Differences between the Excalibur Matrix 380 and the Matrix 355

Monday, April 22, 2013

Excalibur is introducing two new crossbows for 2013. The Excalibur Matrix 380 and Matrix 355 are two of the most exciting new offerings of this year. We wrote about the Matrix 380 in a previous post. The Matrix 355 has many of the same features of the 380 for two hundred dollars less.

The new Excalibur Matrix 355 and 380 are the most compact recurve crossbows ever created. Recurve crossbows are generally more durable and dependable than compound crossbows and Excalibur is the leader in recurve crossbow technology. Both bows weigh less than six pounds and are around 26 inches tip to tip when cocked. If you’re looking for the best crossbow for hunting, the Matrix crossbows are definitely in the conversation.

Both crossbows include the Excalibur Tact Zone scopes. This scope has four labeled reticles from 20 to 60 yards. Tact Zone scopes feature a speed adjustment ring. Just set the scope at your crossbow’s speed and sight it in at 20 yards. The remaining reticles are automatically set for you. Another great feature of the scope is the reticles are clearly marked inside the sight picture with their given yardage. You’ll never say "I thought that was my 40 line” again.

The Matrix 380 and 355 shoot Excalibur’s new Diablo arrow. This 18” arrow is made for Excalibur by Easton specifically for the Matrix bows. Diablo arrows have an extra heavy front insert for added front-of-center weight. This increases the accuracy exponentially. Diablo arrows also have a flatback insert on the rear of the arrow. This insert eliminates the need for nocks and creates more reliable contact with the string. It also makes the arrow more durable. The insert makes pulling Diablo arrows out of your target a breeze when using the T-handle arrow puller. In my opinion the arrow puller is a must-purchase accessory for every Matrix owner. The crossbow drives arrows deep and tight in a target. It’s less than $25, will extend the life of your arrows, and make it much easier to pull arrows out.

There are a few key differences between the Matrix 380 and the Matrix 355. First and foremost is speed. The Matrix 355 is rated at 355 fps (feet per second) compared to the Matrix 380’s 380 fps. That’s not a big deal for some hunters and shooters. For others, it is a deal breaker.

The Matrix 355 does not come with Excalibur’s string suppressor system. You can purchase these separately and add them on later. While test shooting, the Matrix 355 was noticeably louder than the 380. But this will be improved by adding on the suppressors.

The other big difference is the Guardian anti-dry fire system. The Matrix 380 comes standard with the Guardian Anti-Dry-Fire system. It is an add-on with the 355. This system prevents accidental dry fire. However, the Guardian system does add an extra step when uncocking the crossbow and some shooters may prefer to go without it anyway.

The Matrix 355 has 240 pound draw weight compared the 380’s 260 pound draw weight. Keep in mind the power stroke is very short compared to other crossbows. While the draw weight is more than most, you’ll be pulling it back a shorter distance thanks to the short power stroke.

Both crossbows are incredibly accurate and easy to shoot. You can’t go wrong with either the Matrix 380 or 355. If you want the best crossbow Excalibur has to offer, the 380 is for you. If you’re willing to give up a few features to save a few hundred dollars, the Matrix 355 still stacks up as one of the best crossbows on the market.