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valkyrie jag and jagger

Valkyrie Broadheads Review | The Inside Information

Many people have asked me to do a review of the Valkyrie broadheads, and I finally got to do it.

Many people have asked me to test this broadhead. If you have read any of my other reviews, you know that I test a lot of high quality broadheads. The Valkyrie definitely fits the bill.

valkyrie broadheads side by side
Here you can see the Valkyrie close up. And man, upon close inspection, you don’t wonder where the money went in what you just purchased. These are some really high quality, well-constructed heads that just look wicked cool. I love the way the Valkyrie heads look as well as the overall design.

Valkyrie broadheads | An overview

The Valkyrie heads are machined out of a single chunk of S7 tool steel. that is brought to a Rockwell hardness of 58 to 60 which is really hard.

Now, it’s important that you don’t compare that to 58 to 60 in a stainless steel, because with an S7 tool steel like this, the impact resistance is many times greater than that of stainless steel.

So, you are getting the benefit of a really hard edge and really hard blade combined with really tough impact resistance as well.

The Valkyrie is a 3-blade design. The cutting diameter is relatively low at 1 inch. But, with 3 blades, you are getting an inch-and-a-half of total cut which is a lot more than most 2-blade heads.

The overall purpose of the Valkyrie design is to maximize penetration. And that’s why this “swept” design in the short Jag head, and in the regular-sized Jagger.

The blades of the Valkyrie heads are also completely coated with a Cerakote ceramic finish. This aids in resistance to the elements, which a tool steel typically does not have. It also provides a less of a glare and it aids in penetration, to give it a bit more smoothness through bone, tissue and hide.

valkyrie broadheads
Pictured is the 180-grain model and the 200-grain model. They go from 160 grains and some of them are vented like that all the way up to over 300 grains. So some are vented and some are not vented based on the size and based on the design. But the overall purpose is to get one tough head that penetrates extremely well.
valkyrie broadheads double beveled edges
The blades are .054 inch thick, yet they are much thicker at the front, due to being tapered from the front back and because of the chiseled tip. As you go away from the axis, they get a little bit thinner and are brought to a double bevel edge.

The Setup

For this test, I’m used my Bowtech SR6 set at 72 pounds and I’m using the whole Valkyrie system pictured below. It comes with VAP arrows 0.166 diameter and with their titanium centerpin and the broadhead. The arrows even have their own fletching.

valkyrie arrow set
The Valkyrie Arrow System

Valkyrie testing

I was very eager to test these heads. They looked like they would penetrate well. They also spun very true and looked and felt very sharp. I also wanted to test for long-range flight, edge retention, penetration and durability. So let’s get to the results…

Sharpness test

To test the sharpness of the Valkyrie Jagger, I examined its ability to cut paper not only out of the box, but also after up to five strokes of the arrow shaft against the blade edge.

valkyrie broadheads arrow stroke sharpness test
This head cut paper even after five strokes of the arrow shaft.
valkyrie broadheads paper cut test
Still cutting paper after 5 strokes of the arrow!

You can learn more about the Valkyrie arrow system by visiting their website, valkyriearchery.com.

Long Range Flight | Balloon test

valkyrie broadheads long range flight test
Both the short Jag and the Jagger flew true enough to pop balloons from 70 yards.

Penetration testing

In the ballistic gel test, the short Jag penetrated 8 inches.

valkyrie ballistic gel penetration test
The short jag head penetrated 8 inches through the MDF, rubber mat and ballistic gel.

In the steel plate penetration test below, notice the holes that the Valkyrie heads make. They are not just slits, they really put those nice triangular holes in the steel plate.

And, I will note too that it’s fairly easy to sharpen. When I’m sharpening it, I use a paper wheel. You can use whatever you want or you can just mail it back in. They actually sharpen them or will even repair them if they need repair… all for free. ($10 shipping and handling to send the head in).

valkyrie steel plate penetration test
Here’s the Valkyrie after going through the 22-gauge steel plate 5 times. And as you can see, it’s in pristine condition. It looks brand new! The only signs of wear are a little bit of the Ceracoat finish got stripped off of the edges. That’s it. Nothing on the blades… no nicks, not even scratches. This is amongst the very best in terms of durability through the steel plate that I’ve seen so far. Very impressive.

Final Thoughts

So what do you think of the Valkyrie? I’ve got to tell you, I was impressed. I was expecting quite a bit from these broadheads and I have to say, it exceeded even my high expectations.

This is one very well-designed, very well-constructed broadhead.

If you are looking for something that’s high quality that’s going to last you forever and that you can use on anything in the world, this is a head worth checking out.

Overall, the Valkyrie is just an incredible head, well-worth checking out especially if you are going after a really big-bodied animal. This is something that is really worth investigating.

Great job, Valkyrie.

Best of luck on your next bow hunt!

(Be sure to visit our deer hunting tips page to get ready for the upcoming season!)

John Lusk archery goat
John Lusk of Lusk Archery Adventures
toxic broadhead test

Toxic Broadheads Review | The Inside Information

In this review, I test a broadhead unlike any I’ve ever seen… the Toxic Broadhead from Flying Arrow Archery.

I love innovations and this broadhead definitely fits the bill.

Toxic Broadheads At First Glance

closeup of toxic broadhead
The Toxic broadhead has a chiseled tip and six single-bevel blades.

The Toxic broadhead has is six curved blades, each of which come together to form three different circles, and they call this the “meat worm technology.”

That’s a nasty-sounding name, but it describes how the head literally cuts three cores of tissue out of animals, leaving a devastating wound channel.

Head Structure

Each of the six blades on the Toxic come together at the top of the head, but there is a little space between them. They are single bevel blades, which is supposed to allow them to be able to flare out a little bit and go around bones, leaving a devastating wound channel. (I’ve seen them take down a moose, and it is definitely devastating).

The Toxic has a chiseled tip, which adds to its penetrating ability and toughness upon hard impacts. It also spins very true.

I wasn’t able to find any of the specs on the broadhead itself, the type of steel, and the thickness of the blades, and so forth. Usually, on most broadheads, I can find that information and supply that.

However, in this case I just had to gather information based on the test results themselves to test penetration, durability and penetration, durability, draining ability and flight.

Even though I had heard reports of the Toxic broadhead flying well, I had a hard time believing it. I was eager to find out for myself…

Penetration Testing

To test the overall penetration and durability, I started by shooting the Toxic into my medium which consisted of the following: a half-inch layer of MDF, surrounded by a third-of-an-inch of rubber foam matting, followed by clear ballistic gel.

I then shot it into a 22-gauge steel plate, with the intention of shooting it up to five times, as the blade will allow before they get seriously damaged. In this test, once serious damage occurs, I stop.

For each shot where they don’t get damaged, I give them 2 points for a maximum of 5 shots; a maximum of 10 points.

As in all my tests, I am shooting the Bowtech SR6, set at 72 pounds and 27-inch draw. I’m using a Bishop Archery FOC King Arrow, 460 grains and FOBs and a nockturnal nock.

Into MDF / Foam Rubber / Ballistic Gel Medium

In the penetration testing, the Toxic went a total of 6-3/4 inches into this medium. It was really cool to see the hole created by the “worm technology.” The wound channel created was incredible.

toxic ballistic gel test
In the initial few inches, there was a lot of “craziness” in the gel. After that initial couple of craziness, it just seemed to normalize. I’m not sure what happened, but it looks like a normal wound channel after that.
toxic meat worms
When I pulled the arrow out, it literally created these “meat worms,” hence the name “meat worm technology” that is used by Flying Arrow Archery’s Toxic broadhead. I can imagine this would do some serious damage on an animal.

Into Steel Plate

As for the edge retention, which was what I was testing it for, the Toxic really could only handle one shot. After the shot, the tip of this head looked pristine. I imagine it could have gone through steel a hundred times. It would probably stick in concrete as well.

The blades however, got pretty bent and the edges pretty mangled. I’ve had other heads do much better. I had to call the test complete after just one shot through the steel. So, I’ll give that 2 points.

So, the tip held up great. The edge retention? Not so good.

toxic steel plate test
Here is the hole made by the Toxic in the steel plate. I’ve never seen a broadhead make this size of a hole in the plate.

Water drain test

toxic broadhead water drain test
The Toxic drained the water bag in just 1.4 seconds, which is astounding. This is a result of the incredible amount of cut that this head provides.

In the water bag drainage test, I was curious to see how quickly the Toxic would drain the water bag. I used this as a test to get an idea of what the wound channel would be like.

Shooting at distance

You might think, “Wow, the Toxic has over 4 inches of cut. That’s impressive!”

However, you might also assume that with 4 inches of cut, “there’s no way that’s going to fly well.”

But, it actually flew relatively well. I could readily pop balloons at 70 yards.

The Toxic flew surprisingly well. I was able to pop a balloon at 70 yards.

Some fixed-blade heads have flown better, that’s for sure. But, some have flown worse. So overall, a good flying head.

Toxic Broadhead Recap

So, what do you think of the Toxic broadhead?

I have to be honest. When the Toxic first came out and I read about it, I thought it was 100% gimmick. I didn’t see how it could fly well. I didn’t see how it could hold up or penetrate well.

However, after reading some of the reports and seeing some of the damage on animals, I finally got around to testing it. And I have to say, I was impressed.

The primary reason that I think it has done so well is the total cut size that you have as well as the total amount of tissue being cut (over 4 inches) as it passes through something.

The reason for this is the circumference of each of the blades that sort of curl into a circle if you will, is about 1.3 inches total. So, multiply that x3 and you’ve got over 4 inches of tissue being cut.

Compare that cut to some other heads:

  • Exodus broadheads: 1.875 total inches of cut
  • Rag: 2 inches of cut
  • Slick Trick: 1-inch diameter, and 2 inches of cut
  • GrizzTrick broadhead, 1.25 inches of diameter and 2.5 inches of cut
toxic blade damage
Now, the big drawback with the Toxic is durability. The chiseled tip is extremely strong. However, the blades themselves are relatively thin and then they come to a pretty thin point as they wrap around into the circle. They are sharpened at a single bevel.

In terms of penetration, you would think, “Man, with 4 inches of cut, there’s no way that’s going to penetrate well through MDF and rubber foam mat and ballistic gel.” But it actually did. It didn’t penetrate as well as some broadheads, but for 4 inches of cut, it penetrated pretty well.

But the durability… not so good.

So, all of that means is that the blades are not super durable, and you saw that in the steel plate test, as they got pretty dinged-up and bent just in the 22-gauge steel plate. And, while I have certainly had broadheads do much better, I have not seen another broadhead do this poorly in a 22-gauge steel plate.

Final Thoughts

The Toxic may be a “one-and-done” broadhead. However, the amount of damage that you are going to get from that one shot could be really significant.

So, how would I feel hunting with this head? I would be a little cautious because I worry about the durability if I’m hitting a hard bone, especially if I hit a bone at an angle.

However, with the amount of cut that you get, the good flight and the way it has performed well even through a hard layer like MDF, I would definitely give it a whirl. If it can cut through that much tissue while it penetrates that much and flies that well, it’s definitely worth a look.

So this is certainly not a gimmick. Give the Toxic broadhead from Flying Arrow Archery a second look.

mounting a rifle scope

How To Mount A Rifle Scope | What You Need To Know

It is interesting that one of the most mystical elements of rifle-shooting (after buying a rifle scope) is getting a scope sight mounted correctly and, when done, finding out if the rifle will shoot straight after zeroing.

So, if you are not a pro on mounting a rifle scope, check out this guide below.

bench rest for mounting rifle scope
A bench rest is a helpful tool to keep everything you’ll need close by while mounting your rifle scope.

What You’ll Need

When mounting a rifle scope, the tools you’ll need can be as simple as a correctly sized screwdriver, and sometimes a small open-end wrench. (This all depends on the type of mounts being used, however, and yes, there are differences by the dozens).

A bench-rest system is a great way to install a scope. In some cases, an Allen wrench is also advised, or even required, to lock down ring screws. (However, in other situations, the full array of gunsmith tools are required when receiver bases and ring systems need installing).

What you’ll need:

  • Screwdriver
  • Small open-end wrench
  • Bench rest
  • Allen wrenches

Mounting Your Rifle Scope | Step-By-Step

When going to work on a rifle scope mounting job, it is nice to have a clean, clear space to do the work. Even the use of a gun vise or mount is a great idea, and can save both time and effort in the event parts fall away from the scope or rifle.

If you’re worried about mounting a scope being a difficult task, let me put your mind at ease; I mount scopes while watching my favorite hockey game at the same time!

There are some jobs that require tapping new screw holes, and advanced mounts that require more parts then the scope contains. However, in general, most mounts are field dirt simple to work with and figure out for yourself.

Step-by-step rifle scope mounting

  1. Set scope in place

    Currently, modern rifle scopes are making more use of the Weaver-style bases that carry a rail with notches cut into the upper surface. The rings are set up with matching cuts and all you need to do is drop the scope into the rail.

    Be sure both rings are aligned with the correct notches, and set in place solidly. Once you have the rings in place, simply draw down the primary (large) compression bolt or nut.

    Independent bases are a bit more work in that each is set on the pilot holes in the receiver, one at a time and with two screws In most cases, they are set in place and tightened down. The bases are always paired with a specific scope ring type. Be sure the rings and bases match. If you buy them as a set, this should not be an issue.

    IMPORTANT: At times the base sets are not exactly the same height. Check each with care. In most cases (but not all), the higher base is forward, and the lower base is toward the rear. That is because the height of the receiver section is different. If bases were the same, you would have an issue there.

    A suggestion here is to get new combination rings and base systems, often called cantilever bases and rings. All you do is this:

    Using a Weaver-style (Picatinny-style) mounting rail, drop the whole system into place on the grooves, split the ring half sections, then set your scope onto the lower half of the ring group. (If you can’t do that, it is advised that you not shoot a gun either!)

    NOTE: Looking for the perfect scope for your rifle? Check this out.

    weaver style base for mounting rilfe scop

  2. Align the scope

    Now, with the rings installed as above, it’s time to align the scope within the rings. Keep in mind that the crosshairs require leveling, so leave the rings with the installed screws loose enough to allow you to rotate the scope as required.

    Also, be sure to check eye relief at this point. You’re may regret having leveled the scope, then tightened it down, and found that you’re stretching a mile to see through your scope.

    Why do I know this?

    Because it has happened to me more times then I should admit here.

    When leveling the scope’s crosshairs, see the horizontal line and set the scope in a solid rest position.

    Now look through the scope, again with the rings not turned very tight against the scope tube in order to allow that horizontal line to run level with an object that is of a known correct level. This can be the edge of a building, or some other related structure.

    When I align my scope, I use a bubble-mounted system that long-range shooters use, or at times, I just wing it and go with my gut feeling as to a correct level. When I recheck my level after mounting, I am almost always right on the money. I guess that comes with experience, as there are some weeks when I mount five or six rifle scopes in as many days.

    One thing is for sure, you don’t want to count on the person at the gun counter for all the help.

    I have friends who who do work in gun shops and sure as heck know their stuff. However, some of the “help” needs a tune-up and could well take a course on scope-mounting and parts sales to be sure. So, don’t assume everything is correct because the person at the gun counter says so.

    I have heard about hunters and shooters who went on “exclusive” and costly trips with a gun that was never checked beyond the gun counter.
    Not a good idea, as some have found out when a once-in-a-lifetime trophy walks out in front of them at 100 yards and they miss the shot because the scope is heading south when the shooter is looking west. (An exaggeration, but hopefully you get the point).

    So if you’re deer hunting for example and your scope isn’t dialed in exactly right, you’re going to have an errant shot. Arguments about what caliber is best don’t really matter if you can’t hit what you’re aiming at!

    rifle scope level

  3. Shoot for final zero

    Remember, just because a salesman at a gun shop “bore-sights” your scope for you, that is only a starter adjustment in terms of locating the correct zero for the rifle and scope.

    Bore sighting means getting a bullet some place on paper, with luck. After the rifle is bore-sighted, additional adjustments are necessary. In other words, shoot the rifle before ever counting on the correct sight adjustments on your new scope sight.

    When checking for scope accuracy and live fire shooting, try and shoot from a sitting bench-rest position with bags (sand is best). You want to eliminate as many variables as possible that could enter into producing a bad group or point of zero.

    As a final note, always shoot a group of at least three rounds for a quick double-check in terms of your bullet’s impact accuracy. Also, don’t be alarmed if someone shooting your rifle hits a different zero point. We all shoot a bit differently, even with textbook training. What is your zero belongs to you.

    sandbag rifle rest

Lapping Rifle Scope Rings

A word about lapping the scope rings. Lapping means taking any possible variation in roundness off the inside of the rings, so that you have as much contact between rings and scope as possible. Lapping the rings is a good idea if you’re shooting bench-rest or super accuracy group development.

I do not lap my rings because my good rifles and ammunition all shoot sub-½ MOA, and that is all anyone not shooting bench-style events needs. (Bench-rest is shooting for the smallest hole possible in the target. One hole groups win in many cases.)

So, if you are deer hunting for example, lapping the rings isn’t really necessary.

Final thoughts

Once you have properly mounted and sighted in your rifle, that doesn’t mean you never check it again.

Screws and bases need to be tight and checked often, as even general transport can cause vibration and lead to a loosening of parts.

Happy shooting!

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