Chris Sanford admits he’s “a bit” anal about his bowhunting gear. Maybe that’s why he says, “At Sanford Innovations we’re only interested in building things that are better and more reliable than what’s available now; products with fewer things to worry about when you’re on stand.” In addition, his new broadheads, he says, are both reliable and designed for the speed necessary for today’s serious bowhunter.
“Everything is built in response to increasing arrow speeds because arrows are becoming faster and faster,” Sanford said. “We actually test-shoot to 100 yards and push the arrows past 350 feet per second. At that speed heads need to be super, super strong because we’ve doubled the energy they carry in just the last dozen years.”
Attention to detail and an interest in serving the speed market show up in heads like the 100-grain tip-activated, rear-blade-deployment ExpanDead (3-pack, $40 map). The mechanical ExpanDead relies on three .040-inch blades that open to more than 1.5 inches at entry and, because they lock in place, remain open at this width during penetration. Rear expansion means there’s no loss of kinetic energy, and it lowers the possibility of deflection on an acutely angled shot.
Sanford’s first new-generation head—he previously owned Piston Point—the ExpanDead is the only broadhead engineered with both a Hassle-Free O-Ring Pivot System and Lock-Arm Technology, says Sanford. ExpanDead blades are guaranteed to deploy and lock open: “In flight, blades hold tight to the ferrule, flying like a field point for pinpoint accuracy, but on impact, the power tip blasts the blades open and then locks them into cutting position.”
The Hassle-Free O-Ring Pivot System protects the mechanical’s O-ring so a bowhunter can reuse it without having to re-hook it, explains Sanford. “We pulled heads at random off the assembly line and shot them into foam targets dozens of times without a problem.” Each package of blades includes variable-strength O-rings that allow a bowhunter to adjust blade tension for low or high poundage vertical bows or crossbows.
“The ExpanDead can be shot with the blades open and fixed—just press the point down on a hard surface and the blades pop out and lock in place—or as a standard mechanical—pull the tip forward.”
Sanford, who has been bowhunting for more than 32 years and has numerous Pope & Young and Boone & Crockett animals to his credit, incorporated Sanford Innovations in 2009. “After I sold Piston Point, I quickly got lonely for the archery industry. Plus, I had more ideas!”
The archery innovator saw the need “for stronger, more powerful broadheads that consistently delivered excellent results in a wide variety of shooting conditions.” He was determined to design heads that hunters could absolutely trust to bring down all game animals, brown bears to squirrels. Thus the ExpanDead mechanical and the BloodShot fixed have gone through dozens of prototype stages, an infinite number of tests, and hundreds of tweaks to the design and packaging over more than a dozen years.
“My heads are all about increasing the odds for hunters to successfully harvest game,” Sanford says. Thus, after the industry sensation about his mechanical, he turned to a fixed blade.
The 100-grain BloodShot has a 4-blade, all stainless low profile design with 2.25 inches of cutting surface. “It’s 100 percent heat-treated stainless,” says Sanford, “blades, ferrule, screws, everything.”
The compact cut-on-contact BloodShot (3-pack, $35 MAP) does not use a main blade and a bleeder. Sanford calls both of the .040 blades main blades.
“What makes BloodShot so destructive, what makes it fly so well, is our Quadra-Blade design,” he says. “The head has four equal and balanced blade points and windows. Blades are locked together and the result is one very solid head.”
Chris Sanford “can’t stop thinking about broadheads. I suppose it’s more a passion for archery than a business. I’m a hunter first and a businessman second. I don’t know why broadheads fascinate me so much. Maybe it’s because there’s enough things to go wrong when you’re in the field so you just can’t have a head that will malfunction.”
Hence Sanford’s focus on blade sharpness both inside his broadhead packaging— no cardboard or foam packing touches the edge of a blade in a 3-pack—and in his Missile ($6 MAP each—sold to retailers in 24-packs).
The Missile is Sanford’s three-in-one Broadhead Container, perhaps the first broadhead transport/storage device ever designed so that blades touch nothing at all— they fl oat freely, remaining perfectly factory-sharp at all times—held in place by their screw-in base.
In addition to working as a protective container, the Missile’s package incorporates a broadhead wrench and a sharpening stone. The top of the Missile package base also includes slotted grooves that allow a hunter to use the base as a wrench to tighten broadheads onto their shafts. The sharpening stone gives hunting archers the ability to touch up the edge on dull broadhead blades or even a hunting knife.
Made from heavy-duty materials, the Missile fits most broadheads and is safe to carry in your hunting pack or pocket. Once the broadhead is secure in the base, the top simply screws on for a waterproof, dust-proof container.
“Look,” says Sanford. “I’m a bowhunter and I know that our broadheads deserve more than a Styrofoam carrier that can quickly dull the blades and so do you. When you take aim at a big game animal you have to know those blades are perfect. At Sanford Innovations we deliver that confidence.”
Learn more at www.sanfordinnovations.com. Follow Chris Sanford’s broadhead developments online or contact his company at: Sanford Innovations, PO Box 3233, Billings, Montana 59103 (406) 669-4000 phone and (406) 669-4444 fax.