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Excalibur Mag Air vs. Hickory Creek Mini

eld00d

New Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2022
Messages
8
Hi ya'll,

I have decided that I want to purchase a xbow for a variety of reasons, one of which is I can already tell I will need more time than I have currently to become proficient with a recurve. With that said, I have narrowed down my choices to these two: The excalibur Mag Air and the Hickory Creek Mini. I feel like the HC is a rollercoaster for me. Sometimes I am dead set on it, but then I will read about all the extra things folks have to do to make it accurate and it makes me a little nervous. Ultimately, I want something that is semi-affordable, comfortable in a saddle, and has no fiddle factor. I prefer to just be able to do some semi-consistent practice and consistently hit my targets within 30 yards. I don't really want to do a lot of mods to make it consistently accurate. I also hunt in southeastern hardwoods that are pretty dense (where I go) most of the time.

With all that in mind, do ya'll have any recommendations on whether I should go the Excalibur Mag Air or HC Mini? (Or something else). I know there is a lot of love for the HC here, but also curious from folks who have experience with the Mag Air or similar model.

Thanks in advance!
 

Sbrammer

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SH Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2019
Messages
247
Location
Roanoke, Va.
Affordable? Take out of box and start shooting? Light? Over 400fps? Life time no hassle warranty? Well Killer Instinct Burner needs to be on that list.
 

thedutchtouch

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Oct 22, 2020
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1,936
Location
Maryland
Granted I bought my HC mini used but haven't really had to do anything to get it to be accurate other than correct the user error (me).

Odds are you're going to get many more pro HC posts than the other one, but we'll see.
 

GeoFish

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May 5, 2021
Messages
1,127
Location
Kentucky
I have a Mini and comming from a recurve I was concerned about all the stuff. But I have not had any issues getting it to shoot. No tinkering, it has worked for me and I do not understand compounds.
 

eld00d

New Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2022
Messages
8
I have a Mini and comming from a recurve I was concerned about all the stuff. But I have not had any issues getting it to shoot. No tinkering, it has worked for me and I do not understand compounds.
That is good to hear. At the end of the day I am sure it will be more accurate than the recurve haha.
 

GeoFish

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May 5, 2021
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Kentucky
That is good to hear. At the end of the day I am sure it will be more accurate than the recurve haha.
I don't think you can go wrong with the Excalibur. The simplicity of a recurve cross bow looks nice. I have never owned one but I don't think I have heard of any negatives. You can go to Crossbow nation forum and get more info on the Ex.
 

eld00d

New Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2022
Messages
8
Check out the Ballista Bat Reverse Pistol Crossbow. It meet most of the things you mention. 420fps is respectable for even a regular crossbow.
I did some digging because that thing looked really cool, but it looks like the 420 fps was with a 100 grain “test” arrow. Unfortunate because that little thing would be awesome for my purposes.
 

Crcusmonky

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Joined
Dec 29, 2020
Messages
683
I did some digging because that thing looked really cool, but it looks like the 420 fps was with a 100 grain “test” arrow. Unfortunate because that little thing would be awesome for my purposes.
I looked as well and I think it used a 13” bolt which is to short to be legal in Michigan. I believe we need a 14” minimum


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Bosey95

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Joined
Feb 8, 2022
Messages
15
Granted I bought my HC mini used but haven't really had to do anything to get it to be accurate other than correct the user error (me).

Odds are you're going to get many more pro HC posts than the other one, but we'll see.
This was my experience as well. I’ve only had my mini about two months, but it’s been dead on since I initially sighted it in. They actually include a lock nut on the end of the stock as standard now, which was a common mod folks did to snug things up and prevent any wiggle between the stock and the riser. I’ve heard plenty of good things about Excalibur too, so I’d bet you’ll be in good shape either way.
 

eld00d

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Joined
Oct 7, 2022
Messages
8
This was my experience as well. I’ve only had my mini about two months, but it’s been dead on since I initially sighted it in. They actually include a lock nut on the end of the stock as standard now, which was a common mod folks did to snug things up and prevent any wiggle between the stock and the riser. I’ve heard plenty of good things about Excalibur too, so I’d bet you’ll be in good shape either way.
That is really good to hear about the included lock nut. It did seem that was common complaint. Definitely weighs in favor of the HC because of all the other pros of using it in a saddle.
 

Newhunter1

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Joined
Dec 20, 2018
Messages
1,753
Hi ya'll,

Ultimately, I want something that is semi-affordable, comfortable in a saddle, and has no fiddle factor.

I prefer to just be able to do some semi-consistent practice and consistently hit my targets within 30 yards.

I don't really want to do a lot of mods to make it consistently accurate.

With all that in mind, do ya'll have any recommendations on whether I should go the Excalibur Mag Air or HC Mini? (Or something else). I know there is a lot of love for the HC here, but also curious from folks who have experience with the Mag Air or similar model.

Thanks in advance!
Ok..I don't have the HC, but I have the excalibur 400TD assassin. For all the reasons above (well except for semi-affordable #1600.00 3 years ago#) I'd go with the excalibur again.

This is my third crossbow, Horton, Ten point and now Excalibur. When your limb hits a tree trunk because you forgot that you were shooting a crossbow and not a rifle then your hunt is done. Twisted cams and frayed strings. Being able to change my string in the field in less than five minutes is a winner for sure. I actually had to change my string as I saw it was about to break becasue my platform teeth cut half of the strings.

No mods on the bow and very accurate. 30 yards...yup and even further. I have 42 yards in my backyard that I have no problems slapping bolts.

Comfortable in the stand...yup.

If I have to get another bow...it will be an excalibur.
 

Loopwing

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SH Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2020
Messages
1,154
Location
Virginia
The mini is much more saddle friendly because of the limb orientation. The only time I grab my horizontal crossbow is when I hunt a ground blind and my crossbow is sitting on a tripod. Every other time it is the mini. I am sighted in for 22 yards (distance from my back door to the tree in my backyard). I don't ever take a shot past 40 yards. Being sighted in at 22 then I can point and pull the trigger. The POI from (10-40 yards) is smaller than my accuracy.
 

eld00d

New Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2022
Messages
8
The mini is much more saddle friendly because of the limb orientation. The only time I grab my horizontal crossbow is when I hunt a ground blind and my crossbow is sitting on a tripod. Every other time it is the mini. I am sighted in for 22 yards (distance from my back door to the tree in my backyard). I don't ever take a shot past 40 yards. Being sighted in at 22 then I can point and pull the trigger. The POI from (10-40 yards) is smaller than my accuracy.
That makes sense and is definitely helpful. Especially since I think i remember you being hesitant about the HC at first in the “kool aid” thread. Thanks for the input!
 

Loopwing

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Mar 10, 2020
Messages
1,154
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Virginia
Yes that was me, very hesitant, but it is a killing machine. I like the fact that you use real arrows and not bolts. Being able to be so close to the tree when you pull the trigger has put a few more deer on the ground for me. I think most of tinkering you read about is guys getting bored and wanting to do something with their toys.
 

BuffaloBill

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Joined
Jan 20, 2019
Messages
1,159
Location
Indiana
I don’t have personal experience with either. But if I were looking at Excalibur I would probably jump on this deal.


I have a Centerpoint Sniper 370 that I got for $250. Don’t have to spend a lot to get a decent crossbow these days.
 

neonomad

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Joined
Sep 4, 2019
Messages
1,012
You might have seen me mention some left / right issues with my HC Mini, bought about a month ago… to be fair I added lighted nocks, which are wider than typical nocks, so it’s possible that change has thrown me off factory alignment a tad. Other than that, zero issues with the purchase, and I could tell a hunting buddy who saw the bow last week had bow envy, it’s a wicked little rig. The vertical limb alignment is so handy with our setups, and especially with a red dot this thing is sweet. As of last weekend I have two arrows with broadheads dead on, every time, at 30. One arrow is flying off about 2” at that range. I’m going to figure that out in the off-season, but now that it’s dialed in all I really have to do in terms of fiddle is maybe add some Loctite to fasteners ( of course not required ) and get a handful of arrows that I’m totally confident in. Very happy customer here.
 

LONG IN THE TOOTH

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Apr 9, 2018
Messages
28
This is my experience - I'm not trying to step on anyones' toes here or criticize their taste. I've hunted with longbows and recurves for 30 years. I still have my Schafer Silver tip takedown recurve and my JD Berry longbow. I had to switch to a crossbow because of the cold and my worn out rotator cuffs.

I have an Excalibur Micro Suppressor AND a Hickory Creek Mini. The Excalibur weighs 10 1/2 lbs - the HC weighs 6 1/2 lbs. I call the Excalibur the Boat Anchor because it is so heavy and cumbersome to lug through the woods.

The trigger on the Excalibur was so bad, and had so much creep, I contacted the factory. I said an $1100 bow should come with a decent trigger. They said people compete with that trigger - I replaced the trigger with a drop in Tactical Trigger. Cocking the Excalibur was a bear also - you better be pretty strong and train to do it......I'm 74 and don't have enough strength to cock it with a rope so I had to buy the $250 crank they sell. I have $1500 invested in the Excalibur.

I paid $750 for my Mini with no scope - the trigger is fine and I don't need a crank to cock it or decock it. I put one of my red dot sights on it.

The Excalibur Micro Suppressor shoots a 400 grain bolt 340 FPS whereas the HC Mini shoots a regular arrow 323 FPS

Another thing to consider: Saddlehunters are always looking to shave weight off their equipment for run and gun setups, deep in the woods where the big bucks hang out. It makes sense to carry a crossbow that is more maneuverable and half the weight, don't ya think?

Shooting an Excalibur from a saddle requires more movement to prevent the bow limbs from hitting the tree - the Mini is vertical and requires less movement. Less movement means not getting busted.

Changing the string on an Excalibur requires a string press - changing the strings on a Mini require an Allen wrench.

If I can motor up to my ground blind in my four wheeler - I use the Excalibur - if I'm running and gunning, I use the Mini.

The Mini came with a locknut installed and the knob if you want to make it a takedown. I don't have accuracy issues with the Mini. If I was going to do it all over again - knowing what I know now, I'd buy the HC Mini for half the price.
 
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eld00d

New Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2022
Messages
8
This is my experience - I'm not trying to step on anyones' toes here or criticize their taste. I've hunted with longbows and recurves for 30 years. I still have my Schafer Silver tip takedown recurve and my JD Berry longbow. I had to switch to a crossbow because of the cold and my worn out rotator cuffs.

I have an Excalibur Micro Suppressor AND a Hickory Creek Mini. The Excalibur weighs 10 1/2 lbs - the HC weighs 6 1/2 lbs. I call the Excalibur the Boat Anchor because it is so heavy and cumbersome to lug through the woods.

The trigger on the Excalibur was so bad, and had so much creep, I contacted the factory. I said an $1100 bow should come with a decent trigger. They said people compete with that trigger - I replaced the trigger with a drop in Tactical Trigger. Cocking the Excalibur was a bear also - you better be pretty strong and train to do it......I'm 74 and don't have enough strength to cock it with a rope so I had to buy the $250 crank they sell. I have $1500 invested in the Excalibur.

I paid $750 for my Mini with no scope - the trigger is fine and I don't need a crank to cock it or decock it. I put one of my red dot sights on it.

The Excalibur Micro Suppressor shoots a 400 grain bolt 340 FPS whereas the HC Mini shoots a regular arrow 323 FPS

Another thing to consider: Saddlehunters are always looking to shave weight off their equipment for run and gun setups, deep in the woods where the big bucks hang out. It makes sense to carry a crossbow that is more maneuverable and half the weight, don't ya think?

Shooting an Excalibur from a saddle requires more movement to prevent the bow limbs from hitting the tree - the Mini is vertical and requires less movement. Less movement means not getting busted.

Changing the string on an Excalibur requires a string press - changing the strings on a Mini require an Allen wrench.

If I can motor up to my ground blind in my four wheeler - I use the Excalibur - if I'm running and gunning, I use the Mini.

The Mini came with a locknut installed and the knob if you want to make it a takedown. I don't have accuracy issues with the Mini. If I was going to do it all over again - knowing what I know now, I'd buy the HC Mini for half the price.
Thank you for this! This is exactly what I was looking for; someone with knowledge of both. I am definitely in the hike super deep/run-and-gun camp. This really helped push me to the HC.

as far as getting it without the scope, did you just call and request that?
 

LONG IN THE TOOTH

New Member
SH Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2018
Messages
28
Thank you for this! This is exactly what I was looking for; someone with knowledge of both. I am definitely in the hike super deep/run-and-gun camp. This really helped push me to the HC.

as far as getting it without the scope, did you just call and request that?
You're welcome. Don't bother calling - Jerry is not good answering the phone. He is very responsive via email and quick to answer - ask for a price without the scope and he'll probably knock $50 off the total.
 
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