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Discussion Starter #1
I have recently completed testing a bunch of differnt Mar-den heads. Mar-den makes the Vortex and Mini-max line of heads as well as the "Swinger". The heads vary in wieght and material construction, but they all share some common features. First they all have a legal cutting diameter of 7/8" when closed, they are all of the swing open type mechanical style. I honestly found all of them to preform very well. The exposed blade tips really aid in penetration, and considering these heads range in size from 1 1/2" up to 2 1/2" in cutting diameter I was amazed at how well they all penetrated. The smaller heads open fairly quickly while the large ones do take some time. To be fair though a head with a 2 1/2" cut is not going to swing open as fast as smaller heads. Mar-den uses a rubber O-ring to hold the blades closed in flight. When the head strikes the tarket the O-ring rolls back allowing the head to open. Since I had so many heads to test I thought I would put out this preview to get get some of the details out. That way I won't have to repeat them in every test report. This is a broadhead line that shot right over my head. I never showed much intrest in them, and now I can say that was a mistake. This is the most consistant and impressive line of mechanical heads that I have tested, the blades are sharp, strong, and the heads shoot and penetrate very well, especialy considering the overall size of some of them.
When I think cut on contact heads I think Magnus. When I think replaceable blade heads I think Muzzy. Now when I think Mechanical heads I think Mar-den/Vortex. Yes other manufacutures make some excellent mechanical heads but from a standpoint of product consistancy and preformance I think Mar-den is ahead of the game. I just wonder what took me so long to try them out? I should begin posting the test results in the next few days. I will try to spread them out a little so as not to confuse everyone and keep people for getting sick of hearing about them. To be honest It's hard for me to keep all the differnt models and names straight, but I think you will from the tests the heads speak for themselves.
 

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Considering that they only make a few broadhead styles as their only product (at least as far as I know), and that they have been around for a while, I would guess they have quite a following. Can't wait to read your whole report.

Weren't they one of the first manufacturers of mechanical heads?

Brian
 

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Mar-den Vortex...

5shot... I never underestimate your tests, in fact I find your tests to be great information...But I have had mixed results w/them. I killed a spike buck that I feel was declining he weighed 170lbs.here in Ga. thats a huge body weight for a spike. Anyway I shot the buck slightly quartering away the arrow entered just bhind the lft. shoulder fully penetrated the rt. shoulder and landed on the ground 20 yds. away this was a 75gr.MiniMax I believe 2"cut.dia. the deer collapsed inside 20yds. I was so impressed and blood everywhere. Since it penetrated so well the nxt. wkend I had a 100lb. doe approx. 10 yds. frm the base of my tree I seetled the pin to shoot the deer much like I would have w/a conventional head, the arrow ejected off of the deer's spine sending it straight up in the air. My setup had 69.46 ft. lbs. of KE and was perfectly tuned. I gave up on the heads. I guess every situation is different...the only conclusion that I could come to was that it struck the Knuckle of the spine and that it was just to hard to penetrate..not sure. I've gone back to conventionals, although I do have some Rocket Steelhead 100's that I'm going to try on hogs! What are your thoughts? I place so much emphasis on your tests that I am considering switching to the Magnus Stinger or the Slick trick! I am a Wasp Hammer SST fan as blood trails are certain & consistant along w/penetration and flight at 300 fps w/a 400gr. arrow!
 

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I just looked at their new products..

5shot... I just checked out their new products list. I forgot to mention too that I called and talked w/Marden about the problem and they sent me some new Heads, i told them I didnt have confidence in the MiniMax3's They sent me some 2-bl. 100 gr. I have never tried them as I am just a bit spooky. But I will say that they have excellent customer support and stand bhind their products! While looking at the new products I noticed the have raised the weight on the heads frm 75 to 80 gr. And the collar is silver and looks a little larger,the collar and the tip on mine were gold, both look to be a little beefier. Maybe they fixed the problem!!
 

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The vortex was the first mechanical to become popular down here.I used the 125gr 2 3/4" model for 3 seasons.I killed 10-12 deer with them.The wound these heads made was impressive.No deer I shot with them ran more than 40 yds.I rarely got complete pass thrus with this head.The big blades would hang on the off shoulder.I just was'nt shooting enough KE.The big ones will pull out on a hard quartering shot.Had that happen once.The only thing I did not like about the heads was the blade angle.Fully open the blades were at almost a 90 deg angle.If they were swept back a little more it would help penetration.The guys I know still shoting them are pushing major KE.The blades have an allen head screw and were easy to change.The big heads however had a long ferrule and it was prone to bend on hard impact.All in all not a bad head if you have the KE.

CB
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Gaboy it's hard to say what happend with the bad hit. It's possible it was something other than the head, maybe a limb or you struck your tree stand. It very well may have been the head. I have seen some weird things happen in the field! One thing I will say is that the heads I have tested including the 3 blade mini-max impressed me. Some of the larger 2 1/2" cut heads do have longer ferules, but I found no problem with them bending. Of course I do all my shooting "straight on" angled hits into plywood and steel are not only hard on broadeads, but arrows as well! I think the smaller two blade 2" heads penetrate as well as most makers 1 1/2 to 1 3/4" heads if not better. I have a bunch of tests and I will start posting them in the next day or so.
 

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5shot...I agree weird stuff does happen in the field! When we are concentrating on shooting a particular spot on a deer and that arrow hits that spot we just dont expect to see an arrow do what that one did! It was unbelievable, and it may not ever happen again! I'm very interested in seeing your post on the Mar-den heads, as I said b4 I place alot of confidence in your tests as do many others,your testing system is excellent! I would not have taken that shot had I not practiced it and had killed deer in similar situations, I felt confident and the deer was acting nervous so I could not wait for a better shot!

I'm interested in the test results as I had one awesome kill b4 that episode! Thank you for the response.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
One thing about big mechanicals. They allow for very precise shooting and alot of damage in the animal. The down side is that your shots are going to be limited compared to say traditional style head. I have done some deflection testing and found that most mechanicals don't delfect much more than fixed in my materials, but I would still not want to take a really steep shot, just to be careful. I should have some ready and up by friday. I have the raw data, just need to write it up and correct all my spelling errors!:eek: :D
 
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