For the second year in a row Excalibur has brought out a new crossbow model significantly faster then any previous model. Last year it was the Matrix 380 at 380 feet per second, this year it is the Matrix 405 Mega at what else – 405 feet per second. To get the new speed the same limbs from the Matrix 380 have been mounted on a slightly longer riser. The new specs read .8 inches longer power stroke and 30 lbs increase in draw weight. The Matrix 405 Mega is truly a magnum crossbow for those that desire one.
Excalibur has added the Ibex, a thumbhole version of their low end but very popular Axiom Crossbow. Both the Axiom and the Ibex crossbow share the same composite barrel and laminated glass limbs, only the stock has changed. Suggested retail for the ibex is 40.00 more then the Axiom.
For 2012 Tenpoint is publishing three arrow speeds for each of their crossbows. The first and fastest speed is with their new 370 grain Pro Lite arrow, the second speed is with their long time standard Pro Elite 425 grain arrow, and the third speed is with a 545 grain Easton FMJ bolt. I think this is a good move. For years Tenpoint has been getting beat up in the speed department by other crossbow companies using much lighter arrows for their published speeds. Of course a lighter arrow will be faster but with only published speed comparisons a consumer that did not look any closer could easily be led to believe other crossbows were outperforming Tenpoint models when this was simply not the case. At least now the consumer will be alerted to the arrow weight differences and can ask some better questions when making comparisons.
2011 Strykezone crossbows had serious limb issues. I know of several archery pro shops that had to return almost all the Strykezone crossbows, especially the 380 model, that they sold. This was due to splintering on the limb surfaces. Bowtech eventually traced the problem to a reaction between the fluid in the dip tank used to apply the camo finish and the binding agent in the fiberglass limbs. This reaction weakened the limb surface enough for the limbs to splinter under shooting stress. Black limbs did not undergo the same treatment and had a low rate of failure, one Bowtech felt was in the acceptable range for any bow limb.
For 2012 Bowtech has not changed the Strykezone crossbows in any way other then that all crossbows will have black finish limbs regardless of the color finish of the rest of the bow. It is too early to declare the problem fixed but we have sold several 2012 Strykezone’s and have not seen a limb failure to date (late April) Searching several archery forums for reports of failures in 2012 Strykezone limbs has ben unsuccessful, always a good sign. We will be watching the situation closely and if anything changes will report it in this blog.