Excalibur Matrix Cub Review (In-Field) – Recurve Crossbow

ModelDraw WeightStrokeVelocitySuggested Arrow LengthCrossbow Length / Weight
Excalibur Matrix Cub

Excalibur Matrix Cub

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190 lbs.11.5"285 FPS

How to sight a crossbow?
18"32.2" / 5 lbs. 5 ozs.
- Easy to cock
- Ultra Light

- Can be Hard to Find Aftermarket Arrows/Points
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 Matrix Cub Package Contents

The Excalibur Matrix Cub is offered as a crossbow only or as a basic complete kit. Ours arrived with:

  • A red dot scope
  • A 4-arrow detachable quiver
  • Three Diablo 18” arrows
  • Three 150-grain field points
  • A rope cocking aid

The red dot is a rather basic scope, so if you are going to want to upgrade quickly, you might look into just purchasing the crossbow on its own. Finding the 150-grain recommended weight hunting broadheads might prove to be a bit difficult in your local shop, so keep in mind you might need to order these in advance.

First Impressions: Design, Safety, Comfort and Accuracy

Excalibur is known for building a quality crossbow, and with the introduction of the Matrix Cub , they have brought forth a quality recurve offering designed for youths, or for smaller-framed ladies. The Cub is built with the same basic styling of the Grizzly and utilizes an SMF composite frame, but with lighter 190 lb. limbs.

The Cub is only offered in black on black, but that is a good all-around color for most hunting situations. Given that it is a youth crossbow, we really wish it had an auto safety, but that is something that parents will need to focus on with their young shooters.

Kinetic Energy of the Matrix Cub

Excalibur Matrix Cub4The Matrix Cub is designed to allow a younger hunter, or smaller shooter, the opportunity to use a recurve and still be able to cock the crossbow. Pushing a 350 grain projectile at 285 fps, means the Cub is going to be launching an arrow with about 60 ft. lbs. of energy at the muzzle. Being a youth crossbow, this isn’t meant to have the hard hit of a bigger crossbow, yet this should still be plenty to hunt a white tail with.

Use our arrow ballistics calculator for more valuable information.

Ballistic Data For The Excalibur Matrix Cub

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 with the Excalibur Matrix Cub

Hunting with the Cub should be a fun and rewarding trip, especially since this is likely to be the first crossbow for many young shooters. The light weight and shorter overall length should make this a comfortable crossbow for a youngster to tote into the field.

Please keep in mind, as with the other Matrix crossbows, the broadhead will be hanging pretty far off the end of the barrel when the arrow is in the shooting position. Especially since the shooter is likely to be less experienced, you need to ensure the area in front of the crossbow is clear so there is nothing to hang up on as the crossbow is shouldered in excitement!

How Quiet is the Matrix Cub

Excalibur Matrix CubThe Matrix Cub is a fairly quiet crossbow due to the lower draw weight and arrow speed. There was a bit of ‘twang’ after shooting that could be brought down quite a bit with some limb and barrel dampeners. If you go this route, don’t ignore the stirrup as that is where a lot of vibration can be transferred.

Cocking the Matrix Cub

The Matrix Cub was very easy to cock, which is always a good thing on a youth crossbow. You will definitely want to use the rope cocker to cut the felt weight, but overall this is one that most kids will learn to do themselves. The short stroke and short length certainly help as well.

Quality of the Optics

The included red dot scope in the package that we received is a good starter scope and will work to teach point of aim. If this is going to be something that you are going to use a lot to hunt with, you might consider ordering the crossbow without the scope so you can select one that has magnification or even multiple reticles.

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

What Arrows to use with the Matrix Cub

Excalibur Matrix Cub3The Diablo arrows included with the Matrix Cub will work well for most shooting. The 18” length is not something you want to ever exceed as the arrow already sticks well beyond the end of the barrel. As finding 18” isn’t the easiest, you may consider, if you like the performance of the Diablos, ordering a few extra. As we all learned growing up, when you are first shooting, you tend to destroy/lose more than a few arrows.

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

Overall Thoughts

The Excalibur Matrix Cub is a crossbow that was designed to allow the first-time and/or youth hunter the chance to use a recurve crossbow that has the design features that the Matrix line offers. It has enough punch to bring down a deer without having too much power for a young shooter to handle. It is simple in its design which is a very good thing for someone learning to shoot. This isn’t a particularly flashy crossbow, but to the youngster that gets it, it is going to be one of the best looking things they have ever seen! 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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