Crossbow Review: TenPoint Carbon Phantom RCX
April 27, 2018
When you purchase a TenPoint Crossbow, there is much more behind the bow than a quiver and some bolts. Beyond the cutting-edge design and precision manufacturing tools, TenPoint gets involved with conservation projects aimed at preserving land, air and water, while also sponsoring special community events that benefit our youth and especially those with illnesses, disabilities and tough family situations.
The bow part of the Carbon Phantom RCX stores energy and does the work of propelling the bolt. It starts with a compact and sturdy machined aluminum riser that is dished out in the center to allow bolts tipped with fixed-blade broadheads to draw deeper into the rig. It contains four large cutouts to reduce overall mass weight and is black anodized to create a strong, durable finish. The critical limb-to-riser alignment interface is managed by Over the Top (OTT) limb pockets, which control the limb's vertical and horizontal movement. RCX split limbs are only 10.5 inches long and made from Gordon Composite material. The RCX Dual cams are situated in a reverse cam configuration so the power stroke can be increased without increasing the overall length of the bow. Together with the limbs, they are advertised to generate speeds up to 385 fps with a 370-grain bolt.
A single integrated unit containing TenPoint's Adjustable Comfort Crossbow (ACX) stock, pistol grip and Safety Engineered Foregrip is made through an injection molding process that forms PolyOne's OnForce long-fiber reinforced thermoplastics (LFT). The stock includes an adjustable butt plate/cheek piece unit that can be moved front to back by loosening a couple screws that pass through two elongated slots in the base material. A taper on the cheek piece will naturally drop your eye position as the length of pull (distance from the contact surface of the butt plate to the front of the trigger) is increased. The company's ACUdraw cocking aid is located just in front of the butt plate with its crank handle secured by a cutout at the bottom of the stock.
TenPoint wraps their pistol grip with a rubber-like composite material that has textured sections and hand-friendly contours. A fully enclosed guard protects the trigger while the large opening allows gloved fingers easy access. The Safety Engineered Foregrip is sized to occupy much of the shooter's hand and is machined to receive the dual-purpose rubber wings that sit between the foregrip and rail. These wings are designed to reduce vibration and create a barrier that reminds the shooter to keep their fingers and thumb below the flight deck.
Carbon Fiber Connector
TenPoint's ACRA-Angle barrel is made with hand-laid carbon fiber material, measures just under 20 inches long and connects the integrated stock unit to the bow riser. The ACRA-Angle design is said to eliminate finger pinch and ensure accurate cocking when manually drawing. It is also home to the trigger housing, which features a 3.5-pound Premium Trigger mechanism, scope mount and nylon filament bolt brush. The Phantom's trigger, considered an up-latch design as it releases the string from above, is prohibited from doing its job unless the auto engaging safety is switched to the "F" position and a bolt is loaded, thanks to the Dry Fire Inhibitor (DFI). A groove runs the length of the rail, which allows clearance of the cock feather/fletch.
What's in the Box?
Along with the Carbon Phantom RCX crossbow, TenPoint includes the RangeMaster Pro scope — which has 1.5-5X variable power, bolt speed adjustment, crosshairs, illuminated dots and lens covers. Other package contents include: 6-pack Pro Elite Carbon bolts with fieldpoints, 3-Bolt Instant Detach Quiver, ambidextrous side-mount quiver bracket and instructional DVD.
The Carbon Phantom RCX proved accurate in testing by placing three bolts within six tenths of an inch at 35 yards. Like every TenPoint bow I come across, the test rig demonstrated quality in craftsmanship and components. There may be some sticker shock with a price tag over the $1,500 mark, but these bows are made to last for many years and will serve you very well. Drawing the bow with the ACUdraw is super easy, though perhaps a little slow. If you are in a hurry, the ACUdraw 50 may be your best bet.