TenPoint Stealth 450

By Jeff Johnston, FE Hunting & Shooting Editor

The mental process for plenty of us goes something like this: 

A few of those deer behind the house need killin’, but my old compound bow needs a new string and my rotator cuff hurts like hell anyway. I know, I’ll get a crossbow. [Dude Googles: “best crossbows.”] Oh, damn, these things are expensive. I don’t want to go bottom of the barrel, but I don’t really think I need a $3,500 crossbow either. WTF’s the difference?

I’ll tell you: A $400 Barnett might last one season. A $1,000 crossbow will do the job, but it won’t be easy to shoot or carry. And you’re right, you probably don’t need a $3,500 bow unless you are one of those guys who just likes the best. But I’d urge you to spend in the $2,000 range if you can. Right now one of the top performing crossbows in this upper-mid category is TenPoint’s Stealth 450. It has everything you need in a crossbow, but because it’s about 6 inches longer than the company’s flagship, it doesn’t command the flagship’s premium price.

I tested the Stealth 450 (see the video) and found that it’s accurate (1-inch groups at 30 yards with field points), ridiculously fast (430 fps with its heavier arrow option), safe, narrow when cocked (6.5 inches axle-to-axle) and very easy to use thanks to TenPoint’s revolutionary ACUslide system.

Of course a crossbow should be accurate, but most of them are nowadays. Frankly, I think raw speed is a bit overrated, because anything over about 375 FPS is adequate. But what I will pay for is quality—a TenPoint won’t break down after a couple seasons of hard wear—and ease of use while in the field. 

Here’s the deal on the ACUslide system: At any point while cocking or decocking the Stealth, you can stop or even let go of the crank handle and it will not whip around and break your knuckles. I’ve seen it happen with bows equipped with technology from just a few years ago. And many of the current xbows that do own ratcheting winch-type systems are so loud that if you had to reload from your treestand with deer still around you—you can forget about it. The ACUslide is silent. And previously, if you had to decock a crossbow the safest bet was to shoot it. The AcuSlide allows controlled decocking, and that’s a big deal.

New for 2023, upper-end TenPoint models like the Stealth 450 feature “scope struts” that reinforce the cantilever-style picatinny rail that holds the scope. This feature prevents the rail from bending and thus the scope from being knocked out of zero if the bow takes a fall. 

Mostly though, I’m a TenPoint fan because there is no major assembly required and they’ve all been tested by an American from the Ohio factory. Just open the box, screw the scope on, put the quiver on if you wish, shoot it a few times to check your zero and start whacking deer. The end. $2150

Pros: safe, fast, accurate, easy

Cons: Not the most compact TenPoint at 33” without stirrup

You May Also Like