Choosing The Best Expandable or Fixed Blade Broadheads for Archery Deer Hunting

Posted by Great Life Outdoors 19/02/2015 0 Comment(s) Hunting,

Selecting broadheads can be quite a daunting task. So many choices out there! Todays broadheads are way better than broadheads from years ago. Technology and accuracy have increased 100 fold. Here are few things to consider when narrowing down your choice.


Broadhead types and features of each.


Fixed blade solid:

Pro's: Toughest most reliable out there. Zero moving parts. Resharpenable

Cons: Can not replace blades

Fixed blade with replaceable blades:

Pro's: Tough & reliable. Easy to replace blades

Cons: Some brands may have reliability issues.

Expandable / Mechanical:

Pro's: Forgiving / easy to shoot. Extended down range accuracy

Cons: Some brands may have reliability issues



Fixed blade or Expandable / Mechanical?


Fixed blade:

I've been bowhunting for forty years so we didn't even have Expandables back then. Through trial and error I found that the best flying broadheads have a small cutting diameter with a short length. In other words less blade surface area will be more forgiving and allow for maximum penetration. A more forgiving style will possibly offer you an extended range, less wind drift, and better accuracy even if your form is sightly off on a critical shot. The only draw back on the smaller diameter is obviously less cutting area. However, if the shot is well placed size will not make much of a difference. 1 1/8" to 1 3/16" diameter are plenty big to bring down any large game animal. Fixed blade broadheads accentuate problems with our shooting form, and will exaggerate bow and arrow tuning issues. They force us to improve form, tune the bow perfectly, and make sure each broadhead passes the spin test. That is why I use fixed blade broadheads as part of my bow tuning proccess and target practice regimen even if I plan on using Expandables. Think of it this way. If your bow is shooting a 100 grain fixed blade broadhead with big ol' blades on it with excellent consistancy.  Certainly it will shoot a 100grain field point or expandable either perfectly or with very little adjustment. But if you are shooting a 100 grain field point or expandable with excellent consistancy, then switch to the fixed big ol' blade broadheads and suddenly your arrows are all over the place.  Guess what? You know your bow needs some work.


Expandable / Mechanical:

After shooting fixed blade broadheads successfully for most of my hunting career I decided to give Expandables a shot. No pun intended(well maybe). The reasons to shoot Expandables are exactly the same as they are to shoot smaller diameter fixed blade broadheads, with the exception of penetration (this is debatable).  I realized that as I got older I needed every advantage I could get. I could certainly shoot my field points more accurately at 40 yards. My groups were on average about 1" tighter. So how about at fify or sixty yards? Again a slight but noticeable difference. So that was the only deciding factor that I needed to give them a try. It is just a fact that a field tip is going to fly better and be more forgiving than a broadhead. If they didn't then the Olympians would be shooting broadheads! (if it was legal). So what about penetration? I truely believe 100 percent that Expandables got a bad rap in the penetration department only because people quit putting as much effort into tuning as they used to with their fixed blades.


You absolutely have to spend as much time tuning your bow for Expandables as you do fixed blade broadheads!  I cannot stress this enough.


To test this just take a bow that is perfectly tuned. When the arrow strikes the target notice it is in line from where you shot.  The arrow is not angled off to the side or tipped up or down. All of the energy in the arrow is in a straight line allowing for maximum kinetic energy and thus maximum penetration.  If you detune your bow sightly and send the arrow into the target, the arrow will hit the target at just a slight angle resulting in a huge loss of kinetic energy and horrible penetration. 


No matter what broadhead you decide to shoot keep in mind that a properly tuned bow and properly placed shots on the target range will build confidence.  Confidence in yourself and your equipment is without a doubt the most important factor in your hunting success.



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