Wicked Ridge Raider CLS Review
3 reasons you should get a crossbow from TenPoint:
- TenPoint has an exceptional reputation in the archery industry;
- TenPoint carries a respectable warranty and;
- TenPoint has a variety of crossbows to choose from.
and Wicked Ridge Raider CLS is one of them.
When I received the package, I assembled the Raider in about 15 minutes. I was pleasantly surprised to find the box contained a field kit that consisted of a quiver assembly, three aluminum arrows with field points, and a sling. A field kit is a nice addition; however, the Raider comes with a mounted TenPoint 3x multi-line scope. After I applied oil to the trigger and two cams, lube to the rail and wax to the string I was ready to shoot. I do not shoot aluminum arrows, so I purchased a six pack of Carbon Express flat knock 22″ carbon arrows and applied the 100 grain field points.
The Raider looks like it is up to the task as it is dressed in synthetic Mossy Oak Break-up Infinity camouflage with built-in ACU-52 cocking devices and a scope. The body is not carbon fiber as with more expensive TenPoint products, but it has a single molded stock with 12-inch IsoTaper limbs and efficient MR cams. This creates a weapon that is able to shoot arrows up to 330 fps. The Raider has a 12.37-inch power stroke, is 37.75 inches long, weighs 7 pounds and is 20.75 inches wide.
Before I went much farther down this path, I placed a telephone call to TenPoint customer service and discussed the semantics of sighting in the Raider’s scope. They assured me that the Raider left the factory bore sighted and the arrow would be “on paper.” Honestly, I was skeptical and a few minutes later I put their word to the test. I sent a group of three arrows down range at 20 yards and they were all between 6 and 8 inches directly above center. Bore sighting is a beautiful thing when it works. Then I walked the arrows in. I ultimately settled one inch above center. After exploring the woods, sitting in my blind and slinging more arrows down range I offer the following opinions.
Performance – Perhaps the most important indication of a quality crossbow is its ability to shoot accurately and consistently. My Raider was both accurate and consistent, not to mention bore sighted from the factory.
Trigger and safety – The Raider boast a sensitive 3 pound trigger. A sensitive trigger is essential for accuracy in archery as well as firearms. Additionally the trigger has a built-in ambidextrous dry-fire inhibitor safety (DFI). I am left handed so this was particularly convenient. More importantly the DFI will save your crossbow from an often catastrophic dry fire.
TenPoint 3x multi-line scope – The scope features a reticle with three duplex crosshairs. The crosshairs are positioned to synchronize with arrow flight at 20, 30 and 40 yards. The scope was bright in sunlight and as I expected, significantly more dull as the day gave way to dusk. The issue I have with the scope is simply one of preference. I prefer a red-dot device on my crossbow. I could easily remove the scope and mount my red dot or a new Trijicon Crossbow Acog if I choose.
Noise – I did not have the capability in the field to measure the decibels when an arrow exploded from the Raider. Before my initial shot I anticipated a quiet or at least a more quiet than I was accustomed to in a crossbow. I was disappointed that the Raider was not, in my opinion, a quiet crossbow. I know that TenPoint and other crossbow manufacturers market noise and vibration dampening attachments. Maybe this would help the Raider.
And The Indifferent:
ACU-52 – The ACU52 is a built-in cocking device consisting of housings on each side of the stalk, two retractable drawstring ropes, hooks and handles. This is conveniently located and reduces the draw weight by half. The only complaints I had about the ACU-52 was after drawing the crossbow I accidentally let go of one drawstring before it was retracted into the housing. This definitely made a noise. This was my fault, but the scary part is that I can picture this happening at the most inopportune time. To take this a step further, the ropes did not always retract flush into the housing, I often had to manipulate each handle to fit flush against the stock.
The Wicked Ridge Raider CLS is a bold addition to the Wicked Ridge line of “affordable” crossbows. At a price of $750+, The Raider was a pleasure to assemble and shoot and remained accurate after hiking in the woods and climbing into treestands. The crossbow may be a little noisy, and if you desire you can spend a lot more money to purchase a crossbow that is a little bit quieter. This extra money may very well not be worth the benefit.
I was impressed with the Raider and just as impressed with TenPoint’s customer service. For under $800 you will be the proud owner of TenPoint performance and quality, so that’s a very good deal from a first-class brand like TenPoint.