Well, even before the bill to allow hunters to use crossbows for Oklahoma archery deer hunting, I had an idea they would pass it this time around and started researching the best Crossbow I could buy for the money. I had owned a PSE Starfire crossbow (at least I believe that's what it was) back in the early 90's when I lived in Arkansas, but I only had it two years before it was stolen. About the same time I moved back to Oklahoma and never did buy another one. I eventually decided on the Excalibur Axiom Crossbow, here's how I got to that decision.
My experience with the Starfire was not that positive really. I was very loud when shot, it had a lot of vibration, and I mean a LOT! I tell people it reminded me of hitting a flag pole with a aluminum baseball bat, in December!
So I had a few criteria when I decided to try and shoot a crossbow again. First, I wanted a reliable unit. I didn't plan on breaking the bank, but I felt like I should be able to buy a reliable unit for a fair price. I certainly wasn't going to buy a piece of junk! I wanted a crossbow that had accessories and a good availability of parts should I need them.
Second, the crossbow had to be very accurate. Col. Townsend Whelen once said that only accurate guns are interesting and that's the way I feel about bows. If a crossbow isn't accurate, I have no need for it.
Third, I wanted one with the reputation as being a reliable crossbow from a reputable company.
I had looked over a bunch of outdoor catalogs, read all I could about crossbows at the online hunting forums as well as finding other literature on crossbows. My choices came down to 4 crossbows. They were from Barnett, Ten Point, Parker and Excalibur. After shooting each of my choices, I happily bought the Excalibur Axiom Crossbow and I couldn't be happier! To say the least, this is a smooth shooting, hard hitting crossbow that is pure joy to shoot!
For those that do not know a lot about Crossbows, the Excalibur Axiom crossbow is a recurve crossbow pulling 175 pounds. From what I'm told on the Excalibur forums, it's basically a Excalibur Phoenix without the dissipator bars on the front of the limbs and has a different Camo job.
What was even better was the price! The Axiom kit comes with a scope that is calibrated to the speed that the Axiom shoots (Excalibur says 305 fps with a 350 grain arrow and a Flemish Dyna Flight String), Excel String, Scope Mounts and Rings , Excalibur 4 Arrow Quiver, Quiver bracket, 4 Firebolts and 150 grain field points.
When my Axiom crossbow arrived in the mail, it took maybe 30 minutes to put the limbs on the stock, install the scope mounts and rings on the Scope and then onto the rail. It took longer to watch the included DVD than it did to get the Axiom put together and be ready to shoot!
When I went to sight it in, I was in for another surprise. My first arrow hit about 8 inches high and about 6 inches to the left. I adjusted the scope and fired another arrow. It hit about 1 1/2" to the right of the aiming point. Another adjustment and I shot another arrow. Bullseye!
3 arrows shot to sight this shooting machine in at 20 yards!
Next, I collected my arrows and shot a 4 arrow group at 20 yards. This proved my inexperience with Excalibur crossbows. You don't shoot groups with them unless you're willing to lose a few crossbow arrows because they are accurate!
Once I knew it was sighted in at 20 yards, I backed up to 30 yards. The Axiom scope is compensated out to 50 yards for the speed that the Axiom shoots. It has small chevrons below the crosshairs for the ranges of 30, 40 and 50 yards.
Another thing besides the accuracy of this Crossbow is how accurate the scope was! I backed all the way out to 50 yards and using the 50 yard chevron (which is right where the crosshairs go from thin to thick), I not only hit the target, I had about a 3" group! This is from someone who hadn't shot a crossbow in about 15 years!
I eventually started damaging the nocks of my crossbow arrows when shooting for groups so I had to stop and just started choosing other aiming points on the bag. I now have about 7 damaged arrows including one Robin Hood (splitting one arrow in the target with another arrow) that happened when shooting at 40 yards!
Needless to say, my experience with the Axiom is day and night difference from shooting the old PSE Starfire. Of course, it was a pretty big difference from shooting the other crossbows, that's why I ended up with it!
One thing that I wasn't totally happy with the Axiom is that the top of the stock is a little low for me. I ended up buying one of the Excalibur add-on cheek pieces and it has solved the problem. Now shooting through the scope is more fun!
I also added the Simms silencing package for Crossbows. This includes 2 limb silencers, a silencer for the arrow retainer and string leeches. I tried several times to keep the string leeches on but it wasn't meant to be. After about 5 shots the Axiom would throw them off. This package from Simms really quieted the bow down. I later bought the Simms wrap and wrapped it around the stirrup to remove any sound it made during the shot. This also helped! Before hunting season, I'll add cat whiskers to the string. It's a little different technique than putting cat whiskers on a compound bow, so you need to watch the proper way. Here's an YouTube video showing you how.
With the Axiom's 175 pound pull and speeds up to 305 fps, I honestly don't think there is an animal Walking on the North American continent you couldn't put down at ranges under 40 yards. The bow shoots that hard and it shoots fast!
I enjoy shooting the Axiom so much, that I plan on buying another one next year! Probably go up in weight a little, but then again my Wife, who is a non-hunter, even enjoys shooting my Axiom so I might just buy her one of those Pink Vixen II's!
If you're looking for a hunting crossbow that is reliable and one you can work on in the field, like replacing the string should you cut it with a broadhead, then look at Excalibur crossbows. Give the Excalibur Axiom Crossbow a look over if you wanting to buy a kit that has everything you need to get into the fun of crossbow hunting! See the Pictures below for some pics from my casual shooting with the Axiom.
Needless to say, I don't aim at the same dots any longer. It will get expensive really quick when you start replacing crossbow arrows!
To find the Axiom online, click here >> Excalibur Axiom Crossbow.