TenPoint is no stranger to winning in the horizontal bow game — the manufacturer has produced some fast, accurate, ultra-durable shooters over the years. For 2023, the TenPoint Flatline 460 is the new kid on the block, and this shooter is already raising eyebrows and creating great first impressions.
by Brad Fenson
First impressions are essential and often influence people, products, and events. Being familiar with most TenPoint Crossbows, the Flatline 460 piqued my interest. The premium crossbow offers the best made by TenPoint, including speed, a lightweight build, and versatility for different hunting situations.
The Flatline 460 is compact at 26.5 inches long, and 7.5 inches axle-to-axle cocked, offering advantages when used in a blind, treestand, or on spot-and-stalk hunts. The first opinion of the crossbow coming out of the box was that the bow’s balance was not front-heavy, and the bow’s balance point allows your shoulder to hold more weight and not strain the arm holding the forestock. This makes for a balanced, smooth shooting experience.
Anyone who has held a crossbow for extended periods knows arm fatigue can set in quickly. The first impression had me wanting to shoot the bow offhand, and I wasn’t disappointed. The bow provided fast target acquisition and provided the ability to hold it stable and tight to my body. The compact design showed me the bow would be an excellent choice for backcountry adventures. The short, reverse-draw limbs would also provide extra room in a blind and treestand, or anywhere there are tight quarters.
The Flatline is marketed to shoot 460 fps or greater with a 400-grain hunting bolt. The compact design and speed make it the fastest compact crossbow available. The Flatline 460 produces 188 foot-pounds of kinetic energy for those paying attention to detail. There is no fear that a shorter rail, and a shorter arrow, will not have enough energy to take on any big game in North America.
TenPoint engineers added new components to the Flatline, including new Scope Struts and Longer Dovetail that provide rock-solid mounting for the scope. The struts stabilize the scope mounts to reduce vibration and noise and add durability and accuracy. The struts provide up to 80% more strength to the scope mount, creating confidence, consistency, and accuracy while reducing vibration.
The Flatline 460 is powered by reverse-draw limbs that launch a bolt down a 14.5-inch power stroke — the Flatline 460 shoots 16-inch EVO-X CenterPunch carbon arrows. The shorter arrow design offers advantages to hunters, like flatter trajectories and reduced wind drift. A gift that may be overlooked is that the shorter arrows fit securely in the quiver and do not overhang the bow.
One of the first things I do with a new crossbow is shoot arrows through a chronograph. Knowing the exact speed, or variance in bolt speed, allows me to set the speed adjustment on the scope and understand any accuracy variance. It took two shots to find the “X,” with only a 1 fps variance in the speed of three bolts.
Fortunately, TenPoint produces and markets bows with speed ratings that are accurate. Actual speed ratings allow the users to shoot their bow accurately and confidently. The biggest concern is shooting a Robin Hood and purchasing more bolts.
TenPoint’s EVO-X CenterPunch 16 bolts weigh 400 grains. The compact, heavy-weight bolts have a 17.5 percent front-of-center (FOC). Extra weight at the front of the bolt pulls the projectile instead of pushing it for the entire flight. Each bolt has guaranteed straightness to within .001-inch, and each package is weight-matched to within 1-grain per bolt. The premium bolts are meant to match the performance of the Flatline 460.
The new crossbow is equipped with an aluminum riser, which reduces the total weight of the bow to 7.5 pounds. A fluted aluminum flight rail known as a MICRO-TRAC reduces weight but, more importantly, provides a 50-percent reduction in flight deck surface compared to conventional crossbows. Reduced bolt contact on the rail minimizes the surface area for the string to pass over and the friction on the arrow surface, helping to maintain more energy. The MICRO-TRAC will increase string life, as well.
The Flatline 460 has an ultra-light, two-piece TEC-TACTICAL stock that is lightweight, durable, and comfortable in various weather conditions. The compact design will not hamper more prominent framed shooters. An adjustable length-of-pull in the buttstock will accommodate most users. When the buttstock is adjusted correctly, the crossbow offers a comfortable fit and form, making the bow easy to hold level.
Intense speed and flat shooting heavy bolts produce down-range accuracy beyond 100 yards. Even though the crossbow can shoot accurately to extreme ranges, it is recommended for use up to 60 yards for hunting. To keep up with the speed and down-range accuracy, the crossbow is equipped with an EVO-X Marksman Elite Scope with a 100-yard reticle. The scope is adjustable for variable speed settings to change the weight of projectiles or broadheads without giving up accuracy. Adjust for the new speed and confirm the range. The scope also comes with external Target Turrets for windage and elevation adjustment.
TenPoint has simplified cocking and de-cocking the crossbow safely. The crossbow has an ACUslide that requires only 5 pounds of force to cock the string. The built-in slide makes it simple for people of all ages and abilities to cock and de-cock the crossbow. The ACUslide Cocking and De-Cocking System includes an Auto-Brake Gear System that eliminates the potential of losing control of the cranking handle during use. While cocking and de-cocking with the ACUslide, the user can take their hand off the handle at any point, and the handle will stop in place on the rail.
The Flatline 460 features a custom-like S1 trigger that allows shooters to capitalize on the features and accuracy of the bow. The 2-stage, zero-creep trigger has an advanced roller-sear system that delivers a consistent, crisp, 3.5-pound pull that breaks clean. The trigger assembly has a DFI (Dry-Fire-Inhibitor) to prevent accidentally discharging the crossbow without a bolt on the string. If a bolt is not seated correctly, or the user forgets to place one on the rail, the DFI will stop the string and prevent energy transfer to the limbs. The small device protects the bow and your investment. The bottom of the DFI has a nylon-filament arrow retention brush that holds blots securely on the rail and the nock on the string. The device also improves bolt grip and alignment to reduce noise and vibration. An incorporated string stop system stops the string after the shot to minimize noise and vibration. TenPoint introduced the built-in Quad Cables on previous crossbows and continues to use them to stabilize the limbs and prevent cam lean. The extra cables reduce stress on other parts and ensure accuracy.
The Flatline 460 has a Sentry Bowhanger to easily hang it in a stand or protect broadheads from dirt in a ground blind. Another advantage of the compact design is that the bow can fit in a pack or be carried with a sling with less fatigue.
My first impressions of the crossbow did not change after shooting and hunting with it. The bow did provide clear advantages, especially for diverse hunting situations. The crossbow is manageable for most shooters and is intuitive to use. The best part of the compact design is that the user does not have to give up speed, down-range performance, or accuracy. If experts tested it, they would say, “it will kill.”
I took my Flatline 460 on a late-season archery hunt for white-tailed deer. A full moon and warm temperatures made for challenging conditions, and I am still waiting to harvest an animal with the new crossbow. Fortunately, spring turkey and black bear seasons are just around the corner, and regular practice on the range means the bow is ready for action.
Like all premium TenPoint crossbows, the Flatline comes assembled and includes a Ready-To-Hunt package:
- ACUslide cocking and de-cocking system
- EVO-X Marksman Elite Camo Precision Scope
- 6-pack of EVO-X CenterPunch 16 Premium Carbon Crossbow Bolts (.001″ straightness, 400-grains)
- Integrated String Stop System
- 6-arrow Tech Quiver
- Sentry Bowhanger
- Bubble Level
- MSRP: Flatline 460 MAP: $2,599.99 – Veil Alpine Camo.