Excalibur Vortex Review

ModelDraw WeightStrokeVelocitySuggested Arrow LengthCrossbow Length / Weight
Excalibur Vortex

vortex 1

Check price on Amazon.com

200 lbs.15.5"330 FPS

Crossbow Academy: ballistics, sighting, tuning
20"37.4" / 6.3 lbs.
- Fast and powerful recurve crossbow
- Includes rope-cocking device

- Packaged scope does not have illuminated reticles
- No anti-dry fire mechanism
Small Game Hunting?yes2
Deer, Elk Hunting?yes2
Moose, Bear Hunting?yes2
Target Shooting?yes2
Today's Online Prices:Compare Prices
Also Recommended:Best Excalibur Crossbows

Package Contents

Welcome to this Crossbow Review of the Excalibur Vortex Varizone Crossbow Package. The Excalibur Vortex is a 200# draw recurve crossbow finished in Realtree AP HD. Each package delivered by Excalibur includes the following items:

  • The Excalibur Vortex Crossbow, including stock and prod
  • Assembly hardware and tools
  • Varizone Scope with mounting rings
  • 4 Firebolt 20” Carbon arrows
  • Detachable quiver
  • Rope-cocking device
  • Instructional manual
  • Warranty card

Assembling The Excalibur Vortex Crossbow

Excalibur VortexTo put the Excalibur Vortex together, you mount the prod assembly onto the stock and riser using the included Allen screws. Then, you attach the foot stirrup, mount the quiver, and mount the scope. Total assembly time should not take more than 10 minutes if you’ve got a little bit of experience.

Should you need to remove the string, make sure you have a bow stringer for putting the string back on. Some archers might use the “step-through” method to string a bow or a crossbow, but I cannot recommend that practice, as it is dangerous to both you and the boy. A bow stringer will cost less than the cost of replacing the limbs if you crack them trying to get away with not using a bow stringer.

Once your crossbow is assembled, it is time to let it do what it does best—throw arrows at your target with dizzying speed and force.

Accuracy And Power

The Vortex shoots its arrows at up to 330 fps, with 97 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy. To put that into perspective, Easton recommends 65 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy to drop a Cape buffalo.

When I fired the Vortex at my compressed foam target, my first couple of shots from 25 yards went completely through the target and stuck an inch into the tree behind my target. I was sighted in by then, so I moved back to 45 yards so I wouldn’t damage any more arrows. From 45 yards, I was able to maintain groupings of around 1 3/4 inch, and I could hold a 2” grouping from 75 yards. The accuracy of this crossbow was absolutely stunning, and I was delighted with its reliability. If I miss a shot with the Vortex, I know that it is not Excalibur’s fault…it’s 100% mine!

Use our arrow ballistics calculator for more valuable information.

Ballistic Data For The Excalibur Vortex

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 VortexWith its power and lightweight design, the Excalibur Vortex is an excellent crossbow for any game that’s legal to shoot in North America. Whether you are hunting rabbits or grizzly bears, the Vortex is a definite shoo-in for filling your bag limit for the season. The crossbow packs more than enough power to drop a Cape buffalo and the accuracy to nail a squirrel.

On one of my hunting trips, I took a clean shot at a Cape buffalo. The arrow didn’t go all the way through, because buffaloes hides are so thick a bullet might not pass straight throw, but it did leave a hole in him big enough to bleed out before he’d stumbled 20 yards.

Cocking The Excalibur Vortex

With its 200lb draw weight, you will want to use the included rope-cocking device to pull the string back. The draw is nice and smooth, though, if only a bit more strenuous than most of the other crossbows I’ve used.

The Crossbow Scope

Excalibur makes some really nice scopes, and the Vari-zone is no exception to that rule. The Vari-Zone is a multiplex crossbow scope that allows you to dial in the speed of your crossbow, once you’ve got it sighted in at 20 yards. This scope allows you to compensate for different arrow speeds between 250 and 350 fps in 10-yard increments.

Out of the box, my Vari-Zone scope was mostly sighted in. It only took four shots to make the adjustments necessary to have the scope dialed in to zero, and the scope held zero throughout the entire hunting season and beyond.

The only complaint I have about the scope is the lack of illuminated crosshairs. In the early morning in the bush, when the fog is heavy on the ground and the sun hasn’t made its full appearance yet, what could be a perfect shot will be ruined by not being able to accurately see what you’re aiming at.

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


The Excalibur Vortex comes with a package of 4 20” Firebolt carbon arrows. These arrows are top-grade, and I’ve started using them almost to the exclusion of all of my other arrows. That is how good they are.

Excalibur recommends 20”, 350-gr carbon arrows to shoot from the Vortex. You can use aluminum arrows, but the sheer power of this bow will probably bend aluminum arrows faster than you can buy them.

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

Safety and Design

Excalibur makes very safe crossbows, some of the safest available on the market. I found the Vortex to be another example of Excalibur’s fine craftsmanship, as the safety is top notch and the crossbow fires safely and consistently. The trigger pull is very nice, and the break over point very smooth. The only safety consideration I have with this crossbow is the lack of an anti-dry fire mechanism. Excalibur sells a Guardian Anti-Dry Fire mechanism as an add-on to their crossbows, so I would recommend purchasing that accessory when you purchase your crossbow.


All of Excalibur’s crossbows ship with a five-year unconditional warranty against manufacturer’s defects. After the five years, warranty coverage may be extended, at Excalibur’s discretion, for the lifetime of the original owner.

The customer service representatives at Excalibur are awesome to work with, and Excalibur’s web site has the largest collection of instructional and how-to videos I’ve ever seen on a manufacturer’s web site.

What Crossbow Case Fits the Excalibur Vortex?

It is slightly difficult to find a case to fit the width of the Excalibur Vortex, but the Plano 1133-00 Manta Crossbow Case is an excellent match. It is around $120 and features a hard poly shell. The interior is fitted with high density cushioning to provide great protection for your crossbow.

Crossbow Review – Summary

Thanks for reading our crossbow review. The Excalibur Vortex Varizone Crossbow Package is an excellent buy, because the crossbow will last you for years of bow hunting. It’s definitely not a low-budget crossbow, but the exceptional quality and value you get for the cost is worth it to own one of the finest crossbows around. Take a look at today's amazon.com price on this crossbow and check out our top 10 crossbows rankings for more.

XML Sitemap