Broadhead Tuning

danwattsmessick

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2012
Messages
12
Location
Spokane, WA
I posted this on my blog, but I'll share it over here. Feel free to add any of your own tips as far as getting your bows broadhead ready.



Whether you’re chasing bugling bulls in September or waiting out rutting whitetails in November, the outcome of your hunt ultimately comes down to one well placed, broadhead tipped arrow. What follows are several steps I follow every year to ensure I’ve got a can’t miss set-up when I find myself at full draw.

Paper Tune -

I look at paper tuning as the springboard to a broadhead accurate bow. At a distance of 6 to 8 feet, I shoot a field point tipped arrow through a sheet of butcher paper stretched tight on a rack designed specifically for this purpose.

Where the nose goes, the tail should follow. What I mean is that when shot through paper, a well tuned bow should leave a perfect 3-point star shaped hole. Minute adjustments (1/8″ or less) to your bow’s rest and or nocking point can help to correct vertical (up or down) and horizontal (left or right) tears.

Walk-Back Tune -

While paper tuning is a great starting point, this often overlooked method is one that I feel only helps to further ensure the likelihood of pinpoint accuracy when you finally begin to shoot broadheads.

Run a 1/2″ wide strip of masking tape down the center of your preferred target. Using a marking pen, create a point of aim you’ll be able to see from a distance of 50 yards somewhere in the top 1/3 of your tape line. Using only your 20-yard pin, shoot four arrows (one from each distance) from 20 to 50 yards, all aiming at the spot you created on your tape line. A rest that still needs some minor adjusting will leave a descending trail to the left or right of center. Again using minute adjustments, move your rest to the left or the right in the direction you want your arrows to go. Repeat your four shots after every adjustment.

Eventually your four arrows will all be touching the tape. When this happens, you’re ready to screw on a few broadheads and move on to the next step.

Group Tune -

If you haven’t yet, now is the time to sight your pins in with field points to at least 40 yards.

With your pins sighted in for field points, its time to finally start sighting in for your broadheads.

At a distance of 40 yards, shoot two separate groups of arrows – one with field points and one with broadheads. In a perfect world, these two groups will have the same point of impact (POI.) If they do not, a couple of simple corrections should bring the two groups together.

To correct horizontal misses, move your rest in the direction you want the broadhead group to go. For vertical adjustments, move your nocking point up or down.

If your field point group starts to walk off of your intended POI, don’t panic, your broadhead group will move more with each adjustment than your field point group will. Eventually the two will find the same POI, at which time you will simply adjust your sight back to the center of the target.

Last Ditch Efforts -

- Experiment with your front of center (FOC)

An arrow with a higher FOC will generally fly better than one with a lower FOC. You can achieve a higher front of center by using a heavier head or insert, or adding screw-in brass weights. I prefer to use 50-grain screw-in brass weights in my GoldTip arrows.

- Shoot a stiffer spine

It may be such a thing that you need to shoot a stiffer arrow. Not only can shooting an arrow with a weak spine cause erratic broadhead tipped arrow flight, but it can be dangerous. Consult spine charts provided by arrow manufacturers or seek advice from a reputable pro shop. If you’re right on the edge of a specific spine series, its always smart to err to the stiffer side of the chart.

All you may need to do is cut a half-inch off of your current arrows in order to stiffen their spine. A professional bow tech can help you decide which is the right choice for you.

- Switch Heads

Depending on which broadheads you’re currently shooting, switching to a lower profile fixed-blade or even a mechanical broadhead may be the recipe for success. These styles of heads tend to plane less and be less effected by wind.

As any bowhunter knows, the list of things that can go wrong on a given hunt seem endless. We owe it to ourselves as dedicated sportsmen as well as to the animals we chase to do everything we can to make sure that the last thing we do is make a less than ideal shot due to a lack of preparedness. If you follow the same steps I do to ensure your broadheads are shooting accurately, you’ve just checked one thing off of the “might go wrong” list.

Hunt hard and keep the passion alive.
 

Chris_Lord

Newbie
Joined
Feb 27, 2012
Messages
3
Location
Billings, MT
I wish I would have seen something like this a long time ago. I eventually found the info I needed. Some of the shop guys around town said ill never get my broadheads to fly like my field points but I never believed them. My muzzys are 20 yards were well over 12" off my field points and with the arrow rest adjustments they are shooting fine at least to 60 yards. Only thing I do differently is ill shoot one broadhead and then a field point and adjust, remove arrows and repeat so as not to have to buy more arrows or re-do fletching all the time.
 

RosinBag

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Feb 27, 2012
Messages
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Roseville, CA.
Chris, I don't think the guys around town are that far off. Not all bow and arrow combinations are capable of doing this. A slower shooting bow will have trouble shooting field points and broadheads together out past 40 yards. Simple arrow dynamics is the broad head, if a fixed blade, has more drag to it than a field point, so there is a distance where they are incapable of hitting in the same spot. Faster bows will make this distance longer than slower bows, but the difference in drag of the two arrows can only stay mated for so long, before the broad head starts to fall off. If you want to check it, shoot it both through a chronograph at 6 to 8 feet. Then shoot them through a chronograph at 20, 40, 60 and 80 yards. You will see the broadheads are losing speed at a greater rate. You can get them to shoot pretty close to 40 to 60 yards, but perfectly I doubt. And when I say that, I mean exact point of impact. Many will say they shoot exact out to 80 yards, but it is nearly impossible scientifically. It can certainly be within several inches, but probably not exact.
 

RosinBag

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Roseville, CA.
Also, mechanicals that are nearly shaped as field points will be truer to same POI as their profile is nearly the same.
 

Daniel.Liss

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2012
Messages
11
I always tune with the broadheads Im using and the field points follow suit I am a Traditional guy and Tuning is KEY to my equipment I spend hours tuning and playing with length, point weight, insert weight etc until I get it right! Great article
 

Chris_Lord

Newbie
Joined
Feb 27, 2012
Messages
3
Location
Billings, MT
True, I dont get exact flight but they shoot about the same as my field points after doing the stuff mentioned in this thread out to about 60 yards. I forgot to mention that the guys I had talked to said I will never get them to shoot better at all. They told me I was going to need to sight my bow in for field points and then when I was ready to shoot broadheads, I was going to have to adjust my sight to match where the broadheads were hitting and keep moving the sight for whatever I wanted to shoot. Im satisfied with my results from this info even though I found out a couple years ago. Just stating that it worked for me.
 
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