Broadheads

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Now that the season is here not a day goes by with out some one asking me about broadheads. One of the most frequently asked questions is "why don't my broadheads hit where my field points do?" I wish there were a simple answer to this question. The truth is there are a multitude of things that could cause broadheads and field points to impact differently.

First lets look at the dynamics of the two different points. A 100-grain field point will average 3/4" in length and 21/64" in diameter. A 100-grain broadhead, even though the weight is the same, will average 1 3/4" in length and with the blades will encompass a diameter of around 1 3/16". These blades give you multiple planing surfaces to catch air. Why should these points hit the same spot? These differences also cause broadheads to be more critical to both tuning flaws and flaws in shooting form. In most cases a person can expect their groups with broadheads to be slightly larger than groups shot with field points. What is most important is that your broadheads are flying well and are grouping. If this is the case but they are impacting a couple of inches from your field points, then just make a small sight adjustment. If your broadheads are flying wildly and you are unable to hold a group, then there is a problem in one of the following areas: tune of the bow, shooting mechanics, or arrow spine. If this is the case, taking your bow to an experienced technician is a good place to start. They may be able to find something in the tune of the bow or in your form that can correct your problems quickly. If everything appears to be in proper tune, (both you and the bow), paper tuning is a good place to start. This method of tuning gives you a blueprint of how the arrow is leaving the bow and can show you how to correct it. Again a well-trained professional can make this process much easier.

One major factor, which can help you greatly, is broadhead design. There are a lot of great broadheads on the market. I prefer heads that are very compact in design. A broadhead that is shorter in overall length and has shorter, lower profile blades is apt to plane less and therefor impact closer to your field points. My personal favorite is the rocky mountain ti-100 by Barrie archery. This broadhead is only 1 1/4' in overall length and has 1 1/8" cutting diameter. Its flight characteristics are tremendous, even at speeds in excess of 290 fps. It also penetrates very well. I have used this head with great success on 400lb black bear, numerous whitetails, and pronghorn antelope.

Another quick fix that more and more people are using is a mechanical broadhead. These heads keep the blades closed in flight therefore eliminating any planing surface. In short they will fly exactly like your field points. The draw back to this head is diminished penetration on game. Quite a bit of the arrow's kinetic energy is expended in the opening of the blades. To use these heads effectively your set-up should generate at least 50 foot pounds of kinetic energy.

One overlooked part of broadhead tuning is alignment of the broadhead to the shaft. This involves assembling the broadhead to the arrow shaft and spinning it to make sure it runs true. If there is any wobbling in the shaft-broadhead combination, it will not shoot consistently.

Don't let broadheads intimidate you. You should look forward to shooting your broadheads because it can mean only one thing-it's hunting season!

Good luck and good shooting,

Seth