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TenPoint Defender CLS


Detail of the grip

Shorter than 20" when cocked

ACU Draw crank coking mechanism housing

ACU Draw slide in action

Cocking the crossbow




I have owned and shoot a TenPoint Stealth X2, one of the old flagship models from TenPoint based on the TenPoint high end frame, for several years now. I have to admit that, ergonomically wise, I like the SixPoint frame better: not only it is lighter but the ability to move the front grip much farther to the front balances the weight much better making it feel considerably lighter. The front grip is also considerably better as it is fatter and rounded in lower part and much slimmer in the finger rest area: it provides a natural and solid grip. The large flat top of the fore grip is also a good passive safety: it is almost impossible to keep the fingers straight up in a way they may interfere with the string and cables.

The Defender CLS is not a light crossbow, it tips the scale at 8 pounds, the machined aluminum riser gives a good contribution as well as the “all metal” construction. Also the ACU Draw mechanism adds some weight but being placed at the other end of the stock it does not alter balance.

As the names states (“CLS”=Compact Limbs System) the Defender is designed with short and rather parallel limbs: once coked from axle to axle it becomes shorter than 20 inches (see pics). Besides giving a compelling design to the crossbow it also a practical bonus to those who hunt in confined spaces such a as threestans and ground blinds. The compactness minimizes inertia on the longitudinal plane so that twisting action during aim becomes very easy and fast.

The stock (like most crossbow) is rather short: the trigger pull measures nearly 13 inches, making it better suited to treestand shooting than target shooting, at least for tall people.

The ACU Draw is a crank coking mechanism that is housed into a small box applied to the stock that reduces the cocking effort down to a mere 8 pounds using a removable T handle. The AcuDraw is also available in the AcuDraw50 variation that instead of a crank uses a simpler and less expensive rope cocking system that retracts into a similar box housed on the stock.

The AcuDraw adds some weight as well as some dollars to the bill but goes a great length toward helping those who have handicaps, physical disabilities or simply cannot draw the 175 LBS poundage.

The AcuDraw uses a U shaped slide connected to the crank via synthetic cables to draw the string. This slide is moved over the scope onto the flight track when used and it rests on a support just behind the trigger box. The rest position does interfere with the back of your hand especially if you have big hands or wear gloves. Nothing important, just a minor annoyance.

The AcuDraw takes some seconds to cock the crossbow as you need to place the U shaped slide over the string, be careful not to entangle cables onto the scope here, set the AcuDraw lever onto engage position, slide in the T handle and start cracking. The de-multiplied crank mechanism reduces the effort down to a mere 5 pounds so that virtually everyone may be able to cock the crossbow. Furthermore the crossbow can be safely cocked in confined spaces such as blinds.

Please note that the entire procedure takes time to perform: it is not something you want to do in a hurry or under stress situations.

The Defender CLS can be cocked by hand but in this instance the short and rather parallel limbs will create a steep angle near full draw and placing more than two fingers per side becomes very difficult.

Definitely hand cocking is something you want to do just in emergency and not during extended field sessions.


Manufacturer data:

TenPoint crossbow technologies

Defender CLS

Draw weight 175 Lbs

Power Stroke 13"

 KIT version  U.S. $1099 with ACU Draw

(price as of today 06/07/2009 found on   www.basspro.com)





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