Five fixed-me­chan­i­cal combo broad­heads tested and ranked

Outdoor Life - - HUNTING - by TONY HANSEN


than ever are shoot­ing hy­brid broad­heads, and for good rea­son. They com­bine the “it will al­ways cut” reli­a­bil­ity of a fixed-blade with the mas­sive cut­ting di­am­e­ter of a me­chan­i­cal. In putting th­ese five hy­brids to the test, some of which are brand-new, we found a suite of broad­heads that fly great and cut huge holes in stuff—but with enough dif­fer­ences among them to make things in­ter­est­ing.

1.BLOODSPORT GRAVEDIG­GER $40 for 3 blood­sportarchery.com

The Gravedig­ger flew well and the blades were sharp. Con­sis­tency be­tween each head was ex­cel­lent. The fixed blades have a 1-inch di­am­e­ter, and the me­chan­i­cal blades open to 2 inches. The re­ten­tion sys­tem was mildly con­cern­ing. In­stead of re­ly­ing on O-rings or bands, users “tune” de­ploy­ment by ad­just­ing a tiny hex screw.

2.MUZZY HB-TI $50 for 3 fer­a­dyne.com/muzzy-broad­heads

This head is crazy stout, with beefy, easy-to-re­place blades. There are no O-rings or re­ten­tion col­lars to mess with. Ar­row flight and dura­bil­ity were ex­cel­lent. The fixed blades are a sin­gle-bevel de­sign, which I like, but ser­ra­tions make them dif­fi­cult to re­sharpen. The me­chan­i­cal blades are strong, though not as sharp as they should be for the price.

3.RAGE X-TREME 4 BLADE $30 for 2 fer­a­dyne.com/rage-broad­heads

The X-treme has an ob­scene cut­ting sur­face (3-plus inches), mak­ing it the big­gest cut­ter in the test, even though the fixed blades are only 7∕8 inch wide. That cut­ting sur­face comes at a cost, both fi­nan­cially and struc­turally. It was the only head that failed the tire test: One blade snapped as it passed through the first layer. Plus, re­plac­ing the blades is any­thing but sim­ple.

4.SWHACKER HY­BRID $50 for 3 swhacker.com

This head fea­tures thick, stout blades that were plenty sharp. But the heat­shrink-style ring that keeps the blades folded in flight is also strong—so strong, in fact, that I won­dered if the me­chan­i­cal blades will de­ploy when they hit a deer’s soft vi­tals. To test this, I shot into the cen­ter of a much-used lay­ered tar­get with each broad­head. All but the Swhacker de­ployed.

5.GRIM REAPER HY­BRID $40 for 3 grim­reaper­broad­heads.com

Th­ese strong, durable heads com­bine a 1 3∕16-inch fixed-blade cut with a 1 1∕2-inch cut from the me­chan­i­cals. The de­ploy­ment sys­tem is out­stand­ing, us­ing an in­ter­nal spring sys­tem rather than O-rings or bands. This does make blade re­place­ment a bit chal­leng­ing, how­ever. They also ex­hib­ited some plan­ing is­sues—not sur­pris­ing given the fixed-blade width.

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