Broadhead Test and Review 2020

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Broadhead Test 2020: The Why

Every couple of years I like to test the broadheads on the market and just get a good overview of what, why , how just to make sure I’m shooting the best of what I can out there. Well this time it was a bit more personal I had shot and wounded a few different animals between last season and the beginning of 2020. Of course like normal human nature I needed something to blame because it couldn’t possibly be my fault so I started to doubt I was shooting the best possible set up and that doubt erased 11-12 years of success I had with my existing set up. Which in turn sent me down this rabbit hole. I tell you all this because I want you to know that I took pain staking time, energy and effort to have the most detailed test I could and I wanted to look at it from every angle and do tests that were seemingly redundant or not really important just to make sure my data was accurate. My first goal was to make sure I did a “super tune” on my bow and arrows I would be shooting for the test, I also wanted to have all the best testing equipment and procedures I could to give me the best data I could collect. Lucky for me Arizona Archery club has been developing procedures for the super tune for the past few years and has been amassing the very best in testing equipment.

Broadhead test 2020

#broadheadreview2020 #broadheadtest #bestbroadhead2020

Broadhead Testing: The Tests

The following are the parameters of my broadhead test:

Accuracy 3 arrows average group size at 70 yards shooting outdoors/indoors w/ shooting machine
Field point Comp 3 arrows rotating the broadhead with 2 field points at 70yards outdoors/indoors w/ shooting machine
Varianceweigh in every broadhead see weight deviations measure each head and test fit and spin
Durabilitynumber of times shot through  ½ “sheet rock before shows signs of failure up to 6
KE Consumptionplunge test using Edge on up
Quartering shots3 different angles mdf board covered in carpet to simulate deer hide 30 yards pass / fail
SharpnessEdge-On-Up Industrial Edge Tester  out of the box
Sharpness retentionEdge-On-Up Industrial Edge Tester  after shooting through MDF board and gel
Penetration1/4″ fire MDF board into ballistics gel 20 yards inches x 2 = score
Wound Channel cutting diameter + blade thickness + ferrule diameter + number of rotations x depth of penetration
Aerodynamic DragFlight from 0 to 80yrd measured on Labradar aerodynamic drag and retained energy in comparison to field point data
Broadhead testing parameters
Getting dialed in

Accuracy: This to me and all those involved was the highest or most important quality to look for in a broad-head. Most experts will agree that shot placement is the most important factor in recovering an animal so it stands to reason you want to have a broadhead with the highest probability to hit its mark. 2nd on the list was field point accuracy the ability to practice with target tips and still be able to screw on your broadheads and head straight out to the field without making any adjustments ranked high for us as well. We shot every head both indoors @ 70 yrds and outdoors @ 80yrds with a hooter shooter machine and I shot by hand outdoors @80 yds every head as well We are only sharing with you the indoor data because we felt the outdoor data was not as valuable due to the conditions changing from the beginning of the test to the end. But I will say this both with me shooting and the hooter shooter the outdoor data for the most part barring some outliers correlated with the indoor data. Below you will find a chart that has the scoring system but I don’t want you to focus on the score, look at the data with some of them we are splitting hairs look at everything that is important to you and formulate your own “prefect broadhead”. If we look at the results The top 7 were all within an 1/2 inch of each other but look at those top 7 and see how they fair in comparison to the field point you will see the #1 Ramcat Diamond back had sub 1″ group but was 5.7″ off from the field points were lets say like the Alien V2 had a 1.5″ group and was 1.7″ off the field points, or the swhacker 207 1.1″ group and 1.6″ off the field point respectively. It takes some doing but read through the data, the group size is listed worst to best and field point is best to worst. Watch Accuracy Video here

BroadheadGroup size @70ydsScoreBroadheadField point accuracy Score
Field Point 0.7    
Northern wide cuts5.6913Valkyrie jag1.12562
Montec5.2876Cutt Throat1.5260
VPA 3BS4.6999Extract1.61258
VPA 3BV4.12212Swhacker 2071.63256
Alien Matrix 2BT3.57515Alien V21.74154
AF 4B3.77418Sevr1.75652
Helix 3.44721TOA XL1.76550
Swhacker 2623.38824DRT Nap1.98148
Swhacker hybrid3.26627Swhacker 2621.99546
Drt Nap2.69630Vandiaman 952.00644
Exodus2.58933Iron will 2.01442
valkyrie short  jag2.53636valkyrie short  jag2.01740
Extract2.5142Ram Cat hybrid2.36636
Ram Cat hybrid2.35445Swhacker Hybrid2.53234
Oz cut 2 blade2.35348AF 4B2.66432
Annihilator2.20651Alien Matrix 2BT2.96630
Northern lil evil2.16854Oz cut 2 blade2.96928
Sevr2.14657Helix 2.97326
AF k22.09560TOA R3.11824
Cutt Throat2.07663Annihilator3.41522
Oz Cut Hurricane2.01666Northern Evo3.5620
Valkyrie jag1.97869Oz Cut Hurricane3.50618
VPA 2B1.74372Exodus3.60616
Alien V21.50375VPA 2B3.8214
TOA XL1.47278AF k24.28812
TOA R1.32881VPA 3BS4.76910
Vandiman 951.25584VPA 3BV4.8338
Swhacker 2071.15487Northern wide cuts4.8516
Iron will 1.10890Montec5.1644
Ram Cat DB0.99693Ram Cat DB5.7292
Shot with Hooter Shooter Shooting machine indoors at 70 yards Mathews VXR 70# 29″ draw 446grn total wieght     
pierce platinum 300 with an FOC of 15.86% 125grn head blazer vane Right helical 3deg all nock tuned     
* The valkyrie total arrow weight 464grn, The few 100grn heads we had we use the Fact weight system to add 25grn up front to keep it all consistant 
Broad head accuracy results
Field point accuracy

Aerodynamic Drag test: This was one of those redundant tests that correlated directly with field point accuracy and noise level. It just helped us verify that what we were seeing was accurate. There was a direct correlation the higher the % of drag or loss of speed the further away the impact point deviated from the field points. Same went for noise level the more drag the noisier the heads were. We shot every head over a noise meter and the data was inconclusive across the board, we then shot each head passed both myself and my cousin Anthony subjectively assigning a value to indicate noise level. We did not include this data in the results because it wasn’t very scientific but we did include the drag data and I can tell you with certainty the higher the drag the louder they were. broadhead review 2020, broadhead test, broadhead testing, best broadheadbroadhead review 2020, broadhead test, broadhead testing, best broadheadbroadhead review 2020, broadhead test, broadhead testing, best broadheadbroadhead review 2020, broadhead test, broadhead testing, best broadheadbroadhead review 2020, broadhead test, broadhead testing, best broadheadbroadhead review 2020, broadhead test, broadhead testing, best broadheadbroadhead review 2020, broadhead test, broadhead testing, best broadheadbroadhead review 2020, broadhead test, broadhead testing, best broadhead 2020

Broadhead drag test

BroadheadV0V10V30V50V65V80Percent of drag Percent of drag over field tip 
field point2842812742662612579.507042254 
tooth 1″28628127126025324713.636363644.129321383
cutthroat L28628126925925225411.188811191.681768935
Tooh XL28528026825825124215.08771935.580677045
swhacker 20729128727726726025811.340206191.833163932
swhacker 26229428727526425725313.945578232.605372046
AF 4 blade28728127025925123916.724738687.217696422
Swhaker hybrid29428827626625825812.244897962.737855706
Ramcat diamondback28728026725524724215.679442516.172400255
Ramcat Hybrid29828827225924924717.114093967.607051706
northern wide28428027126325624812.676056343.169014085
VPA 228528127126225525410.877192981.370150729
VPA 3 vent28528026925925224812.982456143.475413887
VPA solid28628127126225524613.986013994.478971732
Oz cut hurricane28528026825825124713.333333333.82629108
Oz Cut 2 blade29829127827026025813.422818793.915776538
G5 Montec28628126925825124713.636363644.129321383
Valkyrie jag28427927026526125211.267605631.76056338
Short Jag27927626825825324811.111111111.604068858
broadhead test

Sharpness ,Sharpness retention, variance and KE consumption test: At first thought Sharpness would be redundant for penetration but it really wasn’t. What I feel is important about having a sharp broadhead is its ability to cut vessels as it moves through the body so just because a broadhead can penetrate 5 inches further doesn’t necessarily mean it will cut a vessel that it comes in contact with to cause bleeding it only means it moved through and caused damage to tissue. That might seem off or confusing concept to wrap your head around so let me put it like this I have one blood vessel in the middle of a piece of meat I shoot two arrows through this meat both of which pass through both of which contact this vessel but only one severed the vessel the other just nicks it or scratched it because the blade is not sharp the wound with the sharp blade should bleed more and result in a faster recovery. Although some will argue that a laceration bleeds more than an incision for me I’d rather have a sharper blade then not. Again here is the data do with it as you will. The sharpness retention to me was not super important because I rarely shoot the same head after I have shot it into an animal. But some of these heads are pricey and you want to get mileage out of them. Variance testing really speaks to the tolerances and overall quality of the construction of the heads and directly correlates to group size, and field point accuracy. So this is a cheap way for you to tell if your head is quality or not.. weigh em… The KE consumption test was a complete waste of time and did not correlate to penetration what so ever however it did correlate with the angled shots those with very high consumption did not perform as well on the 30 degree angle shots. They seemed to skip along the board a bit moving the point of impact before entering the target. The data is there do with it what you will. I will say this I think having a pointer tapered tip is beneficial over a rounded, steep angled tip not only for quartering shots but cutting through hide but not too pointy because you may get logged into bone versus breaking it. As for the spin testing this was just to see if there was a correlation with accuracy and well balanced heads and as you guessed it there was . Its cheap way to look at a head and find out if its worth shooting or not. Click here to watch the video

Variance testing

Broadheadsharpnessrankscoresharpeness retentionloss rankscore
TOA XL2911616382911520
TOA R2186263281101820
Cutt Throat4182210483651025
VPA 3BV77830280426630
VPA 2B6672936692130
VPA 3BS533266595621125
Northern wide cuts1953294402452515
Ram Cat DB320181436040830
Vandiaman 125279151729415430
Drt Nap4182210504861325
Afflictor K2207428295881425
Afflictor 4b210527301911520
Extract 26513194611962415
Oz cut hurricane34520124691242020
Alien V22337253901572115
Alien Matrix 2BT26012203641041720
 Annihilator 35021114771272215
Swhacker 2622388244311932315
Swhacker hybrid34119134581171920
Swhacker 20746024849030730
Ram Cat hybrid60127561110230
Oz Cut 2 blade257102230447830
Vandiaman 95269141829526630
valkyrie short  jag2581121336781225
Valkyrie jag24692330458930
broadhead sharpness testing
Broadhead123average weightDeveation in pack ScoreDeveation from listed grnScore
TOA XL125.3124.8125.2125.10.580.310
TOA R123.9123.6123.6123.70.310-1.19
Cutt Throat127.8126.7127.3127.26666671.162.86
VPA 3BV122.7127126.9125.53333334.31-2.37
VPA 2B123.5123.9124.8124.06666671.35-1.58
VPA 3BS122.8125.8123.1123.933-2.27
Northern wide cuts127123.6124.41253.4227
Ram Cat DB123.1123.5123.3123.30.410-1.98
Vandiaman 125123123.2124123.416-27
Drt Nap120.1122.4122.2121.56666672.34-4.94
Afflictor K2120.1120.1119.9120.03333330.210-4.93
Afflictor 4b119119.1118.5118.86666670.68-61
Extract 127.5127.2127127.23333330.582.56
Oz cut hurricane126.2124.8123.8124.93333332.441.29
Alien V2125.8125.6125.3125.56666670.580.89
Alien Matrix 2BT125.5125.3125.3125.36666670.2100.510
 Annihilator 123.9123.6123.6123.70.3101.49
Swhacker 26299.299.899.799.566666670.580.89
Swhacker hybrid101.2100.9100.91010.68-0.89
Swhacker 207101.2101.1101101.10.3101.29
Ram Cat hybrid100.3100.299.8100.10.2101.29
Oz Cut 2 blade98.898.698.598.633333330.580.310
Vandiaman 9593.594.194.4940.96-1.58
valkyrie short  jag181.6181.6181.3181.50.3101.68
Valkyrie jag179.6179.3179.3179.40.310-0.410
Broadhead Tolerance testing

Penetration and Wound Channel : This is what everybody seems to be the most interested in and quite frankly it was the most fun. We used FBI clear gel and 1/4″ high grade MDF to get our results. Leading up to this I made many of my own gels and tested different combinations of media to shoot through from card board to different foams in the end this simple set up would give us the most accurate usable results. I was a bit floored the heads I expected to penetrate better didn’t and ones that I though wouldn’t …. did. I quickly learned that friction and surface area of the head played an important part in the performance and that mechanical advantage didn’t always mean deeper penetration . This is a slippery slope because lethality and blood trails don’t necessarily go hand in hand. Meaning The heads that that inflicted the most trauma didn’t necessarily have the deepest penetration thus in theory not leaving as good a blood trail (2 holes). So let me put this in a real life scenario for you I have been shooting swhackers for a long time and because of the design if you don’t have a pass-through the blood trail can be minimal because the entry hole is 1″ but the internal damage is far greater than if I was to shoot for instance a double bevel 1″ single blade and achieved the pass through. I shot a buck one time where the head logged itself in the opposite shoulder the buck ran 30 yards and died however there was almost no blood. Conversely many years ago I shot a buck with an equally good shot with a muzzy got a pass through had great blood but needed to track the buck for about 150 yards. I know what you are thinking one deer is different than the next the shot is different all true valid points but my reasoning for bringing this up is don’t put all you eggs in one basket, don’t rely solely on penetration or wound channel consider something well balanced or if possible that gives you both. Watch video here

Broadhead test 2020

Broadhead Penetration

BroadheadPenetrationCutblade thicknessferrulTwist Wound channel
tooth 1″15.562520.0380.293 2.33136.2761875
cutthroat L14.751.0450.050.3370.752.18232.1845
Tooh XL142.20.0380.321 2.55935.826
Ironwill12.6251.70.0620.24 2.00225.27525
Sevr13.251.50.0320.317 1.84924.49925
swhacker 20713.8752.0350.0320.3250.352.74238.04525
swhacker 26213.8752.1990.0320.417 2.64836.741
AFK215.68751.850.070.275 2.19534.4340625
AF 4 blade1520.070.275 2.34535.175
Extract14.37510.0580.306 1.36419.6075
DRT13.1251.7850.050.293 2.12827.93
Swhaker hybrid13.1872.50.0320.3250.253.10740.972009
Ramcat diamondback14.
Ramcat Hybrid12.6872.740.030.298 3.06838.923716
Northern wide13.8751.1690.0460.329 1.54421.423
VPA 213.6871.10.0630.324 1.48720.352569
QAD141.650.040.345 2.03528.49
VPA 3 vent12.0621.650.0420.321 2.01324.280806
VPA solid12.1251.650.0420.32 2.01224.3955
G5 Montec12.251.670.0690.32 2.05925.22275
Oz cut Hurricane13.51.580.0570.3690.552.55634.506
Oz Cut 2 blade16.8750.9580.0550.316 1.32922.426875
Alien V214.93751.4580.0560.3450.652.50937.4781875
Alien Matrix 2BT141.210.0560.345 1.61122.554
Annihilator14.251.280.3650.465 2.1130.0675
Valkyrie jag11.51.360.0450.332 1.73719.9755
Short Jag12.251.380.0450.332 1.75721.52325

Broadhead review : my thoughts

So I’m sure you are wondering which I would pick after all this… I really couldn’t make up my mind 100 % I will say I was very impressed with the Ironwill, Valkirie Jag, Kudu and the Alien archery V2 in the fixed blade category. I didn’t test enough mechanical on this round mainly because there were many that would put the heads up against what we were doing. I had at least 5 companies commit then I sent them my testing rubric and they backed out. So for now I’m sticking with Swhacker in the mechanical department .

BroadheadAccuracyField point CompVarianceDurabilityQuartering 30quartering 45degSharpnessSharpness retentionPenetrationwound channelAerodynamic dragKE ConsumptionScore
tooth 1″81241910812262031.12536.724.132269.845
cutthroat L636012101212102529.532.181.6813268.68
Tooh XL7850181041216202835.825.581272.82
swhacker 2078756192121283027.7538.041.835294.79
swhacker 2622446172412241527.7536.742.66209.49
Aflictor K260121361212282531.37534.432.3812236.805
Aflictor 4 blade183296121227203035.177.223204.17
Swhaker hybrid2734172812132026.37440.972.749202.344
Ramcat diamondback93218241214302950.466.177255.46
Ramcat Hybrid453619281253025.37438.927.6110223.294
northern wide3692812291527.7521.423.1716135.17
VPA 272141310121233027.37420.351.3717216.724
VPA 3 vent128810121223024.12424.283.4620145.404
VPA solid9101010121262524.2524.394.4524145.64
G5 Montec64114121271024.525.223.8323118.72
Oz cut hurricane6618131241212202734.5DNHDNH219.5
Oz Cut 2 blade48281810812223033.7522.42DNHDNH234.17
Alien V275541710612251529.87537.47DNHDNH282.345
Alien Matrix 2BT1530201081220202822.55DNHDNH187.55
Valkyrie jag69622012121223302319.971.7625285.97
Short Jag36401812812212524.521.521.6118220.02
Accuracy 3 arrows average group size at 70yards shooting outdoors w/ shooting machine     
Field point Comp3 arrow field tip group and measure the broadhead group in relation to them    
Varianceweigh in every broadhead see weight deviations measure each head and test fit and spin   
Durabilitynumber of times shot through  ½ “Dura rock before shows signs of failure score     
quartering shots2 different angles mdf board covered in carpet to simulate deer hyde 20 yards    
SharpnessEdge-On-Up Industrial Edge Tester  out of the box      
Sharpness retentionEdge-On-Up Industrial Edge Tester  after shooting through MDF board and gel    
Penetration1/4″ fire MDF board into ballistics gel 20 yards inches x 2 = score     
wound Channel Penitration x toatal cut +number of rotations       
Aerodynamic DragFlight from 0 to 80yrd measured on Labradar aerodynamic drag and retained energy in comparison to field point data  
Final scores of broadhead test 2020
Broadhead test 2020 final results

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Keywords: broadhead review 2020, broadhead test, broadhead testing