In 2016 Parker has released the Ambusher, a very versatile, easy to use crossbow with a great price tag. Parker has referred to it as the lightest, most compact high performance crossbow in the industry. In this Parker Ambusher review I will be looking at it’s specifications as well as all the features it comes with. Then we will be able to judge if it really lives up to the hype.
Images courtesy of ParkerBows.com
Out Of The Box
The Ambusher is available in two optic packages: a multi-reticle scope or a 3X32 illuminated multi-reticle scope. As if that wasn’t enough choices, Parker has provided us with two types of decorations: a grassy Next G1 Vista camo or a pink Muddy Girl camo for the ladies.
Both crossbows come with a 3X32 Multi-Reticle scope that's already factory installed and laser bore sighted, making the assembly process even easier. Other accessories included in the package are a Quick Detach Quiver and 4 arrows with field points. What's not included in the package (but is essential for every crossbow user) is barrel lube, string wax and a rope cocker.
Although this looks like a very compact and simple crossbow, there is still plenty to talk about when it comes to features. For starters, the Ambusher is designed with Parker's advanced split limb technology.
If you look at all Parker crossbows you'd see that they've been focusing on split limbs a lot more now than before. I think this is because they have realized the benefits of split limbs on compound crossbows, namely that it makes the crossbows more flexible and durable.
The Ambusher has tuned string suppressors that are already factory installed. What these suppressors do is it reduces the shooting noise as well as the vibration of your crossbows.
The trigger on this crossbow is light and smooth. To prevent you from accidentally firing it, Parker has installed an auto-engage, ambidextrous safety and an anti dry-fire mechanism.
In the back end, the Ambusher has a stock spacer with a rubber pad, making it comfortable when you shoulder it.
Parker Ambusher Specs
- Arrow Speeds: 315 FPS
- Draw Weight: 160-135 lbs (adj)
- Power Stroke: 11.25"
- Overall Length: 32.25"
- Axle-to-Axle: 20.875"
- Mass Weight: 6.5 lbs
One of the things that makes the Ambusher unique is the adjustable draw weight. The draw weight can be anywhere from 160 to 135 pounds. This is great for kids or beginners who want to start at a light draw weight. Of course it should go without saying that, as the draw weight lowers, so does the speed.
Speaking of speed, the Ambusher boasts a fast 315 FPS with the 160 lbs draw weight. This is fast enough to easily hunt medium size game such as whitetails.
The length of this crossbow is 32.25 inches from the tip of the stirrup to the end of the stock. The width is 20.8 inches from the center of the cam to the center of the other cam. Keep in mind that this measurement is for when the bow is uncocked. When you cock the crossbow, you will get an even narrower measurement. Having all of that said, the Ambusher is compact enough to easily maneuver it while on a ridge or a tree stand.
The most impressive thing about this crossbow is it's minuscule weight. At 6.5 pounds, this is one of the lightest high-end compound crossbows on the market. When you combine this insanely low weight and the adjustable draw weight, what you get is an extremely user friendly crossbow.
Cocking and Shooting
The Ambusher has a standard stirrup that is wide enough to fit in even the biggest boot you got. As I mentioned before this crossbow can be adjusted to have a draw weight of 135 pounds. With that and the short power stroke of 11 inches, I can't think of any reason why one would have a problem cocking it.
Notice that the package does not include a rope cocking devise, which is very essential. If you don't already have one then you can get Parker's RED HOT EZ Roller Rope Cocker which has great reviews on Amazon.
Once cocked, you will not need to trigger the anti dry-fire mechanism because it is done automatically. This prevents a dry fire but more importantly it also prevents you from getting injured as you try to place the bolt on the barrel.
In terms of accuracy, it is exactly what you'd expect from a Parker crossbow. Their RED HOT crossbow scopes are top of the line with many features. For more information about Parker's RED HOT scope I recommend that you watch this video:
How Difficult Is It To Assemble
This crossbow is surprisingly easy to assemble. Like I pointed out before, the scope is already installed and laser bore sighted. Another thing that is pre-installed is the stirrup. Basically all you need to do is attach the riser into the stock and the quiver under the riser. The box comes with everything you'll need except for a standard sized Allen wrench set which you will have to get yourself.
Here is a demonstration on how to assemble your Parker crossbow:
For Whom Is The Ambusher For?
This crossbow is pretty much for anyone but it is clear that Parker has the youth and ladies in mind when they designed it. This crossbow is simple, super lightweight, and user friendly. It is perfect for people of smaller stature like women and even children. It is also very compact. The length of the stock is only under 13 inches and it can be shortened even more by removing the rubber padding. With that feature, no one will have any trouble shouldering the crossbow when taking aim.
The other feature that makes the Ambusher such a user friendly crossbow is the fact that the draw weight can be adjusted down to 135 pounds. Couple that with a rope cocking devise and I bet even my 7 year old niece could pull it's weight. It's interesting to note that, since this is a compound crossbow with cams, you only feel most of the weight in the beginning. After that it is smooth sailing.
Another reason why this is a great crossbow for children and beginners is because of it's safety features. For example it has a well vented forearm that will easily keep your fingers from the string's path. It also has an automatic safety switch and an anti dry-fire mechanism so you don't have to worry about switching it on.
Although this is a great entry-level crossbow, it also has all the necessary features to satisfy an experienced hunter.
Will Hunters Enjoy The Ambusher?
If you've been reading this Parker Ambusher review, you'd already know that it is a great hunting crossbow for a few reasons. For starters it is a very quiet crossbow thanks to the string suppressors. Not only do they make the crossbow more quiet but they also prevent vibration after every shot.
At a mere 6.5 pounds a hunter will easily be able to carry it for hours upon hours in his/her hunting expedition. With such a lightweight crossbow you can effortlessly take aim while standing up at a moment's notice. It is also optimally balanced in the middle and compact, making it very easy to maneuver whether you're in a ground blind or a tree stand.
Furthermore, at 315 feet per second this crossbow is good enough to get solid and humane kills without going overboard.
Notice that these arrows only come with field points. If you are just going to do target shooting this would be fine, but if you are a hunter, you might want to get some broadheads to make your shots more deadly. If you're wondering what broadheads you should use, I'd recommend Parker's very own RED HOT Crosspro 100 Broadheads (see on Amazon).
What Bolts Should You Use?
Like most other bow companies, Parker has designed their own bolts. As you can expect, Parker has designed their bolts to work best for their own crossbows. For safety reasons, Parker recommends that you only use their arrows. While this may be a ploy to get you to only buy their products, I wouldn't tempt faith and try any other bolts on the Ambusher. Besides, Parker arrows are good enough to keep anyone happy.
Parker gives you two bolts to choose from: the RED HOT Hight Velocity Carbon Arrow or the Hunter Crossbow Arrows. What comes in the package of the Ambusher are 4 Hunter Crossbow Arrows. Both are made made in America from high quality carbon.
Here are more specific details of the two kinds of arrows that Parker offers:
What Is The Warranty?
In the past, Parker has had some trouble with crossbow malfunctions - for example there were a few reports that said the arms simply broke after being cocked. That was in the past, but now Parker has upped their game in terms of crafting a durable crossbow. In reality you shouldn't have to worry about your crossbow breaking with unforced errors. But if you were still worried then you will be comforted with the fact that Parker has a Lifetime Warranty.
What Crossbow Case Should You Use?
Even with such a great warranty, you are still not protected from accidents, which is why I always recommend that every crossbow owner should have a crossbow case. For most of us hunters, our weapons are our most prized possessions, so it should go without saying that we want to protect them. Unfortunately, the Ambusher does not come with a crossbow case in it's package. Parker does however provide their own RED HOT Crossbow Case which you can easily find on Amazon. This is a soft case which is perfectly fine for this crossbow. If you decide that this is not good enough, you can check out our crossbow case reviews for more options.
- It is extremely Light Weight and compact
- Perfect for hunting mid-sized game
- At 135 lbs minimum, it is easy to cock
- It's well balanced
- Comfortable to hold and maneuver
- Lots of safety features
- Not ideal for hunting big game
- Package does not come with a rope cocker or crossbow case
Parker Ambusher Review - Conclusion
The Ambusher is clearly a step in the right direction for Parker. This crossbow has what you'd expect from a high quality crossbow and it comes at such an affordable price. But that's not all - when you get a Parker crossbow, you are getting more than a product. They also provide excellent customer service. If you look at the videos above, you can see that Parker gives you all the information you need to have a pleasant experience with your crossbow. So if you decide to try the Ambusher, you will not be disappointed.
Be sure to leave a comment below if you have any questions or feedback about my Parker Ambusher Review.