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Does this broadhead make the cut? | The Battleaxe Broadheads Review

In this review, I test a cool broadhead by Crimson Talon, called the Battleaxe.

I’ve already tested some of their fixed blade broadheads. And now I’m testing their mechanicals and hybrids.

The Battleaxe is a hybrid (but it’s not called the Hybrid… That’s a different one that I already tested.)

For all these tests, I’m using my Bowtech SR6 set at 72 pounds and I’m using Bishop FOC King Arrows for most of the shots. (I’m using the Bishop FAD Eliminator for the really hard impact ones.) Let’s check out this Battleaxe 125-grain head!

The Battleaxe broadhead up close

Now, let’s take a closer look at the Crimson Talon Battleaxe broadhead:

crimson talon battleaxe profile

Here’s a good look at the Battleaxe. Now, this is the 125-grain model. What a cool-looking broadhead! I love that main-leading blade.

battleax cut width

It’s got a fixed, cut on contact leading blade that is 7/8 of an inch. It’s 1 mm thick or 0.039″ thick. Both of the blades are made out of 420J2 stainless steel.

battleaxe ferrule

The ferrule is made out of a 7075 aluminum, which is stronger than some steels.

battleaxe broadhead bleeder blades

It’s also got this mechanical blade in the back. Now, in a closed position, it’s got 1 inch of cut and is sharpened on the edges with a single bevel.

battleaxe blades being forced open

Even if nothing were to open on impact, you’d have 7/8 of an inch cut in the front and 1″ of cut from the expandable blades in the back, which is nice. But, it’s going to open. And as it is forced to open, these main mechanical blades deploy and they reach a full cutting diameter of 2″.

battleaxe broadheads 100 grain vs 125 grain

They also make 100-grain model that you can see right here. It’s exactly the same. It just has a smaller leading blade in the front, has a 7/16 of an inch cut. So the 125-grain has 7/8 of an inch and the 100-grain has 7/16 of an inch. Everything else is identical.



Now, I would think that the 100-grain is going to be a bit more forgiving in flight than would be the 125-grain, just because of that extra wide leading blade. However, it’s still pretty small, at 7/8-inch and just two blades with a really low profile to the back mechanical ends of the blades. So, I thought it would fly really well.

I was really eager to put this head to the test and see how the Battleaxe performs. So, let’s see how it did!



Flight Forgiveness Test

I shot 1 field point and then 2 broadheads from 40 yards…

battleaxe flight test

The field point is on the top left. The other two are the broadheads.



Initial Sharpness

balttleaxe initial sharpness test

The initial sharpness before testing registered 250 (the lower the number, the sharper it is.)



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Penetration Test

I shot the Battleaxe into 1/2″ MDF that was fronted with a 2/3″ rubber mat and ballistic gel behind it.

battleaxe ballistic getl penetration

The Battleaxe penetrated 6 1/4″ and the blades did fully deploy as well.



Edge Retention Test

battleaxe sharpness test after ballistic gel penetration test

After the first penetration test, the sharpness scale registered 300.



Penetration Test 2 (layered cardboard):

battleaxe sharpness test after ballistic gel penetration test

The Battleaxe penetrated through 52 layers of cardboard. And I want to note that it actually cut quite a bit of cardboard as it did that because of that blade-forward design, compared to many mechanicals that just have like a long narrow tip at the front.


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Angled Shot Test

battleaxe angled shot test

I shot the head into some angled 1/4″ MDF and carpet.



Durability Test (1/2” MDF max 3 shots):

battleaxe after 3 shots through mdf

Here’s the head after three shots through MDF. On the good side, everything stayed perfectly intact. On the negative side, the cutting diameter of those arced mechanical blades did decrease by about a half as those blades bent back a little bit more with each shot. (I’m showing it here compared to the original size that it was before those shots.)



Durability (22 ga steel plate max 2 shots):

battleaxe broadheads steel plate test

Here it is after two shots into the steel plate. As you can see, it made really nice holes. You can see the blades got a little bit of edge chatter and nicked up as expected. The back curved blades just continued to hold in that smaller cut pattern, and maybe they even shrunk just a little bit more in their cutting diameter. But everything stayed intact.



Durability Test (Concrete 1 Shot):

battleaxe after concrete test

Here is the Battleaxe head after impacting the concrete. As you can see, it didn’t do very well on the concrete. The leading blade broke in half and the ferrule broke in half as well. But to be honest, don’t think that that means that this head is not durable. For a mechanical with that size cut, to make it through MDF three times and make it through the steel plate twice is really impressive. So, the concrete is just kind of an extra test of the outer limits of durability and it only counts for 3 points out of 100-point scale. But overall, the durability of this head was pretty impressive.



Final thoughts on the Crimson Talon Battleaxe Broadheads

So what do you think of the Battleaxe?

They did pretty well. I don’t know how Crimson Talon does it for the price that they do it at.

There are definitely heads that are higher quality and they cost a lot more, but these heads are really functional and get the job done.



So, check out the score sheet below and see how it performed in the areas that matter to you the most. (You can learn more about my scoring system on my YouTube Channel.)

Great job, Crimson Talon!

battleaxe broadheads lusk grade
Scorecard for the Crimson Talon Battleaxe broadheads
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John Lusk of Lusk Archery Adventures
big game 3 broadhead review header image

Heavy and Huge! | The DXB Big Game 3 Broadheads Review

This review is BIG.

Why?

Because I’m reviwing the Big Game 3 by DXB Broadheads (Dead X Bowhunting Broadheads).

Talk about a really cool, creative, massive, beast of a broadhead!

big game 3 broadhead size vs muzzy trocar

This is the Big Game 3 next to a muzzy trocar. It’s HUGE!

This is a beast of a broadhead. If you compare it to a Muzzy Trocar, the Muzzy Trocar just looks like a toy, like a baby compared to the Big Game 3.

A closer look at the DXB Big Game 3 Broadhead

So let’s zoom on in here and check out this Big Game 3.

big game 3 size vs muzzy trocar 2

Another perspective showing the Big Game 3 next to a Muzzy Trocar. The Big Game 3 is literally a handful!

Another thing, other than its large size, is that the Big Game 3 is very well-constructed.

The owners are also professional machinists so they are bowhunters and machinists, so they do everything with really high tolerances and specifications, which is obvious when you put these heads together.

big game 3 cut width

The Big Game 3 has a cutting diameter of 1.8 inches and 2.7 inches of total cut!

The total weight on this head is 300 grains. And the total cutting diameter is 1.8″ which at 3 blades, 1.8″ of diameter, that gives you 2.7″ of total cut which is going to make a really nice hole, a super wide hole.

And, with 3 blades, it’s going to cut a lot of tissue while it makes that super wide hole. So, I imagine it’s going to be devastating on whatever it hits.

big game 3 chisel tip

The chisel tip of the Big Game 3 is machined out of high-carbon steel. The ferrule is as well.

big game tip and ferrule

The tip is machined out of high-carbon steel and it actually is also the ferrule. It’s one piece that machined out of a high-carbon steel, the tip and the ferrule. That’s what screws into the arrow.

big game 3 ferrule shell

The head also has a shell, but it’s not really really the ferrule. The shell just holds the blades in place. It’s made out of 6061 aluminum. But, there’s really not much pressure on that in the hard impact. That just goes straight into the one-piece constructed steel ferrule. The shell just helps keep the weight a bit lighter. Again, it’s still 300 grains!




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Assembly of the Big Game 3 Broadhead

Now, just a little tip here.

When you put the head together, because the tolerances are so high, you want to make sure it’s really snug on your arrow… like super snug. Otherwise, you’re going to get a little bit of a wobble.

big game 3 blade thickness

The blades are .062″ thick and are single bevel at 37 degrees.

The owner of the company told me about this and cautioned me about it. And, sure enough, I put it together and I got a bit of a wobble, and I thought, “Man, what’s wrong? It’s wobbling.”

But, then I took the blades out and tested the ferrule and the tip, and it spun perfectly true, so I knew that the blades were just not seated properly. So, I screwed it on really tight, moved the ferrule a little bit and then it just lined up and spun perfectly well. And, then I tested all of the rest of them, and they all spun really well.


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The blades are also made out of high-carbon steel and they’re 0.062″ thick, which is also going to increase the bloodletting and make that hole hard to close up. And, they are also single bevel angle of 37 degrees. That 37 degrees is going to help it to prevent edge chatter and also gives it a bit of rotation.

The single bevel, combined with the weight and cut size, means this is going to be one deadly head. So, I was really eager to test these out and see how they performed.

Big Game 3 Broadhead Testing

For these tests, I’m using my Bowtech SR6 set at 72 pounds and I’m using Bishop FAD Eliminators for most of the testing here because this broadhead is so heavy and because of that spine, but then I’m also using the FOC King for some of them as well.

Flight Forgiveness Test:

Because my total arrow weight is so heavy, I performed the flight test from 30 yards, rather than a normal 40.

big game 3 flight test

I shot one field point and then 2 broadheads at 30 yards.



Initial Sharpness Test

big game 3 initial sharpness test

The initial sharpness test registered 225 (the lower number the better, as this test measures how much pressure it takes to cut a thin wire.)

Penetration Test 1  

In this test I shot the Big Game 3 into ballistic gel that was fronted with 1/2″ MDF and a 2/3″ rubber mat.

big game 3 ballistic gel mdf foam test

In this first penetration test, the Big Game 3 penetrated 4-5/8″ into the the ballistic gel.



entry into foam padding and mdf and ballistic gel

Check out the hole that this thing made. Man, and you can see the S-cut of those single bevel blades. They actually were getting a bit of a rotation there, and that’s just going to make an even more wicked wound channel.



big game 3 light coming through foam entry hole

And then check out the layers here. Now, this is 2 layers of this rubber foam mat with 1/2″ of MDF in between and yet, you can see light through it. This is the first time I’ve ever tested a broadhead that you can actually see through it (because the material is so spongy and even the MDF is so like mushy that you can never see through the holes. They just close up. But with this one, they don’t close up. And I just imagine what that’s going to do to an animal!)



big game 3 wound channel in ballistic gel

Here’s the top view of the gel. And check out the wound channel of this head. It’s like a grenade explosion! Now, to the right, you see another single bevel broadhead. It actually has a decent cut. But, then to the left is the wound channel of the Big Game 3. Man, that’s devastating!



Edge Retention Test (sharpness after Penetration Test 1):

big game 3 sharpness after penetration test

I tested the sharpness after the first penetration test… 275.




Penetration Test 2 (layered cardboard):

Sometimes you see a big mechanical that will penetrate better in the cardboard penetration test than this head did, but that’s because of a really long, skinny tip and blades being way at the bottom. That’s not the case with this head.

big game 3 cardboard penetration test

It penetrated through 43 layers of cardboard. I want to remind you that due to its cut size and that really thick tip, it’s cutting a lot of material while it penetrates through those 43 layers.

Rotation Test (FBI Gel):

big game 3 broadhead in clear ballistic gel only

The Big Game 3 rotated 5″ and penetrated 6 inches into the ballistic gel.

Durability Test (1/2” MDF max 3 shots):

big game 3 after 3 shots into MDF

After 3 shots into the MDF, you can’t even tell it’s been shot!

Durability (22 ga steel plate max 2 shots):

I shot the DXB Big Game 3 into a .22 gage steel plate two times. Here’s what happened…

big game 3 broadhead after 2 shots into steel plate

After going through the steel plate two times, it was still in awesome condition. You can only see a little bit of dulling of the tip. Other than that, you really can’t tell that it has been shot! You can see that rotation, that S-cut to the holes. And man, they’re just big compared to all the other holes on this steel plate. They’re really impressive.

Durability Test (Concrete 1 Shot):

big game 3 broadhead after concrete block test

Here is what the head looked like after shooting it into a concrete block. Other than some slight dulling of the tip, it’s in great shape.

I want to remind you that this is with an 800-grain arrow, so there is a lot of impact, a lot more momentum than I normally shoot pounding into that concrete and yet, it held up really well.

The blades are still in excellent condition, with just a little cosmetic scratching. The tip got a little bit dulled as can be expected on a concrete, but spins perfectly well and absolutely reusable.



Final Thoughts On The DXB Big Game 3 Broadheads

So what do you think of the Big Game 3?

Man, this was a really fun head to test and I think it’s going to be really fun head to hunt with as well. I look forward to sticking an animal with one of these in the days ahead.

It did really well in each of the tests.

I was really impressed and honestly surprised by its durability. I didn’t think it would be able to hold up to the concrete like that especially with all that momentum pounding into it.



But, it did really well in every area. The blades were super sharp for such a thick blade. That was really impressive. It flew really well. And man, the cut size obviously speaks for itself. The durability, it performed perfectly in all of those durability tests that I do that are pretty grueling tests.

The only challenge to it is the penetration. And that’s just because of the cut size.

Everything is a trade-off in broadhead design. So, if you’re one of those people that has a heavy setup and you want to try something that’s just going to make a really big hole, man this is really worth considering.

You can use it for anything, from turkey, to deer, to hogs, black bear, and really anything in North America or the world, if you have the kinetic energy and the momentum to drive it deep into those animals.

dxb big game 3 broadhead lusk grade
The DXB Big Game 3 scored 9 out of 10 golden arrows.

This broadhead is definitely worth a look to see if it’s right for you. Great Job DXB! I look forward to seeing what you come out with in the future!

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A Classic or an outdated relic? | NAP Thunderhead Broadheads Review

In this review, I tested a classic broadhead… the NAP Thunderhead!

These heads have been around for a long time. I actually like testing these older broadheads like this one, just to see if the newer designs have passed them by or if they really are still holding their own.

For these tests, I used my Bowtech SR6 set at 72 pounds, 27” draw. I’m using Bishop FOC King Arrows for most of the shots, but then the Bishop FAD Eliminators for the really hard impact ones.

So, let’s go through some of the design features and specifications and then put them to the test!

The NAP Thunderhead At First Glance

Let’s zoom in and check out the Thunderhead and then put it to the test.

nap thunderhead length

Here’s a good look at the 125-grain Thunderhead. It’s a petty cool, classic design. It has a cutting diameter of 1-3/16”. It has an overall length beyond the ferrule of 2”, so it’s pretty long by some of today’s fixed-blade standards, especially for 3-blade heads.

thunderhead blade thickness

It has steel blades that are 0.027” thick, which are pretty thin by today’s market standards.

thunderhead chisel tip

The tip is a hardened steel, chiseled tip that’s really pointy. I really like this chiseled tip. The ferrule is made out of aluminum.

thunderhead ferrule grooves

Notice that the ferrule of the Thunderhead has micro-groove channels in it.

The micro grooves in the ferrule are supposed to aid in flight as it carries the air around with it and it rotates, which is supposed to aid in penetration. This is similar to what the dimples on a golf ball do.



Thunderhead Testing

So, I was really eager to put the Thunderhead to test and see how it would hold up, especially since it has been around so long and has such a loyal following. Let’s see how it did!



Flight Forgiveness Test

thunderhead flight forgiveness test

In the flight forgiveness test, I shot one filed point and then two broadheads into the target at 40 yards.



Initial Sharpness: 225

thunderhead initial sharpness test

To test the “out-of-the-box” sharpness of the Thunderhead, I tested how much pressure it would take for the blade to cut through a metal wire (the lower the number, the sharper it is). It registered 225.



Penetration Test #1

thunderhead ballistic gel test

I shot the Thunderhead into a block of ballistic gel that was fronted with a 2/3″ rubber mat and 1/2″ MDF. It penetrated 6-1/4″.



Edge Retention Test

Thunderhead sharpness test #2

After Penetration Test #1, the sharpness scale registered the Thunderhead’s sharpness at 325.



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Penetration Test 2 (layered cardboard):

thunderhead cardboard penetration test

The NAP Thunderhead penetrated through 59 layers of cardboard.



Angled Shot Test (1/4” MDF/Carpet)

thunderhead angled shot

I shot the Thunderhead into angled MDF fronted with carpet.



Durability Test #1 (1/2” MDF max 3 shots)

I also shot the head into 1/2″ MDF (3 shots).




Durability Test #2 (Steel Plate)

thunderhead steel plate test result

In this durability test, I shot the Thunderhead into a .22 ga steel plate (max 2 shots) to see how it would hold up.Here’s the head after going through the steel plate two times.

The Thunderhead looked brand new after going through the MDF and the steel plate and it still held up really well. But, the blades got a bit nicked up (“edge chatter”).

And then you can see the hole. You can see how it looks like just a ferrule hole with 3 slits coming off of it.



Durability Test (Concrete)

thunderhead blade in concrete block

I shot the Thunderhead into a concrete block to see how it would hold up. The tip embedded really deeply into the concrete and I couldn’t get it out. I didn’t want to mess up my concrete by digging it out. And, this one blade got stuck right in the end into the concrete as well.


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thunderhead after concrete test

Here’s the Thunderhead after being shot into the concrete. As you can see, the ferrule just broke off right there. The other two blades just stayed intact. They got a little bit nicked up there at the end but they still stayed in place.

And overall, after the concrete block test, it still spun decently, but it did just break in half. Now, that’s after going through the MDF 3 times and the steel plate twice. So overall, fairly impressive durability.



Final thoughts on the NAP Thunderhead

So what do you think of the Thunderhead?

When my buddy told me he was going to send me a pack of these, I was intrigued. I like to test every head. But, at the same time, I thought, “They are so old school. The newer stuff is going to be blowing it away.”


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But, then when I started playing around with them and looking at them, I thought, “No, these are really well-made and well-constructed and designed.”



And the tests just proved just that. I can see why they have such a loyal following and why they’ve taken so many animals over the years.

Now, I will say that I think there are other 3-bladed heads on the market that do better than this one. But then again, this is better than a lot of them that are on the market as well.

So check out the score sheet in the description box and see how it performed in the areas that matter to you the most and see if it might be a good fit for you.

lusk score of thunderhead
The Thunderhead received 7 out of 10 golden arrows.