Tuning Tips For Improving Broadhead Accuracy

Nearly all modern broadheads from major manufacturers are great heads with great flight characteristics, and if you are having trouble getting those broadheads to fly great, then you need to change something, and it isn’t the broadhead…

(That isn’t a quote, but my summary of the article.)

…I thought it may be helpful to expound just a bit on why people do have so many issues getting their broadheads to fly correctly, and what they can do to get better broadhead flight.  I am by no means an expert on this, but I have learned a few things in my journey to great broadhead flight.

Broadhead Design

All broadheads problems start with fact that broadheads, especially fixed-blade heads, are less forgiving than field points.  The main reason for this is that there is more surface area on broadheads, and this surface area increases the possibility of turbulence in flight.  Whereas a field point, with less surface area, can cut through the air quicker and with less interruption, the larger surface area of a broadhead is more easily steered by varying forces.  This is why mechanical/expandable broadheads can fly better for some bowhunters; less surface area = less disturbance.  That said, mechanical broadheads aren’t necessarily more accurate, it is just that they are better at covering up the imperfections of the shooter, the arrows, or the bows tune.

Mechanical broadheads don’t fix anything, they just cover the problem up.

So in no particular order, lets take a look at a few issues.

It is you!

What comes first, the chicken or the egg?  In the same manor, what is the first step in shooting broadheads accurately, a tuned setup or a competent shooter?  We can hand a perfectly tuned bow and arrow setup to a novice shooter and he would have insufficient accuracy.  However, we could also give a great shooter an insufficiently tuned bow and arrow setup and he could achieve fair, but not great, results.  Your shooting abilities, or rather should I say the shortcomings in your abilities, are only magnified when shooting broadheads.  (Remember, broadheads aren’t less accurate, but they are less forgiving.) Of course the greatest accuracy comes from a great shooter with a great setup, but let me say this, before you worry about trying to have great accuracy with broadheads make sure you have worked out the fundamentals of shooting your bow.  How is your anchor?…Your grip?…Your alignment?…Your follow through?…Ultimately, how good is your accuracy and consistency?

Tuning

Before we get into the specifics about tuning our bow, it is important to note that if you want good broadhead accuracy, then you need to tune your broadheads early.  I know guys that have paper-tuned and walk back tuned their field points to perfection, but when it came to broadheads they had to start at square one again.  I am not suggesting that you shouldn’t paper tune or walk back tune with field points, but what I am suggesting is to use those tuning methods to get “close enough” and not to achieve perfection.  Once you think you have a decent center shot, nock height, etc., go right ahead and start trying to broadhead tune.  If you spend a bunch of time fine-tuning without even bringing your broadheads into the mix, it is likely that you have just wasted a bunch of time.

Arrow Problems

When it comes to shooting broadheads, the performance of your arrow is more important than ever.  It is crucial that your arrow is spined correctly.  Another important factor in your arrows is making sure that the arrow insert is correctly square to the broadhead.  There are two fixes for this issue: 1) Adding a washer (or two) between the broadhead and the insert, and 2) removing material from the arrow insert.  Using a washer is a “quick fix” and does have some drawbacks – it adds weight to the end of your arrow, and it is a temporary solution that can be easy to forget about.  The best method to square your inserts is to use an arrow squaring device, which removes material from the insert.  A commonly used device for this is the G5 ASD, however, there are some DIY jigs that you can build as well.

Draw Weight

Sometimes just a quarter turn, up or down, in your draw weight will help bring the point of impact of your broadheads and field points together.  This adjustment typically affects vertical flight more so than horizontal flight, but I have experienced improvements on both axis by slightly increasing my draw weight.  Anytime you adjust your draw weight, even if it is a slight change, make sure that you adjust each of your limbs the same amount, and in the same direction.  When you have your bow tuned, and your limb bolts set, I recommend that you mark their locations for future reference.

Center Shot

When it comes to broadhead tuning I find that the most important adjustment is typically in the horizontal axis of my rest, aka the “center shot”.  Small (very small) adjustments here can reap big dividends in your tuning.  When you have your broadheads hitting to one side of your field points, try to bring them together by adjusting your rest.  Any adjustments made to your center shot should be tested at a short-range (5-10 yards) and a long-range (40+ yards) to guarantee that you are still getting a straight arrow flight.  Unlike adjusting your site, when it comes to adjusting your rest you want to move the rest in the direction that you want your broadheads to go.  If your broadheads are hitting to the right, and you want to bring them to the left, then move your rest slightly to the left.

Let’s Hear It

This is by no means a definitive list of the factors of broadhead tuning, but it is a list of what has helped me most.  How about you? What have you found that works for you? I would love to hear what has helped your broadhead accuracy.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shawn Harrison

Shawn Harrison is our expert in hunting. He was born in Alaska, so hunting was his hobby since high school. Later, Shawn took a Hunter Training at Alaska Department of Fish and Game to structure his knowledge and now he is open to share his knowledge with our readers. Shawn is taking ‘Safety First’ approach on all of his trips, especially is some people are going hunting for the first time.

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