Exodus broadheads review

QAD Exodus Broadhead Review (Hint: It’s amazing!)

In this review, I tested the QAD Exodus broadheads, (the Swept Blade Model).

At the time of this review, I’ve taken more 60 animals in the U.S., Africa and Canada, all over the United States with this head. It has always been a great performer.

One day, Giles here at N1 Outdoors asked me if I’d ever done a standalone test on the Exodus. I thought about it and realized I never had!

So, since I updated my testing procedure, I thought it would be a great time to put the Exodus to the test.

Let’s see how it holds up in my testing.

The QAD Exodus Broadhead Specifics

Now first, we are going to zoom on in here, go through some of the design features and specifications and then put it to the test.

Here, you can see the Exodus head up close. Of course, it spins very well, with super tight tolerances.

There are some really unique features about this head…

Super-Short Ferrule!

First of all, notice the blade-over-shaft technology where the blades extend over the shaft. The reason for this is two-fold; First of all, it makes the ferrule super short.

So, your FOC is going to be the same. Therefore, the spine is going to be the same and the overall length is going to be the same. Some broadheads extend really far, and that is going to affect the flight accordingly.

exodus broadhead blade over shaft feature

The ferrule extends 13/16 of and inch beyond the end of the arrow, making it one of the shortest on the market. (It’s actually shorter than some field points!) And, the idea behind this feature is that it’s going to keep the overall length of your arrow about the same as when you shoot field points.

exodus short ferrule on broadhead

Having having such a short ferrule is that makes the ferrule itself extremely durable because it’s just so short. It’s going to be hard to bend or break that ferrule.

exodus broadheads stainless steel blades

Additionally, the head is 100% stainless steel. The blades are 0.040 inches thick, with some of the thickest replaceable blades on the market, and these are stainless steel as well.

Tip and Blade Angle

exodus chisel point tip

The Exodus has a hardened, chiseled tip that is cut-on-contact. The tip is actually very sharp and can be sharpened even more on the end.

Now, another thing that’s unique about the Exodus is the angle that the tip creates in the beginning continues the whole length of the broadhead. What that means is it’s going to protect the strength of the blade.

exodus blade angle compared to wasp broadhead

Here is the QAD Exodus compared to a Wasp broadhead. Notice how blades just suddenly jut out after the chisel tip. That’s not a flaw, as the Wasp is a great broadhead, but that’s going to put a lot of pressure on that initial flared angle of the blade. And indeed, when I’ve tested Wasp broadheads and others like it, that’s often the place that the blade breaks or gets really damaged.

With the Exodus, the tip and the angle of the blade continue the whole length of the broadhead, making it more durable. And, notice how the chisel tip is really wide. That is going to create a really big wound channel.

Cutting Diameter

cutting diameter of exodus broadhead swept model

The cutting diameter of the Exodus is a full 1-1/4 inches. That’s pretty rare with a fixed, 3-blade broadhead. Usually, they are 1-1/8 inches. Sometimes they go 1-3/16, but there aren’t many that go a full 1-1/4. They can get away with that and still have good flight because of the overall short profile, due to the blade-over-shaft technology.

So, you can see why I was eager to put this head to the test with all my new tests that I recently implemented. Let’s see how it performed!

QAD Exodus Flight Test

flight test results of exodus broadhead swept model

Here’s the grouping. The field point was the first shot (in the middle), which hit a little bit low. (I dropped my arm on the shot.) The broadheads shot on either side of the bullseye there. They grouped together very well.

Out Of The Box Sharpness Test

out of the box sharpness test on exodus

Exodus out-of-the-box sharpness: 200.

Ballistic Gel Penetration Test

I shot the QAD Exodus into ballistic gel that was fronted with 1/2-inch MDF board and foam matting.

ballistic gel with exodus broadhead penetrating 8 inches

The QAD Exodus penetrated the ballistic gel 8 inches.

Edge retention

After the ballistic gel penetration test, I again tested the sharpness of the Exodus to see how much it had dulled.

exodus broadhead sharpness after penetration testing

After the ballistic gel penetration test the sharpness test showed 250.

Layered Cardboard Penetration Test

exodus cardboard penetration test

The Exodus penetrated through 66 layers of cardboard. Wow!

Steel Plate Test

Next I shot the Exodus broadhead through a .22 gauge steel plate 5 times. Check out the results…

exodus steel plate test

Here’s the hole that the Exodus makes in the steel plate. You can see that it’s more than just a little circle with three slits coming off of it like some broadheads are. It opens up more of a triangle. Now, it’s not a pure triangle as like the Tooth of the Arrow, which makes a pure square. But, it’s one of the best triangular cuts that there is. Maybe the best of any 3-blade that I’ve tested.

exodus after steel plate test

Here’s the Exodus after going through the steel plate five times. It’s in pristine condition. The blades look pretty much brand new, with just a slight amount of cosmetic markup. The tip is in excellent condition, with a little bit of cosmetic discoloration and scrapes, but no damage to the edge itself.

impala shot with exodus broadhead

Here, you can see what the Exodus did on an impala. This was really typical of my hunts with the Exodus. Not on every animal, but on a lot of them. It would make a really clean triangular hole just like this.

Concrete Block Test: WOW!

Finally, I shot the Exodus into a concrete block. Check this out!

exodus broadhead buried in cinder block

The Exodus embedded really deeply into this concrete. It took me 15 minutes, with a hammer and a chisel, to get it out!

exodus after concrete block test

Here is the Exodus after sticking in the concrete. I mean it did embed in it. And if you look closely, you see that it’s in extremely good condition. Some of the blade portion that actually embedded in the concrete still kept its edge. You can’t even notice that it hit anything, let alone that it went through the steel plate five times and it then went into the concrete as well! The tip is also in excellent condition, except for a bunch of concrete that fused to it. But, even the very tip is still really pointy. That didn’t get bent or knocked off in any way. Excellent durability!

Final thoughts on the QAD Exodus Broahdead

So what do you think of the Exodus? I’ve tested a ton of different broadheads and man, every time I test this head in any way, I’m blown away by how well it performs. It just doesn’t have many weaknesses.

I consider it probably the best all-around fixed blade head in its price category on the market today. And then you have the option of replaceable blades at that. Man, it really is a performer!

So, check out the scores and see how it did in the area that matters to you the most. I only tested the Swept Model, but the Full model does really well also. There are some states where you can’t shoot the Swept because it’s banned.

scorecard for exodus broadheads review
Scorecard for the QAD Exodus Swept Model

So, the Full model can use as an option in those states. But, I’ve found that the Swept Model is slightly more forgiving in flight and they’re equally strong as well.

Props to QAD, you guys are doing a fantastic job with the Exodus!

I hope you have tons of success with this head while bowhunting!

lusk golden arrow grade for exodus broadheads
The Lusk Archery Golden Arrow Grade for the QAD Exodus.
ranch fairy logo

From “Failure” To “Fairy” | How the Ranch Fairy came to be

It all began with failure. 

Simply put, my hunting arrows were hitting the mark, but my success rate was less than stellar, and I had nowhere else to go. I could try something different or grab the rifle. After all, as my friend Chris says, “lead is very efficient.”

A Little History on “The Ranch Fairy” Name

Before we get into all the nitty gritty details of hunting arrows, you might be wondering… why “Ranch Fairy?” After all, bowhunting dudes are rough and tough. They take on the ultimate close-range challenge and they sport lots of cool gear (the toys never end, and the bowhunting message boards will keep your head swimming with ideas… some of them are actually good ideas – but beware!)

ranch fairy troy fowler with dead hog and iron will broadhead

Bowhunters can’t be fairies… can they?

Soooo, anyway, “The Ranch Fairy…” The short version is this…

My wife’s family has a ranch in Texas, and I am the dude who manages the details, such as: feeders, blinds, keeping the A/C and toilets running, occasional plumbing, electrical, mechanical, and the “could you look at the cameras and then tell me where the biggest buck is showing up….and at what time” tasks.

The “to do” list, well, it’s a scroll… the end is never reached, because it just keeps unrolling.

So, about 10 years ago, I just off-handedly started calling myself “The Ranch Fairy,” instead of “ranch manager.” 

But, I actually enjoy the piddling and managing things. It’s good for the psyche.

Wonderfully Weird

Of note, I’m a bit weird! I killed a 150” deer in 2007 and for some reason I just don’t care to kill another one. 

Weird? Yup. 

I caught a 9’6” Tiger shark (plus a couple big bull sharks) off the Texas beach after 15 years of trying, and I don’t care to catch a 10+. 

Yup… weird. 

ranch fairy with a 9 foot shark

Catching a 9’6″ tiger shark and then losing interest is just one of the “weird” things about the ‘ole Ranch Fairy.

I am currently trying to catch a 10-pound bass. I suspect that after it happens, I won’t worry about bass anymore… onward to new ideas. 

Troy Fowler the ranch fairy holding a largemouth bass

After I reach the 10-pound bass goal, I’ll probably just move on to some other challenge!

But alas, for some reason, I have never given up on mature feral hogs. 

What do I mean by “mature?” Well, 200+ pounds is where they are considered big at our place (if you think your pigs are big – buy a scale and be amazed at your lack of weight-guessing skill). 

Like anywhere, food and time helps animals get big. Some places have legit 300’s. But, we just don’t have the food piece… no agriculture.  So, our pigs work pretty hard at being, well… pigs.

Fairy Failure

So, now let’s explore failure.

One of the luxuries of pigs and deer feeders is high-volume shooting. I’ll bring this up later. 

So anyway, up until 2015, I was really failing – to the tune of only a 50% recovery rate on big pigs. The little 100-pound zoomers… not a big deal. But the big boys… well, you may hunt one for months before he shows up. You shoot, and… BONK… half an arrow of penetration, and you pray you find it. 

(Remember what Chris says, “Lead is very efficient.” It was in consideration. After all, head shots with any round you have flat out work!)

kids holding rifle standing next to dead hog

As one of my good friends says, “lead is very efficient.” But, I HAD to find a way to be efficient with a bow!

Like many of you, I owned or considered every arrow platform on the earth. Mechs, 4 blade, 3 blade, 2 blade, different “arrows” and magic sights that solve complex calculus while you draw back. 

Honestly, it’s as bad as golf. Did I mention I was a single-digit handicap at one time? Then… you guessed it… I stopped playing!

Don’t get me started.

ranch fairy troy fowler and big hog

I had been failing at killing big pigs with my bow and had tried every broadhead on planet earth. And then…

If At First You Don’t Succeed… Try Something Else!

So, because I was failing, I had absolutely no reason to duplicate the 12 penetration factors made famous by Dr. Ed Ashby in his 20+ year Natal Study. 

I’m not real smart, but if what you’re doing isn’t working, you have nothing to lose. 

So, I wandered off into the tin foil hat world, left my friends and colleagues to the message board warlocks, and went on the road less traveled. (Remember, I have a high volume, live target, known-distance place to test these things.)

I ran an arrow up to 670 grains, bare shaft perfect flight, long 3:1 single bevel, and went off to find out what would happen. 

What happened with these “adult arrows” was truly amazing. 

tuffhead single bevel broadhead

My change to single-bevel broadheads like this one and heavy arrows was a game-changer!

The arrows started penetrating through the pigs and then into the dirt

The big pigs started going 60 yards and then, I mean they were dead, dead in 10 seconds (it’s still working). 

The biggest thing I discovered during all of this is that I am now only limited by lethal shot placement. When I do my job in that area, the pigs are dead and there are no issue finding them. 

Before that, I either perfectly heart shot one and it was devastating, or I didn’t shoot it perfectly and there was no blood trail, long nights, and a Duracell bunny that came along to test battery longevity. 

Not The Bat Cave, The Ranch Fairy Lab!

So, I decided to turn the ranch into a live target test lab. 

Nope, this is not a hunting show (though many of my detractors slam that one on me).  It’s an arrow lethality and penetration study. 

Yeah, shooting pigs is still super fun! But to have high volume, year around, 24/7, no laws and high shot reliability.  It’s handy.  The set-up shots at whitetail distances (the average whitetail is still taken under 20 yards if you don’t know that), allowed me to really test different high mass, high FOC, arrow systems. I already had 15 years of the other stuff. 

So, there you go, that’s how The Ranch Fairy came to be. I mean, I was technically already the Ranch Fairy.

ranch fairy approved logo

You can bet if it’s “Ranch Fairy Approved,” that I’ve done the testing at the Ranch Fairy Lab!

I am no marketing genius. But, when I typed “Ranch Fairy” into Google, the results were 0 – none. So, in the social media algorithms, you’re either unique or super popular. 

Well, unique I hit, because bowhunters, as noted earlier, are rough and tough and super manly. No one forgets a bowhunting fairy!  

Stay tuned to the Ranch Fairy.  We have some serious science and physics coming up that will pop the message board cronies’ heads off!

But, hey, if you want to argue with Sir Isaac Newton, feel free. Because, when you argue with math, the old saying kicks you in the rear.  “Liars can figure, but figures don’t lie.”  

ranch fairy wearing shoot adult arrows shirt
Troy Fowler, AKA, The Ranch Fairy
vpa broadheads review

VPA Broadheads Review | A Duel For Beveled Supremacy

Who doesn’t love a good broadhead battle?

In this broadhead review, I tested the VPA 2-Blade double bevel broadhead, which is a classic and has been popular for awhile. I also tested the newer VPA 2-Blade single bevel broadhead.

Let’s go through some of the design features and specifications and then test them head-to-head!

VPA Double Bevel Broadhead

vpa double bevel broadhead

Here’s a look at the 150-grain, 2-Blade Double Bevel Penetrator as they call it, designed for maximum penetration. It’s machined out of a solid chunk of high-carbon steel one-piece design.

The blades of the VPA 2-Blade Double Bevel Penetrator are 0.065 inches thick and they are brought to a Rockwell hardness of 55.

The cutting diameter of the Double Bevel head is 1-1/8 inches.

vpa double bevel flared up blades

You can see here the overall short profile of the VPA Double Bevel head, which aids in flight, and then the blades come back up. They are not back sharpened here but they flare up, again, just to lower the surface area and aid in flight.

vpa double barrel ferrule

Here you can also see the ferrule of the VPA Double Bevel extends all the way up to the tip, providing extra lateral support and rollover prevention.

VPA Single Bevel Broadhead

The VPA Single Bevel is also 1-1/8 inches. It’s the same high-carbon steel, but this one is brought to a Rockwell hardness of 57. It’s also a bit thicker than the Double-Bevel, at 0.070 inches thick.

It has the same ferrule that extends all the way up to the tip to prevent rollover. It’s really a simple bevel design, with just two edges that extend all the way up to the front.

vpa single bevel broadhead

Now, here’s the 150-grain, 2-blade Single Bevel broadhead. It’s a very similar design to the Double-Bevel, although it’s single bevel. That’s a big difference I suppose. But, the cutting diameter is the same.

Again, the backs of the blades on the Single Bevel flare up just like they did with the Double Bevel Penetrator, to make it have an even shorter profile and aid in flight with less surface area. The bevel is 35 degrees.

I was really eager to compare these two heads, especially since they are the same weight, the same cutting diameter, and very similar thicknesses, and made by the same company.

Let the battle begin!

VPA Broadheads testing | Head-To-Head Battle

Flight Test

In the flight test, I shot the Double Bevel and Single Bevel heads and then a field point for comparison from 40 yards.

flight test of vpa double bevel and single bevel broadheads

40-yard flight test… (I was aiming at the lower dot)… A really good group and definitely within my margin of error.

Out-Of-The-Box Sharpness

I tested the out-of-the-box sharpness of both the VPA Double Bevel and the Single Bevel head.

vpa double bevel out of the box sharpness test

Double Bevel out-of-the-box sharpness: 775. This head needs to be sharpened before hunting.

vpa single bevel out of the box sharpness test

Single Bevel out-of-the-box sharpness: 400.

Penetration (Ballistic Gel)

I shot both heads into the ballistic gel that was fronted with 1/2-inch MDF and foam matting.

vpa double and single bevel broadheads in ballistic gel and mdf test

The Double Bevel penetrated 8 inches and the Single Bevel penetrated 8 and a half inches.

Post-Penetration Sharpness Test

After the MDF and ballistic gel penetration test, I tested both VPA heads again to see how sharp they were.

Double Bevel after penetration test: 825.

Single Bevel after penetration test: 400.

Layered Cardboard Penetration Test

In the layered cardboard test, I shot both the VPA Double Bevel and the Single Bevel into layered cardboard to record how many layers each could penetrate.

vpa double bevel broadhead after cardboard penetration test

The Double Bevel penetrated through 55 layers of cardboard.

vpa single bevel broadhead after cardboard penetration test

The Single Bevel penetrated through 62 layers of cardboard.

Durability: Steel Plate Test

I shot each head into a steel plate five times. Check out the results…

vpa double and single bevel broadheads shot into steel plate

Here’s a good look at the difference in the wound channels. The Double Bevel on the right has just a straight 2-blade hole, whereas the Single Bevel on the left has that classic “S-cut” hole. And that’s going to be a little bit more difficult to close up as a wound channel.

vpa double bevel broadhead after steel plate test

Here’s the Double Bevel after going through the steel five times. It spins very well. There’s really no signs of wear at all. I mean this thing is in pristine condition except for the tip, which had a slight rollover that would be very easily sharpened out. But overall, it did very well.

vpa single bevel head after steel plate test

Here’s the Single Bevel. You can see it held up very well through five shots into the steel. There’s a little bit of edge chatter along the back edge of the blade, and a little on the top, which will be very easily sharpened out. Aside from that, it held up very well.

VPA Single-Bevel Rotation Test

I shot the VPA Single Bevel broadheads into the ballistic gel to measure how much it rotatied.

vpa single bevel rotation in ballistic gel

The VPA Single Bevel rotated 45 degrees. If you look closely, you can see the wound channel and how it rotated in gel here.

Concrete Block Test

I shot both of the VPA heads into a concrete block to see how they would hold up.

vpa double bevel broadhead after concrete block test

Here’s the Double Bevel, it also did fairly well. It got a little bit of tip curl. But, the edges held up well, but not quite as sharp as that Single Bevel for whatever reason. And that tip curl is very slight, easily re-sharpened, and reusable.

vpa single bevel broadhead after concrete block test

This is the Single Bevel after shootingit into the concrete block. It’s also the same Single Bevel head that went through the steel plate. It’s still in excellent condition. The edges are still sharp actually (that’s kind of weird). And the tip is just perfect as well. This could be easily re-sharpened and reused.

Final Thoughts On This VPA Broadheads Review

So what do you think of this broadhead battle? Which one do you think came out on top?

I have to say, both of them are really good.

But for me, there was no question, it’s Single Bevel.

This is a really good single bevel head with a super-simple design. But man, it’s got everything that I look for in a single bevel. And, I was really impressed how it compared to the Double Bevel in each of the different areas.

So, the winner of this broadhead battle is the VPA Single Bevel. Great job, VPA!