Bow Report: Wicked Ridge Invader X4

If you're in the market for a high-performance and affordable crossbow, be sure to check out the new Invader X4 from Wicked Ridge.
Bow Report: Wicked Ridge Invader X4

It’s right there in the Wicked Ridge logo: By TenPoint. Even without the logo, though, the affiliation would be obvious from across the room. Wicked Ridge crossbows look like TenPoint crossbows. By proudly borrowing some basic design elements and technology from its high-end sister company, Wicked Ridge is able to produce moderately priced crossbows with features such as TenPoint’s Dry Fire Inhibitor, 3.5-pound trigger, and ACUdraw and ACUdraw 50 cocking devices.Wicked Ridge

Boasting all these familiar features and more, the new Invader X4 improves on its Invader predecessor in several ways: it’s faster, lighter and more compact. Weight savings — at 6.3 pounds it’s among the lightest crossbows on the market — are achieved largely through a redesigned stock, though the new design still incorporates Safety Wings and a fully enclosed trigger guard. The 11-inch WRX laminated limbs are not only more compact, but likely contribute to the weight savings as well.

Wicked Ridge

Limb pockets and riser are machined aluminum, and the Invader X4 features a TenPoint multi-line, non-illuminating scope on a Picatinny rail. A second Picatinny rail is under the riser for mounting accessories. The S4 cams are entirely new for this crossbow, but among features retained from previous models are the DynaFlight 97 strings and cables.

In appearance it’s a traditional crossbow with forward limbs, a conventional foot stirrup and the previously mentioned TenPoint look. The new stock distinguishes it clearly from the Invader G3, as does a distinctive series of cutouts in the grip, probably there to save weight. Finish is Mossy Oak Break-Up Country, and this contrasts nicely with the solid black scope and mount, ACUdraw cocker, riser, cams and stirrup. The orange string and cables match the understated logos beneath the scope mount. Fit and finish on the test model were excellent, with no visible machine marks or other flaws.

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Packaging and Assembly

The Invader X4 package includes the previously mentioned TenPoint scope, a quiver, three 20-inch carbon arrows with field points and the option of an ACUdraw or ACUdraw 50 cocking device. The test model featured the ACUdraw 50.

The crossbow comes out of the box with the scope mounted and pre-sighted to hit a pie plate at 20 yards. The only real assembly required is to mount the riser/limb assembly onto the barrel, install the foot stirrup and ,if desired\, mount the quiver. It’s fairly intuitive for anyone familiar with crossbows, but instructions with photos are included, and these are better than most of what passes for instructions on modern crossbows. From opening the box to finished assembly  — minus mounting the quiver — took about 12 minutes.

Shooting the Bow/General ObservationsWicked Ridge

At 6.3 pounds the X4 is pleasantly light. The stock is one-size-fits-all, but I found it comfortable, and I particularly liked the grip — both grips, in fact. The grooves in the pistol grip make for a more secure hold, and the foregrip is slotted in a way that offers comfortable options for hunters with shorter arms, as well as for those of us who can tie our shoes without bending over. At the same time, it virtually ensures that the fingers and thumbs will be kept safe.

Eye relief on the pre-mounted scope was a bit short for me, so I moved it up a slot on the Picatinny rail, and that proved adequate. The scope is conveniently pre-sighted to get you on paper at 20 yards. Fine-tuning took six shots. Adjustments are easy and precise, and require no tools. Overall the scope is a good, multi-reticle scope with clean, sharp reticles. It is not illuminated.

Though I test crossbows over a bench, I always make it a point to shoot a few bolts offhand. While I prefer to shoot using a rest whenever possible, it’s not an option in every hunting scenario. I shoot offhand out to 30 yards with crossbows that are sufficiently light or well-balanced to allow accurate offhand shooting. The X4 proved to be in that category.

Wicked RidgeThe test model came with the ACUdraw 50 built into the stock. It functions like a conventional rope cocker, as opposed to the ACUdraw, which comes with a crank (left). The ACUdraw is an option for those who prefer it. The choice is strictly a matter of personal preference, but I suspect many shooters would prefer the ACUdraw 50 for this crossbow, which is fairly easy to cock at 165 pounds, while the ACUdraw and its crank would be more often preferred for use with heavier draw-weight crossbows.

TenPoint touts its famous 3.5-pound trigger design. Justifiably so — it is definitely one of the smoothest, crispest and most consistent triggers in the industry. At the shot there is a very slight recoil. This isn’t the quietest crossbow in the industry, though it’s far from the loudest. I installed some Bowjax dampeners after testing, and they did make a difference.

Wicked Ridge

The X4 boasts no radical design elements, but what it does boast is the promise of years of reliable, low-maintenance service with several of the key technologies that have made TenPoint a leader in the crossbow industry: a great trigger, the Dry Fire Inhibitor and the ACUdraw options. At the same time, the Invader X4 is light, compact and respectably fast. At a starting price of $560, it’s a sure bet to win some converts to Wicked Ridge.

For more information, visit www.wickedridgecrossbows.com or call (330) 628-9245.

To see this crossbow in action, check out the short video below. You’ll hear the Invader X4 fired at the 37-second mark (it’s not loud) and then see the arrow in flight before it strikes a mature whitetail. It’s great footage.

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