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It Ain’t Your Broadhead, It’s You

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March 17, 2011

It Ain’t Your Broadhead, It’s You

By Dave Hurteau

by Dave Hurteau

So picking up on Bestul’s “Good and Cheap” post about Wasp Hammer SST broadheads, it just so happens that over the past several seasons I’ve also been shooting a Wasp head, the Boss Bullet. (Honestly, you’d think we were sponsored by the company—we’re not, nor by anyone else). 

I shoot them, like Bestul, because they work and they’re cheap. (Yes, I do buy them myself). 

Last year, for the same reasons, I also shot Muzzy 3-Blades, one of which plowed through a buck as cleanly as any of my Wasps ever had. Still I will probably keep shooting the latter—because they fly a little better for me. That’s not a knock on the Muzzys, which may well fly a little better for you and which brings me to the heart of this post: When choosing between heads that are roughly equal in design, price, durability, etc… it comes down to flight/accuracy—and that, I learned a few years ago, is more about you than the head.

Here’s what I wote about it in the August 2008 issue of F&S:

Scott Andress runs The Archery Shop in Pike County Illinois (pikecountyarchery.com), one of the hottest big-buck locals in the country. He sees 150 guys go through his door in a day during the season and has heard every bow hunting debate in the book, including:

“My broadhead model flies straighter than yours.”

“No it doesn’t.”

“Yes it does.”

Well, according to Andress, no it doesn’t. He took about 40 different cut-on-contact broadheads from about a dozen different manufacturers and shot each one on the same arrow from the same bow mounted on a Hooter Shooter shooting machine, which fired all exactly the same way every time. “It was really boring,” Andress remembers. “It took me almost 20 days.” But the results were startling—and a testament to the quality of today’s broadheads.

“Every single one of them hit in the exact same spot, which was also the same spot where the field tips hit.” In other words, it ain’t your broadhead, it’s you. Individual differences in shooting form and style are what that create discrepancies in broadhead performance, according to Andress. “The best broadhead is the one that’s most forgiving for the way you shoot. Don’t get caught up in the hottest brands or the latest models. Find one you shoot well and stick with it.”

Comments (22)

Top Rated
All Comments
from ckRich wrote 3 years 4 weeks ago

Another variable to consider would be if your bow is in tune or not. Some bows shoot better with high nocking points, while others have to be dead level. Some bows shoot bullet holes thru paper, while others shoot best tailing just a tad. Spending time getting to know your bow and how it performs will make you more confident in it's performance, and the added practice will(should) improve your performance. Tune it right and you can screw on nearly any quality broadhead and it will hit where you're aiming.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from hengst wrote 3 years 4 weeks ago

CK is right..get the Easton tuning guide and keep that bow tuned, a little time tuning goes along way later...Thanks for the article, something I have always wondered about is how well BH's fly when human "error" is not involved. Like you with your Wasps I am still sticking to Muzzy

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 2Poppa wrote 3 years 4 weeks ago

Great article!
Scott Andress has done what no manufacturer would have attempted. The quality of the broadhead,including the blade, metal, sharpness, and the aerodynamic capabilities were probably done under almost perfect condition.
For each hunter there will be a variation, which will not only be "human error" but wind conditions and many more variables to consider.

I wonder if the "Hooter Shooter" is also prone to Buck Fever!

Thanks for the article and insight Dave, as these are just some of the things that most hunters ponder, as they sit in their treestand on cold frosty mornings!

Love my Thunderheads ...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from mwmrtn wrote 3 years 4 weeks ago

Hey Dave , isn't it time for a buck scorin contest? There are some nice bows out on the market, you should be able to get the manufactures to one donated for the contest?!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dave Hurteau wrote 3 years 4 weeks ago

All you guys want me for are my contests. I feel so cheap.
Seriously,just waiting to get a certain buck scored first, then I'll another one up and running.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nebraskahunter18 wrote 3 years 4 weeks ago

Its not JUST the contests we like your information but we like the contests

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Walt Smith wrote 3 years 4 weeks ago

I like my Muzzys not just because how they perform but also because they come with 2 set of practice blades so I don't have to dull up my sharp blades. Most guys practice in the warm weather, without their hunting outfits on and if they do practice from a treestand its not the one they hunt from, which probably has branches and other trees that will come into play. Then when they go afield and have to allow for a branch or shoot between two trees or have to lean out to get a shot it throws their form off and then its time to blame how the broadhead flies. Get your stand up early, practice from it with your clothes on and then stay away from it for 2 weeks before season, you'll be surprised how much straighter your broadhead flies!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ChandlerV1997 wrote 3 years 4 weeks ago

Very true, pick the broadhead that works for you. The ones that work for me are Rage.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from antlercrazy wrote 3 years 4 weeks ago

Ive tried many broadheads, if I can kill a deer with it cleanly then I'm happy with it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 3 years 4 weeks ago

A local TV show did the same thing with a shooting machine and they did not hit the same spot each time. Go figure.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dave Hurteau wrote 3 years 4 weeks ago

MLH,
That's fascinating. I would love to see the results. Can you tell me what the station was? Maybe I'll give them a call and see if they can share.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from mwmrtn wrote 3 years 4 weeks ago

Sounds good Dave ,look forward to the contest! Instead of bow for the winner maybe a 3 day hunt w/ yourself and Scott!!?? just a thought, maybe you will feel better about yourself!!! LOL

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 3 years 4 weeks ago

i've had great results with rage, so i won't be switching to anything else. if it aint broke.....

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Whackdaddy wrote 3 years 4 weeks ago

"It ain't your broadhead, it's you." There's never been a truer statement in the incessant, annoying broadhead debate. Not just in terms of accuracy – everything.

So let it be known, from this day forward no man shall blame a lost deer or missed shot on his broadhead.

A fella can dream, right? :)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 3 years 4 weeks ago

Were they all cut-on-contact heads or just some. Muzzy and Wasp are not cut-on-contact.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 3 years 4 weeks ago

Second, It is the spine and fletching which stabilizes the arrow. Curious to know what spine and fletch was used in the test?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Walt Smith wrote 3 years 4 weeks ago

Look at the tip, if thats not cut on contact what is? When you screw your broadhead into the arrow, the blades on a 3 blade should be in line with the fletching, if they're not your arrow won't fly as smoothly as it should.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 3 years 4 weeks ago

Walt,

Not to debate you but I have always considered cut-on-contact heads to have the blade start at the tip.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Walt Smith wrote 3 years 4 weeks ago

If the tip don't cut, whats it there for? If you take your thumb, index finger and middle finger, press them together and slowly push a muzzy broadhead (without the blades!) into the hole where your fingers meet, you'll feel the hollowground tip actually pushing the meat up, out and away from it on its way in. That is why they penetrate so well. Try this with any other broadhead and its not the same feeling.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from davycrockettfv wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

I'd like to see the same test done with some cheap broadheads (like $10 for 3 at Wal-mart), just to see how much of a difference there really is between the good quality and the not-so-good. Maybe there isn't much, if any (A guy can dream, right?)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ckRich wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

I see your point Walt, but what you are describing is a puncture, not a cut.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ALJoe wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

Broadheads should be like every other piece of equipment you use. The one that works the best is the one you have confidence in. Shoot what you believe in. Don't shoot it simply because someone else does. Confidence is one of the most important tools you can take into any situation, including the deer woods.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from ckRich wrote 3 years 4 weeks ago

Another variable to consider would be if your bow is in tune or not. Some bows shoot better with high nocking points, while others have to be dead level. Some bows shoot bullet holes thru paper, while others shoot best tailing just a tad. Spending time getting to know your bow and how it performs will make you more confident in it's performance, and the added practice will(should) improve your performance. Tune it right and you can screw on nearly any quality broadhead and it will hit where you're aiming.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from 2Poppa wrote 3 years 4 weeks ago

Great article!
Scott Andress has done what no manufacturer would have attempted. The quality of the broadhead,including the blade, metal, sharpness, and the aerodynamic capabilities were probably done under almost perfect condition.
For each hunter there will be a variation, which will not only be "human error" but wind conditions and many more variables to consider.

I wonder if the "Hooter Shooter" is also prone to Buck Fever!

Thanks for the article and insight Dave, as these are just some of the things that most hunters ponder, as they sit in their treestand on cold frosty mornings!

Love my Thunderheads ...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Walt Smith wrote 3 years 4 weeks ago

I like my Muzzys not just because how they perform but also because they come with 2 set of practice blades so I don't have to dull up my sharp blades. Most guys practice in the warm weather, without their hunting outfits on and if they do practice from a treestand its not the one they hunt from, which probably has branches and other trees that will come into play. Then when they go afield and have to allow for a branch or shoot between two trees or have to lean out to get a shot it throws their form off and then its time to blame how the broadhead flies. Get your stand up early, practice from it with your clothes on and then stay away from it for 2 weeks before season, you'll be surprised how much straighter your broadhead flies!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from mwmrtn wrote 3 years 4 weeks ago

Sounds good Dave ,look forward to the contest! Instead of bow for the winner maybe a 3 day hunt w/ yourself and Scott!!?? just a thought, maybe you will feel better about yourself!!! LOL

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 3 years 4 weeks ago

Second, It is the spine and fletching which stabilizes the arrow. Curious to know what spine and fletch was used in the test?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 3 years 4 weeks ago

Walt,

Not to debate you but I have always considered cut-on-contact heads to have the blade start at the tip.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from hengst wrote 3 years 4 weeks ago

CK is right..get the Easton tuning guide and keep that bow tuned, a little time tuning goes along way later...Thanks for the article, something I have always wondered about is how well BH's fly when human "error" is not involved. Like you with your Wasps I am still sticking to Muzzy

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from mwmrtn wrote 3 years 4 weeks ago

Hey Dave , isn't it time for a buck scorin contest? There are some nice bows out on the market, you should be able to get the manufactures to one donated for the contest?!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dave Hurteau wrote 3 years 4 weeks ago

All you guys want me for are my contests. I feel so cheap.
Seriously,just waiting to get a certain buck scored first, then I'll another one up and running.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nebraskahunter18 wrote 3 years 4 weeks ago

Its not JUST the contests we like your information but we like the contests

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ChandlerV1997 wrote 3 years 4 weeks ago

Very true, pick the broadhead that works for you. The ones that work for me are Rage.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from antlercrazy wrote 3 years 4 weeks ago

Ive tried many broadheads, if I can kill a deer with it cleanly then I'm happy with it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 3 years 4 weeks ago

A local TV show did the same thing with a shooting machine and they did not hit the same spot each time. Go figure.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dave Hurteau wrote 3 years 4 weeks ago

MLH,
That's fascinating. I would love to see the results. Can you tell me what the station was? Maybe I'll give them a call and see if they can share.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 3 years 4 weeks ago

i've had great results with rage, so i won't be switching to anything else. if it aint broke.....

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Whackdaddy wrote 3 years 4 weeks ago

"It ain't your broadhead, it's you." There's never been a truer statement in the incessant, annoying broadhead debate. Not just in terms of accuracy – everything.

So let it be known, from this day forward no man shall blame a lost deer or missed shot on his broadhead.

A fella can dream, right? :)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 3 years 4 weeks ago

Were they all cut-on-contact heads or just some. Muzzy and Wasp are not cut-on-contact.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Walt Smith wrote 3 years 4 weeks ago

Look at the tip, if thats not cut on contact what is? When you screw your broadhead into the arrow, the blades on a 3 blade should be in line with the fletching, if they're not your arrow won't fly as smoothly as it should.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Walt Smith wrote 3 years 4 weeks ago

If the tip don't cut, whats it there for? If you take your thumb, index finger and middle finger, press them together and slowly push a muzzy broadhead (without the blades!) into the hole where your fingers meet, you'll feel the hollowground tip actually pushing the meat up, out and away from it on its way in. That is why they penetrate so well. Try this with any other broadhead and its not the same feeling.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from davycrockettfv wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

I'd like to see the same test done with some cheap broadheads (like $10 for 3 at Wal-mart), just to see how much of a difference there really is between the good quality and the not-so-good. Maybe there isn't much, if any (A guy can dream, right?)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ckRich wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

I see your point Walt, but what you are describing is a puncture, not a cut.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ALJoe wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

Broadheads should be like every other piece of equipment you use. The one that works the best is the one you have confidence in. Shoot what you believe in. Don't shoot it simply because someone else does. Confidence is one of the most important tools you can take into any situation, including the deer woods.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

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