BUY HERE - PSE TAC Elite and Ordnance Crossbow Review
The other unique feature of the TAC 15i that contributes to its excellent accuracy is its vertical bow style arrow rest and nocking loop. The TAC 15i comes with a whisker biscuit arrow rest similar to what you would find on a vertical bow. The arrow makes contact only with the whisker biscuit when fired rather than riding down a rail like all other crossbows. The whisker biscuit rest can be fine-tuned and even paper tuned to ensure the arrow is flying perfectly straight and true. There is no tuning available on crossbows where the bolt rides down a rail. There is also more friction when crossbow bolts ride down a rail than there is for TAC 15i arrows, which only make contact with the whisker biscuit rest.
That friction between the bolt and rail results in lost speed and accuracy. Not so with the TAC 15i. We’ve actually taken this tunable rest and less friction concept a step further and offer a drop-away style arrow rest, where the TAC 15i arrow doesn’t contact anything when fired. The TAC 15i also uses a nocking loop, unlike any other crossbow, which results in an extremely consistent, repeatable release.
To give you an idea of the type of accuracy I keep referring to, in his original review article Len talks about shooting his first 6-arrow group at 100 yards and achieving a group size of 1.875 inches. That is better than many average rifle hunters expect to do with their rifle. My typical 100 yard 3-arrow group size averages 2-4 inches. And even at this extreme range, if I would use a typical compound bow target rather than a 400 fps crossbow target, my TAC 15i arrows would bury all the way up to their vanes and wreck the vanes. This is an indication of the extreme force at impact even at 100 yards. A responsible, practiced, serious deer hunter should expect complete pass-through at 100 yards from a shot in the heart/lungs kill-zone.
Another unique feature of the TAC 15i is its cocking mechanism. The TAC 15i is one of the only crossbows on the market that allows you to de-cock in the field. Cocking the TAC 15i is achieved by attaching a crank handle to the side of the bow and cranking it up. It takes very little strength to cock and can be done silently. To de-cock the TAC 15i, you simply replace the crank handle and reverse the process after depressing the detent lever. With other crossbows, when you are done hunting you must fire the bolt into the ground or have a target waiting somewhere and fire into that.
Now on to the new 2013 PSE TAC Elite Crossbow.
The engineers at PSE had a goal for the TAC Elite Crossbow to be the new and improved version of the TAC 15i. They focused much of their attention on improving certain parts of the crossbow to improve durability while not losing any of the speed and accuracy from the original. Like all fast crossbows and vertical bows on the market, the limbs are designed to be as lightweight as possible to achieve the fastest speeds possible while still being durable.
To achieve the fastest speeds in the industry, the manufacturers must ride a fine line in pushing the envelope of high performance, and some limb failures are inevitable. If you Google the term "bow limb failure” you’ll find that every single brand and model of high performance vertical bow or crossbow will have some small incidence of limb failure. We have found the percentage of TAC’s with limb failure to be a very low and competitive number. One significant improvement made on the TAC Elite crossbow was to beef up the limbs slightly to improve their durability. Beefier limbs equal a loss in speed. In order to keep the speed up, PSE’s engineers re-designed the cams slightly. The overall look and feel of the limbs, cams, and front end of the TAC Elite is very similar to the TAC 15i, but with the same (or faster) speeds, and more durable limbs. The limb pocket was redesigned for improved limb durability, too.
Another improvement aimed at better durability was relocating the cocking mechanism slightly. The TAC 15i’s cocking mechanism is well made and efficient, but there are several parts inside that had a small incidence of break-downs. In relocating the cocking mechanism on the TAC Elite, the engineers were able to use slightly stronger parts and also reduce the amount of force bearing down on some small parts. I have personally serviced TAC 15i cocking mechanisms and know exactly which parts were at risk for failure, and I feel that the new design will be very effective in reducing problems.
Another change to the cocking system relates to the “cocking sled” that rides down the main body of the crossbow to connect to the string loop prior to cocking. The cocking sled rode in a track on the TAC 15i but was not connected to the crossbow. On the TAC Elite Crossbow, the cocking sled is attached to the track with a pin that rides in its own track. This makes the process of pulling the cocking sled out and attaching it to the string loop a little bit simpler. It also means that if there is ever a problem with the cocking mechanism, either because of user error or a breakdown, the cocking block is fully contained and will not be damaged or lost.