By now everyone has seen ballistic gel testing with bullets. Now, courtesy of GY6vids, we get to see what an arrow looks like plowing through ballistic gel in slow motion.

GY6vids used a Rage Chisel Tip 3-blade broadhead and an Easton Carbon arrow for the test. He’s also shooting it from a HOYT Carbon Spyder ZT Turbo with a 60-pound draw. It’s a fairly common setup that most bowhunters would use for medium-sized game. However, the results were not something you would want to see in the field.

The arrow-broadhead combination performed flawlessly through the bare ballistic gel and it penetrated and impressive 16 inches. However, once a slab of beef ribs was placed in front of the gel block, things started to go wrong. Every time the broadhead struck bone, there was a catastrophic failure of both the arrow and the broadhead. The arrow shafts shattered after skipping off the bone, leading to reduced penetration. The broadheads themselves also failed when the cutting blades separated, yielding a much smaller wound channel.

These results were pretty surprising. Let us know in the comments if you have experienced an issue like this.

Image from GY6vids on YouTube

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57 thoughts on “Video: Testing Rage Broadheads and Easton Arrows vs. Ballistic Gel

  1. Not a fan of mechanical broadheads for elk myself and this is only one reason. Id like to see a few other heads tested with the beef ribs though. Pick a few popular heads including muzzy 3 blades. I personally shoot the Shuttle T black ops with FMJ’s.

  2. I just used a rage on a boat, found my arrow and all the blades on the ground. The blades were separated from the broadhead.

  3. Wouldn’t mind seeing performance of other rage styles, and other mechanicals vs. Fixed. Primarily a whitetail bow hunter. Thanks for the awesome video.

  4. I’d like to see a test of Shuttle -t lock broad heads into beef ribs to compare to the rage. I’m a deer and elk hunter and have started using them for both.

  5. I would like to see you test this set up. Bow: obsession DefCon 6, Arrow: Easton FMJ, Broadhead: Dirtnap DRT single bevel. This is the best of the best set ups and would be interested in seeing a test to see how well this actually works in slow motion to see effects it has

  6. I am a fan of fixed blade broadheads only. I shoot G5 Stryker Magnums, 125gr. Would be interested to see this same test with those and I shoot the Alaska Bowhunting Supply Grizzly Stiks, 330 UFOC Momentum Shafts. I am a whitetail hunter specifically and some think my setup is overkill but I’m not about speed. It’s all about the penetration, cut on contact and pass through if possible.

  7. Well, if this test was done in a correct manner then it would be enough to say do not buy a Rage broad head. Since from what I seethe way the test was done you can not say that for sure! One, the meat needs to be stretched out in the same manner as the deer or any other animal you shoot at not just layer over in a clump. So if you do the test this way then if the broad head and arrow just skips of the bone and does not penetrate then we have evidence that your testing of the broad head is true. Please do the test this way and see if the broad head fails. I want the best broad head out there to harvest an animal without having to chase it all over the country. Thanks

  8. My gf shoots a 460grain fmj tipped with a 125g Strickland archery helix broadhead. At a little over 40lbs she busted through far side shoulder of a whitetail no problem. I’m a big fan of 2 blade single bevel heads! I would like to see the same test with a two blade single bevel head…eclipse werewolf evolution/Strickland helix/dirt nap…

  9. I am a bear hunt outfitter in New Brunswick Canada, fixed blade archers have produced 0 kills in this camp, I have made them all switch to grimm reaper mechanicals, a complete pass through is useless if its not passing through vital organs, and after 42 yrs of archery hunting there is no fixed blade that flies like a field tip, and most archery hunters truly cant make the adjustments. Rage broadheads cost me the deer of a lifetime and yes I am still beyond upset. But there are great nechanicals and grimm reaper is one 100% on bear in this camp.

  10. I have heard somewhere that a broadheads that have a razor point like the old bear broadheads will penatrate deeper than a chizel point like muzzy uses.That would be a intresting test.

  11. I have had good luck with Rage broadheads but I know what you mean about the blades loosening from the O ring. They do have a plastic collar on some models which is more effective preventing the blades from loosening.

    I was surprised to see the results with the ribs. The ribs in your model are not “fixed” as they are with an intact chest wall which could allow movement at impact. That movement could potentially cause the deflection you noticed. I haven’t noticed a problem as you demonstrated with the Rage and rib penetration.

  12. I would like to see Rage hyperdermic on maxima red arrows. I went completely through my deers ribs and lungs and stuck the completely reusable rage in the dirt on the other side. One rib was cut completely in half. PSE axe 6 bow.

  13. I would like you to test the Montec G5 100 grain broadhead with a 60 lb bow in a simulated deer hunting situation. Thanks for the videos!

  14. Very interesting, however nothing to compare it to. Get a good sample suze, say 6 fixed and 6
    mechanical heads and perform the same demonstration. My friends and I have had great performance with rage 2 blades, so it would be cool to mix this test up a bit and see a few heads go up to the test!! Look forward to seeing it!!!!

  15. If you shoot something hard enough with enough energy to shatter your arrow there is nothing your Broadheads can do to help you. A broadhead should be as lethal as possible with the energy available. Rage are the most lethal out there. That is why I and millions of others use them with confidence and will continue to do so. You should really consider the intelligence of this video and it’s supposed scientific test. If the arrow broke then nothing else matters.

  16. Hmmm. I have never seen hunting game with ribs like a bull that are arranged in a wedge patter so they touch one another. If you want to advertise Hoyt don’t do it at the contrived expense of a trusted and proven brand. Rage is simply the most lethal broadhead on the market which is why I and millions of others trust them and will continue to shoot them.

  17. Seen a lot of tests with both fixed and mechanical, but not many on the seemingly re-up and coming Hybrid heads. I’m a first hand believer in the Grim Reaper Hybrid head. 1 turkey and 1 deer in 2015, both quick humane kills with complete pass throughs. Wash off the blades, maybe hit em with a sharpening stone and use it again!

  18. Great video! I would like to see G5 Montec & NAP Thunderhead. I track wounded big with a dog. Most are with Rage. Or so it seems. One hunter told me it’s because they are so popular. Maybe..

  19. I’ve use No Limit Archery Grave Digger chisel tip 100gr broadheads for the past three seasons with great results. They mechanical, yet they do not have the typical o-ring to mess with.

  20. I live in a state where its against the law to use the mechanical broadheads. I’ve been archery hunting for 20 years and shot lots of broadheads. The one broadhead im a firm believer in is the shuttle t loc. I’ve been shooting them since they came out. I’ve killed lots of elk with this broadhead and would recommend this broadhead to anyone. I would also like to see it tested

  21. I would like to see you try slick trick magnum 100 grain broadheads with carbon express 250 maxima reds. This is what I use for whitetail.

  22. My son and I have had tremendous success with a variety of Rage broadheads since we started using them about 5 or 6 years ago. We have taken approximately 50 deer, several bear and a 700 lb moose with them. Huge entry holes as they advertise, resulting in better blood trails most of the time. Distance traveled after the shot seemed to be shorter than it used to be with fixed blade heads (Muzzy mostly, but also Thunderhead, and Bear Razorhead). i.e. quicker kills and shorter blood trails, often deer will go down within sight. Only issues we have had performance-wise was operator error. If you don’t put the arrow in the right place it doesn’t matter what broadhead you use. No broadhead will penetrate heavy bone well in our experience. For us the Rage has done at least as well in that regard as any other head we have used. I did put a 3 blade Rage (early model with the cutting tip) through the shoulder blade of a big (400 lb) black bear. Still penetrated about 14 inches (60 lb bow, Gold Tip 55/75 @ about 245 fps.) All 3 blades remained intact, though one was bent a bit. Don’t think any other head would have done any better. Use what works for you, Rage has worked for us, and I see no reason to change. There are a number of similar designs out there now, and they should work as well. The worst design I have seen is the over the top type of head. They create small entry holes (minimal blood trail) and rob energy the way the blades deploy, resulting in poor penetration. Don’t base your opinion of mechanical heads on this type of design!

  23. Is it me or does it look like he ad barrel any glue on the ferrule…and if this is the case, was it the correct glue. also, from the video, it does not look like he had total thread engagement into the ferrule. when i worked at the Archery Pro Shop, i have seen improperly built arrows. to me, this is a poor arrow preparation to begin with. you can see carbon dust in the glue. this reducing the adhesion properties. and if he did not clean and prep the internal portion of the shaft, did not properly seat the insert, what else did he do wrong? i can’t say much for the broadhead, because I am not a fanboy of the Rage. ill stick with my NAP. Ive been bowhunting and tuning bows for over 35 years and this, in my opinion, was a poor test from the beginning. Sorry. And this is without even discussing the media dynamics (ribs and clear gel).

  24. I am somewhat amazed at the results of this test ; I am really surprised that I have never even heard of similar testing , of their products , by their manufacturers . I , regretfully , see this as an extreme vulnerability to attack ,by anti-hunting factions . As an excuse to ban archery hunting ,indeed all hunting , this testing or lack thereof may have great consequence .

  25. I can only speak to my experience with Rage broadheads which is shooting at deer. I’ve always had completely pass throughs, large entry/exit wounds and an excellent blood trail. I’ve never had one “explode”, come apart or do anything worse than bend the blades. Granted, my test were done in the field on living deer under real conditions. Over the years, I’ve used the following Rage mechanicals: 2-blade SC, 2-blade SS, chisel tip three blade and razor tip three blade. All were shot from a PSE Primos STL which i’ve been using for over 10 years… since 2004 or 2005 so I’m not shooting a current, top of the line setup. So, I’m somewhat confused by the performance in this test. Does the test actually accurately recreate the conditions of shooting a live animal. Maybe this would be the result of shooting domestic cattle which I’ve never tried. What is the difference between beef ribs and elk or moose ribs? Something just don’t add up with this test compared to how others, like myself, have experience in real life. If you are going to test and offer an opinion of a product, the test should be as accurate as possible. To me, this test is nothing more than… “What happens when you shoot a slab of beef ribs with a Rage Chisel Tip 3-blade broadhead”.

    1. Dan, sounds like you have had the same experience my son and I have had with the Rage broadheads. (See my post in this thread as well) We shoot a similar setup it sounds like from your description. (I am shooting an ’05 Bowtech Independence). All this test shows is that a broadhead will deflect or stop when it hits heavy bone. I don’t think the results would be drasticlly different with any other broadhead, fixed or mechanical.

  26. How about N.A.P. 3 blade mech. 115 grain with Easton carbon. So far I have taken down some very big bruiser whitetails with complete pass through on everyone and the broadheads are not only still intact but have used them repeatedly after cleaning them up! I would love to see this test with the N.A.P.’s

  27. I am a deer hunter and have used Rage successfully, but under ideal conditions. I’d like to see this with pork ribs, or better yet deer. I got to elk hunt for the first time and everyone that knows elk that I talked to (guides and biologists), recommended 125 grain fixed blade. I chose the G5 Montec and would like to see how those compare

  28. I use NAP 100GR Thunderheads on ICS hunter shafts and have put them thru many deer front shoulders. Never had a failure. I just replace the blades.

    1. Used the Rage Hypodermic this year and never will again. Never shot, right out of the box, coupled with an Easton carbon arrow. I finally decided to pass on many deer in hopes to arrow a mature whitetail. Unfortunately, stuck a nice mature buck at 8 yards directly under my stand and only got about 2-inches of penetration, hitting the spot on the shoulder to double lung him. Sadness… a lot of my friends advised me not to shoot the expendables, but being hard headed I had to learn the hard way.

      I’ve switched to aluminum GameGetter arrows and Wasp fixed 100 gr arrows-let’s see what happens next year; going to be a different story I guarantee it.


      1. You’ll get the same results if you hit the same spot. There’s no magic broadhead/arrow combination. Bullets will break heavy bone and still penetrate (but still lose energy doing so). Arrows just do not have enough energy to do the same thing. Most will go through the flat part of the shoulder blade easily enough and still have the energy to penetrate to the vitals. But heavy shoulder bone, joints and the ridge of the shoulder blade will stop any arrow, Shoot to avoid bone. If you had put that arrow about 3 inches lower and maybe back an inch or two you’d think the Rage was the best broadhead out there now and have that buck at the taxidermist’s. It wasn’t the broadheads fault, it was your arrow placement…………

      2. Nope-I’ve shot fixed blade & NAP Spitfire and double lunged plenty of deer, pushing through the shoulder blade. I prefer hugging the shoulder as the deer only run about 30 yards or less after they’re stuck. I have used the NAP expendables’ for the last several years and killed plenty of deer. If you think that arrows and broadheads shouldn’t go through bone, shoulder & heavy mass and you should try to only aim behind the shoulder you error bud. Do yourself a favor, grab a doe you stick next season, hang her up and shoot the shoulder with a fixed blade and then the garbage Rage of any choice. You will find the fixed blade will fully penetrate and probably pass all the way through even if you’re using light carbon arrows. However, the Rage will disappoint and not get the job done.

        Keep shooting those expandable broadhead-carbon arrow sets and when you error and hit the shoulder and lose your dream buck, my words will resonate in your ears. By the way, I was that same guy you are until this season. I will never switch back from fixed to expendables or from aluminum to carbon.

        You will cry later John…I guarantee it.

      3. I’ve put a 3 bladed Rage with the cutting tip through the shoulder blades of 2 deer and a bear (the bear in my pic, 402 lbs live weight) All 3 animals down in 50 yds or so. The bear was the heaviest bone, and it punched through it without any damage to the head or blades except for one blade being bent a bit. Penetrated about 1/2 the length of the arrow, clipped the spine along the way and stopped under the skin on the far side. I don’t believe any other head would have done significantly better performance wise. Not a screaming setup by todays standards, at 245 fps, with a Gold Tip 55/75, 100 grain Rage 3 blade. Shoulder BLADES are not a big issue for most broadheads, Rage included, Knuckle joints (which from your description is what you hit) ARE and will stop any broadhead, depending on the exact angle of the hit. Sounds like you were a little unlucky and are blaming the broadhead instead of your shot placement. Like I said, 3 inches down (maybe not even that much) and a bit back and you’d be admiring that buck on your wall about now. We’ve been using a variety of Rage heads for the last 6 years or so, and between my son and myself we have taken about 50 deer, 3 bear and 1 bull moose. Never had an issue with the performance of any model of the Rage. On the rare occasion that we did not recover an animal, it was poor shot placement on our part, not the fault of the broadhead. Speaking of crying, you’re crying now, because you didn’t stay away from that shoulder joint. 😉

      4. The truth is its a lousy test and no broadhead, fixed or mechanical would fair any better. Heavy bone like that will either stop or deflect ANY arrow. You can hope you can break through it or you can try to avoid the heaviest joints and bone with good shot selection and be less likely to lose any animal.. Use what works for you. Keep searching for that magic bone buster if you like too. We’ll just keep stacking up the deer, bear and moose with the Rages. They work for us.

  29. Every tool has the job it was designed to do. Shooting bull ribs that are wedged apparently is not the right application for a bow and arrow. If the arrow breaks, I really don’t care what broadhead you use, it is a bad hit. Shooting white tail, this is an awesome broadhead and works awesome (a half dozen or so by me, none lost, huge blood trails).

  30. I’d be interested to see a direct comparison with fixed blade. Also an idea might be to turn the ribs vertical instead of horizontal, like they would be on a deer or elk.

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