Choosing The Right Mechanical Broadhead

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mechanical broadheads
Modern mechanical broadheads are extremely popular with today’s bowhunters. Field point accuracy and large cutting diameter make for a lethal combination.

Mechanical Broadheads

There is still debate in some circles about whether mechanical broadheads are effective or if they contribute to wounding loss. Some bowhunters are very uncomfortable about mechanical broadheads more than others. Here is one bowhunters opinion based on his goals and hunting experiences, but he feels very confident in the broadheads he uses. Here’s why he likes mechanical broadheads.

Accuracy is Priority Number One

mechanical broadheads
The smaller in-flight size of a mechanical broadhead is what allows it to be more accurate than a traditional fixed blade broadhead.

Some bowhunters feel that accuracy is the most important goal of any shot – whether at a target or at game. That has to be priority number one. After talking with many broadhead makers over the years and even those that didn’t make mechanical broadheads at that time stated that any decent broadhead will kill a deer-sized animal if you have the right shot placement.

So, hitting them in the right place is a big deal. There are many fixed blade broadheads that fly nearly as well as field points under a wide range of conditions, but back in 1995 there weren’t any. This bowhunter fought to achieve good accuracy on shots past 25 yards with the fixed blade broadheads of that day. His bigges problems occurred with bows that were a bit quirky (some of those bows were impossible to tune) and when shooting in the wind.

When this bowhunter first began trying mechanical broadheads, taking them to the field to use on live game was a no-brainer. His accuracy was so much more consistent; his confidence surged.

deer shot placement
Thousands of bucks just like this one are downed each fall by properly placed mechanical broadheads.

Over the past 12 years he is sure that he has shot at least 200 big game animals with mechanical broadheads. His recovery rate has been very high. He can’t think of a single shot that he would take again with a different broadhead. This bowhunter has never had reason to question the effectiveness of the mechanical broadheads he has used. He is sure there are situations where they are inferior to fixed blade broadheads, but he has not encountered those situations personally.

So much for this bowhunter's opinion, now let’s look at the physics. Anytime you put a wing at the front of a projectile, you have the potential for steering. That is exactly what you are doing when you attach a fixed blade broadhead.

fixed blade broadheads
While a fixed blade broadhead such as this one can provide increased penetration, they are often more difficult to tune than mechanical broadheads.

You work hard to figure out how best to control the bow and you tinker with paper tuning your bow until you think the bow controls the arrow. Now, the last thing you want is an arrow that decides on its own which way it will go once it leaves the bow. With a wing at the front, there is always that potential. The larger the wing, the larger the potential problem. I’m not saying a problem is guaranteed. When you have a well-tuned bow, a perfectly straight arrow, with a nock, insert and broadhead all in alignment and when you hold good shooting form through the shot, you will shoot any fixed blade broadhead accurately. But if any of those elements breaks down, you will have a wind-planing issue. And the faster it flies, the more it will wind-plane.

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