The following Excalibur Matrix 355 review was written by Thomas Lipsey.
|Excalibur Matrix 355||Speed||Draw Weight||Length||Weight||Rating|
Check Current Price on Amazon.com
|355 FPS||240 lbs.||35.2"||5.4 lbs.||9.4 / 10|
- Super-light weight and compact size
- More kinetic energy and speed than anyone could ever need
- Great accuracy at up to 60 yards and more
- One of the best stock designs I’ve seen on a crossbow
- Not over-priced
- Quite loud for a recurve, but makes up with speed
- Scope optics could be better
All new Matrix 355 packages come with the following items included:
- The Excalibur Matrix 355 recurve crossbow
- String and Foot Stirrup
- Tact-Zone reticle scope
- 18″ carbon crossbow arrows (four)
- Arrow field tips (four)
- Arrow quiver with quick-detach lever
- String maintenance kit
- Cocking device (rope)
- Assembly DVD videos
- Owner’s manual and lifetime warranty card
- Assembly bolts, screws and Allen wrenches
The only thing missing are the arrow broadheads, which you will need if you want to go hunting.
How To Assemble The Excalibur Matrix 355
Beginners should follow the assembly instructions located on the included DVD. The whole process is as easy as tightening a few bolts, and it involves the following:
- Bolting the riser to the Ergo-Grip stock
- Screwing in the foot stirrup
- Attaching the arrow quiver platform
- Mounting and securing the crossbow scope
If this is your first time assembling an x-bow, please go through the assembly instructions from start to finish before you begin putting the Matrix 355 together.
First Impressions: Design, Comfort, Safety Features
- The PowerLoad limbs are very durable and as tough as you’d expect considering this is a 240 lbs. draw crossbow.
- Limb pockets are heavy-duty and secure the limbs very tightly.
- Foot stirrup is very large and the surface was designed to prevent it from slipping when cocking the crossbow. This is very important on such a heavy (as far as draw weight goes) x-bow.
- Quiver platform is installed in a location that makes shooting more comfortable
- The foregrip is large, comfortable, and padded for both extra comfort and to help your palm stay warmer in the winter.
- Nice and wide shoulder plate, no recoil or digging into the body.
- Foregrip has a thumb hole as well as finger protectors.
- Arrow retainer looks sturdy, though I have yet to test it with aluminum arrows.
- Unfortunately there’s no anti-dry firing (ADF) system in place, so be extra careful when cocking your crossbow.
Overall: highly ergonomic and durable design; none of the parts seem to be of inferior quality. Only issue I have with it is the lack of an ADF mechanism.
- The trigger is wider than average, which lets the index finger rest more comfortable against it.
- Measured trigger pull and it was roughly 2.9 lbs., which is less than on most crossbows. It’s just a matter of getting used to though and by no means does it negatively impact performance.
- The pull is smooth and trigger travel distance is just right – even beginners with no shooting experience won’t have any troubles with it.
Overall: very comfortable and responsive trigger – no disappointments.
Kinetic Energy (KE) And Shooting Speed of The Matrix 355
- Manufacturer claims a 355 FPS shooting speed. My tests, using a chronograph and the arrows included with the package, indicate this value to be closer to 350 FPS.
- Measured Kinetic Energy of the Matrix 355 is around 96 ft-lbs. when using 400 grain arrows.
Overall: very fast and powerful crossbow.
Shooting Accuracy of The Matrix 355
- Highly accurate at up to 60 yards (1-2 inch groups), and even further than that with some shooting experience.
- Trigger action is very reliable and pulling the trigger does not mess with the balance of the bow.
- Weighing only 5.4 lbs., the Matrix 355 is extremely light weight. The majority of the weight is also shifted towards the shoulder rather than the front of the crossbow. All of this makes it very easy to hold and aim, without experiencing any muscle shaking that would reduce accuracy.
- Arrows included with the package are true and fly beautifully.
Cocking The Crossbow & Draw Weight
The draw weight on this one is quite heavy – a little over 240 lbs. This means that even when using a rope cocking aid, you’ll still need to pull around 120 lbs. of weight. As such, females as well as small-framed males should seriously consider getting an Excalibur crank aid and using it to cock their Matrix 355.
Overall: very accurate by every definition of the word.
Arrows For The Excalibur Matrix 355
- The package includes 350 grain 18″ Diablo carbon arrows, four in total. These arrows are straight and durable, and are exactly what you’d expect from a high-end package like this one.
- Once you decide to buy extra arrows, make sure they are 18″ or 20″ long (no more than that). They can be from either aluminum or carbon – both will work perfectly fine.
- Stick to arrow weight between 350 and 500 grain; don’t go below 350. For target practice, lean towards the bottom of the range; for hunting, lean towards the top of the range.
- Whenever uncertain, simply buy any of Excalibur’s 18″ or 20″ crossbow bolts.
- The package comes with practice field points, though you will need to get hunting broad-heads separately.
Quality of The Included Scope
- The Tact-Zone scope has 5 reticles in total, and it can be used to accurately hit targets from 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 yards.
- I did not need to sight the crossbow, as the scope was zeroed at the factory and was spot-on from the first time I shot it.
- Resistant to both rain, fog and snow.
- Each cross-hair can be illuminated for better visibility in darker environments. For illumination to work, you’ll need a battery. One is supplied with the scope and should last for at least 4 months of frequent shooting.
- Eye-relief isn’t that great, so people wearing sunglasses might not feel so comfortable using this scope.
- Field of view is decent, although there is some noticeable blurring around the edges.
Overall: a decent scope, though optics could have been of higher quality, especially for a crossbow in this price range.
Is The Excalibur Matrix 355 Good For Beginners?
The majority of beginners will appreciate the following:
- Very high shooting accuracy
- Tons of safety features designed to keep both the shooter and the crossbow out of harm’s way.
- The Matrix 355 can be successfully used for long-range target practice, as well as serious hunting (more on hunting below).
- A very novice-friendly trigger
- Ultra-light weight makes handling very easy for those unaccusomed to carrying heavy weapons.
Overall: a fantastic choice for any beginner, if you can swallow the price.
Is The Excalibur Matrix 355 Suitable For Hunting?
- This crossbow delivers more than enough kinetic energy, even when using lighter arrows (350 grain) to harvest the largest game in the US, including cape buffalo. Deer and elk are simply no match for the Matrix 355, even if you were to shoot from well over 60 yards.
- Low weight makes it very easy to carry, and the short 35″ length makes maneuvering the x-bow easy no matter where you are.
Overall: a fantastic crossbow for all hunters – amateur or professional.
How Durable is The Matrix 355 String?
The string included with the package is good enough to last for 1400-1500 shots. As always, this is conditional on you keeping it properly waxed in between shots. Even though the string will last for quite some time, we recommend always having a backup string available (as well as a stringer).
Where To Buy The Excalibur Matrix 355
Start by taking a look at Amazon.com’s current price on the Matrix 355. If you are a beginner, avoid buying a used Matrix 355, unless you know someone experienced who can inspect the crossbow for you and give you the O.K. to go for it.
Thanks for reading my review!