The Lightweight Crossbow with a Powerful Punch

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We test TenPoint’s Shadow Ultra-Lite crossbow on Texas Rios.

by the Hunt Daily staff

Turkey camp is fun for trying out new gear. There’s more time to test hardware, and often more opportunities for experimenting than there are during big-game season.

When we arrived at Heart of Texas Bowhunting a couple of weeks ago, our goal was to not only add a few Rios to our “got one” list, but also to try something new—drop a bird with a crossbow.

We’d heard good things about the TenPoint Shadow Ultra-Lite, and given the fact that central Texas turkey hunting often means hefty hiking through some nasty stuff, the idea of running-and-gunning with a lighter weight bow held much appeal.

Another reason a crossbow sounded like a good idea was that the area of Texas we were going to hunt would present birds at a wide range of distances. Thick brush, live oak groves, and piles of cactus combined with large open sections meant we could have birds walking on top of us or hanging up beyond the comfortable range of a 12-gauge.

TenPoint Shadow Ultra-Lite by the numbers


The Shadow Ultra-Lite proved to be the ideal choice. Purchased as a kit, the Shadow Ultra-Lite comes with everything you need to head out the door (minus broadheads and a bit of sighting in). The system comes with TenPoint’s 3xPro-View 2 scope that is already rough-sighted in. Actually, it wasn’t rough at all. Out of the box, the arrows were hitting within two inches of the bulls eye at 20 yards. We spent less than ten shots getting it zeroed at 40—and that was with a stiff crosswind.

We noticed right away the Shadow Ultra-Lite’s confident feel and quality construction. Cocking the bow with the integrated and retractable ACUdraw 50 mechanism proved to be simple and smooth, with plenty of mechanical assistance provided for even short-armed shooters. The arrow retention spring gave us a minor challenge when first loading an arrow due to the spring stiffness (yeah, this one’s not going to let your arrow fall out in the field), but once we discovered the correct angle needed to insert the arrow into the flight groove, it slipped in place like a greasy minnow.


Raising the bow to a firing position, you realize that TenPoint’s designers hit the mark in their attempt to shave some weight. This weight savings is largely attributed to the Shadow Ultra-Lite’s carbon-injected polymer barrel and 5.5-ounce trigger housing mounted to TenPoint’s FSB (Functionally Superior Bullpup) stock with Mossy Oak Treestand camo.

Trigger operation of the Shadow Ultra-Lite is also a pleasure. The crossbow uses the 3.5-lb. bullpup version of the company’s T2 trigger. It’s a precision assembly that delivers a clean, crisp release with no crunky feel whatsoever.


The Shadow Ultra-Lite lived up to its name in the field, and proved to be a perfect choice for our hunting environment and quarry. The compact crossbow traveled well through the prickly Texas scrub, and the light weight was welcome when we had to hold the weapon at the ready for what seemed like forever while our first Rio strutted into position. When the time came, the system delivered in full measure, sending the Rage Xtreme Crossbow broadhead across 40 yards of cactus country, right to the base of the neck where we were aiming.

Without question, the TenPoint Shadow Ultra-Lite added a welcome dimension to our spring gobbler hunt. Now we’re looking forward to putting the crossbow to task on some whitetails this fall. Hey…it’s just too much fun not to.


The TenPoint Shadow Ultra-Lite comes in a ready-to-go package. The kit contents include:

  • 3x Pro-View 2 Scope
  • ACUdraw or ACUdraw 50 cocking mechanism
  • Quick-detach three-arrow quiver
  • Ambidextrous side-mount quiver bracket
  • Three TenPoint aluminum arrows and practice points
  • Instructional DVD
  • Vehicle window sticker
Forty yards and done.
Forty yards and done.

TenPoint Crossbows

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