Crossbow Hunting: Arrow Broadheads
Written by: Kim Lockhart, Copyright.
Broadheads were originally designed for war usage. Their purpose was to deliver a wide cutting edge so as to kill as quickly as possible by cleanly cutting major blood vessels in the enemies they struck. They usually have two to four sharp blades that cause massive bleeding in the victim. Today the main purpose of the broadhead is for hunting with archery equipment in specialized archery seasons. There are two main types of broadheads used by hunters, fixed-blade and the mechanical blade. While the fixed-blade broadhead keeps its blades rigid and unmovable on the broadhead at all times, the mechanical broadhead deploys its blades upon contact with the target.
Best Weight Of Broadhead:
Industry experts recommend 100 grain broadheads for carbon and lightweight aluminum arrows, and 125 grain broadheads for heavy aluminum arrows. The reason for this can be simply explained by the angle of the arrows flight as it impacts its target allowing the arrow to push squarely on the broadhead to force it through whatever it encounters.
Broadhead Diameter Misconception: Second illustration below, very accurate 1" diameter 3 blade fixed-blade broadhead, surface cutting area 1 1/2". In the illustrations above the mechanical blade broadhead appears to be much bigger than the fixed blade broadhead when in fact they both have the exact same surface cutting area.
Broadhead diameter is somewhat mis-leading when it comes to broadheads and this fact on broadheads is considered very little when in fact it is quite important. Broadhead surface cutting area, is more to the point as to why you choose a broadhead. First illustration below, accurate 2 blade mechanical broadhead, surface cutting area 1 1/2".
The advantage of using mechanical broadheads is; they fly very close to field points. The critical issue to keep in mind with mechanical heads is that the blades have no support for the trailing edge of the blades, bow-hunters should really limit the size of their broadheads to a maximum cutting diameter of 1-1/2 inch when going after elk or other big-bodied animals like moose or bear where penetration is critical.
Fixed Blade Broadheads:
Replaceable Blade Type, Chisel Tipped Broadhead:
The blades are removable for sharpening or replacement. Broadhead's that use a chisel tip have to punch or rip through an animal's hide before reaching the broadhead's blade cutting surface. This will use some of the arrow's kinetic energy thus impeding penetration. This style of tip is durable and will push through heavy bone though.
Cut On Contact, One Piece Broadhead:
Full blade broadheads have cutting edges that extend from the tip of the point back to the rear portion of the blade. Cut on contact, one piece broadheads slice through hide which requires very little kinetic energy, therefore penetration is better than the chisel tipped, these are a good choice for very low powered bows.
1. Heavy boned animals such as elk or bear, the chisel tip fixed blade broadhead works best as it has the ability to penetrate heavy bone without destruction to the broadhead itself.
2. For thin skin animals such as deer & antelope hunting from a ground blind or stalking, a small diameter one piece broadhead offers the hunter accuracy with good penetration on the animal, leaving a good blood trail to follow.
3. Hunting from a treestand, because of the extreme angle of this hunting position a large diameter cut broadhead is recommended as it is easy to miss most of the vitals in the animal.