Excalibur Axiom SMF Review

ModelDraw WeightStrokeVelocitySuggested Arrow LengthCrossbow Length / Weight
Excalibur Axiom SMF Crossbow Kit

Excalibur Axiom SMF
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175 lbs.14.5"305 FPS

Crossbow Academy: ballistics, sighting, tuning
20"37.5" / 5.8 lbs.
- Exceptional accuracy
- Very low-maintenance and dependable regardless of conditions
- Great for beginners as well as advanced shooters.
- Comes with a high-quality multi-reticle scope.
- Very well-balanced in terms of weight, comfortable to hold
- Makes for a great target practice crossbow as well

- None that I could think of
Small Game Hunting?yes2
Deer, Elk Hunting?yes2
Moose, Bear Hunting?yes2
Target Shooting?yes2
Rating9.7 / 10
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Also Recommended:Best Excalibur Crossbows

Package Contents & Assembly

Welcome to our Excalibur Axiom SMF review. Upon opening the package, you’ll find the following items inside, wrapped for safe transportation:

  • The Excalibur Axiom crossbow (stock + prod) and string
  • Axiom’s Multi-reticle ScopeExcalibur Axiom Full Package
  • Four-arrow quiver with mount
  • Four Firebolw arrows with field points for target practice
  • Rope cocking device
  • Wax for the string
  • Screws and screw drives for assembly
  • DVD disc with assembly instructions video
  • Assembly manual & Safety booklet
  • Lifetime limited warranty from Excalibur

The instructional DVD included with the package was very well-prepared, and it goes over the assembly steps in such detail that even a person who has no idea what a crossbow is will be able to put it together. Here’s a quick run down: attach the stock to the prod (string is already attached), screw in the mount for the arrow quiver, screw in the foot stirrup, attach the scope – done. That’s the beauty of recurve crossbows by the way; there are no cams and cables to install at all. You get all the screws, bolts and hex keys with the package as well.

Preparing to Shoot & Specs

The first step before cocking and shooting your Excalibur Axiom (amazon.com link) is to wax the string. This is a mandatory step for any crossbow, and ideally you should apply a new layer of wax for every 5 to 10 arrows fired. I also recommend sticking to wax manufactured by Excalibur, as it was designed specifically for the type of strings they use in their crossbows – using wax / lubricant from another manufacturer could (but doesn’t have to) lead to separation of the serving material used in the manufacturing of the string. Better be safe and stick only to lubricants made by the manufacturer of your crossbow.

Once the string is waxed up, I recommend cocking the Axiom SMF with the rope cocking aid supplied with the package. This crossbow has a draw weight of 175 lbs. so it can be quite a hassle to manually pull the string. The rope aid will reduce the force required to pull the string down to ~87 pounds, so no struggling will be necessary. If you want to do some dead-lifting though for your legs and back, go ahead and cock it manually :) Despite the power stroke being a full 14.5″, the cocking process was very easy and the string was latched in place quickly and quietly. Please make sure that safety is “on” before you start cocking the crossbow!

Ballistic Data For The Excalibur Axiom SMF

Your actual results will vary slightly depending on weather, and significantly with arrow weight change. See our Crossbow Ballistics Guides section for a complete understanding of how we conducted our tests and why this data matters.

In practice: Target Shooting

Excalibur Axiom SMF reviewIt was deer season and I wanted to go on a hunting trip quickly, so I went to a local range here in CT to sight the crossbow. I had to fire exactly 3 arrows to get it perfectly zeroed (actually it took two – the third was just a test), and once that happened, I was consistently shooting 2″ groups from over 60 yards. The sight was actually almost already perfectly sighted right out of the box; the adjustments I made were very minor.

I later went back and did a bit of shooting in the backyard; the arrows went right through pretty much everything I shot them at, including a 2″ by 4″ piece of wood at which I shot from over 35 yards. My 11 year old brother who had never shot a crossbow before decided he wanted to give it a try; I cocked the Axiom for him, seated an arrow and let him take a shot from 20 yards away; he pretty much hit a perfect bulls-eye three times in a row. If that doesn’t speak for the accuracy of this Excalibur, I don’t know what does.

In practice: Hunting Trip

Excalibur Axiom TriggerOn my first deer hunting trip I was anxious to see how it would perform. The first thing that caught my attention was just how easy the Axiom was to carry (it weighs roughly 6 lbs.); normally when carrying a heavier weapon I often find myself cutting my hunting trip short simply because I was tired from carrying the equipment around. In this case though, I was completely focused on the hunt and did not even think about the crossbow until it was time to shoot it.

Took me 5 hours to finally sight-in a deer. As usual, I had cocked the crossbow before approaching my target, to make sure that no sound would scare it away. I looked through the scope — the view was surprisingly clear despite the weather being somewhat foggy. I fired the arrow from a distance of around 40 yards; normally I would try to get a little closer, but I was pretty confident that with this particular crossbow I could land the shot comfortably.

My arrow landed spot on where I wanted and passed right through the vitals and went out through the other side, landing in a tree truck around 10 yards behind the game and digging in a good 3 inches into that tree. The deer managed to run less than 70 yards before it collapsed.  I really couldn’t be happier and could not ask for more power. Other users of this bow have had similar experiences it seems.

How about bigger game though? I haven’t had the chance to go Elk hunting yet, however I’ve seen a video online of a hunter using his Excalibur Axiom to take down a grown… elephant. Many people have also successfully used it to take down bears and other similar-sized game.

Kinetic Energy Of The Excalibur Axiom SMF

Of course, that accuracy is nothing if the bolt doesn’t have any force behind it. The Excalibur Axiom SMF deals out a fair bit of force behind each 350-grain arrow, but there is room for improvement. In fact, you’ll see around 72 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy from point blank range. If you move out to 30 yards, you’ll lose a few percent KE for every 10 yards out from point blank range, leaving you with roughly 67 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy. This is plenty of force for medium- to large sized game like deer, elk, moose, and the like, but the crossbow is not quite powerful enough to safely and humanely take on tougher game like Cape buffalo or grizzly bears from a longer distance.

Use our arrow ballistics calculator for more valuable information.

The Arrows

The Excalibur Axiom package comes with four Firebolt arrows weighing 350 grain each and with a length of 20 in. Four field points (tips for the arrows) are supplied as well for target practice, which weigh 150 grain each. When you decide to buy new arrows, please try to purchase ones that have similar weight, as it is the only way to guarantee that the Excalibur Axiomcrossbow maintains it’s accuracy.

The good news however is that I have tried a few different types of arrows with the Axiom, even 22″ ones as well as arrows with different weight, and the crossbow remained exceptionally accurate. Please don’t take this as endorsement to use any type of arrows you want – this is merely to demonstrate that this is a finely made and well-balanced piece of equipment.

The arrows supplied with the package are very high quality and will last you a long time, unless of course you start splitting the arrows; which, given how accurate the Axiom is, really shouldn’t be a problem if you choose to do so. If you would like to take down some game, remember to purchase hunting broad-heads for the arrows (stick to 150 grain). Your safest bet is the Excalibur Boltcutter 3-blade broad-heads set (amazon.com link).

You can also learn more about crossbow arrows and take a look at our broadhead recommendations

Excalibur Axiom Multiplex Scope

The scope that comes with the Axiom SMF package is of the highest quality – very similar to what you would find on a rifle. The mount and the hardware required to attach the scope were all included as well. The adjustment on this scope is 1 click for each 0.5″ at 20 yards, and the magnification is up to x2.5.

Excalibur Axiom ScopeAs mentioned earlier, the scope was already almost zeroed directly out of the box, and very minimal sighting was required to get it to 100% accuracy. That’s the great thing about Excalibur in general; they take all the work off our shoulders and deliver crossbows that are as great as possible while requiring as little tuning as possible.

The main cross-hair should be centered for a 20 yard distance, and then the remaining reticles will be automatically centered for 30, 40 and 50 yards respectively. Please keep in mind that this scope was designed to work with crossbows of speeds similar to the Axiom; so if you want to mount the scope onto a different crossbow, it should have a speed of close to 305 feet per second as well.

See our detailed guide on how to sight-in your crossbow

What Crossbow Case Fits the Excalibur Axiom SMF?

The best case to choose for the Excalibur is the Plano 1133-00 Manta Crossbow Case. The micro fleece outer fabric and ballistic polymer lining make this case very rugged. Since this is a recurve, it is somewhat difficult to find a case which accommodates its width.

Excalibur Axiom SMF Review – Summary

The Axiom is as solid as a crossbow can get, and the power output and accuracy are beastly. The scope included will make even the biggest newbie appear to be an experienced shooter, and the accuracy remains consistently dependable even at ranges far exceeding 50 yards. An excellent choice for anyone looking for a powerful and low-maintenance crossbow that is practically under-priced. Take a look at today's amazon.com price on this crossbow and check out our top 10 crossbows rankings for more.

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