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Excalibur offers a wide range of crossbows that are primarily aimed at the bowhunter market. Known for their high-quality recurve crossbows, Excalibur is highly regarded among the community.
In a market dominated by compound crossbows, it is nice to see more traditional models still competing. Throughout this post, we have reviewed four of the best Excalibur crossbow models, judging each one on several criteria.
Perhaps the latest addition to your arsenal is featured below? There’s only one way to find out, so let’s get to it.
Excalibur is well known for the quality of its recurve bows, and the Matrix Grizzly provides all the functionality of their flagship Matrix line at an accessible price point. Manufactured as a lightweight hunting alternative, the Grizzly uses the same CRT limbs as the rest of the Matrix range.
Boasting a thumbhole stock design made from a sturdy polycarbonate material that ensures robustness in a lightweight package. Unlike compound crossbows that have complex mechanical moving parts, the Excalibur Matrix Grizzly uses a recurve design, reducing the amount of wear and tear and maintenance required.
Excalibur’s proprietary REDS (Recoil Energy Dissipation System) vibration dampening isn’t featured on the Grizzly, but it serves as a base platform that can be upgraded over time.
The Grizzly comes with the following accessories:
Overall the quality of the included accessories is high, and the Deadzone scope will serve most bowhunters well in a variety of situations. It can even be adjusted for velocity. 4 x Diablo arrows are also included in this package and are suitable for most target and bowhunting circumstances.
If you do plan on replacing the arrows or purchasing extras, we would recommend staying with 18” arrows, as users have noted that there is slightly too much overhang from 20” bolts.
Excalibur has created a respectably powered crossbow in a neat and tidy package, weighing only 5.5lbs with a relatively compact design. These properties have led to the Grizzly being a fantastic choice for younger bowhunters or those with a smaller frame; maybe you are just looking for a crossbow with a slightly reduced size.
Of course, the included rope cocking device will need to be used when taking on 200lb of draw weight, but it is surprisingly easy, even for youth bowmen.
This isn’t the most stunningly powerful crossbow on the market, but it is capable of handling most big game. There is definitely an audience for the Grizzly.
Noise and vibration are not as extreme as expected considering the lack of suppressors, the Grizzly is, however, easily upgraded with Excalibur’s REDS dampeners.
I feel as if the Grizzly has been designed to get archers using their Matrix line with an entry-point model which is easily upgradeable.
The Grizzly uses a manual safety mechanism, which seems to be standard on most Excalibur crossbows. I haven’t found any reason to complain regarding the safety features of this crossbow or suspect that they won’t hold up over time.
Bowmen will have to practice proper trigger discipline and be mindful that there is a lack of auto-safety.
No anti-dry-fire mechanism
Excalibur’s Bulldog 440 model is a high-end crossbow, purposefully designed to throw arrows downrange hard and fast. As is expected with the Excalibur brand, build quality is high, with an excellent range of accessories included. The Bulldog 440 is a fantastic addition to any bowhunter’s armory.
Excalibur has a keen dedication to manufacturing some of the toughest crossbows on the market, and the Bulldog series is no exception. Unlike the Grizzly, the Bulldog has a skeletonized bullpup stock design, featuring an ambidextrous cheek rest.
Improving grip and accuracy for both left and right-handed user’s, the stock is built from the same sturdy polycarbonate material as other Excalibur models. Once again, being a recurve model reduces the maintenance demands when compared to compound crossbows.
An improved Pro-Shot ACP Trigger system provides a reliable 3lbs of trigger pull, with zero creep. This trigger system has been designed to prevent grit from entering the mechanism, ensuring it stays smooth throughout its lifetime.
Included with the Bulldog 440 is:
Coming with a complete package of enviable accessories, the real stand out is the cocking system. With the EXT Silent Crank System attached, the Bulldog becomes one of the fastest shooting recurve crossbows on the market.
Allowing you the opportunity to take a second shot if required, which should be made easier with the inclusion of the Tact-100 scope. One hundred yards of accurate range is easily achievable with the Tact-100 featuring a fully illuminated multi-reticle.
Although we would never recommend taking a shot at those kinds of distances unless at a target for practice, in keeping with humane hunting practices, we would never attempt a kill shot further than 40 yards.
With the inclusion of the EXT Silent Crank and Excalibur’s proprietary REDS dampening system, the Bulldog is unusually quiet compared to other models. With the REDS system working as intended on what is already an almost noiseless recurve bow.
The included cranking mechanism is not only silent but allows you to ready your crossbow after firing with ease. Weighing in at 6.2lbs, the Bulldog is of average weight and size; however, the frame does feel very comfortable in hand, with just the right amount of heft for a secure, comfortable grip.
Anti-dry-fire is included on the Bulldog and is a welcome addition to reduce the risk of damage to yourself and your equipment.
Industry-leading trigger mechanism
Smaller archers may find this a little too large
Many bowhunters have written the 308 Short off as a crossbow designed for females and youth archers, but I think they are completely missing out.
Yes, the 308 Short is one of the smallest and lightest crossbows available on the market; but it is a perfect addition for bowhunters who regularly find themselves hunting from tight ground blinds or tree stands.
Excalibur’s 308 Short Banshee edition comes finished in a classy bronze and Kryptek Banshee camo colorway. The bullpup designed stock is made from Excalibur’s SMF polycarbonate material, with an aluminum alloy rail.
Like all Excalibur crossbows, the 308 Short has been built to last; another reviewer has mentioned that even after four seasons, his 308 Short still performs like new with minimal maintenance.
Accessories included in the 308 Short Banshee package:
It is no surprise that this is probably the quietest recurve available on the market today; the supplied Air Brakes alone are shown to have an 8dBSPL decrease in noise levels, with no loss of arrow velocity.
Packaged with the same Deadzone scope as the Matrix Grizzly, which, once attached, will provide you with the flexibility to hunt in most conditions and situations.
Measuring just 30” from tip to tip, the 308 Short is one of the shortest crossbows available, often dismissed as a crossbow for youth and female use; it will make a great addition to the arsenal of archers that favor blinds and tree stands.
Even with an impressive 257lbs of draw weight, the 308 can be made ready by almost anyone with the included rope cocking device, made easier thanks to the shorter pull length.
Not only is this crossbow petite, but at a mere 5.6lbs, it is on the lighter end of the spectrum for crossbows, reducing fatigue over extended use.
Standard Excalibur safety features can be found on the 308 Short, with their Guardian Anti-Dry-Fire and manual safety as expected.
Great for blinds
Larger archers may find it too small
Being the smallest, most compact crossbow on offer from Excalibur, the Micro Suppressor is the natural evolution of the previous Micro 355. Supplied with a full suite of sound suppression devices, and delivering a respectable 355fps of velocity, the Micro Suppressor should attract the attention of a large portion of bowhunters.
Manufactured using Excalibur’s SMF material, the Micro Suppressor is as robust and hard-wearing as any other crossbow on this list. Featuring an ambidextrous cheekpiece and pistol-grip bullpup design, the Micro offers a solid grip in hand.
After reading the above reviews, I’m sure we all know the quality we can expect to receive from Excalibur.
Included with the Micro Suppressor package is:
The Micro Suppressor features one of the most complete, and comprehensive noise suppression systems currently available. Combining the REDS vibration dampening alongside the Air Brakes reduces sound level output by 8dBspl, without any reduction in velocity.
Scope and arrows are in line with the rest of the Excalibur Matrix series, with the Tact-Zone scope providing an illuminated reticle suitable for all lighting conditions and adjustable for bow velocity.
If you are an avid bowhunter, the Micro Suppressor might just be for you. Completely silent during use, this model ensures there is little chance of your target jumping the string, potentially wasting an entire day.
Throwing out arrows at a velocity of 355fps, the Miro Suppressor is capable of handling all but the absolute largest game in North America. Furthermore, if you are a bowhunter who often seeks out tree stands or tight ground blinds, the compact size and low weight make this one of the best crossbows on the market.
Similar to the rest of the Matrix line of crossbows from Excalibur, the Micro Suppressor features a manual safety and Guardian Anti-Dry-Fire system.
More power will be needed if you hunt the largest game
While reading over our Excalibur crossbow reviews, you will have noticed we used several criteria throughout each one. Below is a brief description of what we were looking for in each segment.
Your crossbow needs to be able to meet the demands you place it under, during each of our reviews we have considered the durability and robustness of each model. A malfunctioning or broken crossbow is of no use to anybody, especially out in the field.
The materials chosen by the manufacturer, quality of the moving parts, and expected general upkeep have all been reflected upon during our review process. If we suspect a model isn’t up to par, we will let you know.
A great crossbow should be complimented with great accessories. Not only will any included accessories improve your performance, but each additional accessory provides more bang for your buck.
If any of the included accessories aren’t providing you with additional value, we will provide recommendations for alternative aftermarket products.
Excalibur are industry-leading manufacturers of recurve crossbows, which is a refreshing change of pace. Many crossbow manufacturers seem to be competing for the award of releasing the most unnecessarily complicated compound crossbow on the market.
Recurve bows are, in general, easier to maintain and utilize efficiently. Throughout our review process, we have noted how easy each model is to assemble and operate.
Under the ease of use umbrella, we also determine whether the crossbow is unwieldy or not, whether there is any unwarranted bulk, and how easy it is to travel with each model.
Whether or not each crossbow has excessive amounts of vibration or noise on firing is an essential factor for us, the last thing you need after camping out all day is your target jumping the string.
The safety of yourself and others is the number 1 priority regardless of whether you are hunting or shooting target practice during the offseason. Safety features need to work well and have an almost infinitely small chance of failing.
If the safety features on any model of crossbow aren’t up to the task, we’ll be sure to inform you.
No doubt about it, my favorite Excalibur crossbow is the Excalibur Bulldog 440. Not only is it the most powerful out of all the options, but it is whisper quiet during use.
With the included cranking accessories and small size, the Bulldog is a quick-firing powerful crossbow packed into an easily handled footprint.
Do you regularly use any of the models above? We would love to hear what you think of them, and if you have any helpful hints and tips to share, let us know in the comments below.
As always, we aim to deliver the most up to date, relevant content to Archery Edge. So if you have any questions or topics you would like us to cover, please get in touch.