If you think the Wasp Z-Force is just another mechanical broadhead on the shelf, think again. The Z-Force features a groundbreaking ball-bearing system, solid-steel ferrule, 1-5/8” cutting diameter and stainless steel tip.
Zach Weaver, the designer of the new Z-Force, answers some questions about why it is the most lethal broadhead on the market today.
Q: How was the concept of the Z-Force born?
Weaver: We started out knowing we wanted a rear deploying head to add to our line of fixed-blade, front opening mechanicals and crossbow broadheads. But we also wanted it to be so innovative that it left behind all the negative feedback mechanical broadheads have been plagued with over the past few years. We knew we needed to give the bowhunter who tried mechanicals 10 years ago and abandoned them because they were unreliable and flimsy a reason to pick them up again.
Q: What was the process of taking the idea of the Z-Force and getting it prepared to sell to customers like?
Weaver: We first started by testing the durability of the material we were going to use. We started with aluminum, but scrapped it after the blades were falling out. Aluminum was just not strong enough. We switched to steel, did our tests and narrowed the design down from there – beefing up the ferrule and adding material in key places for strength.
Q: How did you test the initial designs?
Weaver: We really put it through the ringer. We started with durability and strength testing, which consisted of shooting the broadhead from a crossbow – so we could put a lot of speed behind it – into layers of plywood. Basically we tortured it to make sure it could stand up to the task of penetrating bone and cartilage. Then we used ballistic gel and deer hide to make sure the blades deployed properly every time it was shot. We measured the diameter of entry wounds and wound channels, as well as penetration from a range of bow speeds. Once we were sure of the reliability and strength, we tested arrow flight in a wide range of shooting scenarios – crosswinds, tailwinds, headwinds, you name it. We compared it to the flight of field points shot from the same bow and were really pleased how close they patterned.
Q: What does the ball-bearing system add to the performance of the Z-Force?
Weaver: Ball-bearings, by nature, have less friction with the surfaces adjoining other surfaces. The blades open quicker and with more reliability. Also, the ball-bearings allow the blades to act independently from the ferrule itself, and again, allow for faster positive deployment.
Q: In addition to the ball-bearing system, what other features make this different from all the other mechanical broadheads on the market?
Weaver: We use a solid-steel ferrule and not compressed metal like most other companies, so the head is strong but also compact. Its low profile cuts down on any aerodynamic issues. Those advantages, along with the well-established process in which we manufacture our blades out of sharpened and hardened stainless steel, are enough of a reason for a hunter wanting to try mechanical broadheads or try a better broadhead to pick up a Z-Force.