Parker Ambusher Review – Compound Crossbow

ModelDraw WeightStrokeVelocitySuggested Arrow LengthCrossbow Length / Weight
Parker Ambusher Crossbow

Parker Ambusher Crossbow

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135 - 160 lbs.11.25"315 FPS

Crossbow Academy: ballistics, sighting, tuning
20"32.25" / 6.5 lbs.
- Made in the USA
- Very little shock or vibration
- Adjustable draw weight

- Included scope is not illuminated
- No rope cocking device included
- Slightly heavy
Small Game Hunting?yes2
Deer, Elk Hunting?yes2
Moose, Bear Hunting?yes2
Target Shooting?yes2
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Thanks for coming by to see what I think of the Parker Ambusher crossbow. New for 2016, I had the opportunity to get my hands on this puppy, so I was eager to let you know how it fares. Parker has been making bows for quite some time, and recently got in on the x-bow action. Let’s see how the Ambusher shapes up against the competition.

What Comes With This Crossbow?

parker-ambusher-crossbowObviously, you will want to know what comes with your purchase. Here’s what I found in the box:

  • The Parker Ambusher crossbow itself, including riser and stock
  • A Red Hot 4×32 multi-reticle crossbow scope
  • A four-arrow quiver
  • Four 20-inch Parker crossbow arrows with field points
  • Owner’s manual
  • Warranty card

You won’t find a rope cocking device, rail lube, or string wax, I’m afraid. These are essential accessories to have, so I strongly recommend having them on hand. You’ll also need a variety of hex wrenches, including 3/32-inch, 5/32-inch, and 3/16-inch, for assembly and for adjusting the draw weight.

How Difficult Is It to Assemble Your New Crossbow?

Parker has chosen to incorporate assembly instructions for all of their crossbows into a single manual, so you’ll need to look through the directions until you find the right model. Once you get to the right set of instructions, you’ll find them easy to understand and follow. In fact, I was able to have my Ambusher up and ready to sight in within 10 minutes.

What’s the Accuracy and Power Like?

If you max out the draw weight at 165 pounds, your Ambusher x-bow will fling arrows down range at a blistering 315 feet per second. With a 400-grain arrow, that should yield you around 88 foot-pounds of kinetic energy. The Ambusher isn’t the most powerful x-bow on the market, but it’s got enough beef to take down Cape buffalo or grizzly bears.

Once the scope is sighted in, you should enjoy pinpoint accuracy out of the Ambusher. This crossbow is a nail driver, plain and simple, and I was quickly laying down 2-inch groupings from 45 yards. If that doesn’t sound like very far, you might be new to crossbows and benefit from reading our article on how far you can realistically shoot.

Use our arrow ballistics calculator for more valuable information.

Ballistic Data For The Parker Ambusher

Your actual results will vary slightly depending on weather, and significantly with arrow weight change. See our Crossbow Ballistics Guides section for a complete understanding of how we conducted our tests and why this data matters.

Will Hunters Enjoy the Ambusher?

I haven’t had the opportunity to use this x-bow much in the field, but it’s already made its first kill. I used mine on a recent deer hunt, and found it to be more than capable. It’s short enough to maneuver easily in a ground blind or deer stand, measuring just 32.25 inches long with an axle-to-axle length of 20.875 inches. It’s also got the accuracy you need for kill shots. The only drawback to the Ambusher is its weight, around seven pounds.

Even with the weight, I found it easy to carry this x-bow around in the field. I added a shoulder sling to mine, and loved hunting with this model. I just wish I’d gotten the illuminated scope instead of the non-illuminated one, but I was still able to take down a 10-point buck with a single shot. The arrow passed clean through the animal, and he barely managed to stumble off 10 yards before expiring.

How Difficult Is the Crossbow to Cock?

Usually, I explain how much energy you save using a rope cocking device, but that’s because most crossbows have a single draw weight. That’s not the case with the Ambusher, which has an innovative design that allows you to adjust the draw weight. You can set it up, without using a bow press, from 135 pounds to 160 pounds.

I recommend using a rope cocking device whatever draw weight you choose, of course. Using the aid helps ensure you pull the string back evenly. The Ambusher draws as smooth as butter, and the string capture works flawlessly every time.

What’s the Included Scope Like?

This crossbow ships with a 4×32 non-illuminated scope. It sights in quite easily, and so far hasn’t required any adjustments at all. Granted, I haven’t had the x-bow for very long, but Red Hot scopes are generally pretty reliable. My only complaint is that I chose this model instead of the illuminated variant. I’d quickly take the drop from 4X to 3X for the illuminated reticle; this puppy is pretty dark during low-light conditions.

What Kind of Bolts Do I Need?

Parker ships this model with four 20-inch arrows, which use the newer capture nock. If you want to replace them, I recommend Red Hot 20-inch arrows, which come in at 425-grain instead of 400-grain. You really can’t go wrong, though, as long as you get a set of carbon arrows with capture nocks.

You can also learn more about crossbow arrows and take a look at our broadhead recommendations

How’s the Safety and Design?

This is a very smartly designed crossbow, utilizing a G2 Bull-Pup trigger that breaks over at just the right time. The automatic safety is ambidextrous, and works perfectly. So does the anti dry-fire mechanism. The Next G1 Vista camo pattern is attractive and blends in well with the surroundings. Finally, the texturing on the pistol grip provides you with a positive hold on the x-bow, even when it’s damp and you’re wearing gloves.

The uniqueness of the adjustable draw weight can’t be overstated, since it makes this crossbow very usable even by those who don’t have much upper body strength, like small women and youth. Parker even makes a pink variety of this crossbow.

What Kind of Warranty Backs This Crossbow?

Parker provides a limited lifetime warranty for the original owner. The company stands firmly behind its products, and sometimes even provides warranty coverage for second owners. Their customer service representatives are top notch, and definitely know their stuff.

Parker Ambusher Crossbow Review – Summary

Thanks for stopping by to read my review of the Parker Ambusher crossbow. This is a deadly accurate x-bow, and it’s powerful enough to tackle any legal game in North America. In short, you can’t go wrong, but I’d probably recommend an illuminated scope for it if you plan to hunt during low-light conditions.

Make sure to check today’s price on the Parker Ambusher Crossbow if you’re interested.

1 Comment

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  1. Best crossbow for the $$, smooth trigger pull, compact design allows for various hunting situations, lifetime warranty, locally manufacture in VA.

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