Penetration

Discussion in 'Bowhunt or Die® - Web Show' started by tkarrow, Nov 13, 2015.

  1. tkarrow

    tkarrow Weekend Warrior

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    Time and time again, I see beautiful deer being hit with very little penetration of the arrow. I really think fixed heads would be going deeper or right through thus providing a more ethical result...

    Consider this guys.. you are pushing product for sponsors and acting as role models. Lead by example.
    T
     
  2. Justin

    Justin Administrator

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    There's no question that fixed blade heads will typically penetrate better than a mechanical. It's simply the nature of the product. However I don't know that they create any more of an "ethical" kill. In fact I'd go as far as saying a mechanical head will provide a quicker kill and better chance at recovery on an animal that isn't perfectly shot than a fixed blade will by creating a larger wound.

    Take a look at this episode as an example. Ty liver shot that deer, plain and simple. Regardless of what type of broadhead he used the shot placement would have been the same and the end results would have been the same. Because the arrow didn't get full penetration doesn't necessarily mean the kill was any less ethical.

    I believe penetration is more greatly dictated by arrow weight, shot placement and shot angle than the size of the broadhead. I've shot 4 animals with very large mechanicals this year and had complete pass throughs on 3 of them. Todd has killed 2 great bucks and had complete pass throughs on both with a 2 3/8" mechanical broadhead.

    IMO we lead by example in the choices we make while in the field and the way we conduct ourselves during these situations. Not by achieving full pass through shots on every animal we shoot at.

    Just my 2 cents. I appreciate your input and thanks for watching!
     
  3. Blarney22

    Blarney22 Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Agree with Justin, I believe its more about arrow weight than Fixed vs Mechanical
     
  4. patches2565

    patches2565 Weekend Warrior

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    Justin's post FTW
     
  5. maxpetros

    maxpetros Grizzled Veteran

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    I wholeheartedly agree with Justin. I shoot mechanicals and I've yet to shoot a deer where the arrow doesn't blow clean through (including hitting the of offside shoulder) and bury in the dirt. But I am shooting a 470+ grain high doc arrow.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  6. muzzyman88

    muzzyman88 Die Hard Bowhunter

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    I've been noticing this a lot on this show recently and went back to season one and began taking note of the head used and the penetration, etc. It really does make me wonder. There are some shots, that I am astonished didn't blow completely through. For instance, the buck Justin shot this season that the head "lodged" in the brisket area. I'd like to know more about that one. I've never seen a head get caught up on such thin cartilage.

    It just doesn't seem like these guys are getting very good penetration on shots that IMO, should have yielded better. Really doesn't make me want to shoot the broadhead of choice they're using.
     
  7. ShaneB22

    ShaneB22 Die Hard Bowhunter

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    My arrow is 391 grains with about 13% foc and I didn't have a problem with penetration and I'm using a 1 3/4" three blade expandable head.
     
  8. trial153

    trial153 Grizzled Veteran

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    Broadhead style is a huge determining factor of arrow penetration. I am surprised that anyone would even consider arguing otherwise.
    If your going to use a large mechanical broadhead you should be compensating for the short comings of the design to make sure you will have adequate penetration. The obvious way is buy using arrow with substantial mass weight. However this alone isn't enough, you also have to propel the arrow with enough momentum to over come the short comings of the broadheads design ( a design that impedes penetration).
    So arrow weight isn't enough. Let's use an example.

    500 grain arrow with a two inch mechanical broadhead being shot at 275fps.
    Verse
    500 grain arrow with a two inch mechanical broadhead being shot at 175 fps.

    Even though they are same weight one set up is better able to over come the disadvantages of the mechanics of the broadhead in regards to its ability to penetrate.

    When most people think of mechanical heads they wrongly assume that the force needed to open the head is the biggest impediment to penetration. This usually isn't the case. Unfortunately mechanical heads tend to have other design short comings that work against penetration. The first being that the cutting surfaces are generally further back from the point of the head with deployed blades. Most testing will show that the best penetrating heads tends to have cutting surfaces at the front of the head, hence cut on contact heads mechanically have an advantage. The next short coming of most mechanical heads designs is the not only the blade width but more impartially the blade angle creating a chopping effect verse a slicing effect.
    These are all design factors that need to be over come to get adequate penetration from some mechanical heads.

    It a just amazing how poor the penetration is on some of these heads on a thin skinned whitetail, I would cringe to think how they would perform on game of any real size.


    For the record I am not anti mechanical broadhead. They do have a place and use. however I feel they are overused but the general bowhunter and unfortunately the bowhunters most likely to use them incorrectly tend to be the least knowledgeable and most influenced by marketing.
     
  9. Sota

    Sota Legendary Woodsman

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    I agree trial I cringe when I hear is my bow fast enough for a rage as if that is their primary concern about using the broad head. I prefer to use a bow turned up to 11 with mecanicals.
     
  10. tynimiller

    tynimiller Legendary Woodsman

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    I'll be honest I'm shocked at the lack of penetration as well...but some desire the HUGE cutting width over punching through. Well placed and chosen shots are far more important than penetration in my opinion, because even a field point in the right spot will kill a deer in seconds.
     
  11. tynimiller

    tynimiller Legendary Woodsman

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    I feel I am going to be copying and pasting this on many threads both hear and other places. Spot on.
     
  12. muzzyman88

    muzzyman88 Die Hard Bowhunter

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    ^^ This.

    I'm not knocking the BHOD crew. They're my favorite show because of the honesty and "realness" of the hunting.

    These guys seem to take a lot of slightly to quartering to shots. With an arrow behind the shoulder, it should have blown through like a hot knife in butter IMO. They are just not getting the penetration that I'd expect on shots that I have had personal experience with. Of course there are lots of variables, but I think the penetration on quite a few of those shots is pretty bad all things considered. Don't get me wrong, a dead deer is a dead deer. I'm just more baffled by the sheer lack of pass throughs on this show.

    I'd love to hear more from the BHOD guys on their specific setups.

    I just know personally if I was getting that little of penetration out of my setups, I'd be looking for a different head or different head/arrow combination.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2015
  13. Matt/TN

    Matt/TN Die Hard Bowhunter

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    I've had zero issues with a large cut mechanical. I've shot 7 deer with my bow over the last two years and had pass thrus on all of them, with a 2.3" Rage Xtreme. I think it's more about your setup and knowing your limitations. I'm shooting a fairly fast bow, with a decently weighted arrow and at good speed.

    Mathews Chill X #71 @ 29.5"
    Gold Tip Velocity Pro 300s 420gr
    Rage Xtreme 2.3"
    301FPS


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  14. muzzyman88

    muzzyman88 Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Matt/TN, looking at signature, I believe you're setup has the "horsepower" to push large cut heads through. But if you look back at the BHOD crew's shots over the years, you will notice a great deal of deer running off with only 6-8" of arrow in them, regardless of shot angle. I'd be very concerned with that kind of performance honestly.
     
  15. Matt/TN

    Matt/TN Die Hard Bowhunter

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    There's a lot of variables to it I believe. I'm in the business of recommending setups to people, so without knowing the particulars of their setup, I can't really comment on it. There are a lot of BHOD members, we need to be careful not to paint with a broad brush.

    I will say this though, the one that shocks me time and time again is Todd. He's shooting the biggest diameter broadhead, as well as probably the lightest arrow out of the whole team and consistently gets pass thru's. How can that be explained?

    Too many variables....


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  16. muzzyman88

    muzzyman88 Die Hard Bowhunter

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    I'm not knocking the guys. Love the show. But I think I can safely say that at least 80% of the shots they take, even the very high percentage broadside or quartering away shots don't penetrate much more than 10-12". Its fairly easy to see with most of the arrow hanging out the entry side as the deer run off.

    Again, this is not a knock on the BHOD members. They're obviously good bowhunters, etc. Its more of a curiosity thing with why a lot of their shots don't at least burry up to the fletchings.

    I agree there are tons of variables. But, deer are thin skinned, ribs are brittle. Even on 40 yard shots the only thing that should slow that arrow down is the ground on the other side.

    I remember years ago using a Rocky Mountain Snyper mechanical (they were the original Rage style head). I hit a buck right on that shoulder blade. The arrow hung up the fletching on the opposite side and eventually fell out as the deer ran off. I wish I would have saved that shoulder blade bone because it was a pretty cool hole through it. This out of a 63lb bow and light 370gr arrow at 34 yards. The deer made it about 100 yards before piling up.

    I realize that was ONE deer and lots of things come into play. But on the BHOD show, if you get that many shots getting that little of penetration, something seems a bit off.

    I can truthfully say that every deer I hit anywhere behind the shoulder and below the spine passed completely through.
     
  17. Skywalker

    Skywalker Grizzled Veteran

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    I shoot an arrow that's about 400 grains out of a bow that shoots right around 300fps with Rage 2 blade. I have gotten full penetration on every deer I have shot out of this setup. I've had some complete pass through's, some fully penetrate the entry and exit wound but stay in the animal for a short distance, and I've had one break off the arrow.

    I choose the mechanical blade over a fixed because of the wound channel it makes. In a perfect world every shot I take would be a heart/lung shot and I would be able to see my buck fall within sight. That's just not reality and some times the arrow doesn't hit the deer where I want it to. This year was a prime example. My buck shift forward in the less than half a second from the time I released the arrow to the time it hit the buck. The arrow hit 8-10 inches back of where I aimed. I was able to go back and check it out on film. My arrow hit exactly where I was aiming, the buck just wasn't there anymore by the time it got there. That gut shot buck expired rather quickly because I hit a major artery. If I only had an 1 1/4" cutting diameter, I may have not even hit that artery and that buck may have traveled a great distance causing me to never recover him. That extra cutting diameter could have been the difference. Now I also understand the opposite could occur if I happened to hit the buck forward and hit the front leg or shoulder joint with an expandable.
     
  18. Justin

    Justin Administrator

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    I just went back and watched all 25 big game animal shots that we've shown this far this season. Here's what the numbers really are.

    14 - Complete pass through with arrow exiting animal entirely at shot. (56%)
    4 - 10" or more penetration with exit hole (16%)
    3 - 10" or more no exit hole (12%)
    4 - 10" or less no exit hole (12%)

    So in reality the numbers show that 72% of our shots are creating both an entry and exit hole in the animal, which is what I consider a pass through. Whether the arrow comes out of the animal or not is irrelevant to me so long as there's 2 holes.

    Of the 4 that passed through and didn't come out of the animal one of them was my mule deer where the arrow hit the rocks that he was bedded on and stopped moving. The 2nd is Tim's antelope which was hard quartering in and the arrow buried past the fletchings - that's at least 24"+ of total penetration. The other 2 are Dean's whitetails which both buried up to the fletchings. I'm personally not familiar with his setup so I'm not sure how much poundage he's pulling. Perhaps he can answer that.

    Now let's look at the shots that didn't have exits.

    10" or more penetration, no exit.
    Tyler Rector IL doe - steep quartering away shot, arrow buried almost to the fletchings. 60 yard recovery.
    Richie Music IL buck - quartering away, double lung, arrow hit opposite side leg/shoulder. 80 yard recovery.
    Paul Morrison KY buck - quartering away, double lung, arrow hit opposite side leg/shoulder. 80 yard recovery.

    10" or less penetration, no exit.
    Justin Zarr 1st IL buck - Arrow hit low, impacted back of front leg bone, stuck in sterum. 80 yard recovery.
    Todd Graf WI doe - Shoulder shot. 100 yard recovery.
    Clinton Fawcett IL buck- Spine shot. 0 yard recovery.
    Ty Huston IL buck - Liver shot. 300 yard recovery.

    Of all the shots listed above the only one that puzzles me on penetration is Ty's buck. I have no idea why that arrow didn't penetrate further than it did. By all accounts it should have. Although again, I don't know what his setup looks like as far as poundage or how well the bow is tuned.

    I guess the point of all of this is that we often get things stuck in our heads and they alter our perception of what is really happening. We see Ty's buck with bad penetration and maybe we see Dean with a pair of shots that bury up to the fletchings and think "Man, why don't they ever get pass through shots?". Fact of the matter is well over 1/2 of our shots are blowing all the way through the animal and nearly 3/4 of them are creating both entry and exit wounds.
     
  19. ruteger

    ruteger Guest

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  20. Matt/TN

    Matt/TN Die Hard Bowhunter

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    This made me laugh a little.

    Good work Justin, way to present some facts!
     

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