Broadheads: The fixed or mechanical debate

Fixed-blade broadheads provide advantages over mechanical broadheads in a number of hunting situations.

While it may seem like the archery version of the Ford vs. Chevrolet debate, consider this point for fixed-blade broadheads over mechanical broadheads.

Recent advances in technology have made the fixed-blade broadhead a lot more accurate. Combined with better retention of kinetic energy on impact, Doug Goins, a Mathews archery pro, sees little benefit in the mechanical blades that have become popular in recent years.

Goins also said fixed blades are more forgiving, provide a better chance for a pass through and, with today’s advancements, fly much truer than they have in the past.

“I locate 97 percent of the deer I shoot if I get a pass through,” he said. “Even if I make a mistake on my shot placement, I’ve found two deer that had deep artery damage because they left a good blood trail. I just don’t think you get as good a hit with a mechanical broadhead.”

Goins also recommends fixed blades for smaller or younger archers who may not pull a lot of draw weight on their bows, with loss of energy on impact the basis for this thought.

“I worry about blade deployment in flight and the kinetic energy lost when mechanicals do employ on impact is another issue,” Goins said. “That reduces the chances of a pass through, and a pass through almost always results in a dead deer.”

In selecting fixed-blade broadheads, Goins likes the smaller, modern makes. His suggestion for a four-blade version is a 125-grain model for archers with draw lengths in excess of 28 inches. He says the 100-grain variety is best for those with less than 28-inch draw lengths.

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Phillip Gentry is a freelance outdoor writer and photographer who says that if it swims, walks, hops, flies or crawls he’s usually not too far behind.