Fixed Blade Broadhead Review: G5 Montec and the NAP Crossfire
As a modern bowhunter, it can be a daunting task to pick the right broadhead. There are an array of broadhead designs and manufacturers, many of which are adequate for your hunting needs. However, picking the right broadhead for you can take some background knowledge and experience. We are reviewing two fixed blade designs the G5 Montec and the New Archery Products (NAP) Crossfire, but before talking about the broadheads, lets review a little broadhead design history.
G5 Montec (L) and NAP Crossfire (R). Both are 125gr, the G5 is a larger
broadhead but they have the same cutting diameter (1-1/8").
Broadhead designs can be broken into two main groups: mechanical and fixed blade. Mechanical, or expandable broadheads, tend to mimic field points, with slimmer profiles and blades that open up on impact. Mechanicals tend to have a reputation for being more accurate or at least holding the same zero as field points. On the down side mechanical broadheads can be weaker and some bowhunters complain about failure to open on targets.
Fixed blade broadheads as the name implies have blades that are stationary on the broadhead body. Fixed blade broadheads can be broken into two main groups: replaceable and non-replaceable blade designs. Replaceable designs allow you to replace the blades of the broad as they become dull or damaged. Non-replaceable designs are usually all one piece designs where the blade and broadhead body are one continuous piece of machined or cast metal. Fixed, non-replaceable blade broadheads are known for their strength and penetrating power, while replaceable blade broadheads trade off some strength for the convenience of being able to easily switch out worn blades. As a general rule fixed blade broadheads will require more tuning than mechanical broadheads to get consistent accuracy.
The G5 Montec is a fixed, non-replaceable blade broadhead design that retails for around $36 for three broadheads. It has a solid stainless steel one piece construction and are available in 85, 100, and 125 grain variations. The Montec design is a simple three-sided pyramid that is easy to resharpen. All you need is a diamond stone, a felt pen, and a little patience. Simply blacken the cutting surfaces with the felt pen, then use a swiping motion over the diamond stone until the ink is removed. The angles of the blades and body make it so you naturally do not have to worry about the sharpening angle. G5 has a video on their web site demonstrating the sharpening technique (www.g5outdoors.com).
In our testing the Montecs impacted close to where the field points were hitting. However there are a few things that you can do to make the Montecs fly precisely. The first is making the blades of the broadhead line up with the vanes of your arrow. This requires placing the broadheads in the insert, when gluing in your inserts. Simply rotate the blades until they line up with your vanes and then allow the glue to dry. Be careful to not use too much insert compound and accidentally bind your broadheads permanently to the arrow shaft.
G5 also makes a series of "Pre-Season" Montec points. The pre-season blades have the same shape and construction as hunting Montecs, but are not as sharp. You can then use these pre-season broadheads for practice and then switch to the sharpened Montecs when heading afield.
The NAP Crossfire is a fixed, replaceable blade broadhead design that retails for around $35 for 3 broadheads. It has a one-piece 440 stainless steel blade cartridge that is available in 100 and 125 grain variations. The Crossfire is unique in that it has what NAP calls a "SpinTabs" design where the blade body rotates on the broadhead centerline shaft. Each of the three broadhead blades also has a small tab on the outer-left side which imparts drag on the blade causing it to rotate in flight. So the entire broadhead blade spins while in-flight, which helps with the accuracy and consistency of the arrows flight. To install the broadhead a simple wrench is provided in order to rotate and lock the Crossfire on to your arrow shaft. Don't lose the tool, since the unique SpinTabs design makes it hard to get the broadhead off your arrow without the wrench.
NAP Crossfire, notice SpinTabs on blade.
To change out the blade cartridge there is a small single screw near the centerline of the broadhead. Loosening the screw allows you to remove and replace the cartridge blade. You could also attempt to resharpen a damaged or dull blade cartridge; however like other replaceable blades the small size will make resharpening difficult.
In our testing the Crossfire also impacted near the same place as field points. If you have a hard time getting field points and broadheads (any broadhead, not necessarily those reviewed here) to impact near the same point as field points, you may want to invest in a micro-adjust bow sight. This style of sight allows you to quickly tune in your windage and elevation without adjusting your nock point or fiddling with the rest.
In conclusion, if you are looking for a strong fixed blade broadhead, both the Crossfire and Montec are good choices. However you may have to spend some time tuning your arrows and bow to get them to impact precisely.
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