My Rage against RAGE Broadheads - With Video evidence

Discussion in 'Bowhunting Africa' started by TOM, Aug 30, 2011.

  1. TOM

    TOM AH Elite

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    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
    [​IMG]

    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
    [​IMG]

    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:
  2. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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    Tom,

    Thanks for the report. I couldn't see anything wrong with the shot placement either. I consider myself a bowhunter, but one with very limited experience compared to others. I'm currently using 3 blade Wac'Em broadheads. I used one on my 6x6 elk last year. After penetrating between ribs, the arrow passed through both lungs and then hit a rib on the offside. That rib was broken but managed to stop the arrow. The elk ran about 75 yards and collapsed. I would expect similar performance from any of the 3 blade chisel point type broadheads. This arrow was shot from my Hoyt Turbohawk that has a whopping 65lb draw weight.

    I guess what I'm saying is, I just have not seen where there's much to improve upon this basic design. Thanks for the report, it only confirms my confidence in my broadheads.

    BTW, I'm glad you got that waterbuck!
  3. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    Thanks for the report Tom! Some valuable information from the bush...
  4. RickB

    RickB AH Fanatic

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    Thanks for the info....I have thought of switching to these but I think I will stick with my muzzy's.
  5. Dox

    Dox AH Veteran

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    Hi Tom

    I did'nt read your full article as I was in a hurry.
    Did you use a 2 or 3 blade rage?
  6. RickB

    RickB AH Fanatic

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    2 blade
  7. INGOZI

    INGOZI AH Enthusiast

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    That is a shame, it seems that a great many archers are reporting this same issue with Rage heads, but then again a lot really like them. I just don't think that they are built to withstand tougher than usual shots that might or could connect with heavy bone. Glad you got the wounded Waterbuck though.
  8. coaster500

    coaster500 AH Member

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    Thank you for the report...

    Looks to be one more reason for me to stay with cut on contact fixed blade heads, and single blade heads for extra penetration.

    I'll just spend the time and tune my equipment so my heads fly true.
  9. firehuntfish

    firehuntfish AH Veteran

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    Rage failures..

    Tom,

    I'm very sorry to hear about your experiences with GARB"RAGE" broadheads... I can't say that I am suprised though..What I am suprised at is that your outfitter let you shoot them at anything but baboons and guinea fowl...

    You must give credit to the makers of Rages though... They have conducted one of the most successful marketing campaigns in advertising history. They have spent millions getting dozens of celebrity endorsements to over-hype these over-priced, poor performing broadheads...It's a shame, because there are literally thousands of stories just like yours about hunters who have wounded and lost animals due to the design flaws of Rages.

    We outfit some hog and deer hunts here in South Florida, and I have witnessed their failures countless times at the expense of others. It's actually funny to see what a "cult-like" following the Rage users have become. You can literally start a fist fight by telling a Rage failure story to a cult member. A "Rager" will argue with you that any failure is due to bad shot placement... But, isn't the whole point of using a broadhead to compensate for imperfect placement?? Otherwise, we could all hunt with field points right?

    Anyone planning a bowhunting trip to Africa, PLEASE leave the Rages, and all other expandable broadheads at home! It is not my opinion... It is a fact that expandables break, bend, deflect, open in flight, and eat up too much kenetic energy trying to penetrate a heavy-boned animal like African plainsgame. Find a strong fixed-blade broadhead that flys well and you will be glad you did...You can put your expandables back on when you get home..

    Q: Do you know why you have never seen a Rage commercial shot in Africa?
    A: Because they are still looking for the animal...
  10. providerrick

    providerrick AH Member

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    I too had a bad experience with the rage two blade.I always used the thunderhead 100 grain heads,but had to tune the heads to the arrows,and fell for the hype of the field point accuracy of the rage.so,two years ago I switched and found they flew well,but worried about the flimsy blades.The first shot was a coyote and it was torn open by the head.the next morning a big buck came in at first light and I stopped him at 20 yds very slightly quartering to.At the shot I here a crack and see my arrow in the back edge of his scapula.2 hrs later I find my arrow broke off at the ferrule.Lots of blood and two sightings later hes gone.2 months later a friend shoots him limping in in January.He scores over 150 gross 10 pt.Pretty good for Ct.I'm just glad he got him.Now I use Slick Trick 4 blades.Fly good,and have much thicker blades.
  11. kuduman

    kuduman AH Veteran

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    countless bad stories of moose hunts gone bad with expandables. i watched my friend shoot a moose with an expandable, the arrow almost stopped when it hit the moose when the blades opened and then it penetrated 5 inches. it was an unbelievable sight, it was like slow motion. we couldnt believe our eyes, we both looked at each other in disbelief. it used so much kinetic energy to open the blades on that thick skinned animal. i have NEVER used one since. i wont even give them away.
  12. Africaman

    Africaman AH Member

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    True that!!!

    Tom,

    A very similar thing happened to me on my first Africa trip. I shot a gemsbok with a
    three blade rage at 25 yards. Got a good shot in, but didn't find the animal until the next day...
    four miles away! I also hit an impala a bit farther back than I would have liked, but not far
    back enough to really worry me. We searched for days but never recovered it. I switching to a fixed two blade for my next trip!
  13. TOM

    TOM AH Elite

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    Africaman,

    I agree. Rage broadheads are among the junkiest, if not the junkiest, of all broadheads available today. A real shame too.
  14. JBRACCINI

    JBRACCINI New Member

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    German Kenetic is the only way to go. I've killed over 50 African Animals all with this blade.
  15. Spiral Horn Safaris

    Spiral Horn Safaris AH Fanatic

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    Hi guys

    I am afraid that my comment might be a bit too late but here it is any way.

    I have used Rage on quite a number of species and to be fair have never had a problem with them before this hunt, now in saying this I am also extremely disappointed in them and will never recommend nor use them again.

    The only broadhead I will use in future is German Kinetics Silver Flames they are just built to get the job done!

    Thanks again for a great time Tom was great to have you back in camp again!

    Best Regards
    Louis van Bergen
  16. flynylon

    flynylon New Member

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    Nice shoulder shots! Maybe you should trade your bow in for a rifle.

    Solid hits on heavy bone on both shots.

    Maybe it's time to go for a little remedial target practice before slamming a product.
  17. Spiral Horn Safaris

    Spiral Horn Safaris AH Fanatic

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    Hi Flynylon

    Solid hits on heavy bone?

    Maybe we should look at the shot placement guide again?

    Waterbuck
    Hunting - Waterbuck Bowhunting, Plains Game Bowhunting, Waterbuck Bowhunt


    Impala
    Hunting - Impala Bowhunting, Plains Game Bowhunting, Impala Bowhunt


    Sir with all due respect I have hunted enough to know that the problem does not usually lie with the arrow but mostly with the Indian, now in saying that I unfortunately can not explain a terrible penetration in the case of the waterbuck, a very poor blood trail on the impala even though you can see clearly that it is a double lung straight pass trough? I picked up the arrow on the impala just the other day it did not break or shatter in any form this usually indicates no thick bones were hit?

    If you look at the angle of the waterbuck and compare the shot one should have found the arrow lodged inside of its rib cage?

    This has purely been our experience with Rage, the only reason for posting it is to share it with fellow bow hunters who might want the opinion of someone who has used Rage in Africa before.

    It is never nice to wound an animal as moral ethical hunters it is our responsibility to ensure we do everything necessary to avoid doing so if that means choosing a different broadhead to improve your chances then I am all for it!

    As for more practice with the bow I do agree one can never master that skill so practice should be part of our daily life's, in fact that goes for hunting with rifle as well.

    Best Regards
    Louis van Bergen
  18. RickB

    RickB AH Fanatic

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    What? Where did that come from....you must work for Rage. At least try and back your opinion rather than just trying to slam someone about something you appear to know nothing about!
  19. firehuntfish

    firehuntfish AH Veteran

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    Louis,

    You are being far to gentlemenly towards a guy who just joined AH and is obviously making inflammatory comments to get a reaction... In the US, we call them TROLLS. They "troll" around fishing for commentary....

    I hope he does work for Garb-RAGE... That way he can tell his collegues that they make an inferior product that should never be used for any African animal other than guinea fowl...
  20. TOM

    TOM AH Elite

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    Thank you for the compliment. On african game you must shoot in the shoulder as the vitals are much farther forward. There are several great shot placement photos on this website if you would like to review them, Louis has even linked a couple above. It is apparent you have not bowhunted Africa so those diagrams might be of particular interest to you. I did not write this product report to intentionally bad mouth any broadhead, merely reporting the problems and issues I had with this particular broadhead. I stand by my conclusions.

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