October 06, 2017
By Jon E. Silks
Since 1983, Excalibur has been outfitting sportsmen with rock-solid equipment. Recurve limbs make Excalibur crossbows nearly indestructible as they involve no cam, which means no moving parts and no hassle. They stick to the basics and focus on reliable accuracy. In fact, Excalibur guarantees a group of three inches or less at 25 yards with broadheads.
Excalibur's 2017 flagship, the Micro Suppressor, is home to the company's Gen II CRT recurve limbs, composite one-piece stock and foregrip with rubber grip inserts, ambidextrous cheek piece, Quad Loc riser, multiple sound-deadening accessories and more.
The most visually distinguishable thing about an Excalibur crossbow is the recurve limbs. Free from mechanical hassle found with cams/wheels, a "hook the string to the limb tips" bow is simple in design and built to endure harsh conditions. The Micro Suppressor is outfitted with Gen II CRT limbs, advertised to be more compact but still 60 percent stronger than other limbs. Each fiberglass limb measures approximately 13 inches long and just under two inches across at its widest point. The crossbow's maximum side-to-side profile is measured at the limb tips, and we recorded 24.88 inches at rest and 20.94 inches when cocked.
The Micro's Quad-Loc Riser is machined out of an aluminum block and is small in size. Built-in limb pockets work with clamps to control the limb both laterally and vertically. A string made of BCY DynaFLIGHT 97 material anchors to the limb tips and preloads the limbs.
Taming the Shot
Excalibur's Recoil Energy Dissipation System (R.E.D.S.) quickly dampens string oscillation, vibration and noise at the shot. It uses two large rubber bumpers that fit over aluminum fixtures and attach to the riser on either side of the rail. An Air Brake system is fastened to the crossbow along with the limbs via the limb bolt and limb clamps. An energy-absorbing compound stops the limbs at the shot and is advertised to reduce noise by eight decibels without sacrificing speed.
The Sound Deadening System includes four components. First is Excalibur's Ex-Shox, dampening trusses wedged between the string and limb toward the tip, designed to decelerate the string on impact. Two String Stars quickly reduce string oscillation, while the Recoil Anti-Vibration System (R.A.V.S.) wraps around the limbs for additional silencing. Lastly, the oversized stirrup has a rubberized coating that reduces vibration running through its metal structure and eliminates noise.
The aluminum rail is a one-piece extruded and machined bridge that connects the bow to the stock. A trigger housing/scope mount unit is attached to the top and rear of the rail. It is home to the Guardian Anti-Dry-Fire system, designed to block the string if the crossbow is fired without a bolt loaded. It has a de-cocking feature so you don't have to shoot a bolt at the end of the hunt.
A manual trigger safety is also available, however, it does not engage automatically. A three-sided Picatinny rail attaches to the end of the rail closest to the bow for mounting a quiver and other accessories.
A single-piece stock and foregrip unit is injection molded with glass-filled nylon. The Bullpup Ready Rest stock reduces overall length by 2.5 inches. From the pistol grip to the butt plate, the stock is skeletonized to reduce mass weight. Rubber grip inserts on the pistol and foregrips add comfort and control, while the ambidextrous cheek piece aligns your eye with the included scope.
Excalibur crossbow packages include the following: Tact-Zone Illuminated Scope with 30mm rings, X-hanger Quiver with bracket, three Quill bolts with fieldpoints, rope-cocking aid, ambidextrous cheek piece, Sound Deadening System and R.E.D.S. Suppressor System.
The Micro Suppressor is easy to maneuver and will do well in any situation where space is a concern. The pistol grip and rubber grip inserts are comfortable. It is difficult to cock with its 280-pound draw weight, but Excalibur's C2 Crank Cocking Aid reduces effort to a level anyone can handle. The Guardian Anti-Dry-Fire and de-cocking mechanisms are useful features. While noise was louder than average, accuracy was excellent.