Horton Crossbow Innovations Vortec RDX Review – Reverse Crossbow

ModelDraw WeightStrokeVelocitySuggested Arrow LengthCrossbow Length / Weight
Horton Innovations Vortec RDX

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135 lbs.15.5"340 FPS

Crossbow Academy: ballistics, sighting, tuning
20"34.25" / 7.6 lbs.
- Very accurate and powerful
- Fairly quiet to shoot
- Integrated cocking system is also remarkably quiet

- Somewhat on the heavy side
- Handle for the ACUdraw is still easy to lose
Small Game Hunting?yes2
Deer, Elk Hunting?yes2
Moose, Bear Hunting?yes2
Target Shooting?yes2
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Hello, and welcome to my review of the Horton Vortec RDX crossbow. Nothing warmed my heart more than when TenPoint revived the Horton name as Horton Crossbow Innovations. Let’s take a gander at the Vortec RDX, and see if it lives up to Horton’s famous reputation pre-TenPoint.

What Comes With This Crossbow?

When you unbox your Vortec RDX, this is what you’ll be unpacking:

  • The Horton Crossbow Innovations Vortec RDX itself, including riser, limbs, and string
  • Either an ACUdraw or the Dedd Sled 50 cocking device
  • TenPoint 3X Pro-View Scope
  • Horton three-arrow quiver
  • Three-pack of 20-inch carbon arrows with 100gr field tips
  • Owner’s Manual
  • Warranty Card

How Difficult Is It to Assemble the Vortec RDX?

You don’t have to do much assembly on this model. You’ll need to install the string stop block (with foot stirrup) and mount the scope, but that’s it. Once that’s done, you’ll be ready to sight in.

How Easy Is This X-bow to Sight In?

The included TenPoint 3X Pro-View 2 scope is a dream to sight in. Set the speed dial to 340 FPS for the Vortec RDX, then take your shots for 10 yards, 20 yards, and 50 yards. It took me about five shots to have the glass fully sighted in. This scope model has been around for a while, and it holds zero almost indefinitely. You shouldn’t have to make adjustments unless you remove the optic and then mount it again.

How Accurate and Hard-Hitting Is the Vortec RDX?

I felt at home with the Vortec RDX almost instantly; it fit just perfectly in my arms, and the reverse-draw technology makes it a breeze to hold and aim. There’s no frontal heaviness to fight with, thanks to the great balance and center of gravity. Within minutes, I was shooting one-inch groupings from 30 yards, and two-inch patterns from 50 yards.

The Vortec RDX blasts arrows downrange at 340 FPS, and they hit your target with a full 103 foot-pounds of kinetic energy. Considering we (and most others) recommend 75 FP KE for grizzlies and buffalo, you can rest assured that this puppy has the power you need to take down even the toughest prey. Accessory manufacturers really need to come up with tougher compressed foam target blocks, because today’s x-bow models (this one included) fling the arrows completely through the target blocks and halfway into the backstop. And that’s from 50 yards.

Use our arrow ballistics calculator for more valuable information.

Ballistic Data For The Horton Crossbow Innovations Vortec RDX

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.

Will Hunters Enjoy the Horton Crossbow Innovations Vortec RDX?

The Vortec RDX is a real champion in the bush, and should work nicely this year during deer season.

I haven’t had mine out yet, since it was just announced this year (early 2017), but my tests have proven that it has the power, stealth, and accuracy to be great for buck hunts. Even the ACUdraw hand-crank cocking device is quieter than any other I’ve used.

The beauty of any reverse-draw x-bow for hunters is the axle-to-axle width. Uncocked, it’s a mere 14.875 inches. Once you cock it, though, the width drops to 9.125 inches. This makes it ideal for hunting in cramped spots, such as from a tree stand or small ground blind.

The only drawback is the weight of the x-bow – at 7.6 pounds, it’s heavier than most, and you might notice the extra poundage during your trek to your favorite hunting spot.

How Difficult Is the Crossbow to Cock?

When you purchase this model, you have your choice of included cocking systems. The ACUDraw hand-crank cocking system attaches to the buttstock, and Horton has included a great spot to clip the handle into, in hopes you won’t lose it. This system reduces the draw weight down to about 10 pounds of cranking pressure or less. If you prefer, you can opt for the Dedd Sled 50, a rope cocking system that still makes the x-bow easy to draw.

In summary, either cocking system makes this x-bow easy for just about anybody to cock. It’s your choice whether you want a hand-crank system, that you may or may not lose the handle for, or a rope-cocking device.

What’s the Included Scope Like?

The Pro-View 2 scope is a 3X model with great optics. It sights in easily, holds zero almost forever, and is illuminated. You won’t find better brightness settings in a x-bow scope, in my opinion.

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

What Kind of Bolts Do I Need?

This model comes with three 20-inch carbon arrows with 100-grain field tips. They’re definitely good arrows, but if you need more, just choose your favorite carbon arrows. Horton recommends an arrow weight of at least 375 grain, with a strong preference towards 400 grain for optimal silence, speed, and kinetic energy.

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

How’s the Safety and Design?

The anti dry-fire mechanism works perfectly, as does the safety. The x-bow features solid finger-reminders to keep your digits away from the string’s path when you shoot it, making this one of the safest crossbows on the market.

What Kind of Warranty Backs This Crossbow?

Horton backs the Vortec RDX with a limited lifetime operational warranty for the original owner, except for the bow limbs and scope (which are warranted for five years) and the strings and cables, which carry no warranty. You do have to mail in the warranty card within 30 days of purchase, though.

Horton Crossbow Innovations Vortec RDX Review – Summary

Thanks for reading my review of the Vortec RDX. This state-of-the-art crossbow is safe, accurate, and hard-hitting. Just as importantly, it’s quiet, powerful, and easy to use in cramped spaces. My only beef is the weight, but it’s still a great x-bow for hunting or target shooting.

Make sure to check today’s Amazon.com price on the Horton Crossbow Innovations Vortec RDX if you’re interested.


Add a Comment
  1. In your review you state that this crossbow comes with three 20″ arrows at the beginning, at the end you state three 22″ arrows. Which is correct?

  2. Hi,
    great review. my is on order. Should be here soon.

    What broad heads do you recommend for hunting deer with the Vortec, mechanicals or fixed, any partical brand?
    thanks for your help.

  3. My tenpoint bolts were 20 and 5/6 inches, which is odd bc they weigh the same compared to my actual 20 inch bolts…both work fine, although the 20 is much quieter.

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