My Rage against RAGE Broadheads - With Video evidence
Let me start by stating that I am an archery guy. I love testing different products and items that come out on the market. While i'm not a full fledged gear dork, I do enjoy testing products to find what works for me and my hunting style, what flies best out of my bow, and what does the best job in real world situations. On my last trip to Africa I took no less than 5 different styles of broadheads. This review is about the RAGE 125 grain, two blade broadhead.
I had shot a few practice rounds with this head in anticipation of the hunt. Everything seemed to be fine and they did seem to fly pretty well. As I knew most of my shots would be 30 yards or under, I felt very confident with this head and anticipated shooting a few animals with it as a test.
The first opportunity was a large male baboon. Not known to be particularly thick skinned, I shot the male at 22 yards with the Rage. The arrow zipped through quickly and the animal traveled less than 30 yards. So far, so good. After recovering my arrow I found that one blade of the head had bent after hitting the ground. Not so good. I was rather skeptical of the thin metal blades to start with, now my suspicions were confirmed. I couldn't find that the arrow had hit a rock or any other surface but it sure had bent the blade.
The next animal that I would try the Rage on was a large waterbuck bull. He was 24 yards and quartering away. See the video below. I was confident that my shot placement was fine and upon release of the arrow I thought for sure that the bull would be down very soon.
click on thumbnail to view video
As we trailed the bull, it became very evident that the animal was not down. We found the arrow with broadhead still attached. The blades were knicked up a bit and the tip had a small bend in the blade. There was a little blood up the first three inches of arrow. Very little blood on the ground. In fact, just specks here and there. It appeared that the arrow had only penetrated an inch or two (at most) and fallen back out of the animal.
We tracked that bull the rest of the afternoon until the tiny blood trail finally stopped. As you all know, draw blood in Africa and you have bought the animal. That was a very expensive test of a Rage broadhead.
I ended up shooting another equally large bull late that afternoon. I took him with a three blade Muzzy 125 grain and it did massive damage and killed the animal.
The next day had us back at the same blind. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the ORIGINAL waterbuck bull come walking back in. He had a small scab on his shoulder where the broadhead had hit him and was otherwise fine. I shot him again with a Muzzy and now had two waterbuck bulls.
A few days later I was still thoroughly upset and angry at the performance of the Rage (or gigantic lack thereof). Per my request, my friend and PH Louis Van Bergen then decided to shoot an impala with his bow. It is more like a buddy hunt when your friend is hunting with you. I had shot several animals and was starting to slow down so I asked Louis if he wanted to take the next shot. He obliged.
We were having a good time in the blind when a nice ram approached. At approximately 26 yards the ram presented a broadside shot. Louis decided to give the Rage one more chance. He tipped his arrow with a 125 grain two blade Rage and was ready for action.
You can't hear the audio real well but from the live sound I think the blades opened before striking the animal. As you can see from the video, the hit was pretty good. There was very, very little blood and we were unfortunately unable to recover this nice ram after hours of searching. We were both sick to our stomach.
click on thumbnail to view video
The only thing I can figure is that the Rage opened in flight and the blades never deployed or slid back into the broadhead housing without doing any damage. Effectively, it was like shooting an animal with a field point.
I am very disappointed in Rage and cannot emphasize enough to other bowhunters NOT to use Rage broadheads in Africa. The construction of the broadhead is cheap, blades are weak and they can fail to penetrate on even the most "gimme" shots.
I don't have any financial interest in this report and am only posting it as a warning to my fellow archers. :banghead: