Archery Talk Forum banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
This was the first year I had been bowhunting in nearly 10 years. I had shot G5 Montecs in the past, but read a lot about poor blood trails and the like and had decided to change to Spitfire MAXX expandables as I had good luck w/them in the past.

My target practice (admittedly w/o the Spitfire target 'testers') was accurate out to 50 yards (5" groups on 3d target). Early on in the season I had made some distant shots x2, but apparently misjudged the range (hunting w/o rangefinder----ARGGGHHH!!!---won't do that again) on a couple does and the broadheads (Spitfires) landed in both a hard/dry and wet bean fields. I cleaned them both off well, checked the mechanics but it seemed that they obviously did not function as smoothly as when unused.

Fast forward to the weekend before shotgun season in Illinois. Fantastic evening hunt on Sunday the 16th of November w/snow falling. We had bucks everywhere. I had loaded my 3rd (unused) Spitfire on my 2014 Experience (set at 62lbs), total arrow/broadhead weight of ~410gr and waited.

When I drew back on the 8 pointer at ~40 yards, I shot sl high and back actually severing the spine and dropped him. The arrow stuck in about 2" and the deer proceeded to drag himself around. As an ethical hunter, this was heartbreaking. I can't stand to see an animal suffer. After about 2min of watching this, I knocked another arrow and shot hitting about 3" above the heart and the arrow again stuck w/only ~2" penetration.

I got down after another 10min and went to the deer (still alive) and used my 3rd and final arrow from about 10 yards and had the same thing happen----2" penetration.

From there I was devastated, feeling horrible for this animal who now had 3 arrows sticking out of it looking like a bull in a bullfight (if you've ever seen this, you will know what I mean). I went back to my Gator but had left my 45 handgun back at the house. The small 22 cal that I carry w/me (an old Jennings) was not functional for some reason. I just wanted to put him out of his misery.

Our house/hunting cabin was about 1mi away and it was getting dark fast. My buddy who I was hunting with was still in stand, so I decided to have him come fininsh the deer off w/his Schwacker from 10yards. We left and went back to allow the deer to expire while I felt sorry for myself (but moreso for the deer) from what I had witnessed. Upon dressing the deer, neither of the used broadheads expanded and the "fresh" broadhead only deployed 2 of 3 blades.

I am now (obviously) considering going back to a fixed blade, namely the Thunderhead, SHuttle T, or other. I had changed because I had lost a VERY nice 12 point on one of the last hunts I went on nearly 10 years ago with the Montec. Despite having what seemed to be a decent shot result in good blood initially then scant blood petering out to nothing. I am not a novice hunter, and have been in the woods for over 30 years. I know the knee-jerk response is "you need better shot placement" which is almost certainly true, or "get a rangefinder" which I plan on doing.

I am just wondering if anyone else has had issues w/mechanicals. I have read plenty here on AT about great things about the SPitfire and have killed w/them in the past as well. It just seems that not being able to reuse them certainly gives them a definitive disadvantage.

Take care and thanks for reading.
 

·
Catch us if you can!
Joined
·
5,716 Posts
What is your setup? And don't preach ethics yet take a 40+ yard shot with no rangefinder and what sounds like a slower setup
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
What is your setup? And don't preach ethics yet take a 40+ yard shot with no rangefinder and what sounds like a slower setup

Not preaching...I feel confident at that range, but my older Bushnell rangefinder went down and I can generally judge these distances reasonably (within 2-3 yards)....as I said, I will NOT go into the woods w/o one in the future.

As mentioned, I'm shooting a 2014 Bowtech Experience with 62lbs (maxed) along w/ACC 340, 2" blazers, 100gr tips----approx 410gr total wt.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,278 Posts
I would say your bow is horribly out of tune. I've never had an issue with these heads. Completely pass throughs with plenty of to spare apparently on every deer I've shot with them. The heads were done after the shots, but never even came close to having a penetration issue with them.

Curious...whats the KE and Momentum numbers on your setup?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I would say your bow is horribly out of tune. I've never had an issue with these heads. Completely pass throughs with plenty of to spare apparently on every deer I've shot with them. The heads were done after the shots, but never even came close to having a penetration issue with them.

Curious...whats the KE and Momentum numbers on your setup?


KE is right at 77ft lbs
 

·
Catch us if you can!
Joined
·
5,716 Posts
Not preaching...I feel confident at that range, but my older Bushnell rangefinder went down and I can generally judge these distances reasonably (within 2-3 yards)....as I said, I will NOT go into the woods w/o one in the future.

As mentioned, I'm shooting a 2014 Bowtech Experience with 62lbs (maxed) along w/ACC 340, 2" blazers, 100gr tips----approx 410gr total wt.
Understandable, it just didn't come off that way in your original post. You definitely have enough punch for maxx's IMO I've shot them for the past 4 years and haven't had any issues with penetration in fact for a 1.75" head I think they are awesome penetrators. Either your bow is incredible out of tune or a lot of bone because of the deer being angle weird and on the ground but 2" of penetration seems odd.
 

·
Yeah I'd shot that one...
Joined
·
1,759 Posts
First of all the old .22 you carry wasn't functional because it's a Jennings. Secondly you should be able to put a field pint through a deer at 10 yards if you hit him anywhere not protected by bone.
How did you come up with that 77 KE number? The internet?
I think your bow is way out of tune. It sounds like you have a lot of equipment that for some reason isn't working. Your old range finder, your hand gun, your broadheads....all of them. You have to test your equipment before you put your pin on an animal.

77# will get 2" of penetration in a stump for goodness sake let a lone an animal. Blaming this on the heads isn't putting blame where it belongs from what I can tell. I wasn't there and I don't know for sure but if it were me I would be asking what do I need to do better to make my equipment function properly.

CG
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,984 Posts
Something isnt right then. Not trying to be a jerk but from 10 yds. you would get more then 2" of penetration with a small game head so a broadhead of any kind getting that little penetration from 10 yards is not ordinary.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
First of all the old .22 you carry wasn't functional because it's a Jennings. Secondly you should be able to put a field pint through a deer at 10 yards if you hit him anywhere not protected by bone.
How did you come up with that 77 KE number? The internet?
I think your bow is way out of tune. It sounds like you have a lot of equipment that for some reason isn't working. Your old range finder, your hand gun, your broadheads....all of them. You have to test your equipment before you put your pin on an animal.

77# will get 2" of penetration in a stump for goodness sake let a lone an animal. Blaming this on the heads isn't putting blame where it belongs from what I can tell. I wasn't there and I don't know for sure but if it were me I would be asking what do I need to do better to make my equipment function properly.

CG

Yes, well-played and point taken on the gear suggestion!

With the above responses in mind, what "tuning" would be suggested? I did walk-back tune the bow and papertune. The bow is however new to me----bought just this year in October from a fellow AT member. I know the DL is likely a little long for me (29") by about 1".

I'm certainly open to additional suggestions and criticisms! Thanks =)
 

·
Strictly Public Land
Joined
·
12,305 Posts
My first year ever hunting was 2011 also first year bow hunting, i bought a Martin cheetah from my uncle 4-5 months before the season and immediately started particing 3-5 times a week. I did not know anything about tuning a bow properly. I bought some spitfire broadheads screwed them on, checked them on a target and was hitting close to my 2" spot and went hunting being a noob i figured it was shooter error. Never checked to see if they were hitting with my Fps because i was uneducated on the topic. 3 day of the season i shot my first deer, double lung shot through the scapula fletching kept the arrow from passing through the scapula. broadhead performed flawless. I was shooting 29" draw 400 grain arrow @ 70# approx 290fps.

With your set up you should not have had any issue with these spitfires. They will deploy every time, unless they are tampered with by the user by using rubber bands around the blades, not cleaning the after being shot into an animal or the ground. Sometimes when the broadhead gets dirty from the ground or animal it will work immediately after but once the material has time to set up it hardens and will make the broadhead not perform properly. spit fires are great heads you should consider shooting them again. more then likely it has something to do with your bow or the 2 that was used werent cleaned all the way and they locked up, but they would get more then 2" or penetration even being closed.
 

·
Strictly Public Land
Joined
·
12,305 Posts
Yes, well-played and point taken on the gear suggestion!

With the above responses in mind, what "tuning" would be suggested? I did walk-back tune the bow and papertune. The bow is however new to me----bought just this year in October from a fellow AT member. I know the DL is likely a little long for me (29") by about 1".

I'm certainly open to additional suggestions and criticisms! Thanks =)
you need to group tune all broadheads with your fps, once you group fps and broadhead together you have optimal arrow flight.

some like to bareshaft tune before they broadhead tune.

Do you own a press? the best way to tune overdrive binary cams on bowtechs are to yoke tune them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
430 Posts
The Spitfire Maxx is the best broad head I have ever used, and I have been shooting expandables exclusively for 20 years. The photo below is the exit hole in a doe that I shot at 40 yds. She was uphill at eyelevel quartering away hard, with the arrow entering behind the last rib, and exiting front chest. In the last 3 years I have shot 8 deer with the Spitfire Maxx with every one being a complete pass-through. My crossbow shoots about 320fps, so super fast speeds are not required to get this result. Shot placement is important regardless of the head.
 

·
Strictly Public Land
Joined
·
12,305 Posts
Too light to be shooting the Maxx for sure IMO.
that wouldnt keep him from killing the deer, or get ample penetration. @63 pounds out of a 335 ibo bow with a 29" draw, he will blow through a deer if shot in the right location (through ribs)
 

·
0321
Joined
·
8,290 Posts
"too light and slow setup"..........................lol

the guy said he is shooting a 410gr arrow out of a 62lbs experience!

thats neither too light or slow. something else is amiss. they only thing i can say is if you shoot the spitfires and don't completely disassemble and clean really well, the blades have a much harder time opening/closing. when you close the blades it should be very easy with no resistance and then at the end they kind of snap into place. almost like the blade locking into a light magnet at the very end upon closing. thats what it should feel like. if you have any kind of resistance when closing something is not right.
 

·
Catch us if you can!
Joined
·
5,716 Posts
image.jpg
image.jpg

All pass thrus and huge exits at 79lbs ke, just for some visual aid...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
"too light and slow setup"..........................lol

the guy said he is shooting a 410gr arrow out of a 62lbs experience!

thats neither too light or slow. something else is amiss. they only thing i can say is if you shoot the spitfires and don't completely disassemble and clean really well, the blades have a much harder time opening/closing. when you close the blades it should be very easy with no resistance and then at the end they kind of snap into place. almost like the blade locking into a light magnet at the very end upon closing. thats what it should feel like. if you have any kind of resistance when closing something is not right.
Thanks for this post----that is what I DID NOT do----the 2 used Spitfires, I simply ran under very hot water and soap getting all of the visible dirt out of them but did NOT disassemble them.

Thanks again.
 

·
XX78 User
Joined
·
4,945 Posts
Thanks for this post----that is what I DID NOT do----the 2 used Spitfires, I simply ran under very hot water and soap getting all of the visible dirt out of them but did NOT disassemble them.

Thanks again.
If I shoot a spitfire, I change the blades and retention clips. It doesn't matter if it's a miss or a kill. You will have positive results when this is practiced.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
612 Posts
they only thing i can say is if you shoot the spitfires and don't completely disassemble and clean really well, the blades have a much harder time opening/closing. when you close the blades it should be very easy with no resistance and then at the end they kind of snap into place. almost like the blade locking into a light magnet at the very end upon closing. thats what it should feel like. if you have any kind of resistance when closing something is not right.
This. If you don't disassemble to clean, you're not cleaning. Also, those shims are only good for a few shots. Especially if they've been closed a few times with debris between the blade and the shim. In that case, when you DO clean them properly, you'll have blades that open too easily, because the shims have been flattened to the point that there's not enough friction applied to the blades.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,278 Posts
keep one thing in mind also. Just because the blades are closed when the arrow comes out, doesn't mean they didn't open.

Case in point. My buddy shoots a doe earlier this season. Find the arrow...blades COMPLETELY closed. The arrow didn't zip through, came out after about 30 yards. When we find the deer, the blades had OBVIOUSLY opened and done a great job.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top