|Model||Draw Weight||Stroke||Velocity||Suggested Arrow Length||Crossbow Length / Weight|
Check Today's Price
|225 lbs.||16.5"||350 FPS|
Crossbow Academy: ballistics, sighting, tuning
|20"||39.5" / 6.5 lbs.|
- Super powerful crossbow
- Includes rope-cocking device and arrows
- Well-designed and durable
- No automatic safety
- Included scope does not have illuminated reticles
|Small Game Hunting?|
|Deer, Elk Hunting?|
|Moose, Bear Hunting?|
|Today's Online Prices:||Compare Prices|
|Also Recommended:||Best Excalibur Crossbows|
Hi, welcome back! For this review, I am taking a look at the Exomax Vari-Zone by Excalibur. Each package delivered by Excalibur includes the following items:
- The Excalibur Exomax crossbow, including stock and limbs
- Assembly hardware and tools
- Vari-Zone Scope with mounting rings
- 4 Firebolt 20” Carbon arrows
- Detachable quiver
- Rope-Cocking Device
- Instructional Manual
- Warranty Card
Assembling The Crossbow
Putting together the Excalibur Exomax (amazon.com link) is as easy as 1-2-3-4. First, you mount the limb system using the included 5/16” flat Allen cap screws with large washers. Excalibur includes an Allen key to make this easy. Next, you use the two 1/4” round head bolts to mount the foot stirrup to the riser. After that, you attach the front and rear sights using the provided screws. Finally, you can visually inspect the crossbow and make sure all the fasteners are nice and tight. You should inspect these fasteners periodically, since vibration can often cause screws to come loose.
Once your crossbow is put together, you follow the instructions to mount the included Vari-Zone scope and head out to the range to sight ‘er in!
Accuracy And Power
Once I had the scope sighted in, it was time to test the accuracy and power of the Excalibur Exomax. The Exomax features a delightful 3 lb. trigger pull, and the pull is very smooth. This translates to much better accuracy than you might expect from a crossbow this beefy. I was able to hit 1 1/4” grouping at 30 yards, a personal best for me with crossbow target shooting. Out to 50 yards, my groupings were just over 2”, and I maintained a 4” grouping at 75 yards.
Arrows fly off the rail at a mind-blowing 350 fps, and strike the target with 109 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy. With this much power, short range shooting turns is fun but also dangerous for the arrows, as they drive far too deep into my compressed foam core target. From 20 yards, I actually had one shot pass all the way through my target and dig 6” into the dirt.Use our arrow ballistics calculator for more valuable information.
Ballistic Data For The Excalibur Exomax
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
Expect death, that’s what you should expect. The Excalibur Exomax is a powerhouse, and is more than capable of taking down the largest legal game in North America. I do not think I would use this for small game like rabbits or squirrels, though, because it is simply too powerful for such small animals. You would lose bolts like crazy, because they’d tear through the animal and then bury themselves to the vanes in the dirt.
Taking this crossbow up against a deer, moose, or Cape buffalo, though, will definitely give you some good meat on the table. From 30 yards, an Exomax can drive an arrow clean through the largest whitetail buck, leaving the buck just a few dozen short yards to run before he drops to the ground and breathes his last breath.
The last thing you need to be mindful of before purchasing this crossbow for hunting, though, is your own state laws. Some states require crossbows have a draw weight of no more than 200 lbs., so this crossbow might not be legal to use even in states that normally allow crossbow hunting.
Cocking The Excalibur Exomax
The Excalibur Exomax has a draw weight of 225 lbs., so I would not recommend drawing it by hand. The rope-cocking device included with the crossbow works well, but I’d recommend purchasing a hand-crank cocking device to mount to the stock of the crossbow. Even the 50-60% reduction the rope-cocking device gives you will still leave you with over 100 pounds of draw weight, and it is going to be tiresome pulling that much weight repeatedly.
The Crossbow Scope
The included Vari-Zone scope is a nice scope, even though it is one of Excalibur’s lower-end models. The scope has multiple reticles, and is adjustable to compensate for the trajectory of crossbows shooting between 250 and 350 fps for up to 50 yards in 10-yard increments. You sight the crossbow at 20 yards, dial in the velocity, and it is automatically sighted in for all the other ranges. I found the scope to be pretty close to sighted in out of the box, and only had to make a couple of windage adjustments before I was dead on center. The scope holds zero well, without needing any adjustments after multiple trips into the woods and back.
My only complaint about this scope is the lack of illuminated reticles. Without illuminated reticles, seeing the lines is difficult (if not impossible) in low-light conditions.See our detailed guide on how to sight-in your crossbow
This crossbow ships with the Vari-Zone Lite Stuff package, which includes 4 20” Firebolt Carbon arrows with field tips. These arrows are high quality, so much so that I’ve replaced most of my crossbow arrows with Firebolts. If you do decide to purchase after-market arrows, any 20” carbon arrow with a weight of 350 gr or more will suit you just fine. Remember that heavier weight arrows will fly a bit slower, but with more kinetic energy.You can also learn more about crossbow arrows and take a look at our broadhead recommendations
Safety and Design
The Excalibur Exomax is well made and durable, and very safe. Unfortunately, it does not come equipped with an anti-dry fire system, but you can add one with the addition of the Guardian Anti-Dry Fire System. You also have to be mindful of the safety, since it is a manual safety that does not switch to Safe when the bow is cocked.
Like all of its other crossbows, Excalibur covers the Exomax with a 5-year unconditional warranty against manufacturer’s defects. After five years from the original date of purchase, Excalibur will cover, at its discretion, any other problems arising from manufacturer’s defects for the lifetime of the original owner.
Excalibur’s web site is full of helpful tips, tutorials, and videos, and their customer support personnel are very knowledgeable and friendly.
What Crossbow Case Fits the Excalibur Exomax?
Due to the size of the Excalibur Eromax the best case to store it in is the Plano 1133-00 Manta Crossbow Case. This hard case features a poly shell and high density padding. The tall-stock is adjustable allowing for owners to match the crossbow and scope size. It is extremely durable, scratch resistant, and sells for $120.
Crossbow Review – Summary
Thank you for reading my crossbow review of the Excalibur Exomax. I hope this review provides you with all of the information you need to make your purchasing decision. The Excalibur Exomax is a wonderful crossbow; powerful enough for any type of hunting you might want to do while also being a strong performer on the target range. Take a look at today's amazon.com price on this crossbow and check out our top 10 crossbows rankings for more.