Getting back into Archery- mechanical vs traditional 3 blade broad-heads?

Pm1176

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Looking for pointers for deer and elk medicine. What are your thoughts on broad-heads and the most devastating ones out there. Rage, Grim Reaper, etc. Just looking for the good and bad from folks that have used this stuff in the field. Thanks!


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Dameon

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A good cut on contact fixed blade will always work whereas a mechanical is more dependent on having enough speed/kinetic energy and momentum to penetrate and deploy the blades. Most guys have enough kinetic energy and momentum to make a mechanical work on deer reliably with a well placed shot, but elk are a lot larger though. Most mechanicals don't react well to thick hides and bone and penetration will suffer. To get over that hump, you need a lot of speed and a heavier harder hitting arrow. A fixed blade will just slice on through until it runs out of steam. Now there are hybrid mechanicals and you get some of the advantages and disadvantages of both.

The primary theoretical advantage of mechanicals is that they are less sensitive to tuning issues and bad form. That may be true to a certain extent. However, if you practice consistently and tune or have your bow tuned to the best of your capability, I would never let tuning issues determine what kind of broadhead I use. Practicing is way more fun and the animals life is worth much more than an excuse like that.

I think the better question to ask is how much do I need to practice? What kind of arrow setup do I need to shoot a big German Kinetic, Solid, or similar flying battle ax? If you want to use a mechanical, what kind of arrow setup will work best for you draw weight, draw length, and available speed/kinetic energy.


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Felix40

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Ive been shooting mechanicals out of my compound because I want to take advantage of the extra energy I have available. You get a bigger cut without the flight issues. Big three blade broadheads will drift more in the wind and have a good chance of hitting low at long ranges. Ive been really happy with NAP spitfire magnums. NAP makes seriously sharp blades plus the ferrule is all steel.
 

5MilesBack

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I was a pretty stubborn fixed blade guy, but the NAP Spitfire and GR Fatal Steel have both provided phenomenal results on big bulls for me.

However, I'm also shooting a 532gr arrow at 289fps with a 32 1/2" draw.
 

mfllood3800

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In Idaho I soot a Montec 125 gr 3 blade for Elk
In Utah where it is legal, I use a NAP Kill Zone mechanical on deer and elk

But I shoot 70 lbs- 28.5 draw and a 500 gr arrow at around 300 fps

Mechanicals tune ( forgive poor tuning) better and fixed blades simply need some attention to details to fly best for your set up.
 

Laker

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Aug 24, 2016
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Alberta
I'm a huge NAP spitfire fan. And have heard stories of them failing to open on certain occasions. Well unfortunately it happened to me last November on nice bighorn for the first time. I had a 20yd steep downhill shot and hit the ram where I believe to have been directly on a rib. The arrow came to a dead stop, maybe barely penetrating more than an inch. Long story short, the ram was never found and I believe he survived the wound. At least I pray that he did. A week later I arrowed a different ram at 25yds with a spitfire and it performed great. I will say now, that I am seriously looking at the fixed blades again. The Wasp drone has caught my eye.
 
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Pm1176

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Thanks you guys! Trust you folks opinions more than folks in an archery shop who may have not harvested an animal.


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Beendare

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Can you give us a short 1 post commentary to summarize?;)

HA! (now that was funny Mike!)


Yeah sure….. Here you go;

Guys are adamant….to the point of combative about their choice of BH. If they like Redheads….you will never convince them Blondes are better!
 

PathFinder

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People will throw all sorts of opinions out. Let physical facts determine what you shoot, in the end they're just different tools for the same job, and personal preferences come into play.
Fixed:
Always cut
Excellent penetration (good COC heads)
Typically tough
Tuning sensitive
Wind drift badly
Pathetic cutting diameter

Mechanical:
Better flight
Much less wind drift
Larger, more lethal cutting diameter
Some designs are weaker
Need more momentum to drive them reliably (FPS x arrow mass).

Hybrid: Best if both worlds IMO. Always cut, good strong designs, and generous cutting diameters.

I've had great experience with Rage heads, especially Hypodermics. Shoot heavy arrows and shoot them fast, you shouldn't have any issues with top of the line mechanicals.

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Backpack Hunter

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Decide what you like best. I know that's not much help but anymore you can get a good mechanical or fixed blade.
Honestly I've never understood the hybrids. Seems to me you combine the negatives of both sides.
Forgot to mention I have had good results with Grim Reapers and VPA's.

Esse quam videri
 

5MilesBack

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Guys are adamant….to the point of combative about their choice of BH.

I've never understood that. It's kind of like the 5 year old jumping up and down and stomping his feet yelling "Everyone has to pick MY choice". When folks bring emotions into the equation, good decisions are rarely ever made.

There are advantages and disadvantages to every head and every bow setup. We just need to take them all into account, weigh those against each other, choose what we want to use, live with the consequences of those choices........good or bad, hopefully learn from our experiences, use what we learn to change or stick with it, and keep pressing forward.
 
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