November 09, 2015
By Cabe Johnson
Many broadhead companies claim a lot of different things about their broadheads. We see all sorts of claims, such as they fly like your fieldpoints, razor sharpness, pinpoint accuracy, perfect head alignment, most accurate broadhead, toughest broadheads you will ever shoot, etc.
We are not above getting sucked into the hype. So, we often try the latest and greatest and hope the claims are true. Unfortunately, very few broadheads live up to expectations.
Over the years, we learned our broadhead groups were always much larger than our fieldpoint groups. We've learned little tricks that have helped us tighten our broadhead groups, but they never really got as tight as our fieldpoint groups.
We found that variations in blade orientation, cutting diameter, number of blades, arrow spine, arrow straightness and vane configuration all seemed to affect our group sizes, keeping every broadhead from being the most accurate broadhead.
In our search for better broadhead grouping, we discovered that broadheads that were not square on the arrow shaft seemed to have a mind of their own. When we spun the arrows on our arrow straightener, the arrows with a wobbly broadhead seemed to hit further out of our group than the ones with little or no wobble.
It made sense. Broadheads act like little wings in flight. So, if a broadhead is on an arrow shaft crooked, it causes the arrow to veer off course; how much depends on how much misalignment is present.
We soon learned to square the ends of the shafts and the inserts. That helped but did not eliminate all the problems. We still had some broadheads that wobbled.
The wobble seemed to largely come from the fit between the broadhead and the insert. When we screwed a broadhead into an arrow, we could wiggle the broadhead back and forth a considerable amount. The shank of the broadhead and the insert were not a snug fit, and there was a lot of slop between the two. We didn't think too much about the fit at first, because the broadheads were supposed to self align when screwed onto the arrow shaft, right?
Well, they sure don't self align for us. We find that every time we unscrew a broadhead and re-tighten it, we get a different wobble.
That is why, once we get a broadhead spinning and shooting well, we try to never unscrew the broadhead from the arrow and lose the alignment. The unfortunate part is, if we ever hit anything hard in a bale or miss a target, it can push that broadhead to the side and cause a straight-flying arrow to become a wobbly mess.
Some of us found a little trick to help improve the broadhead/insert fit. We use .002-.004-inch metal shim stock and cut little shims we can wrap around 90 percent of the shank of the broadhead (the smooth area between the threads and where the broadhead seats against the shaft).
Doing this eliminates the slop between the broadhead and the insert and produces a snug fit. That way, if we have to unscrew the broadhead or we hit something hard, the alignment is less likely to be affected.
A wobbly broadhead is easy to overlook and doesn't seem like much. But we found that paying a little attention to broadhead alignment can help tighten up our groups, turning all of our broadheads into the most accurate broadheads, ever.