Rage offers a wide range of quality mechanical broadheads to suit different needs. I’ve been wanting to buy one for my crossbow, but wasn’t sure if they’d work.
So, can I use Rage broadheads on a crossbow? Standard mechanical broadheads from Rage and other manufacturers may open before impact when paired with a high-speed crossbow.
With speeds over 400 fps, the risk of blades opening prematurely increases. Rage crossbow broadheads prevent the blades from opening using O rings, shock collars, or advanced blade retention systems.
Based on my research, I should look for Rage broadheads that include “crossbow” in the title. These broadheads include specially designed blade retention systems to keep the blades from opening.
Why Do You Need Special Broadheads for Crossbows?
Mechanical broadheads are made to keep the blades closed until impact. When the blades open early, the arrow becomes less aerodynamic, throwing off its flight trajectory. This causes the arrow to veer off its path unpredictably.
Even if the arrow continues to fly straight and hit its target, it may not have the same penetration power or cause as much vital wound damage.
Worrying about the blades opening early isn’t really an issue with compound bows. When you use the same broadheads in a crossbow, you’re more likely to have the blades open before impact.
Manufacturers started addressing this problem as crossbows became faster. Crossbows deliver a lot more kinetic energy compared to compound bows and recurves. Some of the latest crossbow models can exceed 400 fps.
Rage and other companies now include stiffer springs or advanced blade retention systems to keep the blades closed.
How Does Rage Keep the Blades From Opening on its Broadheads?
The Rage mechanical broadheads have rear-deploying blades with a blade retention system that should keep the blades closed when using a compound bow. For added blade retention, some models come with an O ring.
The O ring is a small rubber band that slides over the ferrule. The blades of the broadhead have small grooves that secure to the rubber ring, reducing the chances of the blade opening early.
The O rings are also sometimes called gaskets or arrow point locks. I’ve noticed that the rubber ring wears quickly. After each use, some bow hunters rotate the ring slightly, so the blades secure to an unused portion.
Even with the O ring, some people experience premature blade deployment. In 2012, Rage introduced shock collars as a blade retention accessory.
Shock collars are small plastic collars with grooves that slide onto the ferrule and over the O ring. The collar covers the O rings and increases the holding power of the existing blade retention system.
Several of the newer Rage broadheads come with shock collars. Rage also released legacy collars for previous models. The new Rage Legacy Shock Collars work with any 100-grain Rage broadhead featuring the original O ring design.
You can use the standard shock collars with most Rage broadheads. However, when using a crossbow, Rage recommends that you go with the high-energy shock collars. They’re made to provide additional retention power.
No matter what type of shock collar you use, you need to replace it after each use. The collars have breakaway petals, making them a single-use item.
How to Use a Rubber Band to Keep Mechanical Blades Closed
While Rage makes expandable broadheads for crossbows, I’ve found that some people still choose to go with the regular broadheads.
To deal with the risk of the blades opening early, they secure the blades with a small rubber band. This also apparently works with Rage crossbow broadheads with worn O rings.
Most hunters that try this trick use small orthodontic rubber bands intended for use with braces. The bands provide a tighter fit and keep the blades closed.
Simply slide the rubber band over the top of the closed blades. The band should sit near the front of the broadhead instead of the tips of the blades.
If you use this method, you should also be able to remove the O ring. This gives the arrow a slightly slimmer profile.
The band keeps the blades closed during flight. When it penetrates the target, the band should snap off easily without limiting wound damage or blood trail.
Another trick for securing the blades is to use a strip of scotch tape. The tape is about the same width as the ferrule. After securing the blades, wrap the tape around the ferrule and cut it to size.
I’d recommend this method for target practice, as it may keep the blades closed after impact. The tape also tends to need replacing after each use.
How to Choose the Best Rage Broadhead for Crossbows
Rage has a large line of broadheads, including several options designed specifically for crossbows:
- Hypodermic Crossbow NC
- Hypodermic Trypan Crossbow
- X-TREME NC Crossbow
- X Blade Crossbow
When comparing these broadheads, I looked at the grain, cutting diameter, and the technology used to keep the blades closed.
Out of the top four Rage crossbow broadheads, the Hypodermic Crossbow NC is the only one that doesn’t need an O ring, shock collar, or rubber band.
The Hypodermic Crossbow NC uses Rage’s Slip Cam technology. This system uses a pivot point on the blades to anchor them in place in the closed position. This eliminates the need for an alternative method for securing the blades.
If you prefer a heavy broadhead, the Hypodermic Crossbow NC and X Blade Crossbow heads come in 125-grain or 100-grain sizes. Most of the other options from Rage are only available in 100 grain.
Most of the Rage broadheads offer a cutting diameter of two inches. The Rage X-TREME NC Crossbow has a slightly larger 2.3-inch cutting diameter for a wider entry hole and greater blood trail.
Can I Use Rage Broadheads with a Crossbow Designed for Speed?
Some crossbows are faster compared to others, which increases the risk of early blade deployment. If you’re using a crossbow with speeds of 400 fps or faster, consider sticking with the Rage broadheads designed specifically for crossbows.
The Scorpyd Aculeus can deliver speeds of 460 fps and there are several others that come close to the same speeds.
If you’re still worried about the blades opening, you can use one of the tricks discussed. Secure the blades with a rubber band or piece of tape.