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Crossbows 2015: What You Need To Know

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Crossbows 2015: What You Need To Know

The crossbow market is getting more crowded all the time, but for a substantial number of experienced crossbow hunters, Ohio-based TenPoint (330-628-9245; www.tenpointcrossbows.com)set the bar a long time ago and has been raising it ever since. For 2015 TenPoint introduces the Stealth FX4, described by some shooters as a supercharged version of last year’s successful Stealth SS. At a very comfortable 6.8 pounds the weight is identical, as is the length at 34.4 inches. With a width of 13.3 inches the FX4 is a shade more compact. The 185-pound draw weight is unchanged. The key difference? Thanks at least in part to a power stroke of 13.4 inches compared to the Stealth SS’s 12.6 inches, the FX4 picks up 18 fps to propel arrows downrange at a thumping 370 fps. Retained, in addition to a thumbhole stock, are all the features fans of TenPoint crossbows have come to expect, including the choice of TenPoint’s famous ACUdraw 50 ($1,219) or integrated ACUdraw cocking device ($1,319), a quick-detach three-arrow quiver with an ambidextrous side-mount quiver bracket, a three-pack of TenPoint carbon arrows with 100-grain field points, a BowJax Crossbow Noise Dampening Kit, Dry Fire Inhibitor, 3½-pound trigger and a 3x Pro-View 2 Scope. The black scope, limb pockets, barrel and stirrup contrast nicely with the Mossy Oak Break-Up Country finish on the stock and limbs.

Who says a woman’s crossbow can’t be fast? Not TenPoint. The brand-new Lady Shadow generates 350 fps and 101 foot-pounds of kinetic energy to take down virtually any game on the planet. The size is right, too, with a length of 34.4 inches and a compact width of 17-1/2 inches uncocked, 13-1/2 inches cocked. Mass weight is a very welcome 6.4 pounds. The Lady Shadow features a polymer barrel mounted to TenPoint’s now-familiar FSB (Functionally Superior Bullpup) stock. Rubber safety wings embedded in the barrel provide a safety feature while helping to reduce noise and vibration. The Lady Shadow has a draw weight of 180 pounds, very manageable with the choice of TenPoint’s ACUdraw 50 ($1,019) or ACUdraw integrated cocking device ($1,119). It comes with TenPoint’s 3x Pro-View 2 Scope on a 7/8-inch machined-aluminum dovetail mount, an instant-detach three-arrow quiver and ambidextrous side-mount quiver bracket, three TenPoint aluminum arrows with field points and an instructional DVD. The hot pink premium DynaFLIGHT strings and cable complement the Muddy Girl camo stock.

At 5.2 pounds it’s a featherweight in the premium crossbow world. It’s 22 inches wide (cocked) with a power stroke of 9-1/2 inches and an overall length of 32-1/2 inches, making it far and away the most compact recurve crossbow on the planet. Despite that, the aptly named Excalibur (800-463-1817; www.excaliburcrossbow.com)Micro 335 ($950) cranks out a very respectable 335 fps top speed with a 350-grain hunting arrow. The downsized new Gen 2 CRT limbs, along with the 270-pound draw weight, generate the speed, but it’s primarily the skeletonized Feather-Lite stock that gets the weight down near vertical bow territory. Rubber grip inserts along with the ambidextrous cheek piece make the minimalist stock comfortable. The oversize trigger is a nice touch for cold-weather hunting, and balance is excellent thanks to the recurve limbs and overall design. The smooth-shooting Micro 335 is touted as a great crossbow for treestands and ground blinds, but at this weight (did I mention it’s 5.2 pounds?) it’s a great crossbow for spot-and-stalk hunting as well. Finish options include Realtree Xtra and Textured Black Tactical.

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