Whitetail hunters looking for a solid, sturdy, accurate and user-friendly crossbow will be more than pleased with TenPoint’s Titan SS model. Promoted as the lightest, shortest and fastest version of the Titan crossbow line, the Titan SS weighs 6.7 pounds and is compact at just 35 inches. With an 18½-inch axle-to-axle width the Titan SS is easy to manipulate through brush or within the confines of a blind or stand. With a power stroke of 12½ inches the Titan SS is easy to cock from a sitting position on the ground or in a blind or stand, even a climber. It features arrow speeds up to 340 fps.
Although the Titan SS is one of the easiest of all crossbows to assemble, cock and shoot, new users are advised to read the owner’s manual and all accompanying warnings and cautions prior to assembly.
The owner’s manual is clear and concise: “The Titan SS is easy to assemble. Basically, you only have to bolt the bow assembly to the stock assembly, install the foot stirrup and you are ready to shoot. Once assembled correctly, your crossbow is pre-sighted for 20 yards.”
All necessary assembly tools are included except for a small Phillips-head screwdriver, which is required to attach the Quick Disconnect male attachment to the quiver mount. Total assembly time, including reading the owner’s manual and other information was less than 30 minutes. Proper assembly is mandatory for dependable functioning of the crossbow and for accurate shooting. It’s worth investing a few extra minutes to ensure that the job is done right.
The Titan SS comes with a ProView II illuminated 3X scope pre-installed, a feature that has been standard at TenPoint for several years. I have been to the company’s Mogadore factory and have observed the scope mounting and pre-sighting process and can vouch for its accuracy. At 20 yards the first arrow usually lands within an inch or two of the bull’s-eye. A click or two of elevation or windage is all that’s required to get any TenPoint, Wicked Ridge (and now) Horton crossbow shooting dead center at that distance.
On manufacturer-sponsored hunts I have seen a truckload of crossbows assembled and sighted in after arriving at camp and in every case the crossbows required no more than a click or two of adjustment. Not every crossbow manufacturer provides a pre-mounted scope that is specifically designed for crossbow shooting — but they should!
An update about nocks: Any TenPoint, Wicked Ridge or Horton crossbow manufactured after 2013 requires the use of Omni-Nock arrows. Using flat, moon or capture nocks will void the warranty on the crossbow. According to TenPoint, “the Omni-Nock design features six micro-grooves that form three string alignment channels in the nock. These channels eliminate the indexing problem associated with moon and capture nocks. On today’s narrower crossbows with acute string angles the Omni-Nock also keeps the bowstring from traveling over or under the arrows. Even if the vane is slightly misaligned when loading an arrow, the Omni-Nock will self-correct to proper alignment as acceleration begins.”
That said, I have tested all designs of nocks in all models of crossbows and have not experienced any problems with function or accuracy, but manufacturer warnings are there for a reason and should not be ignored.
A trip to the range showed the Titan SS to be dead on at 20 yards, as promised. The ProView II scope includes three dot-and-crosshair reticles designed for shooting at 20, 30 and 40 yards. Once I had the crossbow sighted in at 20 yards I simply moved the target away in 10-yard increments and no additional adjustments were required.
The scope does include a stand-alone dot reticle that could be used for 50-yard shots, but accuracy at that distance depends on all factors being ideal, which is not often the case in real-life hunting scenarios. On a calm, bright, windless day I could easily hit the vital area of a deer-sized target at 50 yards, but it’s not often during whitetail season that conditions are calm, bright and windless. Avoid disappointment or disaster by getting closer or waiting for a better opportunity.
As it happened, the Titan SS shot well at 20, 30 and 40 yards, but any crossbow shooter should use a rangefinder to determine exactly where his arrows are falling at specific distances. For example, “20 yards” may well be 19 or 21 yards depending on draw weight, arrow size and broadhead design. At some point before actually hunting with a crossbow it would be a good idea to sight in at specific distances with the arrows and broadheads you intend to use. Don’t be surprised to find that broadhead-equipped arrows may strike the target several inches from the point of impact of field tipped-arrows. These are the details a hunter wants to discover before heading afield rather than after an important shot is missed. Failures due to impatience or inattention occur every year and the sad part is that most errant shots could have been avoided.
On the roving course the Titan SS performed very well, “killing” every bear, hog, deer, bobcat and turkey target we encountered. The trick, of course, is knowing the actual distance to the target, and here again the rangefinder comes in very handy. Estimates that are off only a few yards can result in a bad hit or a miss, so it’s important to determine exactly how far away the target is before pulling the trigger.
The Titan SS turned out to be a pleasure to carry through the woods. Lightweight and nicely balanced, the crossbow felt good in hand and came up quickly and sharply on every target.
Just for fun I ran the course three times, once with no illumination, and again with red and green illumination. TenPoint is correct in suggesting that hunters use the lowest illumination setting possible because extremely bright settings can overwhelm the target or distort the image, which is not a good thing when zeroing in on that elusive big buck.
TenPoint recommends using a high-quality barrel or rail lubricant such as TenPoint’s Flight Rail and Trigger Lube (every 75 to 100 shots) or Microlon’s Precision Oiler (every 150 to 200 shots). These oils are much lighter than ordinary string wax and will not gum up or slow down the trigger mechanism when used in cold weather. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on lubrication and string waxing to avoid function and accuracy issues down the road. When it comes to crossbow lubrication, less is always best.
There are plenty of desirable features included with the Titan SS. For example, the adjustable butt stock makes it easier for tall or long-armed shooters to find the perfect fit, and the locking quiver with hanging loop is quiet, tight and solid. I usually remove the quiver when hunting from a blind or stand, and the extra-long rubber loop makes it easy to hang the quiver on a convenient stub, limb or hook.
Most of the deer hunting I do with crossbows is in late fall and throughout the winter, so the extra-large, open-style trigger guard is a real plus when using gloves or shooting mitts. Also, the lightweight and compact design of the Titan SS makes it a breeze to carry at the ready while en route from the truck to the blind or stand. Ease of carry is especially valuable during the rut, when a buck may show up at any time.
There’s not much to dislike about the Titan SS, but I do wish crossbow manufacturers would include a sling with the basic package to make transporting easier.
Pricing range from $599 for the crossbow and 3X multi-line scope (no illumination) and quiver, but no arrows and no cocking mechanism; $699 gets you the crossbow, 3X ProView II illuminated scope, quiver and three arrows. For $799, you get the Accu-Draw 50 cocking system, Proview II illuminated scope, quiver, three 20-inch arrows and field tips. The $899 package includes the crossbow, 3X ProView II scope, ACU-Draw cocking system, quiver and three arrows. For more information, visit www.tenpointcrossbows.com.