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Broadhead Tuning.

Broadhead tuning requires a bow that is properly tuned in order to achieve accurate and consistent arrow flight. Shooting form, proper center shot and proper nocking point must be achieved before any broadhead shooting takes place. Fetching clearance with the bow and rest is also vital and overlooked by many shooters in the tuning process. Fletching contact (even with feathers) can present an incorrect center shot or nock point adjustment and cause mass confusion during the tuning process. Incorrect arrow spine can also show center shot problems for finger shooters and nocking point problems for release shooters. Finger shooters put a horizontal torque on arrows and release shooters exert a vertical torque upon arrow release.

Broadheads must be perfectly straight and aligned on the arrow. Broadheads should be assembled on the arrow, tightened and SPUN like a top, on a hard flat surface to check for straightness (NO WOBBLE). Try your broadheads in other Good, Straight arrows untill you get ZERO WOBBLE.

One important point to remember, adding a broadhead to the end of an arrow is like adding small fletchings, any angle that arrow leaves the bow is generally the angle that the arrow will want to follow until fletching is able to control the flight of the arrow. If everything is in a straight line, straight and consistent arrow flight is easier to achieve.

Occasionally inserts or outserts (for carbon arrows) need to be turned in order for the broadhead to spin properly. 2-part epoxy is good for this purpose as its slow cure time allows the archer to check the arrows as the epoxy begins to harden. Broadheads should be turned on the arrow as the epoxy thickens until the arrow spins true. Then stand the arrow up straight for the glue to cure.

Hot melt adhesive is also useful(especially for aluminum arrows). But working time is very short and occasionally must be reheated to achieve a true spin. All of these problems must be addressed prior to an archer tuning broadheads. If all of these problems are corrected broadhead tuning can be a snap

Typically compound bows are tuned to shoot a bullet hole through paper, recurves and long bows are best tuned to shoot a bare shaft straight. Both methods are generally done at ranges of 3 yards, 6 yards, and 10 yards.

Generally perfect broadhead flight can be achieved through this method. If for good broadhead flight is found, then arrows are shot 20, 30, 40 yards, etc. and checked for broadhead grouping. When broadheads group well, then consistent arrow flight is achieved. Occasionally some minor rest and nocking point adjustments may be necessary to achieve good grouping.

Broadhead groups that consistently deviate high and low can benefit from minor nock adjustments. Conversely, groups that show a horizontal deviation can benefit from minor center shot adjustments. In both situations adjustments should be made minutely in 1/16" increments or less, in either direction until groups close and become more consistent.

Many bowhunters still believe that consistent grouping of fields points and broadheads into the same sight point is possible and sometime this can happen, but this today's faster and harder shooting equipment, this can be difficult. If a bowhunter wishes to attempt this, adjustments can be made to nocking point and center shot to move groups closer together.

Broadheads react to the direction in which they are launched much more that target tipped arrows. If broadheads group to the left of field points then the arrow rest should be moved to the right. If broadheads group above field points, nocking points should be lowered. This adjustment can be reversed for opposite conditions, but remember to make adjustments in very small amounts and to pay attention to broadhead groups begin to suffer.

Broadhead tuning can be an arduous affair or can be very simple. A lot of time and patience is necessary to achieve this task, but........

As "Bowhunters", we owe this to the animals we hunt, and our reputations as Hunters and Sportsmen to ensure that the most efficient and humane harvest is achieved. One that provides us with adequate sign to trail the animal and a short and humane harvest.

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© 2007 John Hodgdon
Deer Hunting.

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