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 Post subject: 2 or 3 blade for elk?
PostPosted: January 22nd, 2015, 1:41 pm 
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Hoping someone can give me some advice on broadhead choice. I am looking at the VPA 2 and 3 blade heads in either 225 or 250 grain. I will be shooting a 50-60lb bow. My main concern is penetration if I were to hit the shoulder blade. Please lay the advice on me.
Thanks


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PostPosted: January 22nd, 2015, 3:46 pm 
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Elk are as tough as they come. In my opinion you are more likely to have success if your head can slide off bone and continue on. I have killed 4 or 5 bulls with 3 blade BH's and while I like the cutting surface I was not sold on their ability to slide off bone if needed. Even though I would get rid of the needle point.

I went back to Magnus 2 blades w/bleeders and put steel inserts in them.(I wish the bleeders were a little weaker because I have seen where the should have broke but have not.) I round the tip a bit hoping that it will not stick in bone but move around it.

Granted these are just my opinions but I do believe this made a difference this year when I caught a Moose in the worst possible spot on the shoulder. I initially thought I blew through the scapula but after I got the blade back from the butcher I found that the BH slide almost a full inch before it continued into the goods, and the bleeders did break. That is with a 63-65# recurve, under 30 yards, and he did not get far.

All that said I save my 3 blades for bears, I still like the hole they cut. Good luck

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PostPosted: January 22nd, 2015, 4:03 pm 
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Something that isn't talked about much when 2 blade-3 blade comparisons come up, is the blade relation/orientation to opposing blades. A 2 blade head has the 2 blades lined up 180 degrees opposite, which forms a perfectly straight cutting (or splitting) path. The broadhead is somewhat free to follow that line if an edge encounters bone, meaning the the head will take the path or line of least resistance when obstructed. Also and obviously, it takes less energy to push a 2 blade (really a single blade) through living tissue, it requires much less energy to split thin or soft bone with a 2 blade vs a 3 blade.

A 3 blade head has the 3 cutting edges set in type of 'Y' configuration, 120 degrees between edges. None of the edges align or work in concert with the others to produce a linear cut or split. That suggests to me that a 3 blade will act differently on bone vs a 2 blade, but not necessarily with less good results. In some cases the 3 blade may serve to shatter or 'blow up' bone and allow for the arrow to penetrate deeper. The real truth is that too many variables exist to call one head better than another. BUT...it is most people's belief that a 2 blade will achieve deeper penetration the majority of the time.

I've had great results with both types on big game, but on 'bigger' game my arrows will be sporting a heavy 2 blade, figuring that type of head ups my odds of better penetration, better blood trails (2-sided bleeding) and more animals recovered.


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PostPosted: January 22nd, 2015, 5:15 pm 
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I prefer a big heavy two blade too. And, in fact, I killed a bull with a VPA 250 two blade this past August. It went through ribs on both sides with the arrow left hanging off side by the fletching. You can see pics in my thread below. The broadhead is tough and great penetrator. It takes a bit getting them sharp and for this reason, I am likely switching heads this year. I'm considering werewolfs.

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PostPosted: January 22nd, 2015, 8:32 pm 
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Very much appreciate the first hand experience, thank you. While we are at it, does anyone know of a 250 grn. single bevel, I can't seem to find one?


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PostPosted: January 22nd, 2015, 9:00 pm 
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The VPA comes in a 250 gr single bevel as does the Abowyer brown bear. The tuff head is another good one. If your set on 250 grains you'll have to get the 190 gr and pair it up with an adapter. I'm working with some 225 gr tuff heads on 75 gr adapters now.


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PostPosted: January 22nd, 2015, 9:19 pm 
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My personal favorite 2 blade for a number of years has been the Abowyer Wapiti. Slightly shorter and wider than their Brown Bear, and weighs 175 gr. I add a 75 gr steel adapter to make 250 gr head weight. I'll put this head up against any other 2 blade head at any price.


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PostPosted: January 22nd, 2015, 11:33 pm 
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I've hunted elk on and off since 1995. I have more hunting experience than killing experience but I managed to take a cow and bull with my home made recurve bows.

The cow was shot with a 70lb recurve using the big two blade 160 grain Magnus. That was a very slick pass through at close range. 8 -10 yds. Ribs were broken on that shot.

The Bull was a very exciting encounter shot at four feet off the end of my arrow point...Yep, four feet....God is my witness...Anyway that was a 60 lb recurve and the big magnus had the large bleeder insert installed. The arrow point pushed the hide out on the far side but full paradox didn't help penetration. One rib broken. Incidentally I tried to send that story for consideration for the PBS magazine but I evidently didn't use the right email.

I had a bull get away after a weird result from a hit in the chest from a well known three blade design. I cant blame the head but that arrow hit the pocket and it will always haunt me. I've noticed that I have a problem with looking over the end of my arrow with larger three blade designs.

My buddy Chris killed a nice bull with a pass through with a STOS broad head.

I love Magnus broad heads. I've tried other designs and I keep coming back to Magnus. I use the big bleeder inserts for whitetails. These days for elk hunting I modify the bleeders by cutting them down to a about a 3/4" cutting width. I feel like the smaller bleeder might not slow up the arrow as much on a rib hit or at least part of a shoulder blade on an elk.

For a while I used the Zwickey No mercy with a modification to use a vintage bear razor insert. (see the Picture). I really liked this because I got a single bevel and a breakaway razor insert. I used a Dremel tool to cut the main slot then another short slot at the rear end of the ferrule to retain the bleeder. After J-B welding a slot modified steel threaded adapter into the ferrule I would clean out the rear slot with a toothpick so the bleeder would snap into it. The inserts fit as good or better than on the bear razor heads. They performed great on whitetails but I never got one into an elk. I have a limited supply of the old razor inserts and I let daughter Al hunt whitetails with these hybrids. If I had a huge supply of these razors I would probably use these hybrids exclusively.

Sorry,I talk too much.............Here's the bottom lines..........finally.......

I like to push as much broad head as I can, but these days for elk I really think that trying to get a pass through is more important than a large entry hole.

My money is on the two blade heads for elk. I like the width at least 1 1/4". Single bevel makes sense and if Magnus makes their big two blades with a left wing bevel, I will be signing up.

Sounds like you have a good choice already in mind.

Bellow is my Hybrid Zwickey No mercy with a bear razor head insert.
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PostPosted: January 23rd, 2015, 12:20 am 
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Austin Nelson wrote:
Hoping someone can give me some advice on broadhead choice. I am looking at the VPA 2 and 3 blade heads in either 225 or 250 grain. I will be shooting a 50-60lb bow. My main concern is penetration if I were to hit the shoulder blade. Please lay the advice on me.
Thanks

Austin, will you be using a 50 pound bow or a 60 pound bow? If 50 up to 55 pounds I would definitely stay with a 2 blade head. If you are going to shoot 60 it is possible to use a 3 blade effectively. I elk hunt with a 60 pounder and have used both. I have also shot completely through them using 3 blade heads.

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PostPosted: January 23rd, 2015, 6:42 am 
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Bill Kissner wrote:
Austin Nelson wrote:
Hoping someone can give me some advice on broadhead choice. I am looking at the VPA 2 and 3 blade heads in either 225 or 250 grain. I will be shooting a 50-60lb bow. My main concern is penetration if I were to hit the shoulder blade. Please lay the advice on me.
Thanks

Austin, will you be using a 50 pound bow or a 60 pound bow? If 50 up to 55 pounds I would definitely stay with a 2 blade head. If you are going to shoot 60 it is possible to use a 3 blade effectively. I elk hunt with a 60 pounder and have used both. I have also shot completely through them using 3 blade heads.


Not sure what my bow setup will be at this point.

Also, those abowyer heads look like they will be perfect, hadn't seen those yet.
Thanks guys


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PostPosted: January 23rd, 2015, 9:22 am 
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A also vote for the Abowyer Wapiti head coupled with a steel insert. I have used these heads on deer and killed quite a few. They shoot good, sharpen fairly easily, penetrate well, and produce a good blood trail.


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PostPosted: January 23rd, 2015, 7:01 pm 
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Bill Dunn sure has shown lots of support to the PBS and he doesn't make a head that wouldn't be a great choice for elk. As others have said steele inserts can help you get weight up if necessary. It would be a Kodiak for me.


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PostPosted: January 24th, 2015, 12:07 am 
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Plenty of guys prefer a 2 blade for elk, and I'm sure there is good reason for that. But I've always been a 3 blade shooter, and have had excellent results with them. If you are shooting a heavy enough bow as Bill K mentioned, the 3 blade will do a fine job. No, I probably can't blow through a scapula on an elk, but I don't try to shoot there anyway. Even the best 2 blades can't guaranty to bust through every shoulder hit.

It gets into the never ending 2 blade versus 3 blade debate. 2 blade might bust through more bone on hits to far forward. 3 blade has more cutting surface on hits to far back. (My own personal biggest worry) Hit them tight behind the shoulder where we all try to, and either head will do a wonderful job given enough bow.


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PostPosted: January 24th, 2015, 12:10 am 
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Oh, and I second Julian's advice on any of the Grizzly products regardless of whether you go with 2 or 3 blades.


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PostPosted: January 24th, 2015, 7:25 am 
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Like Joe, I tend to favor a long narrow 3 blade. My way of thinking is even with a 2 blade, chances of penetrating an elks shoulder are not good. Either head will easily penetrate ribs so I have much more to gain by shooting a 3 blade if the shot is good or too far back, too far forward and all bets are off anyway.


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PostPosted: January 24th, 2015, 7:51 am 
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Aaron and Joe definitely make good points too. Particularly Joes comment about hitting back. My personal opinion about broadhead choice has always been about what gives me the best advantage in my most likely miss. If my most likely miss is a gut shot, a three blade is what I want. If my most likely miss is a shoulder where I need penetration then I want a two blade. I feel I hit more shoulders than guts, so I choose two blades. As joe mentioned a good hit with a heavy bow and sharp broadhead will work no matter what.

.... Joe does also make a good point about the probability of getting through a shoulder, if a two blade has a very low probability of getting through an elk shoulder anyways, then I should protect against the gut shot instead and shoot a three blade.

... Sound logic. Still going to shoot two blades because I have confidence in them, but it's a good point.

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PostPosted: January 24th, 2015, 9:56 am 
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That's been my logic for choosing the 3 blade Ted. For the past year I've been shooting the Grizzly Instinct and I credit the head with at least a couple of recoveries on animals that I feel would have been lost with many other heads.

Another point on the shoulder hits is that an animal hit in the scapula without penetration will very likely recover from the wound. A gut shot animal will die - period. I want to make sure that I find it and I think that a blade gives me the best chance of that.


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