Table of Contents
Excalibur Matrix Bulldog 400
Design & Construction10.0/10
Value for Money9.7/10
- Blistering speed, bone-crushing power
- Integrated R.E.D.S. suppressors for quiet shooting
- Guardian Anti-Dry Fire System/cocking release
- Top quality scope included
- Draw weight of 290 lbs
- Larger than compact crossbows
Welcome to our Excalibur Matrix Bulldog 400 Crossbow Review. The Matrix Bulldog 400 is a powerful arrow blaster that’s built for the most serious hunters. Blistering speed and bone-crushing power translate to one lean, mean, killing machine that can bring down the world’s largest legal game without breaking a sweat. This recurve crossbow is breaking speed barriers while remaining one of the quietest bows on the market. While it does have a high price point, if this bad boy is in your budget, you can’t go wrong hunting with the Matrix Bulldog 400.
Excalibur is a well-known manufacturer of quality crossbows and they’ve upped the ante with the Matrix Bulldog 400 crossbow. The bow packs a lethal combination of high speed, raw power, and optimal performance to make one of the industry’s most serious crossbows.
Excalibur could have named this bow the bone crusher, as it’s 400 FPS firing velocity with a 14” power stroke and mind-blowing 127 foot pounds of kinetic energy (FPKE) are enough to break bones of the biggest and baddest game on the planet.
Being a recurve, it’s no surprise this lightweight bow weighs a mere 6.2 lbs. The length is 35.8” and the width axle to axle (ATA) uncocked is 30.6” and 24.75” ATA cocked. This isn’t as compact as the Matrix 380 and will be harder to shoot from inside confined spaces, just something to think about if you’re considering this crossbow.
The Matrix Bulldog 400 has a hefty draw weight of 280 lbs. A reminder, some states have laws prohibiting crossbows with a draw weight over 200 pounds, so definitely check our your state’s laws before purchasing; this bow may very well be illegal in your state. Cocking this crossbow, even with the included rope cock, still equates to dead lifting 140 lbs, which will take strength, stamina, and sharp focus on what you’re doing. This bow would benefit greatly from the integration of a crank cock if you want to be able to cock it more easily. TIP: This bow is probably best for hunters who can man-handle it! No amateurs or weaklings. This is purely a hunting man’s crossbow.
DESIGN & PERFORMANCE
As with all recurves, the Matrix Bulldog 400 has no moving parts such as cams. It’s simple design entails twin Matrix PowerLoad limbs with DynaFLIGHT string and cable system. The limbs are composite molded with fiberglass material, making them 60% stronger than previously made Excalibur limbs.
The exclusive Recoil Energy Dissipation System, or R.E.D.S., consists of twin rubber bumpers hugging the string to suppress noise and vibration.
The Quad-Loc riser holds the limbs in multiple places, eliminating any unwanted movement. The CNC Machined aluminum alloy riser is sturdy and is made for broad head clearance.
The Matrix utilizes the Ergo Grip Stock, incorporating a trigger guard, butt plate, pistol grip, and stock piece. In addition, the adjustable cheek piece is ambidextrous, suitable for both left and right handed shooters. The stock is glass reinforced nylon with molded injection. Both the forgrip and pistol grip have rubber inserts for comfortable, cushioned shooting and is a safety measure in case your hands get sweaty.
The bridge is crafted from heavy-duty aluminum alloy which helps to assist the 3.5 lb trigger pull.
Excalibur’s Guardian Anti-Dry-Fire scope mount is designed to catch the string in the accidental case of dry firing. Additionally, the built-in release feature allows decocking without having to shoot an arrow into the ground.
The Matrix Bulldog 400 isn’t as versatile as one might hope. That 280 lb draw weight is really a deal breaker for some hunters and shooters. Besides the fact that it’s illegal in some states, that’s a LOT of weight to have to dead lift. TIP: Don’t forget to check your state’s laws considering draw weight. Some states prohibit crossbows with a draw weight over 200 pounds. In those states, it would be illegal to own this recurve.
Other than that, this bow can be used to knock down game of any size or punch through targets. Target shooters would probably have to utilize a crank cocking device to prevent tiring out.
This recurve is quite a bit wider than the average crossbow, which brings to mind getting hung on low hanging branches and limbs. It wouldn’t be too easy to maneuver this crossbow from smaller blinds or tree stands. If you have plenty of space, you’d have no problem.
It doesn’t come with a shoulder sling, but you might want to take advantage of one to make carrying the Matrix Bulldog 400 easier to handle. It does weight a lot less than a compound bow, at 6.2 lbs, so it won’t tire you out if you want to carry it into the woods hunting for your game.
We’re not going to kid you, this recurve bow is at the high end of pricing for crossbows. You get what you pay for; this bow is quality made and built to last. Those who’s budget it does fit would be getting a bow that will deliver you food on the table every time you go hunting if you’re an accurate shot and game comes within range. This bow is blistering fast and deadly powerful; just what you want in a hunting crossbow.
The package does come with about everything you need to shoot it right out of the box with the following items: Twilight DLX scope, which is a great scope, 4-arrow quiver, 4 Diablo arrows, 4 150-grain field points, and a rope cocking device.
Worth mentioning is that the Twilight DLX scope is top-quality, and you won’t have to replace it.
What do we like?
We love that this recurve blasts arrows at a firing velocity of 400 FPS; that’s just crazy fast! We also like the deadly impact that it’s 127 FPKE grants you. You can literally pulverize a target or punch completely drill through game no matter how big.
We actually like that this crossbow is a recurve; it gives hunters a choice of top-rated crossbow weaponry.
We like the integrated R.E.D.S. suppressors which ensure an even quieter shot, but really, as fast and powerful as this recurve bow is, by the time your prey hears it, it’s already to late if you made accurate shot. Of course, this comes in handy if you miss and need to take a second shot.
We really like the Guardian Anti-Dry-Fire system; it’s a unique feature and one that we admire. Not only does it catch the string should you accidentally fire without an arrow loaded, but it can also assist in decocking; most crossbows you have to shoot an arrow into the ground.
We also really the scope that comes with the Matrix Bulldog 400; it’s a really good scope and we advise learning how to use it instead of replacing it with another. Again, this is a personal preference.
What don’t we like?
We don’t like the 280 lb weight draw; that’s a little excessive, but manageable with the rope cock. It’s completely manageable if you want to integrate a crank cock. It’s also a small price to pay in exchange for scorching fast and wicked powerful.
We also feel it’s a bit too big for some types of hunting, but it’s about average for a recurve. If you want to fit in tight spaces, you’ll definitely have to consider if this bow will fit. In addition, you’ll need to be careful carrying it through the bush; don’t get hung up.
Another thing that needs to be mentioned is that this particular Excalibur crossbow, the Matrix Bulldog 400 has been recalled due to safety failure. Some of these crossbows have shot, while cocked and on safety, without the trigger being pulled and with no warning. If you decide to buy one of these crossbows, make sure it’s been modified from the specific models that were recalled.
The bottom line is that the Excalibur Matrix Bulldog 400 Crossbow is a lean, mean, arrow blasting machine. It’s insanely fast, arrows exploding out of it at 400 FPS and it has KO power to spare.
The price may be out of reach for some, but for those who can afford, it’s well-balanced, lightweight, and durably built. In addition, the scope is like getting a prize when buying a bow; it’s top-of-the-line.
The draw weight may be a draw back for some, but with the rope cock or crank cock, this bow can be made to be easy to cock.
The Matrix Bulldog 400 is a seriously hard-hitting arrow launcher designed for the serious hunter in mind. If you’re looking for a high-caliber, quality recurve by a trusted name, this just may be the one for you.
Still not convinced? Check our top 10 crossbows!