May 16, 2022
By Brad Fenson
In December 2021, TenPoint made history when it introduced the Nitro 505, the fastest reverse-draw crossbow on the market. With a 400-grain hunting arrow, the bow produces velocities exceeding 505 fps, creating 227 foot-pounds of kinetic energy. Nearly as impressive, the Nitro 505 measures an ultra-compact 6 1/2 inches wide from axle to axle when cocked and 30 1/2 inches long, and it weighs 7.9 pounds (without accessories).
TenPoint re-engineered the barrel, string and cables, and cam system to both produce and withstand the extra torque and energy. The bow is brawnier than predecessors but is balanced and easy to handle. The reverse-limb design helps balance the bow by taking the limbs off the front of the rail. Balance is maintained with the center-mounted riser, eliminating any front-heavy feel and making the bow easier to hold steady for better accuracy.
The “magic” in the bow is the 17-inch power stroke. The longer the arrow is on the rail, the more energy transfers from the limbs and string. The long power stroke also creates a smoother, quieter shot.
It keeps the arrow nock engaged with the string for an additional 4 inches compared to traditional crossbows. TenPoint designed a new nock to handle the energy of the Nitro 505 and ensure optimal string engagement with every shot.
The string and cables have four extra strands for strength, stability and higher energy transfer. The more extensive string and cables required a new design for components like the RX8 cam system that rotates 404 degrees. The cams have a deeper groove and improved cable spacing to accommodate the larger diameter string. TenPoint uses its proven Vector-Quad cable technology to stabilize the cams and limbs for consistent, repeatable performance. The system uses four cables instead of the traditional two, eliminating cam lean and generating straight nock travel. The quad cables produce less noise and more consistent accuracy downrange. The beefed-up design also helps reduce vibration.
Modern crossbow technology begs the question: Why would you not buy a crossbow that can be de-cocked safely? TenPoint’s ACUslide Auto-Brake Gear System allows for silent cocking as well as safe and controlled de-cocking of the crossbow. Stop the cocking handle in the middle of the sequence, and it stays in place, freezing the string where it is on the rail. The operator is always in control, and the ACUslide system is designed to prevent user accidents. TenPoint engineers beefed up the brake pad for more braking power to handle the energy of the Nitro 505.
The cocking system operates with a Dyneema cocking strap. Netherlands-based DSM manufactures Dyneema, an ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene. The material exists in long molecule chains with extra-strong intermolecular bonds. It is the strongest of any thermoplastic and a super-light fiber. This advanced and robust material can handle more than 2,000 pounds of force. TenPoint sources Dyneema as it is two times stronger than the company’s previous strap and up to 15 times stronger than steel. The 7 1/2-inch Xtend adjustable crank handle, coupled with the ACUslide, requires just 5 pounds of cocking effort and is stored in the buttstock of the crossbow.
TenPoint places its two-stage S1 trigger in the Nitro 505. It uses an advanced roller-sear system that delivers a consistently crisp, 3 1/2-pound pull weight. The trigger helps hunters maintain accuracy by breaking cleanly with no creep. It is equipped with a dry-fire inhibitor (DFI) to prevent releasing the string without an arrow. The DFI is fitted with a nylon-filament arrow retention brush to grip the arrow, align it with the rail, and reduce noise and vibration. An integrated string-stop system further reduces noise and vibration after the shot.
The crossbow’s rail is upgraded with a 20-inch Micro-Trac fluted aluminum barrel to reduce the flight deck surface by 50 percent. The minimized string-to-barrel contact both increases accuracy and provides longer string life. A narrow rail means less contact, less friction and cleaner arrow delivery. The crossbow barrel is fastened to an ultralight, two-piece Tech-X stock with weight-reducing cut-outs. The stock houses the ACUslide system and offers a raised comb that helps align the eye with optics.
During testing, the Nitro 505 proved consistent and fast, producing three consecutive chronograph readings of 509 fps. It is faster, and dare I say more impressive, than advertised. The energy carried by the arrows became apparent on impact, often knocking over targets. Plan to have arrow-release fluid or a pulling device to retrieve arrows, as the Nitro 505 sinks them deeply.
Speed is a big part of marketing crossbows. However, hunters can convert the speed of heavier arrows and broadheads into increased kinetic energy and penetration. A heavier arrow will also help quiet the bow even more. The Nitro 505 will still beat most other bows in speed even with a heavy arrow.
Even more important, the Nitro 505 was torture-tested during its development to ensure durability, safety and lasting performance. Engineering prototypes proved to be reliable, accurate and consistent in speed after 25,000 shots.
The Nitro 505 comes in two finishes: Veil Alpine camo or new Moss Green. The bow ships completely assembled in a Ready-To-Hunt package that includes the ACUslide cocking and de-cocking system, an EVO-X Marksman Elite variable-speed scope with external adjustment turrets, an integrated string-stop system, six EVO-X CenterPunch premium carbon arrows and a six-arrow Tech quiver. The bow is also available with a Burris Oracle X or Garmin Xero X1i laser-rangefinding scope (at additional cost).
While speed is the prominent trait, beefed-up components, strings and cables quiet the bow and control energy. Together they do not result in a heavier bow, as the total weight is still less than 8 pounds. The newly engineered Nitro 505 offers hunters many advanced benefits in a very manageable package.
TenPoint Nitro 505 Pecs
- Info: tenpointcrossbows.com
- Type: reverse-draw crossbow
- Velocity: 505 fps (with 400-gr. Pro Elite carbon arrow)
- Axle-to-Axle Width: 6 1/2" cocked, 12" uncocked
- Length: 30 1/2"
- Weight: 7.9 lbs. (with ACUslide)
- Power Stroke: 17"
- Draw Weight: 300 lbs.
- Cocking Force: 5 lbs. (with ACUslide)
- Trigger: two-stage S1; 3 1/2-lb. pull weight
- Stock: Composite
- Finish: Moss Green, Veil Alpine
- MSRP: $3,049.99 (Moss Green, Ready-to-Hunt package with EVO-X Marksman Elite scope)
This article was featured in the April issue of Game & Fish Magazine. Click here to subscribe