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The TenPoint Flatline 460 isn’t the fastest, lightest, or even most accurate crossbow I’ve tested, but it is one of the few that does everything well. Like five fingers that become a fist, this crossbow’s speed, accuracy, handiness, ease of use, and build quality come together to pack a formidable punch.
But is it the best hunting crossbow you can buy? I tested it to find out.
TenPoint Flatline 460 Specs and Key Features
Length: 26.5 inches
Width Uncocked: 12 inches
Width Cocked: 7.5 inches
Weight with Scope: 9.7 pounds
Bolt Weight: 410 grains
50-yard Group Average: 2.75 inches
Speed: 467 fps
Acuslide Cocking and Decocking
Unlike other bulk crossbow cranks, the Acuslide is completely contained within the crossbow’s stock. Two 1,800-pound test nylon straps attach to the fire control group, which slides down the crossbow’s rail. It clips onto the string with a click and is cranked back until it clicks again. You can stop cranking at any time without worrying about the handle busting your knuckles or the string flying forward. The Acuslide also decocks the bow, so you don’t have to fire your crossbow to decock.
100 Yard Evo-X Marksman Elite Scope
The Evo-X Marksman Elite Scope features adjustable speed calibration. Scott Einsmann
The Evo-X Marksman Elite Scope comes with the Flatline 460 Crossbow Package. This scope’s reticle has graduations from 20 to 100 yards, and it can be calibrated for bow speeds from 300 to 500 fps. The calibration is done by adjusting the second focal plane’s scope magnification to a setting that corresponds with the crossbow’s speed.
The Flatline 460 is only 7.5 inches wide when cocked. Scott Einsmann
Typically crossbows require a long powerstroke to produce high speeds, but the Flatine 460 achieves its speed at only 26.5 inches in length, and it’s also just 7.5 inches wide when cocked.
The Flatline 460 uses 16-inch Evo-X CenterPunch 16 arrows with the Alpha-Nock HP nocks. They feature an 84-grain brass insert, 0.001 inch straightness, and use Q2i Fusion Vanes. The arrows with 100-grain field points weighed 410 grains on my scale.
Testing the Flatline 460
The author shoots the Flatline 460 off a tripod. Scott Einsmann
Only accurate crossbows are useful, and that’s why I always start my testing at the 50-yard line. With the Flatline 460 resting in a lead sled, I shot five, five-shot groups, which averaged 2.75 inches. I also shot the SEVR 1.5, Swhacker Levi Morgan, and Rage Hypodermic Crossbow NC broadheads into a 1.75-inch group at 50 yards with no deviation from the field points. This is solid performance from a hunting crossbow.
Read Next: Best Crossbow Broadheads
An average group shot during accuracy testing. Scott Einsmann
Lead sled shooting is a great way to learn a crossbow’s accuracy potential, but how it shoots in hunting scenarios is ultimately what matters most. Shooting off-hand at 45 yards, I was able to keep five-shot groups to 6 inches. The Flatline 460’s balance point is right at the trigger, which makes it easier to hold steady while shooting unsupported.
Flatline 460 broadhead group. Scott Einsmann
Rage Hypodermic Crossbow NC (left), SEVR 1.5 (center), and Swhacker Levi Morgan (right). Scott Einsmann
Next i used a Labradar doppler chronograph, to see if the crossbow could meet its 460 fps speed claim. I recorded five shots from the Flatline 460, which averaged 467 fps. The cool thing about the Labradar is that it tracks the bolt’s speed from the moment it leaves the crossbow until it hits the target. The CenterPunch arrow only lost 30 fps from when it left the bow to when it hit the target at 45 yards. The real-life benefit of that speed is the arrow drops only about 5 inches from 20 to 45 yards.
The Labradar recorded speeds from the firing line to 50 yards.
While measuring the trigger pull weight at point blank, I inadvertently tested the Flatline 460’s dry fire safety. I was solely focused on measuring the trigger, and in that tunnel vision, I didn’t load an arrow. Thankfully the dry fire safety did its job. I then decocked the crossbow, cocked it again, and went back to shooting without any drama.
Read Next: The Best Crossbows, Tested and Reviewed
What the Flatline 460 Does Best
The Flatline 460 has solid accuracy from supported positions and off-hand. The compact dimensions and good balance make it easy to hold steady and move through tight quarters. It’s one of the easiest crossbows to use, and the Acuslide is an elegant solution to cocking and decocking. TenPoint’s build quality is fantastic—there’s nothing that feels cheap about the TenPoint Flatline 460. It’s a bow worthy of a premium price.
Where the Flatline 460 Can Improve
I have yet to find a crossbow that I’d love to carry on a long hike, but the 10-pound Flatline is heavy even by crossbow standards. It’s about a pound heavier than the similarly sized Ravin R29X. So for long hikes, I’d consider using the HALO backpack or a sling.
While taking photos of the Flatline 460, it rolled off a log and fell (scope down) about 2 feet. That hard knock was enough to slightly bend the polymer picatinny mount. Afterward, the Acuslide became difficult to slide under the rail, and I lost zero. I think a metal rail would be more durable for such Murphy’s Law events.
The Flatline 460 package costs $2,500, which includes a case, five bolts, a quiver, and a scope. The price is comparable to a premium compound bow setup and a few hundred less than the most expensive crossbows. Is it worth it? If you want a top-end combination of speed, accuracy, and handling, then yes, yes it is.
A fast crossbow that doesn’t group isn’t worth much, and an unwieldy crossbow that’s accurate isn’t going to be fun to carry through the woods. The TenPoint Flatline 460 finds the happy medium of being fast enough, plenty accurate, and compact. When you add those attributes up, you get the best crossbow of the year.
The post TenPoint Flatline 460 Review: The Best Crossbow of the Year appeared first on Outdoor Life.
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