With blistering performance, premium made-in-the-USA construction, and everything you need to hit the trail, see why the Stealth FX4 gets our vote…
by the HuntDaily staff
We have been running through quite a few crossbows of late, and it’s always interesting to discover the varied nuances and flavors within a particular brand’s lineup. In other words, many brand models are built on common platforms and sport common components and technology, yet they manage to distinguish themselves in sometimes-remarkable ways.
Take, for example, our latest test drive—TenPoint’s Stealth FX4. In the broader scheme of the TenPoint crossbow lineup, the Stealth FX4 sits about midway on the price ladder between the all-new Turbo GT and the all-out Venom XTRA. As for performance, though, the Stealth FX4 is running hot on the Venom XTRA’s bumper. In the performance automotive world, we call this a “sleeper”—a model whose stellar performance you might not otherwise expect due to outward appearances or, in this case, the relative price point and features.
TenPoint builds the Stealth FX4 on its proven FSB (Functionally Proven Bullpup) stock and fluted aluminum barrel. We have found this to be an ergonomic and solid platform that offers excellent stability without the expected weight. In fact, the Stealth FX4 weighs in at a pleasing 6.8 pounds without accessories.
The stock, however, is only part of the Stealth FX4’s sleeper strategy. Featuring TenPoint’s IsoTaper limbs and MRX cam set, the Xtreme Limb Technology system found on the Stealth FX4 is not only compact (13.3 inches cocked, axle-to-axle) but also packs a downrange wallop. With its 185-pound draw weight, the 13.4-inch powerstroke can send a 370-grain arrow downrange at a sizzling 370 feet per second. That is only 2 FPS less than TenPoint’s top-end Venom XTRA and 15 FPS under the company’s new reverse-draw Nitro RDX…yet the Stealth FX4 comes at a price well below either of these two thoroughbreds.
Of course, price and chronograph charts are not the only standards by which we measure the cost-to-benefit value of a crossbow. We must also consider the overall package content. We call this the “How much more do we have to spend?” factor. In the case of the Stealth FX4, the answer is nothing more at all.
This crossbow comes value-packed with everything you need except for your broadheads. Included in the Stealth FX4 package are three Pro Elite premium carbon arrows with field points, a quick-detach quiver with an ambidextrous quiver mount system, a pre-installed and factory bore-sighted 3X Pro-View 2 scope, plus a Bowjax crossbow noise dampening kit. Quite literally, you can unbox a Stealth FX4, screw on some broadheads, and be ready to hunt in 30 minutes.
The option you must consider with the Stealth FX4 is the cocking device. TenPoint offers this crossbow with either the ACUdraw or the ACUdraw 50 cocking mechanisms. Both mount to the rear of the stock. The ACUdraw is a ratchet winch-style device that allows you to cock the crossbow with less than five pounds of effort. The ACUdraw 50 is a rope-style cocking device that reduces cocking weight by half that of the crossbow’s draw weight. The ACUdraw is easier to use in terms of effort required, while the ACUdraw 50 allows you to cock the crossbow more quickly. Because the Stealth FX4 has a 185-pound pull weight (reducing the cocking effort to around 92.5 pounds), short-statured shooters or those who are not as strong in the arms and upper torso may prefer the ACUdraw system.
On the Range
We sent a number of arrows downrange during our testing of the Stealth FX4. Something that continues to cause us to shake our heads every time we crack open a new TenPoint is how close to zero the factory boresight is. At 25 yards, our test mule shot about an inch and a half off zero. That is remarkable, and certainly shortens the distance between the box and the bullseye. We did have to move the scope mount forward in order to obtain a better eye relief, but a couple of minutes and an Allen wrench took care of that.
We started shooting the Stealth FX4 without the Bowjax dampening kit installed, curious as to how well it worked. We noted the crossbow’s “report” and vibration, and then disassembled the bow and installed the dampers in the barrel, limbs, and on the stirrup. Shooting the Stealth FX4 with the dampers, you could notice a slight softening of the sound and a minor reduction in vibration. Nothing earth-shattering, mind you, but noticeable. That doesn’t mean the Bowjax aren’t worth the installation bother—they are—but it is a testimony to the solid, precision construction of the Stealth FX4 in its undampened form.
In addition to the ergonomic stock, with its pronounced palm grip on the forend and positive pistol grip, we like the smooth and crisp trigger operation (courtesy of the precision machined and nickel-Teflon coated trigger components) and simple safety operation. In the hunting woods, the short axle-to-axle width and relatively light weight of the Stealth FX4 makes it highly maneuverable in the woods or in a ground blind. Combine that with crossbow’s speed and Mossy Oak Break-Up Country pattern and you have a high-performance hunting machine that belies its middle-class price.
Now that is what we call a “sleeper.”
Length (w/stirrup): 34.4 in.
Axle-to-axle width (uncocked/cocked): 17.6/13.3 in.
Power stroke: 13.4 in.
Weight (w/o accessories): 6.8 lbs.
Draw weight: 185 lbs.
Performance (370 gr. arrow): 370 fps / 113 fp ke
article copyright 2016 by HuntDaily.com; promoted by TenPoint Crossbow Technologies.