May 09, 2022
There’s a speed race underway in the crossbow realm, and TenPoint is currently leading the pack with its new-for-2022 Nitro 505.
With an advertised speed rating of 505 fps (with a 400-grain bolt), this insanely fast rig is available in three models, depending on the type of scope shipped with the bow. In this test, we focus on the base model that includes TenPoint’s EVO-X Marksman Elite Scope. Upgraded laser-rangefinding scope options include the Garmin Xero X1i and Burris Oracle X.
The Nitro 505 also features Gordon Composites Dual Flex limbs that combine with the RX-8 cams, Reverse Draw technology, X99 string/cables and a 17-inch power stroke to generate eye-popping speeds. Meanwhile, TenPoint’s ACUslide cocking/de-cocking mechanism is on a level all its own and is built into the two-piece Tech-X stock complete with cheek piece, butt stock, pistol grip and flared foregrip.
Built for Speed
There is much that goes into developing a champion racehorse, and it is no different when designing the fastest crossbow on the planet. TenPoint put its 27 years of experience and innovation to work and came up with a combination of high-tech features that sits at the head of crossbow speed class. It all starts with the company’s Reverse Draw Technology that flips the bow end for end, placing cams toward the front of the bow and forcing the string to be drawn through the riser. This results in a longer power stroke and also helps TenPoint achieve an impressive 404 degrees of cam rotation during the draw/shot cycles, storing added energy to go along with that longer string travel. An added benefit of keeping the string in contact with the nock longer is enhanced downrange accuracy.
Finally, the Reverse Draw configuration also places the riser in the structural center of the rig, which results in excellent bow balance.
Another major player in the Nitro 505’s speed equation is the all-new RX-8 Cam System. Built with deeper groves to accept the beefed-up string and cables necessary to handle the new rig, the RX-8 cams feature spiral cable grooves to allow for the 404 degrees of rotation. This system also employs Sling-Shot Technology that compresses the string through a slightly narrowed path and boosts speed by approximately 10 fps. Vector Quad Technology furthers performance and efficiency by independently anchoring four individual cables, two on each side of the rail, in perfect alignment with their corresponding cam tracks, resulting in a balanced cam load, true tracking cam movement and straight nock travel.
TenPoint’s Dual Flex limbs are 12 inches long are made with Gordon Composites material. The 300-pound draw weight makes a cocking aid necessary. The machined aluminum, Tri-Lock limb pockets precisely align limbs to the riser at this critical interface to ensure consistency and efficiency.
Release, Rail and More
The Nitro 505 also features TenPoint’s Micro-Trac fluted rail/barrel, built with a shallow channel on each side of the center that guides the sliding trigger box during the cocking/de-cocking process while also reducing the rail’s surface area by 50 percent to reduce friction and string wear. TenPoint advertises increased accuracy and the longest string life available as a result of the rail design.
An upgraded Dyneema cocking strap rated at 2,000 pounds connects to the sliding trigger box and retrieves it to the docking station during the draw cycle. An auto-engaging trigger safety and Dry-Fire-Inhibitor work alongside the match-grade, two-stage S1 trigger linkage inside the trigger housing. A bolt-retention brush, scope mount and manual safety lever complete the assembly.
The shooter is connected to the Nitro 505 primarily through the stock, cocking aid and scope. TenPoint’s two-piece Tech-X Stock is injection molded using polypropylene material known for its strength and durability. A pistol grip, flared pass-thru foregrip, rubber butt stock and raised cheek piece offer comfort and control, while the Zytel 80G Safety Wings remind archers to keep their fingers/thumb below the flight deck and out of harm’s way.
TenPoint’s ACUslide cocking/de-cocking aid is a critical component in the Nitro 505 crossbow assembly, since it reduces the 300-pound draw weight of the limbs to a mere 5 pounds of cocking effort. The ACUslide mechanism is enclosed within the stock and is completely silent from start to finish, offering complete control via an internal braking system. That means the user can crank forward and back, or even let go at any point during the cocking/de-cocking process with zero loss of control. A telescoping crank handle easily attaches to the ACUslide interface and also stores conveniently at the bottom of the stock.
What’s in the Box?
The Nitro 505 package included the crossbow with integrated ACUslide cocking mechanism, foot stirrup and string stops, along with the EVO-X Marksman Elite Scope, six EVO-X CenterPunch bolts with fieldpoints and a six-bolt Tech Quiver.
At the Range
While testing the Nitro 505, with its 300-pound draw-weight limbs, I found confidence in TenPoint’s extreme testing protocol of more than 25,000 shots. The ACUslide is all that and a bag of chips with reliable, smooth and complete control in either direction. Balance is off-the-charts good, as the rig can be supported and even shot with one hand.
While the Nitro 505’s overall footprint is very compact, beefed-up construction does result in a crossbow that weighs nearly 11 pounds ready-to-hunt. I personally appreciate the audible click heard when the cocking sled engages the string and docking station. Even with the significant pressure on the string, the trigger remains light and crisp.
Shot noise reported in at more than 106 dB, which was not unexpected for a crossbow generating unbelievable speeds that even exceeded TenPoint’s advertised spec. Accuracy is excellent; pick your targets carefully, or you may very well break a bolt!
- Manufacturer: TenPoint Crossbow Technologies, 330-628-9245; tenpointcrossbows.com
- Model: Nitro 505
- Safety Features: Dry-Fire-Inhibitor, auto trigger safety, safety wings
- Riser: Center-mounted, machined aluminum, black anodized
- Cam System: RX-8, Dual, Spiral Groove
- Axle-to-Axle Width: 12.375 inches (at rest); 6.5 inches (cocked)
- String: BCY X99, 33.75 inches
- Cables (x4): BCY X99, 12.75 inches
- Limbs: Dual Flex, Split, Gordon Composites
- Draw Weight: 300 pounds
- Power Stroke: 17 inches
- Grip: Pistol grip, with built-in rangefinder button
- Stock/Forearm: Tech-X Stock, injection molded polypropylene
- Finish: Veil Alpine Camo or Moss Green
- Advertised Speed: 505 fps with a 400-grain bolt
- MSRP: Starting at $2,999.99
- Comments: Extreme power, top quality, incredible cocking mechanism.
BOWHUNTING Test Measurements
- Maximum Width: 15.3 inches (at rest); 10.25 inches (cocked)
- Maximum Length: 30.75 inches (bare); 34.375 inches (w/foot stirrup)
- Mass Weight: 8.62 pounds (crossbow only); 10.89 pounds (w/all included accessories)
- Average Trigger Pull: 1.68 pounds
- Length of Pull: 14.625 inches
- Average Shot Noise: 106.5 dB w/420-grain bolt
- Maximum Shot Deviation at 35 Yards: .563 inch