Military Review

PSE Archery TAC (USA). Rifle-based assault crossbow

The AR-15 platform has long shown its potential, including as the basis for various small weapons. On its basis, systems of all main classes were created, from pistols to machine guns. However, the potential of the platform was not exhausted. Thus, in the recent past, the American company PSE Archery was able to create on the basis of an existing rifle a line of several "tactical assault crossbows" at once.

The American company Precision Shooting Equipment Archery has long been known for its bows and crossbows for athletes and hunters, as well as arrows and accessories for such weapons. Until a certain time, she developed products of a “traditional” look, and also worked on new technologies and solutions. At the end of the last decade, an original version of a promising multipurpose weapon was proposed, based on a combat model.

"Tactical crossbow" TAC 15 in Elite configuration

Rifle crossbow

In 2008, PSE introduced its new development - a line of crossbows under the general name TAC. The name of the line was decoded as Tactical Assault Crossbow - “Tactical Assault Crossbow”. Despite the terrible name, the crossbows of the new types were still intended for athletes and hunters. However, their design was attended by many "tactical" elements, including those borrowed from firearms.

As part of the TAC project, a curious crossbow architecture was proposed. Part of the components, including the shoulders with blocks, cocking equipment, etc., were created from scratch. Others, including the descent control system, butt, etc., were proposed to be borrowed from the finished sample. The source of components was the platform AR-15 - perhaps the most popular model of its kind in the civilian market of the United States.

As is known, the AR-15 rifle consists of two main components assembled on the base of the upper and lower receiver. A new model of weapons for a particular weapon can be created, including by replacing one of the receivers. In the TAC project, it was proposed to remove the upper receiver with the barrel from the base platform and install crossbow units in its place. The latter should be done in the form of an upper receiver that meets the requirements of the platform.

TAC 15 Ordnance - crossbow without a complete lower receiver

Using this approach, as well as applying the available experience, PSE has been able to develop and offer potential customers several samples of multi-purpose weapons at once, distinguished by the highest degree of unification. In the future, the line was expanded by introducing new components and changing the configuration of existing samples.

Unified construction

Structurally, “tactical crossbows” were divided into two main units: the actual crossbow with an almost complete set of necessary devices and a rifle-bottom receiver that held the trigger and provided acceptable ergonomics. It should be noted that the development company soon offered an alternative to a rifle receiver with the necessary details, but with a simplified design.

As part of the crossbow TAC could use any units from the AR-15, having a standard mount for the top receiver. In the new role, such a device retained the store's front receiving shaft (now unused), and also contained a trigger-type firing mechanism. USM remained in its place and was used to control the mechanisms of the crossbow. An alternative unit, created in PSE, was a frame of a simplified design, resembling the original receiver. She had a trigger and attachments for the butt, and the mine was removed, replacing the flat frame with a suitable shape.

Directly to the rifle unit it was proposed to install a top receiver of a new type. It was based on an aluminum bed of great length and variable cross-section. In the front part there was an N-shaped section, broken only by fasteners for some parts. For most of the length of the bed had a U-shaped guide for moving parts. Behind the cover was provided, inside which were placed some parts. On top and bottom of the bed were installed standard Picatinny rail.

Preparing a crossbow for a shot. You can consider the design features of new devices

In front of the weapon placed the shoulders of a block design. Directly on the bed was a rigid curved shoe with elastic elements. It was made of metal and eased with large holes. On the front ledges of the pad there were rubber tips that protected the weapon during transport. Behind the cutout was provided for the installation of the guide boom. On the sides of it were located rods-absorbers oscillations of the string. To reduce the energy waste of the boom for friction, an original guide in the form of an open ring with internal brushes was used. She supported the shaft of the arrow in the right position, but eliminated excessive friction.

The TAC project involved the use of shoulders in the form of a pair of elastic plates of relatively short length. One end of each plate was fixed on the block, and the block axis was mounted on the other. The special layout and design of the weapon made it possible to reduce its transverse dimensions in comparison with other systems that have similar energy performance.

“Tactical crossbows” were proposed to be equipped with blocks of an eccentric type. The bowstring tension method was standard for such systems. One forked end of the bowstring was rigidly fixed on the axis of the block, after which it went to the opposite block, bent and formed a working section, after which another block went round and went to the axis of the first one. The successful combination of system components allowed to obtain high performance. So, the working stroke of the bowstring, depending on the model of the crossbow, reached 17,75 inches (451 mm). In the relaxed position, the width of the shoulders (along the eccentric axes) was 17 inches, with the bowstring taut - 12 inches (430 and 304 mm, respectively).

The interaction of bowstrings and arrows

Instead of a separate boom pusher, i.e. walnut, in the project TAC the string itself was used. The tail of the arrow was worn on it and did not need any other means of acceleration. In the center of the bowstring, a small loop was provided for the cocking of the weapon and the subsequent descent.

Crossbow equipped with a system of cocking block type, which included several basic devices. In the back of the box, under the protection of the casing, was the simplest mechanism for tension with manual control. It was activated by a separate side grip and, using a small drum, pulled its own cable connected to the moving unit. The latter moved along the guides of the box and was responsible for interacting with the bowstring and the arrow.

The movable unit was made on the basis of a metal rectangular base. In its front part there was a swinging lever to hold the loop of the bowstring. Its axis extended beyond the base and was used as a stop. A mounting for the control cable was provided on the back of the block. There is also an additional lever, responsible for interaction with trigger trigger. The design of the block eliminated the descent of the bowstring before it took the rearmost position and would come under the blow of the trigger.

On the lightweight box with perforation, there were fasteners for installing a removable cocking handle. Before shooting, this L-shaped device was removed from the box and put on the drive shaft of the cocking mechanism. On top of the box, on the body of the cocking mechanism, have placed a long Picatinny rail for mounting sights. The same strap was placed under the box and was intended for the forearm or “tactical” handle.

In the process of cocking mechanisms

TAC series crossbows had to be distinguished by high energy levels, which made special demands on the arrows for them. A special bolt was proposed based on reinforced carbon fiber shafts. A separate arrowhead was not used. In the tail section, plumage of small soft planes was envisaged. Standard boom length for TAC is 26,25 inches (667 mm). Mass - 425 Gran (27,53 g). The speed of such an arrow reached 110-120 m / s. Energy - up to 200 J. This allowed you to confidently shoot at a distance of up to 50-70 m.

Work principles

In order to fire a shot, the TAC master crossbowman had to remove the cocking handle from the box and secure it to the appropriate axis. The boom tail was placed on the center of the bowstring and clamped, and the loop of the bow was put on the lever of the movable block. Rotating the side grip and winding the cable, the shooter had to move the movable unit to the extreme rear position. When the working position was reached, the block was held in its place by the front axle entering into the corresponding cuts of its guide. In addition, the unit cocked the trigger of the lower receiver. After that, the string was stretched and assumed the desired configuration; The crossbow's shoulders flexed, accumulating a fairly large amount of energy, and the trigger was ready to fire.

Then the shooter could point the weapon at the target, turn off the fuse on the rifle receiver and pull the trigger. The rifle trigger staff had to hit the lever of the moving block of the crossbow, after which he released the bowstring with the arrow. Straightening, the crossbow shoulders forced the string to transfer its energy to the bolt, providing the required acceleration. Reaching the neutral position, the string braked on the rubber tips of the vibration dampers. The latter reduced the noise of the shot, and also reduced the wear of the string.

Moving unit while moving along the guide

To prepare for a new shot, it was necessary to unlock the tensioning mechanism and return the movable unit to the forward position. Then all the procedures were repeated. PSE Archery claimed that an experienced shooter could prepare for a new shot in just 12-15 s. If necessary, the cocking mechanism allowed to discharge the weapon. For this, it was necessary to rotate the cocking handle in the opposite direction.

Weapon family

In 2008, the company-developer presented immediately two samples of new weapons. Soon two more crossbows were presented in a different configuration. In the first case, the difference of products was due to some design features. The second part of the family differed from the first only a complete set. In the future, the model range was expanded again using similar approaches.

The highest characteristics initially differed crossbow called TAC 15. This product was delivered to customers in the form of a separate top receiver designed to be connected to the bottom. The latter was not included. The intrinsic length of such an aggregate was 33,125 inches (842 mm), the width in blocks was 20,75 inches (527 mm). Weight - 6,5 pounds (less than 3 kg). After complete assembly, the length and weight of the finished weapon increased in accordance with the parameters of the lower receiver.

A smaller version of the crossbow called TAC 10 was also proposed. Its design, in general, repeated the larger pattern, but there were some differences. In particular, the shape of the pads and shoulders, accumulating less energy, was changed. Also, the size and location of the seats for additional equipment were changed. According to the results of this refinement, the total length of the weapon has decreased by about 3 inches. Also reduced power, and slightly decreased the main characteristics of the shooting.

Moving unit at the moment after the shot

It was assumed that the buyer will be able to purchase a TAC 15 or TAC 10 as a separate unit and connect it with a rifle receiver. Then the resulting crossbow could be equipped with a suitable sight, this or that “body kit”, etc. In fact, the user was able to assemble the weapon of the desired type using any components.

Soon, PSE Archery added two new models of "tactical assault crossbows" to its product line. The TAC 15i and TAC 10i products were distinguished by their complete set. Their structure included special lower receivers of a simplified design that had a trigger type trigger and a telescopic butt. In other words, the buyer was offered a whole crossbow assembly, although not equipped with a sight or other devices.

Another innovation in the Tactical Assault Crossbow line is Elite products - “Elite”. Two crossbows models PSE TAC Elite differed from its predecessors kit. They were a weapon, originally equipped with a lightweight lower receiver, a telescopic sight, and several other devices that were not in the basic configuration.

Crossbows TAC 10 and TAC 15 in version "i" with the original lower receiver

The TAC Ordnance kit was a shortened version of the elite. He was distinguished by the lack of branded lower receiver. At the same time, all other accessories were present, from the sight to the bipod.

Thus, the company PSE was able to create two basic crossbow and four options for picking each. In total, eight models of weapons entered the market, which is called, for every taste. For obvious reasons, the cost of products from one line was noticeably different. So, for the TAC 15 crossbow in the form of only one top receiver, they asked for 1299 US dollars. For a set of model "i" would have to pay for 200 dollars more. The price for an "elite" kit, depending on its composition, was approaching or exceeding 2 thousand dollars. Reinforced carbon fiber arrows also did not differ cheap. The recommended price for packing with 6 bolts was 89 dollars.

Successes and failures

The first samples of the PSE Archery TAC crossbows entered the American market in 2008. This weapon was intended for athletes and hunters. The latter could use new crossbows for mining small and medium game with shooting from a distance of tens of meters. In certain conditions, such a weapon allowed to hunt a large beast. Sufficiently high characteristics of weapons allowed to count on commercial success.

In general, the expectations of the developer were met. The newest crossbows attracted the attention of the small community as a whole, so that they soon appeared in various stores in the United States. In terms of its volume, the American market for bows and crossbows is inferior to the market for firearms, but despite this, the TAC lineup has taken its place in the market and brought its producers the desired income. The application of new ideas, technologies and design solutions justified itself, providing significant advantages over competitors.

Standard booms for TAC

However, it was not without criticism. First of all, large dimensions and not the most successful balancing of weapons were noted. The TAC 15 crossbow with an extended butt had a length of more than a meter, which to a certain extent made it difficult to transport and operate. Also, not everyone was pleased with the cost. However, many athletes and hunters were ready to put up with such shortcomings for the sake of high combat performance.

A similar situation persisted over the next few years. Until the middle of this decade, PSE successfully traded TAC crossbows of all existing models, and they managed to occupy a special place in the catalog of its products. Nevertheless, over time, the market of "tactical crossbows" was saturated, and in addition, new developments of competitors appeared. As a result, sales fell, and this led to understandable results.

In 2016, "tactical assault crossbows" were discontinued in favor of other, more relevant products. It should be noted that all the main developments in the TAC family have not disappeared. They were again implemented in other crossbow projects, not only in the development of new designs, but also in the development of existing models. Gradually, the warehouse remains of TAC crossbows went shopping and from there they went to the “arsenals” of their customers. Some of these weapons are still on sale, but they are constantly being reduced.

Based on the AR-15 rifle, a great variety of firearm designs were created, but PSE Archery was the first to apply this platform in the field of missile weapons. This fact alone leaves the company and its project a special place in stories. However, the production of crossbows family Tactical Assault Crossbow lasted only a few years and was discontinued due to a decrease in customer interest and falling sales. Like many other original projects, TAC was only of limited interest to the public.

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  1. san4es
    san4es 6 October 2018 09: 23
    The first samples of the PSE Archery TAC family of crossbows entered the American market in 2008. This weapon was intended for athletes and hunters.

    hi Thank you ... I wonder if the Kalashnikov concern will "condescend" to crossbows based on one of the firearms?
    1. marshes
      marshes 6 October 2018 11: 49
      Quote: san4es
      Thank you ... I wonder if the Kalashnikov concern will "condescend" to crossbows based on one of the firearms?

      Greetings. And why a crossbow is needed, it is doubtful for hunting, there is a lot of noiselessness for special operations. If you just would throw a line with a hook to a height, like in a movie. smile
      1. san4es
        san4es 6 October 2018 13: 49
        hi Hi ... Perhaps there are those who wish. Few connoisseurs of such weapons. Kalashnikov's crossbow, an exclusive in the classic version already exists (AK-48). Here's the announcement:
        Selling reluctantly.
        -Unique handwork, (manufactured at the Kalashnikov factory by 5 masters for almost 4 months). Do not confuse with consumer goods, this is a piece, you will not find his photo on the Internet, the owners of such gadgets do not put on display.
        There is a unique serial number. (Upon request, they can issue a certificate).
        The price of the order for 1999 is $ 2000
        The price is 130 000 TR, or offer your price (I’m selling due to problems, I’ll solve problems without a sale, AK will remain at its former place of honor)
        -AK 48 -professional-4 SRVV A one-of-a-kind hand-made hunting crossbow made in the best traditions of Russian weapons art. Improved trigger mechanism and automatic fuse, which has no analogues in Russia.
        - The crossbow is quick-folding to a very compact state 60x17x33cm.

        ... But in the army version, until I saw soldier
        ...Though. is ... it looks like photoshop recourse
        1. marshes
          marshes 6 October 2018 14: 08
          Quote: san4es
          Perhaps there are those who wish.

          So stupidly shoot, the price tag will be interesting.
          I just "try on" myself, I have no sensible game where I hunt, only if I wounded and lost the whole day in search and finishing. This is not humane. Yes, and arrows, money is worth. What goes by the target, you can forget about them.
          So, the most optimal weapon in my area has already come to the conclusion: it’s a usual double-barreled shotgun. That would cock the hammers at least temporarily and almost silently than clang the shutter.
          One or two successful shots, the huntsman does not have time to determine the place, and with a trophy to the house, the camp. Although I try to get a ticket that would be according to the law.
          1. MP
            MP 6 October 2018 15: 20
            In Russia, just crossbows are used for poacher hunting.
            1. marshes
              marshes 6 October 2018 15: 23
              Quote: Mpx
              In Russia, just crossbows are used for poacher hunting.

              Seriously, I just can’t imagine it’s such a mess, it’s just not a “finishing move” to track down, and the search will not be silent, the dogs are quadrics, etc.
              1. dr.star75
                dr.star75 6 October 2018 17: 20
                arrowheads with blades. do not go far.
                1. marshes
                  marshes 6 October 2018 17: 26
                  Quote: dr.star75
                  arrowheads with blades. do not go far.

                  It depends on where to shoot, just imagine a tugai forest, it is a shrub forest with thorns and not tall trees, quite dense. Here the arrow went into the "milk" and all goodbye. Although everyone thinks that the hunt will take place in a pine forest or in a birch undergrowth, but there animals are rare. They want to live and burst into the thickets.
                  So in the Novosibirsk region. He also hunted. There is a relative, there in the thicket or in the swamps.
                  1. dr.star75
                    dr.star75 6 October 2018 17: 59
                    Everything is much simpler there. I really never hunted like that, but the guys told me: in the woods in a clearing, grains are poured out of the car, and in the woods they build sheds. shot from top to bottom. arrows are not lost. They take powerful crossbows, buy them at 43kg, and change them to 80, plus 3x blade tips. wounds be healthy turn out!
                    1. marshes
                      marshes 6 October 2018 18: 09
                      Quote: dr.star75
                      Everything is much simpler there. I really never hunted like that, but the guys told me: in the woods in a clearing, grains are poured out of the car, and in the woods they build sheds. shot from top to bottom. arrows are not lost. They take powerful crossbows, buy them at 43kg, and change them to 80, plus 3x blade tips. wounds be healthy turn out!

                      It’s interesting to see, I’ll quote myself, we don’t have such trees to make an uproar on a tree. I saw it in Texas, but there is a rare forest in the north. I even thought it wasn’t sporty. At least there were no archers and crossbowmen with weapons , by the way there are wild boars and small roe deer, like our Elikov-Sibirsky roe deer.
                      I don’t like Robin Hood’s way, then many wounded animals will just leave, then they will stink.
                      It’s necessary to bring down just and without searches. Then it just takes a lot of time to hide and gut.
                      1. dr.star75
                        dr.star75 6 October 2018 19: 21
                        In the states, hunting with bow and crossbow is allowed. They do not bother with wounded animals. Savages. laughing
                      2. marshes
                        marshes 6 October 2018 20: 48
                        Quote: dr.star75

                        Things are even worse there, whites are looking for kinship with the indigenous people. They kill a lot of bison, worms there, grind it into minced meat and sell it to small eateries for burgers. Although they shot dogs as well. laughing
              2. MP
                MP 7 October 2018 01: 58
                It is necessary to put the normal shoulders, instead of the weakened by the law.
      2. Alexander X
        Alexander X 22 December 2018 16: 33
        For information: even crossbows available on sale in the Russian Federation when installing shoulders with 90 kg on them. load (which is prohibited by law, but which are freely sold in stores, as a separate stock) from a distance of 40m punches an inch pine board with an arrow with a sports (lively) tip. So for hunting, it’s quite for yourself, given the special. hunting tip. For war, I don’t understand why, when there are sound moderators and silencers for acc. firearms.
  2. Clueless
    Clueless 6 October 2018 18: 05
    Quote: marshes
    Greetings. And why do we need a crossbow, for hunting it is doubtful, there is a lot of noiselessness for special operations. If you just throw a line with a hook to a height, like in a movie

    Hunting with a crossbow and a bow is prohibited in Russia. Such crossbows as described in the article are prohibited. The crossbow is not so quiet (the bow is much quieter, although you can also hear it).
    1. marshes
      marshes 6 October 2018 18: 47
      Quote: Bad
      Hunting with a crossbow and a bow is prohibited in Russia.

      Well, right.
    2. Alexander X
      Alexander X 22 December 2018 16: 41
      On ungulates VOLLEY content is allowed. This is a type of fenced area on which the beast is released, which was specially bred and raised for shooting in its own barn. Those. it is not a wild animal. A private property of the breeder. It’s about such animals that some idiots are scorched, by the way, for very decent money for the average man. Then a photo of a proud shooter on the background of a trophy pierced by an arrow .... By the way, this, according to our legislation, is not recognized as hunting, which means that we do not need permission to shoot ...