If you are shooting a lot of KE than can be devastating.I would recomend 60 ft lbs.I used them to kill 7 deer none of which went more than 50 yds.I rarely got a psass thru and was only shooting about 55 ft lbs of ke.The blade angle is pretty steep,I was allways worried about hitting a shoulder going in.With enough energy behind them thay are one mean head.
I will be shooting either the Pro 125's with a 2-3/4" cutting diameter, or the Mini-Max 100's with a 2" cut and 3 blades. My decision will be made once I see how they both fly. If they both fly good, then I'll take both! The appear to be very well made out of quality materials. I was a Rocket Sidewinder man, but these appear to be a little heavier duty. We'll se how they hold up.
Bo Hunter the Vortex aren't as heavy duty as the Rockets.
You do need alot of KE for the Vortex. Alot of people have had sucsess with them but IMHO there are alot better heads out there. I wouldn't use them unless I was pulling at least 70lbs and shooting a 400+ grain arrow. The bushings are kind of soft. The blades will dig into them when they open. But they do cut a huge hole. I am happy with my Spitfires. I can usually put my fist through the exit wound.
I have been shooting the 100 grain 3 blade mini max for a few years and have had very good luck with them. These open to 2 inches. As long as I stay off the shoulder I always get a pass thru. I shoot 70 lbs, 30.5 inch draw, and around 425-450 grain arrow weight at 283fps. I have a friend that shoots the 2.75 inch big daddy and he has actually dropped deer on the carrot pile up in Michigan. Nonetheless, I have excellent blood trails and short tracking time.
I have said this many times on here though....no special broadhead will substitue for a well placed shot. Almost any popular broadhead (mech or fixed) will get the job done if you put one thru the lungs and heart area. Preferably with a pass thru for the best blood trail. Good luck and safe shooting.
In general Vortex/Mar-den heads are excellent heads. I have tested most of their models and all did good to excellent. For such large cutting diameters they penetrate well, and the blades are sharp. If you do a search on this site you should find my reviews of the Vortex line. Very impressive heads if you have the KE nessesary to shoot them. For this peticular head I would recomend around 65 ft/lbs. They make a smaller 2" head that should work well with KE levels in the mid 50's.
A buddy and I both shoot the 3-blade Mini-Max for deer and turkey. We shoot near 80 ft-lb of energy so do not worry about penetration - they blow through! And do they ever make a hole and a blood trail.
I used the Marden heads in the mid 90s and had great success with them on broadside hits. I did however have problems with 3 angled shots. 3 Strikes/out. I hit a buck at 22yds, QA perfectly. Hit the last rib, right where my pin hung during followthru. Deer walked off stiff legged, humped up, barely moving with his back legs spread like he had a bad rash! I was stumped. I watched my white crested, white fletched orange nocked arrow hit perfectly, though it did seem to kick on impact, but thats nothing unusual.
Since it acted like a gut shot, I treated it as one. Giving the deer 4 hrs. I went and got my Buddy and we started trailing. No arrow, descent blood. About 40yds along the trail I noticed a white kiney bean shaped object about the size of a small egg and a long cord attached lying in the leaves. It was dirty and shrivled but I thought I knew what it might be. about 15yds ahead we found another. We followed the spoor another 60yds or so and found the buck, dead, lying right on the brink of a very steep WV mountain. Immediate relief was the feeling of the moment, followed by Thankfullness that he ran out of steam at just that time or we would have had a long afternoon in front of us, hauling that beast from the depths of boulder strewn hollow.
On the approach I could see the typical axe like wound on the animals side, right where I expected it should be. The other side had no such wound! But where did the arrow go. Going on to his southern most end, I noticed his tail was saturated in blood. As we rolled him over the large Vortex head was protruding from what had once been his scrotum!!?? My arrow was housed, unscathed, inside the deer. Pulling it out, I couldn't help but scratch my head. The autopsy revealed that the head had hit the rib to the gut side and glanced hard, turning the arrow aprox 120degrees and exited the scrotum. Of course you now know the identity of the UFO....Unidentified Found Objects. That was my third and last deflection/plane with Vortex BH. The first was my first ever shot with one on an animal. A large Canadian bear. Hit high, left of the spine by 4" and the arrow skirted the ribcage and then planed off the inside of the shoulder and followed it downward, exiting exactly in the center of the brisket between the front legs. That arrows path was a crescent moon shape. Fortunately it seperated the shoulder, making it useless and severed the brachial artery. He only went 40yds. The next was 4 yrs and many dead animals later. The large dry doe needed culled from our lease. SHe had not fawned in 2 seasons and was competing for food. Besides, she had lots of good eating on her large frame. The arrow hit the QA Matriarch in the center of the ribs on a QA shot, a little further forward than I would have liked but what should have been a double lung or lung/heart shot nonetheless. What happened next, should have made me not carry the Vortex ever again, but when they worked, they worked good. And Mechanicals were having strength issues at the time and my Vortex proved STRONG. Back to the old maitron of the woods. When the arrow stuck, the nock end immediatley hit her long side. As she ran off I saw skin flapping wildly on her side. She stopped and turned back towards me. Grabbing my everpresent binoculars I saw a sight not soon forgotten. She has a rip from her ribs to the center of her neck. The gaping wound had bleeding areas along its length. I nocked another arrow and felt I had to try a finishing shot. My days as a pro staff shooter allowed me to quickly break the terrain into 6 and 1/2 10 yd segments. Moving my adjustable sight to lines reserved for just in case....and this was such a case. Knowing well the importance of making this shot, I relaxed, checked my form the best I could balanced on the platform of my LocOn stand and continued to pull against the wall of my cams until the arrow was on it's way, seemingly without my help. The arrow flew to its intended mark and in Vortex fashion the deer was down and out in less than 5 seconds. The doe by the way weighed in at 172# and was donated to the WVDNR at our local Game Wardens request. She was aged at 11yrs! Her head measured 22" from back to nose. The old queen measured in excess of 7 ft from nose to tail. The largest doe on record as being taken by a hunter in WV....I have not strayed from mechanicals but with trial and error and lots of practical testing. I have found that 1 1/2" 3 blade MBH with oring or band retainers that are located on the back 1/3 of the blades while in the closed postion, and have a tip that extends at least a 1/4" past the blade tips work best overall. Sure the big MBH cut gaping holes but don't do well in shoulders and have penetration issues. The ones with built in retainer clips or indentations can fail to release the blades if frozen or rusted or corroded from wet conditions or dirt. Blades that extend to the tip can cause wild kicking and pinwheeling on angled shots where the blade catches before the tip is engaged and on its own path. Be sure to check blade sharpness. They are getting better every year and those that do not use or trust MBH owe it to themselves to try them again.
SOme of my favorites are the NAP SHOCKWAVE, NAP SCORPION, WASP JAKHAMMER, GRIM REAPER, Members of the ROCKET family that use the Pathfinder or Steelhead tip. This is not a complete list but use common sense and be honest with yourself. Can you pass up a Quartering shot or shoulder shot if that is all you have on the buck of a lifetime. If not, I would not reccomend Vortex heads.
Were you shooting the two or three blade heads? I've heard of the longer two blade heads skipping a couple of times, but I have not experienced this with the three blade ones. I've shot them at all kinds of angles and always got perfect penetration. The only time they didn't pass through was when I hit the shoulder or the spine.
I honestly think the three bladers are a better design overall. They penetrate very well. They are very tough and I haven't heard of the skipping issues with them and have not experienced it.
Anyone who wants to see some huge holes should give them a try. You do need sufficient KE, but as I stated in my earlier post, I'm not shooting a really high KE rig and I couldn't be happier with the results I've gotten. I can't think of one instance where the three bladers didn't perform exactly as intended.
Have you noticed any flight or performance problems with the "fatness" of this head? I've got 4 of them to try this year. They are almost double the diameter of my ICS 400s. I'm going to shoot them before season obviously, I just wondered if there was anything I needed to lookout for. Let me know.
I have found them to be very accurate and never had one wobble under spin testing.
I wondered that very thing about the size of the ferrule when I first started using them. I figured they would kill a deer well enough, but I was worried that they would not get penetration like most of the other mechs on the market back then. When the arrow zipped through the first deer I shot with them, I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me. The arrow was stuck firmly in the ground. My first thought was that somehow, he got out of the way and I had missed him clean. He went about fifty yards and piled up. Perfect passthrough double lunger. When that scenario kept repeating itself, I knew I had a winner.
I'll be the first to agree, they are ugly as sin, but they have been absolutely deadly when I've done my part. They've also saved my bacon on a couple of less than perfect shots.
Be sure to check your blades though. If they move around in the package during shipping, the edges can get worn down by coming in contact with the other blades. I've had this happen on occasion and would be the only complaint I have with them. They do sharpen well though, so it is not a big problem. Nothing a little close inspection and sharpening can't fix.
Good luck and I look forward to hearing your reports on them.
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