Crossbow Review: TenPoint’s Most Compact, Ultra-Fast Model

If you plan to amp up your hunting game this season, you better test-drive TenPoint’s newest powerhouse. The company has pushed the boundary on reverse-draw crossbow performance with the all-new Nitro X.

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TenPoint Nitro X Crossbow

Boasting arrow-launching speeds bumping 440 feet-per-second and kinetic energy hitting the 166 foot-pounds mark, the Nitro X sits at the top of the list for both crossbow speed and power—not just within the TenPoint stable, but across the entire crossbow marketplace. Credit the Nitro X’s all-new RX7 cams and unique “SLING-SHOT” string technology for extracting stored energy from the DUAL FLEX limbs, and transmitting it to the arrow for a satisfying and class-leading downrange thump.

Speed and energy, of course, are two of the three key ingredients for a top-end crossbow intended for large-game hunting. The arrow needs to get there quickly to prevent the animal from jumping the string and to arrive with ample energy to ensure a swift, ethical kill. The third key factor is accuracy, and the Nitro X provides that quotient by utilizing a sound design foundation along with precision mechanical alignment. This is where the Nitro X’s unified engineering approach really comes together.

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The Nitro X is built on the company’s TAC-LITE aluminum barrel. Its 20-inch length contributes to the crossbow’s diminutive 30.7-inch overall length, while strategic coring of the barrel cuts overall weight to a lean 7.8 pounds. That kind of minimized weight presents extra challenges for managing the kind of energy the Nitro X produces, and the crossbow handles this extra energy in a smooth, linear fashion that maintains the highest possible accuracy. This is largely solved by the Nitro X’s Vector Quad cable system.

TenPoint Nitro X Crossbow

As the name implies, the Vector Quad system is comprised of four cables—two per side. Two cables secure to each cam on a shared axis, wrap around a barrel-mounted turnbuckle, and then terminate on a shared riser axis. What this accomplishes, in addition to providing increased overall stability and assisting in energy transfer, is minimizing the cam lean inherent to conventional crossbow cable/cam setups. By better balancing tension and torsion to help to keep the cams in a more linear orientation throughout the rotation cycle, both energy efficiency and accuracy increase.

As you can see, there is no single solution credited for the Nitro X’s class-leading performance. Rather, it is carefully orchestrated technological engineering that combines to produce the kind of numbers and results serious big-game hunters will appreciate.

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The Nitro X’s unified engineering reveals itself where it matters most—in the shooter’s hand. The light weight and more centralized mass gives the Nitro X a balanced and comfortable feel when shouldered. Pull the 3.5-pound trigger and the precise wheel alignment and torsional balancing delivers that unquantifiable performance feel. We liken it to the difference between a stock V8 engine and an engine that’s been expertly balanced and blueprinted for maximum horsepower and efficiency. And while our eyeballs can’t accurately clock speed, our range time with the Nitro X hints that we won’t be too worried about deer jumping the string this fall.

Although the Nitro X is a brand-new model in the TenPoint lineup, there is much technology borrowed from past TenPoint designs. Fans of the brand will recognize the DFI (Dry-Fire-Inhibitor) mechanism that, as its name implies, prevents the crossbow from dry-firing, as well as the wide fore-grip and safety wings on the stock that help keep the shooter’s hand and fingers safely below the bowstring release path — and out of harm’s way.

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The other highwater mark from our testing is the C3 stock. It’s a rigid system constructed of molded fiberglass-infused PolyOne OnForce, which gives it exceptional rigidity while minimizing noise and vibration. What’s really cool about this stock, though, is its three-piece design. In addition to the stock, the platform includes an adjustable cheek riser that lets the shooter achieve a custom cheek weld, and an adjustable rubber buttplate that allows two different length-of-pull settings. That’s a big plus not only for improving accuracy (proper fit equals more precise shooting potential), but also for improving comfort and reducing fatigue. For example, when you have your crossbow shouldered and you are waiting for a deer to get into the optimal shooting position, a proper-fitting crossbow will minimize fatigue and thus reduce the chance that you’ll make a sloppy, hurried shot.

TenPoint Nitro X Crossbow

Of course, the other major advantage we noted in our field evaluation of the Nitro X is its ultra-compact size. With its short 30.7-inch overall length and downright skinny 7-inch axle-to-axle width, maneuverability in a blind, treestand or in thick brush is about as good as it can possibly get.

Also standard on the Nitro X is an arrow-retention brush and integrated string-stop system. The brush keeps the arrow secure and correctly aligned in the barrel channel to ensure an accurate launch and to stop arrow rattle. The string-stop system adds yet another layer of vibration and noise reduction to this already quiet design.

TenPoint is offering the Nitro X in two packages. The Standard package comes with the ACUdraw Pro cocking system, RangeMaster Pro Scope, six Evo-X CenterPunch carbon crossbow arrows and a quiver. The Elite package also includes six Evo-X CenterPunch arrows and the ACUdraw Pro, but adds an Evo-X Marksman scope and TenPoint’s STAG hard crossbow case. Both versions come dressed in True Timber Viper Western dipped camo and are ready for immediate action. The scopes are bore-sighted at the factory, so it only takes a few minutes to fine-tune your point of impact. Add broadheads and you’re ready to hunt.

With an increasing number of hunters taking up the crossbow challenge for the first time, and with more states opening to crossbow hunting, the marketplace is getting loud and crowded. But if you’re the type of hunter who looks for maximum performance, the new Nitro X from TenPoint is a leading contender. 

For more information visit TenPoint Crossbow Technologies

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