Crossbow Review: Excalibur Wolverine 40th Anniversary

After running the Wolverine through its paces, the author believes it is the perfect tribute to Excalibur’s 40 years in the recurve crossbow business.

Crossbow Review: Excalibur Wolverine 40th Anniversary

The author found the Wolverine’s pistol grip to be comfortable and the stock design lightweight and balanced.

For countless years, craftsmen have been exhaustively developing purposeful tools to fit needs, but also to lay beauty into the hands of the beholder. Something about a handcrafted tool just captivates and always has. Perhaps it’s the attention to detail, or maybe it’s the considerate curves to fit a hand and a construction that will last a lifetime.

Time, practice and perfectionism lead to undeniable progression and development, in business and all walks of life. In my opinion, Excalibur’s Wolverine 40th Anniversary model advances the company’s outstanding reputation in recurve crossbow manufacturing.

There are a lot of different crossbows on the market, but you won’t find another one like an Excalibur. That said, here are my thoughts after recently testing the Wolverine.

Excalibur Wolverine 40th Anniversary
Excalibur Wolverine 40th Anniversary

Test Crossbow Specs

  • Make/Model: Excalibur Wolverine 40th Anniversary
  • Available Finishes: Mossy Oak Bottomland
  • Mass Weight: 6.4 pounds (bare bow); 8 pounds (accessorized)
  • Limb Width:  21.5 inches (cocked); 25.5 inches (uncocked)
  • Overall Length: 31.5 inches
  • Draw Effort: 15 pounds (with Rope Cocking Aid)
  • Power Stroke: 14.25 inches
  • Bolt Length and Weight: 16.5 inches; 350 grains
  • Manufacturer Listed Velocity: Up to 360 fps
  • Trigger Pull: 3 pounds
  • Cocking Device: Rope Cocking Aid
  • Scope: Overwatch Scope
  • MSRP: $1,099.99 (package)
  • Contact:


First Impressions

Exhibiting a nostalgic design with exquisite wood inlays, the Wolverine boasts an appeal that can take any bowhunter back in time. Pick up the Wolverine, and you’ll feel like you’re living in the “good old days.” What I really love about this bow’s striking craftsmanship is how Excalibur blended the old with the new.

As your eye gazes upon it, you can’t help but marvel at the seamless union of timeless and modern. The ageless Mossy Oak Bottomland camo and recurve limbs serve almost as a reminder of modern hunting’s inception, yet flawlessly complement the tactical scope and stock profile.

A detail as minuscule as the gold trigger reaffirms that Excalibur left no stone unturned in designing the Wolverine. I have no doubt that bowhunters from coast to coast will be drawn to this irresistible wonder, which wears an emblem that pays homage to Excalibur’s 40-year anniversary.

The Wolverine can be cocked or de-cocked with the included Rope Cocking Aid. The D.S.D. Silencing System works to reduce vibrations, shock and noise.
The Wolverine can be cocked or de-cocked with the included Rope Cocking Aid. The D.S.D. Silencing System works to reduce vibrations, shock and noise.

On the Range

A product designed to be handled and held by the user must teem with comfort; it should darn near feel like an extension of one’s arm or leg, thus forming an invisible connection with the user. The Wolverine is flat-out a pleasure to handle and shoot. Let me outline several reasons why.

First, I noticed the skeletonized stock. This feature makes the Wolverine balanced, lightweight and easy to handle. It also has a winged fore grip to remind the shooter that extremities belong beneath the string path. Also notable is the pistol grip, which delivers an ergonomic feel and virtually effortless trigger access.

To cap it off, the cheekpiece — it can be swapped to either side of the stock to accommodate both right- and left-handed shooters — helped me quickly and comfortably acquire my scope and then my target, which is an invaluable quality for hunting situations. To summarize, the Wolverine doesn’t disappoint in the comfort department.      

Not surprisingly, the Wolverine is scary-accurate. After a quick sight-in, accuracy was precise and repeatable. Dime-sized arrow groups are easy to achieve when shooting at 20 yards from a rock-solid tripod such as the Primos TriggerStick that I used during this test.

Between my husband and me, we shot out to 50 yards in a frigid 15-mph crosswind with 2 feet of snow on the ground. Our hits proved that the Wolverine is a crossbow hunters can count on in even brutal hunting conditions. When shooting the Wolverine, I definitely don’t suggest shooting more than two bolts at one dot or ring, otherwise ruining bolts is very likely — that level of accuracy is a good problem to have.

The Wolverine’s 50-yard accuracy, even in a 15-mph crosswind, was outstanding.
The Wolverine’s 50-yard accuracy, even in a 15-mph crosswind, was outstanding.

Why is it so accurate? First, the Match Grade trigger is a smooth operator that breaks cleanly and consistently. Secondly, the crossbow fits like a glove, as I mentioned earlier. Further, the bow’s business end is designed with high-quality components and tight tolerances.

The Wolverine brings the heat at velocities up to 360 fps. That is plenty of power to hunt anything and yields a flat trajectory — there’s very little drop from 20 to 30 yards. The Excalibur Assassin Extreme that I reviewed recently was considerably faster at 405 fps, but you might recall that I noted it was a bit louder. That bow certainly has its merits, including the additional velocity and the integrated Charge Crank System, but I personally valued the Wolverine’s quieter shot.

The Extras

The Wolverine 40th Anniversary crossbow package includes everything you need in order to hunt except for broadheads and a hunting license. The included 2-5X Overwatch Scope is rigged with red and green illumination ideal for low light, and a reticle with hold points from 20 to 100 yards. The glass is crystal clear. The yardages appear next to each respective aiming point inside the objective view for easy in-the-field reference. (The Overwatch Scope’s MSRP is $299.99; this is a top-notch optic.)

The R.E.D.S. Suppressors help reduce shock and vibrations along with noise. The S.D.S. Silencing System also combats vibrations and noise, giving you deadly quiet performance. Also part of the S.D.S. is a rubberized foot stirrup, so cocking and carrying is less likely to create any metal-on-metal clanging.

The package includes a Rebolt Quiver and four Proflight Arrows with 100-grain field points. To complete the package, Excalibur includes a Rope Cocking Aid and a CeaseFire Decocking Hook. By the way, decocking the Wolverine with the included Rope Cocking Aid is safe and simple, and the CeaseFire Decocking Hook disengages the anti-dry-fire mechanism. No need to discharge the crossbow to de-cock it.

With all of these accessories, this package is, well, packed with value. Worth every penny? I think so.


Final Thoughts

Craftsmanship has been handed down through generations. The abilities, skills and techniques may have changed over time, and that’s all part of the advancing world in which we live. What hasn’t changed is the inherent beauty of a tool created by a skilled craftsman. Something that fits a need and is both useful and beautiful will always pull on my heartstrings. I love how history and knowledge can mend together like a stitched seam to create a beautiful tapestry representing where we came from and where we are today.

After running the Wolverine through its paces, I believe it is the perfect tribute to Excalibur’s 40 years in the recurve crossbow business. So, why not partake in that milestone and give yourself something truly remarkable to hunt with this fall?

For more information on Excalibur Crossbow models, visit


In-the-field photos by Darron McDougal


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