What is the best survival crossbow? What should you get with a crossbow for use in survival situations? CrossbowExpert.com’s Chris Larsen breaks down these questions and more in this informative article.
Some people are worried about a zombie apocalypse like The Walking Dead. Others are just interested in having something “just in case”. Either way, we’re often asked “What is the best survival crossbow?” When it comes to crossbows for survival situations, there are a handful of factors that need to be looked at. I believe the Excalibur Matrix 380 is probably the best survival crossbow on the market.
The most important trait of a survival crossbow is reliability. It can’t be finicky or easily broken. We’ve sold a lot of Matrix 380s in the last year and have serviced very few of them. They just don’t break. If you hit a limb on something while firing it or dry fire it, anything can happen. But the same can be said for every crossbow. With an anti-dry fire mechanism and Excalibur reliability built in, the Matrix 380 has to be at the top of the class when it comes to reliability. This crossbow and many others have lifetime warranties but if a survival situation arises, warranties go out the window. The weapon just has to work.
Another important factor is ease of maintenance. There are no cams, wheels, or bearings out on the limbs of the Matrix 380. You don’t have to worry about sand getting buried in the cams. Obviously, getting the trigger mechanism gummed up is not a good thing, but again that goes for any crossbow. The Matrix is one of the easier crossbows to service the trigger but it’s not something the average person would do even in a survival situation.
Excalibur crossbows have just a string and do not have cables since there are no cams. This string can be changed quickly and easily without the use of a bow press as long as you have a stringing aid. Once you change them a time or two, you can do it in less than five minutes. There are a lot of advantages to this feature. Obviously, your local bowshop probably isn’t going to be open to work on your crossbow in a survival situation. Secondly, with no cables required it is much cheaper to stock pile extra strings. On a compound crossbow you need both strings and cables. With a recurve, you just need strings. One of the things I like about the Matrix Series crossbows is they all use the same strings. If you need to barter for extra strings, anyone with a 405, 380, 355, or 330 could be a potential trading partner. With many of the compound crossbows, string and cable combinations are specific to each crossbow.
The Tact Zone Scope comes with the Excalibur Matrix 380. This is an illuminated scope meaning that the reticles on the scope can be illuminated with an internal light that makes the reticles green or red within the scope. Illuminated reticles make it much easier to teach novice shooters how to aim a crossbow. This can be handy if you need to teach someone who may not be comfortable with weapons how to shoot. The illumination is an excellent feature but the good news is when the batteries die, you can still use the scope just like any other scope. This is a big advantage over red dot scopes, which I do not recommend for survivalist crossbow shooters.
All of the above features are important but when shots really count, you need accuracy. Whether you’re in a self-defense situation or hunting for survival, you need the crossbow to shoot where you’re aiming. The Excalibur Matrix 380 is easily one of the most accurate crossbows I’ve ever shot.
If I was buying a survival crossbow, the Excalibur Matrix 380 would be at the top of my list. What else should go in the bug out bag for my crossbow? Extra arrows are a great investment. Arrows can be used over and over again but if one is damaged or lost, you’ll need a replacement. You’ll also want maintenance items like Ex Oil, Ex Wax, and Ex Lube. The nice thing about these items is they can be used with almost all of your survival gear so you’re not just wasting space on stuff that can only be used on the crossbow. For those of you who are really particular about scent, Ex Oil is one of the few lubricant products that is completely scent free. It’s great for crossbows, guns, treestands or anything else that needs to be lubricated but you don’t want to smell like WD-40.
I would also recommend a sling or even the Excalibur Ex Pack. If you have to walk a long way with your crossbow, you’re going to want to keep your hands free and conserve energy. The Excalibur ExPack is made specifically to carry a crossbow and also has some very handy pockets for other gear. As stated earlier, be sure to get some extra strings and a stringing tool. An extra rope cocker or two wouldn’t hurt either.
There are some other extras that may not be necessities but can be great additions to your survival crossbow. The Excalibur TAC-Pac adds another picatinny rail to your crossbow to attach accessories like the included foregrip. Other add-ons you could put on the crossbow with the TAC-Pac would be Excalibur’s Crosspod, tactical light, laser, or even an additional quiver.
I hope the need for a survival crossbow never arises. But for those of you who would rather not rely on hope, go with the Excalibur Matrix 380 for your crossbow for any survival situation. Whether it’s political upheaval, widespread riots, or even zombies… having the right tool makes all the difference.