The Rage Hypodermic Crossbow Broadhead is one of the greatest innovations in modern archery hunting in several areas. That said, it may not be perfect for everyone, but I’ve found it to be my favorite tool in my broadhead toolbox thus far. I just finished my fourth deer hunting season exclusively using these broadheads, and I have alot of insights to share.
I’ve seen plenty of reviews where people talk hypothetically and scientifically about these broadheads, quoting all the marketing materials or synthesizing other online reviews and it’s obvious they have never touched let alone shot one of these broadheads.
That isn’t going to be this review. I have four sets of antlers that these broadheads have brought home for me, not to mention some does the Rage’s have put in my freezer as well. And I have bought every single broadhead with my own money. This review is packed with information and insight that the cookie cutter reviews can’t provide.
How They Work
The rage hypodermics are a mechanical broadhead, which means they fold up neatly for storage and shooting. But upon impact, the cutting blades expand outward to drastically increase the cutting diameter. One some models the blades are held in place by a collar, other models have no collar, more on that later.
These broadheads are simple to work with, safe to handle, and thus far in my experience, 100% reliable. The goal of mechanical broadheads is to provide a larger cutting diameter than is feasible with fixed blade broadheads while being more aerodynamic and accurate. Do they achieve this goal? In short, yes.
- 2-Blade Crossbow Broadhead
- 100 Grain or 125 Grain
- Hybrid Hypodermic Tip
- Stainless Steel Hypodermic Ferrule
- .035″ Blade Thickness
- 2 ” Cutting Diameter
- High Energy SHOCK COLLAR™ or No Collar Blade Lock
- 3 per Package
- Replacement Blades Available
If you are new to crossbow hunting, here is a podcast episode I did on How To Pick Your First Crossbow For Deer Hunting.
Massive Effectiveness – Hype or Truth?
Rage boasts a lot of big colorful words to describe how impressively effective these crossbow broadheads are, along with the non-crossbow versions. Do they live up to that hype though? Are they really that devastating on deer? My experience with archery hunting is that if you hit a deer in an ideal location, that deer is going to die. And if you hit it in a bad location, it may or may not die, and you may or may not recover it. Shot placement is everything to achieve a quick humane kill.
These hypodermic crossbow broadheads are no exception to that simple truth. I have botched a shot and lost a deer. But if the hunter can do their part and place the shot in a good spot, these things are amazing. The stories below illustrate that quite well.
Cast Studies Of How They Really Work
The first shot I took with a Rage Hypodermic Crossbow Broadhead dropped the deer to the ground, in place, at 30 yards. The deer couldn’t go five feet. The wound was so impressive, and deer bled out so much and so quickly that it was a little bit nauseating to me. I kid you not. The deer was unconscious within seconds, it dropped right to the ground and couldn’t get back up. I was immediately sold on these broadheads. They were unbelievably effective.
The second deer I shot was a nice buck walking at 23 yards. I watched it run less than 50 yards and pile up right in front of me. This shot was not as gruesome as the first, but it was impressively effective. The deer was not conscious for more than a few seconds.
The next buck I shot ran 75 yards or so but left such a large blood trail that I could not believe there was any blood left in the deer by the time I found it. Far more blood than with any rifle kill I’ve had on a deer. Again, a very fast and humane kill.
I could go on and on, but the bottom line is this. Every deer where I was even close to a vital area was on the ground within seconds and didn’t go more than that one at 75 yards. The blood trails were always easy to follow when I didn’t watch the deer go down. Sometimes the blood trails were excessive and other times they were average. But each time the deer went down fast, humanely, with minimal suffering and was easily recovered.
How Well Do They Penetrate?
When it comes to arrows, everyone wants a pass-through shot, myself included. A pass-through double lung shot will quickly kill a deer 100% of the time and provide the most trackable blood with the largest margin of error. Plus, a pass through arrow is most easily recovered and reused. These Rage broadheads have not always given me a clean passthrough shot though.
I would say 60% of the time the arrow has gone through the deer and cleanly come out the other side. The other 40% of the time the arrow has poked through the other side of the deer to some degree but remained lodged in the deer. I hate this, because almost every single time the arrow has been broken, usually sheared off when the deer runs next to a tree.
However, the effectiveness of the broadhead has not diminished at all in these situations. The deer do not run any further or bleed any less. The broadhead does its damage, its game over every single time. What keeps the arrow from cleanly leaving the deer? I cannot tell. These things tend to go right through rib bone like nothing. I am wondering if the bow I’ve been using needs the string replaced and is losing some velocity. But the bottom line is a 100% fast kill rate on all deer shot anywhere close to a vital area.
Do They Always Work?
Yes, so far. I have not had one fail to deploy, deploy improperly, or malfunction in any way. I shoot, the broadhead opens, and the deer quickly expires. I have full confidence that these are going to work every time. I’ve shot deer as far as 40 yards and have never had an issue with the broadheads. They just work. As they should.
Can They Pass Through Bone?
I hate this question, because it is not often asked responsibly. No archery hunter should ever fire into the shoulder or at any bone other than a rib. It is irresponsible and unethical. No broadhead, no matter what it’s made of, fixed, mechanical, titanium, or weighing 600 grains can reliability pass through the thickest part of the shoulder of a gull grown deer, let alone with enough power to humanely kill the deer. Often the arrow will deflect, sometimes it will bounce off, if it goes through its trajectory can be greatly altered. It is a not a shot hunters should take or try to find special equipment for. Stop it.
Stop chasing this foolhardy idea, it is wounding too many deer. Never aim for hard bone and don’t try to build a heavy arrow setup that gives you a better change of taking the deer if you do. You will focus on the wrong things and botch more shots because of it. These broadheads and all broadheads will do what they are designed to do, go through both lungs and kill a deer quickly. If you want to shoot through the shoulder, then use a rifle. For more, check out my podcast episode Heavy Arrows Vs. Fast Arrows For Deer Hunting.
Can You Shoot Through Mesh In Ground Blinds?
This is a hotly contested subject! Shooting through the mesh of a ground blind with any broadhead, let alone a mechanical broadhead like the Rage Hypodermic is greatly debated. Rather than quoting arguments and articles, I’ll just tell you the truth. It works, its fine, and it works great. 80% of the deer I’ve shot with these have been from ground blinds and through the mesh. I have not noticed any difference whatsoever of shots going through the mesh vs. those not through the message. It’s a non-issue.
I believe the benefits of the mesh to conceal the hunter outweigh any theoretical cons about shooting through mesh. It does not seem to impact the velocity, range, accuracy, or penetration of the broadheads. And no, they do not deploy when shooting through the mesh. This debate is waged largely by people who have no experience. I can tell you first-hand, the mesh hasn’t hurt me one bit.
Collar vs. No Collar
Rage makes a version of the Hypodermic crossbow broadheads with a collar and without a collar. If you are unfamiliar, the collar is just a little plastic ring that holds the blades in place. When the broadheads hit the deer, the collar snaps off and the blades open. The no collar version uses a newer mechanical mechanism to replace the collar.
There is alot of debate about broadheads that use a collar being inferior because the collar requires “alot of energy” to break and that energy is not able to go into the deer. I talked to Rage about this very point at length, and according to them, the people who make the broadheads, this is completely untrue. The amount of energy required to break a collar is inconsequential.
People accidently snap collars when brush touches the broadhead in a quiver, which is one of the main reasons they created the no collar version. The collar and the no collar broadheads perform almost identically.
Keep in mind, it is in their best interest to push the no collar models because they cost more. So, to say the cheaper and older collared models have the same performance is just plain honesty. I personally prefer the collar version because it is cheaper than the no-collar.
The Best Part – They Fly Like Field Tips
Hands down, the best feature of the Rage Hypodermic Crossbow Broadhead is that they fly just like a field tip. I can practice with field tips as much as I want, and then put on a broadhead and will have the same accuracy at every range that the field tip has. This means I only need to practice with one set of ranges. I am able to hit what and where I am aiming much more easily.
Because shot placement matters more than anything else and everything else when it comes to deer hunting. And these broadheads help me place my shots better. That is the number one reason I like them. The better the hit, the cleaner the kill, the faster you can recover the deer and the better quality the meat. Here is a short video I did about how long to wait to recover a wounded deer from two different perspectives.
Can You Re-Use Them?
People sometimes also say the no collar version of the broadheads is better than the collar version because you won’t run out of collars. Well, neither of these broadheads are very re-usable. They are essentially a one-shot tool. The arrows you can easily re-use, the broadheads rarely are. Rage does make replacement blades you can swap out, so if you do that and sharpen the point of the arrow and nothing is bent, you could re-use them.
But for the trouble and cost, I just throw on a new broadhead every time so I can have peace of mind than I am at 100% for the next deer. I do save my used broadheads that are still in good shape for small game or even turkey hunting. I asked Rage directly if the broadheads were typically single use items and they agreed that they are.
Mechanical vs. Fixed Blade Broadheads
I will not go into the same level of detail describing any specific fixed blade broadheads, but I want to mention the general pros and cons of them. The biggest three benefits that fixed blade broadheads have are less complexity, better able to break through bone, and are more easily re-usable. The cons are that they often drop faster or fly different than field tips, may have less range, and do less damage to the deer.
For me, and only me, I value the mechanical broadheads much higher than fixed blade versions. I prize the ability to accurately hit the deer above everything else, and the Rage’s excel in this area. I have not seen any reliability issue with the Rage’s despite their greater complexity, and I would not likely take the time to straighten and re-sharpen fixed blade broadheads after use anyway, so they would still be single use items for me. In terms of ability to “smash through bone”, you shouldn’t be doing anyway, as I noted previously.
So, for me, it is no contest. Accuracy trumps everything and being able to more speedily dispatch a well hit deer trumps any theoretical potential to break through bones I shouldn’t be aiming at. You may have different priorities and ways to rate the value of these tools for your use. Always use what fits YOU best.
The Cheapest Way To Get Them
I have found the most cost effective way to buy the Rage Hypodermic Crossbow Broadheads with a collar and without a collar is from Amazon. The prices fluctuate throughout the year but when they are low, especially for the version with a collar they can be very inexpensive. Always be on the lookout for good deals though. You never know where you might find a great price. I will buy them anytime during the year to keep my stock up to an acceptable level.
Conclusion & Recommendations
Are the Rage Hypodermic Crossbow Broadheads the best option on the market? I can’t say that. There are lots of other options I have yet to test. But of everything I have put my hands on, these are thus far the best tool I’ve come across. Why? I can hit what I’m aiming at better than anything else, they work every time, and they do all that a broadhead can do to bring down a deer fast and humanely. So I give them top marks.
Till next time. God bless you, and go get em in the woods!
George Konetes Ph.D. – Founder and Host of the New Hunters Guide.
The New Hunters Guide is simply what George wishes he would have had when learning how to hunt; a single place to get practical hands on knowledge about different kinds of hunting, gear, strategy, and tips that can improve your comfort and fun factor in the woods.