by Aaron Carter - Monday, July 20, 2009
For the crossbow hunter demanding the utmost in performance, features and accessories, yet wanting a compact crossbow-no matter the cost-the TenPoint Phantom CLS (Compact Limb System) is the choice. The Phantom CLS stands at the top of the TenPoint line.
Using dual CNC-machined aluminum cams, 12-inch Quad Limbs, a 13-inch powerstroke and 185-pound draw weight, the Phantom CLS is touted to launch a 420-grain bolt 343 fps, though the Easton Professional chronograph revealed it fell short of that number by 10 fps. The true value of the CLS, however, lies in its trim, 17.5-inch axel-to-axel span that affords maneuverability in a cramped treestand. It is also beneficial during transport.
Its 6061 T6 machined riser is CADD designed and features an integral one-piece foot stirrup, both of which have the Realtree APG HD finish that adorns the rest of the crossbow. The Phantom's OTT (Over The Top) limb pockets and Zytel limb suspension system, combined with the Vibra-Cush barrel mounting system, combine to significantly reduced noise and vibration.
The ergonomic, one-piece thumbhole stock is comfortable and ambidextrous. Sling swivel studs are standard and very helpful, given the crossbow's hefty, 11 pound weight (with optic, SteddyEddy telescoping monopod and quiver). Without the accessories, the Phantom's 8-pound weight is not bad at all.
TenPoint's Phantom CLS features the company's extruded Acra-Angle aluminum barrel, which allows the user to pull the string back while sliding his index fingers alongside the barrel for better consistency and accuracy, without risk of injury. The process is easier with ACUdraw 50 integrated rope cocker, though, and nearly effortless with the ACUdraw crank system that reduces its draw weight to 5 pounds. The barrel is hardened and Teflon-impregnated to reduce string wear and friction and to increase bolt velocity.
The Phantom CLS has several noteworthy safety features. Foremost, drawing the bow automatically sets the ambidextrous primary safety that is located on the rear of the receiver. White (back) is safe and red (forward) is fire. Located on the left side of the fore-end is a secondary grip safety. To fire requires the thumb of the fore-end hand to depress the button; consequently this keeps the thumb low and out of the way of the string. The GripSafety can be installed for left-handed shooters on new bow orders. A particularly helpful feature is the Dry Fire Inhibitor, which prevents the Phantom CLS from firing when no arrow is loaded on the flight deck.
The Phantom CLS features the company's premier PowerTouch trigger; according to the Lyman Electronic Digital Trigger Pull Gauge, its average pull weight is 3 pounds, 5.1 ounces-and a very consistent release at that.
The package comes with numerous accessories to provide everything you need to practice and hunt with the crossbow immediately after purchasing it. It includes a quick-detach quiver, TenPoint Pro Elite Hunter carbon-fiber bolts fitted with 100-grain NAP Spitfire broadheads, TenPoint Pro Elite carbon-fiber bolts with field points, a 3X Pro-View (or Pro40 Multi-Dot) scope and a clever, telescoping SteddyEddy monopod and a maintenance kit. This is a top-quality crossbow and kit; it was the most accurate crossbow we tested, averaging 1.45 inches at 40 yards.
Draw Weight: 185 lbs.
Advertised Speed: 343 fps (420-gr. bolt)
Tested Speed: 333 (420-gr. bolt)
Advertised Kinetic Energy: 109.7 ft.-lbs. (420-gr. bolt)
Axle-to-Axle Length (uncocked): 17.5"
Overall Length: 38.5"
Tested Trigger Pull Weight: 3 lbs., 5.1 ozs.
Weight: 8 lbs., 7 ozs. (crossbow only); 11 lbs.,13.5 ozs. (w/accessories)
Accessories: quiver, 3 carbon bolts w/Spitfire broadheads, scope, monopod, maintenance kit, case
MSRP: $1,349 (crossbow only); $1,899-$2,019 (w/packages)
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