Broadheads vs Field Points… the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Broadheads Vs Field Points effectively provides archers with information about these two alternatives including varying designs, applications, and flight paths.

So, which one is the better for your particular use, and can they both produce the same results?

Let’s take a closer look at these arrowheads…

When Should I Go With Field Points?

Field points are slim, narrow points which makes ideal for target practise. They are available in a range of tapers and material, and are known by several trade names such as bullet points, blunt points, rubber points, stainless steel, and others, all of which have the same narrow tapered form. 

Field points are great for target practise since they fly straight and their form assists in reducing damage to your archery targets. Because of the narrow shape, the entrance holes are smaller, making it easier to withdraw your arrow from the target. 

If you’re utilising screw-in points, ensure sure the arrow shaft’s diameter matches the diameter of the point as well as the seat collar. When withdrawing the arrow from the target, this will come in handy and make those easier.

It’s crucial to remember that field points should never be used when hunting. 

The way in which they’re designed allows the arrow to pass straight through a buck, incurring minimum injury that the animal is only wounded. A injured animal might live for days before dying in agony.

Hunting with them is immoral and unsportsmanlike, as well as being unlawful for use with bigger game. 

In a nutshell, field points are best limited to target practise and competition archery. They’re perfect for bow tuning, target practise, and archery contests because of their thin shape, which allows them to fly true.

When Should I Go With Broadheads?

Broadheads inflict massive wounds on game animals with their wider and flatter blades. Our  descendants made sharp cutting broadheads from stone and this design dates way back in time.

Modern broadheads are incredibly sharp and shoot significantly quicker, making them ideal for large game hunting. Broadheads that “cut on contact” are lethal and really should only be ever utilised in hunting situations. 

Broadheads, and not field points, should be utilised in all hunting circumstances and crossbow shooting. When it comes to ensuring a quick kill, field points just aren’t enough.

Types of Broadheads Include ~

  • Fixed Blade and Mechanical for Deer hunting
  • Crossbow Broadheads
  • Turkey Broadheads
  • Flight Variation

Due to the configuration of the heads, a broadhead’s flight pattern will be different than that of field points and so bow hunters may face accuracy issues when shifting from field points. 

Physical forces that broadheads encounter during flight results in the flight path varying. 

Broadhead flight speed slows quicker than a field point because the wider blades have greater surface area that generates more friction. In windy circumstances, the arrow’s surface area makes it more sensitive to planing and drifting off course. 

A field point, on the other hand, is more aerodynamic with much less resistance and drag whilst in flight due to its tapered and narrow shape. It’s only natural that the field point will fly straighter over bigger distances.

Up to 60 yards, a well tuned bow combined with the suitable arrows will remove much of the accuracy variations between a broadhead and a field point under identical shooting conditions. The rest of the quest for accuracy is paved with regular practise. 

Early Broadheads

Sharpened bone, flint stones and fragments of rock were employed as weapons and tools throughout the Stone Age. Such devices were employed among early civilisation, additional materials were added as time went on. 

Because the specific means of projection (ie, the bow, throwing the arrow or spear, etc.) is rarely found directly linked to any specific type of arrow point, it cannot be clear how they were actually utilised by early man.

Such relics are discovered in a variety of locales all around the world. Those unearthed are generally fashioned from stone with flint, obsidian or chert being the most common. Bone, wood, and metal arrow points have also been discovered in various digs. 

In Sibudu Cave, South Africa, ancient sediment layers yielded stone projectile points going back 64,000 years. Blood and bone remains were discovered, as well as a type of adhesive manufactured from a plant-based resin that was employed to secure them to a wooden shaft.

This revealed that cognitive activities were used in the manufacturing of glue.

Tuning is Absolutely Crucial

Prior to shooting any sort of arrow, make sure your bow is tuned and your arrows are suited to your bow. That means the arrow spine must be the appropriate length, weight and match the draw and poundage parameters of the bow.

When your target is fewer than 60 yards away, that small tip assists to increase the variance in flight between broadhead arrows and field points.

Because you’ll be hunting with broadheads, you should practise with them first to acquire an understanding of how they’ll fly. Using an exact matched pair of broad-heads for practise and a set that you solely use for hunting are two useful recommendations.

Check the arrow’s trueness using an arrow spinner after tuning it. The goal is to ensure that the head does not wobble while the shaft rotates. 

Beware the Wobbling Arrow!

A wobbling arrow is an indication that the shaft is bent and has to be changed. When you practise target shooting with broadheads, you’re effectively tuning them.

You want to fit the blades to the vanes to get a little more pull and to shoot every arrow. You reduce shaft defects and enhance accuracy by doing so.

Two distinct styles of arrowheads, each with its own set of uses and flying properties. Always use a broadhead when hunting; it’s what they were made for.

Tune your bow to the arrows you’re going to use, shoot every arrow you’re going to use for hunting, and practise to improve your consistency and accuracy. 

Even the most finely tuned bow and arrow benefits greatly from consistent practise habits over time. 

You need to always match the weight of the field point to the weight of the broadhead. 

Whilst there are a number of variable factors which can result in broadheads flying differently than field points, the weight is an element that can be managed by the archer.

If I’m tuning a hunting arrow, I’ll match the weight of the broadhead/adapter to the field point weight when selecting arrows to tune. It makes no difference whether I’m tweaking a target or a 3D arrow. 

Broadheads can be difficult to use. Although not as delicate as a naked shaft, but it’s a close second. You’ll be wanting to utilise the same weight broadhead as field point, but where did you get the field point weight?

As long as it doesn’t contact the riser, any arrow with a field point and a moderately near dynamic spine (dissimilar to the fixed spine indicated on the shaft) will fly nicely.

I don’t know how long you’ve been shooting, but the majority of archers fine-tune their arrow setup using bare shaft tuning.

Is Bare Shaft Tuning Necessary?

Shooting arrows without fletchings to exacerbate any slight imperfections in the flight of your arrow is referred to as bare shaft tuning. The arrow’s flight will not be adjusted or altered by any fletchings as it flies towards the target.

But is it important?

How Important is Bare Shaft Tuning

Not very…

A slight rest adjustment will quickly get your broadheads and field tips hitting the mark.  

If you’re hitting to the right and high, adjust the rest a smidge to the left and low. Keep this up until you’re achieving identical points of impact with both arrows.

You’re in a good place if you’ve done some tinkering in the past!

If not, I’d suggest giving it a shot before investing in broadheads. You could discover that the field point weight you’re using right now isn’t optimal, and that if your arrow setup isn’t close to perfect, proper broadhead flight won’t happen.

On the practical side, you may grab the opportunity and try out some 125 grain broadheads. You’re fine to go if they fly well and land in the same place as your field points.

Over the years, there have been many archers who have killed a lot of game without ever considering a tune, and relying on the fact that their arrows flew perfectly without any wobble at all.

Field Point Sizes

They were the standard that was used in times gone by for training and adjusting your archery gear for premium performance.

They come in a variety of weights to match up with your broadheads and the diameter of your arrows.

Field Points are generally available in packs of 12 and 100, in the following sizes…

  • 9-32″ dia at 75 grains
  • 9-32″ dia at 85 grains
  • 9-32″ dia at 90 grains
  • 9-32″ dia at 100 grains
  • 9-32″ dia at 125 grains
  • 5-16″ dia at 85 grains
  • 5-16″ dia at 100 grains
  • 5-16″ dia at 125 grains
  • 5-16″ dia at 145 grains
  • 21-64″ dia at 100 grains
  • 21-64″ dia at 125 grains
  • 11-32″ dia at 85 grains
  • 11-32″ dia at 100 grains
  • 11-32″ dia at 125 grains