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John Lusk

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.
crimson talon broadheads header image

Crimson Talon Broadheads | The Inside Information

In this review, I tested three models of the Crimson Talon broadheads.

Crimson Talon makes the G2, the G2 Hyper Speed and the Outlaw.

The G2 Broadhead Specs

john lusk holding crimson talon broadheads on arrows
I was really excited to test these heads. And, I got some surprising results…

First we have the G2. It has a camouflage ferrule that they refer to as “ferruleflage.”

What initially stands out about the G2 is that it has six total blades – three main blades and three bleeders.

The main blade’s diameter is 1.25 inches, which is a big cutting diameter for a 3-blade head.

The cutting diameter of the smaller bleeder blades is 1/2 an inch. So, although they are shorter, they help with the cut.

The total cut of this head is 2.6 inches!

The bleeders are also offset at a 60-degree angle, so that allows them to create an even better wound channel and do damage that is difficult to close up.

crimson talon broadheads
The Crimson Talon lineup features the G2, the G2 Hyperspeed and the Outlaw.
crimson talon g2 broadhead blades
The G2 broadhead has curved blades as well as a camo ferrule they call “ferruleflage.”

But the biggest differentiating factor on the G2 broadhead is that the main blades are curved. This apparently creates two advantages…

The other advantage of the curved blades is that once they hit the animal, they continue to rotate, causing a spiral wound channel. Combine that with the 1.25 inches of cutting diameter and 2.6 inches of blade cutting, and that creates a wound channel that is very difficult to close up.

The tip is made out of A2 tool steel, so a really tough, beefy chisel tip of a very high quality steel. The ferrule is 7075 aluminum, which is a very stout, durable aluminum, stronger than some steels.

The blades of the G2 broadhead are 420 G2 stainless steel. The main blades were 0.028 inches thick, which is relatively thick compared to some other blades. But, with so much blade cutting action going on, that probably isn’t going to be an issue.

Crimson Talon calls this curved blade feature their “spintite” airfoil technology. As the arrow flies, the curved blades function as vanes or fletchings would, creating quick rotation of the shaft, which results in more accurate flight. This is supposed to prevent arrow planing.

We’ll see how it does in the durability test below.

One of the cool things about all of the Crimson Talon broadheads is that they have 100% lifetime warranty for any breakage, for any reason, with no expiration and no limitations. So, if any of these heads break, you just send them in and you get a replacement. That’s pretty nice especially at the price point that they are sold at.

G2 Hyper Speed Specs

The next broadhead I tested was the G2 Hyperspeed. It’s the same head as the G2, but without the airfoil design. So, the blades are all straight.

Now, the bleeders are still offset at a 60-degree angle, but everything is just a straight blade. Some people that don’t want the airfoil designs will like this head.

I remember when I lived in Colorado, the Crimson Talons were illegal (at least at that time) because the blades had to exist in a continual single plane. They couldn’t be curved.

hyperspeed broadhead blades
The Hyperspeed broadhead is like the G2, but without the curved blades.

The Outlaw Specs

The last Crimson Talon head I tested was The Outlaw.

The Outlaw is it’s really basic in some ways and unique in others. It’s basic in the sense that it’s a 3-blade head with a 1-1/8 inch cut. It’s a little bit different in that all three blades are offset. The 0.040 inch thick, stainless steel blades are an offset design, to create a better wound channel.

The tip is hard stainless steel and the ferrule is solid titanium. It also has a 3-blade locking system, keeping the blades in three different places, which is supposed to make these heads very durable and have really good blade retention.

offset blades of outlaw broadheads
The Outlaw broadhead has offset blades and a 1-1/8″ cut.

Crimson Talon Broadhead Testing

I was eager to put all of these heads to the test.

I tested them for flight, edge retention, sharpness, penetration and durability.

Let’s see how this Crimson Talon lineup performed.

Crimson Talon Flight

All three of the Crimson Talon heads were able to pop a balloon at 70 yards.

Edge retention results (out-of-the-box sharpness)

For the Crimson Talon G2, I just tested the sharpness and edge retention of the straight blades (Hyperspeed), because it’s too difficult to get it all lined up with the curved blades and they are the same blades anyway.

stroking arrow on g2 broadheads shaft
The Crimson Talon G2 Hyperspeed cut paper after 5 strokes of the arrow.
stroking an arrow shaft on outlaw broadhead
The Outlaw cut paper after five strokes of the arrow.

Penetration results (ballistic gel)

penetration of crimson talong broadheads in ballistic gel
The penetration of these heads was pretty much as expected. The Outlaw penetrated the most at 8 and a half inches, followed by the Hyperspeed at 7 and a quarter inches. And then the G2 with the curved blades penetrated 6 and 3 quarter inches.
g2 broadheads into ballistic gel
Down at the bottom there in the middle, you can see the wound channel of the G2 and you can see that rotation. The blades actually rotated from initial impact with the rubber foam mat to their final resting place. They rotated 90 degrees. So that’s pretty cool. That’s like a single bevel, 2-blade head in terms of rotation. And, that’s a wicked-looking wound channel as well.
crimson talon broadhead holes in steel plate
Here are all three heads after going through the 22-inch steel plate five times each. I was definitely impressed with the durability. I really didn’t expect any of them to make it through all five times. I expected them to lose blades on maybe the second or third shot. But, none of them did. All of them held their blades together really well and stayed intact.

Penetration (steel plate)

If you look at the holes that the heads made in the steel plate, it’s really interesting. You can see that the Hyperspeed (top right) made the most impressive holes. It made really big, triangular holes with extra wide cuts in the tips.

g2 broadhead damaged blades
Notice the G2 with the curved blades. I’m really surprised that it held together like it did. The blades did not straighten out when going through the steel plate five times. They really stayed curved together, which is really impressive. Also, the holes are still really big. You can see the curls in the ends. It didn’t make as big of a triangular hole as the Hyperspeed for some reason, but it still made a really impressive wound channel with those “S-cuts.”
outlaw after going through steel plate
The Outlaw held together as well. And you can see the holes are a bit smaller there, that at a 1 1/8 inch cut.

Edge Retention (steel plate)

Now, in terms of the edge retention and the durability of the blades themselves after going through the steel plate; again, all of them stayed intact. None of them bent out of shape. But, all of them did get really nicked up.

The one that probably got the most nicked up was the G2. Because of those curved blades, the head hits the steel in a new place each time as it curves around. And so, those edges would have had to be replaced after probably the third or fourth shot. But they still held intact. You can imagine there might be some damage when coming in contact with a rib, shoulder or other bones of a deer.

The Outlaw has the thickest blade, so they took a big brunt of the impact on the steel and they got next most nicked up (although the tip held together perfectly and the A2 tip on the G2 and on the Hyperspeed look brand new).

The Hyperspeed got the least amount of damage on the blades. It made it through four times before it would have had to be replaced. So, it stayed in relatively good shape. Some of the blades were still perfectly intact and some were nicked up.

So overall, really impressed and surprised with the durability of these heads.

Crimson Talon broadheads: Final thoughts

So what do you think of the Crimson Talons? I’ve got to say, I was really impressed.

If I had to pick a winner between them, it would definitely be between the G2 and the G2 Hyperspeed. And which one would be the winner would be based on my setup and on what animal I’m pursuing.

When I first saw the price point looked at the heads, I thought, “Man, these things are going to fall apart.” I just thought they were kind of cheap. But man, I was wrong! They really did perform in each one of the tests that I did on them. I was pleasantly surprised. So, you can check out the score sheets below and see how they rank compared to each other and compared to other heads.

If I’m going after a really big animal or I have a lighter setup where I need to maximize penetration, then I’m going with the Hyperspeed.

If I’m using a setup that has a little bit more momentum, and I’m going after an animal like a whitetail sized animal, I’m going with the G2 because that is one wicked-looking wound channel!

But these two heads are fantastic heads. If I decide to pick one for my setup then it would be the G2. But, I’d be a 100% confident using both of them on an animal.

Great job, Crimson Talon. Give these a look. 

ozcut hurricane test header image

Ozcut Hurricane Broadheads Review | The Inside Information

In this review, I tested the Ozcut Hurricane broadheads.

Ozcut is a company outside of Australia and the time of this review, they are a relatively new company. I’ve been intrigued by these broadheads and was excited to test them out.

I have a passion for single bevel heads. So, I love it when someone comes out with a single bevel, 3-blade head.

Now, I’ve seen some other single bevel multi-blade heads that had some design flaws that prevented them from getting the full benefit of the single bevel.

However, I was intrigued by this one for a few reasons that we’ll get into right now.

ozcut hurricane broadheads
Ozcut hurricane broadheads

My Initial Impression of the Ozcut Hurricane

First of all, the Hurricane is one piece, solid construction, and made out high-carbon steel.

The blades are really thick. And, for a single bevel to be of a benefit, they need to be thick like that.

There’s a nice tanto tip, so it’s a really durable tip and the back of the blades are sharpened. So, if it doesn’t go all the way through the animal, that head is going to stay in there doing some cutting. It also makes it easier to pull them out of your target.

So, there’s a lot about this head that I really like. I did some of my normal testing. I shot it through a couple of different layers of MDF with a rubber foam mat in the front. I also shot it at long distance. And, I shot it through some steel as well as into a cinder block. I also shot into ballistic gel to test rotation.

So, let’s see how the head holds up, how it penetrates, and how it does in this testing.

The cutting diameter on the Ozcut Hurricane broadhead is 1-1/16 inches.

Long Range Flight

The Ozcut Hurricane flew exceptionally well in the long-range shot testing. I was able to pop a balloon at 80 yards with ease.

Penetration Testing

The first penetration test was through MDF boards that had a layer of foam matting in front of them…

ozcut hurricane broadheads s-cut into mdf and foam
On the entrance into this foam mat, you can see you got a little bit of rotation from the Hurricane as evidenced by the “S-cut.”
ozcut hurricane first layer mdf penetration
Here, you can see the penetration through the first board right there.
ozcut hurricane penetration in second and third layer of mdf
And then through the second MDF board…
ozcut hurricane penetration in 3rd layer of mdf
It bulged out of the back of the 3rd MDF board.
edge retention ozcut hurricane after shot into mdf board
Upon inspection of the head after going through two layers of MDF, you can see that there are no signs of wear whatsoever. The edges maintain very well and they still shave nail.

Steel Plate Penetration Test

In the next penetration test, I shot the Ozcut Hurricane into a steel plate, followed by a layer of MDF behind it.

hole in steel plate from ozcut hurricane
There’s the hole of the steel plate. It made a nice, good triangular hole and you can see again the offset blades making that extra “S-cut.”
ozcut hurricane blades after the steel plate test
See the head after it went through the steel plate. You can see that the edge got quite a bit nicked up and dulled. You can see it here on the edges. Overall, it did well. And the structural integrity of the head was fantastic. This has now gone through three layers of MDF and one layer of steel plate there. But, the edges did get more dinged up than I would have expected.

Cinder Block Test

Because it’s a solid machine broadhead, I shot the Hurricane into a concrete block. Not many heads have held up really well through this. the Bishop held up well, and also the Iron Will. The Tooth of the Arrow broadheads, Exodus, and A-TAC broadheads also held up quite well.

Let’s see how the Ozcut does.

cinder block after ozcut hurricane broadhead shot at it
Here’s the chunk (right side) that the Hurricane head took out of the concrete block. Not as big as some of the other broadheads that I’ve shot but it did penetrate and take a chunk out of it.
ozcut hurricane blades after cinder block test
The Hurricane broadhead after it went into the concrete block. You can see that it got mangled quite a bit. It’s hitting concrete, so I understand that. (We are not hunting concrete. I understand that. But, I was testing it to see its overall durability and it stayed in one piece). If this did go into an animal like that, it would stay in there still cutting away but it did get mangled beyond repair going into the concrete.

Ballistic Gel Test

I was curious to see how the rotation of the Hurricane would do in a ballistic gel. So, I shot it into the ballistic gel (below). I also had some MDF behind it.

In this test, I compared it to a single bevel, 2-blade head, the Bishop Scientific Method to see how it rotates in the same medium. I also compared it to the Exodus broadheads.

ozcut penetration through ballistic gel compared to exodus broadheads and bishop scientific method
You can see the penetration difference between these three heads as they all go through the gel and then stop. You see at the top, you see the Exodus that came in third and then you see the Ozcut Hurricane came in first right below that and then you see Bishop Scientific Method 2-blade right below that.
ozcut hurricane channel in ballistic gel
You can see the wound channel of the Ozcut in the middle. The lighter areas are where the blades are rotating around. It looks like it almost made one full rotation.
ozcut broadhead cutting diameter in mdf board
This the second layer of MDF after going through the ballistic gel. The Hurricane went through the first layer and then bulged out of the back of the second layer. This is where it went into that second layer. It doesn’t have the biggest cutting diameter, but it does make a really cool cut. You see it’s not just a typical 3-blade cut. You get a good glimpse of that S-rotation and that weird angle that it’s cutting at. You can imagine what that would be doing to tissue in an animal.

Final thoughts on the Ozcut Hurricane

So there you have it, the Ozcut Hurricane. This broadhead is a winner. There’s a lot I really like about it. It flies really well.

They say the single bevel design helps to speed up the rotation. I can’t verify that because I can’t quantify the rotation. But, I can tell you, I shoot a lot of single-bevel heads at long range and man, this one was really easy to pop balloons with. It was automatic.

I would say this is amongst the very best shooting long-range, solid fixed-blade broadheads that I’ve ever shot. I can’t think of any that fly better than this.

This head is right up there with the A-TAC. It just flies really well.

This head also penetrates really well. You can see through all those mediums and where it rotated really well through the gel. You could see that S-cut in the steel and see it starting into the wood as well.

report card for ozcut hurricane broadheads
Here is the report card for the Ozcut Hurricane broadheads.

Possible Improvements

There are two things about this head that I think they could have done differently.

What could have made it like even better is using a higher quality steel. Not that this is bad – it’s a good machined head, out of a solid chunk of carbon steel. But, when you’re using a single bevel broadhead, the rotational force and the pressure that is put on that one blade angle is intense. This calls for premium steel.

After shooting it a few times, you can see where it gets dinged up.

In addition, it’s not super easy to find that bevel to sharpen it just right.

I also wish there was a larger cutting diameter. And, although it penetrates really well, the 1-1/16 inch cutting diameter is not the best for opening up a very big hole. I just wish it was bigger.

If it was like 1-1/8 inch, even or 1-1/4 inch, that would be awesome. If it was just a little bit bigger entrance and exit hole, I would like it even more.

So, what is this type of head great for? As it is, this would be a great elk or moose head for lower kinetic energy setups. I think it could also be great for deer hunting, for big hogs, bears or African plains game.

So, really cool design, really cool head. Give it a look.

John Lusk archery goat
John Lusk of Lusk Archery Adventures
zeus broadheads original

Zeus Broadheads Review | The Inside Information

In this broadheads review, I tested a really creative broadhead on the market – the Zeus, by New Era Archery.

When you read the package, it says, “Zeus Broadheads – Smart Head Technology – Cut The Zeus Loose.”

So, what is a Zeus broadhead?

When I first saw these, my first thought was, “what in the world is that? Is it a mechanical? Is it a fixed? What is it?”

It never ceases to amaze me how creative people can be in designing broadheads. How creative can you be just putting a sharp object on the end of a stick?

Well, apparently, you can be really creative. And, the Zeus is about as creative as they come.

Zeus Broadheads Smart Head Technology

zeus broadheads diagram

Zeus broadheads refer to “Smart Head Technology.” What that means is you’re getting the best of both worlds of a both a mechanical broadhead as well as a fixed blade broadhead.

Let me explain…

First of all, the diameter of the upper fixed blades is 1-1/2 inches. Then, the bleeders are 7/8 of and inch wide. So, you’ve got 1-1/2-inches in one direction, and 7/8 of an inch this way, providing almost 2-1/2 inches of total cut.

Now at the same time, the profile of these blades is really small. So, in theory, they would fly really well, like a mechanical.

Additionally, they have a tip containing many little grooves.

And so, it’s designed to fly through the air, and as it spins, to circulate the air around it, much like a golf ball with dimples prevents a vacuum on the back of the ball from making it fly off course.

Similarly, the grooves on the tip help prevent a vacuum on the broadhead. And so, as the head rotates, it rifles and stays right on track, thus flying more like a mechanical.

Penetration

Additionally, the way the Zeus broadhead penetrates is interesting.

In the wide-open position, it penetrates through normal tissue with that 1-1/2-inch cut. But, when it encounters a hard medium, the upper blades retract. (It takes 48 pounds of pressure to compress the internal steel spring). Once that amount of pressure is achieved, the blades compress all the way down to 7/8 of an inch, the same diameter as the lower bleeder blades.

So, say if they compress all the way into a bone and you go, “Well, then I don’t have a blade.” No, you still have 7/8 of an inch this way and 7/8 of an inch the other way. It’s not that much different from a Slick Trick standard. So anyway, it’s designed to do that.

But, after it cuts through whatever hard surface it has encountered, the spring forces the blades back open to their full 1-1/2″ diameter.

Before testing, I was thinking, “Oh, that’s creative!” But, to be honest, I was a bit skeptical, so I wanted to put these broadheads through the wringer and see how they performed.

So, again, the thought here is that you get the best of both worlds. You get deep penetration due to the the blades compressing when they hit a hard surface. But, you get a larger cut through softer mediums like animal tissue and hide.

I realize that some might say, “Hey, I don’t care about that test, because I don’t hunt MDF and I don’t hunt steel plates.” Good for you. They would be kind of hard to eat anyway!

But, my goals are to provide hunters with data points so that you can make decisions that hopefully make you a better hunter. I don’t have a live deer during tests to shoot an arrow through. I shoot through wood just to give you a data point.

It’s easy to read the back of a package and gain some information on the specs of a broadhead. And, you can certainly read magazine ads about a head or look online to get info. But, if you’re like me, you want to know, “How well is this head going to hold up and how well does it penetrate?”

Well, hopefully my testing will give you some data points to consider as you are selecting your broadhead.

Broadhead Specs

In terms of materials, the Zeus broadhead tip is really interesting. It’s constructed of 441 steel, so it’s a really strong, hardened steel. The ferrule is 7075 aluminum. So, it’s stronger aluminum than any other broadheads are using right now.

All of the blades are stainless steel. The tip of the head unscrews. You can take out the 100-grain hardened tip and then screw in a longer tip that weighs 25 grains more, thus making it a 125-grain broadhead. I like that.

And the 125-grain tip is a lot longer and looks like it would penetrate really well.

The Zeus head looks to be of good craftsmanship. It also spins true.

john lusk with a zeus broadhead
The creativity of the Zeus broadheads design is off the charts, but how would it test?

Let the tests begin

As in all my tests, I shot the Zeus head with my Bowtech Realm SR6 set at 73 pounds with a 27-inch draw length.

I shot the Bishop Mammoth FOC King Arrow, which can handle pretty much anything.

Zeus broadheads flight test

zeus broadheads flight test at 6 and 80 yards
The Zeus flew extremely well at both 60 and 80 yards.

Direct Penetration Test

zeus broadhead penetration in foam and mdf 1
In regards to total penetration, these heads did really well. They blew all the way through two boards there and completely came out the back board.
zeus broadheads penetration through foam mat
Now, as we examine the impact of the broadheads into the rubber mat, we see in the entrance there a perfect entrance and that is 1-1/2 inches by 7/8 inch just as the blades themselves are. Those main blades did not close in.
zeus broadhead penetration into first mdf board
Then as we look at first board, you can see the blades cutting right there and the main blade was an inch upon impact there. The bleeders is a 7/8 of an inch cross ways.
exit hole of zeus broadhead in first mdf board
The Zeus blew right through the first MDF board.
zeus broadhead penetration through MDF 2
As it came out, it made a nice hole coming out of the second MDF board as well.
exit hole of second mdf board by zeus broadhead
This picture shows the Zeus poking through here. None of the blades made it all the way through, but the head got really deep penetration.
zeus head embedded into second mdf board
And then it embedded in the final board. Here, you can see the bleeders didn’t quite go all the way into the board, but the blades had reopened up after they closed in the previous boards. So, that spring opened them back up a bit and you see a little less than one inch of cut right there from the main blades on this board and didn’t reach to the bleeders.
entry hole of zeus head into first mdf board
Here’s the Zeus after it went through those MDF boards. It wasn’t easy to get out. I had to push it all the way through which put a lot of extra pressure on it and it still held up remarkably well. The blades are just – it seems like just as sharp as they were. They are still shaven nail. They didn’t bend. The ferrule spins through. Everything held really well. The spring contracted a bit extra in there to where they are just a little bit – the blades are a little bit looser so they collapsed a little bit more than the original 1 1/2 inch. You can see there, it’s about 1 1/4 inch. But other than that, they just help up remarkably, and honestly, surprisingly well.

Angled shot penetration test

In the angled shot test, I set up boards at a 45 degree angle. Let’s see how the Zeus broadheads did in this test…

zeus penetration through mdf on angled shot
In the angled penetration test, the Zeus stuck in really well. Here you see the impact of the angled shot. As for penetration, it stayed on course. It stayed straight and penetrated right through very easily. The blade and the head help up really well.
entry hole of zeus broadhead into mdf on angled shot
You can see the hole in the entrance hole that the head made in the angled shot and it blew right through. The blades contracted as designed and then it continued to penetrate right after it got through that board. The blade sprung back open and here they are at their full deployment again of 1 1/2 inches. And as for durability, it held up super well. The spring is fully intact. The blades are just as sharp as they were, and still able to shave my fingernail. nail. The head still spun true. A very good performance in the angled shot.

Steel plate penetration test

Out of curiosity, I wanted to see this head would do on a steel plate…

zeus broadheads penetration into steel plate
The head easily penetrated the steel plate.
zeus broadhead penetration into mdf after passing through steel plate
The penetration here was amazing. It went through the steel plate, blew through the second half inch MDF, and then almost made it to the third.
Here you see the head after it went through the steel plate and then another layer of MDF (and also after the angled shot). You can see that it held up remarkably well. The blades are a little bit loose because that spring is a little bit contracted. They are not the full 1.5-inch. They contracted just slightly. And you see those bleeder blades bent just a little bit. But, they did surprisingly well. A little bend like that big of an issue because they’re continuing to cut as they go in.

Conclusion

I’ll be honest. This head surprised me. When I first was reading about it, I thought, “Oh man, what kind of a newfangled weird thing is that?”

But, as you saw, even at 80 yards, it flew just like my field points. I was really impressed. It flies extremely well, just as advertised.

I was also a little suspicious of the durability. But, shooting it into two half inch sheets of this MDF, it held up really well. The blades were like brand new.

And then I shot it through another layer of MDF that was preceded by a stainless steel plate. And, it held up well to that as well. There was a little bit of bending in the bleeders, but that’s a lot better than breaking. If they bend, I can live with that. If they break off, I get concerned about that. And the tip, of course, held up well.

The blades still stayed in great shape as well.

The spring got some damage, causing the blades to collapse a little bit more than the full inch and a half. But, they are coming out with a little assembly package where you can put in a new spring there and get it replaced like that.

zeus broadheads review scorecard
The Zeus broadhead scored very well in each category tested.

So overall, I would say this is a really creative head. Penetration wise, it did really well. The penetration is the best I’ve tested so far in terms of this medium.

To this point, I’ve been shooting this medium of MDF with the foam in front of it on a dozen different broadheads. The Zeus penetrated the best of any of them.

Now, I will say, the blades collapsed. So, by design, it didn’t cut all that tissue as it’s going through all those mediums. But, it did penetrate deeply.

This head will give you a deep penetration, but if you hit that bone, it’s not going to cut the bone all the way through, but then again, that’s what’s going to allow it to penetrate more deeply, right? So it’s a good tradeoff. I

So smart technology, indeed it is. Worth a try? Definitely.

Good job, Zeus. I appreciate the creativity.

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