The New Wave of Expandables

by Daniel E. Schmidt, D&DH editor

If you’ve ready any of my reports on broadheads over the years, you’ll know I’m very
particular when it comes to flight characteristics and, more important, out-of-the
box sharpness. You’ll also recall how I nearly swore off all expandables after spending
an entire bow-hunting season shooting nothing but expandables for my D&DH article
“How Are Expandables Holding Up?”

That was 11 years ago. Ironically, I shot 11 deer that fall with 11 different styles
of broadheads. Some were two-blade models; others three; and some were simply different
bladed versions of the same head. All of them killed the deer, but the overall impression
was that expandables were not as reliable as fixed-position heads.

Broadhead designs have certainly come a long way since then. This has been fueled
mainly by Field Logic’s surge with their Rage broadheads, which are essentially the
old Snypers originally produced and patented by Bruce Barrie (of the then-Rocky Mountain
Broadhead Co).

DDH Publisher Brad Rucks used those Snypers and reported nothing but good things about
them way back then. For whatever reasons, I failed to notice those heads in those
early years and my early testing did not include them. I wished I had, because, in
hindsight, they were some incredibly deadly broadheads — scalpel sharp and easy to
tune.

When Rage heads took off a few years ago, there were some problems with QC on the
blades and premature opening. These problems have since been rectified, and the company
is producing some ultra-nasty deer killers. What has impressed me most is this year’s
redesign of the blades’ “dog ears” that hold the O-ring. This has virtually eliminated
the annoyance of having a broadhead open up when you gently push it into a foam quiver.
Blade sharpness has also been excellent (and consistent) from pack to pack. With bow
season just days away, I have visions of putting one of these new and improved Rage
heads to work very soon.

Another third-generation expandable that has impressed me a lot this summer is the
Blood Runner by New Archery Products. I’ve shot the 100-grain version extensively
while practicing and can’t wait to give it the ultimate field test on a deer. This
broadhead looks like an ordinary cut-on-contact two-blade. However, the design, featuring
a spring action, causes the blades to move rearward upon impact, thus “expanding”
from a 1-inch cut to 2 1/16 inches. Best of all, it is razor sharp right out of the
box.

Out of my bow, the flight characteristics of both the Rage and the Blood Runner are
practically identical. What’s more, the practice heads, regular broaheads and field
points all had the same impact point.

What are your experiences … Likes and dislikes … With today’s expandables? Share
your thoughts here by clicking the reply tab.

NAP Blood Runner:
3474_1_sbol.JPG
Rage 2-Blade:
rage-2-blade-broadhead.jpg

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