Excalibur Eclipse XT Review

ModelDraw WeightStrokeVelocitySuggested Arrow LengthCrossbow Length / Weight
Excalibur Eclipse XT

Excalibur Eclipse XT Review
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200 lbs.15.5"330 FPS

Crossbow Academy: ballistics, sighting, tuning
20"37.4" / 6.3 lbs
- Great for blind hunters due to its blacked-out design
- Recurve crossbows can be easily restrung in the field
- Instructional DVD helps make assembly a snap, even for beginners
- Includes rope cocking device

- A bit front-heavy, but the tactical grip helps with this
- Very wide at 37.4”
Small Game Hunting?yes2
Deer, Elk Hunting?yes2
Moose, Bear Hunting?yes2
Target Shooting?yes2
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Also Recommended:Best Excalibur Crossbows

Excalibur Eclipse XT Package Contents

Hi, and welcome to this review of the Excalibur Eclipse XT. The Eclipse XT is made for hunters who prefer to hunt out of ground blinds, so the entire crossbow has been blacked out with a black carbon finish. Each package delivered by Excalibur includes the following items:

  • The Excalibur Eclipse XT crossbow
  • Shadow-Zone scope with mounting hardware
  • 4 20” Firebolt arrows with field tips
  • Detachable quiver
  • Rope cocking device
  • Instruction Manual
  • Instructional DVD
  • Warranty card

Assembling The Crossbow

The bow assembly of the Excalibur Eclipse XT comes pre-strung, so assembly of the crossbow was a snap. All I had to do was attach the prod to the riser, then attach the “Tac-Pack,” the Eclipse XT’s tactical grip with extra Piicatinny rails for additional accessories. Then, I mounted the scope and was out to the range to sight in.

Accuracy And Power

Excalibur Eclipse XTThe Excalibur Eclipse XT fires arrows at 330 fps, driving the arrows with 85 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy. This is enough power that my compressed foam target nearly tipped over from the force of impact until I put a hay bale behind it to hold the target in place.

Once the scope was sighted in, I was able to maintain 1” groupings at 30 yards, and my 50-yard groupings were just over 2”. Overall, this crossbow is deadly accurate and deadly powerful, capable of taking down any North American game you might want to legally hunt.

I am still playing with the Excalibur to decide if my accuracy is better holding the fore-grip with my off-hand, or the tactical grip. So far, it seems both holds are equally accurate, but I have found that my left arm gets less fatigued when I use the tactical grip.

Use our arrow ballistics calculator for more valuable information.

Ballistic Data For The Excalibur Eclipse XT

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.

Hunting: What To Expect

Excalibur Eclipse XT2Excalibur has packed a lot of power into a light package with the Eclipse XT, because the crossbow only weighs 6.4 pounds. A padded sling makes this crossbow easy to carry. I thought at first the length of the crossbow, 37.4”, would make for a challenge going through brush, but my first hunting trip surprised me. The crossbow wasn’t snagged nearly as much as I thought, and I was easily able to work my way into the woods to a good spot for my ground blind.

I enjoy hunting with recurve crossbows because I know I can easily restring the crossbow in the field, if I need to. That simply is not possible with compound crossbows; the amount of tools and clean space that I’d need isn’t feasible in the woods. Carry along an extra string and bow stringer, because you never know when something might happen to cause your string to come off. That’s not a problem with the crossbow, but a fact of nature and Murphy’s Law.

I found this crossbow easily powerful enough to take down any game I might encounter anywhere in North America. From roughly 50 yards, I took a shot on a 12-point buck and the arrow went straight where I wanted. The arrow went through the buck’s lung and heart, then through the rest of his body, coming to ground about 15 yards away. The deer stumbled off for about 25 yards, and then dropped to the ground dead.

Cocking The Excalibur Eclipse XT

Cocking the Eclipse XT is about what you would expect from a 200# draw weight. Don’t try cocking this crossbow by hand, unless you really want a hernia and a partial dry fire. Using the included rope cocking device makes a world of difference, and the draw is smooth and consistent.

To make it even easier to cock, invest a bit more money and buy a hand-cranking cocking device. The crank takes what would otherwise be a moderately strenuous task and makes it easy.

The Crossbow Scope

The Eclipse XT ships with Excalibur’s Shadow-Zone Illuminated Scope, which was almost sighted in straight out of the box. I only had to fire two and the scope was zeroed in. After finishing, the scope has held zero (stayed sighted in) no matter what I do to the crossbow.

This Shadow-Zone is a 4 x 32mm scope with multiple dual red-green illuminated reticles. These are great in low-light conditions. The adjustable reticles allowed me to adjust the spacing of the crosshairs in 10-yard increments.

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

Bolts For The Excalibur Eclipse XT

The Excalibur Eclipse XT ships with 4 20” Firebolt carbon arrows. These arrows are high quality and work well for both hunting and practice sessions. They fire so nicely and are so durable that they’ve become my turn-to arrows, replacing my Carbon Express and Easton arrows for most of my target practice and crossbow hunting.

If you do purchase different arrows, Excalibur recommends 20” 350 grain arrows. I have shot heavier arrows from my Eclipse XT and found them to work quite nicely once I adjust my sighting for a bit of extra drop.

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

Safety and Design

The Excalibur Eclipse XT is very unique among crossbows, because it’s designed for the hunter who does most of his or her hunting in a ground blind. When you’re on the ground, even in a blind, it is important for you and your equipment to stay dark enough not to reflect any light, so Excalibur has designed the Eclipse XT with a black carbon finish.

The Eclipse XT also features Excalibur’s new “Tac-Pack” tactical grip. This forearm grip provides another handhold as well as three additional Picatinny rails for mounting accessories. You could mount a laser pointer, a camera, a tactical flashlight, or any other accessory you might dream up. I’m still experimenting with new and exciting ways to hunt using the Tac-Pack.


Like all Excalibur crossbows, the Eclipse XT has an unconditional 5-year warranty against manufacturing defects, and a limited lifetime warranty for the original owner after the 5 years is up. Excalibur employs excellent customer support folks, who are friendly and easy to work with.

What Crossbow Case Fits the Excalibur Eclipse XT?

Most all Excalibur crossbows are extremely long which makes them slightly more difficult to fit to a case. The Plano 1133-00 Manta Crossbow Case works well for most of their crossbows. This hard case designed with a poly shell and high density cushioning for $120.

Crossbow Review – Summary

Thanks for reading my review of the Excalibur Eclipse XT. This is a terrific bow, especially for hunting from a ground blind. Its tactical design also makes it one of the most unique crossbows on the market right now, but I expect that to change over the next few years as more crossbow manufacturers start making “tactical” crossbows. 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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