There are many obvious differences between bow and rifle hunting. The method of approaching the prey, preparation for the hunt, the equipment used, the kinds of stands or blinds used, and much more.
Whereas rifle hunters can place lethal shots from hundreds of yards away from the comfortable concealment of a raised box stand, archers must be much, much closer.
At a Glance: 6 Recommended Broadheads
Even when an archer does get close, he still has to worry about shot placement. There are only a few spots on any big game animal that offer a guaranteed humane kill with an arrow.
The archer must hit the spot perfectly or deal with chasing a wounded animal through the woods.
In addition to practicing often with their bow, one of the best things an archer can do to increase lethality is to examine their broadheads (read.. the best broadhead sharpener). Often, arrow sets or entire bowhunting sets come with broadheads.
Some hunters pop them on and head to the woods without further thought. However, the prudent archery hunter will pick out the best broadhead. After all, at the end of the day, the effectiveness of the broadhead ultimately determines how lethal the shot is.
Muzzy 100 Grain 4 Blades (3-Pack)
Muzzy is a well-known brand in the archery world. They deliver high-quality products at a decent price and occupy the middle of the price/quality spectrum. One of their most popular broadheads is the Muzzy 100 grain 4-blade screw-in broadhead. Muzzy also produces one of the toughest elk broadheads, the Muzzy Trocar
The design on this component is fairly standard: it has a three-sided tip with the three perpendicular blades right behind. The blades have a notch in the middle to increase aerodynamics and decrease the weight of the blade.
The total weight of this broadhead is 100 grains. The weight, or grains, of a broadhead, often helps an archer determine which broadhead to use. A light arrow, like carbon-fiber or light aluminum, calls for a 100-grain head. A heavy aluminum arrow should use a heavier tip.
These Muzzy heads have a one-inch cutting diameter. The blades are actually removable for replacement and are easy to find directly from Muzzy. The 6-pack of broadheads comes with a special wrench for assembling the broadhead (inserting the blades) and for screwing the head onto the arrow shaft.
Slick Trick Viper (STVT) 100 Grains (4-Pack)
Another great broadhead is the Slick Trick Viper. This is another fixed blade, 100 grain head with a chisel (puncture) tip. This is a somewhat more aggressive broadhead than the Muzzy above.
First of all, the steel ferrule blades are extremely sharp, right out of the box. It’s important to use the included wrench for installing and removing broadheads from the arrow shaft. This broadhead also punches a bigger hole, with a two-inch diameter.
These are highly regarded broadheads that are known to fly straight, cut easily, and deliver powerfully lethal shots.
Allen Three Blade Grizzly Broadhead
The Allen Company Grizzly 3-blade broadhead moves into a slightly different category of head. First of all, these are 125-grain heads. They must only be used on heavy aluminum (or any other heavy material) arrow shafts.
Use of a 125-grain head on a light arrow can possibly result in having the arrow splinter at release or in flight. And it certainly does not deliver accurate shots.
The Grizzly has a three blade setup. There’s no clear advantage or disadvantage either way, although the four-blade models often carve a wider path upon contact. But three blade heads can be just as deadly. These Grizzly tips offer a 1 7/8” cutting path.
The Grizzly heads have cutting, rather than chisel, tips. While a chisel tip punctures a hole with great force, which is then followed by the cutting blades; a cutting tip cuts from the get-go.
Rather than inserting the fixed blades into a pre-punched hole, a cutting tip broadhead begins smoothly cutting its path into the target upon contact.
Now, the two types of points have their strengths and weaknesses. A chisel tip brings more immediate power to the blow but just punches a hole; it does not really start the cutting path of the broadhead.
The chisel tip is good for punching through bone in particular, or other obstacles. It requires more power from the bow for a lethal shot.
A cutting tip requires less power from the bow, making it a good choice for younger archers or archers with light bows. The cutting tip does, in theory, provide a more lethal alternative.
This is because it begins cutting upon impact, which, quite simply, does more damage to the prey throughout the arrow’s path.
Muzzy 3 Blades Trocar Tip
The Muzzy MX3 is another pretty standard chisel-tip, 3-blade head from Muzzy. It offers a 1 ¼” cutting path with a proprietary Tocar tip that is especially good at penetrating bone.
The broadhead is available in 100 grains only. They come in a three pack with a broadhead wrench and some practice blades. This is a pretty heavy duty broadhead, especially good for farther shots that may not perfectly strike a lethal area.
G5 Outdoor Montec 125 Grain
G5 Outdoors has a Montec line of broadheads that are an impressive product. The Montec has three fixed blades. These blades are truly fixed, as in they have no mechanical function during flight but also cannot be removed or replaced.
The entire broadhead is actually one single piece of metal. The Montec has a sharp cutting tip to start it’s 1 1/16” cutting path.
The thing to keep in mind with these 125-grain Montec heads is that the blades nor the point is removable. That requires a bit more upkeep than the other kinds, where a dull blade is simply removed then thrown away.
With this type of broadhead, the blades and tip must be sharpened with a wet stone or grinder just like a knife or ax. These super-light, super-sharp broadheads are certainly lethal, but they require a bit more care.
There are multitudes of different kinds of broadheads on the market. There are “judo” points, fish points, points for stunning but not killing animals. However, the best performing and most traditional broadhead is the fixed, three-blade broadhead (read.. ramcat fixed blades).
This head features a razor-sharp chisel-like tip (usually pyramidal) with three blades fixed perpendicularly to the point. This design allows the front point to make the initial puncture, with the razor-sharp blades following closely thereafter to widen the wound and help bury the broadhead.
Broadheads come in a variety of styles, including some that aren’t even covered here. The most important things to look for are that the weight of the head matches the style of an arrow; whether the blades are removable; and the type of tip.
And archers must always remember to never install or remove a broadhead with bare hands. Use a specially designed broadhead wrench every time.
Last update on 2021-06-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API