This is going to be a slight departure from the normal sort of range report, as we opted to take my crossbow out before we attempt to hunt with it.
While I had an opportunity to test it when I bought it, Chris didn't get that chance, so this was doubly informative. We wanted to see just how it would behave outdoors, and he wanted to see what it would be like to cock it with both the crank and the string assist.
1 - The crank cock device works a lot better when one reads the directions.
1a - If I were only a few inches taller, the string cocker would be a lot easier to use. I just can't pull it the last inch needed to set the bowstring.
2 - With my noodle arms, holding the crossbow is alright, but holding it STEADY is difficult. Will work on that.
3 - Even with my noodle arms, I'm still a pretty good shot. Need to get to be more than just "pretty good," but for my first time shooting it outdoors, I'm pleased.
4 - This thing is pretty damned strong. I'm seeing far greater penetration than anticipated. In the broadhead target with even the cheapest of my three broadheads, it goes in about halfway. I suspect a bolt will go all the way through a deer with little difficulty unless I hit a bone. I invite any bowhunters reading this to correct me if I'm wrong here, but I believe the foam deer target is denser than a live animal.
5 - Wind and 2 extra yards REALLY make a difference in accuracy. Will need to work more on distance practice, I think. I'm also reading a heavier broadhead/field point may help with accuracy, so I might pick up a box of 150gr broadheads to try.
Chris also seemed to enjoy shooting it, though he's gotta work a little more on his aim. ;)
All in all, the Excalibur Axiom kit is well worth the money spent for a recurve crossbow.