Choosing the Right Broadhead

Posted: September 7, 2014 by gamegetterII in Archery, hunting, survival
Tags: , , ,

There is a plethora of broadheads on the market,fixed blade and mechanical, 2 blade or 3,even 4. They come in various weights and sizes. Most states have a minimum size for broadheads.

Here are Ohio’s regs-

Longbow: minimum draw weight 40 lbs., includes compound and recurve bows. The arrow tip shall have a minimum of two cutting edges, which may be exposed or unexposed minimum 3/4 inch width. Expandable and mechanical broadheads are legal. Poisoned or explosive arrows are illegal.

(damn-and I wanted to hunt coyotes and groundhogs with explosive arrows)

Crossbow: draw weight no less than 75 lbs. The arrow tip shall have a minimum of two cutting edges which, may be exposed or unexposed minimum 3/4 inch width. Expandable and mechanical broadheads are legal. Poisoned or explosive arrows are illegal.


The broadhead you use should be one that shoots well,and will have enough energy for clean kills from your bow’s draw weight,and the arrows you use.

When I’m using my compound bow-a mid1980’s Hoyt-Easton Gamegetter II- that I have set at a 68# draw weight,I use Easton’s XX75 Gamegetter  aluminum arrows,with a spine-or stiffness- of 340. Look on the box when you are shopping for arrows,there’s a chart on the box that shows what arrows are best for what draw weight bow,weight of your broadhead, and the arrow length you are using.

I’ve been bowhunting since the early 80’s,after lots of experimentation with arrow/broadhead combos,and I do mean a lot-I probably spent enough $$$ on broadheads to buy a new truck-

What I settled on is the  NAP 125 grain Thunderhead. The NAP stands for New Archery Products.

This is the broadhead…


The mechanical broadheads work great with the newer high speed compound bows,as do many of the new fixed blades.

One of the keys is to practice with the same weight target tips as your broadheads,then go to the plastic practice broadheads,and when it’s real close to hunting season,use the broadheads you are gonna hunt with.

It takes a bit of research to make an informed choice when selecting your broadheads,read archery mags,talk to knowledgeable archery techs in your local archery shop-if you’re stuck with a Gander Mountain,Cabelas,Bass Pro Shops-good luck finding any sales staff that has even the slightest clue what the hell they’re talking about. If all that’s in your area is a Wally World-you’re out of luck as far as knowledgeable sales staff.

If you are shooting a newer,high-speed bow,or a crossbow,you can use the 80-100 grain mechanical broadheads,or use fixed blade-I don’t use the mechanicals as they have parts that can fail-if the blades decide not to open,or not to open fully-then you are gonna be tracking a wounded deer for many,many hours.

I know quite a few guys-and ladies who hunt only with the Rage mechanical broadheads,and most have never had one of the Rage mechanicals fail on them-but every once in a while-one fails-you could hunt for years,kill your limit of deer every year,and never have a failure-it’s just my personal preference.

There are advantages to the expandable broadheads-they are more aerodynamic,so more accurate,increases your chances for a clean kill.

There are also 4 blade broadheads,and broadheads with serrated blades. I would consider the serrated blades if hunting elk,moose,caribou,bear,or bison-or if I was hunting African plains game.

Here’s what the serrated blades look like…

The fixed blade broadheads I am referring to are those like the NAP Thunderhead-which have replaceable blades.

There are also fixed blade broadheads that do not have replaceable blades,like this…

Here’s an example of a 4 blade broadhead…

Muzzy broadheads are my second choice,if the Thunderheads are not available,and I need new ones because my son-in-law lost them in the woods when I loaned him my bow.

That’s never a good idea-I no longer loan my bows to anyone-the kid also put a nice long scratch in my muzzleloader’s stock,and a couple new ones on the barrel-that is no longer loaned out either…

One last type of broadhead is the old ones that look kinda like the old native American flint arrowheads,with a small insert that makes them a 4 blade broadhead-here’s a pic of those…

Great source for broadheads…

The best advice I can give anyone,after nearly 35 years of serious bowhunting is to talk to the guys/ladies at the archery shop where you buy your bow,or research your bow online by reading reviews on sites of places like Cabela’s,etc,archery forums, bowhunting forums to find out the recommended arrow types,then match whichever type of broadhead you choose to the type of arrow you choose. I would try at least 3 different broadheads and see which one shoots better for you-some broadheads shoot better for some people than they do for others.

Don’t fall for all the hype and buy every new broadhead that comes on the market-been there,done that,got the t-shirts and hats to prove it.

Once you have decided on a broadhead,stick with it,shoot only the same weight target tips.

Weigh each broadhead when you buy them-the weights can vary significantly,most manufacturers will accept returns on the ones that are way off. Also weigh your target tips-same thing-weights can vary-a lot. Not really worth wasting your time returning the ones that are way off-the postage would cost you more than buying another dozen.

Brands that I’ve used that I would recommend are NAP,Muzzy,Wasp,Rage,and Swacker,stick with brands that have been around a while and proven themselves,the newest,coolest looking stuff usually don’t last long-the companies pop up like ‘shrooms after a rain,and disappear just as fast.

I use some of the blue Loc-tite on my broadheads,so that I don’t have to worry about loose ones,as the vibration from carrying your bow in your truck,and even from you hiking with the arrows in the quiver attached to your bow can loosen the broadhead from the arrow shaft-this is real bad for accuracy,and arrow penetration on game.

One of the reasons I use the Thunderheads is that after I find my arrow,all I have to do is replace the blades,and I can keep using the broadheads,never had anything break or bend on the tips,just had blades break.

Something to consider for the preppers/survivalists-there are steel 2 and 3 blade broadheads available that do not have any of the razor blade type inserts-they are just one piece of  steel,machined or forged,and are reusable and easy to re-sharpen.

Hope this helps someone not have to go through all the shit I went through picking a broadhead-find one that you can shoot accurately,and stick with it-ignore all the hype that goes with every minor change in styles-stick with what works.





Do More PT !





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