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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.

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.

Annihilator broadhead retest pic

Annihilator Broadheads Review | A revealing re-test

In this article, I’m covering a re-test of the 125-grain Annihilator Broadhead.

When I originally tested this broadhead, it performed extremely well in terms of penetration, (i.e., draining a water jug) and in terms of the hole that it produced in a layer of MDF.

It also flew really well out to 50 yards. However, beyond 50 yards, there just seemed to be a drastic drop in velocity, causing an incredible drop in the point of impact.

lusk archery adventures retest of annihilator
I decided to re-test the Annihilator after talking with multiple people that had not gotten the same results as I did in my original test.

However, after making a video of that test, I was contacted by some friends who had also tested this broadhead at longer ranges, but did not see the drastic results I had seen.

I then visited with the designers of the Annihilator broadheads at the Archery Trade Association (ATA) show. They also said that their tests had not shown the drastic drop. In fact, they had seen really consistent flight, even at longer ranges. So, I told them I would very gladly test it again.

The backstory to my original test of the Annihilator broadhead

The day of the re-test, it was sub-zero temperatures (with the wind chill). When I re-tested the head, I found that the people I had spoken to were exactly right. It flew extremely well, even at longer ranges.

I realized that in my original test, I had made a two-fold mistake.

My two mistakes

Before I tested the Annihilator broadhead the first time, I was talking to a friend about it. He told me that when he shot it at longer ranges, there was a really large drop due to the wind resistance of that big surface area that they have. And so, that was already in my mind.

So, then when I shot it and tested it and there was a big drop, and I thought, “Oh, this just confirms what my friend had said.” I didn’t retest it or question my test results enough. That was my first mistake. I shouldn’t have had that in my mind.

The second mistake that I made in the initial test is that I had made adjustments to my site tapes and I didn’t take that into consideration when I was testing the Annihilator.

So, I felt really badly. I went back and made the adjustments in my site tapes and… Boom! Dead on!

I feel really badly that I made both of those mistakes, and both of those mistakes adversely affected the reputation of Annilator (as well as my own reputation for doing a poor job in testing the broadhead).

I want to give a sincere apology to the makers of Annihilator broadheads, to their loyal fans, and especially to those who I turned off from these broadheads after my initial test, because it actually does fly very well even at longer ranges.

So, that’s why I wanted to do a completely new test. I’ve got new test mediums for 2020 that I’m using anyway. So it’s a good way to do those.

The Annihilator broadhead | The specifics

So, let me explain this broadhead just a little bit for those of you that aren’t familiar with it.

When I first heard about it, I wasn’t that interested in testing it because the cutting diameter is sub-1 inch. It’s 0.91 inches of cut. To me, that’s just so small.

I thought, “Why would I want to test the head that has that small of a cut?”

However, what I wasn’t understanding was the design has a “scoop” feature to it. So, while it has a small cutting diameter, when it presses through a medium like animal tissue, it actually displaces an incredible amount of it. (Note: As of the publishing of this article, I personally have not tested the Annihilator head on an animal).

So, the hole that it creates, and the tissue that’s displaced, is in theory far greater than if it was just 3 crossblades of 0.91 inches. It has an incredible surface area. (That showed in a test that I had done originally. The Annihilator drained a water jug in record time. It also put a big hole through MDF. And so, in the retest, I wanted to show that).

The Annihilator is designed to put a much larger hole than the head size suggests. The small surface area allows it to fly really well, but then displace a lot of tissue. And so, it makes a really nice hole.

Another cool thing about this head is that it’s a solid piece of 4140 tool steel. That is a really high quality of tool steel. So, it’s way more resistant to impact and much tougher than stainless steel, for example. It has a Rockwell hardness of 52, which is a pretty good balance of being soft enough to resharpen and hard enough to keep its edge.

Another thing I really like about it is that resharpening for this head is extremely easy. It’s like the Bishop Holy Trinity and some other three blades that I’ve tested in the past.

You can just lay it flat on a flat stone or any kind of a flat edge surface and it is very easy to sharpen to a razor-like edge.

ballistic gel and mdf board
For penetration testing I used MDF board, foam padding and ballistic gel.

In my re-test, I used a half-inch layer of MDF surrounded by 1/3 of an inch of rubber foam mat. Beyond that was a gel block by Clear Ballistics, so you can see what happens to the broadhead once it enters the gel. (I will be doing this for all the broadheads I test this year).

Then, I shot it through a 22-gauge steel plate 5 times. (I like to shoot it through the steel plate until there begins to be significant damage to the blades. So, I basically see how many times it can be shot into the steel plate without facing significant damage. But, I stop at 5 because with some heads, I could keep going forever).

The Re-Test of the Annihilator

So let’s get into the test results and see how it did with long range flight, penetration and water drainage ability.

Long-Range Flight

In the re-test I was able to pop a balloon at 70 yards with this head.

Penetration Testing

In terms of penetration through the MDF and gel, the Annihilator did very well. It did not do as well as some other broadheads I’ve tested, but it still had good penetration and made a nice hole in that MDF, as well as the gel.

Below, you can see the penetration of the Annihilator after going through the MDF and the rubber foam mats and into the gel. It penetrated 8-1/4 inches.

penetration test of annihilator in ballistic gel
The Annihilator, through MDF, foam pad and ballistic gel.

Below is a steel plate after I shot it 5 times with the same head. You can see the Annihilator really does make nice holes. Thus, it should displace a tremendous amount of tissue.

annihilator through 22 gauge steel plate
The Annihilator, shot into a 22-gauge steel plate.

Edge Retention

In terms of the durability of the edge (edge retention), the Annihilator is pristine. There is not a mark on it. It doesn’t quite shave hair, but it still bit into my fingernail… very impressive.

So, it’s durable as they come. It went through 5 layers of steel back-to-back-to-back with zero damage. That’s what that 4140 tool steel is going to do. It kept its edge really, really well.

annihlator broadhead edge retention
The Annihilator kept it’s edge incredibly well, even after being shot 5 times through a 22-gauge steel plate.

Water drainage test

The water drainage test was just other otherworldly. I don’t know any other word to describe it. It drained the bag in .40 seconds!

The reason I used the water bag drainage test instead of a water jug drainage test is that I felt that in a water jug, because the plastic is pretty stiff, sometimes the plastic folds in, sometimes it comes out, sometimes it stays in place. And so, the results are very inconsistent. Even with one head, I get different results.

But with water bag drainage test, and I fill it up 10 cups the same amount that the line is the same in all the tests that I do, try to shoot it in the same spot every time. It’s much more consistent and much more like an animal because the bag is a little more nimble, like the tissue or the hide of an animal. And so, what you see is kind of what you’re going to get in terms of the drainage.

annihilator broadhead water bag drain test
Water drainage test

The Annihilator goes into the bag and displaced so much water so readily, it actually created a back-pressure to the water. When I looked at it in super slow motion, I could it make the hole and suck the water right out of the bag. It was just amazing to see that. It’s an indication of what may happen with blood-letting and tissue damage within an animal as well. I can’t wait to test it on an animal at some point in the future.

Conclusion

I’m really grateful that I was encouraged to retest the Annihilator, because I knew it was a great head before. It tested really well in all categories except long distance.

However, now knowing after the re-test that it actually flies extremely well, even at long distances, it has gone from a very good head to a phenomenal head.

So, now I have confidence in this head at longer ranges. It gets a 10 out of 10 in terms of accuracy at long range.

annihilator broadhead results
The Annihilator report card

The Annihilator did excellent in all of the test categories. This is a winner of a head and it’s something to really consider for pretty much any animal you are going after. Give the Annihilator a look. Great job, Annihilator!

John Lusk archery goat
John Lusk of Lusk Archery Adventures

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