When it comes to crossbow hunting, every part of your setup is important. From your crossbow selection to the scope, bolts, knocks and even the sling you use, it’s all important. However, nothing is as important as the broadhead you choose. Without a good broadhead, you can make the perfect shot and never recover your game.
I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want to do is wound an animal only because I didn’t do my research on broadheads before the hunt. Believe it or not, there are broadheads designed just for crossbows. Let’s take a look at some of the best broadheads in the crossbow world. But first, let’s also talk about the difference in the broadheads available.
Fixed Blade vs. Mechanical
This is one of the most debated topics in archery. Which broadhead is better for hunting big game? To me, it all comes down to personal preference. I have hunted with both styles of broadheads and honestly, I bounce back and forth between the two based on my hunting application.
While each kind has its pros and cons, a well-placed shot with either will take down an animal ethically and quickly. There are a few things to keep in mind when reading over these and selecting the best broadhead for you, though. The first is that with a fixed blade, you’ll have a smaller entry and exit hole than you will with a mechanical. A fixed blade is more capable of a complete pass-through on a deer. Fixed blades are more durable than mechanicals are, but mechanicals tend to have a larger cutting diameter. These are just a few things to take into consideration. I have shot many deer with both broadheads, and I think it all comes down to personal preference. Let’s get into the broadheads.
When it comes to mechanical broadheads, I think Rage has a corner on the market. This brand is known to create massive wound channels and fast recovery times with good shot placement. The brand offers five different broadheads specifically for crossbows.
The main two I want to focus on are the Hypodermic crossbow and the Crossbow X blade. Both broadheads are offered with or without shock collars, which are little collars used to help keep blades in place. They come in two different weights: 100- and 125- grain broadheads, both of which are capable of two-plus-inch cutting holes. They offer both styles of broadheads in three-packs. The brand also offers replacement blades and collars for both broadheads.
With crossbows shooting more than 400 feet per second these days, speed is a concern with mechanical broadheads. Slick Trick RaptorTrick X is the solution to this problem. These all-steel broadheads are designed to not deploy in flight, no matter how fast your bow. They are capable of a two-inch cut on contact, and they come in one weight: 100 grains. Slick Trick also offers a four-blade, fixed-blade broadhead. The XBOW crossbow broadhead was designed to quickly stabilize shorter bolts while in flight without sacrificing accuracy. These are offered in three weights: 100-grain, 125- grain and 150-grain. They are also all steel and are capable of a 2¼-inch cutting diameter.
According to the Grim Reaper website, these broadheads can be shot through steel drums, plywood and 10-foot brown bears. If that’s not enough to make you at least want to give them a try, I don’t know what will. They offer both fixed blade and mechanical broadheads in 100-,125- and 150-grain formats. These broadheads also can be shot out of the 400-plus feet-per-second bows. The original mechanical broadhead only takes one pound of pressure to open its three blades, cutting a 2¼-inch hole on impact.
New Archery Products offer 18 different models of broadheads just for crossbows. Since they offer both fixed-blade and mechanical broadheads at good prices, it’s no surprise that they make the list. The NAP Spitfire Double Cross for crossbows is their staple broadhead for crossbows. This is for good reason; these are a four-blade broadhead with the blades open opposite of each other forming a cross. This makes for massive wound channels from the two-inch cutting diameter with the rear bleeder blades. These broadheads come in only 100-grain weight.
Another solid choice from NAP is the new Endgame fixed-blade broadhead. These broadheads offer a 13/16-inch cutting diameter with an oversized bone-breaking tip. These are 100-grain broadheads.
If you have hunted deer for any amount of time, I’m sure you have heard of Muzzy. This company has been providing quality fixed-blade broadheads for as long as I can remember. The main two broadheads I would look at for crossbows are the Trocar XB and the Muzzy ONE Crossbow broadhead. Both broadheads are offered in 100- and 125-grain weights. The Muzzy ONE Crossbow broadhead is machined from a single piece of stainless steel and has a cutting diameter of 1⅛ inches. The Trocar XB has replaceable blades and a cutting diameter of 13/16 inches.
Helix broadheads are one of the newer broadheads on the block. Don’t let that fool you, though. These fixed-blade broadheads are some of the best on the market. They offer two different models, the FJ2 and the FJ4.
Let’s start with the FJ2. It is a single-bevel stainless steel broadhead designed for maximum penetration. It comes in six different grains and three different cutting diameters. The 100- and 175-grain broadheads have a cutting diameter of 1⅛ inches. For the 125- and 200-grain, the cutting diameter is 13/16 inches. The 150- and 225-grain broadheads have a cutting diameter of 15/16 inches. These are available in singles or in three-packs of broadheads. Building on the FJ2 broadhead, the FJ4 is the same broadhead with two added bleeder blades. This formulation allows for a bigger cutting surface of over two inches on all six different weights. Helix also offers sharpeners to keep broadheads razor-sharp for multiple hunts.
Whether you’re into fixed blades or mechanical broadheads, there are plenty of quality choices on the market. The main thing to keep in mind when selecting broadheads for your crossbow is that they are in fact made for crossbows.
I know some people believe that you can shoot any broadhead from a crossbow, but that is not the case. Crossbows are capable of shooting speeds in excess of 400 feet per second, so you need a broadhead able to withstand those speeds, especially if they are mechanical broadheads.
The other thing you need to do is select the broadhead that best suits your style of hunting. Some companies will offer single broadheads, which allows you to sample multiple types without a lot of cost. Lastly, once you make your selection, get comfortable with it and practice shooting. After all, shooting broadheads is one of the most important parts of your crossbow setup.