October 01, 2010
As soon as the TAC-15 arrived, I dropped the lower off a Rock River LAR-15 and quickly mounted it to the stealthy looking crossbow.
The PSE TAC-15 crossbow upper is the ultimate accessory for the AR guy who has it all. And just think of the savings in ammo cost!
As soon as the TAC-15 arrived, I dropped the lower off a Rock River LAR-15 and quickly mounted it to the stealthy looking crossbow. Its visual coolness aside, the TAC has merits all its own: It uses a railless design — the string free-floats, which should greatly increase string life. Slim in stature, the 155-pound crossbow draws easily with the included hand crank, and as an added bonus, PSE's TAC-15/i/10/i line are likely the only crossbows that can be fully drawn and let down without being fired. This is a huge advantage to a hunter who has formerly had to discharge his crossbow in the field after a hunt before traveling back home or to camp.
|Manufacturer:||Precision Shooting Equipment, 520-884-9065|
|Weight:||6.5 lbs. (upper only)|
|Complete Weight:||8.9 lbs. (upper and AR-15 lower)|
The crank utilizes a ratchet for safety during the draw, but for hunting you can hold the release lever in the down position to draw the bow silently. At the range, the crank provided a slight problem. Inside it is a small magnet to keep the crank on the shaft during the draw. After it came loose, I removed the magnet at first. Realizing this could cause a hazard if the crank slipped when not in ratchet mode, I opted for a drop of Super Glue to secure the magnet instead.
The TAC-15 is offered with an optional integrated stock — dubbed the TAC-15i — for those who do not have an AR lower, but for those reading this magazine, I'm guessing the drop-in AR crossbow upper will prove most interesting. Several features set PSE crossbows apart from others on the market. The first is the long power stroke (power stroke is the length/time the string is actually pushing the arrow). With a light-by-crossbow-standards 155 pounds of pull, the TAC-15 shoots 26.25-inch, 425-grain arrows at more than 400 fps, providing 150 ft-lbs of kinetic energy. By comparison, the most powerful modern compound bows on the market are delivering approximately half that amount of kinetic energy. During a demonstration video, the TAC-15 actually shot a broadhead-equipped arrow through both sides of a 55-gallon metal drum.
The TAC-15's release mechanism — with a D-loop on the string for a consistent deployment point — can be in part credited for the excellent accuracy the unit displayed.
The TAC-15 derives its speed and power from the long power stroke and X-Force cam and limb technology. Accuracy, on the other hand, can largely be credited to the TAC-15's release mechanism with a D-loop on the string for a consistent deployment point every time. With this system, you do not have the inconsistencies of cocking the string to one side or the other as you do with most other crossbows. Also, the string is not riding on the rail. This eliminates energy- and speed-robbing friction while greatly increasing the life of the string.
|PERFORMANCE BY THE NUMBERS|
|Kinetic Energy:||153 to 145 ft-lbs (425-grain bolt)|
|Peak Weight:||155 lbs.|
|Speed:||402 to 392 fps (425-grain bolt)|
|Group 1||Group 2||Group 3||Group 4||Group 5||Average|
|0.87 in.|| 1.95 in. || 1.35 in. || 1.89 in. || 1.79 in. || 1.57 in. |
Power and features are nothing without accuracy. On the range, I shot the TAC-15 from a support (shooting sticks) with a 3-mph crosswind at 50 yards, shooting five, three-shot groups. The groups averaged 1.57 inches. The tightest group measured just under an inch. It must be noted, unlike bullets that pass through a target, arrows stick and must either slide next to another arrow or glance off the arrow and then be measured where it lands. As a result, the groups sometimes measure larger than they should.
Crossbow regulations are easing around the country as the weapon of old becomes new again and gains wider acceptance. Some states do still have somewhat archaic laws on the books that may be misguided. Michigan, for example, still employs a speed limit on crossbow arrows of 350 fps for hunting. There are two easy solutions. First, PSE offers the TAC-10, a shortened version of the TAC-15 with a shorter power stroke to reduce the arrow's speed to legal limits. The second solution comes from the shooter himself. By weighting the arrows with sleeves and heavier inserts and points, the shooter can reduce the speed of the TAC-15 to legal limits and increase kineti
c energy as a side benefit.
If you can't think of another reason, one overlying fact remains that should convince every AR-15 owner to buy a TAC-15 — think how much you'll save in ammo costs.