Parker Thunderhawk Crossbow Review

Parker Thunderhawk Compound Crossbow Review

Summary 

Overall the Parker Thunderhawk is a fine crossbow, especially for someone getting into shooting sports. The Perfect Storm package comes with absolutely everything you’ll need to get started shooting and hunting. In terms of performance, the Thunderhawk has enough to be a capable hunting crossbow at ranges of 40 yards and less. Finally, the crossbow is quality controlled right here in the United States and backed by a lifetime warranty. If you are looking for a bow to keep around for a while it may be worth a closer look.

8.2/10
A fine bow!

Parker Crossbows Thunderhawk Outfitter Package PARKER BOWS Thunderhawk Crossbow Package

Intro

Once in awhile you hear things advertised as “the complete package.” Nothing is lacking, and anything you could hope for is included. The Parker Thunderhawk in the Perfect Storm package is exactly that; the complete package. This bow has moderate performance, a lifetime warranty, 6 carbon arrows, field points, hunting broadheads, rope cocker, rail lube, string suppressors, scope, sling, and crossbow case. If you happen to be a shooter that is starting from scratch, the Thunderhawk is as complete of a package as you will find these days.

This bow has also become the most popular crossbow in Parker’s lineup for its shootability, comfort, and effectiveness in the field. This is an all-around crossbow that certainly should warrant a closer look.

Scores

Assembly 4/5
Accessories 5/5
Trigger 4/5
Styling 4/5
Stock 4/5
Performance 4/5
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Pros

  • Available as a complete package (Perfect Storm)
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Made in the USA
exclamation

Cons

  • Arrow speed a little slow
  • Short string serving life

Specifications

Draw Weight:

160

Power Stroke:

11.5"

Bow Weight:

6.9 lbs

Speed:

325 fps

Kinetic Energy:

91 ft. lbs.

Bolt Size:

20"

Axle-To-Axle:

20.25" Uncocked

Overall Size:

34.25"

Price Range:

Mid

Color:

Camo

Warranty:

Lifetime

Who's it designed for?

The Parker Thunderhawk is a great bow designed for a new shooter. This crossbow comes in two different packages the Outfitter package and the Perfect Storm package. The Perfect Storm package has much more to offer, and if you are a new shooter it will set up you up absolutely everything you’ll need to get started.

What can I hunt with it?

Hunting most big game animals in North America shouldn’t pose too much of a problem with this bow. It produces 91 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy upon the shot, which is more than enough for deer, black bear, and elk. However, if you ever have dreams of chasing dangerous game, you might be better off going with a little more bow.

Crossbow Comparison Tables

All the bows we review (and some we haven't yet) get added to our crossbow comparison tables alongside a guide that helps you understand what features and specifications actually mean. They're a great place to get a quick overview of what's on the market, and find something that fits with your requirements.​

Videos

You can watch the promotional video from Parker here.

Here is another video of a satisfied customer.

In-Depth Review

Assembly

Assembling the Thunderhawk is no major chore. It requires attaching the riser to the stock, and then attacking the quiver. There are a few little nuances that need to be considered as well, but they are covered in the manual. If you are more of a visual person, Parker actually released this video demonstrating how to set the crossbow up as well. 

Accessories

Scope

There is an included illuminated multi-reticle scope on this crossbow. Illuminated scopes are great for hunters, as they provide more light in the low light conditions that game animals tend to move during. Another benefit of the scope is that it comes bore sighted from the factory. This will make it easy for someone not accustomed to sighting in bows to get this bow dialed in.

Cocking Device

Parker throws in the Red Hot roller cocking device with the Perfect Storm package. This bow requires a 160 pound pull to cock, but you can expect to pull less than half of that with this rope cocking device. Many people around the web praise this crossbow as being a dream to cock, which would be ideal for smaller framed shooters who may have a hard time with heavier bows.

Quiver and Bolts

In order to truly make this a bow you can hunt with right out of the box, Parker went all out in the arrow department. It includes the 4 arrow quick detach quiver to mount on your bow. Most bows come with 3 arrow detach quivers, but any hunter can tell you having the extra arrow is never a bad thing.

The package also comes with 6 Red Hot arrows ready to shoot. Each arrow comes with field points to get you started shooting in minutes. Not only that, but Parker also includes 3 broadheads as well. This is another factor that would be ideal for someone just getting involved that needs to buy everything at once. 

Trigger

The trigger is an all metal trigger covered by the lifetime warranty of the bow. If you are looking for a bulletproof bow, this attribute will be one you should appreciate.

Anti-Dry Fire and Auto Safety

In order to ensure this crossbow was safe to shoot, Parker included some standard features including the anti-dry fire system and automatic safety. These features are so dependable, if you watch the second linked video above, you can watch the shooter actually try to dry fire the bow to no avail. The safety is also ambidextrous, which makes it functional for anyone out there.

Styling

In the styling department the Parker Thunderhawk comes in only the camo color choice. It is a fairly mundane pattern, and won’t be eye catching on the range. On the other hand, if you are just looking for a bow that can be a solid hunter, you will likely appreciate the finish. There is very little branding on this bow as well. Overall, it is a utilitarian design and one blue collar folks will likely find appealing.

arrows-v

Stock and Limbs

One thing that stands out on this crossbow is the quality of the build. Parker crossbows are made in America and backed with a lifetime warranty. This ensures you are getting only the best materials included in this crossbow that contribute to its overall lifespan. If you are looking for a bow that can last for decades, the Thunderhawk is certainly worth a look.

bullseye

Shooting

In the shooting department the Thunderhawk is a solid bow. With the factory installed string dampeners this bow is considered a pretty quiet shooter. This feature is ideal for hunters pursuing skittish game animals. Also, once dialed in this bow can really stack up the arrows out to about 40 yards. If you are looking to do most of your hunting and shooting within that range, this bow is lights out.

Due to the low arrow speeds, shooters looking to extend their range may find this bow isn’t the best fit though.

On a final note, one area of concern with this crossbow is a problem with a short serving life. We've heard tell of a few complaints that due to downward pressure on the rail, this bow needs to be re-served every few months. 

"How does it compare?"

Barnett Jackal

"economical and straightforward"

Barnett Jackal Crossbow Package (Quiver, 3 - 20-Inch Arrows and Premium Red Dot Sight)

If you are just making a splash into the realm of crossbow shooting, another bow you may consider is the Barnett Jackal.

It is an economical entry-level crossbow that just slightly underperforms the Thunderhawk.

This bow hits modest speeds of 315 fps. and has a 150 pound draw weight. Like the Thunderhawk, the Jackal is a low maintenance bow that shouldn’t confuse a new shooter.

It is straightforward, and a good crossbow for the first time shooter. Read our full review.

Barnett Whitetail Hunter

"better performance, better looking"

Barnett Whitetail Hunter Crossbow, 4 x 32'

Another very popular bow is the Barnett Whitetail Hunter. The Whitetail Hunter offers a little more performance, with arrow speeds of 340 fps.

It also has earned a reputation for being deadly accurate in hunting ranges. Also, in terms of styling, the Whitetail Hunter is a good looking bow.

This has a unique high def camo pattern and sleek design. If you want to turn some heads at the range, this bow might be worth a closer look.

Barnett Ghost 410

"maximum performance"

Barnett Ghost 410 CRT Crossbow Package

Finally, if you are looking for maximum performance, the Barnett Ghost 410 is a bow you simply can’t overlook.

With arrow speeds of 410 fps. this bow is one of the fastest on the market.

Not only that, but it is highly accurate as well and doesn’t have many weak spots. What’s more is that upon the shot, the Ghost 410 produces a steel punching 150 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy.

If you are looking to travel around and hunt dangerous game, this might just be the bow for you. Read more in our review.

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About the Author David James

Hi there! I’m Dave, the founder of targetcrazy.com. I’m a passionate bowman and a fan of all target sports in general. I created this site to share my knowledge with you and help you make more informed choices!
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