February 21, 2019
The 2019 ATA Show produced plenty of product evolution in the segment of crossbows. Between a new crossbow from TenPoint that produces velocities up to 470 fps, the introduction by Ravin of one of the smallest crossbow profiles to market yet, and a brand-new high-performance takedown (TD) model from Excalibur, crossbow hunters will have plenty to discuss and contemplate before making their new purchase for the fall.
Understandably, crossbow platforms seem to generate the majority of buzz year to year, but there are accessories worth noting, too. For 2019, one of those accessories is TenPoint’s new Alpha Nock.
A nock? What’s exciting about that?
Well, considering that the point of contact between your string and arrow could be the single largest influence on the performance of a crossbow (or vertical bow for that matter), advancements in nock technology are well worth your mind space. In fact, one might argue that this should be the case now more so than ever for crossbows.
The marketplace is requesting smaller, more manageable crossbow profiles to allow for easier maneuverability in the field. To that end, most manufacturers, including TenPoint, are building more narrow concepts with axel-to-axel measurements as little as 6 inches, requiring drastic string angles to ensure high performance. In turn, greater levels of energy are transferred at a sharper point of contact (the nock) demanding a more sound connection point to ensure accuracy and proper energy transfer to the arrow.
“Over the last several years, crossbows have gone from 26 inches, to 19 inches, to 15 [inches], to now, 6 inches. … The nock, just like the crossbow, now has a need to evolve,” said TenPoint’s Randy Wood. It’s not that the flat nock, half-moon or Omni-nock haven’t served their purpose, it’s just that speedy evolution in crossbow profiles obliges a nock that better addresses its needs, and TenPoint’s Alpha Nock is a pretty darn good solution.
One look at the Alpha Nock, and the distinctive feature of radial (rounded) contours will likely be the first thing you notice. Unlike the 90-degree angles that existed on the edges of its predecessors, the deeper and radially indexed throat is designed to better cradle the contour of a serving-covered string, especially at sharper angles.
TenPoint provides the statistic of promoted string-to-nock engagement levels of up to 28 percent greater than the alternative options, promoting greater opportunity for increased downrange accuracy, less string wear and greater energy transfer during projection.
The second noticeable feature of the Alpha Nock is its lengthened ears, which are also radially tapered on the edges. If you have spent any time behind a crossbow in the field, especially under the pressure of an oncoming buck, you know how easy it can be to index your nock incorrectly.
Thus, the impetus for this design feature. Upon contact, the radial edges will help to properly orientate the string back to the channel of the nock and reduce the opportunity for improper string-to-nock engagement, or poor arrow flight in a tight spot (demonstrated by TenPoint in this video link).
Additionally, the elongated ear design affords another unique safety feature. Anti-dryfire mechanisms are nearly standard for most models of the current marketplace, but in the event that extreme hunting conditions cause a lapse in performance or an unseated arrow, the contoured string channel and radially tapered edges of the Alpha Nock have the ability to “ensure string capture.”
This specifically engineered benefit not only has the ability to deliver shot execution on your target, but also can prevent the dangerous and costly hazard of catastrophic failure (demonstrated by TenPoint in this video link). Disclaimer, do not be foolish enough to think that this is an invite for you to try this stunt at home!
Objections at this point. … “That is great, but I don’t shoot a TenPoint.”
Well, lucky you! TenPoint is rising beyond the industry standard of a brand-exclusive accessory to allow the use of this nock for all current and past TenPoint, Horton and Wicked Ridge models, as well as touting compatibility with most other crossbow brands that feature a rail or barrel-type launch platform — exception being, crossbows featuring “free-float/rail-less launch systems that require the older or uniquely-designed capture-style nocks.”
Returning to the thought process of an accessory worth your time; an accessory offering increased string engagement, promoting downrange accuracy, reducing string wear and reducing the opportunity for catastrophic failure, are all features that should likely pique the interest of crossbow hunters. The Alpha Nock’s ability to be employed across brand lines and string angles affirms TenPoint’s continued efforts in evolving efficiencies of the segment as a whole by not restricting its utility. All said and done, this crossbow accessory is worth a once over by all crossbow hunters.
*Note: The Alpha Nock is currently available in only the Aluminum offering. Polymer and the Alpha-Brite illuminated offering are scheduled to be available in April of 2019. Click for more information on TenPoint’s Alpha Nock.