TenPoint's lightweight (6.8 pounds) and remarkably quiet Vapor employs a novel design platform for TenPoint, focused on speed and maneuverability. The ultra-compact Vapor features TenPoint's new 165-pound, 360 fps PLT (Parallel Limb Technology) bow assembly, fitted with 11-inch IsoTaper Limbs, new HE (Hybrid Eccentric) cams and custom fabricated Viper X 8190G string and cables for dramatically reduced recoil and noise. It measures just 12.6-inches wide axle-to-axle when cocked, and an intricately webbed and lightweight, machined aluminum riser is optimized for weight reduction and strength. A new bullpup stock features strategically placed cutouts for reduced weight and improved balance, along with optimal comb height and length of pull. The Vapor also features TenPoint's wrapped carbon fiber barrel and PowerTouch trigger. The integrated SDS String Dampening System, along with rubber inserts between the barrel and stock and dual-purpose rubber safety wings, keep noise and vibration to a minimum. The Vapor comes complete as a package that includes bolts, quiver, soft case and ACUdraw or ACUdraw 50 cocking system.
MSRP: $1,899 (ACUdraw 50) or $1,999 (ACUdraw)
Contact: TenPoint, 800-548-6837;
PSE completely redesigned its TAC series of AR-platform crossbows for 2013 to be more accurate, more efficient and more durable. The all-new TAC Elite comes complete with a fully adjustable stock and crisp trigger assembly. The TAC Elite features PSE's incredibly strong X-Tech limbs in an extremely compact platform that measures 41 1/2 inches long and 22 inches wide. The 9-pound crossbow offers a high-performance, twin-cam design that generates bolt speeds up to 405 fps with a 150-pound draw weight and 17 1/4-inch power stroke. The TAC Elite is available only in black and comes standard as a package that includes a case, scope, bipod and three bolts.
Contact: Precision Shooting Equipment, 520-884-9065;
Addition by Subtraction
Excalibur's new Matrix 380 Xtra is a shining example of addition by subtraction. Excalibur shaved off six inches of width, four inches of length and a full pound of weight compared to previous models while boosting speed to a whopping 380 fps and 112.3 foot-pounds of kinetic energy. In addition to being the first compact recurve crossbow, the 5.9-pound Matrix 380 Xtra is loaded with revolutionary performance enhancements. Reduced length (35.63 inches) is due in part to the new, compact Ergo Grip stock, which provides better balance and ergonomic design features such as a thumbhole, pistol grip, finger guards on the fore-end and warm, soft, non-slip rubber grip inserts. A Quad-Loc riser contains the new PowerLoad limbs--touted to be 60 percent stronger than previous versions--on four sides for added consistency and accuracy. Improved geometry means reduced friction and wear on the BCY Dynaflight 97 string for increased speed and efficiency and reduced creep. Integrated, adjustable R.E.D.S. (Recoil Energy Dissipation System) string suppressors reduce vibration, noise and shock. A self-contained Guardian Anti-Dry Fire System, housed in the scope mount, catches the string, preventing the crossbow from firing if triggered without a bolt in place. And a built-in release allows you to easily de-cock so you do not have to fire a shot at the end of the day. The Matrix 380 Xtra is dressed in Realtree Xtra camouflage and outfitted with a Tact-Zone scope, a cheek piece, a four-bolt quiver, four Diablo bolts with 150-grain fieldpoints and a rope cocking aid.
Contact: Excalibur Crossbows, 800-4631817;
On A Crossbow Mission
Mission Archery, a division of Mathews, is Jumping Into me tast-growing crossbow market in 2013 with the all-new MXB-360. As the name implies, this sleek, tactically inspired crossbow has a speed rating of 360 fps with a 160-pound draw weight and 14-inch power stroke. The MXB-360 is relatively light among crossbows at 6.55 pounds and fairly compact at 35 inches long and 19 1/2 inches wide. A slotted rail and a riser that doubles as a foot stirrup helps reduce weight and improve balance. Draw weight can be reduced to as little as 100 pounds simply by adjusting the limb bolts. You can also change the string and cables without a bow press. The MXB-360 is finished in Lost AT camo and comes with a customized Mission soft case with added storage for accessories. Mission also offers optional accessory packages that include an MX-3 Quiver, three customized Mission crossbow bolts and a Hawke scope of your choice.
MSRP: $899 (crossbow only)
Contact: Mission Archery, 608-269-2728;
The new, reverse-draw configuration of Barnett's Vengeance moves the limb pockets closer to the trigger assembly and faces the limbs forward, shifting the center of gravity closer to the shooter's body to reduce front-end weight. Meanwhile, a CarbonLite riser assembly reduces overall weight to 7.9 pounds without compromising strength or accuracy. This compact unit measures 34 1/4 inches long and 24 inches wide while boasting an 18-inch power stroke, 140-pound draw weight and speed rating of 365 fps. Decorated in a carbon-fiber finish or high-definition camouflage, the Vengeance is available through retailers as a complete package with quick-detach quiver, three 22-inch bolts and an illuminated 3x32 multi-reticle scope.
Contact: Barnett Crossbows, 727-234-4999;
The X-Force 350 from Carbon Express has many new design features, not the least of which is a tactical, lightweight composite stock with a one-piece, ergonomic profile for improved comfort and accuracy. It also features an adjustable forearm on a Picatinny rail with more than five inches of travel for customized fit, a durable cast riser with rubber-coated foot stirrup, heavy-duty compression-molded limbs, a trigger box safety system for smooth, consistent performance and SilenTech coating for stealth and performance in the field. The X-Force 350 weighs 7.6 pounds, has a 165-pound draw weight, 12-inch power stroke and 300 fps speed rating. It comes with Carbon Express PileDriver 20-inch crossbolts with moon nocks and a 4x32 multireticle scope.
Contact: Carbon Express, 800-241-4833;
Bearing Its Fangs
For the new Viper, Darton Archery incorporated the best features of previous models, such as larger axles and oversized sealed Quad Ball Bearings in Darton's dynamic DualSync cams; wider, stronger laminated split limbs built to handle more stress; a compact front riser; and a tactical stock. Darton also added a new Soft Touch finish for quiet and comfort, and a Trackless barrel that contacts the arrow only at the nock end (receiver) and at the front end to reduce friction and string wear. Rated at 340 fps, the Viper comes equipped with integrated string suppressors coming off the riser, along with Darton's new, patent-pending Barrel Dampener to help minimize all sources of vibration and noise.
Contact: Darton Archery, 989-728-9511;
Stryker's New Look
New for 2013, Stryker's popular StrykeZone 380 is available in the tactically inspired Black Ops finish. The StrykeZone 380 has a 160-pound draw weight, 15 1/2-inch power stroke and a speed 1 rating of 380 fps. It features a molded rear stock with generous cheek piece and fixed, slotted handle pistol grip, a machined aluminum barrel and riser, Octane string and cables and a KillSwitch trigger rated at less than 3 pounds of pull with less than .015-inch of travel. The StrykeZone also features an Auto-Flip magnetic safety that clicks on every time the receiver is lifted or the bow is cocked, and is engineered TO click back into safe mode if the crossbow is dropped or the bolt is removed. There's also a double barred Cease-Fire safety plug insert that slides into place, locking the jaws and immobilizing the trigger until you remove it and are ready to shoot. The StrykeZone 380 comes with the GameOver package that includes five bolts, quiver, multi-reticle scope, shoulder sling, cocking aid and string stops.
Contact: Stryker Crossbows, 877-447-0293;
The Raider CLS from Wicked Ridge features an economically executed variation of TenPoint's Compact Limb System (CLS) bow assembly. Its 12-inch IsoTaper Limbs are fitted with MR Cams and D-75 string and cables. An injection-molded, composite, semi-skeletal Verton stock, detachable, lightweight, coated aluminum foot stirrup and ACRA-ANGLE barrel assembly keep weight down to 7 pounds, and the stock is fitted with a safety-engineered winged foregrip to prevent finger and thumb injuries. The Raider CLS comes with a TenPoint 3x Multi-Line Scope and features TenPoint's patented DFI (dry-fire inhibitor) and 3.5-pound PowerTouch trigger. Equipped with a rope-cocking device, the Raider CLS is finished in Mossy Oak Break-Up Infinity camo.
Contact Wicked Ridge Crossbows, 330-6289245;
Made With Her in Mind
Scorpyd's new, 80-pound draw weight Ventilator crossbow is a scaled down version of the original designed with the increasing number of women, youth and senior hunters in mind. At just 80 pounds, this crossbow is extremely easy for almost any hunter to cock, but with 75 foot-pounds of kinetic energy and speeds up to 310 fps, it still has plenty of knock-down power. The compact size (35 3/4 inches long, 19 1/2 inches wide) makes it easy to maneuver in a treestand or the tight quarters of a ground blind. The Ventilator 80 comes with a folding stock for easier cocking in the seated position and weighs just 7.8 pounds thanks to a vented barrel and forged riser. Like all Scorpyd crossbows, the Ventilator 80 comes with reverse-draw Barnsdale limbs, which have a generous power stroke of 18 3/4 inches to produce more kinetic energy with less draw weight. It comes with a 3-pound trigger and your choice of Hawke optic.
Contact Scorpyd, 319-331-4700;
Lightweight Heavy Hitter
At a mere 6.5 pounds, the Horton TRT (Team Realtree) 175 Nitro is an ultralight, high-performance crossbow, boasting a speed rating of 345 fps out of a rig with a 175-pound draw weight and 12 3/4-inch power stroke. It features a true 7075-T6 forged aircraft-grade aluminum riser and a forged foot stirrup for toughness and durability. Its high-performance limbs are crafted with Horton's proprietary three-layer lamination process, and efficient cam design stores an amazing 82 percent of energy. An over-molded rubber grip and cheek piece create a soft, comfortable feel while Sims Sound Stoppers dampen noise and vibration. A fully adjustable forearm and interchangeable butt plate create a comfortable, custom fit for enhanced consistency and accuracy.
Contact: Horton Archery, 330-474-5710;
Kodabow's 200-pound draw weight Bravo Zulu utilizes a proprietary, dual-limb recurve design that produces bolt speeds of 325 fps off a 14-inch power stroke, allowing users to hit the bull's-eye by holding directly on the crosshairs out to 60 yards. The design also allows easy string change in the field using the de-stringing aid supplied with every bow. The cocking rope precisely aligns the bowstring with the trigger using an adapter that fits into the AR-15 style rear stock for a smooth, frictionless pull. Kodabow also uses AR-15 components for grips, stock and rear buffer tube, giving the bow a solid, rugged feel. Limbs are available in select Mossy Oak patterns, Desert Digital Camo or a Black Night Weave pattern. Comes equipped with a Hawke illuminated 3x32 scope.
Contact: Kodabow, 610-620-4352;
Here Fishy, Fishy, Fishy!
Parker's StingRay crossbow is ideal for both freshwater and saltwater bowfishing. Compact and lightweight (7.5 pounds), it's easy to maneuver, aim and shoot on the water. The StingRay features an adjustable draw-weight range from 100-125 pounds, so it can be customized to your particular quarry; and draw-weight adjustment can be made without tools, a bow press or additional parts. The StingRay package includes your choice of an open sight or a non-magnified, illuminated multi-reticle scope, AMS Retriever Pro bowfishing reel, bowfishing arrow with Muzzy Gator Getter Point and mounting hardware, 25 yards of 200-pound, high-visibility braided Dacron line and an integrated arrow quiver. The StingRay is appropriately decorated in Fishouflage Camo.
Contact: Parker Bows, 540-337-5426;
Ready for Battle
The all-new Armageddon ccossbow from Velocity Archery features a tactical look and feel yet is well suited for the traditional crossbow hunter. A sleek, Combat Black finish on a dual-cam frame inspired by the infamous Barrett .50 BMG will give crossbow enthusiasts a little bit of "gun grit" as an added bonus to their archery endeavors. With a speed rating of up to 350 fps, the Armageddon produces more than 100 foot-pounds of kinetic energy. The Armageddon weighs just under 8 pounds and also comes with a 4x32 red/green adjustable intensity illuminated scope, 3 bolts, quiver, Oscill-X energy reduction pads on the forearm and an Oscill-X rubber recoil pad.
Contact: Velocity Archery, 270-231-2911;
Easy Draw, Blazing Speed
The Inferno Firestorm II from Arrow Precision has a relatively modest crossbow draw weight at 165 pounds, yet it will still shoot a blazing 375 fps thanks to its compression-molded limbs, CNC-machined aluminum cam system and aircraft-grade aluminum riser. The ultralight trigger requires only 2.4 pounds of pull, while Next Vista soft touch microprint camouflage adds comfort, grip and style. The Firestorm II weighs 8.2 pounds and measures 40 1/2 inches long. Like all Inferno crossbows, the Firestorm II comes packed with standard features such as a 4x32 illuminated (red and green) scope, padded shoulder sling, four 20-inch carbon bolts with 100-grain practice points, rope cocking device, quick-detach quiver and safety goggles.
Contact: Arrow Precision, 610-437-7138;
It's an Enigma
The all-new PSE Enigma boasts a 350 fps speed rating with a draw weight of just 150 pounds thanks to PSE's high-performance cams and exclusive X-Technology split limbs. Add a lightweight, adjustable, thumbhole, pistol-grip stock and you have one of the best hunting crossbows on the market. Other features include a Picatinny rail for mounting accessories, embroidered sling and side-mounted quiver. The Enigma is finished in Mossy Oak Break-Up Infinity camo and comes standard in a kit that also includes a 4x32 multi-reticle scope, four carbon bolts, cocking rope and rail lube.
Contact: Precision Shooting Equipment, 520-884-9065;