Easy to use, fast shooting and packing a punch, this affordable crossbow is great for new and reactivated hunters
I’ll be 100% transparent with you: I haven’t spent a lot of time around crossbows.
So with my expectations relatively nonexistent, I ventured to my parent’s property in Ritchie County in late June 2020 to get used to the Wicked Ridge RDX-400, a reverse draw crossbow by TenPoint. Although I didn’t know what to expect going into the shooting test, that’s now irrelevant as the bar has been raised far and beyond what I expected.
The RDX-400 shoots 400 feet per second with 370-grain carbon bolts, one of the faster speeds for an entry-level crossbow. With a price point under $900 – a great price for someone who wants a reliable higher-end crossbow – there were some things that I immediately noticed. For one, weight dispersal is great. Although my dad thought it seemed front-heavy, I thought it was balanced incredibly well. This is something TenPoint markets, so it holds up on that end.
Second, the model I was given to use until the summer came with the ACUdraw PRO, one of TenPoint’s many innovations. The ACUdraw PRO is incredibly easy to use, protects the user if, say, your hand slips off the handle – like mine did at least five times because I was sweating profusely in the 90-degree weather when I first tested it in July – the handle will catch itself and won’t damage any part of the bow. It is also completely silent. No clicks to give away your position in the woods.
Although the draw weight is 175 pounds, the ACUdraw PRO system brings it under 10 pounds, a benefit for those who like the ease of use or need that light crank weight if they have a medical condition or injury.
The bow is also compact. This is good for those tight spots on the ground, in a blind or a stand. Less than 35 inches long, it measures 15 inches axle-to-axle uncocked and nine inches cocked. With a 15 1/2 power stroke combined with the reverse draw, this bow holds a large amount of kinetic energy (132 FP KE). As mentioned, it shoots 400 fps with 370-grain carbon bolts, but with 435-grain aluminum bolts, it loses some power and shoots around 380 fps.
According to TenPoint’s website, the bow comes sighted in at 20 yards. However, it was a little off after delivery. It wasn’t hard to get this back to center, though. The optic it comes with is TenPoint’s brand, either a Pro-View or Multi-Line scope. I was sent the Multi-Line scope, which illuminates either green or red for low-light situations. Although I had planned on switching this out for a Vortex Crossfire II scope, after some time with the Crossfire II, I felt more comfortable with the factory optic. It’s not perfect, but there was a little more to be desired with the Crossfire II, something I don’t find myself saying about other Vortex products.
Other accessories the package includes are a three-bolt quiver, three 435-grain aluminum bolts with field points and a string stop and dampening system attached to the foot stir up. It also comes with slide lube – which needs to be applied before shooting – however, you’ll need to buy more. The quiver can be irritating, as the lever that holds it to the body of the crossbow likes to work its way open and the entire attachment can fall out. The foam in the top of the quiver, too, likes to wiggle out or, in some cases, come out as you draw an bolt. While just target shooting, it’s not a huge issue but I’ve elected to take it off and store the extra bolts in my backpack when hunting.
Lastly, if you choose not to purchase the model with the ACUdraw PRO and multi-lined scope, which comes in at $859.99, there are two other package options: The ACUdraw PRO and Pro-View scope grouping ($899.99) or a rope sled and multi-lined scope set up ($759.99).
All in all, this was a great introduction to the world of crossbows for me. It handled great on an early November hunt when I killed my first deer, but more on that in a second story. This is going to do me well until the summer, and I can’t wait to tell you all the stories that come from it.