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Tenpoint or Excalibur?

 Tenpoint crossbow or excalibur crossbow

In the world of archery, the choice of the right model is not just a matter of preference, but a critical decision that can profoundly impact your crossbow hunting success. I dedicated this article to exploring and comparing two titans in the crossbow industry: Tenpoint and Excalibur. Both brands have established themselves as leaders in the field, each with a unique approach to crossbow design and technology.

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How do we compare the crossbows?

When comparing crossbows, we look into the key factors including speed, measuring how fast arrows are shot, and accuracy, evaluated through shooting tests. The design, encompassing forward/reverse draw or recurve styles, influences performance and maintenance. Ease of cocking and de-cocking is crucial for safety and convenience. Finally, the price/value ratio is considered, balancing the features and benefits against the cost. These elements collectively are what we call a crossbow test to help determine the winner between these two giants. 

Best Crossbow Brand

Tenpoint Crossbows, known for its innovative spirit, has consistently pushed the boundaries of crossbow technology. Founded in the U.S., it has gained a reputation for high-quality, high-performance crossbows that cater to both seasoned hunters and beginners alike. The brand is often celebrated for its precision engineering and advanced features.

On the other hand, Excalibur, manufactured in Canada, has made a name for itself with its commitment to reliability and simplicity, which in my opinion never get out of style. Their recurve crossbows are renowned for their durability, simplicity, and ease of maintenance, appealing to someone who prefers a more traditional style of crossbow.

Understanding the nuances and strengths of each brand is crucial for you when making a purchase decision and not getting on the hype train of a certain brand. The right crossbow should align with your hunting style, physical comfort, and specific demands. Whether it's a lightweight model for quick maneuvering or the powerhouse needed for a larger game, this article aims to help you with the knowledge to make an informed choice. Let's delve into the world of these crossbows, examining what sets them apart and how they differ. 

Crossbow Technology

TenPoint Crossbows have consistently impressed with their technological strides. The Nitro 505 stands out for its remarkable speed, shooting arrows at 505 fps, a feat that speaks volumes about its engineering. But for me, the introduction of their ACUdraw and ACUslide Safe Cocking and De-Cocking System stands out. This system not only reduces the physical effort required by 95% but also ensures safety and silence, which are crucial in hunting scenarios. Another worth mentioning from the brand is its integration of RangeMaster Pro Scope and EVO X Elite, which offers exceptional optics for accurate long-range shooting. Their crossbows are a blend of speed, safety, and precision that keeps them ahead of their competition. 

Excalibur, on the other hand, has made its mark with a focus on reliability and simplicity, which is evident in its recurve technology. Their crossbows don't rely on cams or complicated mechanisms, reducing the chances of mechanical failures. This simplicity is key for hunters who prefer a more traditional hunting experience. Attention to detail in balance and accuracy is seen in their Micro series crossbows, which are compact yet powerful, and their Guardian Anti-Dry-Fire system is a significant safety feature, preventing the crossbow from firing without an arrow. While they may not boast the high-speed shooting of TenPoint, their strength lies in the rugged, dependable, and easy-to-maintain design.

Winner: Tenpoint

In this comparison, itedges out slightly as the winner due to its continuous innovation in crossbow technology, especially with the Nitro 505 and the ACUslide system. Excalibur will have their fan base no matter what, but most of the hunters are curious like me what other record or new feature will Tenpoiint bring next year.  Ultimately, the choice between them depends on individual preferences and what each hunter values most in their equipment.

Tenpoint Flatline

Crossbow Design

Crossbow design is a critical aspect that significantly impacts the overall performance and experience, and the differences between these two giants in this regard are quite notable.

TenPoint's crossbowdesigns incorporate both forward and reverse draw technology. The forward draw design is more traditional, where the limb assembly is mounted towards the front of the crossbow. This design is efficient and reliable, but the emergence of reverse draw technology, featured in models like the Nitro 505 and Flatline 460  is where theyshine. In reverse draw crossbows, the riser is positioned closer to the shooter, shifting the center of gravity toward the user. This design results in increased power stroke, which results in higher arrow speeds, and reduced vibration and noise. This type of crossbow become super popular in recent years. 

Excalibur is renowned for its recurve crossbow design. This design is simple, with fewer moving parts compared to compound crossbows, leading to easier maintenance and increased reliability. One significant advantage of recurve design, as seen in models like the Micro and Assasin Series, is the ease of replacing the string in the field. With a recurve crossbow, you can change the string without needing a bow press, a convenience that can be crucial during hunting trips. While recurve crossbows typically don't achieve the same arrow speeds as reverse draw crossbows, they compensate with their simplicity, lighter weight, and reliability.

The Winner: Excalibur

As a hunter, I appreciate both designs for different reasons. Ten Point offers high-tech, high-speed performance, which is awesome in the field. Excalibur's design is more about simplicity and ease of maintenance, ideal for hunters who value reliability and straightforward functionality. The choice between the two ultimately depends on your specific needs and preferences as a hunter.

Excalibur Assassin

Speed

When assessing the speed it's not just about numbers, it's about how that speed translates into real-world hunting scenarios, particularly during the whitetail hunting season where every second counts.

Ten Point Crossbows has developed a reputation for producing some of the fastest crossbows on the market, making them deadly accurate when it counts. The Nitro 505 is a perfect example of this, as it's not just fast, it's ridiculously fast, propelling arrows at 505 fps and over. This kind of speed can be a deciding factor during the hunting season, especially when targeting elusive deer. The speed ensures that the arrow reaches its target swiftly, reducing the chance of the animal moving and increasing the likelihood of a successful hunt.

Crossbows, like the Assassin 400 TD, may not reach the extreme speeds of some TenPoint models, but they are fast enough to be highly effective in the field. The Assassin 400 TD, shooting at 400 fps, is an excellent bow that balances speed, accuracy, and reliability. It's a nice bow for hunters who appreciate a straightforward, efficient design. Its reliability and ease of use make it a strong contender, especially during the long hours of the hunting season where comfort and consistency are just as important as speed.

Winner: Tenpoint

It stands out with its high-velocity models, making them a top choice for hunters who prioritize speed for a deadly accurate shot. Models, like the Nitro 505, and Flatline 460 offer an impressive advantage.

Best Crossbow of 2023

Excalibur vs Tenpoint Comparison

 

Feature TenPoint Flatline 460

TenPoint Stealth 450

Excalibur Assassin TD Excalibur Micro Extreme
Speed (FPS) 460 fps. 450 fps. 420 fps. 360 fps.
Length (in) 26.5" 33" 33" 31.5"
Width 12"/7.5" 11"/6.5" 30"/23.5" 25"/21"
Weight 7.5 lbs. (with ACUslide) 7.5 lbs. (with ACUslide) 8.6 / 10.2 lbs (with and without accessories) 6.4 / 8 lbs (with and without accessories)
Draw Style Reverse Draw Forward Draw Recurve Recurve
Power Stroke 13.5" 13" 18.8" 9.5"
Draw Weight 300 300 290 280
Cocking Mechanism ACUslide ACUslide Charger Crank System Rope Aid

Price

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>Crossbow Accuracy 

To determine the most accurate crossbow between these brands, I conducted a detailed test using the Nitro 505, Flatline 460, and Excalibur's Micro Extreme and Assassin Extreme. The test involved shooting each crossbow with a consistent set of high-quality bolts at a fixed distance of 50 yards, using field points to ensure uniformity in testing conditions.

Nitro 505: Known for being one of the fastest crossbows, the Nitro 505 lived up to its reputation during testing. Using Pro Elite 400 bolts, the Nitro 505 achieved an average grouping of 2.5 inches at 50 yards. Its speed, combined with the precision of these bolts, made it an exceptionally accurate crossbow.

Flatline 460: The Flatline 460, while slightly less speedy than the Nitro 505, showed remarkable accuracy. With the same Pro Elite 400 bolts, the Flatline 460 consistently hit an average grouping of 2.7 inches. Its balance between draw weight and length of pull seemed to contribute to its steady performance.

Micro Extreme: The Micro Extreme, favored for its simplicity and ease of handling, produced surprising results. Using Excalibur Quill bolts, it averaged a grouping of 3.1 inches. The crossbow's lighter draw weight and compact design provided excellent control, which was evident in its accuracy.

Excalibur Assassin Extreme: The Assassin Extreme, balancing power and precision, performed admirably. With Ex Quill bolts, it achieved an average grouping of 3.0 inches. This model's accuracy, considering its design and functionality, was impressive and stood up well against the competition.

Winner - Tenpoint

After analyzing the test results, TenPoint emerges as the winner in terms of accuracy. Both the Nitro 505 and Flatline 460 demonstrated superior precision, with tighter groupings compared to Excalibur's models. 

Nitro 505

Price and Value

In my time as a crossbow shooter, I've had the chance to handle quite a few models from both brands. In 2023 TenPoint t released some remarkable models like Forward Draw Stealth 450, Flatline 460, and let's not forget the flagship model Nitro 505, but they're also noticeably more expensive. These high-end TenPoint models, while outstanding in performance, are often considered a luxury investment, reflecting their status as expensive crossbows.

Contrastingly, the lineup, including the likes of the Macro 380, Assasing 420TD, or MAG 340 are considerably cheaper, like half price cheaper.  They offer what I consider the best crossbow for the money, that are reliable, durable, and perfectly suited for whitetail hunting. They provide the essential and lethal features without the hefty price tag.

Winner - Excalibur

For those seeking a balance between affordability and quality, Excalibur takes the lead. Their models exemplify what it means to offer the best value in a hunting crossbow. While Ten Point offers some of the best crossbows in terms of technology and features, Ex wins for providing effective, high-quality crossbows at a price point that's more aligned with what most hunters are looking for. 

twinstrike crossbow

Cocking and De-cocking

These mechanisms in Crossbows, have distinctly different approaches, each with its own set of advantages.

TenPoint has made waves in this area with its ACUslide system, featured in models like the Viper S430, Nitro 505, Turbo S1, and several more.  This system is a breakthrough in crossbow safety and convenience. The ACUslide allows for silent cocking and safe, controlled de-cocking, which prevents the crossbow from firing unless it's fully cocked, eliminating the risk of dry-firing. This feature is a standout for me, as it significantly reduces the effort required to cock the crossbow, making it more accessible to a wider range of users. The safety aspect is unparalleled, it gives peace of mind, especially in high-stress hunting situations.

Excalibur’s approach to cocking and de-cocking is more traditional. Models like the Micro Suppressor and Assassin 400 TD utilize a recurve design, which inherently simplifies the cocking process.  Crossbows often come with a rope cocking aid, which, while requiring more physical effort than TenPoint's ACUslide system, is straightforward and reliable. The Assassin 400 TD features the charger crank system, integrated into the stock, which makes cocking easier and is also quite silent. However, it doesn't offer the same level of safety and ease as the ACUslide.

In comparing the two, TenPoint leads in innovation with their ACUslide system, offering a blend of safety, ease of use, and noise reduction. Excalibur, while more traditional, provides reliability and simplicity, which can be appealing to hunters who prefer a more hands-on approach.

Winner - Tenpoint

Between these two, my preference leans towards TenPoint for their advanced cocking and de-cocking mechanisms. The ease of use, combined with the added safety features, makes TenPoint a more appealing choice.

2024 Rumors 

The rumor has it that Siege 410 will be replaced by the most silent and compact crossbow and to no surprise Tenpoint will bring an even faster model than Nitro 505, maybe Vapo 560 or Nitro XRT? Let's wait and see. 

The Excalibur crossbows will focus on efficiency and Wolverine wasn't the hit they expected. Expect upgrades on the Assassin model and a new model with integrated crack. 

 

FAQ's

Which is the best Excalibur crossbow ever made?

 
Several models come to mind, but the recent  Micro 380 stands out as one of the best crossbows Excalibur has ever made, thanks to its impressive blend of speed, power, and portability. Capable of shooting arrows at a velocity of up to 380 feet per second, it offers the kind of high performance that's essential for successful hunting. Its compact and lightweight design makes it particularly easy to handle, especially in tight hunting spaces like tree stands or blinds. Additionally, the Micro 380 is known for its durability and reliability, and hallmarks the brand's design philosophy. 
 

How far can an Excalibur crossbow shoot? 

Their crossbows are known for their accuracy and decent power, but like all crossbows, their effective range depends on several factors, including the specific model, the arrow's weight, weather conditions, and the skill of the shooter. Generally, Excalibur crossbows can shoot effectively at ranges up to 60 yards, which is the standard effective range for most modern hunting crossbows.
 

Are Tenpoint Crossbows worth the money?

That's a great question and one that's crucial for anyone considering an investment in a crossbow. In my experience and opinion, Ten Point are indeed worth the money. They are highly regarded for their durability, precision, and advanced technology. TenPoint's commitment to quality and innovation means you're not just buying a crossbow, you're investing in a reliable, high-performance hunting tool. 

Final Thoughts

After testing the latest models from both brands, here are some key insights. TenPoint is known for its advanced technology, which has speed and power. Their models stand out for their innovation, appealing to hunters who prioritize performance and are willing to spend on high-end equipment.

Excalibur, in contrast, wins over many hunters with its simplicity. The straightforward, no-frills design of their crossbows makes them highly reliable and easy to maintain – qualities that are valued in the field. This simplicity does not compromise effectiveness, making Excalibur a top choice for those who like simplicity, and reliability and don't want to spend too much cash.

I will probably repeat myself, but I am all for testing and trying. If you have some spare cash, Tenpoint Flatline 460 is an awesome crossbow see it how you like it, and even try Ravin models why not?!  If the straightforward, reliable design of Excalibur is more appealing and that is your only crossbow, money is a concern, this crossbow is for you. Live, Laugh, Hunt.

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Tomas Deksnys

Tomas Deksnys

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