LAST UPDATED: May 8th, 2015
With spring bear season right around the corner, Excalibur offered me their 2010 Axiom to field test against the mighty bruins of Manitoba. I deduced that nothing should work better on a Canadian black bear than a Canadian crossbow so eagerly accepted their offer and shortly thereafter received the Axiom package directly from the Excalibur factory in Ontario.
Not only is the Excalibur Axiom a dependable, consistent and powerful crossbow, but it is real purty, too!
My first reaction when I opened the box was that the bow was “real purty”. You see, the truth of the matter is that I am not really interested in the statistics of a crossbow like the fact that the Axiom has a draw weight of 175 lbs and an arrow speed of over 300 feet per second. Or that it has a power stroke of 14.5”, an arrow length of 20”, a minimum arrow weight of 350 grains, a 3 lb trigger-pull or a mass weight of 6 lbs. That is information for the technically minded, which is exactly why we have the cool and calculating brain of our European Correspondent, Geoffrey Toye on the HBM staff to masterfully and with great detail review our bows from the mechanical point of view.
The Axiom possesses all of the classic lines that Excalibur has become so famous for.
The practical components of a crossbow are what flick my personal switch and during the assembly, the first thing that I really appreciated about the Axiom is that with its Advantage Timber camouflage skin and with the graceful lines of its traditional Excalibur contour, it is most pleasing to the eye. That is the kind of high-tech thinking I conduct. Once it was completely assembled, the Axiom and I did a bee-line for the backyard range with a hand full of arrows, a cocking rope, my trusty KneePod and a camp chair. My first shot at ten yards hit the bulls-eye dead center, which is the exact kind of practicality my technical-less mind truly appreciates – a bow that comes out of the box and is almost perfectly sighted in on the very first shot. Now that is the kind of technology I can really sink my teeth into.
The Axiom fires a 350 grain arrow at just over 300 feet per second.
Only a couple of minor adjustments were required to zero in at twenty and thirty yards, which is pretty much all I am interested in as I have never been a big fan of long shots with any kind of a bow. Out to thirty yards I know that the Axiom (as well as all other Excalibur crossbows) is capable of dotting the “I” with every shot, when using a bench rest. One must make sure to shoot at a different spot with each release or a target-shooting session will quickly turn as expensive as a hardcore junkie’s drug habit. The only junk the single-spot archer will have to deal with when shooting an Axiom crossbow, however, will be the numerous arrows that will be trashed by its deadly consistency of its arrow flight.
The Axiom is proudly made by Excalibur Crossbows in Ontario Canada.
The time I spent on the range established the benefits of Excalibur trigger, which according to many is finest in the industry. Three pounds isn’t much and it definitely will surprise you with its release when it is squeezed slowly providing even more fine-tuning to the degree of accuracy obtainable with this incredible little bow. The Excalibur Multi-Plex scope that comes with each Axiom is 2.5 power, crystal clear and all that one needs when hunting with a crossbow. The Axiom kit also includes an attachable quiver, four Firebolt arrows and field tips.
The 2.5 power Excalibur Multi-Plex scope provides all of the magnification necessary for the Axiom.
The Axiom is built to hold up under the most difficult conditions and remain virtually problem free. Its rock-solid construction proved itself on the Canadian trip when the bow was blown off the hood of a pickup by high winds and landed upside down on the pavement. A quick trip to the target range established the fact that the bow was still perfectly zeroed and that no limitations had been placed on the performance of the bow in any way. There were a couple of cosmetic dings that would serve as friendly reminders of the experience as well as giving credence to the Axiom’s undeniable toughness. In all likelihood, the only serious mechanical challenge that will shorten a hunt with this bow is a broken string and that is easily remedied by carrying a spare in your fanny pack or gearbox, which I always do.
The Excalibur trigger, according to many, is finest in the industry.
Another component of the Axiom that I really appreciate is its overall light weight. By using a separate self-enclosed back quiver, I am able to pare even more weight off an already light bow making the load even more pleasant to bear and easier to hold steady when the moment of truth has arrived. While in Canada, all of my hunting partners commented on how light the Axiom was compared to the bows that they carried. In every situation, the lighter weight of the Axiom proved advantageous to me, broadening my appreciation for the bow and making it an absolute delight to carry in the field all day long.
The Axiom safety must be engaged manually each time the bow is cocked.
Our trips into and out of the field were long, rough, dirty and wet. They had record rainfalls this past spring and the water was deep and the mud was plentiful and sticky. The Axioms sleek design was easy to access for cleaning making it simple to get at the critical areas for mud removal. Never more have I appreciated the benefits of scope covers as on this hunt as well as the easy to clean surfaces and recesses of the Axiom.
The many hours spent with the Axiom on the range, traveling into and out of the bush and sitting on the stand gave me a great appreciation for the bow. But, how did it perform in the killing department with the mighty Manitoba black bear you’re asking. How would I know! I didn’t even see one. My five hunting partners all killed bears and I was the only one that had to hunt until the very last minute of the very last day without seeing a bear. I am quite positive that word got out in the bush that Daniel Hendricks was there with a brand new Excalibur Axiom and that was all that was necessary for every bear in Manitoba to steer clear of the baits I alertly guarded. Of course that is just a personal theory of mine; my hunting partners weren’t buying into it, actually I believe they were scoffing a bit.
When locked and loaded, the Axiom fits very comfortably on my lap making a long watch more pleasant.
From my humble point of view, the Axiom is a user-friendly bow that is easy to assemble, comfortable to use and tough as granite, while being very simple to maintain. It is deadly accurate with consistent arrow flight and packs more wallop than necessary to kill any animal in North America. It is light to tote, has a dynamite trigger and best of all it retails for around $650 for the whole kit and caboodle. From a simple crossbow hunter’s point of view, one that likes things sweet and simple while still maintaining complete and trustworthy dependability, the Excalibur Axiom is a great start-up crossbow for the newbie or will make an excellent addition to anyone’s crossbow collection as a tough, dependable, hunting crossbow. One can expect the maximum for the Axiom.
Excalibur’s Firebolt Arrows are the perfect match for the Axiom.