Imagine this: the buck you have been watching all year is a mere 30 yards away, head down with no clue you are there. You pull back, anchor, aim and gently squeeze the trigger. Swoosh! The arrow sails just low of the deer, clipping a few hairs and burying itself in the dirt. What could have possibly happened to cause such a perfect scenario to go horribly wrong?
One possibility is that the broadhead was not true (perfectly straight) to the arrow, thus causing it to plane during flight and veer off target. Even if you test your arrow and broadhead combination to make sure they are hitting in the same spot as your field tips, unless you test every arrow/broadhead combination it is possible to get pairing that will cause the exact example to happen above.
In my opinion, the be way to solve this issue is to prevent it in the first place. This article will describe how to build a broadhead spin tester to ensure that all of your arrow and broadhead pairs are as perfectly true as possible. Shortly I will publish another article describing how to use the tester and correct any problems found.
There are commercial broadhead testers/spinners available, but as usual I like to build as much of my own stuff as possible. I made this simple spin tester with a few bits of wood scrap, wood glue and discarded Teflon scraps.
The basics are a base long enough to support the arrow and some way to hold the v-blocks. My particular tester is a little more complicated than needed, mostly because I wanted to add slots to the base so that I could play around with different ways of making and using the v-blocks. On top of the base are three other rectangular blocks spaced so that there are two slots where I can interchange the v-blocks.
I had originally made my v-blocks of a couple of pieces of oak that I cut the Vs into and sanded to as smooth as a finish as I could. The object is to make the Vs as friction free as possible so that it is easy to rotate the arrow. Eventually I found some discarded Teflon scraps at work and decided to make new blocks that would have even less resistance to the rolling of the arrow. Just about any smooth material can be used as long as the arrow shaft can rotate freely.
To gauge how true the broahead spins on the arrow, a “target” is needed. For this I use a simple block of wood with a Post-it applied with a couple of lines on it. This is easy to use and line up and by using the Post-it I can easily throw out a used target and replace it with a new one.
When spinning the arrow, it is very important not to influence how the shaft sits in the blocks by putting pressure on it with your hand and causing it to flex. This was a mistake I made when first using the spin tester. If you spin the shaft by placing your finger/hand/foot/whatever on the middle of the shaft, even the slightest amount of pressure will cause the shaft to flex and the point to move on the target. This is easily solved by using one finger place directly over one of the v-blocks to spin the shaft.
As seen in the image below, when an arrow and broadhead combination are not true to each other, the point of the broadhead will wander. This could be caused by a number of issues to be covered in the forthcoming article so you’ll just have to be patient until I finish it!