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Crossbow Review: Wicked Ridge NXT 400

This crossbow is compact, fast and built to hunt!

Crossbow Review: Wicked Ridge NXT 400

The Wicked Ridge NXT 400 produces bolt speeds of 400 fps thanks to its RX-6 dual cams and Dual-Flex split limbs. The ACUdraw cocking device reduces cocking effort on this 200-pound draw weight rig to just 5 pounds.

TenPoint is practically synonymous with crossbow hunting, allowing it to pour years of experience, technology and ingenuity into its Wicked Ridge line.

The NXT 400 — Wicked Ridge’s flagship 2021 crossbow — features the company’s RX-6 dual cam system with spiral cable grooves, Dual Flex split limbs, Tri-Lock limb pockets, a molded PolyOne OnForce one-piece stock/foregrip unit, aluminum barrel and a T5 trigger that employs the auto-engaging safety and Dry Fire Inhibitor features.

Smokin!

The NXT 400 is advertised to produce a true speed of 400 fps using a 400-grain bolt. It all starts with the RX-6 Cam system, designed with a spiral cable groove that allows for greater rotation and increased potential for speed. The string is also drawn from the far side of the cams to add length to the power stroke, which spans 15.5 inches. A longer power stroke also contributes to faster bolts. The machined-aluminum dual cams ride on a combination of axles, bearings and bushings for reduced friction and enhanced system efficiency. Wicked Ridge uses its Vector Quad Cable Technology to drive balance and alignment in the eccentric system function. Four cables are used rather than the traditional two, with each connecting directly to the cam, wrapping around a post and terminating on the riser — never crossing the centerline of the bow. This keeps cables from crossing each other, eliminates the associated cable wear, results in a balanced cam load and allows for perfect alignment and cam movement for straight nock travel and the elimination of cam lean.

The 200-pound Dual Flex split limbs measure 12 inches long, are made of Gordon Composites material through a lamination process and are finished in Peak Camo. The critical limb-to-riser interface is handled by the company’s Tri-Lock limb pocket system, which is CNC machined out of aluminum and black anodized. The pocket utilizes a minimal amount of material to control and align the limbs. A compact but stout riser is CNC machined from a solid billet of 7075-T6 aluminum and features a broadhead clearance scoop and large cutouts for reduced mass weight.


Connected Trigger

Wicked Ridge connects the bow to the stock with its single-piece, CNC-machined aluminum barrel/rail. This 21.5-inch bridge is black anodized and employs many cutouts along its length to reduce overall weight, while also playing a part in minimizing noise and vibration. A machined aluminum trigger box/housing sits on top of, and is attached to, the rear of the barrel. It’s home to the company’s T5 trigger, auto-engaging trigger safety and Dry Fire Inhibitor, which physically blocks the string from being released until a bolt is properly loaded. The T5 trigger is designed to produce a light 3.5-pound pull, minimize travel and features a friction reducing latch. A Picatinny rail is bolted to the trigger housing for scope mounting and includes a nylon-filament bolt-retention brush, reducing noise and boosting consistency.


Shooter Interface

The NXT 400 sports a one-piece stock/forearm unit that starts at the butt plate and supports most of the rail’s length. Wicked Ridge's thumbhole stock (called Functionally Superior Bullpup) is injection molded using PolyOne’s OnForce material known for its high strength-to-weight ratio. The pistol grip, raised cheek piece and rounded foregrip offer the shooter control, comfort and positioning for a better overall experience. Dual-purpose rubber safety wings reduce vibration and help keep the shooter’s fingers out of harm’s way. The company’s ACUdraw crank cocking device comes standard on the NXT 400 and is mounted onto the stock forward of the butt plate. The ACUdraw reduces cocking effort to only 5 pounds.

What’s in the Box?

The NXT 400 comes as a kit with TenPoint’s 3X Pro-View Scope, a 3-pack of Pro Elite 400 Bolts and a 3-bolt Instant Detach Quiver.

At the Range

The NXT 400 advertised speed of 400 fps with a 400-grain bolt very clearly states that it is not an “up to” speed, but rather exactly what you can expect. Our testing proved that, as the test rig registered 401 fps on our Pro Chrono chronograph. Cocking the 200-pound limbs with the installed ACUdraw was easy and quick. Even though there is no adjustment in the butt stock or cheek piece, I found the bow fit relatively well, with a good eye level for sighting. While the crossbow’s overall length is 35 inches with the stirrup attached, it still has good balance and is very narrow. The NXT 400 is a fast rig with features and technologies designed to get the job done.

The Specs

  • Manufacturer: Wicked Ridge Crossbows, 330-628-9245; wickedridgecrossbows.com
  • Model: NXT 400
  • Safety Features: Dry Fire Inhibitor, auto trigger safety, safety wings
  • Riser: Compact, machined aluminum, black anodized
  • Cam System: RX-6, Dual, Spiral Cable Groove
  • String: Brownell Rhino, doubled center serving, 31.5625 inches
  • Cables (x4): Brownell Rhino, 12.75 inches
  • Limbs: Dual Flex, Split, Gordon Composites
  • Draw Weight: 200 pounds
  • Power Stroke: 15.5 inches
  • Grip: Pistol grip, contoured
  • Stock/Forearm: Functionally Superior Bullpup (FSB)
  • Finish: Peak Camo
  • Advertised Speed: 400 fps with a 20.5-inch, 400-grain bolt
  • Suggested Advertised Price: $1,099.99
  • Comments: Fast, narrow and built to hunt.

Test Measurements

  • Maximum Width: 14.25 inches (at rest); 9.25 inches (cocked)
  • Axle-to-Axle Width: 11.19 inches (at rest); 6.25 inches (cocked)
  • Maximum Length: 35 inches; 33.25 inches (without stirrup)
  • Mass Weight: 8.4 pounds (crossbow with ACUdraw); 10.2 pounds (with accessories)
  • Length of Pull: 13.375 inches
  • Average Trigger Pull: 2.34 pounds
  • Average Shot Noise: 105.47 dB with 420-grain bolt
  • Maximum Shot Deviation at 35 Yards: .81-inch

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