TenPoint’s latest crossbow marvel is fast, accurate, durable, and long on safety, making an ideal horizontal shooter designed to meet the needs of any hunt, anywhere.
by Brand Fenson
Compact, lightweight, easy to maneuver, and extremely fast are the best ways to describe the TenPoint Flatline 460 crossbow. Crossbow speed has been a significant marketing point for horizontal bow manufacturers in recent years. Research and development continue to produce more robust, faster, and easier bows to pack into the field. Adding a compact design to the equation offers many benefits for hunters.
The Flatline 460 is compact at 26.5 inches long and 7.5 inches axle-to-axle cocked. The short, narrow platform means less movement when raising the bow and shooting. The crossbow is easy to handle and maneuver. Hunting in a blind with the Flatline 460, there were fewer limitations for shooting angles or sneaking up to the window. There was no worrying about the limbs contacting the blind or other hunting gear when fired.
The compact design proved advantageous on a spot-and-stalk antelope hunt. The compact crossbow is lightweight, at 7.5 pounds, and is easy to carry while sneaking up on game. The bow is well-balanced and not front-heavy. The shorter rail means more weight is transitioned over the entire bow making it easier to handle and hold steady.
The compact design inherently makes the bow a feather to carry, but features and accessories take it to a new level. A fluted aluminum flight rail, known as a MICRO-TRAC, reduces overall weight. Besides the weight advantage, the flight rail provided a 50 percent reduction in flight deck surface compared to conventional crossbows and reduced bolt contact. Less surface area for the string to pass over reduces friction on the bolt surface, and it helps maintain more energy for downrange accuracy. The MICRO-TRAC will also increase string life with less contact and wear.
The stock is an ultra-light, two-piece TEC-TACTICAL design that reduces the overall weight of the bow and adds durability. The material makes the stock comfortable to hold in various weather conditions. The compact, lightweight stock is easy to hold and shoot offhand; less weight and length are noticeable, and easier to hold steady when shooting.
The final part of the lightweight equation is an aluminum riser, which provides the strength required for a high-performance crossbow while keeping it easy to shoot.
Fit and Feel
The compact design does not mean the crossbow will be best suited for small-framed shooters. The design ensures that a wide range of shooters can adjust the bow to fit correctly or adjust for different seasons and layered clothing. An adjustable length-of-pull buttstock offers fit and feel for handling, shouldering, and quickly acquiring the target in the optic. Hunting with the crossbow in Africa, it was easy to maneuver and find the target with minimal movement. The compact nature of the bow provided advantages for following game in the optic and getting a shot while staying undetected. Most importantly, adjusting the bow to fit properly ensured it was held level when shooting, preventing canting and accuracy issues. In short, it is intuitive to hunt on the fly, or from a stand or blind.
Short Rail and Power Stroke
The compact design means the crossbow has a short rail and power stroke. The Flatline 460 uses reverse-draw limbs that launch a bolt down a 14.5-inch power stroke. The short bolts don’t compromise speed or performance when considering the Flatline 460 shoots 16-inch EVO-X CenterPunch carbon bolts at 460 feet per second (FPS).
A short bolt provides several advantages for hunting, like flatter trajectories and reduced wind drift. An overlooked benefit is that the shorter arrows fit securely in the quiver and do not overhang the bow.
TenPoint packages the Flatline 460 with EVO-X CenterPunch 16-inch bolts that weigh 400 grains with a 100-grain head. The short bolt is still heavy, offering a 17 percent front-of-center (FOC) weight. The extra weight at the front of the bolt will pull it in flight. Think of it like a front-wheel drive vehicle, which is easier to control and steer from the front, where the weight is located. Bolts that are pushed are challenging to tune.
The CenterPunch bolts are considered premium, with guaranteed straightness to within .001-inch. The top-end bolts were designed and paired with the crossbow to optimize performance, and each package is weight-matched to within 1 grain per bolt.
Western hunters will notice less wind drift with shorter bolts, and accuracy is easier to maintain with FOC weight distribution.
The Flatline shot an honest 460 fps with a 400-grain hunting bolt. It also proved itself with several large African animals shot on safari with Mike Birch at Hunt the Sun. Bolts had energy for clean pass-throughs and enough power to carry the bolt an additional 70 yards. Several bolts were recovered, and all were far from where they passed through the target animal. The crossbow produces 188 foot-pounds of kinetic energy, sufficient to harvest any big game in North America.
Repeatable Accuracy And Energy
The Flatline 460 has proven to be a tack driver. The crossbow was used to harvest a 650-pound blue wildebeest on an African hunt. The bull was shot at 22 yards, and the bolt passed through both shoulders and exited clean. There were no shortcomings with the 16-inch bolts.
After shooting bolts off its rail and through a chronograph, I knew the bow would be a shooter. The bow is aptly named and produces speeds slightly above 460 fps. Knowing the exact speed, with virtually no variance, made it easy to set the speed adjustment on the scope and shoot each bolt confidently in the field. On the initial setup, it took two shots to find the “X.” There was a one fps variance in the speed of three bolts.
Quad Cables are used to provide stability and prevent cam lean. The extra cables are also part of the consistency and accuracy.
The crossbow shoots at consistent speeds and is highly accurate. To take some of the human error out of the equation, TenPoint installs a custom-like S1 trigger to help shooters realize the accuracy of their crossbows.
The 2-stage, zero-creep trigger uses an advanced roller-sear system that delivers a consistent, crisp, 3.5-pound pull that breaks clean. Considering the incredible amount of energy stored in a crossbow, the trigger is integral to the safety and shooting accurately.
The trigger assembly has a DFI (Dry-Fire-Inhibitor) to prevent accidental crossbow discharging. The DFI protects the bow and ensures a bolt is correctly seated under a nylon-filament bolt retention brush that holds the bolt in place with the nock tight on the string. If a bolt is not inserted or installed correctly, the DFI stops the string and prevents energy transfer to the limbs. The device also improves bolt grip and alignment to reduce noise and vibration.
The safety is used to prevent the trigger from being activated unintentionally. The safety works with the cocking system to automatically start the safety as the string enters the cocked position. The safety is easy to find with a finger and moves slowly to keep things quiet.
There is also a forward grip that keeps the shooter’s fingers well below the string, preventing accidents.
There are new supports for the scope mounts on the Flatline 460. The extra bars reduce vibration and noise and stabilize the scope. The new Scope Struts and Longer Dovetail are a solid base to mount an optic and help provide consistent accuracy. The struts offer up to 80 percent more strength to the scope mount, creating confidence, consistency, and accuracy while reducing vibration.
Cock or De-cock
In modern times, it is hard to imagine a crossbow without the ability to de-cock. At the end of a hunt, if an bolt is not launched, de-cocking the bow and leaving the site undisturbed adds safety and provides options. The TenPoint ACUslide requires only 5 pounds of force to cock the string, and the built-in slide makes it simple for people of all ages and abilities to cock and de-cock the crossbow. An Auto-Brake Gear System removes the potential of losing control of the cranking handle during use, allowing users to take their hand off the handle at any point. The handle and cocking device stop in place on the rail. I used the de-cock system often while hunting in Africa to take the stress off limbs during lunch breaks or travel.
The Flatline 460 has a Sentry Bowhanger to easily hang the crossbow in a stand or protect your broadhead from dirt in a ground blind. A level is provided for quick reference to ensure the bow is not canted when shooting. The Flatline comes assembled and includes a Ready-To-Hunt package with everything from a calibrated scope to arrows and quiver.
My Flatline 460 is only three months old and has harvested five animals. Hundreds of bolts have been shot, and the bow continues to work as it did right out of the box.
TenPoint Flatline 460 Specifications:
- Length: 26.5 in.
- Axle-to-Axle Width Cocked: 7.5 in.
- Axle-to-Axle Width Uncocked: 12 in.
- Power Stroke: 13.5 in
- Weight: 7.5 in without accessories
- FPS: 460
- Draw Weight: 300 lbs.
- MSRP: $2,649.99