January 05, 2021
By Mark Demko
Excalibur Crossbow turned heads last year when it unveiled the TwinStrike, an innovative crossbow capable of lunching two bolts only milliseconds apart thanks to its dual limb sets, rails, strings and triggers. This year, the company is looking to follow up on that success as it rolls out three new models — the lightweight Mag Air, compact Micro 380 and tactical-style TwinStrike TAC2 — ensuring there’s a crossbow that fits almost any bowhunter’s needs and interests.
Excalibur Mag Air — Perfect for New and Veteran Bowhunters
Call me crazy, but I prefer crossbows that are lightweight and easy to wield since I often hunt in smaller ladder stands and ground blinds. That’s precisely why the new Mag Air caught my attention.
With the Mag Air ($549), Excalibur has achieved a solid balance between comfort, maneuverability and affordability. One of the lightest, strongest crossbows in its class, the Mag Air checks in at only 4.9 pounds without accessories and an impressive 6.7 pounds with the scope, quiver and bolts included.
As for the dimensions, the bow measures 31 inches long with the foot stirrup included and 25.5 inches wide uncocked. It features a 136-pound draw weight, with the 12.4-inch power stroke and recurve-limb design combining to launch the included Quill Bolts 305 fps, more than fast enough for deer, bear, turkey and other game animals.
What Stands Out
Simple Setup — Setting up the Mag Air out of the box is incredibly easy thanks to the one-bolt assembly that connects the limb assembly to the mainframe. The scope and quiver are the only other pieces you need to manually add to the crossbow, and in a matter of minutes, you’re ready to hit your local archery range or backyard to start the sighting-in process.
Ease of Handling — The Mag Air’s straightforward design, which includes a synthetic, skeletal stock and mainframe, really helps shed the pounds on this bow and makes it a great choice for any hunter, whether a youngster or veteran. Not only is this bow lightweight, it’s also very easy to maneuver and feels incredibly comfortable when aiming and shooting.
The Bolts — If you’re used to crossbow bolts that come with more standard-style nocks, the ends of the Quill Bolts might be somewhat surprising at first glance since they feature Excalibur’s flat Rhino Nocks. While it may cause you to go ‘hmm’, these nocks are designed specifically for the bow, aiding in bolt positioning and ensuring better contact with the string. It’s also worth noting that there’s no designated cocking vane, so it doesn’t matter which vane you slide into the flight groove when loading the bow.
Safety Features — The safety wings on the foregrip are rather large, ensuring that your fingers or hands don’t accidentally slide up into the string path, while the safety switch is perfectly positioned above the pistol grip, making it easy and convenient to engage or disengage whether you’re right- or left-handed.
What’s In the Box
The Mag Air comes as a ready-to-shoot kit, complete with:
- Three 16.5-inch Quill Bolts
- Three Fieldpoints
- 4-Bolt Quiver
- Cocking Rope
- Multiplex Crossbow Scope
The Bottom Line
At only $549, the Mag Air is a bow that fits into almost any hunter’s price range, and it’s an excellent model to consider if you want to introduce a young hunter or ‘newbie’ to archery hunting. While it may not come with all the bells and whistles of higher-end crossbow models, it’s also an ideal option for more experienced hunters because of its lightweight, straightforward design and how well it handles and feels in the hand.
TwinStrike TAC2 — An Awesome One-Two Punch
After ‘wowing’ the archery-hunting world with its dual-shot TwinStrike in 2021, Excalibur has unleashed a lighter, more easily maneuverable version of the bow this year: the TwinStrike TAC2 ($1,599.99).
The TAC2’s tactical-style, skeletonized rail, riser and stock are designed to provide better in-hand balance, while at the same time keeping the bow in line weight-wise (7.5 pounds without accessories and 9.6 pounds with them) with many single-shot crossbows on the market.
Like its predecessor, the TwinStrike TAC2 has a design similar to the barrel of an over-under shotgun, with the two rails sitting directly on top of each other. The crossbow is designed so that both bolts hit with pinpoint accuracy at 50 yards, with 2-inch groups at any distance over or under that mark. Hence, when you are sighting in the TAC2, if you set the upper bolt to hit right in the bull’s-eye at 20 yards, you’ll need to remember the other bolt will hit 2 inches below that mark. A good strategy is to sight the crossbow in so that bolts from the upper rail hit one inch high, which means bolts coming off the lower rail will land one inch below your aimpoint.
The TAC2, which measures 32.125 inches long, comes with a Charger EXT removable crank, Tact-100 illuminated scope, four 16.5-inch Quill Bolts, 4-bolt quiver, DualFire decocking aid and more. The cranking device reduces the draw effort to only 13 pounds, and the TwinStrike launches the included bolts 340 fps, making it ideal for any big-game pursuit.
If you are considering purchasing the TwinStrike TAC2, there’s one important thing to remember: due to its ability to fire two shots nearly simultaneously, it’s a good idea to check with your state game agency in advance to ensure the crossbow is considered a legal hunting implement in your state.
Micro 380 — Small But Mighty
Accurate, efficient and fast, the Micro 380 ($1,099.99) is powered by Excalibur’s High Output Limbs and a 14.75-inch power stroke, launching bolts 380 fps while packing a bone-crushing 112 foot-pounds of force. Part of Excalibur’s Micro Series, this crossbow is designed to be lighter, easy to maneuver and highly durable. It’s also the first in the series to feature the company’s Ceasefire Technology, which ensures the bow can’t be fired unless a bolt is in place.
With its lighter weight (8.2 pounds with accessories; 6.6 pounds bow only) and compact design, the Micro 380 is a solid choice for spot-and-stalk and run-and-gun hunters. The Micro 380 package includes everything you need to get started on the range including scope, bolts, quiver and cocking rope. The Tact-100 illuminated scope makes aiming easy, while shock, vibration and noise at the shot are cut substantially thanks to the R.E.D.S. Suppressors strategically positioned on the bow.