Which broadhead for Tac15?


Well-Known Member
Mar 1, 2012
Poolesville, MD
I bought some Phat Head 100's as per suggested, but they don't hit where my field-points hit... even though I paper tuned the bow. They are off about 1.5-inches (at 10-oclock) at 20 yards. That's a huge error given that I'm planning to go out to 50 yards, at-least.

I use Rocket Steelhead XL 100gr broadheads with my vertical bow and so I wired some shut, added healthly amounts of superglue for good measure, and tried them at with the Tac15.

Results have been mixed. At the archery range I was getting fine groups out to 80 yards and even 8-ringed the elk at 125 yards with these home-made practice-heads. Later, at home, the practice head groups opened up to about 2-inches at 30 yards, and given that I'm used to 1-hole groups at that range with field-points, it gives me pause.

Last year I shot three of the Steelhead XL's through deer, and on one occasion had a blade come off in a deer. All deer died in seconds, so I can't really complain too much. But.... I'm wondering if 400 fps is a little fast for the Steelhead XL? Anyone know what they are rated to? I use 2 O-rings to keep the blades shut, so-far-so-good, the hits on deer have all been right where I expected.

Would anyone else share their Tac15 broadhead experiences?
I too had trouble grouping the Phat heads. I ended up with the G5 Montec broadheads. They have been grouping well for me.
Try Montec T3 mechanical. Had to research shoot some before I worked out the bugs. Now they fly just like my field points. The key is to bend the little spider collars tight to the blades. The Tac 15 has so much kinetic power, that in flight they could open up if not secured by the spider collars that come with the broad heads. I have been shooting this bow since 8-2-10 and have two kills on whitetails at over 90 yards and multible kills from 25-75 yds. I was in a blind with suitable rest as a bench would provide. I don't recommend over 70 yd shots unless your in tune with your bow. I am now trying to keep my kills within the 70 yd range, due to there being more consistancy with my shooting there. The T3's will work fine as long as you use the spider collars provided and snug them up against the blades, they will open on impact with the Tac 15. gun)
Hi TwangerLet me firstly thank you for your constructive posts and info provided.
I bought a Tac approximately 3 months ago after injuring my rotator cup during an archery competition and receiving medical advice to lay of for 8 months.
The journey to get this Xbox going was quite something. I had previously helped my 8 year old son with his Bowtech Stryker which was a breeze and it shoots accurately up to 50 yards
I found the Tac however very high maintenance and it gave me quite some scares when I had 2 Accidental discharges with it shortly after purchasing it. These were due to an off center loop causing the drawing block to twist and " slip " out of the rail releasing the arrow. Once I tiller tune an followed the valuable advise on this forum I have managed to tune and fix it. I fitted a Timmy trigger and hha . The hha offset caused a problem in that my scope maxed out to the right and I had to skim the hha to hit the x's.

Your advice to trigger the safety with your finger is a great hint.

I have recently spend some time looking for the perfect broad head solution for the Tac.
I paper checked all mechanicals and fixed broad heads I could lay my hands on.
I am also a Steelhead fan but found that as with Nap's Strike zone, maxes, rage std 2 and 3 blad, Rage Xbox Grim reapers, Montec and a number of other mechanicals, I found that all opened prematurely due to the Tac' s speed. The only standard head that did not open was the Rocket meat seeker 1.5 and 2 inch 3 bladers.

Fixed blades remained a issue compared to field points and I agree that the phat head is not the answer nor is the Muzzy, Blood runners, Montec etc in fact the only field point accurate broad head (fixed) was the 4 blade 1 inch slick trick.

As a South African I have had the pleasure of hunting this past weekend and between my boy and me ended up with a Blue Wildebeest, several Impala's and some warthogs. All these were shot at distances between 30 and 55 yards and using the meat seekers 2 inches we recovered our game in under 70 yards The meat damage was acceptable and I can strongly recommend it as a standard broad head.

I find fixed heads to unstable at the speed of the Tac yet at the same time we have to test mechanicals before using it to ensure its effectiveness.

Good hunting and keep us posted if you find a workable solution.

Stegmann Fourie
Thanks Steg - thanks for the advice.
I will buy some of the 3-blade 2-inch Meat Seekers and try them.

I've only killed 3 deer with the Tac15 and the Steelhead XL, and they seemed to fly true. I may burn 3 heads and see if the blades pre-deploy, just to be sure. $10 down the drain, but worth it to know for sure.

I use these with my vertical compound bow so I'd really like to stick with them, but I also do like to tinker!

Oh... I can't take credit for the trick of cocking the trigger with your finger so you can put on the safety.
I believe I learned it from someone here. Probably Jon. :)
The deer Gods smiled kindly on us this morning, Maryland's opener, and my good buddy Bill and I laid a few down. He with his compound and me with the Tac15 crossbow.
The three I killed will go to families in need, if I can arrange the transfer, and the hearts and livers will feed a friend's dog that is allergic to chicken and beef protein.

So the details ... Crossbow is Tac15i with Timney Trigger upgrade and HHA Speed Dial. Shooting standard 4-fletch bowtie fletched arrows with Rocket Steelhead XL 100gr 1.5-inch cut. I use 2 O-rings to hold the blades closed during launch vs. the standard single ring.
The shots were at 14, 16, and 25 yards, and the deer ran 40, 60, and 100 yards.
The longest run was poorest hit - early season jitters and rushing the shot had the arrow hit a little far back. I settled down for the next two. As far as I could tell the broadheads hit where they were aimed.

I must say that this crossbow shoots like a lightening bolt. Inside 25 yards they have no chance to move before the arrow arrives.

well done and good shootingI will give the steelheads a run

Pls help Is the drop away rest set up worth the upgrade?

Hi Steg and Twanger,
The question about the Drop Away Rest is normally a yes, it's worth it, but in the case of Twanger, I'd have to say No, it's not worth it. This is because anybody that can maintain 3" groups at the distances that he's talking about can't improve on the performance.

The QAD Ultra Drop Away Rest provides a couple of major benefits in that I eliminates the occasional flier arrow that seems to be outside the grouping of ones other shots. This is caused by the restriction of a containment rest coupled with the uneven friction of the bristles of the Whisker Biscuit. It also eliminates the wear of the bristles causing ones site settings to shift over time, so all site settings remain consistent over many years of shooting with the QAD Drop Away.

Last, once properly tuned ones arrows will perform very consistently due to the fact that shaft timing and oscillation frequencies remain consistent to the shafts spine characteristics. This supports tighter grouping patterns at all distances.

These are all general performance enhancements gained after the conversion process has been completed correctly, but as I stated there's a significant amount of work involved, so if you are getting the type of groups that Twanger is achieving, then don't fix what is not broken.


Jon Henry
Just a quick update.

Saturday I killed deer #7 for the season with the Tac15 and Rocket Steelhead XL mechanicals.

I can't seem to help myself, and am constantly waiting for chip-shots.
It's not much of a long-range accuracy test when you're shooting almost everything inside 16 yards. :rolleyes:

I'm gonna have to screw up the courage to take a 30-yard shot one of these days.

Still, it does not appear that the heads are opening prematurely and the blades are staying on for the most part. I'm getting the blade-breakage after they go through the deer and impact the ground. I.E. the exit holes all have all had 3-blade cuts, even on the bigger animals.
Hi Twanger,
Let's face it, long range accuracy is a nice thing, but it sucks compared to being able to take your game at under 20 yards. If you can get within under twenty yards all or most of the time, I wouldn't worry about the long range performance.

Now for those who like to hunt farm land or open pastures, it probably is a good idea to set up for longer shots, but if given a choice, I'd take the chip shot every time since it puts more meat on the table consistently.

Worst case scenario is you'll need to invest in a few packs of extra blades.


At the beginning of the season I bought ten 3-packs of replacement blades and I've got about a dozen broadheads. Bent one ferrule on a rock (after passing through the deer) but the other 6 that were used this year are still ok.

At this consumption rate the spare blade supply may not last the whole season.:D

The reaction of deer to the shot still baffles me. The little 50-lb doe I shot on Saturday made it about 80 yards. The 125lb buck I shot last Wednesday only made it only 50 yards. The shots were danged near identical. I figure the bigger deer would run further, but it was the other way around. There's just no telling. My only explanation is that a broadhead passing through a deer is a VERY complicated event from a cardiovascular perspective, and the results you get have wide error-bars.
Hi Twanger,
I completely agree with your thoughts.

Since broadheads perform a surgical slicing that should be so clean, that it even prevents the brain from sending signals to the body to release coagulation enzymes into the blood stream, it's hard to tell what any given animal is going to do or how they'll react to the hit.

With a bullet from a gun it's all about shock to the animals system that kills them.

I'm not sure if you've ever sharpened the blades of your broadheads after taking them out of the packages, but I spend some time sharpening and then leather stropping each blade prior to use on my heads. When I say they are sharp, they are at least as sharp as a brand new razor blade and yes you can easily shave with them.

I use two 3" x 8" DMT diamond stones, 1 Fine and 1 Extra Fine and then finish with a leather strop that is made by mounting a piece of raw leather to a block of wood that is equal size to the DMT Diamond Stones. Several strokes on each of these instruments will produce a surgical finish on anything that cuts.

I can send you a link to an excellent u-tube on the subject if your interested.

Anyway, it sounds like you're doing pretty well with what you're using, but the sharper your blades the faster the bleed out without alarming the animal. I've seen an arrow pass straight through a deer and the deer just stand in place, shack for several seconds and then just pile up in place, never realizing that it was ever hit.

Jon - I'm always interested in learning. This stuff just fascinates me.
I'd love to see the u-tube video.

I generally don't sharpen blades right out of the package, but always do if using a blade over again.
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