Background and Mission Statement
I have been a shooter for several years, both precision rifle and more importantly archery. One thing that has troubled me about the archery community is there is a lack of data based analysis of archery equipment like there is for the long-range shooting community. There is not "Mysteries of the Wearhouse" for the archery world. There are hundreds of articles and websites dedicated to analyzing the ballistics, harmonics, glass clarity, and environmental factors that contribute to making a long-range shot. Conversely, the vast majority of the "data" and evidence surrounding archery is anecdotal, where most claims are supported by "well I had X happen to me so I don’t use X" rather than having a scientific basis.
My goal with this page and YouTube channel is to use a series of quantitative tests to evaluate archery equipment and technology. I want to cut though the inconsistent anecdotal nonsense and provide you with tangible date to allow you to make informed decisions on your next purchase.
Each Broadhead will be subjected to the same set of tests, the tests can be categorized into two segments.
The first segment is "the proving bench", initially the broadhead will be evaluated for their consistency for weight, construction, fit, and finish. Next, the boradheads will be attached to an arbor press and the amount of pressure used to penetrate a control medium will be measured. Broadheads will be evaluated with their "out of the box" sharpness. All data will be recorded and evaluated against a bullet field point as a baseline.
The second segment is "at the range". All broadheads will be fired into a high density foam target at 10, 20, 30, and 40 yards. To measure the initial velocity and how much energy is lost as a result of drag velocities will be measured at four different intervals 0, 10, 20, 30 yards. During this test a decibel meter will be move located 10 yards in front of the firing line in an effort to measure sound produced by the arrow and bow. Next the broadheads will be fired into a bare 10% Ballistics gelatin block at 20 yards, the same test will be conducted again with the exception of the addition of a rack of pork ribs placed in front to simulate an animal. After each of these iterations wound cavity and tissue damage will be assessed as well as the status of the broadhead.
Each broadhead will be compared to field points as a baseline, the results will be compiled here to allow for an easy comparison.
Bow accessories will be tested along a similar line, given that most accessories are geared toward increased Stability of flight, Velocity, Accuracy, or Silence. Given this similarity of goals the testing will follow a comparable process to what is outlined above.
First a "proving bench" evaluation will access the construction, fit, and finish of the product and encompass installation of the accessory.
Second, "at the range" velocities will be measured at four different intervals 0, 10, 20, 30 yards to measure the impact on velocity. There will also be a decibel meter present located 10 yards ahead of the bow to measure the noise reduction as compared the bow in a control configuration. The accuracy will be evaluated at 20, 30 and 40 yards, both point of impact shift from field points as well as the consistency of the group.
Testing Apparatus and Controls
For all test I will be using the same equipment and devices to measure/collect data.
Bow - PSE Nova Single Cam
- 70lbs draw
- 29in draw
- whisper biscuit arrow rest
The bow is firmly mounted to a bow stand with a draw lock installed to insure a consistent Point of Aim, draw and release from shot to shot.
Arrow - Gold Tip Hunter
- 300 Spine
All broadhead tests will be conducted on these arrows to control for a variance across arrow brands and materials.
Chronograph - Cadwell Ballistic Precision measurements will be taken from 0-30 yards in 10 yard increments to establish a measurement of drag created by the broadhead
Ballistic Gel - Clear Ballistics 10% Media
Decibel Meter - yet to purchase
Statistical significance will be defined as the industry standard as .05% meaning if one variable increase a measured attribute by -+.05% it will be considered a significant measurement.
1. Serrations do not significantly increase wound creation and inhibit penetration.
2. "Exotic" broadheads do measurably increase wound creation e.g. Toxic & Core series.
3. Three plus blade broadheads are more likely to be damaged during rib cage testing.
4. There is a direct negative correlation between the efficiency of the bow dampener and the velocity imparted to the arrow.
5. Ferrule material has no significant impact on arrow recover-ability.
6. Traditional vanes create a more consistent stable flight path as compared to alternative methods.
7. Fixed broadheads will create a more consistent wound pattern.
8. Lighter boradheads will out perform heavier broadheads.
9. Arrow material will impact arrow penetration, Graphite will penetrate the farthest.
10. Arrow material does not significantly increase the volume of noise created when fired.