Excalibur Crossbow

I purchased an Excalibur Axiom crossbow last year to hunt whitetail here in Michigan where I live. Crossbows have recently become legal to use in this state. Previously they could only be used with a special permit if you had a disability that prevented use of a traditional or compound bow. I took a nasty spill on the concrete with my inline skates while cruising down a rail trail, it messed up my left shoulder. When I got my compound bow out to practice in preparation for the upcoming archery deer season, I found that I could not draw my bow. I wasn’t about to skip the archery season, my favorite time of year to be outdoors, so I made the purchase.

Horton Bone Collector
Horton Bone Collector | Source

I had intended to purchase a compound limb type of crossbow, like a Horton orBarnett, but the clerk at the sporting goods store convinced me to purchase the traditional limb Excalibur. The three points that sold me were:

  • 1. It is lighter than a compound crossbow: 5.8 lbs compared to 8.6 lbs for the Horton Bone Collector
  • 2. The bow can be de-cocked. A compound crossbow requires firing a bolt to de-cock
  • 3. It is allegedly quieter than a compound type crossbow.

specs
Excalibur Axiom
Horton Bone Collector
Velocity
305 fps
325 fps
Draw Weight
175 lbs
175 lbs
Power Stroke
14.5"
14.25"
Mass Weight
5.8 lbs
8.6 lbs
Overall Length
37.5"
35"
Arrow Weight
350 grains
350 grains
Arrow Length
20"
20"

The bow came with a 2X power crossbow scope. I would have preferred a red dot sight. Perhaps I will replace the optics later. I have no comparison to dispute the claim that the bow is any quieter than a compound type, but I found that it does make a significant amount of noise. I added a Limb Saver Crossbow dampener kit which helped reduce the noise some. It is very accurate, the popular expectation that a crossbow will automatically make you an accurate marksman is not true. You still need to practice good form and trigger control or you’ll send an arrow off into the brush, never to be found again. I found that you have to take care to be sure the cock feather (or plastic vane) is aligned properly with the cup in the bolt nock (if you use that type of nock) or accuracy will really suffer. It should be parallel with the string and perpendicular to the feather.

I like the lightweight. It becomes a great advantage when tree stand hunting if you have to take an offhand shot. Being able to de-cock the bow is a nice feature. I’m sure it has saved many bolts from damage that could be caused by having to shoot into the ground before climbing down from my stand. I like to hunt from tree stands with a lot of branches and trunks to provide cover. One thing I found out, that I had not considered, is that maneuvering the crossbow for a shot is more difficult than a traditional bow since the limbs, being perpendicular to natural growth of nearby tree cover, will not fit into a slot that a bow would. I was at first a bit skeptical about the 305 fps arrow velocity and concerned about penetration. After I took a decent buck, I am no longer concerned.

first buck with the Excalibur 2011
first buck with the Excalibur 2011
2nd buck with the Excalibur 2012
2nd buck with the Excalibur 2012

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Comments 1 comment

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ShootersCenter 4 years ago from Florida

Good article, I've never used a crossbow yet but I tore my cuff in my shoulder so I can't pull my compound anymore. I'll be giving one a try probably next season.

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