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hlhneast

Mechanical Broadheads

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I am looking to buy some mechanical broadheads to pair with my new crossbow.  I know nothing about them except they are very expensive so I would like some input before I plunk down this serious amount of money.  Thanks!

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I assembled my Carbon Express Pile Driver yesterday topping it off with a Bushnell 1X4X24 AR 223 scope I had sitting around without a home.  I took it out this morning into the back yard and shot at 10yds to start the sight in process.  I used an archery foam target and backed it with a 4'X8'X12" block of roofing foam in case of errant bolts from a badly off scope.  Let loose the first one and hit dead center 2" high.  Shot a second bolt and same results so its pretty much dialed in at 20yds I would say.  I cant shoot any further than that in my back yard really so I have to wait til the end of Aug. for our next trip to the woods.  The Pile Driver shoots at 390FPS with a 185# draw weight.  It would have shot thru the archery target had I not backed it up.  The bolt buried 10" into the roofing foam after passing thru the archery target.  I cant wait to see how it mauls a deer with a mechanical broad head.

 

I can almost taste the backstrap now!

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Two things.

First, get yourself a bag target. You can either buy one,  or you can easily make your own. There are several self-fill bags available that work very well. You just stuff the bag with old clothing (buttons/zippers/snaps removed). Gluing your fletches back on and fighting to pull shafts stuck in dense foam will become a thing of the past. They will stop ANY arrow fired from ANY bow/crossbow.

 

Second, one word......Swhacker. They are an excellent mechanical, that actually allow YOU to control blade deployment, which is important with today's high energy bows. Premature deployment is a real issue with some very expensive heads, but with the Swhacker's the blade retention band is nothing more than a piece of heat shrink tubing. If you want/need to make blade deployment require more resistance, simply cut the pieces of tubing a little longer. And if for some reason the blades don't deploy when shooting at a game animal, it isn't a huge deal because they will still make a 1" cut.

 

Personally, I have a few bag targets that I made, and two finger pulls are the norm. I also prefer the old Gator XP mechanicals, because they don't rely on any sort of retention system at all, but they aren't easy to come by anymore, so I'm more inclined to use my Swhacker heads in situations when shaft recovery is more likely to be iffy. They both make HUGE cuts, and I've never had either one fail to deploy when it should, nor deploy prematurely.

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Thanks for the tips Longhair.  I will check out Shwackers.  The two others I have been told to look at are G5s and Grim Reapers.

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I'm a bit of a dinosaur but I never had NAP's Shockwave fail me. The thing you have to watch with some mechanicals with huge cutting diameters and any broadhead really but magnified immensely with huge mechanicals is that the penetration isn't great if you haven't tuned your bow well. It is no different with a crossbow.  

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5 minutes ago, MontanaLon said:

I'm a bit of a dinosaur but I never had NAP's Shockwave fail me. The thing you have to watch with some mechanicals with huge cutting diameters and any broadhead really but magnified immensely with huge mechanicals is that the penetration isn't great if you haven't tuned your bow well. It is no different with a crossbow.  

Thanks Lon.  I dont think penetration will be an issue, this Xbow is bad ass.  I am sure many higher priced xbows will do better but with limited opportunity to use one here in FL, I am not investing bunches of money.  I am reading a cross bow forum now for input and they are saying exactly what you are about penetration with the wide cutting mechanicals.  Deer here are relatively small compared to northern deer, 150# on the hoof is pretty big here.  They do not have any fat as there is no need to store reserves for the winter.  Black bear do not hibernate either.  I will not be shooting any bear and I think 1.5" cut will be plenty for deer.

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Grim Reapers have a cult following. I don't understand it at all. If you happen to go that route, be sure to get their crossbow specific heads. They use a spring retention system, and the standard heads will prematurely deploy with the violent launch from a crossbow.

 

I'm down to six crossbows, and I've tried a whole lot of heads.

My favorite is the Gator XP, because it has no springs, bands or any sort of retention system that could fail, and it's a cut on entry head. If the deployed blades meet too much resistance (like heavy bone) they fold back down and re deploy once it's past the obstruction. Penetration isn't an issue. Pass-throughs are the norm.

gator_close.jpg1703380_10206975_is?$Prod_PLPThumb$

 

 

Swhackers are the second choice. I've already described them, so I won't go into detail again. I will say that I know a guy that accidentally killed two bison with one shot using them at a game ranch. That little oops cost him a small fortune that he hadn't counted on for the second Buff.

 

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I kinda like the Swhackers, Ive always liked a chisel tip on broad heads.  I like the fact the Gators dont require a retention of some kind altho I dont understand how it would fold back up and redeploy when hitting bone.  Still much research.  A buddy suggested G5's so I will look at those as well.

 

Keep the info coming guys and thanks for your input!

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41 minutes ago, hlhneast said:

I kinda like the Swhackers, Ive always liked a chisel tip on broad heads.

The early Gators made by Rocky had the Tocar tips you like. They're hard to find anymore.

 

Gators rely on resistance against the crescent shoulders to deploy and remain deployed. If the open blades encounter tougher resistance than what's holding them in the deployed position, they fold back until they pass the object of that resistance.

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23 hours ago, MontanaLon said:

I'm a bit of a dinosaur .  

 

Does that make me a conglomeration of primordial slime...   :dontknow:

I'm still shooting a longbow and Port Orford cedar arrows.

 

Got a non-mechanical broadhead suggestion.

Grizzly Broadheads. Time tested 3 to 1 design. Single bevel edge.

 

Lqziyy7.jpg

Here is one being used on a crossbow.

 

I remember when they first came out. 

They went to South Africa and shot over 2000 animals to get the design right.

Wish I had the old Traditional Archery magazine that had the article. Had a picture of an arrow that penetrated a Cape Buffalo rib. Arrow penetrated over 2/3 of its length into the rib. Arrow was 31" long. 

The single bevel edge is the key to the penetration.

That's my two cents worth.

 

Thanks,

Glenn 

 

 

 

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21 minutes ago, geepee3 said:

That's my two cents worth.

Thanks Glenn.  In fact, African regulations are quite strict and fixed blade broad heads are all you can use.  Along with much heavier arrows and heavier draw weight bows.  Definitely do not want to go up against a Cape Buffalo with a pea shooter.  Like I said in my initial post, Ive never used any mechanicals before.  As a fellow dinosaur, Satellite 4 blades were my favorite go to with my long bow and compound.  Cross bows are more specific in their requirements because of configuration and violence of release.  Because of the speed these Xbows generate, pass thrus are a given so I want to cause the greatest amount of damage possible.  A quick merciful kill with a nice big blood trail to help put it in the freezer.  Most areas I hunt in are so thick both of these things are vital.  I am hoping the mechanicals will help with it, I am getting too old to have to do a bunch of tracking and dragging. 

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8 hours ago, hlhneast said:

I want to cause the greatest amount of damage possible.  A quick merciful kill with a nice big blood trail to help put it in the freezer.

Exactly why cutting radius IS important! That's part of the beauty of the heads I've suggested....HUGE cutting radius'. The bigger the better!

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21 hours ago, geepee3 said:

 

Does that make me a conglomeration of primordial slime...   :dontknow:

I'm still shooting a longbow and Port Orford cedar arrows.

 

Got a non-mechanical broadhead suggestion.

Grizzly Broadheads. Time tested 3 to 1 design. Single bevel edge.

 

Lqziyy7.jpg

Here is one being used on a crossbow.

 

I remember when they first came out. 

They went to South Africa and shot over 2000 animals to get the design right.

Wish I had the old Traditional Archery magazine that had the article. Had a picture of an arrow that penetrated a Cape Buffalo rib. Arrow penetrated over 2/3 of its length into the rib. Arrow was 31" long. 

The single bevel edge is the key to the penetration.

That's my two cents worth.

 

Thanks,

Glenn 

 

 

 

No, I once took a Texas heart shot on a mule deer buck at about 6 yards. Deer was head uphill just a bit and exited through sternum and hung up on fetching. Broadhead was a magnus. 

 

Buck was a Montana hog in the body with a mediocre rack. But every bit of 6 feet of penetration. 

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Extreme FOC counts for a lot. You just need a shaft that can withstand it, and given the violent launch from today's crossbows, you want the toughest you can get for the weight.

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I like the Gators because of no extra stuff to keep it together in flight.  A couple of concerns I have with any mechanical is replacement blades and if a retention is necessary, are those readily available.  Jacksonville really has only one true non chain hunting sports store where you can get almost anything off the shelf but expect to pay three prices for the convenience.  For me its a last resort store as I buy most everything online providing I have the lead time.

 

The Gators look good as do the Shwackers.  Any input on Rage Hypodermics for Xbows?  Grim Reaper? G5's?  I am reading a lot on an Xbow forum and it looks like there are fans of all types.  I am looking for failure and/or successful harvest information while pricing on eBay and elsewhere.  To me, $10-$15 a head seems outrageous so they better damn well do a good job and be rebuildable.  I dont mind paying up but I got this cheap azz devil who sits on my shoulder yanking at my ear too. 

 

I want to have everything settled pretty quickly so I can practice with all the equipment until I am satisfied everything has come together to be successful.  Ive drawn Limited Quota Permits in a management area known for a lot of game and the only thing I want to leave to chance is the first come first served pick of zones.  Only 40 permits are available for the 4K acre WMA and each permit also allows a guest who has to be close to the permit holder so 80 hunters potentially.  The line starts early and there are popular zones so it pays to do a lot of scouting and not be locked into one area because there is no guarantee you will get where you scouted.  We have hunted this WMA on and off for 30 years and know a great deal of it.  You have to know food sources and the timing of food drop.  You can scout and see game in one area and if a food source drops in another you have to know and adapt accordingly.  White oaks abound in every zone.  Honeysuckle, muscadine, mulberry, palmetto berries and the largest persimmon trees in Florida.  An amazing slice of old natural Florida owned by one family for over a century and looked after by the State.  A truly amazing place to hunt or just hike.

 

I cant wait!!

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