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The Rage X-Treme Broadhead

There is a lot of debate on whether mechanical broadheads can do the job of fixed blades. Doug Howlett put one of the most popular to the test.


While the debate among bowhunters persists over what type of broadhead is better—fixed or mechanical—the introduction of Rage mechanical broadheads a few years ago can be credited with bringing a good number of nonbelievers over to the mechanical camp. Before that time mechanicals were largely seen as finicky and undependable, not always deploying as designed and difficult to keep closed in the quiver or prior to draw. Rage’s rear-deploying blades and slip-cam design made mechanicals more reliable—both prior to launch and throughout impact—and with this improved reliability, a legion of hunters now swears by the heads. Five or six years ago, it seemed like nearly everyone in the camps I hunted was using them.

For 2012, Rage introduced its largest cutting mechanical yet with the creation of its X-Treme, a twin-blade mechanical head built to deliver a nasty 2.3-inch cutting diameter. To see if the X-Treme lives up to the hype that continues to surround the company’s offerings we put the broadhead through a battery of tests.

The Test Setup
Rage X-Tremes are designed to be shot from bows with draw weights in excess of 60 pounds. For the test, I used a Gander Mountain TecHunter compound bow set at 70 pounds and shot size 340 Easton Axis N-Fused Carbon arrows at a distance of 20 yards from each target. Target materials included a standard Block foam target, plastic milk jugs filled with water, a frozen chunk of meat and a half-inch sheet of plywood.

Target Test
To start out, the X-Treme was shot into a standard Block foam target to see if it would fly with field point-like accuracy, how well it deployed and if the dense foam would hinder or damage the broadhead in any way. Repeated shots through the 14-inch thick target resulted in 100 percent complete deployment of the double blades with an average of 2.75 inches more penetration than the field points shot as a control group. Shooting three-shot groups with the field points resulted in average groups of 2 inches. I was able to repeat that level of accuracy with the X-Treme without fail. These heads do indeed fly with field point-like accuracy, deliver great penetration and open to their full-advertised width upon impact.

Jug Test
Next, I shot the broadheads through milk jugs filled with water to compare entry and exit hole diameter on both sides of the containers. The X-Treme flies with a 7/8-inch cut prior to impact and upon striking the target begins to immediately deploy. In fact, the average entry cuts on the jugs actually measured nearly 1¼ inches, indicating a super rapid opening of the blades. However, the density and resistance provided by the water and thin milk jug plastic combination were not enough to sufficiently slow the arrow and it punched through the container so quickly, the exit holes were nearly the same size. A thicker plastic container was used to see if would yield different results, but the massive leading edge blade tip merely punched through both sides of the plastic like a bullet, knocking out a ¾-inch size hole upon exit, and not providing any clues as to the position of the blades during the pass-through. Other than providing a great visual to how quickly liquid will pour from a hole made from the broadhead, this test yielded no solid insight on the full deployment capabilities of the X-Treme other than to prove that even when they aren’t able to open completely, they still create a nasty—and lethal—gash.

Meat Test
The X-Treme was then shot into a frozen piece of meat. The arrow/broadhead combo failed to generate a complete pass-through due to the frozen meat’s density, but it did strike it solidly and bury itself three inches into the target, striking with sufficient force to open the blades as far as two inches upon impact. Had it been able to pass all the way through, I can only assume it would have deployed to its full 2.3-inch width, the meat being much denser than water.

Wood Test
Lastly, a piece of half-inch plywood was shot to simulate how the mechanical might work when slammed into something hard like bone. The Rage website has a slow-motion video of both the two-bladed and three-bladed broadheads being shot through particle board (as well as shooting gel, mesh and concrete block). In the video, the blades exit the wood intact. That wasn’t quite my experience, though the impact with the wood was nonetheless impressive and revealing. The X-Treme passed easily through the wood, but as it did, it sheered off approximately an 11/16 inch from each blade, basically where the ends of the blade extend beyond the rear edge blade support, potentially reducing the overall cutting diameter by nearly an inch and a third. Only one blade of several broadheads survived the pass-through and on that one, the threaded stem of the ferrule actually bent from the impact.  These results might induce some fixed-blade purists to shout “A-Ha,” however, the bladed tip, ferrule and remainder of the opening blades still deployed and still penetrated without any other deformation, leaving a virtual .30-caliber-sized hole in the wood and allowing the arrow to pass completely through the target. Marks on the wood from the opening blades averaged 2.5 inches with the longest measuring a whopping 3.25 inches—the full opening spread of the blades before they set into their swept back full-open position. Despite the sheering of the blade ends, I’d still call this performance darn impressive and the cut upon impact simply ridiculous. The arrow and head still did their job.

Final Impression
While both mechanical diehards and defenders of the fixed broadhead will find results in these tests to prove their points, the bottom line is the Rage X-Treme is one straight flying, consistently deploying and structurally sound broadhead that promises to wreak a lot of havoc and rapidly depressurize the circulatory system of any big-game animal, leading to rapid bleed-out and quick death. I can’t wait to twist a few onto the end of my Eastons this fall and fill a few tags from my deer license. If you’re a mechanical fan, you’ll love them, and if you’re not, you might want to try them out.

Technical Specifications
Type of Broadhead: Mechanical
Weight: 100 grs.
Number of Blades: 2 deploying blades and a single front edge cutting blade point
Blade Width: .035” stainless steel blades
Maximum Cutting Diameter: 2.3” (closed diameter is 7/8”)
Additional Features: cut-on-impact HexFlat point, Shock Collar blade containment, solid yellow aluminum ferrule
Cost: $50/3-pack

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14 Responses to The Rage X-Treme Broadhead

Aj wrote:
October 20, 2014

Rage is where it's at iv shot multiple broadheads every one has it's pros and cons but rage gets it done the best by far but let's be honest you suck at hunting if your on this website anyway have a great day

B horning wrote:
January 09, 2014

To be truly scientific, Shouldn't the test have included several brands of fixed blades to see how they stood up to the same targets. something tells me even a fixed blade would struggle to go through the plywood unscathed.

MJ wrote:
April 01, 2013

I now swear by the rage. I use the rage 2.0. Using my 65 lb Mission Craze, I have never had an issue with it not fully penetrating a deer or my foam blocks completely. I launched one @30 yards through my last buck and it buried itself into a stump 10 yards beyond the deer . To my knowledge it is still in the stump out at Weldon Springs CA, because it was not coming out. Deer ran 50 feet and hit the ground dead, so hard it actually broke its lower jaw. First deer shot with one I hit a small (less than 1' diameter) sapling between the stand and the deer, arrow deviated from the chest to the neck. Though I missed it, but it opened and completely severed the esophagus and juggler dropping the deer where it stood.

Frank wrote:
February 25, 2013

My son, friend and I have shot fourteen deer in the last five years. All bucks and all one shot kills. Four dropped right on the spot. Used rage 100gr three blade heads. No lost deer. Swear by them.

Bill wrote:
October 23, 2012

When did it become exceptable for a broadhead to not pass completely through an animal? I've used fixed broadheads on deer, pig, elk, caribou and black bear. My arrow has gone through all of them. I've watched many deer and small pigs get shot with a Rage and the arrow has never passed through any of them. Just because Rage spends a lot of $ to have TV show hunters and outdoors columnists swear by them, does not mean Rage (or any other mechanical) are any good. -just means a lot of money has been paid to make people think Rage (and other mechanicals) are good. As an ER physician, and hunter, I assure you, two holes are ALWAYS!!! better than 1 when the 2 arrows hit behind an animal's shoulder with similar cutting diameter broadheads. This due to increased blood loss and greater lung depressurization with 2 holes vs. 1. It also makes it a lot easier to track an animal bleeding from both sides. ...Don't be fooled. It is literally impossible (not improbable) for a mechanical broadhead to not lose energy ("force required to penetrate an animal") as it opens. Fixed blade broadheads generally do not lose as much energy because they do not have to open on impact... And again, a bowhunter should never be satisfied with an arrow and broadhead combination that does not consistently pass through the game they are hunting. We owe it to the animal to kill it as quickly/humanely as possible, and a complete pass through achieves this goal more effectively than a broadhead that does not.

James Campbell wrote:
October 05, 2012

I got a set of these to test from Rage and I loved them. They stay closed until impact and deploy the blades exactly when they're supposed to. The penetration was unbelievable, it almost went all the way through the deer, and the blood trail was the thickest I've ever had to follow.

Rick Torres wrote:
October 04, 2012

I've shoot rage for 2 season now and I tell u what they leave one heck of a blood trail!!! I'm very happy with mine can't wait to put one of the new chisel tip to use!!! Rage in the cage!!!

Jack wrote:
September 26, 2012

Love to try 'em. But I am not spending $40.00 just to 'try' a new broadhead...sorry! I just stick with my fixed blades (at least for now).

MOTN Hunter wrote:
September 25, 2012

When is someone going to start doing broad head using ballistic covered with animal skin and bone/ribs inside the gel. Wood, water jugs, frozen meat? Come on get real. I have yet to see the results of a real broad head test.

Mike J wrote:
September 25, 2012

I tried rage 100 gr. 2 blade and they drop 4" at 20yrd and 8" at 30. My Montek by G5 fixed hit spot on. Why is that??

Patrick Pedigo wrote:
September 24, 2012

I've shot both fixed and mechanical blade broadheads, i prefer mechanical. I'm sure no one has ever had a deer take a step after you loosed and arrow. While perfect double lung is preferred, i had an instances where a buck took a step or two and i shot him in the hips. My rage double blade still did the trick .I got lucky and cut the artery after shooting through both sides of his hips. Two inch cut poured blood all the way to where he died. That's my two cents, and rage its it.

Burl wrote:
September 20, 2012

Deer, bear, and elk bone is much stronger than 1/2 inch plywood. Guess you have to shoot 'em 'tween the ribs, right? I understand the frozen meat test - in case someone in your supermarket starts throwing turkeys, you can deflect them with your broadheads. Geez.

Ben wrote:
September 20, 2012

This was obviously paid for by Rage. I have shot these, and they do not fly like a field point, and do not deploy 100% of the time. It was after shooting Rage mechanicals, that I changed back to fixed blade. I was hoping for some real testing on the subject. And I agree, frozen meat...????

Allen Peterson wrote:
August 05, 2012

Please excuse a query which may sound ridiculous to an experienced bow hunter, but what was the test into a frozen piece of meat meant to demonstrate? I don't understand the relevance,