Well, the day finally arrived. Our PSE TAC-15i’s finally made it here!! PSE has been way behind on a particular part to put together their TAC series crossbows, so although it only has been a few months of waiting, it seems like an eternity. Here is Scott looking in his box for the first time……Can you say Happy??
I bought one of the original TAC-15’s and placed it on my Les Baer lower. It was an awesome combination and I fell in love with the TAC series bows right then. I was able to take several deer with mine, and my 11-year-old son took his first deer last year with the TAC. So it was a good first crossbow experience all the way around.
I have grown tired of switching between my uppers to be able to shoot the TAC and then go to the .204 Ruger, so I decided to sell my TAC-15 and get the TAC-15i, which is dedicated to being a full time crossbow. I think I made the right choice.
My best friend also has the exact same model Les Baer in .204 as well, and he wanted the TAC-15 but decided to wait for the TAC-15i when I placed and order. So he was pretty excited about getting it in. He watched me shoot mine all year last year and saw how versatile it was and he loved the features. He actually had pointed it out to me in a magazine before they released them several years ago. As I looked over the features I knew I had to give one a try……
So after my original TAC-15 experience, I was ecstatic to see the new TAC-15i’s hit my door. So we decided to “trick them out”. After getting them in, looking them over and going over them. We watched the video and then got to work. One of the first things I noticed is that the adjustable stock was shorter than the one I had on my TAC-15, which caused an eye relief problem and an issue with the HHA Optimizer.
My solution was to take my adjustable stock off my Les Baer as I had bought a much nicer Magpul UBR to go on that and put that stock on the TAC-15i. That way I would have the exact same LOP I did with the original TAC I had. That was the best move I could have made. That brought the eye relief right in there and allowed me to place the HHA right where I wanted it as well. Here is Scott putting the final touches to his TAC-15i. I’m not too sure he is going to get that grin off his face tonight!!
Factory trigger. OUCH!! Is about all I can say. That sucker is hard, gritty, and heavy. Took about 5 minutes to get rid of that. Now to drop in the Timney 3# triggers that were waiting for a new home. Let me tell you, the Timney is the way to go. Completely enclosed as a one-piece trigger, it is a true drop in unit. Extremely well built and will last a lifetime. Mine breaks over at a perfect 3 pounds, with absolutely zero creep and is crisp as breaking glass on the break. Installation was an absolutely breeze, and if you read the enclosed instructions, it goes very smoothly. It took me about 10 minutes to do the job, but I have some experience in this area. My buddy Scott put his in and it only took him about 5 minutes longer than it did me, but he had zero problems understanding how to do the job. Easy as pie. If you are considering changing out your TAC trigger, this is the trigger for you. Also there is a video of how to do this on line as well.
I mentioned the HHA Optimizers a while ago. This to me on the TAC series crossbows is just a plain must have. We got the crossbow kits when we ordered so it came with a nice scope with mil dots, but remembering which dot is for which yardage is not fun. The HHA takes care of all that. I had my HHA on my original TAC-15 and loved it. There was an issue with a part on the original HHA’s, but Brian took care of that for me right away when I sent them in. I had a hard time getting the scope to align properly on the original, but with a quick part change you are back in business. HHA has since corrected this so all the new ones going out the door are fine. Contact HHA if you have any questions about whether you have the old style or new.
Now the reason I think the HHA is so important for a TAC-15 is that this bow shoots very fast, most of the time around 406 fps. The HHA allows you to sight in at 20 and 60 yards, and then choose a sight tape that fits the speed your particular bow is shooting exactly. How cool is that?!?! Now with the sight tape installed, you can laser a target, and let’s say the target is 67 yards. You run the dial around till you hit 67 yards on the tape and hold dead on your target and shoot. You will hit dead on the money. I tested this time and time again last year and it adjusts perfectly every time. Here I am getting the eye relief set on my scope. I did this from the sitting and standing position to ensure that is will work either way.
Now many times I did not want to make adjustments if a deer was coming in. So I would leave mine set at 30 yards for hunting up close. That way with out any adjustment I could shoot from 0-40 yards without touching the HHA. You might not be able to do this on every bow, but you sure can with the TAC-15 series. They just shoot that fast and accurately. What I did was put the HHA on 30 yards, and then I shot it at 20, 30, and 40 yards without moving the adjustment. That way I knew how high or low it would hit at those yardages. It was very minimal let me assure you. But should I want to take a shot at 76 yards, I would just take a very quick second and move the dial and make the shot. It is oh-so-easy.
Okay, so now the new butt stock is in place, the trigger swapped out for a super high quality Timney trigger group, and the HHA Optimizer is installed. Am I ready? Not quite. The Optimizer happens to have a small knob on the side that sticks out just a tiny bit. The crank you use to crank your crossbow back is now going to hit that knob, making it impossible to crank the bow back to the fire position. Easy fix! I took a brass drive pin and drove the hex shaft that is pressed into the crank handle out about 3/16” to maybe ¼”. Now it clears just fine and there will ne no more issues. Nice!!!
Going from SAFE to FIRE was a little gritty and tight, so I took a jewelers file to the safety selector and shortened the spring about 1/16”. I also rounded the detent pin just a tad and added a drop of Eezox oil to the wear area. That smoothed things up a great bit and I’m sure it will get better with time. I most likely will try a few aftermarket selectors and springs to see if I get a crisper and a little less noisy safety. But for now I’m in good shape.
So now I install the prod (the part that looks like a bow) and square it to the barrel. The bow is now complete. The scope I had chosen is a Weaver Classic Extreme 2.5x10x56mm with the German #4 reticule and lighted center dot. They do not make this scope anymore but it is one quality piece of glass. Great field of view and awesome light transmission. I never was much on Weaver but this scope is top notch. It is a bit heavy and that is the only downfall it has.
So now both TAC-15i’s are ready to go, and I hope to get out in the afternoon and do some serious sighting in and shooting. A few tweaks, and additions, and you got two pretty happy guys.