Excalibur Crossbows has been setting the standards for recurve crossbows for decades now. Their clever designs are constantly being copied and infringed upon by newer and lesser companies because they are at the very pinnacle of their field. Excalibur research and development is so far ahead of the rest that imitation is the only recourse for the competition of recurve design.
Over the years, I have watched as Excalibur’s engineers have strived to make their crossbows lighter, narrower and shorter, while increasing their speed and kinetic energy. It has been no simple task, but one that the entire Excalibur team has taken to heart and turned into a undeniable reality.
Another area the company has been hard at work in is making their crossbow quieter. Again, no easy task, when you consider the dynamics of the crossbow’s design… especially one of a recurve motif. Well, allow me to share their most recent accomplishment in that department by introducing you to the Excalibur Micro Suppressor.
The Micro Suppressor weighs in at just 5.4 lbs and is just 31″ long. The 280 lb draw weight and 10.2″ Power Stroke still manage to launch a 350 grain arrow at just over 340 fps. Topping the package off is the Bullpup Ready Rest stock, which is handsomely cloaked in Realtree Xtra camouflage. It is truly a thing of beauty.
The Sound Deadening System successfully reduces vibration and noise when the crossbow is fired, increasing your success in the field while providing a much smoother, overall shooting experience. If having an incredibly narrow, compact and quiet crossbow isn’t enough, Excalibur has included the new X-Hanger quiver that features a quick-detach, lightweight carbon design for versatility and optimal maneuverability. The X-Hanger attaches to a three sided tactical picatinny rail allowing for additional accessory attachments. The Micro Suppressor comes with an ambidextrous cheekpiece, oversized finger guards and the Guardian Anti-Dry-Fire System for the ultimate in safety and protection. The Micro Suppressor’s compact size and silenced shot once again puts Excalibur far into the lead of the recurve design market.
When my Micro Suppressor arrived on my doorstep, I was delighted to see how little assembly was required as most of it had been done in the factory. The Sound Deadening System was completely installed, so it was just a matter of attaching the bow to the riser, the S-Hanger quiver to the picatinny rail, and mounting the Tact-Zone scope to the rail. The last step was to install the EX-SHOX to the end of the limbs where the string connects. Easy-peasy, and it was done in almost no time.
The next step was to take the bow out to Perry Mason’s country retreat for test firing and zeroing in the scope. Perry always helps me with this process and it makes it a lot easier for me to take the photos if someone else is manipulating the adjustments needed to exact the impact point.
The first thing we noticed is the 280 pound draw weight is just about as much as either of us old duffers can handle, and we both agreed that another 20lbs would probably have been too much. The stock of the Suppressor does come tapped for Excalibur’s C2 Crank Cocking Aid to do all of the heavy lifting for you if you feel the need.
We always set up the chronograph to monitor speed of the arrows during the test firing just to see what kind of speeds we are getting. With the arrows we were using, a full inch and a half longer than the ones that come with the bow, as well as heavier in design, we were getting an average speed of 318 fps. More than enough to get the job done on the Canadian black bear that I planned on bringing down with the Suppressor.
We zeroed the bow at 20 yards and then we moved the target back to 40 yards for the fine tuning. At the end of the evening we were consistently and neatly drilling the center of the bullseye at forty yards. Both of us are big fans of the famous Excalibur accuracy and consistency and could tell that the Sound Deadening System was working and effectively doing its job. Neither of us could recall shooting a quieter crossbow. When we had both had enough of cocking that stout little monster, we packed up the bow and called it a night.
The next stop with the Micro Suppressor was Manitoba, Canada to test the bow in the field in an actual hunting situation. When I arrived at Buffalo Point, I immediately checked the zero of the bow and discovered that it was shooting at 11 o’clock, 2-inches off center. A couple of clicks right and a couple clicks down and we were once again in the middle of the bull. That adjustment made, it was time to take the Suppressor into the field to see how it would perform in a hunting situation. There were no surprises there, either.
The bow’s overall size makes it a real pleasure when going into and out of the field. It maneuvers nicely in and around trees and brush. Cocking the bow on the ground is a requirement in my book of safety rules. I would consider cocking it in a stand if I had the C2 Cocking device, but only then. Its petite size and light weight makes climbing in and out of the stand a breeze with the bow strapped to your back via a sling.
The bait barrel I was watching over was exactly 29 yards from my stand. That was close enough to know I would have no adjustments to make and could safely use the second reticule on the Tact-Zone Scope. This particular scope is one of my favorites as you simply establish the speed of your arrow and then set the fps ring on the scope to that speed, which automatically sets the reticules of the scope to exactly 20-30-40-50 and 60 yards. The reticules also may be illuminated to make shooting easier and more accurate in low light situations. Even though my shot was taken in broad daylight, the dimness of the deep forest made the illuminated reticules shine like a brilliant Christmas tree light. It was wonderful.
To top the package off, I was using LumenArrows for the hunt that lit up a bright red when fired. And the arrow was tipped with a 100-grain Rage Xtreme Crossbow 2-bladed broadhead with a 2.3″ cut. After seeing what this broadhead could do on a wild turkey, I was most interested in trying it on a more substantial prey.
To make a long story short, when presented with a shot, the Micro Suppressor did exactly what it was supposed to do. It delivered the arrow perfectly, to the exact spot I was aiming for, to quickly and humanly dispose of my intended quarry. The bear had no time to react and from all of its indications, did not even hear the bow discharge. If it did, it had zero time to react before the arrow covered the thirty yards to its target.
The Excalibur Micro Suppressor is a sweet package designed to overcome just one more shortcoming of the crossbow… its noisy discharge. As technology advances, hunting with a crossbow just keeps getting better and better. Excalibur has already reached an apex as far as compactness, accuracy and power in a recurve crossbow. But whatever new innovations and developments are around the corner in the recurve market, one would do well to keep their eyes on Excalibur, because that is the company the enhancements will come from.
See more at www.excaliburcrossbow.com