Would you compare the point of impact of your mum raising her voice to scold you to your dad’s friendly nudge to get started with the room cleaning? No. In a similar way, the point of impact of field points and fixed blades broadheads are different. Fixed blades have an altered plane of wind, and hence these fly differently.
Now be it a marketing gimmick or the truth, makers want bowhunters to believe that it is possible to make fixed-blade broadheads that fly like field points. From our findings, as long as you have made the perfect marriage between the tuning of your bows and your arrows, you can do it!
Challenges Against Making Fixed Blade Broadheads That Fly Like Field Points
If there is anything Godsend for bowhunters, then the accuracy of field points and the fixed blades of a mechanical bowhead, two in one, would be one of the entreaties in the list. Although it is hard to find something that works like it, it is possible to make things work out by proper tuning.
The two big challenges you’ll face while tuning a fixed blade to act as a field tip are maintaining accuracy and consistency. The two major ways to tackle these challenges are properly tuned bows and properly aligned arrows.
To determine what path your arrow will take along the way, you have to pay attention to the push. Your arrow will never hit the target if the strings on your bow move and shake up, down, or sideways as you continue to push it.
Now, some bows are easier to tune, while others are not. Whichever bow you own, the room in the nock travel is not so much that you can radically tune your bow into something else. Within that limited ability of adjustment, you have to make do or simply switch to another bow because a less rigid one will not give you the accuracy of field points with a mechanical bowhead.
Here are four things that you need to check to tune the bow:
-spine of the arrow adjustment
-rest and nock alignment
-your form of shooting.
So, let’s get started!
Arrow Spine Adjustment
You may be tempted to think that your bow is in tune and everything else aligned, just because you can shoot tight groups with your field point. No, sir, field tips are actually very forgiving, and this won’t happen if you are planning to use a fixed blade broadhead. This will get worse if you have a bow that shoots fast. So a badly tuned bow will cause a poorly thrown arrow with a mechanical broadhead to use its blades as wings and drift off the target.
To avoid poorly throwing arrows and before giving yourself the blame, it is important to note the situation of your arrow spine. Always check and recheck your arrow spine. Any arrow with too stiff or too soft of a spine will never give you a proper broadhead flight, let alone an ambitious field tip flight! And don’t just check for the shaft diameter and length; go for the weight of the broadhead, the weight of the bow, bow length, draw length, overdraw length, release type, bow type, and string type whale you’re at it.
Rest and Nock Alignment
You’ll find release-aid shooters have a nock point. Usually, there is a ⅛-¼ inch gap between the edge of the arrow’s nock and the center of the bow’s rest hole. What you need to do is vertically align the rest mounting hole such that it is crossed by the center of the arrow shaft. Now between the string of the bow and the newly nocked position of the arrow, there should be a perfect ninety degrees.
One of the best ways how you can align the forward thrust/travel of the string with your arrow is to make it touch the ground while you look at it from above. If you have a stabilizer, adjusting your arrow’s rest left and right till it is parallel to the stabilizer and shoots just through the limb bolt means that you have done the alignment successfully.
Do you remember when we were kids, and we used to fly paper airplanes? Paper tuning will take a little bit of that visualization and make you go through some serious flashbacks. You will have to imagine your arrows leaving the bow and flying off to paper-tune your arrow.
What you can do is create a tuning fixture by cutting a hole in the bottom of a random cardboard box and use it as a prop. Don’t forget to put a copier paper across this hole!
Now standing away from your paper, adjust the nock such that when you shoot, it creates a hole through the copier paper. When you study how the paper has been cut, you will be able to tell how your arrow is flying and adjust accordingly. However, this requires a good amount of time and effort.
No matter which method of tuning you follow, at the end of it all, you will need to sight in the bow to achieve the desired level of bowhunting perfection.
Seeking Professional Help
If needed, you can always change the shaft of the arrow, the arrow itself, the bow if needed. But whatever you do, you need to get to the right tuning proportion. If you think your brain wouldn’t be able to tell this from that, it is better not to ruin what you currently have and seek help from local archery shops. They can do the hard-to-do paper tuning or run shaft tests to make things perfect!
While arrow tuning, you have to keep in mind the following:
The first thing that you need to look out for when choosing broadheads is making sure that they do not have twisted, crooked heads. Instead, they should have perfectly straight ones. As long as the tip is not perfectly aligned with the center of the shaft, there is no way you will hit the target right. This is why always make purchases from renowned broadhead brands.
Reducing the weight of your arrow can help you increase its speed. But if you are compromising on the size and shape of the fletch to cut down on your arrow’s weight, this may be a bad idea. Field points do not need plenty of fletch guidance, but broadheads do. So you need a good fletch when trying to make your broadhead copy the field tip accuracy.
If you have a regular shaft, you can use 5-inch feathers or 5-inch vanes. For arrows weighing less than usual, 3-inch feathers or 4-inch vanes usually do the trick. But if you want more guidance due to their low weight, which may cause more velocity, you should take the regular usage options. Also, make sure that you don’t have a perfectly straight fletch, but a helical one.
Checking the FOC
The FOC is the front of the center balance of an arrow. When we talk about an arrow’s balance point, we call it the FOC. The more the distance between the center of the arrow and its FOC, the more leverage it has to correct the arrow’s flight, and the easier it becomes for you.
For broadhead arrows, the FOC should usually be 12-15 percent. If your FOC is lower than that, you will have to change your broadhead, but don’t do this at the cost of getting a heavier arrow spine.
This will again take you back to square one, and you will have to start tuning the bow again. So, if you are unsure how to do this, visit your local archer quickly! And if you did it yourself, great work! Even too much FOC is bad, as it makes your arrow forward-heavy and messes up the aerodynamics. However, shafts with a length of more than 26 inches should go for higher FOCs for a more accurate and easier flight.
Making sure that your broadheads are aligned and your arrows are straight are really important tasks because this is where you will be sealing things. There is actually a tool called Arrow Inspector that checks the bend in your broadhead tips and misaligned arrows and saves you from witnessing horrible arrow flights. So you can have your arrows checked to make sure that after everything, it will at least fly well.
While straightness is one of the most important things, an error margin of 0.005 inches more or less does not cause so much trouble that you will need to go for entirely new broadheads. However, if you have shafts that have suffered a lot of wear and tear with this error margin, chances are you need the change for the perfect straightness and, thereby, the perfect flight!
As you can see, it is possible to make fixed-blade broadheads that fly like field points with the right tuning, And if nothing else is working after trying all the tuning steps, tricks, and techniques, it is always possible to switch to another broadhead that may work out.
And at any stage, if you think you need it, just ask a professional archer, and you’ll be glad you did!