Gear Review: Fixed vs Hybrid Broadheads

Fixed vs. Hybrid – Best Hunting Broadheads Testing of the Industry Best Fixed with the Best Hybrid Broadhead.

By: C.B. James

In archery hunting the goal is to deliver a surgically sharp broadhead to the vitals of your hunted quarry and that is absolutely 100% essential to bow hunting success that includes bone crushing, penetration and integrity of the cut…but not all broadheads are equal in type, quality, weight or penetration qualities.

With this in mind, rather than test several excellent broadheads in the market today we decided to focus our testing but on only two:

The tried and true Muzzy 100 Grain three blade is by far the best “Benchmark” as this broadhead has taken more game animal than any other fixed blade on the market… Period. You can argue that all you wish, but that is a fact. We then use that benchmark broadhead (that I personally like very much) and compare to the newest Hybrid by Dead Ringer Hunting, the 3 blade Rampage in 1.5″ blade cutting at 125 grain.

The Rampage is neither a fixed or mechanical it is truly a Hybrid design whereby it is cut on close and cut on open and folded cutting blades forward with a canted blade to the primary blade shaft.

We put them both through the “wringer” (No pun intended to Dead Ringer), in true outside testing methodology in non-controlled real-world environments with heat, humidity and wind. Our testing began at a day that was 80% humidity at 90+ degrees and 15 MPH cross wind to the target.

We ranked the two broadheads by a simple test methodology:

How We Tested:

Weight/Variance and Cutting Diameter: We recorded the average weight of the heads in each set (3-6 heads), and noted any variance from the supposed 100 or 125 grain weight. We then used a caliper to measure the tip-to-tip width of both deployed mechanical and fixed blades and recorded the measurements.

Penetration: We shot each head five times into a metal chair at a distance of 30 to 80 yards at over 301 feet per second shot from a fast Hoyt 2012 Carbon Element Bow with a Draw Length of 27.5″ and arrows measuring 26.5″ using the Easton Infused Carbon Full Metal Jacket Arrows (340s) and/or PSE Stealth Hunter 300s in the Carbon X Weave versions also at 26.25″ to 26.5″ in length.

The depth of penetration was measured and recorded from Ballistic Medium of equal length for both types of arrow shafts and both brands of the broadheads tested to each arrow shaft.

Quality: Scores were assigned according to the perceived quality of construction, fit-and-finish, and consistency among each set. As quality of manufacture is reflected in tight assembly tolerances, heads that did not meet the 100-grain to 125-grain target weight were downgraded and/or not included in the testing. I found both Muzzy and Rampage to be dead on accurate in weight that is an indication of the company that is dedicated to quality.

Integrity: Heads were graded according to their ability to remain intact when shot through metal 1/16″, two ?-inch sheet of drywall board and bone.

Scores of both consider and reflect how much damage was incurred shot to shot then averaged by damage summation or severity of the incurred damage.

Sharpness: Each head was scored for its perceived sharpness, fit and feel to the eye and touch and impact damage to the target.

Tune and Transition from Field Tips to Hunting Broadeads — The Muzzy shot about 3″ to the right vs. the equal weight field tip. This is not always a major problem as most hunters I know (myself included) shoot at target what they shoot at their intended game… however it is notable that the extreme spread was in excess of 3″ to the right from equal weight field tips with the Muzzy.

Fixed Broadhead: THE MUZZY 100 3-blade:

Muzzy broadheads have harvested more animals over the years than any other manufacturer’s heads, and the Muzzy 100 is the flagship of the company’s product line.

When the Muzzy hit the scale, they weighed in at exactly 100 grains impressive… and demonstrates high quality control within the company gets my vote! This level of quality is indicative of hunting passion behind the product.

The Muzzy received high marks for quality, with excellent fit-and-finish and has been a favorite of mine next to the Blackout by Redhead you can get at Bass Pro.

The Muzzy blades are surgically very sharp and sustained absolutely no damage when shot through our sheet rock. The 1 3/16-inch cutting diameter is large, and the head achieved 9 3/16 inches of penetration. Additionally, Muzzys are made in America at the company’s Cartersville, Georgia, headquarters.

However, when the Muzzy was put to the torture test through 1/16″ steel after 5 shots the blades sustained substantial damage but the tip was razor sharp and highly effective at still penetrating the ballistic gel well over 9″ at 35 yards. Shooting through the steel was intended to destroy the blades that was the goal for both Muzzy and for Rampage in our testing.

The goal was to see how much integrity that would retain shot to shot.

THE RESULTS and SCORE:

Weight and Variance: 100 gr. (+/- 0) 0-10 Score =10
Cutting Diameter: 1 3/16” 0-10 Score =9
Penetration: 9 3/16” 0-10 Score =10

Overall: B++
Quality: A+
Integrity: B+
Sharpness: A-
Tune and Transition from Field Tip to Hunting Broadhead C+

Hybrid Broadhead: THE RAMPAGE Dead Ringer 3-blade:

This was my first test ever with a Hybrid. We have tested many mechanical type broadheads but this is NOT a mechanical this is truly a unique design that cuts closed forward and as it opens to fully deployed and it does so quickly and effectively.

When the Rampage hit the scale, they weighed in at exactly 125 grains. Also like Muzzy that is very impressive and demonstrates high quality control. This level of quality is indicative of hunting passion behind the product and the people of Dead Ringer Hunting.

The Rampage that was tested was the 125 grain 1.5″ cut version and it received very high marks for quality, with excellent fit-and-finish and is well engineered and flew equal to 125 grain field tips, in fact, I can say for a fact they flew better than field tips and appeared to buck the winds exceptionally well with a slight edge over the Muzzy in accuracy.

The Rampage blades as tested were sharp and sustained absolutely no damage when shot through our sheet rock. The 1 1/2″ -inch cutting diameter is large, and the head achieved 11 1/16 inches of penetration! This level of penetration was simply unbelievable at over 35 yards. Keep in mind the Sheet rock test had bone in between two pieces of sheet rock and the blades pulverized the bone upon impact.

When we subjected the Rampage to the torture test through 1/16″ steel it took over 5 shots for one of the blades to finally break and two sustained bends and the cutting tip was lost the blades that remained were razor sharp and highly effective at still cutting and penetrating as compared to the completely sheered off blades of the Muzzy 100.

Shooting through the steel was intended (like the Muzzy testing) to destroy the blades… that was the ultimate goal to see how much integrity that would retain shot to shot and what remained after this torture test and at what point it stopped penetrating.

The Muzzy cut through steel five times with blade integrity lost after the 2nd shot. The Rampage lasted 6 shots and lost only one blade and lost the tip on the 6th final shot at 80 yards.

The transition from Field Tip to the Hunting Broadhead, (field tip of 125 grains to 125 grain Rampage 3 blade) was the BIG plus here. Shot for shot, shot to shot the point of impact did not change!

You could tune at distance (in my testing 40-80 yards) with field tips of equal weight to the 100s or 125 Rampage Hunting Broadheads and there simply was NO change in point of impact. Maybe one of the reasons Dead Ringer Hunting does not include practice tips like Muzzy … because they simply are NOT needed!

THE RESULTS and SCORE:

Weight and Variance: 125 gr. (+/- 0) 0-10 Score =10
Cutting Diameter: 1 1/2” 0-10 Score =10 (and they offer a 2″ cutting blade)
Penetration: 11 1/16” 0-10 Score =10

Overall: A+
Quality: A+
Integrity: A-
Sharpness: A
Tune and Transition from Field Tip to Hunting Broadhead A+

Pictures of the testing:

In the above pictures, judge for yourself the integrity of the blades. The shots each were 5 shots through metal, bone and sheetrock for both the Muzzy and the Rampage 3 blade Hybrid. The integrity of the Rampage is obvious.

On the 2nd shot the Muzzy lost two of its three blades and on the 3rd shot the Muzzy lost all cutting edges. After the 6th shot the Rampage finally bend two blades and partially broke one. The 1.5″ and 2.0″ Cut with the Rampage is also the added advantage over the Muzzy in sheer cutting damage and allows for a tremendous wound channel going in closed equals that of Muzzy and on pass through is considerably larger exit wound.

The performance of this new Hybrid is obvious in flight, performance and integrity and makes one reconsider what a “Mechanical” Blade can do… this new Rampage is far from simply a “Mechanical” it has qualities forward closed equal to that of a fixed blade with the flexibility of a mechanical upon opening up and doing the magic upon exit!

Simply an outstanding hunting broadhead that deserves to be in your hunting quiver and set in nock position at your quarry this hunting season. Give them a try!  http://www.deadringerhunting.com

C. B. James:  a.k.a., “the Original Weatherbyman”

I have been engineering cutting-edge hunting rifles and components since 1996. Now, getting mostly into archery, my passion is to develop and deploy some of the fastest bows made and to further assist those bow manufactures starting out with state-of-the-art designs. We build custom release aids to help in almost 100% reduction of bow torque and giving another 3-5 fps advantage over the competition. We can engineer some really trick devices in T6061 and Carbon Fiber that are very special one-up designs.Corey B. James weatherbyman@weatherbyman.net

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One Response to "Gear Review: Fixed vs Hybrid Broadheads"

  1. Rissa West   2013/07/08 at 8:09 pm

    Love this! Great review with no bias! I know you love the Muzzy, so it is refreshing that this is written in this perspective there are just other tools and solutions out there. Well written and it speaks well of both the Muzzy and the Rampage. I will be trying the Rampage in my hunting this year with you… I look forward to hunting in 2013 and 2014 with you on many hunts.