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Bow Review: Xpedition X33

The new carbon-alloy hybrid riser is an industry first.

Bow Review: Xpedition X33

Xpedition’s X33 features a riser machined from a unique X-Loy material, a blend of metal alloys infused with carbon.

Founded in 2013, Xpedition Archery is a relatively young bow company that has quickly worked its way into the upper echelon when it comes to high-performance bows.

For 2021, Xpedition is building on its reputation for innovation with the all-new X Series.

Showcasing three models named for their axle-to-axle lengths — the X30, X33 and X37 — all feature risers machined from a proprietary material known as X-Loy by Magnite, the LVR (Lever) Cam and the Energy Transfer System (ETS) cable-management technology. The X33 featured in this test is also home to a one-piece pivoting limb pocket, heavily pre-loaded split limbs, GAS bow strings, Limbsaver string suppressor and Axion limb dampeners.

A Unique Blend

One of the headlining features of the X33 is the X-Loy riser — a proprietary blend of metal alloys infused with carbon. Xpedition says the new material results in a finished riser that is 20 percent stronger than solid aluminum while also being 30-35 percent lighter, giving archers the best of both worlds. X Series risers are first forged and then machined into their final form before a hydro-dip or powder coat process is used to apply the finish.

The Company’s Energy Transfer System (ETS), which is responsible for cable management, pre-loads the cables in the static position. There are two sets of rollers on the cable fixture. One set allows the cables to move freely during the draw and shot cycles while the other set makes it possible for the fixture itself to move along the X-Loy rod. When the bow is drawn, the fixture moves closer to the centerline, thereby reducing torque. Conversely, at the shot it moves back to its resting position, taking the cables out of the path of passing vanes.

Additional riser-based features include a grip, Limbsaver-tipped string suppressor and metal stabilizer-mounting insert. The grip, which is machined directly into the riser handle, is designed with a flat back for consistent hand placement. It also encourages a neutral wrist position.

Levers and Lines

Xpedition engineers maximized the efficiency of the new LVR Cam by manipulating the lever ratios of the overall system. A compound system is complex, with variables in take up, let out, cam structure, shape, etc. Each variable interacts with the others to produce the energy that is imparted to the arrow. The X33 is advertised to propel arrows downrange at speeds ranging from 348-350 fps IBO with a 6.5-inch brace height and 80 percent letoff. Both cams are equipped with sliding draw stops that can be used to customize letoff and the “feel” of the valley and back wall at full draw.

The X33’s heavily pre-loaded split limbs are past parallel at rest, increasing stored energy and speed.

Xpedition’s LVR Cam system features an upper split yoke that anchors to the outside of each limb tip, allowing archers to dial in their tuning, while a rotating module moves the system through its draw length range of 26.5-31 inches, in half-inch increments. Cams are machined using the same X-Loy material found in the riser and black anodized for a tough, wear-resistant finish. Cams ride on hardened steel axles. Xpedition outfits its bows with GAS bowstrings and cables crafted from BCY 454 material. GAS uses its proprietary Total Tensioning System (TTS) to ensure zero string creep, peep rotation and serving separation. Speed Nocks are added to the string to increase speed and reduce oscillation and noise.

Heavy Load — High Energy

Just like Xpedition’s popular MX-16 bow, the X33 is home to heavily pre-loaded limbs that hold a past-parallel position at rest. The pre-loading is designed to increase stored energy and enhance speed while limiting vertical movement, thereby reducing hand shock and vibration. Limbs are split, measure 12.25 inches long and are made from layered fiberglass. Limbs are matched into sets based on deflection values, are custom shimmed and are available in standard peak draw weights of 50, 60, 65 and 70 pounds (custom draw weights also available). Xpedition’s X Lock limb pocket is a one-piece, machined unit that eliminates lateral movement for enhanced shooting consistency. It also includes a threaded hole at the top of the pocket that allows for threaded accessories such as weights.


Xpedition has proven its worthiness over the past decade, and this year is no exception. I like the X33, and I like the fact that Xpedition is always looking for ways to increase performance through the use of new materials and bow designs. The LVR Cam outperforms the visual appeal of the accompanying draw-force curve, producing a super consistent (smooth) draw that felt more like 60 pounds than the 65 pounds registered on our Chatillon digital scale. I welcome the flat back grip, as it works well for my shooting form, and the bow balanced well on target, followed by a quick, backward dip of the top cam before an easy drop away after the shot. Almost no vibration could be detected, while a small jump in the handle was all but eliminated with the addition of a quality stabilizer. All in all, the X33 is another high-performing rig from the Xpedition team.

The Specs

  • Manufacturer: Xpedition Archery, 844-263-3665;
  • Model: X33
  • Riser: X-Loy, reflex
  • Grip: Machined, flat-back design
  • Limbs: Split, high pre-load, layered glass
  • Draw Weights: 50, 60, 65 and 70 pounds peak
  • Draw Lengths: 26.5-31 inches, in half-inch increments, rotating module
  • Cam System: LVR hybrid cam
  • Letoff: 80 percent (advertised); 77.3 percent (as tested), adjustable
  • String: GAS, BCY 454, 59.875 inches
  • Cables (x2): GAS, BCY 454, 38.125 & 34.0625 inches
  • Brace Height: 6.5 inches
  • Axle-to-Axle Length: 32.5 inches
  • Weight: 3.7 pounds (advertised); 4 pounds (as tested)
  • Finish Options: Realtree Edge, Realtree Excape, Realtree Timber, Molten Black, Tactical Sand and Ops Green
  • Advertised IBO Speed: 348-350 fps
  • MSRP: $1,399
  • Comments: A smooth-drawing, hard-hitting shooter.

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