Sighting in and tuning broadheads should be an integral part of your pre-season prep. Photo Credit: ATA

Make Your Broadheads Fly True

  Erik Barber   FeaturedGear   August 8, 2019

Few things build a bowhunter’s confidence like broadhead-tipped arrows flying like field points. Whether you shoot expandable or fixed-blade broadheads, sighting in and tuning them must be part of your preseason prep.

What is Broadhead Tuning?

Broadheads have far more surface area than do field tips, so they magnify flight imperfections that can hurt accuracy. Tune your broadheads by shooting them alongside field tips. Shoot a broadhead into your target and follow it with two field tips, which eliminates the possibility of the broadhead cutting vanes or damaging shafts. If your broadheads and field tips group tightly in the bull’s-eye, you’re ready to hunt. If they don’t group consistently, don’t worry. Tuning broadheads is simple and rewarding.

Spin Your Arrows

Start by spin-testing your arrows with a tool like the Pine Ridge Arrow Inspector. Straight, well-assembled arrows spin tightly without wobble. If your arrow wobbles and the tip rotates in a circular motion, the arrow shaft might not be square to the insert. Remove the insert and use sandpaper or the G5 Arrow Squaring Device to square the arrow’s end. Reinstallthe insert and spin the arrow again with your broadhead. If it doesn’t wobble, mission accomplished! If the wobble persists, you might have a bent broadhead. Swap it with a head that spins true.

Align Your Arrow Rest

Slight arrow-rest misalignments can cause broadheads and field tips to fly differently. Shoot one broadhead and follow it with two field tips. If the field tips group higher than the broadhead, your arrow rest is too low, which causes broadheads to plane lower than field tips. Slightly raise the rest, and shoot another group. Likewise, for lateral adjustments adjust the rest in the direction your field tips hit. Make adjustments in small increments until your broadheads and field tips group consistently.

Paper Tuning Broadheads

Paper tune your arrows to spot inconsistencies. Photo Credit: ATA

Broadheads, especially those with large fixed blades, can steer arrows and cause flight inconsistencies. Even if you’ve paper-tuned your field tips, confirm your broadheads fly with bullet-point precision. Broadheads can produce tears that are tricky to read, so apply a thin layer of red lipstick to the vanes to identify them on white paper.

Stand 5 feet from the paper and shoot an arrow through it. Diagnose the tear and adjust your rest by following the tear’s direction with your rest. That is, if the tear is to the left, slightly move the rest left. If the tear is high, raise your rest or lower your nocking point. Adjust until the nock follows the hole cut by your broadhead.


Accurate broadhead flight increases your bowhunting effectiveness. Your arrows will penetrate deeper and group tighter, which boosts confidence as you draw and aim.

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