The last time I went by the sporting goods store I was amazed at the vast selection of broadheads. Some of them looked like mini Transformer robots and almost all of them claimed to be superior. Here’s a few simple guidelines that will help you make the right choice.
The problem with expandable broadheads is that they’re mechanical. While they claim to offer incredible accuracy and massive cutting diameters, they’re also prone to failure if you don’t make a perfect broadside shot (happens all the time). Some are better than others though and one of the best expandable broadheads out there is the NAP Killzone, which last time I checked was sold out at Cabela’s.
The other thing to consider when choosing an expandable is your draw weight. They work best with fast compound bows from 50 pounds and up. Higher draw weights make all the difference in assuring a good kill shot with a large expandable blade. If you shoot less than 50 pound compounds, you’re better off with an expandable of 1 1/2” or less. It’s a matter of physics.
If you’re into traditional bows (recurves and longbows), you’re wasting your money if you choose the new fancy expandable broadheads. You simply won’t be able to produce the amount of speed necessary for good penetration and proper function. Typically, traditional bow hunters choose heavier fixed blade broadheads to compensate for the lack of speed. Much of the time it comes down to experimentation but the rule of thumb is to avoid mechanical blades.
In my experience, you can’t go wrong with a fixed blade. There are no rubber bands or moving parts, which don’t give you trouble until you have a nice buck in front of you. Although I rely on my tried and true Wasp fixed broadhead, the new Grim Reaper Hades Pro is supposedly the best new broadhead out there.
The bottom line when choosing a broadhead is that simpler is always better. Every year, someone comes out with the latest and greatest. For my money and my piece of mind, I always use fixed blade broadheads. The’ve stood the test of time and are less prone to wounding game. The best advise of all is that no matter what you choose, a well placed arrow will bring down the biggest of game and any broadhead is capable.
Photo credit: Wikimedia