July 17, 2015
By Jon E. Silks
Excalibur was started in 1983 out of a passion for crossbow hunting, and the company has since introduced many new designs and innovations focused on the hunter. Excalibur has built a reputation for producing crossbows that are powerful, dependable, accurate and backed by excellent customer service. The new Micro 335 packs all these qualities into a small, manueverable package.
The Micro 335 features an oversized cocking stirrup, ambidextrous cheek piece, aluminum rail, the REDS dampening system, oversized trigger guard, Feather-Lite Skeletonized stock, Gen II CRT limbs, pistol grip and more.
The Gen II CRT (Compact Recurve Technology) limbs have been enhanced for an advertised 60-percent increase in strength over past Excalibur limbs. From tip-to-tip, the Micro's limbs span only 25€‰1„2 inches while at rest and shrink down to a diminutive 22 inches when cocked.
Coupled with a short overall length that measures just past 32 inches and you can see where the new rig got its Micro name.
Excalibur outfits the Micro 335 with its Quad-Loc Riser, which is home to the Recoil Energy Dissipation System (REDS). It consists of two modules attached to the riser on either side of the rail where rubber bumpers are seated just a fraction of an inch from the string at rest.
When the crossbow is fired, the bumpers contact the string and reduce oscillation and noise. A large foot stirrup attached to the end of the riser teams up with an included rope cocking device to aid the shooter in cocking the rig, which has a 270-pound draw weight.
Precision CNC machining crafts the aluminum alloy riser into its final form, including a large, dished-out area made especially for broadhead clearance.
The remainder of the crossbow is essentially there to manage the "bow" part described above. It provides a shooter interface, firing mechanism and a sighting system.
Serving as the shooter interface, the traditional stock and foregrip are integrated into a single continuous unit, which is injection molded with glass-filled nylon. A thumbhole-style design, along with the pistol grip, allow increased control while providing comfort with molded rubber grip inserts.
Excalibur reduces overall mass weight by skeletonizing the rear segment of the stock, meaning it removed a maximum amount of material from that area while maintaining strength and integrity. Oversizing of the trigger guard is intended to provide enough clearance for cold-weather gloves.
Finger guards are molded into the foregrip's top surface to prevent the shooter's fingers from reaching above the rail where the string travels during the shot. The foregrip, like the pistol grip, features rubber inserts for comfort.
The trigger housing is anchored to the back portion of the aluminum rail, which bridges the gap between the stock and bow. Excalibur's Guardian Anti-Dry-Fire system is contained in the scope mount where it catches the string if the crossbow is fired without a bolt loaded. A built-in release allows for de-cocking to relax the crossbow's limbs rather than unnecessarily shooting the bolt at the end of the day. The manual safety component at the back of the trigger housing prevents accidental discharge using a simple blocking mechanism.
A scope rail fixture is attached to the top of the trigger housing, which is outfitted with the Dead-Zone Scope. This scope features a 32mm objective lens, multiple reticles and a speed ring that compensates for crossbows shooting between 300 and 420 fps.
What Do I Get?
Excalibur includes the following with a Micro 335: Premium Dead-Zone Scope with one-inch rings, a four-bolt quiver with mounting bracket, a rope cocking aid and four Excalibur Quill bolts tipped with 150-grain field points.
With its minimal footprint, the Micro 335 is super maneuverable, especially when cocked. On the topic of cocking this rig, you need to be certain you are up for the 270-pound draw weight. Excalibur does offer a crank cocking aid.
We tested accuracy using a three-shot group, which resulted in a tight, half-inch pattern. As mentioned in other reviews, I would like to see a larger finger-guard flare on the foregrip, but I am a fan of the pistol grip with rubber inserts as well as the scope features and performance.
Manufacturer: Excalibur Crossbow
Model: Micro 335
Safety Features: Guardian Anti-Dry-Fire system, Forearm flange
Riser: Machined extruded aluminum
Cam System: Extended Power Stroke Reverse Cam
Overall Advertised Width: 22 inches cocked, 25€‰1„2 inches un-cocked
String: Dyna Flight, 26.125 inches
Limbs: Gen II CRT, recurve
Draw Weight: 270 pounds
Power Stroke: 10 inches
Stock: Thumbhole, injection molded glass-filled nylon
Grip: Pistol style with molded rubber inserts
Forearm: Rubber inserts, Safety flange
Overall Length: 32€‰1„2 inches
Advertised Weight: 5.2 pounds (crossbow only)
Finish: Realtree Xtra or Textured Black Tactical
Advertised Speed: 335 fps, with 350-grain Excalibur bolt
Suggested Retail Price: $899.99
Comments: Small and fast.