Broadhead Test and Review 2020
Broadhead Test 2020: The Why
Before you read this broadhead test: The charts only format well on chrome and desktop versions of IE and Safari cant really use them on mobile devices. Also don’t just look at the score assigned look through the data some of this data is so close for instance the top 7 broadheads in accuracy were .5″ apart from each other. Also look at the videos to help you understand the data better.
Every couple of years I like to test the broadheads on the market and just get a good overview of what, why , how just to make sure I’m shooting the best of what I can out there. Well this time it was a bit more personal I had shot and wounded a few different animals between last season and the beginning of 2020. Of course like normal human nature I needed something to blame because it couldn’t possibly be my fault so I started to doubt I was shooting the best possible set up and that doubt erased 11-12 years of success I had with my existing set up. Which in turn sent me down this rabbit hole. I tell you all this because I want you to know that I took pain staking time, energy and effort to have the most detailed test I could and I wanted to look at it from every angle and do tests that were seemingly redundant or not really important just to make sure my data was accurate. My first goal was to make sure I did a “super tune” on my bow and arrows I would be shooting for the test, I also wanted to have all the best testing equipment and procedures I could to give me the best data I could collect. Lucky for me Arizona Archery club has been developing procedures for the super tune for the past few years and has been amassing the very best in testing equipment.
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Broadhead Testing: The Tests
The following are the parameters of my broadhead test:
Accuracy: This to me and all those involved was the highest or most important quality to look for in a broad-head. Most experts will agree that shot placement is the most important factor in recovering an animal so it stands to reason you want to have a broadhead with the highest probability to hit its mark. 2nd on the list was field point accuracy the ability to practice with target tips and still be able to screw on your broadheads and head straight out to the field without making any adjustments ranked high for us as well. We shot every head both indoors @ 70 yrds and outdoors @ 80yrds with a hooter shooter machine and I shot by hand outdoors @80 yds every head as well We are only sharing with you the indoor data because we felt the outdoor data was not as valuable due to the conditions changing from the beginning of the test to the end. But I will say this both with me shooting and the hooter shooter the outdoor data for the most part barring some outliers correlated with the indoor data. Below you will find a chart that has the scoring system but I don’t want you to focus on the score, look at the data with some of them we are splitting hairs look at everything that is important to you and formulate your own “prefect broadhead”. If we look at the results The top 7 were all within an 1/2 inch of each other but look at those top 7 and see how they fair in comparison to the field point you will see the #1 Ramcat Diamond back had sub 1″ group but was 5.7″ off from the field points were lets say like the Alien V2 had a 1.5″ group and was 1.7″ off the field points, or the swhacker 207 1.1″ group and 1.6″ off the field point respectively. It takes some doing but read through the data, the group size is listed worst to best and field point is best to worst. Watch Accuracy Video here
Aerodynamic Drag test: This was one of those redundant tests that correlated directly with field point accuracy and noise level. It just helped us verify that what we were seeing was accurate. There was a direct correlation the higher the % of drag or loss of speed the further away the impact point deviated from the field points. Same went for noise level the more drag the noisier the heads were. We shot every head over a noise meter and the data was inconclusive across the board, we then shot each head passed both myself and my cousin Anthony subjectively assigning a value to indicate noise level. We did not include this data in the results because it wasn’t very scientific but we did include the drag data and I can tell you with certainty the higher the drag the louder they were. broadhead review 2020, broadhead test, broadhead testing, best broadheadbroadhead review 2020, broadhead test, broadhead testing, best broadheadbroadhead review 2020, broadhead test, broadhead testing, best broadheadbroadhead review 2020, broadhead test, broadhead testing, best broadheadbroadhead review 2020, broadhead test, broadhead testing, best broadheadbroadhead review 2020, broadhead test, broadhead testing, best broadheadbroadhead review 2020, broadhead test, broadhead testing, best broadheadbroadhead review 2020, broadhead test, broadhead testing, best broadhead 2020
Broadhead drag test
Sharpness ,Sharpness retention, variance and KE consumption test: At first thought Sharpness would be redundant for penetration but it really wasn’t. What I feel is important about having a sharp broadhead is its ability to cut vessels as it moves through the body so just because a broadhead can penetrate 5 inches further doesn’t necessarily mean it will cut a vessel that it comes in contact with to cause bleeding it only means it moved through and caused damage to tissue. That might seem off or confusing concept to wrap your head around so let me put it like this I have one blood vessel in the middle of a piece of meat I shoot two arrows through this meat both of which pass through both of which contact this vessel but only one severed the vessel the other just nicks it or scratched it because the blade is not sharp the wound with the sharp blade should bleed more and result in a faster recovery. Although some will argue that a laceration bleeds more than an incision for me I’d rather have a sharper blade then not. Again here is the data do with it as you will. The sharpness retention to me was not super important because I rarely shoot the same head after I have shot it into an animal. But some of these heads are pricey and you want to get mileage out of them. Variance testing really speaks to the tolerances and overall quality of the construction of the heads and directly correlates to group size, and field point accuracy. So this is a cheap way for you to tell if your head is quality or not.. weigh em… The KE consumption test was a complete waste of time and did not correlate to penetration what so ever however it did correlate with the angled shots those with very high consumption did not perform as well on the 30 degree angle shots. They seemed to skip along the board a bit moving the point of impact before entering the target. The data is there do with it what you will. I will say this I think having a pointer tapered tip is beneficial over a rounded, steep angled tip not only for quartering shots but cutting through hide but not too pointy because you may get logged into bone versus breaking it. As for the spin testing this was just to see if there was a correlation with accuracy and well balanced heads and as you guessed it there was . Its cheap way to look at a head and find out if its worth shooting or not. Click here to watch the video
Penetration and Wound Channel : This is what everybody seems to be the most interested in and quite frankly it was the most fun. We used FBI clear gel and 1/4″ high grade MDF to get our results. Leading up to this I made many of my own gels and tested different combinations of media to shoot through from card board to different foams in the end this simple set up would give us the most accurate usable results. I was a bit floored the heads I expected to penetrate better didn’t and ones that I though wouldn’t …. did. I quickly learned that friction and surface area of the head played an important part in the performance and that mechanical advantage didn’t always mean deeper penetration . This is a slippery slope because lethality and blood trails don’t necessarily go hand in hand. Meaning The heads that that inflicted the most trauma didn’t necessarily have the deepest penetration thus in theory not leaving as good a blood trail (2 holes). So let me put this in a real life scenario for you I have been shooting swhackers for a long time and because of the design if you don’t have a pass-through the blood trail can be minimal because the entry hole is 1″ but the internal damage is far greater than if I was to shoot for instance a double bevel 1″ single blade and achieved the pass through. I shot a buck one time where the head logged itself in the opposite shoulder the buck ran 30 yards and died however there was almost no blood. Conversely many years ago I shot a buck with an equally good shot with a muzzy got a pass through had great blood but needed to track the buck for about 150 yards. I know what you are thinking one deer is different than the next the shot is different all true valid points but my reasoning for bringing this up is don’t put all you eggs in one basket, don’t rely solely on penetration or wound channel consider something well balanced or if possible that gives you both. Watch video here
Broadhead review : my thoughts
So I’m sure you are wondering which I would pick after all this… I really couldn’t make up my mind 100 % I will say I was very impressed with the Ironwill, Valkirie Jag, Kudu and the Alien archery V2 in the fixed blade category. I didn’t test enough mechanicals on this round mainly because there weren’t many that would put the heads up against what we were doing. I had at least 5 companies commit then I sent them my testing rubric and they backed out. So for now I’m sticking with Swhacker in the mechanical department . Please remember this is not a subjective review and the data is the data we tried to be as neutral as possible and give you results that had as little or no bias as possible that’s why I urge you to look through all the data before making a decision. And once you have narrowed it down shoot them for yourself because your mechanics your contact points etc will yield different results than the hooter shooter.
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