PSE TAC Ordnance Review (In-Field) – Compound Crossbow

ModelDraw WeightStrokeVelocitySuggested Arrow LengthCrossbow Length / Weight
PSE TAC Ordnance

PSE TAC Ordnance

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150 lbs.17.25"405 FPS

How to sight a crossbow?
26.25"34.75" (unmounted) / 7 lbs. 3 ozs. (unmounted)
Pros:
- Incredible long-range accuracy
- Super Powerful
- Familiar AR rifle platform

Cons:
- Very long
- Need to supply your own AR rifle lower
- Must use only PSE TAC Arrows
Small Game Hunting?yes2
Deer, Elk Hunting?yes2
Moose, Bear Hunting?yes2
Target Shooting?yes2
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Also Recommended:Best PSE Crossbows

PSE TAC Ordnance Package Contents

The PSE TAC Ordnance arrives as an AR rifle upper that you must mount to your own AR lower. The package includes:

  • TAC Ordnance upper
  • TAC case
  • 3-9 X 40mm scope
  • Bipod
  • Three 26.25” TAC arrows

Please remember, unlike the TAC Elite, this is an upper only, you will need to supply your own AR rifle lower to be able to shoot this beast.

First Impressions: Design, Safety, Comfort and Accuracy

The PSE TAC Ordnance is a crossbow upper that is designed with the long range shooter in mind. This is an absolute beast of a crossbow that allows you to use your own AR lower. This can be a real advantage if you have a custom AR that has been built with a special trigger, as you will already be familiar with travel and with the release.

The TAC Ordnance is unique from other crossbows as it does not have a rail for the arrow to ride along, but rather has a whisker biscuit as would be found on a vertical compound bow. The deletion of an arrow rail results in a greater arrow speed and improved accuracy, as the whisker biscuit can be tuned, and an arrow rail cannot. The deletion of the rail also means you can cock and load an arrow on the TAC Ordnance without ever placing your hand anywhere near the cocked string (more on that below).

This is certainly not built as a light-weight crossbow, but it is built with serious power and serious accuracy at ranges that most shooters would never even consider. We never went past 100 yards, but even at that range, our groups were just over 2”, and that was on a fairly windy day! Given the forward weight of the TAC Ordnance, plan on using the bipod as an offhand shot isn’t going to be the most comfortable.

Kinetic Energy of the TAC Ordnance

The TAC Ordnance is an absolute beast in terms of punch. Given the sizzling speed with a heavier arrow, you are going to be pushing 155 ft. lbs. at the muzzle. If you have ever wanted to try to take out a main battle tank with a crossbow, this may be just the crossbow for you!

Use our arrow ballistics calculator for more valuable information.

Ballistic Data For The PSE TAC Ordnance

Your actual results will vary slightly depending on weather, and significantly with arrow weight change. See our Crossbow Ballistics Guides section for a complete understanding of how we conducted our tests and why this data matters.

Hunting with the PSE TAC Ordnance

OK, here is a section where we can either sing the praises of the TAC Ordnance or ask you why you would ever take this into the field. If you are hunting from a fixed location that has a lot of room and has a shelf to rest the TAC Ordnance on, you might just be in business. Realizing that you can make a realistic 100-yard shot makes this a very tempting crossbow to use.

If, however, you are hunting from a tree stand, stalking or needing to shoot offhand, this may not be the best choice for you. This is a LONG crossbow…really long and is not suited for a tight-quarters shot. Sure you could fill your trophy room at Jurassic Park with this bad boy, but is that what you are realistically going for?

If you want to hunt with this and enjoy the long range performance, just be aware of the space limitations to ensure you aren’t disappointed when you hit the field. One other note is the lack of a quiver…given that you are going to be toting 26”+ arrows, you are going to need to plan ahead.

How Quiet is the TAC Ordnance

So, if you are looking at a crossbow with this kind of speed and power, you are probably not looking for the quietest crossbow out there. Surprisingly, the TAC Ordnance was not near as loud as we would have expected. By getting rid of the classic anti-dry-fire mechanism and then having the arrow float through a whisker, it really cut some of the sound. The inclusion of dual string stops and the negation of the need for a stirrup also helped in this regard. Silent? No. Quieter than expected? Yes.

Cocking the TAC Ordnance

PSE TAC OrdnanceSimple and safe. Two words you always want to hear when asking about the cocking of a crossbow, especially one with the power of the TAC Ordnance. Given that there is no arrow rail, a small sled can be pulled along its sled rail to hook onto the uncocked string. After that, simply place the crank into the side of the upper and crank back a couple of turns.

Here is where it gets different…and safer. With the string just under light force, you can place the arrow in the whisker and place the nock onto the string, much as you would for a vertical compound bow. Once the arrow is in place, you simply continue to turn the crank until the string is fully drawn and the catch engages automatically.

Another nice feature of this mechanism is that you can actually decock the TAC Ordnance as well. Simply insert the crank and turn the opposite direction to disengage the limbs without having to fire a shot.

Quality of the Optics

The optics that are included with the TAC Ordnance are top quality and truly worthy of being on a long range AR platform. The scope is adjustable from 3 – 9 power which will really allow you to take advantage of the long range accuracy of the TAC Ordnance. The 40mm aperture will also help gather a lot of light for early morning or late evening shots and the 5 reticles will allow you to dial in your shots at various range with a high level of precision. This is more scope than you need for most crossbows, but it is just right for the TAC Ordnance.

See our detailed guide on how to sight-in your crossbow

What Arrows to use with the TAC Ordnance

PSE sends three 26.25” TAC arrows with the Ordnance. DO NOT, we repeat DO NOT use any other arrows or you will void your warranty, and could sustain some serious injuries. The arrows that the TAC line uses are thicker than normal arrows and are specifically designed for the speed and force unleashed when you pull the trigger. PSE is very specific in their warnings on this and we would strongly urge you to heed them.

You can also learn more about crossbow arrows and take a look at our broadhead recommendations

Overall Thoughts

Our overall impression of the TAC Ordnance is truly dependent on what we intend to do with it. If we are looking for a really cool “show off to your buddies” kind of crossbow, then this is it. When you whip this out at the range, you WILL turn heads…it just looks that impressive. Being able to put arrows downrange at rifle distances with tight groups will be equally impressive…just remember that you have to shut down the range to go retrieve those arrows.

If you are looking for a portable hunting platform, then this really isn’t the crossbow for you…it is simply too unwieldy to make for a realistic hunting platform, unless you have a large blind more suitable for rifle hunting.

Choosing the right crossbow really comes down to the individual needs of the shooter and what that shooter is looking to accomplish. The TAC Ordnance does a lot of tasks really well, it is up to you to determine if those tasks are the specific ones you need. Take a look at today's amazon.com price on this crossbow and check out our top 10 crossbows rankings for more.

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