I’ve shot a 100-grain broadhead for as long as I can remember, mostly because my arrow of choice has been carbon. It’s recommended to shoot the 100-grain with lightweight arrows, and to opt for a 125-grain head on heavier, aluminum shafts. This year, out of curiosity, I decided to try a heavier broadhead, and the results have been impressive.
I experimented with the Drone 100-grain and 125-grain models. I use a Mathews Z7 Extreme with a draw weight of 62 pounds. I shot the 100-grain broadhead, then marked where it hit. Then I screwed the heavier one onto the same arrow and shot from the same distance. The heavier broadhead shot less than one inch lower, but I noticed the penetration had increased. I shot again from farther away, and came up with the same results, which ultimately convinced me to switch to the heavier broadhead. Here’s a few reasons to consider making the switch yourself.
While a lighter arrow equals more speed, it also results in less momentum. Throw a wiffle ball at a window at 25 mph and it will probably bounce off. Toss a baseball at 10 mph, and the window will likely break. The greater the mass of an arrow, the more force it takes to slow down. This is good when your broadhead reaches its downrange target. The result is better penetration. A heavier arrow is also much more forgiving and results in a quieter shot because it absorbs the energy from the limbs to the arrow.
A 125-grain broadhead will increase the momentum of your arrow, resulting in deeper penetration.
Increased Front of Center
A heavier broadhead also increases the front of center (FOC) of an arrow. This isn’t the center of the arrow, but the location of where the arrow balances after components (nocks, fletchings, inserts, broadheads) are installed. Knowing the FOC will assure you have a good compromise between stable arrow flight and range, and aids in choosing the proper broadhead grain. Check out the steps to finding the FOC on a recent blog on bow tuning.
An arrow with low FOC can fly erratically. You typically want between seven to 11 percent FOC, but some bowhunters swear by a higher one, sometimes as high as 15 percent. A 125-grain broadhead turned out to give me around 10 percent FOC, which helped to stabilize my arrows faster, gave the fletchings more leverage to control flight and increased penetration.
All these benefits are great, so why do so many shooters still opt for 100-grain broadheads? A heavier arrow flies slower. You lose about six feet-per-second for every 25 grains of arrow weight added. This used to be an issue in the past, and might be for some shooters drawing back less weight, but today’s bows are capable of shooting 300-plus feet-per-second. Losing a bit of speed is worth the increase in penetration.