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I Think I Am Ready


airedale
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Have long been an archery buff and while I do very little bow hunting these days I still get my equipment out and sling arrows frequently. I have seven different bows that I have accumulated down through the years and picked up my first long bow this past summer and it has been a lot of fun shooting it.

What I do not have is a crossbow, I do not know a darn thing about them and have only shot one once that is owned by a friend, but I was sure impressed on how well I could hit targets with that thing.

So my main criteria has to be simplicity and reliability, no cluster-puck contraptions with a zillion parts that have to be kept in tune and need constant fixing. Also it will be used mostly for just shooting as I do not see myself hunting with one at this point in time.

So some investigation has led me to seriously consider an Excalibur, it is it's simplistic design that attracts me to it, the micro models are the ones that interest me the most for what I am wanting to do.

Any cross bow leads and education from the knowing are more than welcome to help me go in the right direction and I do not have a problem paying for quality.

Al

Edited by airedale
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Scorpyd and Excalibur are the two brands that always come up in my searches when looking for a reliable crossbow. Excalibur coming out on top in most scenarios.

I'm also super new to crossbows but have done tons and tons of research. I chose looks over reliability and have already had to return a crossbow. 

I'll be buying an Excalibur next year to keep as a backup crossbow.

Edited by heavuser
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YES.... EXCALIBER IS WHAT YOU WANT. SIMPLE LIKE A RECURVE BOW....I HAVE HAD ONE FOR 15 YEARS...GO TO THEIR WEB SITE A LOT OF VIDEOS ON SET-UP, MAINTANCE ECT. THEIR IS A COUPLE OF LOCAL EXCALIBER SHOPS THAT WILL HELP YOU OUT........ONE IS IN WEEDSPORT........THE OTHER IS IN AUBURN....GOOD LUCK

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This was our first year with Crossbow, it was a lo9t of fun. I'm not putting it down but it offered my kid a hunt when she came up Veterans day weekend. She picked it up and no time was putting the arrows right in the eye of the bull! We have a HYP Killerinstict 425. Seems nice but no crank on it. I cocked it once with wet boots on. Thing slipped out half way and got me in the nuts! lol Brother inlaw just got a 10 pt (think that is the name) it has a crank and the thing is balanced real nice. I hear it was about $1500. That is pricey for me. Good luck I think it will take over Compound bows just like they did with the recurve. Sure Compounds will still be around but more and more Hunters are going to kill big bucks with these things and the masses will join in. It's ok it's the way things work. I'll be getting one this year for sure. 

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I'm not a crossbow hunter myself but I do have a Mission Sub-1 Lite that my kids and I shoot in the back yard.  It is a heck of a nice crossbow, has been very reliable, and, with proper rail lubrication, the string and cables have been very durable.  Note that it is likely not legal for hunting purposes but it appears that is not an issue for either of us.

The downside is that the mission crossbows are rather expensive.

Good luck!

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I joined the crossbow ranks this year, I had no plan to ever do so, but my neighbor got a little pushy about hunting with him using one and actually gave me a crossbow. Not a complaint, I just never would have bought one myself, as I'm just starting to not enjoy archery as much as I used to over all. If you want simple and affordable, look at the Barnett Blackcat and/or Wildcat (same item, just different colors). I have the Wildcat, and it about as straight forward as you can get, being a recurve limb style.

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Another vote for an entry-level Barnett here.  I paid about $ 250  for my 300 fps Recruit, back in the spring of 2014, after they were first legalized in NY for deer hunting.  

It has held up very well for the last 8 years.  It certainly is not the fastest, but there is something to be said for “not pushing the envelope” when it comes to durability, longevity, and ease of use.  
 

Other than the ends of the serving loosening up a little on the string (I was able to repair that in under 5 minutes, with a little loop of fishing line, used to pull the ends back under), it has been completely trouble free.  

I bought it for hunting, and it’s performance  has been nearly flawless.  All but one of the (5) whitetail bucks, that I shot it at, died within hearing or seeing distance of taking the bolt.  
 

The (5th) one probably would have also, had I not used the same mechanical broadhead on a second deer without resharpening the blades.  I found that one about an hour after the shot, after a somewhat lousy 100 yard blood trail.  

While it has got the job done every time on deer (and this coyote a few weeks ago), it did let me down on it’s first shot at wild game, in October of 2014.  I missed a grouse, on an overhead shot at close range, during the 3-day northern zone crossbow deer season that year.   
 

I thought about having it restrung a few years ago, but opted to purchase a second entry-level crossbow instead (Centerpoint sniper 370).  That one is ok also, but I prefer the light-weight and easy-handling Barnett Recruit most of the time.   When it comes to hunting, I definitely prefer having two decent entry-level crossbows over one expensive high-performance model.  
 

I lost the rope-pulley device for the Recruit, in the excitement after killing my largest-ever bodied antlered buck with it, back in 2017.  On my next few dmp hunts that year, I was able to draw it by hand, but it was tough on the fingers.  I made up a couple hooks, using small pieces of chain, and they work great for a fast draw, maybe even enabling a quick second shot, if it was ever needed.   
E67615BF-575E-4D62-96FA-BEA57049F151.thumb.jpeg.9895e56c08489b2b88992ca1aedb1ff6.jpeg

 

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O.K. So your goal is to target shoot a trouble free crossbow. I have both an Excalibur, which as you know from your research is the #1 recurve type of crossbow, and a compound that is a lower end Barnett - the Recruit.

I love the Recruit for hunting. Although it was low cost -$200, it is not low value. I have taken 6 deer with it, taking 6 shots. I sighted it in with 8 shots when I got it and shoot it 3 times before each season to make sure it's still on.  I then shoot it about 10 times during the season to unload it. So, over the course of six years, I have shot it about 120 times. I don't want to shoot it too much as I want to preserve the string.  I would recommend this type of xbow for hunting, not for heavy usage target shooting.

My Excalibur Matrix on the other hand is not only great for hunting, I took 4 deer with that bow; but it's even better if you want to practice by shooting a lot. You can easily change or put extra twists in the string to adjust it and you can leave it loaded for hours longer than a compound and even uncock it without shooting it.

My Excalibur has a hawk scope with illuminated crosshairs, which also works just fine without the illumination if I need a fast shot at a deer and don't turn it on or in the event the battery runs out (which it never did).

You can pm me if you need more information. It seems you are on the right track for what your goal is by looking at the Excalibur. I would recommend Wyvern Creations, an online shop in New Hampshire. You can call there and talk to the owner about various options. His prices are excellent and he will be straightforward with giving you information. He has many of the top compound manufacturer brands as well as the Excalibur line, of which I believe he is now featuring the 380 micro model, to which you can add options to get what you want.

Hope this helps you.

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Almost exactly how I got started except it wasn't a friend, it was my brother in law. I wanted to hunt with it so I went on Amazon and bought a Barnet (model?), cuz it was the only one that could be delivered on time for use that season.

Took it out to my back yard range and out of the box it was dead on out to fifty yards. I have taken it out three times and have shot three nice bucks with it. As a life long archer using my own home made equipment I feel like I'm cheating. But, getting old.

Robby

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First of all I want to thank everyone so much who gave me some input on crossbows, I looked into everything as best I could and for me the Excalibur crossbow fit my bill of wants best of anything.

The Wyvern site provided above has as good a price that can be found on Excalibur Crossbows, I decided to go with a Micro Mag 340 Escape model, it is on the lower end of Excalibur's price scale but I believe it is exactly the crossbow I am looking for and should provide a lot of trouble free shooting for a long time to come.

Should be here in a few days and I will update what I think about this new adventure.

Al

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I was treated well by that shop several years ago when I purchased my Matrix. I don't think you can beat his prices and you can customize to get what you need. Additionally, his expertise is very valuable.

You may decide to get the crank cocking device after you try to manually pull the string a few times to cock it. Recurves take a lot more effort than compounds. Also, the crank cocking device makes it easier to replace or adjust the string using the rope adjustment tool.

I think you will be happy with your choice. If you need any help or advice feel free to pm me.

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Congrats !

I got one a few years back,when I couldn’t draw compound anymore . I just went to a shop and paid a grand for a Ten Point ,zero research. Killed some deer and coyotes,never knew I was supposed to lube the rails lol . Whatever .

I may even go,out in the late season ,although I don’t need any more meat , and it seems wrong to shoot another buck and give the meat away 

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Well the FedEx truck pulled in with the Excalibur, spent a bit of time putting everything together, just have to sight this thing in now. I am liking what I see. All my regular bows do not have a lot of speed so I probably should pick up a better target that is suitable for a crossbow.

Al

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Edited by airedale
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2 hours ago, airedale said:

Well the FedEx truck pulled in with the Excalibur, spent a bit of time putting everything together, just have to sight this thing in now. I am liking what I see. All my regular bows do not have a lot of speed so I probably should pick up a better target that is suitable for a crossbow.

Al

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If you want to start shooting right away, a “rag-bag” makes a decent target.  Take an old 50 lb feed bag and fill it with rags, worn out clothes, etc..  Tie the top closed with a piece of twine.  

That’s a lot cheaper than a commercial crossbow backstop, usually considerably lighter, and stops the bolts  pretty good.  Only drawback is, You just can’t leave it outside in the rain, or it will get pretty heavy. 

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I found an old block target in one of my sheds that I think will work. I never cared for it because it was so had getting the arrows out. I was looking at some youtube videos of some commercial hanging bag types and they worked real well and the arrows were easy to remove, also they were not overpriced.

Al

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  • 5 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

So I decided to do things right and picked up a Power Stop target block that is made to easily take and stop crossbow bolts with both target and broadhead tips. It is supposed to work very well and last a good long time. Looks to be pretty tough and we will see as I plan to give it a good workout with both the crossbow and my regular bows. It is a couple of feet square, nice and big so I should have no problem staying on target.

Al

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Edited by airedale
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10 hours ago, onlybrowning said:

I dig that Hornady stool! I want one, but they’re pricey!

Got the stool after I did a remodel of my reloading room, it is very well made and looks to be very good quality, Midway USA is where I got mine.

Al

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