Mechanical head premature opening test (Graphic heavy)

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DuckHunt
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Mechanical head premature opening test (Graphic heavy)

Post by DuckHunt » Wed Mar 18, 2020 9:32 pm

I couldn't help but wonder how mechanical broadheads would handle the ferocious launch from the Micro Suppressor 400 TD. So, I devised a testing scenario to capture if the broadhead was open before reaching the target.

Starting with a Blob target and some scrap lumber...
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Improvise a frame to hold a sheet of printer paper (24# quality) a few inches in front of the target with a second sheet on the target face.
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Pre-Test
Will the paper alone cause the blades to open? I tested this by dropping an arrow with a banded broadhead onto the frame laying on the ground, but it wasn't enough force to penetrate the paper (note the hole from the tip). So I tossed the arrow downward and it successfully penetrated the paper and proved that the blades would stay closed.
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Test Items
Micro Suppressor 400 TD w/stock string
Stock Proflight arrow (250.5 gr) [Selected to maximize launch speed]
ProChrono Chronograph
Rocket Hammerhead Broadhead
Spitfire XXX Broadhead
Rocket Sidewinder Broadhead
Pill Bug 1/4" Medium neon elastics
Outers Varminter Rifle Rest

First up, one of my favorite broadheads, a new Rocket Hammerhead equipped with only the single stock black band.
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We all know how this is going to end. The launch speed was in the neighborhood...
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And the results were just as I expected. The single stock band is nowhere close to enough to keep these long blades closed on launch. I'm just happy I hit the paper at 20y.
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You have to admit, that's a wicked looking cut.
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Round 2.

In attempt to get in the right ballpark, I sent the Hammerhead a second time but dressed it up with two 1/4 medium dental elastics.
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Its still smokin' them downrange...
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Hmmm. That's still not enough? This looks peculiar. Notice that one of the blades was not like the others, almost like it's shorter or not fully open.
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Well, that explains a few things. My 2" mechanical turned into a 1" mechanical when strapped with two dental bands. This is exactly what happened to the Hammerhead that I shot my 2nd 8pt with this past season, although 70fps slower. Granted that the Blob target is a tad firm and maybe the blades aren't as sharp on the second trip causing added drag. In either case, I wouldn't recommend launching them this hard and repeat trips are questionalble.
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Round 3.

Lots of folks love Spitfire heads and I've killed a few deer with them myself. This trip will be a new Spitfire XXX 2" head in it's unbanded glory because according to the package, they don't need bands. :lol:
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Let'er rip tater chip...
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So much for being unbanded...
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It took the punishment well and leaves a wicked hole.
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Round 4.

Enough playing around. Adding a dental band to the Spitfire XXX and sending it again...
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Still zinging...
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Well, almost there. It appears that a single blade still managed to open before landing.
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Round 5.
Next up is a used Rocket Sidewinder that met previous success. Its a 1.5" cut, so maybe the shorter blades will have a better chance of staying closed because there is less leverage. To cut to the chase, we'll start with it double banded.
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Mini-Flamethrower...
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Nope. Wide open the whole trip...
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Round 6.
This time, the same Sidewinder but with a single 1/4" dental band doubled over to double the holding power.
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All day...
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Well, I'm guessing the jagged edges are because the blades aren't sharp. But they're open which is still a problem.
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Round 7 (Final Round)
For this last trip, the same Sidewinder gets a single 1/4" elastic doubled over then slid close to the tip as possible. We're going to get to stay closed eventually.
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Great speed to finish with...
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Finally! We have made it to the target without opening in flight!
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The surface of the target looked much the same, so that means the broadhead had very little entrance hole so the blades deployed mostly on the inside of the target. When the broadhead was removed, it looked like it had seen better days. Unlike the Hammerhead, the blades didn't shear. But, these don't appear to be far from it.
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Conclusion: For the high powered bows, it appears that it would be wise to invest in higher quality broadheads. The brutal launch from a Micro 400TD will put the blade containment solution of any mechanical head to the ultimate test. It seems to me there will be two common scenarios for mechanical heads at this speed. Either your broadhead will open in flight, or the blades will be strapped down so tight that your entrance wounds will be small. If the blades are strapped down very hard, the force at impact could cause them to bend and/or break. I'll certainly be doing more broadhead testing with this bow before next season. Obviously what works well at slower speeds may not apply when the speed gets cranked up.

It appears that some fixed head testing may be a necessity which seems like a waste with all this power.
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Re: Mechanical head premature opening test (Graphic heavy)

Post by longbow joe » Wed Mar 18, 2020 10:27 pm

Try the xact cut that was tested for the400 fps excalibur bows it wont open total quality too.
Them rockets used to open up from my 250fps vixen 2 lol. I thought they were very brittle .
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Re: Mechanical head premature opening test (Graphic heavy)

Post by Ankh » Thu Mar 19, 2020 12:10 am

Great test, any chance you could try 150 grain swackers or the new 150 excalibur is pimping?

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Re: Mechanical head premature opening test (Graphic heavy)

Post by janesy » Thu Mar 19, 2020 2:24 am

First off, great to see chrony results, that thing is moving. Does your 400 have all the suppression stuff on it?

I too would be interested to hear about the new 2" Excalibur offering. The manufacturer told me that they used the 440 specifically for their product testing.

Good test, thanks for that :thumbup:
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Re: Mechanical head premature opening test (Graphic heavy)

Post by AJ01 » Thu Mar 19, 2020 9:55 am

DuckHunt wrote:
Wed Mar 18, 2020 9:32 pm
I couldn't help but wonder how mechanical broadheads would handle the ferocious launch from the Micro Suppressor 400 TD.

Test Items
Micro Suppressor 400 TD w/stock string
Stock Proflight arrow (250.5 gr) [Selected to maximize launch speed]
ProChrono Chronograph
Rocket Hammerhead Broadhead
Spitfire XXX Broadhead
Rocket Sidewinder Broadhead
Pill Bug 1/4" Medium neon elastics
Outers Varminter Rifle Rest

Conclusion: For the high powered bows, it appears that it would be wise to invest in higher quality broadheads. The brutal launch from a Micro 400TD will put the blade containment solution of any mechanical head to the ultimate test. It seems to me there will be two common scenarios for mechanical heads at this speed. Either your broadhead will open in flight, or the blades will be strapped down so tight that your entrance wounds will be small. If the blades are strapped down very hard, the force at impact could cause them to bend and/or break. I'll certainly be doing more broadhead testing with this bow before next season. Obviously what works well at slower speeds may not apply when the speed gets cranked up.

It appears that some fixed head testing may be a necessity which seems like a waste with all this power.
It's fantastic to see someone actually put in the "time and effort" to do things correctly!! :thumbup:
Great review!! Great Job!!
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Re: Mechanical head premature opening test (Graphic heavy)

Post by SEW » Thu Mar 19, 2020 10:19 am

It’s good to finally see “launch” rather than “speed”. Clearly and simply, it’s launch acceleration force that can prematurely open expandible broad heads, not speed.

I have used Spitfires since their first month on the market, but tried a few others since a premature opening a few times. Now, I’ll only consider rear opening expandibles and have settled on the TruGlo 100g Titanium 4 blade expandible. These need no bands and cut devastating holes. Two deer on one broad head and that broadhead will be used on the next deer or bear. Haven’t even replaced blades, just resharpened.

Image

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Re: Mechanical head premature opening test (Graphic heavy)

Post by Normous » Thu Mar 19, 2020 10:51 am

Years back I was a huge Rocket Hammerhead fan and used triple bands placed in the most forward position toward the tip to prevent premature opening successfully but shot them only to about 370 fps.

I might add that using fresh dental bands in important. Bands degrade when exposed to air, heat and moisture.

Take a look at SWAT broadheads, especially the A4, X MAG, Vector and the 2020 MOAB. I tested them at almost 490 FPS the same way you did and they did NOT open.
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Re: Mechanical head premature opening test (Graphic heavy)

Post by nchunterkw » Thu Mar 19, 2020 12:26 pm

Great test and test setup!! ON those open blades it would be interesting to try to calculate the rate of spin you are seeing too. In the first pic you can clearly see how the blades rotated from paper 1 to paper 2.

Maybe a good fixed head on a good arrow isn't out of the realm of possibility since you at least were hitting the target with open blades (essentially a fixed head at a high speed). What are your thoughts? You were doing the shooting. Were the premature opening heads all over the place?
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Re: Mechanical head premature opening test (Graphic heavy)

Post by Boo » Thu Mar 19, 2020 2:36 pm

Excellent work! Thank you! :clap:
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Re: Mechanical head premature opening test (Graphic heavy)

Post by IronNoggin » Thu Mar 19, 2020 3:53 pm

Yes indeed! Excellent work!! :thumbup:

I've run with 125 grain Spitfires from my 380 for years.
Single banded (I know they say you don't need to).
Only once had a premature blade development - this fall, with the offshore production of that broadhead.
Sent the rest back along with a note I will be seeking something else.

Still have enough of the USA made ones on hand, and the parts to rebuild to last a year or three.
Then I will be looking...

Thanks for the detail;ed examination & pictures.
Eye opening...

Cheers,
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Re: Mechanical head premature opening test (Graphic heavy)

Post by drywallerdave1 » Thu Mar 19, 2020 4:08 pm

Nicely done!!!

I tried rage hypodermics with my bulldog 400.

I could barely hit the target at 30 yards. Had to be opening early

I now use swat crossbow a4 broadheads.

They use a rubber band to keep the blades closed.

They shoot exactly as my field points ...

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Re: Mechanical head premature opening test (Graphic heavy)

Post by DuckHunt » Thu Mar 19, 2020 6:13 pm

Ankh wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 12:10 am
Great test, any chance you could try 150 grain swackers or the new 150 excalibur is pimping?
I'd love to if I had any. If someone wants to mail me a head, I'd be glad to send it downrange and report the results. :thumbup: Seriously, PM me for a mailing address. :lol:
janesy wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 2:24 am
Does your 400 have all the suppression stuff on it?
Nope, well it does have the stirrup from the SDS but the rest is removed. The R.E.D.S. and air brakes remain.
Normous wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 10:51 am
I might add that using fresh dental bands in important. Bands degrade when exposed to air, heat and moisture.

Take a look at SWAT broadheads, especially the A4, X MAG, Vector and the 2020 MOAB. I tested them at almost 490 FPS the same way you did and they did NOT open.
I made the mistake once of using a head with last years' band on it. I watched through the scope as it dug into the dirt at the deers feet.

Regarding Swat Vectors: They came in the mail today...updated results to follow later today.
nchunterkw wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 12:26 pm
ON those open blades it would be interesting to try to calculate the rate of spin you are seeing too. In the first pic you can clearly see how the blades rotated from paper 1 to paper 2.
Glad to see I wasn't the only one to notice that. It somewhat suprised me because we're only talking about 3.5" of travel and it certainly rotated. And this was from a Proflight arrow that has way less spin than most of us shoot on custom arrows. It might take more distance between the paper to calculate the actual spin. Then shot distance might matter. How far does it travel before reaching maximum rotation speed? You, well anyone else, could test that alone for days. :lol:
nchunterkw wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 12:26 pm
Maybe a good fixed head on a good arrow isn't out of the realm of possibility since you at least were hitting the target with open blades (essentially a fixed head at a high speed). What are your thoughts? You were doing the shooting. Were the premature opening heads all over the place?
Based on past experience, I was quite suprised that every broadhead has hit within about 4" of the point of aim which is the center of a 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper. Granted this was at 20 yards with a rest. In all cases the shot would have killed a deer because the few that were off the most generally hit high.

Without a doubt, the Micro 400 TD will shoot a fixed head well enough. It may depend a lot on the broadhead itself as well as the arrows and just how accurate you want them to be.



Results of four more broadheads coming up shortly....
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Re: Mechanical head premature opening test (Graphic heavy)

Post by DuckHunt » Thu Mar 19, 2020 8:02 pm

My pack of Swat Vectors came in the mail today and I remembered a few old heads I had stashed in a box that would make an excellent group for another day of testing.

Today's lineup includes a cheap eBay Chinese made 2-blade Rage clone from about 8 years ago, an actual 2-blade Rage chisel-tip, one of the original Rage 3-blade versions and a Swat Vector. All heads in these tests are the 100 grain versions.
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As a reminder, this is the launching pad. A Micro Suppressor 400 TD that I guess you can consider unsuppressed.
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First up today is an original un-fired Rage 3-blade 1.5" cut.
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Launched with extreme prejudice...
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Well would you look at that! The original Rage 3-blade gets it done even though its a decade old.
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Further inspection of the target face shows that it made it to the target closed, then opened on impact.
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The rubber ring broke on impact and part of it was laying in front of the target. Not a bad showing for a model that I don't think is made any longer.
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The second subject is a slightly newer version of Rage. This one is a two-blade chisel-tip 2" version. I missed the before photo, because it got downrange in a hurry.
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This one didn't fair as well as the old 3-blade version. Wide open on arrival.
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Since I missed the before photo, here it is again for a second trip. The first trip was with the band only. This second trip will be with a new band and include the "shock collar" as well. I can't recall if this version required them or not.
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Away she goes...
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And this time it arrived closed as it should be.
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While the shock collar helped it stay closed, it seems that it may have robbed it of some entry cutting diameter. Well short of 2" on entry, but it did arrive closed.
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Third test is the new Swat Vector 4-blade broadhead set for maximum cut (1.75"). Before firing, I can tell that this head will stay closed. The band is unlike any I've used. While the band does have some give, it gets very firm quickly.
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Solidly launched...
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And it arrived closed as expected.
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It arrives closed, but don't expect a large entrance cut. It essentially enters closed. That seems to be the price you pay for solid containment for any over-the-top deploying broadhead.
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It is definitely a mean looking head.
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It deploys so hard that the backs of the blades are dented when they contact the cut adjustment nut. You can barely see the dents in the photo above, but can plainly see them here. I'd probably plan on replacing the blades after each shot if they are fired at this speed. It may not dent as bad at slower speeds or with a more forgiving/softer target.
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The harsh deployment even caused one blade to dent the adjustment nut.
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And finally we close out with a cheap Chinese clone of the original Rage 2-blade. I'm not certain I ever even fired these at targets much less hunting with them. The quality was visibly poorer than the actual Rage heads.
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Given the same express treatment...
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:shock: Huh? It actually arrived closed!
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And :shock: it opened when it should, albeit slightly less than fully open on entry.
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Not bad for the crazy low price assuming they were sharp. Hey, the band just slid down the shaft what if we...
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push the band back into place and send it again? Would it stay closed again?
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400...400...400 (a pattern is forming)
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Burst that bubble quickly. Open on arrival.
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Reloaded the cheap head for a third trip, but this time with a fresh new band.
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There goes the trend...
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And once again the cheap head with a fresh band arrives closed.
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And once again it is a bit short of wide open on entry.
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Well I'm fresh out of different mechanical heads that I'm willing to fire (Sorry, Cabela's Instinct, I like my arrows) so that concludes this testing. It was certainly educational for me. I'll certainly be keeping my eyes open for a good rear deploying broadhead. While over-the-top heads have been great for me over the years, containing them during such a harsh launch from this bow all but guarantees you'll have a small entrance wound. Having both an entrance and exit wound is a plus so why not have both if its an option?

This makes 159 shots on the Micro 400 TD and after polishing the latches, it is performing perfectly.
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Re: Mechanical head premature opening test (Graphic heavy)

Post by mchurch » Thu Mar 19, 2020 9:39 pm

Nap killzone crossbow would probably work
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Re: Mechanical head premature opening test (Graphic heavy)

Post by mchurch » Thu Mar 19, 2020 10:41 pm

The grim reaper micro hybrid crossbow version has been tested to 500 fps according to grim reaper
Excalibur Matrix Bulldog 400
Single stage trigger tech
Hawke Xb 30 pro sr ir
18 inch Black eagle zombie slayers, spynal tapps
Grim reaper carni four, G5 havoc, Qad exodus, excalibur x act

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