Small Game Broadheads

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This season I was out grouse hunting with my bow and I decided to shoot a grouse that was perched in a tree. I was using my standard hunting arrows fitted with a Nocturnal Nock and using Muzzy SG-X Small Game broadheads that run $21.99 for a 3-pack. A pass-thru shot left me with a nice meal but my arrow was long gone. This got me thinking about the different small game broadheads and costs per head that are available for hunting small game. As it stood, that grouse cost me about $35 in the cost of that lost arrow, which is crazy!!

I like to keep my small game arrows a similar weight to my hunting arrows so that my 20 and 30-yard pins still apply. Using the same arrows with stainless outserts, arrow wraps, and lighted nocks is a bit overkill. Plus, it is quite costly (both in time and money).

So, the search for a better option began!

First, I nipped into Jim Bows Archery and picked up the bulk judo point tips at $18/3-pack. Then I headed to Bass Pro Shops, where I purchased a pack of Adder Points (that are placed between your field tips and arrows) for $11.99 per 6-pack and another pack of Muzzy SG-X small game broadheads. Finally, I went to Home Hardware. Yes, Home Hardware. You see, I found a thread on a forum where guys were making their own heads and I was curious how they would perform. So, following their guidelines, I purchased all the necessary parts to build this new head for a whopping $1.95 per head.

  • DSC7552 Small Game Broadheads
    Adder Points
  • DSC7546 Small Game Broadheads
    Muzzy SG-X
  • DSC7560 Small Game Broadheads
    Home Made Heads
DSC7561 Small Game Broadheads

The weights for the small game broadheads came out to be 100 gr for the SG-X and Judo points, 120 gr for the Adder Point with 100gr field point included, and 144 gr for the homemade head.

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With the added weight of the homemade head, I was able to utilize some older arrows. Without the added heavy insert they are still in the same weight range, which is a huge cost bonus.

I have used the Muzzy SG-X head for the last 3 seasons and have had great results. The head is durable and flies quite well and I have never lost a bird with a solid hit. The downsides are the cost of the head coming in at $7.33/head and that it will embed itself in a tree. This makes shooting grouse perched in trees almost a guaranteed lost arrow (that is, unless you are an expert tree climber).

The no-name Judo points that I purchased came in at $6/head, so very minimal savings. The flight is very good and field point accurate, much like the SG-X; however, I did have the head result in 2 lost grouse. The hits should have been deadly, but the grouse were able to fly off (and blood trailing an airborne grouse is near impossible).

The Adder point is the 2nd cheapest option, at just $2/point, plus the cost of your field tip and at $2/tip comes out to around $4/head. This sounded like a great option, but in testing this head I was very disappointed with the accuracy. The forward facing scoop type design seems to create a very unpredictable flight pattern. A close 20 yard shot at a large ruffed grouse led to the head hitting almost a foot to the left of the bird. A follow-up shot with a different head hit dead on and thankfully, put the grouse in my pack. After seeing the sporadic flight, I would not recommend this head at all.

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IMG 6311 Small Game Broadheads

Finally, I tested my homemade head. At just $1.95/head it was by far the cheapest head. And with it’s increased weight allowed me to utilize a less expensive arrow build to achieve the same weight as my hunting arrows. The head itself flies very true to a field point and I did not miss a grouse out to 40 yards with it. It also proved itself on a few rabbits.

I did have two concerns- first, the head is super loud in flight (it did not make enough noise to spook a bird into flight, but it was still loud enough to bug me). The second concern is the durability of the plastic washers used in the build. A direct hit with a tree in mildly cold temperatures caused one of the washers to break and render that head unusable for the rest of the day (unless you carried extra parts). A bonus though, the head is so dense that it will bounce off of most trees and not embed itself. Leading to a more favourable result shooting grouse in trees. Which is a huge bonus as I have a hard time passing them up!

IMG 6276 Small Game Broadheads
Durability Shot – I continued using the same arrow with a rebuilt head

Here is a quick table for reference that summarizes everything above, you know, if you’re in a hurry for the nitty gritty.

Field Tip

Cost Pro

Con

Judo Point$6.00/headEasily found forpurchaseSome non-lethal hits, expensive Adder Point $4.00/headCan be easily added to field tips Poor accuracyMuzzy SG-X $7.33/headAccuracy and effectivenessCan embed in trees, expensive Homemade Head $1.95/headCost effective, hard hitting, does not stick in trees Loud in flight, requires assembly

I know moving forward I will be using the homemade heads exclusively and I will do a post soon about how I build them.

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Any questions about any of these small game broadheads, please let me know!

-R

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>