cheap shot broadheads test

Cold Steel Cheap Shot Broadheads Review | Legit Head or Cheap Trick?

In this review, I tested the Cold Steel Cheap Shot broadhead.

It’s a real value price head that’s advertised primarily for small game because it’s made out of plastic.


That’s right, plastic. So, obviously I was excited to test it!

I did not test the Cheap Shot head in all the ways that I normally test big game broadheads, because they market this as being a cheap head (hence the name, Cheap Shot).

The Cheap Shot Broadhead Up Close

The Cheap Shot broadheads by Cold Steel cost about a buck each.

That’s right, one dollar!

They say they’re for non-trophy animals. So, you wouldn’t want to shoot at a deer with these, but could try these on small game animals or maybe hogs.

Let’s see how it performed!

cheap shot broadhead by cold steel

So here, you get a good look at the Cheap Shot. It’s a little over 3 inches in length. The cutting diameter is 1 and 5/16″, so just a little bit over one and a quarter inches. You can see the serrations that they have here, which is going to aid in its penetration and its edge retention. Since this head is plastic (they call it space-age polymer), it’s not going to have the edge retention that steel would, but you can make up for that with really good serrations.

Cheap Shot Flight Testing

I tested the Cheap Shot head for flight. I shot two of the heads and one field point for comparison.

cheap shot broadheads shot into target at 40 yards

Here was the Cheap Shot from 40 yards. You can see where the field point hit near the center, but the two broadheads were not very close.

Since the flight test at 40 yards didn’t go too well, I moved in to 20 yards and shot them again…

cheap shot broadheads vs a field point at 20 yards in target

They fared much better at 20 yards than they did at 40…

Out-of-the-box sharpness Test

I tested (or attempted to test) the head’s sharpness, but I couldn’t get the head to cut the wire… that’s a first.

cheap shot sharpness test

I couldn’t get the Cheap Shot to cut the wire on my sharpness tester, so no result to report here.

Cardboard Penetration Test

I shot the Cheap Shot into layered cardboard to see how many layers it could penetrate.

cheap shot broadhead after cardboard penetration test

In this test the Cheap Shot penetrated through 43 layers of cardboard.

Ballistic Gel Test

I shot the Cheap Shot into FBI ballistic gel that was fronted with 2/3″ rubber matting and 1/2″ MDF.

The Cheap Shot penetrated 4-1/2 inches.

cheap shot broadhead penetrating into ballistic gel

I know it looks like it penetrated 5 inches into the gel, but when lined up straight, it was actually only 4-1/2 inches.


MDF Penetration Test

Next I shot the head into MDF. Check out the pictures below…

cheap shot after being shot into mdf board

Here’s the head and the hole that it made in the MDF. It’s a decent size hole there.

broken ferrule of cheap shot after being shot into mdf

As you can see, it broke off at the ferrule and left the threading portion of the ferrule inside my arrow. So I had to work a little bit to get that out.

cheap shot sticking into mdf board

Here you can see in this picture the distance that it penetrated through the MDF. It didn’t even make it all the way through but it did make it most of the way through.

Cold Steel Cheap Shot Broadheads | Final Thoughts

So what do you think of the Cheap Shot?

I love the creativity and I like that Cold Steel is trying something different.

I also love the price point. I mean, they’re only one dollar for a head. I mean, if you are just starting out with bowhunting and just need a head to shoot smaller animals with, it’s an option. It will definitely work and wallop whatever you shoot it at.

But, I just kind of go, “Huh? Why?”

I mean, I’d much rather use an old broadhead or a field point with a judo point or something like that. I just think there are a lot better choices for small game.

But for something fun to try, yeah, I think it’s worth a look for that. So check out the scores. The score sheet is a little bit different because it’s not the typical kind of broadhead that I test. And also, check out my Lusk grade for it.

score card for cheap shot broadhead testing
lusk grade of 5 golden arrows for cold steel cheap shot broadhead test

John Lusk

John Lusk is an avid bowhunter and broadhead fanatic. He has taken well over 100 big game animals with his bow all over the US, as well as Canada and South Africa. He puts his Engineering degree to use in his broadhead testing and has tested over 50 different broadheads. He has written articles in a dozen different archery publications, appeared on several hunting TV shows, and has well over a million views on his YouTube Channel: Lusk Archery Adventures. There you will find more than 70 videos of his hunts and extensive broadhead tests. When he is not shooting his bow, John serves alongside his wife as the Pastor of the Des Moines Church of Christ, in Des Moines, Iowa.

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