Hunting with the Excalibur Matrix Bulldog 400

The crew at Excalibur Crossbows broke the 400 fps barrier with the Excalibur Matrix 405. While the 405 was definitely a speed burner, it wasn’t quite what Excalibur had hoped it would be. So they reinvented the 405 into the Bulldog 400. The Bulldog has just about the same speed as the 405 but is much easier to hunt with and has the reliability Excalibur owners expect.


This article isn’t really a crossbow review. I’ve hunted with the Bulldog 400 for two consecutive turkey seasons and this is more of an opportunity to share my experience with the crossbow with you. I usually go for crossbows that shoot in the 360 to 380 fps range. I like speed but also feel like the 360-380 range gets me a little more reliability and a little less noise than the typical 400 fps crossbow can deliver. But when I heard how much testing Excalibur put the Bulldog 400 through before releasing it and how reliable they believed this crossbow would be, I had to try one.


The new riser design Excalibur built for the Bulldog 400 delivered blazing fast speed without compromising the crossbow structurally. My crossbow fired a Diablo arrow with a 100 grain tip through the chronograph at 397 fps. I hunt with 125 grain tips for added accuracy and with the extra weight the Bulldog 400 shot in the upper 380s, plenty of speed for anything on four legs.


The Bulldog 400 comes equiped with the Excalibur Tact-Zone scope from the factory but we are offering it with a free upgrade to the Twilight DLX scope for a limited time. Both scopes are excellent but the Twilight DLX does have better light gathering. I have been shooting mine with an HHA Optimizer Speed Dial. I like the cleaner sight picture of a single reticle scope and thanks to the blazing speed of the Bulldog I can set the Optimizer at 30 yards and hit anything inside 40 yards without adjustment. The arrow flys super straight at this speed!


The Bulldog 400 features a bullpup ready stock. This means the trigger is not directly below the trigger box. It is moved forward a few inches. Moving the trigger forward brings your hand forward on the stock of the crossbow and gives the Bulldog 400 a more balanced feel. It’s a feature that many shooters won’t notice in the showroom but will definitely notice in the field.


Speaking of the field, the Bulldog 400 is incredibly accurate. I take my time and supertune my arrows. Once I have the arrows all indexed the way I want them, the crossbow can hit dimes on the range. Unless you want to invest in more arrows, do not shoot at the same spot on a target. The Bulldog 400 is an arrow smasher.


I have really enjoyed hunting with the Bulldog and have no real complaints. I did not add Excalibur’s Air Brakes to my Bulldog. It is a little on the loud side which is to be expected out of a recurve crossbow hitting speeds in the 400 fps range. Air Brakes make a world of difference in these crossbows and we even offer a Bulldog 400 Suppressed Package if you want the ultimate Bulldog 400. But I’ve used mine primarily as a turkey slayer and it has delivered in spades. Two shots fired and two toms on the ground. The results speak for themselves.

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