Fine Tuning Broadheads

For the hunter, this is the bottom line, broadheads that fly true and straight where you look every time! It would be nice to think that with all the tuning you have done to this point that you could just glue on matching weight broadheads and get perfect arrow flight, that rarely happens but you should be close! The blades of a broadhead try to plane and steer the arrow so any small tuning problems that were not detected prior will be magnified greatly. I can't emphasize enough how important it is to shoot your broadheads and correct any flight problems BEFORE YOU GO HUNTING WITH THEM! After tuning and practicing with your broadheads, be sure to re-sharpen them to a razor edge.

The first step in tuning your broadheads is to go through the tuning process for your field tips, next is installing the broadheads. Straightness is a must, spin them on a flat table or in a cresting jig to check for wobble. You can spin them on the tip but the very tip can be filed slightly off center showing a wobble that won't cause a flight problem or vice versa.

In theory, the orientation of the blades to the fletching or your sight window should make no difference but....I feel they should at least all be the same from arrow to arrow and I mount 2 bladed heads horizontal and 3 bladed heads "V" up. I do this for two reasons, most folks mess up a release more often than any other mistake. This results in more side to side "kick" than normal and a 2 bladed heads mounted horizontal will not plane as badly, arrow rotation due to helical fletching starts slowly so the arrow is flying for several feet before full rotation starts. The other reason I mount my heads this way is I don't like anything sticking up into my sight picture that isn't there normally when I'm practicing with field tips. Let's get shootin...

Get back 20 or so yards from a suitable broadhead target and start shooting field tips and broadheads. Our goal here is to get your broadheads and field tips grouping in the same spot. If they don't, you will try to make adjustments in you "aiming" depending on which arrows you are shooting and that won't happen with a case of buck fever! Take a look at the diagram below:

Tables/broad1.jpg

If most of your broadheads and field tips are grouping together, but one broadhead strays once in awhile, check to see if it is the same one that strays. Look for mis-aligned broadhead, nock, or bent shaft. If it's a different arrow each time that strays, slightly increase your brace height with 2 or 3 twists in your string, make small adjustments here, it usually doesn't take much. If that doesn't work, decrease the brace height slightly. A brace height adjustment usually gets rid of occasional flyers and small spine problems caused from tuning, but won't do much for the "human" caused flyers however.

If all your broadheads are grouping together but somewhere other than with your field tips, slight nock point changes and spine changes will bring them in. Make all adjustments one at a time and small, evaluate the results before making more changes. If you make a change in something and things get worse, put it back and go the other way! If most of your broadheads are shooting stiff and a brace height change doesn't work, adding a touch of lead in front of a short wood taper or broadhead adapter should fix it, or arrows a 1/2" or so longer will soften them a little. For weak indications, going from a long broadhead adapter to a short will knock off a few grains, shortening the shaft if it's a little too long will stiffen it up a little too.

Once you get them grouping together at 20 yards, if you want to fine tune even better, wet the feathers of your broadheads until the feathers are matted down, repeat the process! Having that huge buck show up with matted feathers after a rain storm, is not the time to find out you have tuning problems!