|Model||Draw Weight||Stroke||Velocity||Suggested Arrow Length||Crossbow Length / Weight|
|Excalibur Matrix 380|
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|260 lbs.||13.1"||380 FPS|
Crossbow Academy: ballistics, sighting, tuning
|18"||35.6" / 5.9 lbs.|
- Compact recurve design
- Comes with 4 high-quality arrows and field tips
- Rope-cocking device included
- High-quality scope
- Illumination on scope is a bit dark
|Small Game Hunting?|
|Deer, Elk Hunting?|
|Moose, Bear Hunting?|
|Today's Online Prices:||Compare Prices|
|Also Recommended:||Best Excalibur Crossbows|
Hi, everybody, and welcome to this review of the Excalibur Matrix 380 Blackout Crossbow. This 260 lbs. recurve crossbow is designed for the crossbow hunter who prefers to hunt from a ground blind, so it is completely blacked out to prevent light reflection. Each package delivered by Excalibur includes the following items:
- The Excalibur Matrix 380 Blackout, including Stock and Prod
- Assembly hardware and Allen tool
- Guardian Anti-Dry Fire Scope Mount
- Tact-Zone Scope
- R.E.D.S. Suppressors
- Detachable quiver
- 4 Diablo arrows with field points
- Rope Cocking Device
- Instruction manual
- Warranty card
Assembling The Crossbow
Assembling a recurve crossbow can be a bit more complicated than putting together most compound crossbows, because you have to string the bow. In this case, however, the prod assembly came already strung.
The limb system mounts to the riser using 2 5/16” flat Allen cap screws with large washers, and the foot stirrup mounts using two 1/4” round head bolts. After that, you attach the front and rear sights using the included hardware.
Once that is done, mount your scope and you are ready to head to the backyard or archery range to sight it in. When I sighted mine in, it was mostly sighted out of the box, and it only took five shots before I was dead center and ready to test accuracy.
Accuracy And Power
As far as accuracy is concerned, all I can say is, “Wow! This is what a thousand bucks gets ya!” This crossbow is deadly, eerily accurate out to 70 yards. From 30 yards, I was able to consistently shoot groupings the size of a dime! From 50 yards, I held 2 1/2” groupings reliably, and maintained 4” groupings from 75 yards. The trigger pull is smooth and gentle, and the break happens right when you expect it to.
The Excalibur Matrix 380 fires arrows at a blazing 380 fps, and the arrows strike the target with 112 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy. When I was sighting in, I wasn’t really prepared for the sheer power of this crossbow and did not bother pulling out my compressed foam crossbow target. Instead, I just fired a few shots at my target, which I had attached to a couple bales of hay. My arrows went through the target and through two bales of hay, then embedded themselves 6 inches into the dirt mound backstop I have.
Ballistic Data For The Excalibur Matrix 380
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
The Excalibur Matrix 380 Blackout is a beautiful crossbow, and it shoots like a deadly dream. You can expect to take down any large game that is legal to hunt in North America with a crossbow this powerful, up to and including grizzly bears and Cape buffalo.
I took the Matrix 380 out on a hunting trip to see how it would do. It’s amazing how much narrower this crossbow is than other recurve crossbows. Since Excalibur brought out the Matrix 380 Xtra with its first-of-its-kind compact recurve design, the idea of carrying a recurve crossbow in the bush instead of a compound crossbow has become increasingly convenient. After all, the beauty of the recurve is that you can restring it in the field, if you need to, but that convenience has often been overshadowed by how wide recurve crossbows are and how likely they are to get snagged on limbs and branches. Not so with this baby, I’ll tell you that right now!
During my hunting trip with the Matrix 380, we spotted a grizzly bear fishing by a stream near our deer stand. I took careful aim on the grizzly, and let loose. The arrow tore through that bear like a hot knife through butter, digging 3” into the ground beside the bear. The bear took off running and yelping, only to drop from blood loss after about 40 yards or so.
Keep in mind, though, that some states do not allow the use of a crossbow with a draw weight of 200# or the use of any type of leverage-gaining device (like a rope-cocking device) for hunting purposes, so you should double-check your state’s crossbow laws before purchasing this particular crossbow.
Kinetic Energy of The Excalibur Matrix 380
The speed of the Excalibur Matrix 380 is certainly impressive, sending out 350-grain crossbow bolts at 380 FPS, but what about power? Assuming you are shooting at point blank range, each one of those Diablo arrows gets thrown into your target with around 109 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy, which deals one heck of a blow to your intended target! Deducting the usual few perce
nt lbs. of KE for each yard beyond point blank range, you’re still left with 103 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy for a 30-yard shot. In fact, you can maintain 99 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy behind a 45-yard shot, which is more than enough KE to tackle even the tough Cape buffalo or grizzly bear.
Cocking The Excalibur Matrix 380
The Excalibur Matrix 380 includes a rope-cocking aid, which is essential for its 260# draw weight. Using the rope-cocking device, the crossbow draws smoothly and with minimal effort. The safety engages securely every time the crossbow is cocked, and it easily disengages when you are ready to fire.
The Crossbow Scope
The Excalibur Matrix crossbows all ship with the Tact-Zone Scope as standard equipment. The Tact-Zone scope features multiple reticles with red/green rheostat illuminations and is adjustable for speeds between 275 fps and 410 fps.
The scope is quite nice, sighting in quickly and easily. It holds zero almost forever, despite my best efforts to knock it off zero. Maybe I’ll try dropping it out of my tree stand next time, and see what that does…
My only complaint with the Tact-Zone is that the illumination is a bit too faded. On a foggy morning, the green and red illuminations are just barely visible.See our detailed guide on how to sight-in your crossbow
The Excalibur Matrix 380 Blackout comes with four Diablo crossbow arrows and four field tips, so it’s easy to get up and running without having to buy a bunch of extra equipment. The Diablo is an 18” carbon crossbow arrow designed by Easton specifically for the Excalibur series of crossbows. These arrows feature a heavier front insert to increase the arrow’s front-of-center weight for better accuracy.
You can also use any flat backed arrows with the Excalibur with good results, but I see no reason to stop using the Diablos that come with the bow. I only wish it came with more, but my quiver only holds four arrows, anyways.You can also learn more about crossbow arrows and take a look at our broadhead recommendations
Safety and Design
I’ve already touched on many of the safety features of this crossbow. The Guardian Anti-Dry Fire system works exactly as it should, preventing the crossbow from being fired without an arrow nocked. The trigger pull is smooth and easy, giving consistent breaks every time and consistent accuracy from as far away as 80 yards. The safety functions exactly as it should, and I have never had problems with it locking up the way some other crossbows have.
The Excalibur Matrix 380 comes with an unconditional 5-year warranty against manufacturing defects. After the five years, the warranty is extended at Excalibur’s discretion for the lifetime of the original owner. I’ve yet to find an Excalibur that wasn’t in perfect working order, and the few times I have had to call Excalibur with a question, their representatives were knowledgeable and friendly.
What Crossbow Case Fits the Excalibur Matrix 380?
The perfect case for the Excalibur Matrix 380 greatly depends on what type of scope it is equipped with. The Carbon Express Deluxe Case is a soft case selection. It is cost to $70; but if you use a large scope, is it not for you. The Barnett Case (Model 17083) is a soft case just over 50 dollars and provides sufficient space for larger accessories.
Excalibur Matrix 380 Crossbow Review – Summary
Thanks for reading our crossbow review. The Excalibur Matrix 380 Blackout is a beautiful weapon, and blends in perfectly in any ground blind. If you are looking for a good compact recurve crossbow to use from a ground blind, keep this one in mind. Take a look at today's amazon.com price on this crossbow and check out our top 10 crossbows rankings for more.