April 27, 2023
By Jon E. Silks
TenPoint Crossbow Technologies has been fueled by relentless innovation since the company’s inception some 27 years ago. This year, as in years past, TenPoint continues to be an industry leader in product design and technology, as evidenced by the new-for-2023 Flatline 460.
The Flatline 460 features TenPoint’s patented ACUslide cocking/de-cocking system integrated into the injection-molded stock that also offers a padded butt plate, raised comb, pistol grip, pass-through foregrip, oversized trigger guard, added safety grip and an integrated receiver for the crank handle. Stout split limbs and RX-8 dual cams work with a specialized cable system to produce extremely fast bolt speeds, while the fluted barrel and floating trigger box ready the rig for action and accuracy.
The bow portion of the Flatline is the engine that drives 400-grain bolts downrange at an impressive 460 fps. A set of simplistic limb pockets, anchored to the stout, machined-aluminum riser, cradle, control and align the limbs for perfect operation within the overall system. The 300-pound draw weight Dual-Flex split limbs measure 12 inches long and are made of Gordon Glass fiberglass laminate.
TenPoint machined deeper grooves into the Flatline’s RX-8 cams to accept heavy-duty string and cables, while the spiraled configuration of the cable grooves allows for the over-rotation necessary to accommodate a longer power stroke and generate faster speeds. Additionally, Sling-Shot Technology compresses the string through a slightly narrowed path and boosts bolt speed by approximately 10 fps. Vector Quad Cable Technology further enhances performance and efficiency by independently anchoring four individual cables, two on each side of the rail, in perfect alignment with their corresponding cam tracks, for a balanced cam load, aligned cam movement and straight nockpoint travel.
TenPoint’s black-anodized and polished Micro-Trac fluted aluminum rail works to guide the bolt when fired while also providing a track for the sliding trigger housing. The design reduces sting-to-rail contact by 50 percent for longer string life while also reducing weight.
With a double roller-sear design and two-stage action, the S1 Trigger linked to the trigger box is advertised to produce a crisp, 3.5-pound pull with zero creep in the second stage. The trigger box is released to slide down the rail where it meets the string and auto-engages the safety mechanism. The Flatline is cocked using the integrated ACUslide that is tethered to the trigger housing with a Dyneema cocking strap. TenPoint’s ACUslide is critical to both safety and a pleasant overall shooting experience. It is completely silent and offers total control, meaning the user can crank forward and backward (with only 5 pounds of required cranking effort) and even let go at any point during the process thanks an internal braking system that prevents the bowstring from getting away from the shooter. In addition, the integrated Dry-Fire-Inhibitor (DFI) will not allow the trigger to activate unless a compatible bolt is properly loaded on the rail.
The system also helps to enhance accuracy via an industry-first Trigger-Lock latch that locks the trigger box in a fixed position when fully cocked, removing tension from the cocking strap and ensuring the trigger is in the same place shot after shot. TenPoint says this new feature boosts shooting accuracy by up to 48 percent.
Finally, the Flatline’s Picatinny-style scope-mounting fixture includes a bolt-retention brush on the bottom and is reinforced with new Scope Struts that provide added support to the front of the scope mount. TenPoint says the struts boost the overall strength of the scope rail by 80 percent and dramatically reduce accuracy-robbing scope movement while aiming and shooting.
A single stock and forearm unit serves as the shooter’s connection to the crossbow. A raised comb with rubber inlay positions the shooter’s eye for optimal alignment with the scope, while the rubber butt pad grips the shoulder for enhanced anchoring. A contoured pistol grip and pass-thru foregrip offer control and maneuverability. The generously sized trigger guard allows for a gloved trigger finger and a set of Zytel Safety Wings are designed to keep the shooter’s fingers below the flight deck and out of harm’s way. A slot is molded into the underside of the stock to store the cocking handle.
What’s in the Box?
The Flatline 460 comes with the integrated ACUslide cocking/de-cocking mechanism; 6-bolt Tech Quiver; six EVO-X CenterPunch 16-inch bolts; integrated string stops; and your choice of scope — either the TenPoint EVO-X Marksman Elite illuminated scope with speed-compensated aiming reticles out to 100 yards or the Burris Oracle X laser-rangefinding scope.
At the Range
My first impression while handling the Flatline 460 was just how compact and maneuverable it was; it seemed like I should have been able to put it in a holster on my hip! Although the overall weight of the crossbow is fairly heavy, that is offset by the excellent balance produced by the reverse-draw platform that places the balance point of the crossbow right in the middle.
The ACUslide cocking system is a true difference maker, offering complete control and tremendous safety in total silence. This system makes repeated shooting of the Flatline 460 on the practice range a breeze.
The Flatline’s trigger was extremely light and sent bolts downrange at speeds we could only have imagined not many years ago. Considering those speeds, it is not surprising that shot noise registered higher than average on our sound meter.
Taken as a whole, the Flatline 460 exemplifies what I have come to expect from TenPoint crossbows over the years, which is the highest in quality from top to bottom.
- Manufacturer: TenPoint Crossbow Technologies, 330-628-9245; tenpointcrossbows.com
- Model: Flatline 460
- Safety Features: Dry-Fire-Inhibitor, safe de-cocking, auto trigger safety, safety wings
- Cam System: RX-8 dual cams
- Riser: Aluminum, black anodized, compact, reverse draw
- Overall Length: 26.5 inches (without bow hanger)
- Axle-to-Axle Width: 7.5 inches (cocked), 12 inches (at rest)
- Advertised Weight: 7.5 pounds (crossbow only)
- String: X99, 32 strands, 34.125 inches
- Cables (x2): X99, 24 strands, 12.75 inches
- Limbs: Dual-Flex, split, Gordon Glass
- Draw Weight: 300 pounds, reduced to 5 pounds of effort via the ACUslide
- Power Stroke: 13.5 inches
- Stock/Forearm: Tech-X, injection-molded integrated unit
- Finish: Veil Alpine Camo
- Advertised Speed: 460 fps with 400-grain bolt
- MSRP: $2,599.99 (w/EVO-X Marksman Elite scope); $3,299.99 (w/Burris Oracle X laser-rangefinding scope)
- Comments: A compact powerhouse boasting TenPoint quality and technology.
Speed & Energy
- Bolt Speed: 452 fps (420-grain bolt), 418 fps (500-grain bolt), 459 fps (408.4-grain bolt)
- Kinetic Energy: 125.42 ft./lbs. (420-grain bolt), 127.87 ft./lbs. (500-grain bolt), 124.36 ft./lbs. (408.4-grain bolt)
- Maximum Width: 10.375 inches (cocked); 15.5 inches (at rest)
- Overall Length: 26.44 inches (without bow hanger); 30.25 inches (with bow hanger)
- Mass Weight: 8.36 pounds (crossbow only); 10.89 pounds (with accessories)
- Average Trigger Pull: 1.56 pounds
- Length of Pull: 13.625 inches
- Average Shot Noise: 103.3 dBA with 420-grain bolt; 102.3 dBA with 500-grain bolt
- Maximum Shot Deviation at 35 Yards: .5625-inch