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Muleskinner

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Reply with quote  #1 
I am planning to buy my first crossbow because I have a bum shoulder socket which is making it harder and harder to practice and shoot a compound any more. I don't post much but I am on this site reading almost every day and it seems like there are some folks on here with some experience and lessons learned. I am thinking about an Excalibur Matrix Grizzly. Would this be a good choice?  I like the fact that there are less moving parts to fail and the weight doesn't seem too bad. It is a little on the wide side, but the fit and comfort were pretty good when I tried it. I'm not locked in yet, just want something reliable and relatively trouble free. Thanks !
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FIREMANJIM

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Reply with quote  #2 
I just bought a new Carbon Express crossbow and I love it. Super quite and fast. Very accurate too. Holds 5" groups out to 55 yards easily.
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tjones96761

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Reply with quote  #3 
I started with a Horton Havoc, one of the inverted compounds. Now anytime I pick up a normal crossbow the forward weight feels all wrong to me. My next one will be a Scorypd.


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When I get tied down by the ties that bind, seems like I'm never gonna find the time to do what I need. - Jason Boland "Somewhere Down in Texas"
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IroquoisArcher

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Reply with quote  #4 
Most of them are good. Basically it comes down to preference in model and features. I'm just going by what usually sells at the shop I'm at. TenPoints/Wicked Ridge, Excalibur and Parker seem to be the least we have trouble with with the TenPoint/Wicked Ridge (basically Wicked Ridge is just a less frills bow so cost is less) and Excalibur are the most worry free. When said about the personal preference you may have seen that the recurve limbed Excalibur will be wider then the compound types (exception may be their new shorter, narrower onw but it is more draw weight and without noise suppresor accesory it is loud) and usually will be noisier. Excalibur was bought out by Bowtech and they have a new version out that incorporates the Excalibur stock and rail and Bowteck compound front end. This one plus the recurved limb crossbows can be let down without having to fire a discharge arrow like the compound type ones at the end of the day (MAKE SURE TO ASK THE DEALER ABOUT THIS IF YOU GO THAT ROUTE FOR SAFETY). Make sure whatever one you get you are able to draw easily and is legal draw weight in your state (think New York has a 225#...or something like that min....how they're supposed to determine in the field though is beyond me). With a bad shoulder you may want to go with a crank type cocking device instead of the pull rope, your dealer can show the differences. Couple things to ALWAYS keep in mind is that the rail MUST be lubed with rail lube (not string wax on the rail) usually every 15-20 shots. A dry rail will rip up the center serving and possibly blow up the bow quickly. Make sure you also have the right type arrow, different brands take different nocks...flat, half-moon, full capture, etc. Shooting the wrong one can have the same effect as dry firing the bow and usually then it may cost several hundred dollars to repair (for instance if a Stryker bow you blow up cams/limbs/string & cable and labor will be well in excess of $200.00-$250.00...dry firing is not a warrenty covered problem... but Excalibur recurve limbs seem to withstand this better then any other I know off). Also we have guys coming into the shop even the day before archery season and are going to go out the following morning with one they are just buying. Alot think just because it has a scope it is like a rifle distance wise. Personally I feel 35 yards is max. effective range on deer (note I said personal, others may disagree). Do talk to your dealer and ask to shot various models. Remember the faster the crossbow is (some are over 400 fps) the more shock there is to the bow (and the more damage we see). Another thing that is recommended depending on amount of shooting you do is to change the string every year and the cables up to 3 years.

Horton went bankrupt a year or two ago so repair parts are limited to dealers who bought out liquidation from the foreclosure. Some may tell you that TenPoint bought out Horton and they did but the name only, they will not honor or offer any warrenty work on the Hortons. Now Barnett offers a reverse limb and know another may be coming out with one if they haven't already.
Probably more info. and confusion then you want to know.

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When you are in a difficult situation and wonder where God is; remember the Teacher is always quiet during the test.
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Muleskinner

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Reply with quote  #5 
Thank you to everyone who responded and especially IroquoisArcher for taking the time to share in depth his thoughts and experiences. I will be heading out to the local shop to test a few models before I make the final decision. I am a PA resident hunter and will be hunting the woods in the area of Raystown Lake in Huntingdon County (now a CWD area). I will make a purchase by the end of the month and then shoot regularly until I am comfortable and accurate with the set-up before heading to the woods. In the cover I generally hunt it is hard to get more than a 30 yard shot. From what I have read here and other places, it seems like the broadhead to use will be another trial and error and personal preference much like it was with the compound. Thanks again to all............
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tjones96761

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Reply with quote  #6 
Yeah, I found out about the Horton thing when I needed to replace the string last year, what a mess. Never woulda bought Horton if I knew that was coming.

One thing I found quite a bit different from vertical bow was inconsistency in arrows. With a vertical bow there is always that question of form, release, etc that may have caused the inconsistency. Number your arrows and keep track of where each number is hitting. You'll find 3-5 in a dozen that group well with field tips. You'll get half of those or a little better that still group well with broadheads. I bought 'tuned' BE Executioners this year hoping to up that average, I'll let you know how it that works out.
On the flip side of that accuracy comment, one arrow per target at close range. Really easy to screw up arrows. That was an expensive lesson learned on my own. After you figure out where you're shooting, you can put 6 or 8 quarter sized dots on a sheet of paper and shoot more than once.

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"It’s not easy being drunk all the time. Everyone would do it, if it were easy." - Tyrion Lannister

When I get tied down by the ties that bind, seems like I'm never gonna find the time to do what I need. - Jason Boland "Somewhere Down in Texas"
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IroquoisArcher

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Reply with quote  #7 
[rofl] @ Tom. Sucks when you do that eh? Mine I usually use sandbags with and shoot out to 45 yards just for fine tuning. I use fixed blades as never have used a mechanical so guess I'm old fashioned. SlickTrick fixed are a great head as are Strikers. If I decide to go out this year may change to the Wasp broadhead (X-cutter or something like that?????) as like the looks of the new one. Mechanicals the Spitfire is still one of the toughest to beat. Rage and the Hypodeermic(?) have also had good reviews from the guys who come into the shop. I use 100 gr. broadheads but a 125 or 150 is probably the better choice as will give more foc. Blazer vanes are what most guys are going with on their bolts. Like you said experiment. I also never take for granted that the broadhead will fly the same as a field point. Some do and usually they're close but my final sighting in is with broadheads. As in the speed bows now adays a shorter overall length broadhead is prefered as it won't be effected as much for wind planing.

Strings are no big deal if that is the only problem. Dave (Dave's Archery in North East, PA...outside of Erie) and Joe (The Crossbow Shop in TN???) bought alot of the liquidation of Horton and have quite a bit of limbs, strings, etc. Strings he can also make so isn't really a big problem of getting them.

Oh forgot too to always make sure the bolt is fully seated against the string when cocked. Even being 1/4" away from the string is possible to dryfire even though crossbows now have anti-dry fire mechanisms on them...can never just assume something won't fail even though they say it won't.

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When you are in a difficult situation and wonder where God is; remember the Teacher is always quiet during the test.
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