Open-on-Contact Examined

Broadhead expert Wade Nolan continues with the science end of expandable broadheads.

Sponsored by: Swhacker Broadheads



It's time to get objective. We don't have to believe everything we're told. Maybe using reason and science may be a better solution. Let's apply some common sense to the Open-on-Contact (OOC) Mania that has swept the bowhunting industry. Make no mistake; mega-marketing dollars has influence on bowhunters…at least for a while.

We bowhunters all understand the importance of a big low exit hole for blood trailing. It's common knowledge that 90%+ of all bowhunters hunt and shoot from treestands. We also understand that an arrow carries with it a defined amount of kinetic energy. Experienced bowhunters also know that we don't shoot a two inch fixed fixed-blade broadheads for two reasons. They would fly poorly plus we don't want to use up all of the arrows kinetic energy making a two-inch wide, high entrance hole. It is the inside vitals and the exit hole that matter most.

Let's examine these issues. Wise use of kinetic energy (KE) is paramount. KE is measured in Foot Pounds of Energy or FPE. Most bowhunter are shooting an arrow/broadhead combination that is yielding 48-70 Foot Pounds of Energy. Today's fast bows have given us an edge in ample energy to use to promote penetration. Most bioengineers agree and recommend that you need 45 FPE as a minimum to kill a deer. Brown bears require 70+ FPE and a Cape Buffalo 100+ FPE. Some African countries even stipulate FPE minimums for certain dangerous game.



Deer are not dangerous game but the wise use of KE is critical. If you're shooting a broadhead that is an open-on-contact style and it is opening to 2-inches on the outside of a deer, you are wasting KE cutting hair, hide, some non critical meat and ribs. All this is happening prior to the blades arriving to the area where they must perform…the animals vital organs. Not only that, but the entrance hole you are purchasing with the limited amounts of KE is high on the animals side. The entrance is usually in the top 1/3 of the deer.

My laboratory tests have shown that after sharp blades pass through hair, hide and ribs or shoulder blades the edge is severely dulled. I conducted this testing with green deer hide, and deer ribs cast in ballistic gelatin. It is authentic as it gets. My research has shown that dull blades that have lost most of their KE enter the vitals of the deer. This is the case with the Open-on-Contact broadhead design. You now have a recipe for wounded and lost.



I speak to ten thousand hunters each winter at Sportsman's dinners and have asked them about their success with open-on-contact mechanicals. I hear story after story about poor penetration, lost blades and lost deer. Once I explain the fallacy in the Open-on-Contact strategy they have and ah-ha moment. Logic tells you that it is a bad plan, although a little glitzy.



Here is a new and well thought out and scientific approach to broadhead performance. What if a mechanical broadhead cut a clean one-inch hole upon entry and then blows through ribs with specific blades designed to split bone (reverse angle chisel sharpened blades). Then instantly, via the simple and reliable principal of a fulcrum, a set of virgin sharp two-inch wide blades scissor open and slice through the vitals. Now the arrow has ample remaining KE to cut a massive 2-inch+ low exit hole. That sounds like a scientific approach to tagging bow-killed whitetails and it is.



We now have a broadhead that looks like it may have been designed by a rocket scientist. In fact it was. The bone chisels blades are a solid 1-inch wide and cut a vicious entrance hole plus blow through bone with the tested chisel action. No rubber bands or cheesy friction strategies are used to hold the blades in place. A band made of polyester resin slips into a groove on the ferrule and holds blades securely closed until they hit meat.

The Swhacker uses a minimum amount of KE while getting the one-inch chisel blades inside. Once inside they snap open and giant virgin sharp blades are deployed just where you want them. The slicing trip through the vitals is fast. The remaining KE punches a giant exit hole a Samurai would be proud of.





So now that you have thought about it a bit, do you want to take the marketing or the science into the whitetail woods with you? What's in your quiver?

For more go to: Swhacker Broadheads

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