The beauty of Excalibur crossbows lies in their simplicity and durability. With no cams and only a single string, there are fewer things that can go wrong – and those things are usually easy to fix when they do. But for some, the down side is the weight of the limbs. With some models featuring 280 pound-limbs, cocking the crossbow can be a challenge for some and downright impossible for others. The new Excalibur Assassin solves this issue.

The Assassin is Excalibur’s first ever crossbow with an integrated cranking system. Known as the Charger crank system, it is dead silent to operate and only requires about 12 pounds of force. Of course, the Excalibur Assassin can also be de-cocked like the rest of the Excalibur lineup. Be sure to watch the video to see how it all works.

If you look at the Assassin from the front, it looks awfully familiar. That is because it shares the same front end as the Micro line of crossbows. Uncocked, the Assassin is 25 inches wide and shrinks down to 21 inches when cocked.

Another new feature on the Excalibur Assassin is the Pro-Shot trigger. This two-stage trigger system is designed to mirror the feeling of match-grade rifle triggers, offering a very crisp break. The trigger on the Excalibur Micro Suppressor we tested last year was fine, but it definitely suffered some creep. That is all but gone with the new set up.

Fitting the Assassin to fit crossbow hunters of different sizes is fairly easy and requires no tools. The Tru-Fit stock offers three inches of adjustability, while the cheek piece can move up to two inches.

As for specs, the Assassin can achieve speeds up to 360 feet per second. We saw numbers very close to that when we ran it through the chrono (about 358), but we did not have some of the dampeners installed. Those will slow the bow down a bit. Even without the two string dampeners installed, the Assassin is fairly quiet for a crossbow. Other specs include an overall length of 30 to 33 inches, draw length of 15 inches, and mass weight of 7.7 pounds bare.

When it comes to accuracy, the Excalibur Assassin is on par with the Micro Suppressor I tested last year. The scope that comes with the package has marks out to 60 yards. Slapping arrows at that distance is easy work – so long as the person pulling the trigger has the skills to match (that person is not always me). And because it’s so easy to cock the crossbow, hours-long shooting sessions won’t leave you with sore muscles the next day.

Finally, a feature that sets Excalibur crossbows apart is the ability to work on them in the field without special equipment. So long as you have Excalibur’s crossbow stringing aid, you can change a cut or damaged string on your own.

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