Narrow, light and compact are not words gernerally reserved for Excalibur....but in this case I'll make an excpetion. The 380 is 30.62 wide uncocked and 25.75 cocked. The 355 is 30.62 uncocked and 26.31 cocked. It might not be what some would call narrow, but this is a recurve and that is an amazing number for a recurve.
There has been alot of speculation about how this bow would be to get cocked. In all honesty, it's much easier for me to cock the 260 lb. Matrix 380 than it was to get the 225 lb. Exomax cocked. It has to do with the power stroke being so much shorter. You are cocking in the "power" part of the lift to cock it, rather than the "upper" part of the lift. (if that makes sense)
It's loud. Most Excaliburs are, and that is no secret. How loud it it? I have sound meter app on my phone. It registered 81db. Nearly every crossbow I tested registered 79-81db with Scorypd being the exception. The duration of the sound is very sharp and quick. The bow's sound "settles" very quickly. It showed as a sharp spike on the sound meter, rather than a large hump. Again, I suspect it has to do with the short power stroke.
I split an arrow. I really didn't mean to....LOL!
It's an Excalibur. It will be accurate.
I expected the trigger to pull harder because of the 260 lb. holding weight. I'm actually not sure why it didn't? It felt like 2 1/2 or possibly 3 lbs. It broke clean and there were no surprises other than it felt lighter than I expected. Possibly it has to do with the new design. There could be a lever in the new trigger that lets it get more leverage? I don't honestly know.
Well, there has to be something negative in everything. I'm not a fan of the chevron aiming point. I would much rather have a crosswire. Put the new 30mm Hawke 1.5 x 5 on this and you have a winning combination. (more on the new Hawke in a bit) That being said, if you like the chevron you will like this scope. It's not as clear as the Hawke, but it's adequate for a 40 yard scope.
The new stock felt great and shouldered well and it's comfortable to hold. The cheek weld lines your eye up with the scope very well. The rubber panels are a nice addition and give the stock some grip. The balance is good and it feels like they hit it spot on.
Excalibur has an anti-dryfire now. It fits every model of crossbow they have made. It also allows you to de-cock your bow at the end of the day, just like you always have. You just push a lever now to release it.
I'm seriously considering hunting with this one this fall. It would have to be black of course. This bow rates as one of the most impressive crossbows at the ATA this season.