Excalibur Axiom SMF Review

The following Excalibur Axiom SMF review was written by Bertrand Sowen


Excalibur Axiom SMFSpeedDraw WeightLengthWeightRating
Excalibur Axiom SMF

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305 FPS175 lbs.37.5"5.8 lbs.9.2/10


  • Very accurate
  • Compact and light-weight
  • Recurve design will be appreciated by beginners
  • Enough Kinetic Energy for hunting almost anything
  • Very suitable for target practice as well (solid accuracy at 60+ yard range)
  • Awesome scope included


  • Lacking in safety features

Package Contents

Every Excalibur Axiom SMF package bought after May 2013 comes with the following items included:

  • The recurve Axiom crossbow
  • Multi-reticle crossbow scope
  • Four 20″ fire bolt arrows
  • Four field points
  • Arrow quiver
  • String wax (small amount – better buy extra)
  • Cocking aid (rope)
  • DVD assembly video
  • Owner’s manual & Lifetime Warranty< card
  • Assembly hardware

Assembling The Axiom SMF

Recurve crossbows are even easier to assemble than compounds as there is no need to feed the cables through the stock. The assembly DVD is very to-the-point and makes assembly a breeze even for a beginner. The steps you’ll need to take are as follows:

  1. Attach the quiver mount to the stock
  2. Secure the prod to the stock
  3. Attach the foot stirrup
  4. Mount the included crossbow scope

Total assembly time: less than 10 minutes.

First Impressions (Size, Stock, Limbs, Safety)

  • The Axiom is exceptionally light-weight, at 5.8 lbs. (not including the scope). Very easy to handle and transport.
  • Total length (without the foot stirrup) is 37.5″, which is standard in most modern recurve crossbows.
  • There’s no groove in the foregrip (and it’s rather “square” in shape), so if you’re used to having one you might need a few days to adjust to the new grip. Otherwise, it’s quite comfortable to hold.
  • The lamination on the limbs is high quality and I’ve had no issues with them warping or bending even with heavy use. After doing some research, I haven’t heard of anyone complaining about the limbs exploding either.
  • There are no finger guides to help prevent placing your fingers in the path of the string while shooting, so you’ll need to be extra careful when shooting the Axiom.
  • There’s also no anti-dry fire mechanism in place, so remember to always turn safety “on” manually before you seat an arrow.
  • The shoulder plate is very comfortable and sits nicely against the body.

Overall: Very durable and high quality design, comfortable to hold. Safety features are lacking.

Trigger Action

  • Trigger pressure feels like a little over 3 lbs.
  • Very responsive trigger assembly, doesn’t require a lot of lubrication to maintain performance.
  • Trigger is responsive and and, assuming proper shooting form, does not negatively impact accuracy or generate unnecessary movement of the crossbow.

Shooting Speed and Kinetic Energy (KE) Of The Excalibur Axiom

  • Axiom rated this bow as delivering 305 FPS of shooting speed
  • Our chronograph tests resulted in 303 FPS when using the Firebolt arrows supplied with the package.
  • Point-blank kinetic energy was precisely 80 ft-lbs. with the included arrows. Subtract around 1.5 ft-lbs. for every 10 yards away from your target.

Overall: not a speed or KE monster, but delivers more than enough power and accuracy for the vast majority of crossbow shooters.

Accuracy of The Barnett Axiom SMF

  • The design of the crossbow provides for an exceptionally stable and well-balanced shooting platform.
  • The scope included was factory sighte and performed very well on my first shooting session.
  • Pretty much zero vibration or side to side swaying of the crossbow when pulling the trigger.
  • It’s accurate enough that a complete beginner can consistently hit the bulls-eye from as far as 40 yards.
  • Advanced shooters can comfortably hit 60+ yard targets.

Overall: SUPER accurate – feels almost like shooting a regular rifle.

Arrows For The Excalibur Axiom Crossbow

Any 20″ or 22″ crossbow bolts will work just fine, though aluminum arrows are my favorites. 400 grain total weight (including broad-head / field point) strike the perfect balance between accuracy and kinetic energy. Heavier arrows will work just as fine though, although your accuracy at longer distances (over 30 yards) will suffer slightly.

The Excalibur Axiom Sight

  • The multi-reticle scope included allows for up to 2.5x magnification.
  • It has 4 cross-hairs total – for 20, 30, 40 and 50 yard targets.
  • Very high quality optics with a wide field of view.
  • Light gathering is fantastic and allows to aim in very dim conditions.
  • All mounting hardware is included with the package

Overall: one of the finest crossbow scopes you can get.

Is The Excalibur Axiom SMF Suitable For Beginners?

This crossbow is a solid choice for intermediate and advanced archers, though novices can definitely use it as well. Beginners will particularly enjoy the following:

  • Very light-weight and easy to handle.
  • Highly accurate scope.
  • Exceptionally stable and responsive trigger.
  • Material quality is high enough that you won’t need to replace parts any time soon.
  • Low-maintenance (recurve design – no cams or cables to worry about).

Note: the only thing about the Axion that could make it not suitable for beginners is the lack of enough safety features. As a result, any novice will need to be extra careful about:

  • Making sure the fingers never go above the flight rail.
  • Remembering to always turn the safety on before seating an arrow in the rail.

Is The Axiom Good For Hunting?

Yes, it’s very well suited for hunting purposes. Here are a few reasons:

  • Very low weight and relatively short length make it easy to maneuver and handle in a hunting blind or stand.
  • High accuracy make it easier to riskier shots from longer distances, opening up new opportunities that might have otherwise gone missing.
  • Scope holds zero very well, so there’s no fear that you’ll suddenly need to adjust windage or elevation in the field.
  • Kinetic Energy delivered is enough to comfortably take down elk and maybe even bigger game (ox, cape buffalo).

How Long Does The Axiom String Last?

  • With proper and regular waxing, it will last a good 1000 – 1200 shots.
  • Replacing the string is very easy and it’s in fact described in the included assembly DVD (even though the package comes with the string already installed).

Where To Buy The Excalibur Axiom?

There are a few options:

Hopefully this review has been useful. If you have questions or doubts, leave a comment below and I’ll personally reply to you.

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