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Hunting Broadheads Review: Heavy Duty Penetration Tests

Bowhunter Dan Pickar puts eight different four-blade hunting broadheads to work on the bones of a beef cow. This penetration test has some surprising results! Check out Pickar’s comprehensive review of a dozen different broadheads in issue 96 of Eastmans’ Bowhunting Journal.

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  1. Ken Anderson

    Interesting review. As a traditional bowhunter I would really like to see how some of the popular trad heads like Zwickey and Magnus perform on tests like these.

    • Doing a traditional test is a good idea since KE and Momentum is limited. Thanks for the good idea Ken.

      • Chris Schachtschneider

        You could easily add them to this list with compound bows. I shot Grizzly 125 gr with 42 gr insert adapter and 50 gr brass inserts on a gold tip velocity shaft. 455ish total grains, 21% FOC and they shoot better than the previous three BH’s I used and using this on my elk was the first complete pass through I had and all my other animals were deer… I think the single bevel design on a properly tuned arrow will surprise you in a compound set up.

  2. I would hope that the article has more consistency in the testing than this video shows. Sure it looks cool but the results are inconclusive at best due to the number of variables that were changed as seen in the video (Types of bones shot into, bows propelling the arrow, the arrow itself). I’m interested to see what the article shows but as of right now, this video is more about looking cool and fun than actually comparing the broadheads head to head and gathering useful data.

  3. Agree with C Ridder, looks like the broadheads were shot with different arrows into different type of cow bones. So the results are NOT conclusive as the variables were variable. He should have shot 12 broadheads into 12 scapulas, virgin or new scapulas with every shot and each broadhead should have been shot using the same arrow and arrow weight. Also he should not have shot thru the bones with additional bones stacked up behind the first one. It cause a couple of arrows to glance off and shatter. Some of the arrows wind up hitting more than one bone. There should not have been anything behind those bones but a target or something that would be the same for all broadheads.
    Although it was interesting to see the results, but those results do not change my mind or persuade me to buy or not buy any of them due to the variables.

  4. This review totally inconclusive. When comparing broadhead performance, conditions must be identical for every test.

  5. Jeff Roberts

    One thing for sure the test shows if the head did well on big cow bone then on deer or antelope they should have no problem. Black bear should be no problem too. Elk is when things get interesting but still with right arrow bow combination along with sharp broadhead things should go well!

    • Chris Schachtschneider

      Yet look at all the videos of arrows sticking out of the animal on the same side it was shot. People tend to forget how elastic tissues can be and how much energy (momentum not KE) it takes to punch though them even with a true razor sharp tip.

  6. Thanks for the comments guys. The intent of the novelty video was not to persuade anyone but to see if I could destroy broadheads on natural material that you’ll encounter hunting…rather than a steel drum or angled plywood shots that we’ve seen so many times before. My setup has 85 ft lbs of KE so I am not worried about penetration in hunting scenarios. I have more power than I know what to do with. Be sure to see the full article in EBJ 96 to get the low down.

    • Chris Schachtschneider

      And the average .22 LR has 135 KE yet it is not an acceptable method of hunting big game. KE only measures how much force is applied when hitting another object therefore a blut has the same KE as your BH. Momentum is the force to continue through objects after the initial hit. For good arrow penetration, momentum has to be greater than the resistance encountered, weight, speed, cutting ability of the broadhead (how much force does it take to push your BH through a piece of deer hide?) all factor into this new equation.

  7. All of your viewers want conclusive evidence as to what each broadhead did in a controlled test. You don’t have to crown a winner if you don’t want to, in fact, its better if you don’t. Let us decide that, but please present information that is controlled and useful. Why did broadhead A not hold up as well as broadhead B?… Because it was shot into a different thickness and density of bone. This data can be misleading to beginners who can’t see through the poorly designed test. I understand you were not testing broadheads but only trying to break them… When we see broadheads lined up against each other we expect comparison and a controlled test. We can go to a demolition derby at the county fair. We are technical bowhunters seeking data. I especially lost interest when a different bow was used half way through the video… This video left a lot to be desired and I leave with nothing.

    • You will find the article in EBJ very useful then if you like technical. Thanks for your comment.

  8. I’d love to see the same test with some cut on contact 2 blades. Quite a few folks are going to them, Kudu, Cutthroat, etc.
    I’m shooting a 125gr kudu and have some 150gr cutthroats to play with for this season too.

  9. This is a very good information to read and discuss.

  10. Bowhunting sounds interesting. I learn a lot of nice information from your blog. Keep it up!

  11. Such a great video, thanks for share!

  12. The video is very interesting. I am a beginner in the hunting topic so everything is new to me. But those real video with real experience is really intriguing me. Thank you so much for posting this video. Hope to read other posts from you in the future.

    • Glad you found it interesting. I was surprised by some of the results as well. We’re always here to help.

  13. Very useful and informative review. Thanks for putting so much effort in experimenting and shooting this video! The video does give a better visualization!

  14. I really admire that you have brought. Thank!

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