads to not hit the MDF on the back side, on the bone it went in and stuck in the middle. The tip was flattened out but other wise it was in pretty good shape with some minor bendin to the main body
5. Magnus black hornet, just like above in all the tests but with a little more blade damage
6. Magnus stinger, again just like above in all the test other than the bone. It went into the bone and stopped when we got it out it was in several pieces
7. Magnus stinger buzz cut, again like the above heads with one main difference, it went all the way through the bone and look great, only the bleeder blades had bends to them.
8. Anarchy, this head flew well and did good on the penetration test, on the bone this head went through the bone. The only damage on this head was to the blades.
9. Kudu, in this test unlike my previous tests it flew well, it did good on the gel, one the bone the first one deflected so we shot a new one, this one went in and broke but also bent into the shape of the inside of the bone and looked like a J
10. Iron Will, flew good, did good on the gel, on the bone it went in and stuck, it came out with the tip flattened a little and the main blade folded a little
11. Wasp drone, this head flew well, penetrated as good as the other heads, on the bone the tip was sticking out the back but it lost all of it's blades
12. Bishop holy trinity, flew well and penetrated well, on the bone it went it and broke. One of the blades sheared off in the bone.
13. Muzzy phantom SC, this head flew well, penetrated the gel well, on the bone it penetrated and broke a piece off the back of the bone. It came out bend up but still intact
14. Montec, it flew well, penetrated the gel well, on the bone it stuck in the front side and one of the blades broke off







 
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225nontypical

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now on to the 150 & 200 grain heads
1. Iron will without bleeders, this head flew well, on the gel it out penetrated all the other heads, on the bone it went in and was sticking out of the back of the bone. it came out in pretty good shape with the blades showing some damage.
2. Iron Will standard, just like all the Iron will heads it flew well, it penetrated the gel well and was hanging out the back, on the bone it went in and was coming out of the back just like the 2 blade without bleeders but probably had 5" less penetration.
3. Bishop pipe line 2 blade, this head flew well, on the gel it did well coming in 3rd, on the bone it went in and stuck but did not come out the back. when we got it out the blades still looked really good but the tip had a piece missing.
4. German kinetic, this head flew well, on the gel it had the second most penetration. now for what was maybe the biggest surprise of the day! on the bone it was in a bunch of pieces and didn't make it very deep. we were so amazed that we grabbed another one and shot it. the same thing happened! we were in total shock, these heads were from the same group that the first one I tested came from. the first time I tested these heads they were great and for the life of me I can not figure out why it failed but 2 in the row did the exact same thing.
5. Valkyrie, this head flew well, on the gel it did well but nether of the 200 grain heads penetrated like the 150 grain heads. on the bone it was sticking out of the back of the bone but when we got it out 2 of the blades were broken off.
6. Cutthroat, this head flew well, on the gel it did good but had the least penetration, on the bone it went in and was sticking out of the back, when we dug it out it was intact but the blades were waffled a bunch.



 

Randle

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Thanks for posting , thats a whole lot of broken scrap metal
 

5MilesBack

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I've had heads hold up better into concrete than those you shot into bones. Odd. There's only one bone area that concerns me, and that's the knuckle right where the shoulder blade attaches to the upper leg bone (the >). Everything else I've blown through.
 
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225nontypical

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I've had heads hold up better into concrete than those you shot into bones. Odd. There's only one bone area that concerns me, and that's the knuckle right where the shoulder blade attaches to the upper leg bone (the >). Everything else I've blown through.

just keep in mind these bones are Cow bones and not elk. I think they are much thicker heavier bones then elk bones. once I have the video cut down from the hours of footage we have now to under 10 minutes some of what i was saying will make more sense. however I was very surprised that many heads came apart. but look at the Magnus stinger head side by side. its the same head other than the serrated blades and one looks perfect and the other one is in pieces. or go back and look at my first GK test where it held up to the bone and a double steel plate. the only thing I can think of is that maybe the arrows used in this test were more durable then the ones I had to use in the past test, so they were able to transfer more energy this time which caused more failures? I really dont know.
 

Tony Trietch

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I HATE that knuckle.

I've had heads hold up better into concrete than those you shot into bones. Odd. There's only one bone area that concerns me, and that's the knuckle right where the shoulder blade attaches to the upper leg bone (the >). Everything else I've blown through.
 

5MilesBack

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I HATE that knuckle.

Ya, that cost me a really big bull four years ago. It was raining like heck and I didn't want to hit him too far back in that. So I aimed further forward and released. Even this last year's bull I thought was a perfect shot in the >, and it was......he was down in 2-3 seconds. But after I skinned him out I realized just how close I was to that knuckle.......within 1.5-2" of losing a bull. I tend to just naturally hug that >, but I really need to get away from that. Even at 20 yards 1.5" is the difference between center-punching a 3" bullseye and catching the outside ring on that bullseye. Most every archer I know would be glad to keep them all in that 3" circle, even the "on the line ones". But in this case, those on the line ones could be disastrous. How many target guys keep their arrows within that ring EVERY single time even without a big bull staring them down? If you err to the correct side, you're still golden. But if you err to the knuckle side, you're toast.
 

Beendare

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Lesson=don't hit large bones

Yep.

One thing this test illustrates well is that the quality of steel sure matters on a big bone hit. Look at the difference between the replaceable blade heads and the ones with better steel and solid construction.

Of course its all a trade off. Comparing a $12 head to a $35 head......one would hope that the $35 bucker holds up better.

I'm a fan of more steel in a BH....and pretty happy with the VPA 150's especially at $14 each....reusable unless you shoot them into heavy bone or rocks.
 
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