John Lusk is an avid bowhunter and broadhead fanatic. He has taken well over 100 big game animals with his bow all over the US, as well as Canada and South Africa. He puts his Engineering degree to use in his broadhead testing and has tested over 50 different broadheads. He has written articles in a dozen different archery publications, appeared on several hunting TV shows, and has well over a million views on his YouTube Channel: Lusk Archery Adventures. There you will find more than 70 videos of his hunts and extensive broadhead tests. When he is not shooting his bow, John serves alongside his wife as the Pastor of the Des Moines Church of Christ, in Des Moines, Iowa.
The first indicator of a broadhead’s strength is the quality of the steel itself.
What kind of steel is it?
To simply say something is all steel is nice, but there is a wide range of steel types, so the quality of the steel is important.
The second indicator of broadhead strength is Rockwell hardness.
How is the broadhead hardened and to and to what degree is it hardened?
To increase sales, some broadhead manufacturers will state that the head has been hardened to “x” degree of Rockwell hardness. But, if it’s the wrong kind of steel to handle that hardness, it’s just going to fracture and even edge chatter and shatter upon impact, which a lot of heads do.
So, this makes Rockwell hardness important, but also how the hardness is handled by the material.
I did some in-depth testing on the Holy Trinity, as well as the rest of the Bishop line of heads… Keep reading!
The third indicator of broadhead toughness is the composition of the steel.
In other words, how is the steel put together?
For example, is the broadhead made from multiple pieces of steel that are welded together? A lot of broadhead manufacturers do that.
Is the head made up of multiple pieces that are held together by a set screw or two? Many companies go that route.
It could be a single piece head that’s metal injection-molded (MIM). Or, it could a single piece that’s CNC machined, which is by far the toughest. In that case, it would be machined out of a single chunk of bar steel.
The fourth measure of toughness for a broadhead is geometric design.
How stout is the head? How thick are the blades? How supported is the tip of the head?
All these components of geometric design make a difference in the strength of the head.
Why Bishop Holy Trinity Could Be The World’s Toughest Broadhead
So, knowing the four factors covered above in determining a broadhead’s toughness, here’s why I thought the Bishop Holy Trinity could be the toughest broadhead on earth.
Steel Quality of Bishop Holy Trinity
The first reason I say it could be the world’s toughest broadhead is, first, they used a proprietary S7 tool steel.
S7 tool steel is one of the toughest steels there is. It’s incredibly tough. And this one particularly, the tool steel that Bishop uses, has a Charpy resistance impact in the 90’s (Charpy V-notch testing is a way to resist the impact of something to that steel).
To put that in perspective, it’s more than four times more resistant to impact than stainless steel.
Rockwell Hardness of the Holy Trinity
The steel of the Bishop Holy Trinity is then brought to a Rockwell hardness of 58, which is pretty amazing.
They can do that because of the type of steel that it is.
Steel Composition of the Bishop Holy Trinity
Then, the Holy Trinity head is CNC-machined, which is by far the strongest way a head can be designed. It’s very expensive to do that, especially out of that quality of S7 tool steel.
It’s really expensive but it’s also really tough.
Geometric Design of Holy Trinity
Fourthly, the geometric design of the Holy Trinity (the 200-grain specifically) is that it has a really short geometric design.
The Holy Trinity’s geometric design is shorter than others on the market like VPA.
VPA are great heads. But, the Holy Tryiniy is just a shorter, stouter design. So, it’s going to fly a little bit better than most other heads like that because it has a lot of surface area and it’s going to hold up better to impact because of that stouter design.
But, then the blades on this head specifically are 0.070 inch thick which is a really thick blade, one of the thickest on the market.
And then the 200 grain, unlike the 125 grain model, has an extra support that’s kind of like a blade in and of itself. It’s like a triangular wedge-type blade that is really thick.
For the thickness of the Trinity, it’s the sharpest it can get. It’s brought to an edge that’s going to cut through bone really well if something doesn’t get caught by the primary leading blades. It’s not a 6-blade head, but it’s almost like a 6-blade because it has the extra pieces in there that will make it more resistant to coming out of an animal as well.
So with everything about this, the type of steel, the hardness, the CNC machining, and the geometric design, this head certainly has the potential to be the “world’s toughest broadhead.”
I do a lot of research on broadheads. I don’t know anything that’s going to come even close to it except Bishop’s 41L40, their Bridgeport head that’s the same. It’s just a little bit lesser tier type of tool steel, but still way above most other tool steels that other heads on the market have.
This head was straight out of the package and it was sticky sharp, which for a 0.070 inch thick blade, it’s as sharp as it can get.
You can sharpen the Holy Trinity just by laying them flat on a file or a diamond sharpener which is really nice.
You don’t have to sharpen every blade individually and you don’t have to worry about the angle. You just lay it flat and it sharpens two at a time so you just rotate it. So, as long as you do it evenly, it’s a super easy process to sharpen
Holy Trinity Toughness Testing
So, let’s see how the Bishop Holy Trinity did against some really tough stuff.
Steel Plate Test
I shot the Holy Trinity head straight into the 16-gauge steel plate. Now, 16-gauge is pretty thick, and it’s much thicker than a steel drum. I wanted to see how the tip and blades would hold up and if it penetrates through.
Porcelain Tile Test
The next test of the Bishop 200-grain Holy Trinity was shooting it at porcelain tile. So, I stacked up 5 tiles and taped them together, so that they made one chunk of porcelain tile.
I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I had heard that it’s a good way to test head toughness. Let’s see what happened.
Cinder Block Test
The next test I did with the Bishop 200-grain Holy Trinity was the cinder block test.
The Verdict Is In on the Holy Trinity 200-Grain broadhead
So, the Bishop Holy Trinity is definitely incredibly tough.
The Bishop broadheads have all been phenomenal in every test I have put them through. Quite simply, they are in a class by themselves in terms of toughness and durability.
I would say the Holy Trinity 200-grain specifically is their toughest one because of its extra beefiness and the way they’ve added those extra ridges to strengthen it. Also, because this one is 0.070 inch thick. But, with that being said, all of the Bishop Holy Trinities are extremely strong.
I typically shoot the 125-grain but this one is going to get a little more blood. With the 1 and 1/8-inch cutting diameter of those extra 3 big wedge blades, they’re going to do some serious damage, and will hold up to anything the animal world throws its way.
Further testing of Bishop’s other broadhead offerings
I did some further tests on the other models of 3-blade, 1 and 1/8 inch broadheads that Bishop Archery makes.
As we have discussed above, they originally introduced the Bishop Archery S7 Tool Steel.
Bishop Bridgeport Broadheads
And then they came out with the second line they called their Bridgeport Line. It has the same exact specs of the original Holy Trinity. It’s a 125-grain head.
They both fly exactly the same. But, the Bridgeport model is made out of 41L40 tool steel, which is actually the second most impact-resistant steel of any broadhead on the market today.
Bishop’s third line of broadheads is the Pipeline series. This series is made out of a really unique stainless steel that they came up with. I was looking forward to testing this head out.
It’s supposedly stronger and more impact-resistant than any other stainless steel on the market; even more than S30V and any other stainless steel broadhead out there.
There’s a significant difference in price between these heads. The Pipeline is more competitive with most other 3-blade heads on the market.
But, then the Bridgeport is a step up, and more expensive. The Bishop and the S7 are more expensive than that.
So, let’s see how all three heads performed in these tests.
In the following tests, there is a Rinehart target behind all of the mediums. That’s what’s stopping the impact.
1/2″ Plywood Test
.22-Gauge Steel Plate Test
Next, I shot them through a .22-gauge steel plate.
Timeout For Some Comparison Testing
Just for comparison sake, I decided to shoot a couple of other popular broadheads through the same mediums (wood and steel plate). I tested an Allen broadhead from Wal-Mart and the Muzzy Trocar broadhead.
Cinder Block Test
Next I tested the heads by shooting them into a cinder block. First, I shot the Holy Trinity, then the Bridgeport, then the Pipeline. I also shot the Muzzy Trocar.
The Grand Finale | 1/8″ Steel Flat bar test
So as the finale to these tests, I shot the Bridgeport and the Pipeline into a 1/8-inch steel flat bar. ( I had tested the S7 in a previous test, so I did not include it here).
I am really impressed with what these Bishop broadheads have done. I’m also a bit surprised.
I’m especially surprised with the stainless steel Pipeline. Bishop thought they had something really good in that new steel they’ve been able to create and sure enough, it proved out.
Now, it’s really important to understand a couple of things here.
First, you might be asking, “why does any of this matter? Why are you shooting heads into steel, teak wood and concrete, stuff like that? What’s the point? It’s not an animal.
Well, that’s true. But, consider this. The Allen head that was destroyed… Is that, or another head like it what you want shooting into an animal?
Failure is not an option
Personally, I want a broadhead that I trust is not going to fail no matter what. And so, especially when I’m hunting a big animal like an elk or a moose, or a big hog or hunting in Africa on a trip I’ve invested time and money into, I don’t want a broadhead that’s going to dull or break in half, or lose a blade.
Will it work when it matters?
Secondly, you could take a head out of the box or packaging and have it shave hair like even that Allen did and like the Muzzy Trocar did and that’s awesome. But, it’s not how sharp it is as soon as it impacts the animal that matters, but how sharp it is as it goes through the animal that matters; how sharp it is when it comes out of the animal?
Some people say, “Oh, I don’t care if my broadhead gets destroyed, as long as it kills the animal.” Well, eventually, you’re going to have an animal that doesn’t die because the broadhead was destroyed. And, when your blades are getting all nicked up, they are not cutting tissue effectively all the way through.
So, you want a head that’s not just sharp upon impact, but that’s sharp all the way through that impact, through the tough hide, through the muscle and all the different forms of tissue; the tendons, the ligaments, the cartilage, and even through bone.
You want one that is going to keep penetrating extremely well all the way through, especially if it’s a big animal where depth of penetration makes a significant difference.
Bishops are worth it
So, that’s how these Bishop heads show and prove their worth. They are able to take the toughest that there is and do extremely well through it.
I still shoot a lot of different types of broadheads based on the need I have and the conditions, as well as what animals I’m going after. But what you have here is the best deal, hardened in the strongest way and you have them CNC machined in the Holy Trinity as well as their two blade heads.
And then, you have the geometric design that makes these heads extremely strong. And, they do all that also in a really short design in the Holy Trinity, which allows them to fly really well.
I hope this helps you to understand broadheads and understand these three lines of Bishops a little bit better.
Tooth of the Arrow broadheads have been around for while, but I was intrigued and finally got my hands one so I could test it.
Now, Tooth of the Arrow is certainly a cool name for a broadhead, but the company also has a great perk. They are so confident that you’ll like their broadheads, that they advertise that you can get a free sample.
Now that’s guaranteed satisfaction!
Tooth Of The Arrow Broadheads | An Overview
The Tooth of the Arrow broadhead is a 4-blade head that is similar to a Slick Trick head.
Each of the blades are exactly the same cutting diameter, so it’s a true 4-blade head. It’s a little bit bigger than a Slick Trick Magnum. But, rather than being 1 and 1/8-inch cutting diameter like the Slick Trick Magnum, this is 1 and 3/16 cutting diameter. So, it makes a little bit wider hole.
For the testing, I shot 450-grain Bishop mammoth arrows, using my Bowtech SR6 which is a 27 inches and 72 pounds.
What makes this head unique is that this is machined out of a single chunk of high-carbon steel. So, there are no blades to be replaced. It’s just one solid chunk.
So, as a negative, you can’t just replace the blades and put in new sharp ones. As a positive way, it’s a pretty stout, strong design. And, with it being such high-carbon steel, it’s not too difficult to sharpen. So, it’s intriguing to see this.
I’ve spun these heads and they spin very true. They also fly well for me. I’ve not tested them at super long ranges but they do – well, I think through a well-tuned bow, they should fly well at longer ranges.
I’d heard really good things about the smaller, standard head.
But, I’ll start off by testing the XL, which intrigued me the most because I just like to make a big hole if I can! I was excited to see how it performed.
So let’s see how the Tooth of the Arrow XL did. (Further down I’ll do a head-to-head battle between the XL and the original, so check that out as well!
I shot it into my broadhead box where I’ve got four layers of MDF and they’re half inch each, and two of those layers have a rubber foam layer in front to simulate hide and a little bit of soft tissue there in the beginning and the end.
Angled Shot Penetration
Next, I shot it at a 1/2-inch MDF board at a 45-degrree angle to see how it would do through that.
I shot the Tooth Of The Arrow head into a 22-gauge steel plate to see how it would fare.
Cinder Block Test
The cinder block is the final test that I do with the fixed-blade heads. I don’t do this test or the steel plate test typically with the mechanical heads, but when you’re using a fixed head, you’re typically doing so because you really want to have some structural integrity and blade strength that’s above and beyond what a mechanical can do.
So, I just like to test the limits. Not many heads hold together after hitting the cinder block. A lot of them take chunks out, but then just kind of bend or fall apart. Very few heads hold together. There have only been a few that have made it. Let’s see how the Tooth of the Arrow did.
Man, for the price, the Tooth Of The Arrow XL is one impressive head. I have to say, I’m pleasantly surprised. I give it an A+ in all categories.
I tested the Tooth of the Arrow broadheads for out-of-the-box sharpness. The purpose is to see if they can still cut paper after a stroke of a carbon arrow shaft. Because both the Original and the XL have the same blades, I only tested one of the heads.
I tested the Tooth of the Arrow Original and the XL for penetration. My medium was ballistic gel that was fronted with a rubber mad and 1/2″ MDF board.
I shot both heads into a 22-gauge steel plate 5 times to test the durability. Check out the holes these heads made in the steel plate!
You can only see on one of the XL blades a little bit of cosmetic marking. I don’t even know if you can pick that up in the picture below. It’s very hard to see.
These heads have extremely impressive durability. Some of the very best that I’ve tested.
Now, I have heard some reports of people shooting them and hitting them into a big heavy bone and one of the blades bending or shearing off. That can happen with any broadhead.
There are all kinds of crazy things that can happen in the field as you hit heavy bone at different angles. But through the steel plate as you can see in the picture below, they faired extremely well.
Cinder Block Test
Let’s look at these heads and see how they did after being shot into the cinder block.
So, what do you think of this broadhead battle, the Original versus the XL?
In terms of penetration, the Original penetrated much more deeply. But, in terms of hole size, man, the XL really ruled in that department, though both of them really made a nice square hole in the mediums that I shot them through.
In terms of which one is the winner, really, it’s a toss-up. I have to call it a tie. I hate to do that. But, this really is a draw. It just depends on your personal setup and what you’re hunting.
If you’re going after a really big animal where penetration is the most important thing then man, the Original is the way to go. If you have a lighter setup and you’re concerned about your penetration, then the Original is the way to go.
If you are going after a really long range shot like a pronghorn or something like that that you’re going beyond 60 yards, then the Original is the way to go.
But, if you are going for a shot under 60 yards and you really want to make a nice big hole and you have the kinetic energy to drive it through, (and honestly, it really doesn’t take that much kinetic energy to drive it through), then man, the XL is the way to go. For whitetail and hog shots under 50, 60 yards, I would definitely choose this one.
What I think is the best combination is to have a few of both in your quiver. If a shot is going to be longer, then you pull out the original. If the shot is going to be shorter, use the XL. And that way, you’re ready for any situation, and honestly, any animal as well.
Each of the blades are stainless steel and are 0.040 inch thick. So, they are really thick blades. They are arranged with the smallest diameter first, 5/8 of an inch, then 6/8 of an inch, 7/8 of an inch, and 1-inch. So, that’s where you get the total of 3.25 inches of cut.
I chose ahead of time to test this for the durability compared to a mechanical. And the reason I did that is that it has eight blades. Each of those four individual 2-blade heads would be hitting the steel plate that I typically use for fixed-blade broadheads.
I thought, “There’s no way that’s going to hold up to the steel plate.” But given it’s such a big cut size, let’s test it as I would a mechanical. And as you saw, it did extremely well for the mechanical test.
Now, I was curious and I want to see what would happen through a steel plate so I shot it into the steel plate as well and it punched a really nice 8-blade hole through the 22-gauge steel plate. But as expected, the head itself just did not hold up to the steel plate.
But honestly, that wouldn’t hold me back from using it in a hunting situation given its flight and given just the wicked wound channel and the way it held up to the MDF.