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    Broadheads for large-diameter shafts?

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    bpnelson
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    Broadheads for large-diameter shafts?

    Post by bpnelson on Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:50 pm

    Hello gents,

    I was wondering where you all are getting your broadheads for large diameter shafts (half inch, 5/8 inch and the like)? Last year I went hunting with my crossbow but I have 11/32 broadhead on 5/8 shaft and while it certainly got the job done the step up to the shaft minimized the penetration.

    Ideas?
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    Re: Broadheads for large-diameter shafts?

    Post by bpnelson on Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:52 pm

    Also, would like HEAVY HEAVY broadheads.

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    Re: Broadheads for large-diameter shafts?

    Post by PierreC on Thu Oct 31, 2013 12:36 am

    How heavy is heavy?

    This one would be more of a bodkin than a broadhead:



    Tt started life as a 3/4" diameter grade 5 bolt.  Then it was introduced to my little sherline lathe, and all the parts that did not look like a projectile were turned into hot chips of steel.  Finally, a ground-down ramset nail intended to go into a nailgun and fasten things to concrete was pressed into the hole in the end with a little locktite.  It is my intention to use these without a shaft or feathers, so I turned down  the back end to make it front heavy.  I'm looking at about 110 grams of steel here.

    It would be straight forward to drill a socket on the back instead of tapering it so far...  Just grind the threads off, then turn it until it is concentric. Probably add another 50 grams to the total mass.  It'd pack some punch then I bet.
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    Re: Broadheads for large-diameter shafts?

    Post by Gnome on Sat Nov 02, 2013 9:03 am

    BP,
    Regarding broadheads for larger diameter shafts, I haven't found much, either in historical replicas or modern big game points. You can get medieval style broadheads at a few british sites like http://www.longbowandarrow.co.uk/bodkins-18-c.asp , they don't list the weight but they look pretty beefy. They're expensive, and are either socketed for more normal size shafts or have a spine-needle mount which i don't care for. If you search the web for "Big Game Broadheads" you'll find a few vendors selling some awesome looking broadheads up to 200 gr, but again not "chambered" for 1/2 inch. Of course you can always barrel your shafts.

    Not long ago I dug a couple of unique points out of the bottom of my archery tool box, where they had languished since I was a boy. They both had unusually wide sockets, and were big and fairly heavy. I mounted them both up to create one-off "Hollywoods" - I'm no hunter, these are bolts that just look really cool on the track when photographing my crossbows.

    Your question got me thinking, so I did some research. It turns out they are 1950's era vintage: 3 inches long, heavy steel main blades with with thick plastic sockets that have a terminial outside diameter of 7/16", just about perfect for a 1/2" shaft. One is a Hilbre, with additional small "bleeder" blades, and slightly concave edges on the main blade, while the other has no brand marking, no bleeder, and slightly convex blade shape. I didn't bother weighing either one before mounting them, but they still felt a little light for the 12" oak dowels I use for half inch shafts, so I added a section of half inch aluminum tubing just behind the broadhead, which toughened up the business end, moved the center of gravity forward, and, most importanly for my initial purposes, looks cool. In retrospect, a shorter section of steel tubing would have been more effective.
    This is a shot of one of those bolts, the one on the bottom, used as a size comparison for some pistol-sized broadheads I whipped up.

    The total weight on this one is 55 grams, or 848 grains. Hope you find what you're looking for.

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    Re: Broadheads for large-diameter shafts?

    Post by Geezer on Sat Nov 02, 2013 11:12 am

    There used to be an online shop called Historic Enterprises, run by a guy named Jeff Hedgecock.  They mostly sold very correct medieval stuff, but they also had Indian-made socketed arrow/bolt points, including some really large broadheads.  I'm not sure they're still in business, and the points were pricey, but they might just do the job for you.  Geezer
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    Re: Broadheads for large-diameter shafts?

    Post by Geezer on Sat Nov 02, 2013 12:34 pm

    Update on the broadheads.  Historic Enterprises advertises bodkins and diamond-section quarrel-points, but no broadheads.  An online search will turn up other suppliers.  Geezer.
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    Re: Broadheads for large-diameter shafts?

    Post by mac on Sat Nov 02, 2013 7:10 pm

    bpnelson wrote:Last year I went hunting with my crossbow but I have 11/32 broadhead on 5/8 shaft and while it certainly got the job done the step up to the shaft minimized the penetration.

    BPN,

    I wonder if you are using thicker shafts than you need.   Will 11/32" shafts not work with your bow?

    Mac
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    Re: Broadheads for large-diameter shafts?

    Post by Gnome on Sun Nov 03, 2013 5:36 am

    Sure, Mac, there's definitely a sound reason that animal harvesting hardware is not readily available to mount to fat shafts. Science does have an annoying tendancy to move forward, and industry and commerce just follow like sheep!Very Happy  My hunting knowledge is purely academic, but it seems to me that a large diameter shaft would be an unneccesary hindrance to range, accuracy, and penetration, which at best would result in a waste of time for the hunter and at worst result in shameful additional suffering for the hunted.
    But, BPN didn't ask if it was a good idea or not, just about how to get HEAVY broadheads for large diameter shafts. So here's a couple other one-off Quiver Queens for your consideration, direct from the "Probably a Bad Idea But.." department of Gnomebow Enterprises:


    Both these points are fashioned from tool bits, obviously a 1.25" hole drilling bit, and the other I'm not sure what it was, a friend gave it to me, possibly some kind of hammer-drill bit. both are single-facet edged for spiral penetration, and both are extremely, rediculously heavy- 65 grams for the hole bit head on a 3/8" fiberglass shaft, and 81 grams for the other with an alumunum sleeve on a half inch oak shaft.

     Gnome

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    Re: Broadheads for large-diameter shafts?

    Post by chaz on Sun Nov 03, 2013 5:57 am

    Gnome,
      Love the recycle job on the paddle bit ! As I say a screw driver isn't always a screw driver !
     And they are usually found for little or near nothing at garage sales.

    Chaz
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    Re: Broadheads for large-diameter shafts?

    Post by Gnome on Sun Nov 03, 2013 6:59 am

    Paddle bit, huh? Now I know. I've fired both of those into stacks of cardboard at short range, they do rotate as they penetrate. Since the paddle-bit head is still rounded at the back I can get it out by twisting slightly as I turn, the hole bit I shot a couple of times and it didn't go very deep or travel straight once it made impact. Then I noticed that I had ground the edges in opposition to the spin imparted by the fletches. D'oh! So I modified the fletches to sinc up the spin, then it went all the way through 8 inches of corrugated cardboard and I had to fletch it again after pulling it out through the back. Haven't fired it since then, but reading Seventeen76's post about gator hunting makes me wonder how effective it would be in that pursuit. I was thinking the hole could be used for attaching a line, but on second thought it's probably way too far forward.
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    Re: Broadheads for large-diameter shafts?

    Post by bpnelson on Tue Nov 05, 2013 12:29 pm

    Great info gents. In response to my shaft diameter: It's really the only way I've found of getting enough weight. As you know, momentum is all-important in penetration, and the heavier the bolt the more efficient the crossbow in addition to the more momentum it has. Even with 5/8 oak shafts of 13" and a 200gr point I'm getting extremely good speeds out of my 250 pound prod. Since I hunt from less than 20 yards, anything above about 170 fps is wasting momentum for unnecessary speed. My only issue with momentum is the huge step up from my 11/32" ferrule to my 5/8" shaft. 

    As an example, the last deer I shot I hit in the scapula. The broadhead cracked it almost entirely in half but the shaft had a very hard time making it through with the step up in diameter. It still handily killed the animal, but the situation could be improved. 

    I'm looking to get my bolt mass somewhere in the 900-1000 grain area.
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    Re: Broadheads for large-diameter shafts?

    Post by Todd the archer on Tue Nov 05, 2013 4:33 pm

    According to Dr. Ashby's study the head if anything should be slightly larger than the shaft. Once the head goes through the shaft follows more easily.

    The problem is your shaft is so large already, think I would try to find a skinnier shaft material myself.

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    Re: Broadheads for large-diameter shafts?

    Post by Scotty on Tue Nov 05, 2013 10:36 pm

    How about going the "trade" point route?  Something like this that can be bound into a slot at the front of the shaft: 


    Here's a couple vids of some being made from spoons:





    This method eliminates having to worry about making a socket to match shaft diameter.  Just make the tang the width of whatever size shaft you're using.

    edit: You could, of course, also just cut them out of thick sheet steel.  If you use a blade quality steel, you could even heat, quench, and temper them for hardness.  Places like Admiral Steel sell various lengths, widths, and thicknesses of 1075 or 1084 (don't remember which, maybe both).  I suppose even mild steel could work too, since they only need to hold an edge for one shot, though bending might be a concern if heavy bone were hit.
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    Re: Broadheads for large-diameter shafts?

    Post by Anatine Duo on Wed Nov 06, 2013 4:01 am

    Ashby's work is invaluable.  I think I'd do what Todd suggested and make heavier shafts, ipe wood or solid aluminum or steel tube.

    The large shaft arrow/bolt appeals to me as it allows stiffer construction for a given material but I have also been pondering how to make a broadhead large enough.

    The trade point style could be enhanced with a steel tube ferrule instead of the wrap, but we still might run into the problem of getting the 5/8 shaft (and 5/8 plus ferrule) through bone.

    BTW I have made knives for nearly 20 years so if anyone wants advice on making blade-quality broadheads LMK

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    Re: Broadheads for large-diameter shafts?

    Post by Hermit on Wed Nov 06, 2013 8:16 am

    A method of attaching metal implements to wooden shafts,which would work well for bolts,and is cheap,strong,and quick is as follows.From an old electrical appliance,obtain a transformer.Dismantle the transformer,and take out the wound copper core,or cores,this will provide the copper wire needed.With the trade type arrowhead in it's slot,whip the shaft as you would the serving on a bowstring.The length of the whipping is optional,but 3/4 of an inch should be ample.Coat the whipping with 5 minute epoxy(usually readily available)leave to harden,and it's done.one transformer core will make more bolts than anyone is ever likely to need.
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    Re: Broadheads for large-diameter shafts?

    Post by Gnome on Wed Nov 06, 2013 4:55 pm

    Todd, what you say makes sense, and probably explains why those old Hilbre broadheads have such large outer diameters. All this research led me to Ebay where I bought a lot of nine, there's a number of live auctions for them now if anyone is interested, of various quantities.

    Hermit, I tried a similar technique using monofiliment fishing line and epoxy, it worked really well. I used it to reinforce the head of a 3/8" fiberglass tube shaft after mounting a heavy brass threaded insert. It's held up really well, and I really like how it looks, a primitve sort of method using very modern materials.

    Scotty, I have that spoon technique in mind as a quick and easy way to come up with silver tipped projectiles. You know. Just in case. I've been waiting for somebody to invite me to a fancy dinner so I can steal some silver spoons.

    So BPN was using large diameter shafts in an attempt to increase overall projectile weight, and the preponderance of opinion is that this method is most likely adversely affecting penetration. So I'm wondering, would a heavier shaft material of smaller diameter be preferable, or more weight on the point of a lighter shaft provide flatter trajectory? I've gone both ways, but there were too many other variables to make a valid conclusion.
    Of course I could just research that point myself, but I'm hip deep in another project and it's more fun to just ask.
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    Re: Broadheads for large-diameter shafts?

    Post by Scotty on Wed Nov 06, 2013 5:27 pm

    Gnome wrote:Scotty, I have that spoon technique in mind as a quick and easy way to come up with silver tipped projectiles. You know. Just in case. I've been waiting for somebody to invite me to a fancy dinner so I can steal some silver spoons.
    Hey, werewolf encounters are becoming increasingly common in this country.  It's  no laughing matter. Laughing Wink

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    Re: Broadheads for large-diameter shafts?

    Post by Hermit on Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:20 pm

    As the saying goes Gnome..........."whatever works baby'........
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    Re: Broadheads for large-diameter shafts?

    Post by mac on Thu Nov 07, 2013 8:51 pm

    bpnelson wrote:Great info gents. In response to my shaft diameter: It's really the only way I've found of getting enough weight. As you know, momentum is all-important in penetration, and the heavier the bolt the more efficient the crossbow in addition to the more momentum it has. Even with 5/8 oak shafts of 13" and a 200gr point I'm getting extremely good speeds out of my 250 pound prod. Since I hunt from less than 20 yards, anything above about 170 fps is wasting momentum for unnecessary speed. My only issue with momentum is the huge step up from my 11/32" ferrule to my 5/8" shaft. 
    I see.  This makes sense.

    Mac

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