Troubleshooting Broadhead Issues

We guarantee our broadheads will do the job every time when they are shot from a well-tuned bow. But as it happens, bows do go out of tune, we may switch arrows and sometimes we shoot the wrong broadhead. Issues with broadheads not performing like they should can leave us scratching our heads.

Think back to the broadhead you were using last season. Did it hit where you were aiming? Did it do its job? Did it pass through? Did it run into bone and still result in a quick kill? It should’ve and if it didn’t, we need to fix it now. Here are some common broadhead issues we've heard and how to troubleshoot them:

"My broadhead-tipped arrows do not hit in the same place as my field-tipped arrows."

Our fixed-blade broadheads never leave the factory with out being inspected and spin-tested. They will provide perfect flight from a well-tuned bow and arrow setup. And they are so aerodynamic, they often fly great from a not-so-well-tuned bow. Still, we don’t want to compensate for tuning issues. Rather, we want to fix them so we get the most energy and efficiency from our bows.

Start by shooting a 20-yard target with a field point. Now, pick up a broadhead-tipped arrow and try to hit the same spot. If there's a noticeable difference in the placement of your field point and broadhead, it's time to start tinkering.

Check Arrow Alignment

Start with the nock, fletching and broadhead alignment of your arrow. Some folks say indexing the fletching and blades of a broadhead makes no difference when it comes to accuracy, and some say they see inconsistent groups if they don’t. Our opinion is to just do it. It can’t hurt and if it solves the problem, great. If not, move on to the next solution, which is shooting the right arrow spine.

Check Arrow Stiffness

Arrow spine is simply a measurement of an arrow’s stiffness – the lower the number the stiffer the arrow. When you release an arrow, the thrust of the string will cause an it to bend. If your arrow is not stiff enough, it will flex too much, causing air to catch the blades and cause inconsistent flight paths. Try a stiffer arrow and see if that helps your broadhead accuracy.

Adjust Your Arrow Rest

Let’s say your broadheads hit three inches higher and fives inches left of the field point. Start by moving your rest one hash mark, usually 1/16-inch on most rests, to the right (always make rest movements opposite of where your arrow is hitting, both horizontally and vertically). Do not move the rest vertically yet. Make one adjustment at a time, because in many cases, one small fix will cure the issue. Shoot both the field point and broadhead-tipped arrow again and analyze the results. If it is still shooting left, you need to move the rest further right. If it is now shooting right, you moved it too far. If it is shooting dead center but still high, you need to move it down. If you hit the same spot as the arrow you first shot with the field tip, you are good to go, but it usually takes a few rounds of adjustments to get it right.

"My broadhead never passes through."

With the right bow setup, proper broadhead and great shot placement, most shots should past through the vitals of a deer, even if your draw weight is 40 pounds.

Choose the right broadhead

Wasp Archery sells broadheads that cut big holes, like the Jak-Knife with its 2-inch cutting diameter and the Jak-Hammer with a 1-3/4-inch cutting diameter. But bigger isn’t always better. That’s why we also manufacture broadheads with cutting diameters between 1-inch and 1-1/4-inch mark. As the cutting surface of a broadhead increases, penetration ability decreases. In his article “Hunting Arrows,” published in Ye Sylvan Archer in 1943, Fred Bear wrote, "A deer can be killed with most any combination if no heavy bones are struck, but what is needed is something that will crash through where the going is tough." And in a 10-year study called Momentum, Kinetic Energy, and Arrow Penetration (And What They Mean for the Bowhunter) by Dr. Ed Ashby stated, “Lack of penetration is the number one cause of a hit being non-lethal.”

The deeper your broadhead penetrates, the more damage it does. Cutting diameter is only one variable in the penetration equation, but it is one that is easily overlooked. Oftentimes, thanks to broadhead commercials and ads, bowhunters, especially young ones, immediately associate a bigger cutting diameter to better penetration. But, selecting the proper cutting diameter is not about what is “cool” or what you see on TV. It’s a matter of selecting the right broadhead for your setup.

Use our broadhead selector to choose the best broadhead for you bow setup and the type of game you are after.

Know Where to Aim

Knowing where to aim can help troubleshoot a lot of broadhead issues.
Knowing where to aim can help troubleshoot a lot of broadhead issues.

Our broadheads are made to crash through bone though there's not one on the market that will compensate for poor decision-making in the field. There are some shots you should never take. Trauma to the lungs and heart is the goal for an ethical kill. How to get your arrow through the vitals as quickly as possible means being prepared for different shot situations you may face.

Study our guides on where to shoot a deer, bear, hog and turkey.

Shoot a Heavier Arrow

Here’s how a bowshot works: When a bow is drawn back, energy is stored in the limbs. When the string is released, the energy is transferred to the arrow, resulting in velocity and speed. As the arrow moves downrange, the energy is shed.

There is a sweet-spot on the spectrums of kinetic energy (almost only dependent on velocity/speed) and momentum (dependent on both mass and speed). Finding that sweet spot of kinetic energy and momentum is what will result in more pass-throughs.

If you would like more kinetic energy, but are at the maximum amount of draw weight you can comfortably pull back, a heavier arrow will increase kinetic energy produced. But keep the laws of momentum in mind. A heavier arrow loses speed (feet per second) faster than a lighter one, so your bow’s sight will need to be adjusted and the maximum distance of shots will need to be considered. Figure out the momentum and kinetic energy of your arrow here.

Replace the Blades

It’s often assumed that broadhead blades are sharp. But that's not always the case with a lot of other manufacturers. A dull broadhead will not do the job as efficiently as a sharp one no matter what type. In the end, it all comes to pushing razor-sharp blades through the vitals of an animal. And, if you need a replacement for your Wasp head, simply click here

Most of our broadheads come with a two sets of replacement blades. If you shoot our heads, you know how tough the ferrules and tips are, and after shooting an animal, you can usually replace the blades and use it again. So if you want more pass-throughs, buy the sharpest broadhead blades and the market or replace your used blades with new ones.

"My broadheads don’t fly well at long distances."

It’s frustrating when you can hit the target at 30 yards, but struggle to come close at 40 or 50 yards. If your bow is in tune, your arrow’s front of center probably needs to adjusted.

Adjust the Arrow's Front of Center

While front of center (FOC) is less relevant in some bowhunting situations (short-range shots), it can be critical in others (long-range shots, when shooting low-poundage bows and fixing trajectory issues at the range). It’s generally accepted among archery experts that a high FOC will fly with good stability, but will shed its trajectory quicker and nose-dive. An arrow with low FOC will hold its trajectory better, but can fly erratically. We recommend an arrow setup with 10-15 percent FOC for hunting setups and optimal accuracy – especially at long distances. Manipulate FOC by shooting a lighter or heavier grain broadhead.