I’m going to start this off by stating, ‘I love mechanical broadheads!!’ I love their field point accuracy, I love their large cutting diameters, and I love the fact that I can basically practice all summer with field points and not stress about having to tweak my bow just before the season opener.
Now, let me follow that up by confessing my…for lack of better word… ‘guilt’. I feel guilty for cheating, by not being as completely intimate with my bow hunting equipment as I should be. I refer to an intimacy one can only achieve by knowing their equipment inside and out, knowing what buttons to push, and what strings to twist. It’s funny really, that something that sound so complicated and time consuming, really takes no extra time at all.
It’s a safe bet that a solid majority of you reading this article are currently using a mechanical style broadhead, double or nothing says that at one time or another those of you currently using a mechanical head have tried fixed blade broadheads with less than satisfactory results. Am I warm?? Thought so…no need for applause just throw me money.
Let us try to recap your past experience with fixed blade broadheads: Some of you managed decent flight but had to re-sight in your bow for use of fixed blade broadheads due to not having the same POI as your field points; For some, no matter what you did you simply couldn’t get that fish tail out of your arrows flight plan.
Ok, those may not be everyone’s experiences to the letter…but they are mine. I am also proud to say that I have overcome those poor experiences and now, I head to the range/stand with an extreme feeling of accomplishment because I know that no matter what I thread on my arrows…as long is they share the same weight with my field points, they will also share the same point of impact.
I really cannot explain in words the wonderful feelings one experiences at the moment they finally accomplish shared POI between field points and broadheads, since I can’t, I’ll explain how to achieve them.
This is an in depth step-by-step tuning method that will have your field points and broadheads hitting the same POI…which really is the only true tell tale way to know for certain that your bow and arrows are tuned. A bullet through paper will only get you so far…broadhead tipped arrows will only get you so far…there’s no excuse for having to resight in for broadheads after practicing all year with your field points. For some of you this will be so dang easy, you’ll wonder why the heck nobody has explained this to you before.
1 – First things first…make sure the spine range of the arrow is matched to the preferred draw length/draw weight/point weight. Spin test each arrow with broadheads and with field points. If it wobbles, discard it. Wobbly arrows will never group with others and it’ll just lead to headaches. It’s best to weed those out before starting. Adjust just arrow rest for center shot basically by just eyeing it up…seriously, that’s all that is needed for this first step.
2 – Next, start shooting. You may have a little wobble in your flight but as long as you’re maintaining decent groups you’re all set for threading a broadhead. Paper tuning could also be done prior to this, but it’s not really necessary.
3 – At 20 yards and on a broadhead-approved target, shoot a broadhead tipped arrow at an aiming point. Where did it hit??? Lower, higher, right left??? If you’re arrow is spinned correctly, you should only have to move your rest 1/32″ in whatever direction or directions your broadhead missed the POI of your field points.
If you missed low of your field points, raise your rest/lower your nock point.
If you missed high of your field points, lower your rest/raise your nock point.
If you missed left of your field points then move your rest to the right.
If you missed right of your field points then move your rest to the left.
4 – Repeat steps 2 and 3 until your field points and broadheads have the same POI.
Hip, hip, hurray!! Wait, no?! Ok, trouble shooting time.
No matter what adjustments are made, there are still vertical differences in impact. Things to look for: A) Rest spring tension…it could be too stiff or it could be too weak. Play with the tension and see how the arrows react. B) There may be fletching contact on the arrow rest, cables, or bow riser. Make sure there’s 100% clearance. C) dual cam bow…tiller needs to be adjusted. Add half a turn to the upper limb bolt or take half a turn out of the bottom. Observe the arrows reaction to these changes and adjust appropriately.
No matter what adjustments are made, there are still horizontal differences in impact. These are spine issues. This really is the difficult part, but not really difficult part(I know, oxymoron, forgive me). This is where the intimate relationship with ones bow really comes along because this is where arrow spine/draw weight mismatches really start to show. When one tunes a bow, they are tuning the bow around an arrow. There are so many variables that come into play when it comes to arrow spine that it’s not even funny. For all intensive purposes, draw weight will be the only variable we will play with. A bow can be paper tuned all nice and perfect but paper will not show an imperfect spine match with the bow. If you’re arrows are not spinned correctly it’s not going to show up on paper at 6 feet…it will however show up at 20 yards when your broadhead tipped arrow hits 4-6″ right/left of your field points POI.
Whatever you do, leave the rest at center shot. Keep your rests center shot no more than 1/32″ right/left of center. We’re going to play with draw weight the one step that nobody really thinks about because once they settle on a draw weight, they don’t want it to change.
More than anything, people try to shoot too weak of spinned arrows, so start by taking half a turn out of each limb bolt…shoot…repeat. Keep doing this process until the broadheads and field points come together to the same POI. In most cases adjustments shouldn’t have to exceed any more than one complete turn of each limb bolt. If the spread gets worse then go back the opposite way. The only down side to this is that you may end up a few lbs heavier or lighter in draw weight…but for your common MI whitetail, it shouldn’t matter.
There you have it…not only are you completely tuned in for broadheads, but you now have the comfort and confidence of knowing that your bow pretty much cannot be tuned or tweaked any better, and you know everything is matched and the results are the most perfect flying arrow you could ever achieve.