Don Wilson waited impatiently as daylight finally arrived unveiling three deer feeding near his stand. One was a respectable 8-point and Wilson raised his trusty CAM-X crossbow and launched a Grim Reaper Hybrid-tipped arrow toward the deer. Striking the animal in mid-chest, it dropped like a brick and quickly expired. Wilson knew the “Watch em drop” logo for Grim Reaper but never expected such a dramatic result.
Expandable broadheads have a slender silhouette and often strike point-of-aim just like target points. Additionally, they utilize razor-sharp blades to make large wound channels for quick ethical kills. If the head fails to open, the broadhead acts like a target point. Fixed blades have no moving parts and “always work” giving the hunter greater confidence. Unfortunately, the larger the head, the more likely it will wind plane and not strike like target points.
What About Penetration?
In most cases, fixed blades penetrate better than mechanical broadheads because the opening process and larger blade size create greater friction. With today’s high-speed compounds and super-kinetic energy crossbows, this slight loss of penetration is insignificant. Just as you should test the accuracy of your hybrid heads against target points, do the same with a foam target and you will have confidence in your shot.
Here’s a look at five brands all with different profiles and characteristics except that each has a singular cutting head with a mechanical option that deploys on impact. The best way to test a head from your compound or crossbow is to shoot it into a foam target with a sheet of paper on the front. The paper will show if your broadhead opens upon contact or after penetration.
The Grim Reaper hybrid features a chisel point and four blades, two fixed and two that open. In 100 grains, the 1 3/16ths fixed blade assures a lethal cut with the boost of a 1 1/2 inch mechanical blade that opens upon impact. GrimReaperbroadheads.com
Muzzy Trocar 4-BX Crossbow
This Muzzy hybrid features a hardened steel Trocar tip, a 1-inch fixed blade, and two expandable blades 1 5/8ths inch in diameter for a total cut of 2 5/8ths inches. The blades are offset two degrees for added spin and greater arrow stability in flight. Feradyne.com/muzzy-broadheads
Rage X-Treme 4-blade
Rage broadheads are known for copious blood trails and this double-whammy head should increase that trait. It features a 7/8ths inch fixed blade and a 2.3 inch mechanical made from .035 stainless steel that yields a total cut greater than three inches- 3.1. Heads come with a standard and high-energy shock collar to handle the launch from today’s fastest crossbows. Feradyne.com/Rage-broadheads
Rocky Mountain Switchblade Hybrid 2
Switchblade is an appropriate name for this lethal head that opens two huge cutting blades. It features a 7/8ths inch cut-on-contact tip and a full two inches of expanding, .035-inch stainless steel deployment for huge wound channels. This 4-blade head weighs 100 grains and yields 2.9 inches of lethal cut. Feradyne.com/switchblade
Wac’em 4-blade Hybrid Crossbow
This hybrid features a COC chisel tip ahead of a 1 1/8th inch fixed blade with 1 5/8ths inch of .039 thick stainless steel cutlery waiting to deploy. Offering a total cut of 2 3/4 inches, Wac’em heads come with a complimentary Nocturnal FIT lighted nock Feradyne.com/steel-hybrid-4-blade-crossbow