When it comes to the qualities bowhunters look for in a broadhead, strength is certainly near the top of the list. Because no matter how well a broadhead flies, how sharp its blades are or how big of a hole it makes, none of that matters if the head can’t hold together when shot into the hair, hide, muscle, sinew and bone of a stout big-game animal.
Many broadhead makers claim their heads are tough, and truth be told, most probably are strong enough to get the job done under normal circumstances. Still, there is no denying the fact that some broadheads are tougher than others. While making plans for our 2013 broadhead test, we couldn’t help but wonder how the heads in our test would hold up when subjected to a severe level of abuse. Just like Timex used to do with torture tests it put its watches through, we wanted to see if these broadheads could “take a licking, and keep on ticking.”
With that in mind, we decided to conduct the zero-penetration test by firing each test head directly into a concrete construction block from a distance of 25 yards. A fresh section of block face was used for each head, and we recorded each impact using high-speed video equipment. As you will see in the videos that follow, these were violent, punishing impacts more severe than anything a broadhead is likely to encounter on a game animal.
Given that, we were not surprised that a handful of heads were partly or completely destroyed upon impact. More surprising—and reassuring, from a bowhunting perspective—was the fact that many of the heads in our test not only withstood the impact but buried themselves into the concrete while remaining completely intact.
In addition to the video footage here, we closely inspected each head after impact and rated the damage for each model on a scale that ranged from light to moderate to extensive.
<h2>Carbon Express XT 4-Blade</h2><object id="flashObj" width="640" height="360" classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=9,0,47,0"><param name="movie" value="http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1&isUI=1" /><param name="bgcolor" value="#FFFFFF" /><param name="flashVars" value="@videoPlayer=2551346782001&playerID=2502072791001&playerKey=AQ~~,AAAAAETeEfI~,i-5J2ubuAMvBEjWQcGeHvxVPDDzJmBIC&domain=embed&dynamicStreaming=true" /><param name="base" value="http://admin.brightcove.com" /><param name="seamlesstabbing" value="false" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="swLiveConnect" value="true" /><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always" /><embed src="http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1&isUI=1" bgcolor="#FFFFFF" flashVars="@videoPlayer=2551346782001&playerID=2502072791001&playerKey=AQ~~,AAAAAETeEfI~,i-5J2ubuAMvBEjWQcGeHvxVPDDzJmBIC&domain=embed&dynamicStreaming=true" base="http://admin.brightcove.com" name="flashObj" width="640" height="360" seamlesstabbing="false" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowFullScreen="true" allowScriptAccess="always" swLiveConnect="true" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/shockwave/download/index.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash"></embed></object><a href="http://www.carbonexpressarrows.com/" target="_blank">The Carbon Express</a> XT 4-Blade is one of two heads in this year’s test with two primary blades and two bleeder blades. The backs of the primary and bleeder blades are sharpened so they cause additional damage if they stop inside the animal and start to back out. This head proved strong in our hard-impact and zero-penetration tests, as it only suffered a broken tip while passing through the sheet metal and embedded into the construction block in one piece. Below-average penetration and a slow hemorrhage time were noted. Accuracy was superior, as testing found the maximum deviation from a fieldpoint was an impressive quarter inch. <p> <strong>Price: $</strong>27.99 (per 3)
Check out more of our 2013 broadhead tests in the September issue of Bowhunting Magazine.