Compound Bows photo

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The reason why I hate broadheads is because beyond a certain distance, most do just as they please. You shoot a couple of broadhead-tipped arrows nice and tight, but the third just ain’t having it. So you mark that one and shoot another group of three with the same result—only now it’s a different one that’s decided to stick it to you.

“Maybe it’s me,” you figure. So you send off a group with field points, and thunk, thunk, thunk. Nope. It ain’t you. It’s the mo-fo broadheads. And the reason why they won’t group is because they are a-holes.

But there are exceptions to this rule, and I found a surprising one yesterday: Cabela’s inexpensive Copperheads (which appear to be G5 Strikers with a different ferrule and sold in higher volumes at a discount).

Bestul and I are in the midst of a big broadhead test in which we are shooting a whole pile of different heads, both fixed and mechanical, in three-shot groups at 40 and 60 yards. Yesterday, readying the Copperheads for testing, I did not have high hopes. They seemed—it has to be said—a little cheaply made. The replaceable blades did not in every case mate perfectly with the Trocar tip, and one remained loose no matter how hard I tightened the head to the shaft. But then I shot them. And lo and behold they grouped almost a full inch better at 60 yards than any other fixed head. In 10 three-shot groups at 60, the Copperheads averaged 4.5 inches. What’s more, the groups were consistent: the worst being 5.75 inches, the best 2.75, and the rest all right around 4.5. Whether or not you consider these good groups at 60 doesn’t matter. The point is: For me at least, the Copperhead flew better than the rest.

Both these and the G5 Strikers seem to have okay reputations for toughness, but I’ve not tested that yet. What I can tell you is that when it comes to flying straight, the Copperheads break another rule: You get what you pay for. They go for about $25 per three, and are often on sale for $19.