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Excalibur Matrix Bulldog 400 Review – Best Recurve Crossbow

Excalibur released the Matrix Bulldog 400 in 2016, and it is the new top of the line in the Matrix lineup. It offers a great mix of Power, balance, and comfort. The Matrix Bulldog 400 is the closest replacement to the discontinued Matrix Mega 405, but comes at a significantly lower price point (See on Amazon). To learn more about this crossbow, keep reading this Excalibur Matrix Bulldog 400 Review.


Excalibur Matrix Bulldog 400 Review

Images courtesy of Bowtech Archery

Excalibur Matrix Bulldog 400 Specs

  • 400 FPS
  • 124 ft. pounds kinetic energy
  • 280 lbs draw weight
  • 14" power stroke
  • 35.8" long
  • 30.25" wide un-cocked
  • 23.75" wide cocked
  • Weighs 6.2 lbs
  • 350 grain arrows
  • 150 grain field points

This Excalibur Matrix Bulldog review can't really tell you how much value comes with this crossbow. At 400 FPS, it is one of the fastest crossbows. Using this kinetic energy calculator, it produces 124 foot pounds of kinetic energy! That makes it one of the most powerful crossbows you can buy.

With the high FPS and high FPKE, this is a great candidate for best crossbow to hunt bears, moose, or deer. Your shots will penetrate deep and allow for a quick and humane kill shot.

Weighing only 6.2 pounds, you can hunt all day without being fatigued. The 14" power stroke is what allows it to shoot so fast while still being lightweight.


The Matrix Bulldog 400 comes with a lot of great features that make it one of the best hunting crossbows. As Excalibur put it, this crossbow is where speed and power meet balance and comfort. The Bulldog moniker comes from the fact that it has a Bullpup stock, which is more commonly found on rifles. The bullpup stock helps you stay comfortable and improve your aim, especially for long shots in the 40+ yard range. The Bullpup ready rest stock is designed to help improve the balance and feel of the crossbow, and help improve mobility.

Matrix Bulldog Bullpup Stock

After you take your perfect shot, you'll notice how good the R.E.D.S suppressors are. R.E.D.S stands for Recoil Energy Dissipation System and is exclusive to Excalibur. These string suppressors are well placed to greatly reduce the noise and vibration of the string. When you want to reload, you'll be happy to know the Excalibur Matrix Bulldog crossbow package comes with a rope-cocking aid. This reduces the effort of pulling back the 280 pound draw weight string significantly.

​Safety Features

Similar to other top of the line crossbows from Excalibur, the Matrix Bulldog has the Guardian Anti-Dry-Fire system. One of the worst things you can do to a crossbow is dry-fire it (shooting it without a bolt, or properly cocked string). With 280 pounds of draw weight, a dry-fire could easily crack your limbs, which is a costly mistake.

Thankfully, the Excalibur anti-dry-fire system is built into the scope mount, so it is tucked away and always at work. If you were to accidentally dry-fire, the Guardian system will catch the string, avoiding damage to your crossbow. Another plus is the Guardian can also de-cock itself, so you don't have to fire a de-cocking bolt, or damage one of your arrows.

What's In The Box

  • Excalibur Matrix Bulldog 400 Crossbow
  • Tact-Zone Illuminated Scope
  • Four Diablo Arrows
  • Four 150 grain field points
  • R.E.D.S string suppressors
  • Guardian Anti-Dry-Fire protection
  • Rope-cocking aid
  • Ambidextrous cheekpiece

Shooting The Matrix Bulldog 400 Crossbow

If you're curious to see how well the Excalibur Matrix Bulldog 400 crossbow shoots, watch this quick video below.

If you want to see the true limits of this crossbow, watch the Matrix Bulldog hit a target at 110 yards! Of course this is only recommended for target shooting, as you would want to make sure you only take humane shots while hunting.

Best Crossbow For Bear Hunting

The whole Excalibur Matrix crossbow line was made with hunting big game in mind. This is why every Matrix model has high FPS and high foot pounds of kinetic energy. Watch this video of Matrix crossbows taking down a black bear. The Excalibur Matrix Bulldog 400 is the newest and top of the line model with the most power, and that is what makes it the best crossbow for bear hunting.

Recommended Arrows

Excalibur Diablo Arrows For Matrix Series

When you buy the Matrix Bulldog package, you get four Easton Diablo 18" Carbon arrows. Excalibur partnered with Easton and created these crossbow arrows to be specifically designed for the Matrix series crossbows.

​The Diablo Carbon arrows have 2 inch vanes and you can equip them with either a fixed or mechanical broadhead, whichever you prefer. A unique feature that improves the accuracy is a heavier front insert. This allows for more weight to be towards the front of the arrow, increasing accuracy. Hunters love these arrows, check out some of their reviews on Amazon.

Excalibur recommends a minimum arrow weight of 350 grains. Anything less will not perform well with the Matrix 400, and also runs the risk of damaging the recurve limbs.

Best Matrix Crossbow Case

Excalibur EX-Shield Crossbow Case

Without a doubt, the Excalibur EX-Shield Crossbow Case is the best case for any Matrix series crossbow. It was specifically designed for the Matrix series and guaranteed to fit. It is made with a rugged outer shell, which is a high quality and heavy duty material great for the outdoors.

The case includes a sling, 2 heavy duty carrying handle, 6 storage pockets, and heavy duty zippers. If you want the flexibility of a soft crossbow case, you can't go wrong buying the Excalibur EX-Shield case.

Excalibur Matrix Bulldog 400 Review Conclusion

In this Excalibur Matrix Bulldog 400 review, I covered the specs, features, what comes with the crossbow package, and recommended some accessories. I really feel Excalibur hit a home run with this crossbow. The feature set and the specs put it in the top tier category along with the Barnett Ghost 415 and the TenPoint Venom Xtra, which is good company to keep.

For the price, it might be the best crossbow for the money. It certainly could be considered the best crossbow for bear hunting due to its high FPS, high kinetic energy, and accessories included with the package. Even if you don't want to hunt bear, and want to focus on deer and turkey, the Matrix Bulldog will excel in every hunting situation you put it in.

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