How do the Excalibur Micro Suppressor and TenPoint Eclipse RCX stack up against each other? We put both of these crossbows to the test.
Over the course of the summer I had the opportunity to test out the Excalibur Micro Suppressor and TenPoint Eclipse RCX. We've already put review videos together for each of those crossbows, so I figured it would be fun to do a head-to-head comparison.
Keep in mind that I am fairly new to the world of crossbows. I'm a compound bow junky and this project was my way of jumping into the deep end of the crossbow pool, so consider these the thoughts of somebody new to the sport.
These two bows differ greatly in design. The Excalibur Micro Suppressor is a throwback with its recurve limbs, while the TenPoint Eclipse RCX is a compound crossbow. The recurve design tends to be a bit lighter overall and has fewer parts, so there are fewer things that can go wrong. You can also change out your string in the field if need be with Excalibur's stringing aid. The compound design offers up much lighter draw weights, more speed and a narrower profile.
The Micro Suppressor has an uncocked width of 25 inches, cocked width of 21 inches, length of 31 inches, power stroke of 10.2 inches, draw weight of 280 pounds and speeds up to 355 fps. The package includes three 16.5-inch bolts, quiver, and Tact-Zone illuminated scope with 30mm rings, ambidextrous cheek piece and rope cocking aid. Retail price for this package is $1,299.
The Eclipse RCX has an uncocked width of 17 inches, cocked width of 13.5 inches, length of 34 ¾ inches, power stroke of 14 inches, draw weight of 140 pounds and speeds up to 370 feet per second. The package includes three Pro Elite Easton bolts, 3X Pro-View 2 scope, ACUdraw 50 cocking mechanism and three-arrow quiver. Retail price for this package is $1,199.
Despite its much lighter draw weight, the TenPoint Eclipse RCX is the more powerful crossbow. We saw an average of 346 feet per second from a 427 grain bolt.
The Micro Suppressor put up very similar speed numbers with an average of 345 feet per second, but that was using a much lighter 352-grain bolt. So while the speeds are basically identical, the Exclipse RCX should offer up better penetration.
With just a 140-pound draw weight, cocking the Eclipse RCX is much less physically taxing. The power stroke is fairly long at 14 inches, so you do have to pull up quite a bit. This bow also features the ACU Draw 50 system, which is a retractable cocking device, so you never have to carry a cocking rope with you.
The Micro Suppressor offers up a hefty 280-pound draw weight. The power stroke is just 10.2 inches, so it's a short pull. Still, spend a couple hours shooting the Micro Suppressor and you'll wish you gym regimen was a bit more intense.
As for de-cocking, this is not a possibility with the TenPoint Eclipse RCX. You can buy a three-pack of single-use unloading bolt for $10 each, but that seems like a steep price to pay.
The Excalibur Micro Suppressor, however, does give you the ability to let down if need be. It's a bit awkward to do it, but having that option is a big plus in my mind.
I found both of these bows to offer up fairly similar accuracy. I did feel more stable shooting while standing with the Micro Suppressor, which may be because of its wider footprint.
At 50 yards the two crossbows put up very similar sized groups for me. From a seated position with the bow propped up, I typically saw baseball-sized groups, but I was ultimately just a bit more consistent with the Micro Suppressor. However, the difference is fairly small. Both of these bows are deadly accurate.
I should note that I have had trouble sighting in with the Eclipse RCX. I'm always high at 20 yards and I'm out of elevation adjustability. However, I'm inclined to believe that my inexperience has led me to set something up incorrectly.
As for Ergonomics, I found the Micro Suppressor to be a very comfortable crossbow to hold and shoot. The ambidextrous cheek pad is a nice addition. The rubberized foregrip feels great in the hand. The main grip is a bit on the narrow side for my liking, but that is very much a personal opinion. The trigger also feels a touch closer that I'd prefer. I also don't love the trigger's flat front with its ribbed teeth.
Moving to the Eclipse RCX, the grip feels a bit fatter. I prefer that, but that is likely do to my large hands. Your mileage will vary. The reach to the trigger felt about perfect for me and I really like the swooped design and smooth finish on the trigger. The foregrip is lightly textured, but I prefer the Excalibur's rubber material. I also don't like the plastic buttons on either side of the foregrip. There is no cheek pad on this bow, which I would prefer to have.
All told, Ergonomics is pretty much a draw in my mind.
Fit and Finish
When it comes to fit and finish, the Excalibur Micro Suppressor really shines. The Realtree Xtra camo comes across as dark and rich. Outside of some wear where the cocking aid rubs, the camo still looks pristine. Also, the string is showing no wear and the serving is only beginning to show even minimal signs of use. This crossbow is holding up extremely well.
Fit and finish on the TenPoint Eclipse RCX is a bit of a mixed bag. It has the same RealTree extra camo pattern as the Micro Suppressor, but it is a bit more muted on this bow and there is no camo on the flight deck. But none of that is really an issue. The trouble is with the serving on the string and cables. I started to see wear on the center serving of the string almost immediately and it eventually unravelled. Fortunately, a replacement string has had no such issues. But I am also starting to see significant serving wear on the cables.
When it comes to picking a winner, I don't really think you can go wrong with either of these crossbows. But if I'm spending my own money, I'm probably going to go with the Excalibur Micro Suppressor. I like the fact that there are fewer things that can go wrong with this bow and if they do, it's much easier to make repairs in the field. You give up a little speed and the draw weight is an issue, but I'm willing to make those sacrifices for a bow that seems like it will last for many years.