TenPoint Shadow Ultra Lite Review – Compound Crossbow

ModelDraw WeightStrokeVelocitySuggested Arrow LengthCrossbow Length / Weight
TenPoint Shadow

TenPoint Shadow

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180 lbs.12.6"350 FPS

Crossbow Academy: ballistics, sighting, tuning
20"34.4" / 6.4 lbs.
- Lightweight and perfectly balanced
- Alternate mounting points for quiver
- Short 17.5” width

- Loud anti-dry fire mechanism engagement
Small Game Hunting?yes2
Deer, Elk Hunting?yes2
Moose, Bear Hunting?yes2
Target Shooting?yes2
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Also Recommended:Best Tenpoint Crossbows

Package Contents

Hi there, and welcome to this review of the TenPoint Shadow Ultra Lite. Each package delivered by TenPoint includes the following items:

  • TenPoint Shadow Ultra Lite with ACUDraw 50 cocking mechanism
  • Assembly hardware
  • TenPoint Pro-View 2 scope
  • Instant detach 3-arrow quiver
  • 3 TenPoint Magnum XX75 aluminum arrows
  • Owner’s instructional DVD
  • TenPoint vehicle window sticker
  • Warranty card

Assembling The Shadow

shadow3Putting the Shadow Ultra Lite together is about what you would expect, and is pretty easy if you have a little bit of experience putting crossbows together. You mount the riser onto the stock, then attach the foot quiver. After that, you can mount the scope and attach the optional side-mount quiver bracket. One nice thing about the Ultra Lite is you have three choices as to where you mount your quiver: front, left, or right.

Once you’ve got your crossbow assembled, it is time to sight it in and get to shooting!

How Powerful and Accurate Is It?

TenPoint’s Pro-View 2 scope is a fantastic scope, and is usually sighted in straight out of the box. The unit included with the TenPoint Shadow Ultra Lite was no exception to this, and the scope only required a few minor tweaks to be perfectly sighted in.

When I started testing accuracy, I was surprised at just how perfectly balanced this crossbow is. The growing trend to use carbon-injected polymer for crossbow barrels has meant a new wave of highly balanced crossbows that lack much frontal heaviness, and TenPoint has put the technology to good use here.

When I tested the accuracy, I was seeing half-inch groupings from 35 yards out. When I backed up to 50 yards, I was able to keep my groupings as tight as three-quarters of an inch, and I scored a nice 1” grouping from 70 yards. Amazingly accurate crossbow here, folks!

The included arrows shell out 104 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy, and blaze to target at 328 fps. You can get this crossbow up to 350 fps, but only using 370 grain arrows. Using my typical load of 425-gr, I was able to clock 331 fps and 103 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy.

Ballistic Data For The TenPoint Shadow Ultra Lite

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.

How’s the TenPoint Shadow Ultra Lite for Hunting?

shadow1The Shadow Ultra Lite is, well, ultra light, and easy to carry around in the bush. Weighing in at a mere 6.4 pounds, this crossbow won’t break your back or wear you out as you are trekking to your favorite hunting spot. The crossbow is also compact in its size, so no snagging on tree limbs or branches.

When I took the Shadow Ultra Lite hunting, I was intending to go for a nice buck (but had an elk tag with me just in case). I took along the crossbow and my Firebolt arrows, nice carbon arrows with a broadhead to bring the load out to 425-grain. Lo and behold, I happened to spot a beautiful elk within shooting range while I was sitting in my deer stand. I took careful aim on the elk, and scored a hit through his chest that must have passed straight through his heart—he didn’t even manage to stumble off a yard before he dropped to the ground.

Kinetic Energy of The TenPoint Shadow

So how much power does the TenPoint Shadow deal out when you hit your target? Using 420-grain arrows, the Shadow’s arrows fly at a cool 331 FPS at point blank range. This speed gives the 420-grain arrows an amazing 100 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy from point blank range, which is a whopping amount of power for such a compact crossbow. Granted, you’ll lose a few percent lbs. of KE for every yard beyond point blank range, but that still leaves you with 93 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy for your typical 30-yard shot. Considering the recommended KE for tackling tough game like buffalo or grizzlies is 65 ft. lbs., you can confidently use this crossbow for any legal game in North America.

Use our arrow ballistics calculator for more valuable information.

Cocking The Crossbow

One of the nicest features of TenPoint’s crossbows is their ACUDraw system, an integrated cocking system available as either a rope pull system or a hand-cranking cocking mechanism. My bow came with the pull draw, which brings the 180 pound draw weight down to about 20 pounds of effort.

Drawing the string back is smooth like butter, and the crossbow cocks securely every time. My only complaint is the rather loud “click” of the anti-dry fire mechanism, but that hasn’t proven a problem for me in the past. It’s just unnerving to make that much noise.

The Crossbow Scope

TenPoint includes their Pro-View 2 scope with the Shadow Ultra Lite. This is a 3X scope with 20, 30, 40, and 50-yard dots and fully coated optics. The 4th dot is free standing, just below the 40-yard crosshair, and I used the portion of the vertical crosshair line that goes from thick to thin as my aiming point for 70 yards.

The scope offers exceptional light gathering capabilities, and has rheostat-controlled illuminated dots in either red or green. I found the coated optics to be perfect for preventing fogging, even in very cold temperatures. There is no need to get a third-party scope if your crossbow comes with this one!

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


shadow2TenPoint includes a three-pack of aluminum arrows with the Shadow Ultra Lite. I’m not a fan of aluminum arrows, so I quickly switched them out for my Firebolt arrows. Whatever arrow you choose, just make sure it’s 20” long and is at least 370 grain. I’ve shot this crossbow with everything from 370 grain up to 545 grain, and found the crossbow to be insanely accurate and powerful no matter what load out I’m using.

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

Safety and Design

As mentioned previously, TenPoint has designed this crossbow to be extremely light and easy to use. The integrated cocking mechanism works flawlessly, and stows out of the way when it is not in use. The crossbow’s trigger is a nice, light, smooth pull and the bow is almost perfectly balanced.

The way TenPoint designed this crossbow to accept the quiver in multiple positions is a great design concept, and I enjoy the fact that I can side-mount the trigger for slimming down the crossbow.

The anti-dry fire mechanism is a bit loud, as I mentioned, but it works perfectly each and every time. All in all, this crossbow is a terrific design and is highly suitable for target practice and hunting.


TenPoint offers a limited lifetime warranty on all of their crossbows, and their customer service staff are some of the nicest I’ve ever dealt with. If you have any problems or questions that the included instructional DVD doesn’t answer, they’re available to help with friendliness and professionalism.

What Crossbow Case Fits the TenPoint Shadow?

If you prefer smaller scopes, the Carbon Express Deluxe Case works well for the TenPoint Shadow. It is a decent price for a soft case at $66. If you prefer larger scopes, the Allen Company case is a soft case steal at $30.

Crossbow Review – Summary

Thanks for reading our crossbow review. The TenPoint Shadow Ultra Lite is an excellent crossbow, and will provide years of use. If you’re in the market for a new crossbow, this is probably the best in its price range. 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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