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afflictor k2 and EXT broadheads

Afflictor Fixed Blade Broadheads | The Inside Information

I’ve long enjoyed Afflictor broadheads, whether it’s the Hybrids or the fixed-blade heads. I’ve used all of them in many hunting situations and they’ve always performed really well.

In this review, I’m going to be testing some of the the fixed-blade heads in the Afflictor lineup.

Afflictor Fixed-Blade Broadheads

afflictor k2 and ext broadheads
The Afflictor K2 and EXT fixed-blade broadheads are similar in design, but the K2 has a shorter profile.

There are a lot of good companies in the archery business, and Afflictor is certainly one of them. Afflictor has a passion for testing, they are ethical and they are faith-based.

Now, before testing the fixed blade heads from Afflictor, I was already a big fan of the Afflictor Hybrids. I’ve taken deer, turkey, and hogs with them. They’ve always performed really well. They flight great. They penetrate deep, they hold up well and they inflict a lot of damage in animals.

So, when Afflictor sent me the fixed blade heads, I thought, “Well, I really like the hybrids.” But, then when I started shooting the fixed blade heads, I thought, “Man, I really like these too!”

I first tested the K2 and the EXT models. They’re similar in design, but obviously, they have different specs. (Further down in this review, I also tested the Heavyweight versions of these heads).

An overview of the fixed heads

When I first looked at the fixed blade heads, I thought, “Okay, they’re just like normal 4-blade fixed blade heads.”

And yes, they are, but there are some unique things about them.

Low profile

First of all, the K2 has a super short, low profile design. That’s why it flies so extremely well.

I would put the K2 up there with any fixed blade head as being the very best flying. There are several that I put in that category that just are top of the food chain in terms of long distance flight. This one is one of those.

The EXT also flies very well, but at super long ranges, it’s not quite as good as the K2, and that’s just because there’s more surface area.

You can see the total length is greater on the EXT heads, and therefore more surface area. That’s why the K2, with less surface area tends to fly better at long distances.

Blade thickness

Another unique feature of the K2 is that the blades themselves are extremely thick. They are 420 stainless steel, so they are a decent stainless steel. But beyond that, they are really thick.

The standard for many fixed blade heads is 0.030 or 0.035 inches thick. I have always liked how the QAD Exodus blades are 0.040 inches of thick. Well, the K2 blades are 0.059 inches thick. That’s impressive! (All four of the blades on both the K2 and EXT are 0.059 inches thick).

K2 and EXT tips

Afflictor K2 and EXT broadhead tips
The tips of the Afflictor K2 and EXT is extremely thick.

This tips of the K2 and EXT are also very unique. It’s not like a chiseled tip on other broadheads. It’s not like a true “cut on contact tip” though it does cut on contact. But it’s really thick. It’s actually double the thickness of the blades themselves. It’s 0.125 inches thick!

With that thickness, what that translates into is two things. First of all, durability. But, secondly, it’s going to make a really thick cut through the deer or animal. And, I found that with all things being equal with penetration, the thicker the blades, the harder it is for that wound channel to close up.

This results in better blood trails.

That’s why these Afflictor fixed blades perform so well for me in the field and have created such good blood trails; it’s the blade thickness.

A Horizontal blade cross? Yes, and here’s why

k2 and EXT horizontal blades crosssing
The K2 and EXT have a horizontal blade crosssing that actually aids in bone penetration.

Another thing that is unique about these fixed heads is if you look really closely, the top of the cross blades are actually horizontal for a little bit and then at an angle.

This feature is not by accident.

Now, you might look at that and say, “Well, that’s going to impede penetration.”

Actually, what Afflictor found is just the opposite.

In all their testing, the folks at Afflictor weree surprised to see it that sometimes what really happens during penetration seems like it defies the laws of physics.

They found that the penetration through bone has actually improved by having a little bit of horizontal cut because the head is able to breach the bone. It pushes the bone out of the way more effectively with that angle as well.

I was interested to see how it does this in my own testing.

Higher FOC

With the extra thick tip and with the cross blades being moved up on both the K2 and the EXT, it allows for a greater FOC. So, compared to other heads that have similar dimensions, these are going to have more weight toward the front end. That’s going to aid in forgiveness in flight and it’s also going to aid in penetration.

Fixed-blade ferrules

The ferrules on the K2 and EXT are aluminum. Now, I’m not typically a big fan of aluminum… unless it’s this kind of aluminum. The aluminum ferrules on these heads are made of 7075 T6 grade aluminum.

So, this aluminum is stronger than many steels. I haven’t had any problems with it in the field. Let’s see how it did in the testing.

For each of my tests, I used my Bowtech SR6 on the comfort setting, set at 72 pounds, 27-inch draw. I used Bishop FOC King Arrows (460 grains), Nockturnal Nocks and FOBs.

What I tested for

Because of the weather at the time of these tests (we were in the middle of a blizzard here in Iowa), I did not go outside to test long range flight.

I’ve already shot the K2 at longer ranges in the field and I know it is absolutely fantastic, the best of the best at longer ranges. I would give it a 10. It flies like at ATAC, Iron Will original, or a Bishop Holy Trinity… very, very good flight.

I would give the EXT a 9. It does really well out to about 60 yards. But, it’s a little more touchy beyond that. I can still pop balloons at 80 yards but I have to really focus on it.

I did, however test for penetration, durability, and edge retention.

Penetration testing of Afflictor fixed blade broadheads

I tested penetration by using a 1/2-inch inch layer of MDF, surrounded by 1/3-inch layers of rubber foam matting. On the back side of that medium is ballistic gel, made by Clear Ballistics. The clear gel allows you to see exactly what the broadhead is doing inside the gel.

I also measured the penetration, so that it can be compared to how other heads penetrate the same medium.

k2 and ext broadheads in ballistic gel
Here, you can see the penetration of the two. And as expected, the one with a smaller cut, penetrated more deeply than the one with a larger cut, though it wasn’t by much. The EXT here at the bottom penetrated 8 and 1/4 inches and the K2 at the top penetrated 7 and 3/4 inches.

Durability and edge retention testing

holes in steel plate made by afflictor k2 and ext broadheads
Here are the holes that the K2 and EXT made in the 22-gauge steel plate. And you can see, the ones at the bottom are by the K2. The ones on the top, the EXT. The K2s really punched a big hole. You can see why they would open up a big hole in an animal. That wound is not going to easily close up. Really, really impressed by that.

I shot these heads through a 22-gauge steel plate. In this test, I will shoot through the steel plate as many times as possible (up to 5 times), until the blades really start to get damaged. When the blades start to get significant damage, I stop.

For the purposes of scoring, each time I shoot without them getting significant damage, I give the head 2 points. The maximum a head can receive is 10 points. The maximum is 5 shots.

As for the blades themselves, I shot both the K2 and EXT into the steel plate and examined them after each time. Both heads made it 3 times into the steel plate before the blades began to get pretty mangled.

The blades were not bent way out of shape, but they were definitely getting nicked up enough to stop shooting. So, three shots through the steel plate at that range is pretty impressive. The blades are replaceable and would need to be replaced. But, they will get a score of 6 because they made it three times into the steel plate.

K2 and EXT blade damage after going through steel plate
Notice that the tip is just like brand new. It did not move at all. And that’s what really matters the most when it’s going into an animal. So, I was really impressed with that. And then it was actually the same for the EXT. So, you can see the blades there getting pretty nicked up and you can see those cross blades there getting a little flared out, a little bent out of shape. And again, the tip just pristine.

Both the K2 and EXT are really good heads. For flight, for total cut size, and for damage being inflicted, I go with the K2 but both of them are really good heads.

Actually, in the field, I would say the K2 does even better on animals than it showsin the testing.

The Afflictor K2 and EXT heavyweight fixed heads

In addition to the K2 and EXT, I also tested the Heavyweight versions of these broadheads. All of the heavier Afflictor fixed blade broadheads are stainless steel and they vary in weights from 155 to 200 grains. In my tests on the heavier fixed blade heads, I specifically be testing the 200-grain models.

afflictor EXT and K2 broadheads heavyweight lineup
Here’s a look the Afflictor Heavyweight lineup of their fixed-blade heads.

How the heavier fixed blade heads are different

The heavier versions of the Afflictor EXT and K2 differ from each other, as well as their lighter counterparts…

The tips and ferrules of the heavyweights

One main difference between the EXT heads and the K2 heads is the tip (The EXT tip is also used on the EXT Hybrids and the K2 tip is also used on the K2 Hybrids).

The biggest difference in the heavyweight heads over the 100 and 125-grain models is that the heavyweight versions are all stainless steel. The ferrules are no longer 7075 aluminum as they are in the lighter weight models. Now, they are stainless steel.

For example, the 155-grain model is basically the exact same head as the 125-grain model but with stainless steel ferrule, which adds the extra weight.

The tips on both of these heads are extra thick. By my measurement, it came out to 0.14 inch thick in that leading tip of both.

Now, some people note that the tip on these heads is not super sharp. And, that’s right, it’s not.

But don’t let that fool you in terms of its performance. It’s really about edge-integrity.

The tips on these heads promotes edge straightness, (the lack of chips and dings and bending that affects penetration) and they are really tough, holding a straight edge all the way into an animal. Then, the blades behind them do the cutting.

afflictor heavyweight fixed blade broadhead bleeders
The tips of the EXT differ from the tips of the K2, but they are both extremely thick.
heavier afflictor heads with weighted washers
The heavier heads are basically the same heads as the lighter models, except that they have stainless steel ferrules and weighted washers, which, in addition to larger blades, gives the extra weight.
bleeder blades of Afflictor K@ and EXT
The bleeders on both the K2 and EXT are very thick.

Blades, bleeders and cutting diameter

I really like the way Afflictor increased the weights of these heavyweight broadheads by beefing up the blades themselves. Very well done.

Some other things you’ll note about the different models is the EXT has a cutting diameter on the main blades of 1-1/4 inches and then the bleeders are 11/16 of an inch.

And then on the K2, the maximum cut 1-1/8 inches and then the bleeders are 1 inch. So, it’s kind of cool that you have different dimensions to choose from based on your setup and what kind of a hole you want to put in the animal.

Some other things that are noteworthy are the main blades on both the EXT and the K2 are both 0.053 inch thick. That’s a thick main blade!

Typically, bleeders are thinner and weaker, but not on these heads. These bleeders are 0.059 inch thick. So really thick bleeders right there.

I’ve taken a number of animals with the 125-grain fixed versions and they all performed really well.

So, as you can see, for many reasons, I was eager to put these heavier weight broadheads to the test.

Heavyweight Afflictor fixed-head penetreation test

I didn’t test the heavyweight heads for all the things that I tested the 125-grain model with, like flight. They are basically the same dimensions (just differing weights), so they’re going to fly the same.

I’ve also already tested them for edge sharpness and edge retention and they did very well.

But, I did test them for penetration and durability. And for that, I’m used the 200-grain version, just because I was curious to see how that heavier weight makes a difference in terms of the penetration and the durability.

So, let’s see how this heavyweight lineup of the EXT and the K2 Fixed-Blade Afflictors performed.

For the penetration test, I shot into a foam mat, backed by ½” MDF and a block of ballistic gel.

Check out the penetration results below:

afflictor k2 200 grains ballistic gel penetration
The K2 200 grain head penetrated 9 inches into the foam mat/MDF/ballistic gel.
afflictor EXT 200 grain penetration ballistic gel
The 200-grain K2 penetrated 9 inches. The EXT penetrated 9-1/4 inches.

Durability testing of K2 and EXT

I shot both heads into a .22 gauge steel plate. Both the EXT and the K2 heads really punch a hole, as opposed to “slits” like some other heads make. That’s what I look for in a fixed-blade head. I want something that punches a big hole, because it’s going to be a lot harder to close up that wound channel.

Both heads were impressive in this test, but I give a slight edge (in the way the hole looks) to the K2.

afflictor k2 and EXT broadhead durability test
If you look at the heavyweight K2 here, you notice that it really does make a bigger hole. It’s interesting because the heavyweight EXT is a bit wider just by an 1/8 of an inch. But because the bleeders are so wide over here in the K2, man, it just makes a nice big hole. You can see the same type result with the EXT here. The tip and ferrule are in perfect condition, but those blades got a bit nicked up. But very impressive holes and impressive durability.

Now, as for the durability of the heads themselves, they both held up fairly well. Of course, the tips and the ferrules are all in perfect condition. The tip is really durable. You can’t even tell it has been shot into anything, let alone steel.

But, the blades got really nicked up, and that started on the second shot. You could see them start to get nicked up on the first shot and then a little more with each subsequent shot.

Now, they are replaceable blades. Their gradual bevel makes them really sharp, but it also makes them a little prone to a bit of edge bending and nicking when shot into a super hard medium like steel.

Final thoughts on the Afflictor heavyweight fixed heads

So what do you think of the Afflictor Heavyweight K2 and EXT broadheads?

I’ve used them in hunting situations and they perform really well. I’ve been impressed with how beefy these fixed blades are (I especially love the Hybrids).

Like a few other broadhead companies out there, I’ve been so impressed with the Afflictor lineup,

So, check out the score sheets below and see how these things performed, and consider them.

If you’re looking for a little more “oomph” and more FOC, they might be the broadheads for you.

afflictor EXT test scorecard
Scorecard for the Afflictor EXT 200 grain broadhead.
k2 broadheads testing scorecard
Scorecard for the Afflictor 200 grain K2 broadhead.
man hold fly fishing rod with water in the background

Traveling with fly fishing gear | Get it there safely

When planning a fly fishing trip, our excitement is so strong around the destination and the experience that we might have, that we often overlook the most important details; getting our gear there in one piece.

Nothing puts a damper on a highly anticipated fishing trip like losing
your gear to a situation that could have been prevented.

Whether you are traveling by plane or car, your fly fishing gear should receive first class care.

Knowing how and what to pack for a plane trip, and how to store a fly rod in a vehicle that might not be sporting a roof rack, will make your trip smooth sailing and a lot of fun.

Taking Your Fly Fishing Gear On a Plane

wing of an airplane
Before you fly, be sure to check with your specific airline to find out what their regulations are pertaining to fly fishing equipment and supplies.

It seems like every airport, airline, and T.S.A. agent’s standards, directions, and verdicts vary greatly. This unfortunate reality can make traveling all the more anxiety ridden.

It also doesn’t help that fly fishing gear can have some questionable components that may raise some red flags such as fishing hooks, pliers, knives, etc.

Fortunately, fly rods and their reels are deemed acceptable as checked luggage by most airline carriers, regardless of the carrier’s size.

To be absolutely sure that you will not have an unexpected hassle during your airport and plane experience, it’s always a good fail-safe to
check with your specific airline carrier.

A great way to think of it is that T.S.A cares about what is inside your bag or on your person, whereas the carrier cares about how much your bag weighs and how much space it takes up.

Check out this T.S.A resource that helps you determine what you are permitted to carry and what you are not.

Containers for flying with fly fishing gear

orvis fly rod tube
A fly rod tube will allow you to take your own gear on your next fly fishing trip and also save you lots of space.

Once you have determined what you can and cannot bring, you’ll need to think about what type of container you will use for transporting your fly rod.

Four-piece rods and rod tubes are always the most ideal given that they are built for this purpose.

That said, the most important thing is that the chosen container is a hard case, extremely durable, and shock absorbent.

Hitting a batch of heavy turbulence is an anxious situation all on its own. Don’t give yourself even more stress by worrying about what damage that said turbulence may inflict on your fly rod.

Flying with a 4 piece rod and rod tube will save you a ton of space and headache. Although all things have their pros and cons, it’s better to fish with your own gear than with rental gear used by all sorts of anglers because you had to leave yours at home.

Where to put “questionable” fly fishing items

So, what questionable fly fishing gear items might raise T.S.A eyebrows? It’s a good idea to leave all tools (such as snippers, pliers, and hooks) in your
checked luggage.

It will also serve well to remove your fishing line from the reel and transport them in their respective packaging to prevent any security issues.

Other than that, so long as you don’t pack anything you can’t fit in your carry-on or checked baggage with ease, you’ll be
down and off the runway with no problem.

Traveling With Your Fly Fishing Gear via Car

truck parked by river and people fly fishing
Roof racks are a great way to protect your fly fishing rods when traveling by vehicle.

There are some really impressive fly rod roof racks on the market that are hands down the best way to travel via car with your fly rod.

Roof racks like Riversmith are exceptionally durable, can accommodate multiple and varying fly weights, and have protective liners that ensure your fly rod has a smooth and highly protected ride.

But, sometimes you might travel in a rental vehicle, with a buddy who doesn’t have a roof rack, or simply in a vehicle that is not your own. This can require fishermen to get creative with how they’ll go about getting their fly rod to its destination in one piece.

Here’s how you should protect your fly rod when traveling by vehicle:

  1. Disassemble your fly rod down to the number of pieces it was manufactured to break down to.
  2. Then, gently tape or strap the rod’s components together in several places.
  3. Once these parts are secure, place them in the vehicle pointed in a direction safe from windows, doors, and other passengers or obstructions.
  4. With the handles or butts of the fly rod down and a sock placed over the tip facing up, the rod should then also be strapped to the vehicle to prevent it from rolling around.

This security works both ways; it will ensure the vehicle doesn’t inflict damage to your fly rod, and that your fly rod won’t inflict damage to your vehicle.

Get Your Gear to Its Destination in One Piece

There is no such thing as caring too much about your fly rod and fishing equipment and doing everything in your power to get all of your gear to your fishing destination safely. So, take the extra minute to call your airline carrier and get information relevant to your rod and gear.

Invest some money into a fly rod roof rack for your personal vehicle so you can get from fishing spot to fishing spot with gentle ease. But, most importantly, don’t make impulsive and uneducated decisions on the fly so that you find yourself or your gear in a bad situation.

Do all your homework up front and your gear will thank you!

Kyle Rutten of Riversmith
Kyle Rutten of Riversmith.com
long range rifle on shooting range

Shoot For the Moon: Tips for Long-Range Shooting

Whether you just got your first rifle, grew tired of handguns at the range, or want to be a serious marksman, being able to shoot down-range takes a different skill set. Luckily, there are a few pointers that may help you take on the challenge of long-distance shooting.

Choose Your Rifle Optic Carefully

After the rifle, your biggest decision to make when it comes to long-range shooting is which optic to use. Some factors to consider are magnification, lens clarity, and parallax adjustment,

Whatever your decision, make sure to choose the best long-range optic for you. When you mount it on your scope, be sure to give yourself enough eye relief for the recoil.

Divide By Zero

target showing through rifle scope
Zeroing your rifle at 300 yards will help you once drop and weather that affects the shot more heavily at distances of 500 yards.

Once you’ve picked your optic and mounted it properly, it’s important to zero your scope for the distance you’ll be shooting at. Hitting a long-distance target comes down to inches, so accuracy is key.

Zeroing your optic will give you that accuracy and allow you to hit what you aim at consistently. A good range to zero for is 300 yards in the beginning, because it gives a better ground for long-distance situations without being affected by the drop and weather that 500 yards causes.

Check Your Posture and Breathe Easy

Your shooting stance can impact your shooting ability significantly, whether you fire prone or kneeling. One effective position was used by American snipers in Vietnam, in which you sit on the ground with one knee up and the other leg tucked underneath.

Every shooter has a stance that works for them, so find one that you’re most comfortable with. Remember to keep the stock of your rifle tucked tightly into the meat of your shoulder.

Also keep in mind that there’s a main vein where your stock is, so controlled breathing is essential. For long shots, exhale, wait for your heart rate to slow, and remain still before squeezing the trigger.

Consistency In Shooting Is key

long range rifle target
When shooting long distances, consistent practice is key, helping to build muscle memory.

One of the biggest separations between shooters is commitment to a routine. Especially in the beginning, the transition to long-range shooting is hard work.

Mental toughness means practicing often and shooting in tight groups frequently. Muscle memory can help with breathing habits, trigger tension, and reloading.

Study and Learn

The longer the shot, the more factors will affect the bullet. Over a distance of 300-500 yards, you’ll experience bullet drop and wind.

If the target is moving, you might have to calculate your bullet’s time to target and adjust. The average shooter won’t deal as much with this, but hunters and snipers will.

As you continue to shoot longer distances, you’ll pick up tips that you take with you, like what grain of bullet has the best velocity for your needs.

Be Patient

hunter shooting a rifle
The ability to be still is critical when shooting a rifle long distances. Individuals who hunt deer and other big game certainly know the importance of staying still and quiet.

When you take a long shot, your body needs to be still. For snipers and some hunters, the ability to be quiet and unmoving is one of the biggest assets.

Even for the average long-distance shooter, though, patience is important. Expert marksmanship takes time and practice, so don’t expect to master it overnight.

Experienced riflemen can take years to reach their level of shooting. Zero your optic, work on your routine, and continue to practice.

Keep Your Rifle “Safe”

One important aspect for long-distance shooting is your routine afterward. After you clean your weapon, what do you do?

You might need to wipe off the lenses of your scope and place the lens caps, but taking care of your rifle makes a difference. Dust or dirt can affect accuracy and rifling, so you should invest in a gun safe to keep your weapon clean and protected between shoots.

Final thoughts on long range shooting tips

So, whether you are a novice or an expert marksman at long distances, these 6 tips should help you hone your craft at long-range shooting. Let’s review one more time:

  1. Choose the right long range optic
  2. Zero your rifle
  3. Practice proper posture and breathing
  4. Consistently practice your shooting routine
  5. Keep studying and learning
  6. Keep rifle clean and protected between shoots

Author Bio:

Richard Douglas is a long time shooter, outdoor enthusiast and technologist. He is the founder and editor of Scopes Field, and a columnist at the National Interest, Cheaper Than Dirt, Daily Caller and other publications.

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