Home Forums Bows and Equipment Tuffhead update

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    • David Petersen
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      As noted in another post, I recently purchased a 3-pack of the new Tuffhead glue-on broadheads from Vintage Archery Co. They are a true 3:1 MA, long and narrow, and weigh 225 grains. Today I set two heads up with 125-grain screw-on adapters for a total head weight of 350, which I tried on a variety of carbons I own, and glued the third head directly to a pine hexshaft. From my 54# Shrew Classic Hunter the heads flew true on all arrows — that part is simply a matter of spine, as a broadhead this long and narrow can’t really do much in the realm of wind-planing. In the end I determined to use them on CE Heritage 250s, for a total weight of 690 and EFOC at 27.5. Even after shooting repeatedly into a foam block target the heads still are shaving sharp. I am deeply impressed. Since I also want to hunt with the forthcoming new Werewolves from Eclipse, I’ll have to do what I did last year and the year before — carry both heads in my 4-arrow quiver and rotate between types each time I put an arrow on the string. If I kill an elk, I’ll shoot the remaining head type into the thickest part of the shoulder bone and thus will have good info on how well both brands penetrate and hold up. My problem for now is finding 350-grain field points. Heaviest I’ve seen are the ABS 320s and I have some. Does anyone know a source for 350 target heads? Dave

    • handirifle
      Post count: 409

      WOW, I didn’t even know they made heads that heavy. I am amazed that they give good arrow flight. Must be some STIFF shafts.

    • MCuiksa
      Post count: 51

      It’s been a couple of years ago when I started reading Dr. Ashby’s recommendations for FOC/EFOC and went looking for heavy field points…couldn’t find any then so I made my own.

      At first, I drilled out some field points (down past the taper from the inside) to create a pocket. Then I fired up the lead pot I use for making muzzleloader balls and put some lead in the space created.

      I later found some bowfishing points that were already hollow and it made the job much easier. Also, these particular bowfishing points had a whole thru them to hold the barb. By leaving the barb intact for the lead pour, the lead surrounded the internal part of the barb to help hold it in place (the lead in the field points eventually came loose and rattled around after several shots due to the impact). The bowfish points solved that problem. After pouring and cooling, a quick hit with the grinder to remove the external part of the barb left me with up to a 375gr field point. Worked pretty well for me. Took some time though (time well spent!!)

    • Ed Ashby
      Member
      Post count: 816

      Dave, go back to the source. Joe has brass field points in weights to match the Tuffheads.

      Ed

    • MCuiksa
      Post count: 51

      Dr. Ashby’s suggestion seems a lot easier!! 😆 I’d let the USPS do all the work and just order them!! 😳

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      Ed — Indeed, Joe has glue-on brass heads in 225 and I hadn’t explored his website far enough to note that. I just ordered half a dozen, thanks. I’ll use the same 125 screw-on adapters as with the broadheads to get the 350 I need. An expensive and clunky way to get there, but it’s what we have to work with now. Steel field point makers need to continue upping the weights they offer, as the market continues to trend toward heavier broadheads, a good thing! Dave

    • Raymond Coffman
      Moderator
      Post count: 1072

      Dave —
      I just ordered some tuffheads for myself and was wondering what make/spine carbon arrow you were using in your shrew for these heavy heads? I have a Shrew Classic Hunter 54″54lb@ 26 { I draw 27+]I am going to set up for this head. Trying to cut the development curve for myself –so to speak
      Scout

    • Raymond Coffman
      Moderator
      Post count: 1072

      sorry dave–you already answered my question didnt check the first post
      scout

    • mikelee
      Post count: 86

      Dave I assume you are using brass inserts in those 250 shafts. What weight did you go with ?

    • Raymond Coffman
      Moderator
      Post count: 1072

      Dr Ashby —
      Just received my tuffhead order — very well made and quite sharp right out of the Package. I think Dave mentioned you were going to touch up yours. My question is, are you going to do any modification/more sharpening of the point – even reshape a little to get a better cut on contact point.
      Enjoy reading your studies, very interesting and informative. Have fun living/hunting in Texas I always do —
      Scout

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      Mike — I use 100-grain brass inserts.

    • Ed Ashby
      Member
      Post count: 816

      Scout, I think the profile of the Tanto tip will be just fine, so won’t be altering the tip’s profile. If, after using the BH’s for a while, I see any problem with the tip’s profile I will alter it, and I’ll be sure to let folks know the ‘why and how’.

      You can bet that I’ll be touching up all the edges to get them all as sharp as I possibly can, and that includes the Tanto tip. I have a fine ruby stone that happens to be just the right size to work with a KME sharpener and gives as fine an edge as I can get with a series of water stones, with a lot less work. A ruby stone isn’t for everyone. A 4” x 1” x 3/8” ruby stone, in ‘fine’, cost $107.00, last time I looked. If anyone’s interested here’s a link: http://www.ottofrei.com/store/home.php?cat=2597

      Since I want Ultra-EFOC I’ll be using 125 grain steel BH adapters and filling the rest of the Tuffhead’s long internal ferrule’s taper with something. There will undoubtedly be some experimentation but I’ll probably start with with a slow cure epoxy or JB Weld as a fill material. If I feel that I need to up the weight even more I’ll mix in some Brownell’s atomized steel (powdered steel) into the epoxy.

      Ed

    • Raymond Coffman
      Moderator
      Post count: 1072

      Dr Ashby –
      Thanks for the extensive response. I just put a couple tuffheads on 2 easton axis carbon 400 shafts and stepped outside, they shot very well out of one of my heavier lbows.
      I noticed the large, long internal ferral and was wondering how best to solve/harden the set up so it would stay together. You answered that before I asked! Very much appreciate your advice.
      scout

    • Ed Ashby
      Member
      Post count: 816

      My pleasure, Scout. Glad it was of help.

      Ed

    • Steve Sr.
      Post count: 344

      A bunch of great info Guys! Looks like there is going to be a “Tuffhead Hero Photo” thread coming in the next few months with lots and various types of game animals!

      Needed to postpone my order just a bit due to medical issues/costs but following the reports on them closely here.

      Like David, I’ll have other heads in my quiver due to my love of old trad equipment but as I said earlier I just cant see ANY downside to these heads and know if larger game than my Indiana deer were in the future there would only be ONE head carried…..and heck, I havent even HELD one yet. lol

      Kudos to Doc for the information supplied to the builder and , of course, to Joe Furlong for believing and having the expertise to build them!

      For the time being, I’m just tickled that others found them as 😯 as I did when I saw them online.

      Also cant wait to see what the 300 grainer dimensions will be. Same dimensions and thicker or……..?? Im hoping that is the case.

      God Bless
      Steve Sr.

    • Ed Ashby
      Member
      Post count: 816

      Steve, you’re not the only one waiting for a great design, 300 grain glue-on broadhead!

      Ed

    • Brennan Herr
      Member
      Post count: 403

      Dr. Ashby,
      If it isn’t any trouble could you describe your sharping process on the KME broadhead sharpener.

      Thanks,
      Brennan

    • Ed Ashby
      Member
      Post count: 816

      Brennan, I have both the KME broadhead sharpener and the KME knife sharpener. The broadhead sharpener works fine on double bevel broadheads but not on the single bevel heads. For single-bevel broadheads the knife sharpener is the one you want.

      Here’s how I go about sharpening a single bevel broadhead, but it’s not a good process for anyone ‘sharpening challenged’. I can sharpen most anything by most any technique. My dad started me sharpening my own single blade Barlow pocket knife long before the first day I ever attended school, and sharpening seems so natural that I find it hard to understand how anyone can not be able to sharpen things.

      I don’t use the KME for all of my sharpening, and the complete sharpening technique I use varies by the broadhead being sharpened. On a single-bevel BH the very first thing one must do is be sure the flat side of the edge (the side of the blade opposite the bevel) is truly flat. If it isn’t perfectly flat it must be made so, and it doesn’t matter how you achieve that. If there’s a lot of metal to remove I start on a metal belt sander or a curved tooth metal rasp then move to a series of diamond bench stones (course, medium, fine and extra fine) and then to a hard Arkansas bench stone.

      The next step is to be sure that the single-bevel is uniform and is at 25 degrees. On some of the broadheads it’s good and others take a fair amount of work. If there’s a lot of metal to remove (such as when the original bevel is at other than 25 degrees) I resort to the same tools and process I used on the flat side of the edge.

      Those first steps are the real work, and are critical to getting a truly sharp finished. If you’ve had to true up the flat edge and bevel you will already have reached the point of having a wire edge on the broadhead, or at least you should have.

      This is the point that I move to the KME. Of course if the broadhead you’re sharpening already has a truly flat back edge and a correctly set bevel (as in a broadhead you’ve previously sharpened or one of the higher quality heads that comes correctly ‘trued up’) you don’t need to do all that before going to the KME, unless there’s a ‘ding’ or chip in the blade that needs removing. Don’t get me wrong, a chip or ding can be removed using the KME and, for someone who does find sharpening hard to accomplish I think they should do all the sharpening process (other than truing up and ‘dressing’ the flat side of the bevel) on the KME.

      I basically use the KME for applying the final polished edge on my broadheads, freshening up the edge of a broadhead that was sharp but has been carried in a quiver a while, or re-sharpening a dulled, but not damaged edge. What I like about the KME is that it will apply that final edge at a precise angle.

      Even though I may have taken the beveled edge all the way to a hard Arkansas bench stone I generally drop back to the medium steel or stone on the KME as a starting point. My KME knife sharpener stays set at 25 degrees. Using light pressure I gently hone the bevel only enough to be certain that it is precise along the entire length of the blade. As soon as I know the bevel is true along the length of the blade I go to the fine diamond steel and polish out the edge. Then I move to the extra fine diamond steel and again polish out the edge. Next I go to the black (surgical) Arkansas and again polish out the edge.

      At this point I remove the broadhead from the KME and, alternately working from one side of the edge to the other with the black Arkansas stone, and using very light pressure, I remove the wire edge which will have formed along the edge. Then it’s back into the KME for an edge polish with the ruby stone.

      Once I’m satisfied with the polished bevel off the ruby stone I flip the blade over (still in the KME) and using EXTREMELY light pressure with the ruby stone, and working at the set 25 degrees, I make JUST A COUPLE OF STROKES ALONG the flat side. Flip back to the bevel side and take just a couple of light strokes, then back to the flat side and again take JUST A COUPLE MORE EXTREMELY LIGHT STROKES along the edge. This seems to remove some microscopic wire edge. From there I lightly strop the edge on the ‘fine’ side of my razor strop. The razor strop I use is double sided, made from horsehide, and I bought it in a second hand shop about 50 years ago. That’s my process. It might sound time consuming but, other than initial truing on some broadheads, really isn’t.

      Again, I must stress that those who have trouble with sharpening things are better off to do the entire process (other than truing the flat side on a single bevel edge) on something like the KME. The biggest reasons I’ve seen for people not being able to sharpen an edge are: (1) not maintaining a constant bevel and (2) not putting in enough time with the courser grit steels or stones. Using the KME on the bevel cures #1 and understanding how to use grits will cure #2. The finer grits are intended to polish out the edge, not to sharpen the edge. You should establish a sharp, wire edge along the full length of the cutting edge with the course steel or stone BEFORE moving to any of the finer grits.

      So, if you’re using the KME to re-sharpen a broadhead that you have shot you need to check the flat side first (polish it up a bit, working flat to the face of the blade) then place the blade in the KME and, using a COURSE steel or stone, work on the bevel side until you raise a tiny wire edge along the entire length of the blade, THEN progressively proceed through the finer stones and then finish the edge as described above.

      Sharpening is a hard process to describe so I hope my explanation is clear enough to understand but, finished in this manner you end up with an edge that will not just cut hair, you can actually shave curls off an individual strand of hair, without cutting through the hair – or shave your face as close as a straight razor.

      Ed

    • Brennan Herr
      Member
      Post count: 403

      Doc,

      Thanks for taking the time to give such a detailed description of your BH sharpining process. It is very helpful and a great blue print for the non-sharpining fellas like me.

      Thanks again

    • Ed Ashby
      Member
      Post count: 816

      Hope it helps you out. Having your broadhead ‘truly sharp’ is so very important, and I’ve seen so many folks hunting with broadheads that are not nearly as sharp as they should be. Lots of folks have showed me their ‘scary sharp’ broadheads and the scariest thing I see about them is how far they are from being ‘truly sharp’.

      Ed

    • Steve Sr.
      Post count: 344

      Allow me to add to your great update, friend David?

      For those of you with interest I thought some photos to give you a proper perspective of the Tuffhead would be informative so I took a couple to share.

      The .060 thickness makes for a SUPER nice bevel width. All the more leverage for it’s purpose, eh Doc Ashby? I can only imagine (and drool) thinking of what the bevel on the .080 projected thickness of the 300+ grainers will look like!!

      Shown next to the ever popular Grizzly single bevel for comparison of the bevel width as well as the over all length and width and also with a Magnus II head as well since many are familiar with this head or the many other various heads that are similar in shape and size.

      When stuck on a 11/32 POC the size then appears better in perspective too.

      Hopefully this will provide a clearer overview of the Tuffhead’s characteristics. 😀 I know holding it in my hand with the other heads available it was indeed beneficial and informative so thought I would attempt to share this online with my tradbow friends.

      “A picture is worth a thousand words” ……and all that! 😀

      God Bless!
      Steve Sr.

    • David Coulter
      Member
      Post count: 2270

      Doc,
      I enjoy your sharpening advice. One question I have is what type of quiver do you use? I’m using a side quiver with a foam bottom (safari tuff). I’m wondering how using the foam affects the sharpness, especially since dirt accumulates in the bottom of the quiver. Thanks, dwc

    • Raymond Coffman
      Moderator
      Post count: 1072

      Just received the tuffhead brass field points and steel adapters – Yeehaa – look like artillery shells on my carbons,haha. Very nicely executed! work great! big/sharp pointed enuff to be a good small game head, lol.
      Scout

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      Steve Sr., thanks for the comparison photo, very helpful for those who’ve not yet seen this long-thin new beastie.

      Scout, that’s precisely the term that came to mind when I received my Tuffhead field points — artillery shells. I glued in 125-grain screw-in adapters, just as with the broadheads, and they shoot precisely to the same point as the broadheads, which I can now touch up, strop on cardboard, coat lightly with mineral oil, and they’re ready to hunt. T Downing has Tuffheads, broadheads and artillery shells, on 11/32 wood shafts and they shoot likewise perfectly for him, with a nice tight match-up where shaft meats head. Only drawback when used on skinny carbons or 21/64 woodies is that there’s a definite step-down from ferrule to shaft, which can complicate pulling them out of some target materials. I plan to stump shoot with mine as well, being doubly careful not to lose or damage any of my precious well-tuned 6 elk arrows. I have never felt better equipped for elk — 691 grains total with 27.5% EFOC — and rarely take shots over 15 yards. I can taste those sizzling rare backstraps already! Alas, three more weeks to wait.

      Doc Ashby has taken off for a few days to bring home some stuff in storage. I’m sure he’ll answer all questions when he gets back. Dave

    • Raymond Coffman
      Moderator
      Post count: 1072

      Dave –
      Roger all your last —
      I just mounted up tuffhead/BH and arty shells/FPs on Gold tips and axis shafts and shot them out of 2 of my Lbows. shot the same, very nice heads. I hope to field test mine in the near future. Good luck to you and TDowning on your Elk hunts – I hope you get “in amongst em”
      Scout.

    • Ed Ashby
      Member
      Post count: 816

      dwcphoto wrote: Doc,
      One question I have is what type of quiver do you use? I’m using a side quiver with a foam bottom (safari tuff). Thanks, dwc

      DWC, For serious hunting I’m very partial to the CatQuiver. I’ve used that style for near fifty years, going all the way back to the St. Charles quiver (I still have it, too). Next to that I like a stalker type quiver. For other shooting I generally use a back quiver.

      Ed

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