A common question asked in the archery world, “How can I achieve field tip accuracy with my fixed blade broadheads?”. Starting with a high quality fixed blade broadhead is critical. If you can get a dozen broadheads for $20 on Amazon or online they probably won’t be able to hit the same spot on your target twice no matter how high quality the rest of your setup is. There are many factors that will come into play to find what works well with your equipment. Basing decisions off of your buddies’ recommendations are not always the best place to start, but it is a start at least. Even if he shoots the same bow as you but has a different arrow rest, arrow, length of arrow, draw weight or even form can take a broadhead that is accurate for him and you might struggle to even shoot a decent “grouping” with it.
Where to begin
We would recommend starting the same way as choosing bullets for a rifle. Do some research into what you think you will want to shoot. Do you want a bone crushing chisel point or a razor sharp cut on contact tip leading the way? What weight? How many blades? What size cut? What shape head? Single bevel or double bevel blades? Pick 3 or 4 of the most important features to you and then the hard part... buy them. Buy a pack of each one you think you might like. Shoot them, this is the necessary evil that follows any broadhead purchase. To do things right and be truly prepared when your hunt comes around you need to practice and shoot your broadheads. Start at a simple distance like 20 yards and wait until you have ideal conditions (if you can do it inside even better). By removing variables like wind and humidity we can reach an easier conclusion to what is flying the best. First shoot a control group with your regular field tips. Next step is to shoot a 3 arrows group with each of your new broadheads, if you feel like you pulled a shot repeat the process. At 20 yards, if you have multiple choices for heads that are grouping well, move back and repeat for 30, 40, as far as you plan on shooting. Whichever head performs the best at all you ranges is the head to shoot.
If at closer distances your heads are grouping acceptably but not hitting the same as your practice tips we need to work on something else in your bow setup. You can try to move the rest a little bit left or right or up and down to help move your impact to match up. If you are not able to accomplish that, it is time to head to a pro shop that is able to help you with tuning. Cam timing, paper tuning, walk back tuning, are all places they will help you start. It is possible that you might need to shoot a stiffer or weaker spined arrow in order to achieve the accuracy that is desired. Arrow straightness is important to minimize any extra inconsistency that could throw you off. The straighter the tolerance the better.
If at your starting distance your consistency is noticeably worse with the fixed blades and your unable to shoot a decent grouping, it is time to head to a pro shop to get some help. There is no cure all fixed blade broadhead that will fly perfect for everyone. Due diligence must be done by every archer to ensure their broadheads are flying the same as their practice tips. We would also recommend starting this process before your hunting season begins. The earlier the better.