Excalibur Phoenix Review – Recurve Crossbow

ModelDraw WeightStrokeVelocitySuggested Arrow LengthCrossbow Length / Weight
Excalibur Phoenix

Excalibur Phoenix

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175 lbs.14.5"305 FPS

Crossbow Academy: ballistics, sighting, tuning
20"37.5" / 6.3 lbs.
- Lightweight
- Includes illuminated scope
- Smooth trigger pull

- Slightly longer than average
- Underpowered for 175# draw weight
- Manual safety

Small Game Hunting?yes2
Deer, Elk Hunting?yes2
Moose, Bear Hunting?yes2
Target Shooting?yes2
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Also Recommended:Best Excalibur Crossbows

What Comes With This Crossbow?

Welcome to our review of the Excalibur Phoenix. Each package delivered by Excalibur includes the following items:

  • The Excalibur Phoenix crossbow
  • ShadowZone Illuminated scope
  • Assembly hardware and tools
  • 4-arrow quiver
  • 4 Firebolt arrows
  • Rope cocking device
  • Owner’s manual
  • Warranty card

Putting it Together

Assembling the Phoenix is quick and easy. You install the riser onto the stock, then attach the foot stirrup. Next, you can install your scope and quiver, and you’re ready to go. The instructions are excellent, and I was able to go from an unboxed, disassembled crossbow to a fully assembled, ready-for-the-range crossbow in under 15 minutes.

Accuracy And Power

The Excalibur Phoenix delivers arrows at 305 fps with 72 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy. Once I had my Phoenix assembled, I went out to the range to see how accurate the x-bow was at those speeds and with that energy, but first I had to sight in the scope. This was an easy task, because the scope was practically sighted in right out of the box.

The included scope is marked for 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 yards, so I did my accuracy testing at those ranges. From point-blank range, 10 yards, I was hitting 1/4″ patterns with ease, in fact splitting several arrows. From 20 yards, I could keep my arrows within a 1/2″ diameter grouping, and 30 yards yielded almost the same size pattern. Accuracy dropped off a tiny bit from 40 yards, with a 1” pattern, and I could just keep a 1-1/2” pattern from 50 yards. This is pretty accurate for a crossbow, so I was happy with the results.

Use our arrow ballistics calculator for more valuable information.

Ballistic Data For The Excalibur Phoenix

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.

Will Hunters Enjoy the Excalibur Phoenix?

phoenix_1With an overall length of 37.5”, this crossbow is a bit longer than average, but it’s still very easy to carry around, since it only weighs 6.3 pounds. The bow doesn’t come with a sling, but I added one, and found it easy to carry the crossbow to my hunting stand. Once I reached my favorite tree stand, I settled in and waited for the 10-point buck I had spotted on my Bushnell Trophy Cam the night before.

Before long, my patience was rewarded, as the buck wandered down my trail within 30 yards of my tree stand. I centered the reticle on his front chest quarter, and slowed my breathing down to steady my hand. When he was still and I was ready, I carefully pulled back the trigger and let loose my arrow at him. A direct hit in his chest penetrated both of his lungs, and he hobbled off for about 15 yards before he keeled over.

Cocking The Phoenix

The draw weight on this crossbow is 175 pounds, which is fairly reasonable for a strong archer. However, Excalibur includes a rope cocking device, something I always recommend using anyways for a more consistent, even pull on the string. I like pulling back recurve crossbows, and the Phoenix is an excellent example of why I like recurves: smooth, steady draw until the satisfying click of the string settling into the cocking mechanism. My only beef with the Phoenix is that the safety is a manual safety, so you have to remember the habit of setting the safety every time you cock the crossbow.

The Crossbow Scope

This x-bow comes with Excalibur’s Shadow-Zone scope, which is an illuminated variant of their steadfast Vari-Zone scope. The scope sights in easily, and has held true for over a year for me. The illuminated reticles have 5 brightness settings, and are perfect for those before dawn or after dusk shooting hours. The reticles are set for 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 yards, and the optics are optimally coated for resistance to fogging.

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


The Excalibur Phoenix comes with 4 20” Firebolt arrows, which may very well be the only arrows you will ever need. They are fitted with field tips to bring the weight of the arrows to 350 grain, but I typically shoot 400 grain arrows with little to no degradation in speed. Firebolt arrows have been my favorite for a few years, now, but you are certainly welcome to substitute any 20” carbon arrows weighing at least 350 grain.

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

Safety and Design

Excalibur puts many hours of time and effort into designing their crossbows, and their attention to detail really pays off. The Phoenix is exquisitely designed with classic crossbow looks fused with a modern Realtree Hardwoods HD camouflage finish coated on using Excalibur’s Kolorfusion process. The crossbow has a smooth, easy 3 lbs. trigger pull with an even, consistent break point, and the crossbow cocks reliably each and every time.

The Phoenix is lightweight and easier for smaller statured shooters to pull than other crossbows, since it has a power stroke of just 14.5”. This is pretty compact for a recurve crossbow, making this particular model one of the most ideal recurve crossbows available for women or smaller-framed men.


Excalibur backs all of their crossbows with a limited lifetime warranty valid for the life of the original owner. If you are thinking about buying a used Excalibur, it is important to know that the warranty will not transfer, but Excalibur has one of the lowest warranty return rates in the industry. On top of that, Excalibur’s customer service team is phenomenally helpful, knowledgeable, and friendly. I’ve never run into a problem with an Excalibur bow that a call to customer service failed to resolve.

What Crossbow Case Fits the Excalibur Phoenix?

The Excalibur Phoenix is at the large end of the crossbow spectrum. The SKB Hunter Series Crossbow Case is an extremely nice hard case choice; however, it has a large price tag of $291 to match. ThePlano 1133-00 Manta Crossbow Case is a hard case for slightly less than half of that. The Barnett Case (Model 17083) is a decent soft case match for $53.

Crossbow Review – Summary

Thanks for reading our crossbow review. The Excalibur Phoenix is an excellent crossbow designed for smaller shooters. It includes one of the better scopes available as an included accessory, and comes with everything you need to get started. It is also backed by a lifetime warranty, so you can buy your new Excalibur Phoenix assured of a lifetime of fun shooting, whether you’re shooting for target practice or for hunting. 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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