January 07, 2021
It’s a given that each year the archery and hunting industries will unveil an assortment of new bows, accessories and gear designed to help you improve your shooting performance, stay comfortable afield or give you that little extra edge you need to hopefully take down a monster buck or bruiser bull. Every once in a while, however, a new product hits the market that it is so innovative and so different it causes you go ‘Wow’!
Such is the case with the new TwinStrike by Excalibur Crossbow. The flagship bow of Excalibur’s 2021 crossbow line, the TwinStrike grabs your attention immediately not because it’s faster, more compact or lighter than other bows, but rather because it offers the ability to load and fire two bolts almost simultaneously — an industry first — thanks to what it calls “DualFire Technology.”
Simply stated, the TwinStrike features two rails, two strings and a pair of triggers, making it capable of firing two shots only seconds apart. How might this be beneficial in the field, you ask?
Well, if you happen to hit a branch or sapling and the deer or turkey doesn’t flee at the shot, or you just plain miss your target, there’s no need to load another bolt since you already have a follow-up shot ready. Hunting with the TwinStrike may mean the difference between putting that buck on your wall, or watching helplessly as it walks out of range or out of sight. In some areas with high white-tailed deer densities and liberal harvest limits, this new bow may even provide opportunities to take two animals in the same sitting, or possibly even within minutes of each other, without having to reload.
With its 358-pound draw, shoot-through riser and 14 1/8 powerstroke, the TwinStrike is built to launch the Quill bolts that come with the crossbow at a solid 360 fps. Much like the barrel of an over-under shotgun, the crossbow’s rails sit directly on top of each other, with Excalibur reporting pinpoint accuracy for both bolts at a distance of 50 yards. For any range over or under the 50-yard mark, groups of 1½ inches are promised.
As far as shooting the bow, the TwinStrike’s 4-pound frictionless triggers operate independently, with the front trigger firing the top rail and the rear trigger releasing the lower rail.
Weight-wise, the TwinStrike checks in at 7¾ pounds without accessories, placing it in line with other single-rail bows of its size. Excalibur was able to keep the weight down, even with two rails, thanks to the ‘skeletonized’ design of the stock.
The crossbow measures 33 3/8 inches long and 21 1/8 inches in wide axle to axle when cocked. It comes with Excalibur’s Overwatch adjustable illuminated scope, scope rings and mounts, Charger EXT cocking device, DualFire decocking aid, Rebolt 4-bolt quiver, four Quill bolts and four 100-grain fieldpoints. The TwinStrike also features CeaseFire Technology, Excalibur’s anti-dryfire safety mechanism that prevents the string from launching if it’s cocked but doesn’t have an arrow in place.
Loading the Bow
While the TwinStrike can be loaded with a cocking rope, the Charger EXT reduces the cocking pressure to only 14 pounds, making it incredibly easy to load the bow. When activating both rails, the upper string is cocked first and the lower string is cocked second. Bolts, however, are loaded in inverse order, with the lower one inserted into its rail first. For hunters who only want to hunt with one shot, both rails can be cocked independently, which means you can load and fire the top or the bottom rail by itself.
As noted previously, the TwinStrike is designed to shoot 1½-inch groups at distances of less than 50 yards. Hence, it’s up to shooters to determine how they want to sight in the bow at 20 yards. One option is to set it up so the top bolt hits dead on, knowing that bolts launched from the lower rail will then land 1½ inches lower. Conversely, you can set the lower rail to strike the bull’s-eye, with the understanding that bolts launched from the upper rail will then hit slightly higher. The other option is to split the difference, sighting the top bolts to hit three-quarters of an inch high, which means bolts from the lower rail will land approximately three-quarters of an inch low.
Hunting with the TwinStrike
Since the TwinStrike has just hit the market, the bow can be pre-ordered now (MSRP: $2,222.22) and it will start shipping later this winter. As this particular crossbow is essentially a new type of hunting device, it’s important to check with your state wildlife agency to ensure it can be used as a legal hunting weapon in archery season, and that both rails can be cocked and loaded at the same time while afield.
Now that the bowhunting industry has its first dual-shot crossbow, it will be interesting to see if other manufacturers will consider developing similar products in the future. As far as crossbow hunting applications, if you have ever found yourself in a situation where you wished you had an immediate follow-up shot, the TwinStrike is definitely worth a look. This feature rich bow promises accuracy, performance, power and something that you often don’t often get while bowhunting — a second chance!