Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the Matrix string suppose to be set, there are no lines on the deck?

On all Matrix models the string should sit 5/8" to  1" back from the joint where the riser meets the rail.  If you have the Matrix 380 the string should sit about 1/8” off the R.E.D.S. suppressor pads.

What is the difference between the Axiom SMF and Ibex SMF?

The main difference between the Axiom SMF and the Ibex SMF is the style of stock.  The Axiom SMF has the standard traditional style stock and has Advantage Timber camo where the Ibex SMF has the thumbhole style stock and AP camo.

The DVD that came with my new Matrix was helpful but did not mention the Matrix, do you have a new DVD?

We are currently working on  a new Instructional DVD that will be available in 2014.

My Matrix came with an old instruction manual that does not even mention the Matrix?

We apologize for that,  we are currently working on a new Matrix manual  that should be available soon.

Help me select an arrow.

I purchased the Twilight DLX scope and would like to get flip-up scope covers for it. What size does it take?

We do not offer flip-up style scope covers for the Twilight DLX scope. However, the covers are available through any gun shop that sells this style. The size of the objective end of the scope is 2" which is a #9 scope cover,  the eye piece size is 1 5/8" in diameter which is a #5 scope cover.

Why do you advertise arrow speeds using a different string?

This is a good question.  All of our crossbow models will achieve the speeds advertised however, you will need to use the 1989 Dyna Flight Flemish string and a 350 grain arrow.  The reason we do not ship the crossbow with the Dyna Flight Flemish string is to give the user a margin for error.  The 1994 Excel string that comes on the crossbow is constructed of dacron which is a forgiving material.  If you happen to dry-fire the crossbow with the Excel string you most likely will not hurt anything and avoiding problems.  The Dyna Flight Flemish string is constructed of a much stiffer material and if the crossbow is dry fired while using this string more energy goes into the limbs and there is a chance the limbs could suffer damage.


The Dyna Flight Flemish string is a fantastic string and provides excellent performance but they are hand-built and tend to stretch when new so require a bit more maintenance.  If your main concern is to achieve the advertised speed just install the Dyna Flight Flemish string and you'll get it.  If you are not a speed freak and would rather have a good string that needs less maintenance stay with the Excel string.  Either way you have more than enough speed and performance to get the job done.

Why should I buy an Excalibur recurve crossbow instead of a compound crossbow?

This is a very good question and one we get often.  An Excalibur recurve crossbow has numerous advantages over its compound cousin:

  • Less moving parts therefore less to go wrong.
  • An Excalibur recurve crossbow can never go out of tune like a compound crossbow with wheels and pulleys, they are always accurate.
  • Lighter overall weight, less parts therefore less weight to carry around.
  • If you ever damage a string in the field you can change your own string with an Excalibur recurve crossbow.  A compound crossbow would require a bow press plus somebody to change it for you.
  • Pound for pound an Excalibur recurve crossbow is quieter than a compound crossbow.
  • The construction of an Excalibur recurve crossbow is a more durable, tougher crossbow design than a compound style therefore it won't let you down when it counts most.
  • Excalibur crossbow has less than 1% warranty return.  Simpler design means fewer problems.
  • A unique design feature of an Excalibur crossbow is it can be de-cocked without having to shoot an arrow.  No need to carry a target or dummy arrow.
  • Excalibur Crossbow has been building crossbows for over 30 years and has more experience building recurve crossbows than any other manufacturer.  There are hunters still out there using our first crossbows!
  • If all this is not enough, Excalibur Crossbow's customer service is second to none.  Keeping our customers happy is very important to us, if you ever have a problem you can call us directly and talk to a human on the other end of the phone.


What is the length of pull for your various crossbow models?

Equinox - 13.5"

Exomax - 13.75"

Vortex - 13.5"

Exocet 200 - 13.75"

Eclipse XT - 13.5"

Phoenix - 13.75"

Ibex SMF - 13.5"

Axiom SMF - 13.75"

Vixen II - 13"

The Phoenix and Axiom SMF have the exact same performance figures, why is the Axiom cheaper?

The Axiom SMF has a synthetic mainframe/rail section and the Phoenix has the aluminum alloy type.  Also, the Phoenix comes standard with the dissipator bar system and Vari-zone scope and the Axiom SMF does not.  The Axiom SMF and Ibex SMF come standard with the SMF scope which is a fixed power scope.

Why does the Axiom SMF and Ibex SMF not have the Vari-Zone scope?

The Ibex SMF and Axiom SMF come standard with the SMF scope which is a fixed power scope designed specifically for crossbows with their performance, therefore no speed adjustment is required. The SMF scope is built to the exact same quality as the Vari-Zone but does not have the speed adjustment function.

I bought a #1989 Dyna Flight Flemish string, when I installed it the loops fell apart. What is wrong?

The Dyna Flight Flemish string is a twisted string made by hand.  When tension is placed on the string it will squeeze some of the wax out and stretch quite a bit.  If you are installing a #1989 Dyna Flight Flemish string make sure to put a lot of twists in the string before installing it, you will probably need 10-12 twists.  Make sure you twist the string in the direction it was built or you will loosen the end loop and they may fall apart.  When new, these strings will stretch a lot, so keep an eye on the brace height and when the string stretches forward to the front line remove the string and put more twists in it, you can't over twist the string.  The stretching will slow down with shooting.

I was trying to install my new #1994 Excel string but it seems way too short, it sits behind the rear line. Is this OK or did I get the wrong string?

The #1994 Excel string is built purposely short to provide more time before it will need to be adjusted.  Having the string sit behind the rear line will not hurt the crossbow at all and the string will eventually stretch.

While sighting in my crossbow using the vari-zone scope I have it hitting perfectly at 20 yards but its high on my 30, 40 and 50 yard indicators. I have the speed set as fast as it will go but it is still shooting high, what is wrong?

The scope elevation and windage adjustments are 1 click= 1/2" but at 30, 40 and 50 yards 1 click will equal inches.  All you need to do is adjust the elevation a click or two which will not affect your 20 yard shot but will fix your longer shots.  Refer to our arrow selection chart to determine the speed you should set the scopes speed ring to:

I bought the S5 system but the bolts don't seem to thread in?

Some of our older risers had the holes off by just a thousand of an inch; the easy fix is to run an 11/32" drill bit through the hole.  This will open up the hole in the riser just enough to allow the S5 bolt to fit into the housing.

I bought the Axiom SMF but it has no lines on the rail, where do I set the brace height?

The string can be set anywhere from 5/8" to 1 5/8" back from the joint where the riser meets the rail.

Can I use carbon arrows with my Excalibur Crossbow?

Carbon arrows come in an assortment of weights, and as long as the total mass weight is above the minimum recommendation for your model and the outside diameter is large enough (22/64") they shoot well.

Are they worth the extra money? Maybe... maybe not. They stay straighter and penetrate slightly better, but they can cost one and a half to two times more than aluminum.

Excalibur is now selling the Excalibur Firebolt, which is the same outside diameter as a #22 shaft (.343) and have a similar weight as a 2213.

Can I buy product directly through Excalibur Crossbow?

Sorry, no.  Excalibur Crossbow manufactures high quality recurve crossbows and accessories and we channel all our retail sales through our extensive dealer network. To find a dealer near you check out the Dealer Locator section of our website.

My cocking aid rope seems too short for my crossbow, I have to pull the string up to hook it on?

Your cocking aid rope is the correct length, there needs to be some tension on the rope to hold it on the crossbow plus the shorter rope gives you more of a mechanical advantage allowing you to cock your crossbow easier.  If you happen to be of short stature you may want to shorten the rope even more to make the operation of cocking your crossbow an breeze.

I got my crossbow and the rope seems too short on the cocking aid, is there a problem?

The rope on the cocking aid is built purposely short to give the user more mechanical advantage.  The shorter rope keeps tension on the hooks so the rope cocker will not fall off plus it makes it considerably easier to cock the crossbow.  Shorter users will find it necessary to shorten the rope even further to aid in the cocking process.  The technique to put the rope cocking aid on the crossbow is to hook one of the cocking aid hooks on the string against the rail, then run the rope up along the side of the crossbow and through the groove located under the safety in the stock.  The hook will not go all the way to the string on the other side, while putting tension on the loose hook grab the string on the opposite side and pull it up while you push down the hook.  Then simply just hook the cocking aid hook onto the string.  Make sure both hooks are tight against the rail.

I accidently dry-fired my crossbow, what should I look for to ensure it is OK?

Check over the entire crossbow for any damage.  Look for cracks in the limbs, broken tips or loose fasteners.  If everything looks OK then it probably is. 

Can I put Equinox or Exomax limbs on my crossbow to increase the performance of my crossbow?

No, the power of the crossbow is not dictated by the strength of the limbs but rather the design of the riser and the length of the power stroke.  The faster models have longer power strokes which creates more speed and energy.  There is no economical method to increase the draw weight of your crossbow.  It is actually easier to sell your crossbow and buy a faster model if that is what you are looking for.

My crossbow seems to have excessive trigger creep, is there any adjustment?

There is no trigger creep adjustment on our trigger.  Our trigger is regarded as one of the best in the crossbow industry and has an excellent 3 lb. trigger pull however, since it has to hold up to 225 lbs. of draw weight some creep is required.   If you are an avid high-end rifle shooter you may notice some creep, the average crossbow shooter does not seem to notice any creep so it’s all in your frame of reference.

Can I use Limb Savers on my Excalibur Crossbow?

Limb savers are tough to keep on a crossbow limb, and although they do reduce noise we have experienced a 10 to 12 fps reduction in velocity when putting them on as the manufacturer recommends. There seems to be a reduction in the velocity loss as the limb saver is positioned closer to the stock, but noise reduction suffers. If anyone has the time to experiment with them and can fill in the gaps I'd be pleased to hear from them!! 

What size illuminated nock will fit the Excalibur Firebolt arrows?

.3015 inserts/nocks fit the Firebolt arrows.  They are also available already installed in our Illuminated Firebolt Arrows, CAVIL-3.

What model crossbows did Excalibur make in the past?

The first model was the Relayer which I made virtually by hand and everyone was an individual. It was made from 83 to 85 and used Daco fiberglass limbs. In 1985 Daco went broke and Kath and I had to sink or swim on our own, so we spent the family fortune ($1.85) and developed what remains the best darn limb system for crossbows in the world. A bit of luck, and a lot of hard work.

From 1985 till 1992 we made a model called the Wolverine, which had a wooden stock that in most cases was camouflaged. In 1992 we finally had scraped up enough business to afford the tooling for the Exo series and wooden stocks went to sleep with the Dodo birds. 

However, for our 25th Anniversary we did make the Relayer Y25 crossbow with a laminated wood stock to reflect our first crossbows.  The Relayer Y25 will surely become a collector’s item.   

In 2010 we introduced the Axiom Kit which was dressed in Realtree Advantage Timber Camo and an economical way to get hunting with and Excalibur crossbow.  In 2011 we changed the Axiom to the Axiom SMF and the big change was the use of a synthetic mainframe/rail section instead of the traditional aluminum alloy.                                     

I only have one arm that I can use to cock my Excalibur, is there a way that I can use a rope cocking aid?

There’s a way to use our rope cocking aid with one hand that's slick and easy. First you make the rope short enough that you have to pull down about 2" on the second hook to attach it. Next, cut a slot about 3/16" to a 1/4" hole that you drilled through the stock 2" down from the top of and thru the butt plate just to the left of the web for right handed people and opposite for lefties. Counter sink the back (butt) side as the handle on the rope cocking aid has to sit into this arrangement. To cock the bow put the rope on, pull the one handle on the side with the slot back and into the slot to rest, then grab the opposite handle and pull up on it to finish cocking the bow. Works like a charm, but it's easier done than said!

Can I use #1989 Dyna Flight strings on my older model Excalibur Crossbow?

Dyna Flight is the kiss of death for the limbs on any of our crossbows made previous to 2001 with carved limb tips, since it has virtually no stretch to spread out the shock of recoil. They will damage the limb tips after 500 shots or so and will not withstand even a light arrow much less a dry fire. Oh ya, we won't warranty any damage due to Dyna Flight strings. If the extra 15 FPS is really important to you, you can upgrade to our Magtip limbs which handle Dyna Flight strings even in a dry fire.

My Excalibur arrows came without nocks on them. Are they missing?

The bow is designed to use a flat butt ended arrow. Your options are either to use a plug type insert which cannot be used to withdraw the arrow from a target in which it has sunk too far, or a CAP insert which can.  

Moon nocks are a no-no since they are totally without purpose and can direct the string under the arrow if you don't align them correctly.

Being of the mind that purpose is of more importance than appearance, we continue to use CAP inserts.  The reason the rear inserts are threaded is so our T handle arrow puller can be threaded into the end of the arrow to remove it from targets.

What are you doing to get a crossbow season in my state?

It's a useless exercise for us to lobby since we are "greedy manufacturers looking to feather our own nest at the expense of the states sportsmen and deer populations" according to your local Bowhunters Organizations. The only way crossbow hunting will be allowed in your back yard is for YOU to get off your butt and write to the DNR and your Gov. representative and ask for it. Would you start a season no one was asking for and piss off an organization with thousands of members who are against it? Get political or get golf clubs!

How do I deal with a deers tendency to "string jump"?

You can't tell if a deer will stand or drop, so play the odds; Aim for the heart, and it’s dead either way.

Also don't shoot a deer that's looking at you, since it'll react to the limbs movement. If it's looking away no matter how uptight it is you get about 25% of the way there before the sound arrives.

Please keep your shots close; at less than 25 yards they seldom will move enough to make this an issue. 

How do I make my crossbow more quiet?

You honestly can't make a crossbow truly quiet, it's their nature to make a racket since by definition they are inefficient and this inefficiency creates noise.

As for quiet, there’s a lot that you can do! The best alternative is to install our new Dissipator Bars on your limbs (if not already installed, only the Eclipse XT, Vixen II, Axiom Kit, Axiom SMF Kit and Ibex SMF Kit do not come standard with dissipator bars), they reduce noise and vibration drastically but don't cost speed since they don't attach to the limbs.  Any silencers installed on the string or limbs will cost you up to 15 fps in speed and don't really quite the crossbow down. 

Some of our crossbow users have had luck with the string stopper systems that attach to the riser and cushion the string from going too far forward.  These systems don't cost any arrow speed so they are a better way to go than string silencers but they still will not make a crossbow quite and they do weigh a bit.  However, for 2011 we have just introduced the new S5 String Suppressor System that is much lighter than other systems and designed to fit your Excalibur crossbow.  The S5 system noticeably reduces noise and vibration and costs no arrow speed.

If you're a compound bow shooter that has taken up the crossbow you're going to think they are the loudest things ever invented.  If you are a gun hunter you're going to think crossbows are quite so your frame of reference makes a difference. 

A question we get often is what do we use on our crossbows when we hunt, the answer is simple...nothing.  We have quite a few hunters working here at Excalibur and none of us use any silencing devices at all and we do pretty well in the deer department.

The moral here is that in silencing nothing is free unless you use our DB bars, so you've got some deciding to do as to your personal choice, be it speed, quiet, or a combination thereof.

I don't have a stringing aid; can I change the string on my crossbow without it?

The trick to stringing your crossbow without a stringing aid is simply that if you are working hard to do it, you're doing it wrong!

Keep your feet close together with one foot in the stirrup and one limb tip on the ground. When you bend forward and grab the other limb as close to the tip as possible with both hands your weight will naturally be on the foot in the stirrup.

WITHOUT BENDING YOUR ARMS "fall towards the limb on the ground and let your own weight lever the limb up and loosen the string.

Easy, Right? Then again the stringer does work dandy! Good luck.

How often should I unstring my Excalibur?

You don't have to unstring your crossbow every time you use it, but it will appreciate having its limbs relaxed at least between seasons when you aren't using it.

The number 1 concern is that you NEVER leave the string on if your bow is exposed to high heat, such as in the trunk of a car in the summer sun!  Also, always remove your dissipator pads before unstringing your crossbow or the pads will crack and you will have to buy a new set. 

What is the proper brace height for my Excalibur?

Your string should sit 1" - 1.5" back from the joint where the riser meets the rail. If your string sits too close to the riser just twist it a few turns and it'll move back to the correct brace height

If you have a newer model you will notice 2 lines scribed on the top of the mainframe, the string can sit anywhere between these 2 lines. If you have just 1 line on your mainframe then you can set the string up to 3/8" on either side of the line.

Do you make a hard case to fit your crossbow?

Plano makes a hard case that will fit all Excalibur crossbow models . 

When travelling we recommend breaking down our crossbow and placing it into a double gun case, this is a much easier way to transport a crossbow.  To break down our crossbow for transportation follow these easy steps:

  • Unstring your crossbow using the stringing aid; make sure to remove the 2 dissipator pads before unstringing your crossbow.  If you crossbow will not be subjected to extreme heat while being transported you could leave the limbs strung.
  • Undo the 2 riser bolts that attach the limb assembly to the mainframe or rail of the crossbow.
  • Place the stock and limb assembly side-by-side in a double gun case.  Make sure there is enough room between the parts to prevent any damage during transportation.
  • When you arrive at your destination reassemble your crossbow.  It is recommended you take a few practice shots as you would with any firearm or archery equipment.  Since our crossbows are precision machined they will remain sighted in when reassembled.
What type of broadheads should I use with my Excalibur crossbow?

We recommend 150 grain Excalibur Boltcutter Broadhead for the ultimate in accuracy and simplicity.   

We also recommend the Excalibur  X-ACT mechanical style Broadhead in 100 grain for those who prefer speed but not willing to sacrifice accuracy.

My arrow vanes appear to be bent or damaged, what should I do?

Hold the arrow vanes over a steaming kettle for a few seconds and the worst wrinkles will come out.

My string is too short and I can't get it on using my stringing aid do I have the wrong string?

Adjust and shorten your crossbow stringer by pulling the rope out through one of the plastic ends.  Once the rope has been shortened it will allow the limbs to be pulled back further and enable the string to be installed.  After you shoot your crossbow a few times the string will stretch into the required brace height.

When I use my rope cocking aid or my Crankaroo the hooks jump on top of the deck and I can't cock my crossbow?

The reason the hooks jumped up on the deck is the rope on the cocking aid was not positioned over the groove which is positioned just under the safety on the stock.

Can I leave my crossbow cocked all day?

It is not a problem to leave your crossbow cocked for an entire day, this is one of the many benefits of a Recurve Limb System.  Please uncock your crossbow overnight or between hunts for safety.

How do I fletch Excalibur arrows in a fletching jig?

Glue a nock that fits your jig to an 8/32 screw, and then screw it into the rear insert.  It should now fit your jig like any other arrow.

Do Excalibur arrows have three different colours of vanes, which one is the cock feather?

Since we use flat inserts on the back of our arrows instead of nocks you can place any vane down into the track, there is no cock feather.

What is the FOC of Excaliburs arrows?
Arrow Type BoltCutter 100 g. T.P. 150 g. T.P.
Firebolt 13.6% 8.7% 14.5%
2213 12.1% 8.9% 13.5%
2216 12.1% 7% 11.1%
2219 11.6% 11.6% 13.6%
I bought a cheek piece for my new crossbow but it does not seem to fit?

The cheekpiece will only fit newer stocks that have the 5 diagonal lines on the side of the stock above the trigger.  The cheekpiece will fit all thumbhole stock models but does not fit the new Vixen II.  The cheekpiece fits very tightly and may require significant force to snap in place.   The best way to install the cheekpiece is to lay the stock on a table, position it and then push down using the palm of your hands until it snaps into place.

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