Crossbow Review: TenPoint Nitro X

TenPoint = crossbows and has for nearly a quarter century. They have been in the game so long I can barely remember their beginning, and way back then "crossbow" was a dirty word in many circles.

TenPoint Nitro XThe industry has come a long way since then. Today, crossbows are just another weapon used by avid sportsmen to enjoy one of this country's greatest pastimes. TenPoint does it like no other, and we expect big things from them year in and year out.

Balance & New Tech

Several technologies stand out on the 2018 Nitro X. With TenPoint's RDX (reverse draw) technology, the riser is placed in the middle of the bow as opposed to the front end, which is found on traditional configurations. This completely changes the balance point of the bow and enhances maneuverability to the point it can actually be shot with just one hand. A set of Tri-Lock limb pockets precisely align the Dual Flex split limbs to the riser at this critical interface.

Limbs measure 12.3 inches long and are made of Gordon Composite materials. RX7 cams employ a spiral cable groove to allow for the company's Max Rotation system. When drawn, the string partially contacts a set of rollers, which are mounted to a stationary fixture located part way up the rail, for a portion of the draw cycle until the limbs and cams move inward far enough to cut the angle, at which time the string comes back off the rollers. That action happens in reverse order when the trigger is pulled and produces Sling-Shot Technology — generating an extra "turbo boost" of speed between 10 and 15 fps. Also new is Vector Quad Cable Technology that uses four individual cables rather than the traditional two. Each connects to the cam, wraps around a turnbuckle that is mounted to the same fixture as the Sling Shot rollers and then terminates on the riser. As the cables never cross or even change in angle as compared to the cam, any off-angle torsional pressure is removed, eliminating cam lean. All of this creates what TenPoint calls its Narrow Crossbow Technology (NXT) that results in a cocked axle-to-axle width of only 7 inches.

Barrel & Box

TenPoint employs its Tac-Lite rail to connect the bow and stock. An integrated string-stop system is mounted to the rail's end away from the shooter, while the opposite end is home to the trigger linkage and lightweight machined aluminum trigger box. The Nitro X features the company's Dry Fire Inhibitor (DFI) that serves as a physical block to the string always in place until a bolt is loaded, pivoting the DFI out of the way. The cocking action also auto engages the safety on the 3.5-pound trigger, which is disengaged with a small lever on the side of the trigger box when you are ready to shoot. A Weaver-style dovetail scope rail, which is attached to the top of the trigger box, is home to a nylon-filament bolt retention brush that reduces noise and vibration while increasing accuracy.

Adjustable Stock

TenPoint injection molds its stock and foregrip unit using PolyOne's OnForce long-fiber reinforced thermoplastics (LFT) material known for its high strength-to-weight ratio and ability to withstand the elements. The rubber cheek piece is easily moved to one of three possible positions for proper head alignment, while the butt plate has a two-position adjustment for customized length of pull. A pistol grip and flared foregrip add control and comfort, while dual-purpose rubber safety wings reduce vibration and keep the shooter's hand safely below the flight deck. The ACUdraw PRO is standard on the Nitro X and mounted onto the stock in front of the butt plate. This crank-cocking device is silent and cannot be overdrawn.

What's in the Box?

Standard package: RangeMaster Pro Scope, 6-pack of Evo-X CenterPunch bolts, integrated string stop system and quiver.

Elite package: Evo-X Marksman Scope, 6-pack of Evo-X CenterPunch bolts, integrated string stop system, quiver and TenPoint STAG hard crossbow case.

Impressions

The balance and maneuverability of the Nitro X is exceptional. I could shoot it with one hand and still be fairly steady on target. Saying this rig is great for tight quarters hunting situations such as blinds and awkward treestand scenarios is not just talk — it's true, thanks to the overall length and width when cocked.

I noticed that you must be sure to crank fast enough and far enough to ensure the bow engages the string latch.

The mass weight could be a little less, but the configuration makes handling the current mass weight no issue. Don't be afraid to experiment with the different positions of the cheek piece and butt plate — they truly make a difference.

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