Parker Hornet Extreme
(by Tom Butler)
This is the first crossbow review I’ve had the opportunity to prepare during bowhunting season so, naturally, I’m going to take advantage of that by spending some tree stand time with it.
The Hornet Extreme was delivered packaged nicely and was easily assembled. The first thing I noticed was the nice Soft Touch finish in Next “Vista” camo. The stock is a thumb-hole pistol grip design with vented forearm with a safety finger flange.
I also had flashbacks of the Buck Buster which I owned a while back. The trigger feel, safety and trigger housing all looked familiar, as did the polymer barrel/deck. Parker designates the trigger design as a “G2” on the Hornet Extreme. The crossbow features an auto engaging ambidextrous safety and an anti dry fire device.
The string and cables are all black synthetic and appear to be high quality. The Hornet Extreme is touted as being compact, short, and lightweight. It fits solidly in that category of crossbows.
The crossbow sent to me was equipped with the 3x multi-reticle scope that was already mounted on the crossbow. It seems to be exactly like the Hawke MAP which happens to be one of the most popular crossbow scopes.
Parker pulls out the stops when it comes to scope options. They offer a three-dot reflex red/green dot sight, 3x multi-reticle scope, Illuminated multi-reticle scope and the top of the line adjustable yardage Pin Point scope, all of which are quality optics.
The basic crossbow includes a Parker four-arrow quick detach quiver.
Breakdown of packages:
$599.95 Outfitter with Three-Dot (Red/Green) Optic $599.95 Outfitter with 3X Multi-Reticle Scope $649.95 Outfitter with Illuminated Multi-Reticle Scope $799.95 Outfitter with Pin Point Scope Parker also offers the premium Perfect Storm Package for $889.95, which includes basically everything you will need to go crossbow hunting.
The Illuminated Multi Reticle scope is standard with the Perfect Storm Package:
Hornet Extreme Crossbow
Illuminated multi-reticle scope
6 RED HOT high velocity arrows
1 RED HOT roller rope cocker
6 RED HOT Crosspro 100 broadheads 6 100 gr. match weight field points
1 RED HOT crossbow sling
1 RED HOT wax and lube kit
1 RED HOT soft crossbow case
The Perfect Storm Package with Pin Point Scope option lists for $1,039.95
165 lb draw force
11.6” power stroke
315 FPS with a 20” 400 grain total weight carbon
My 410 grain arrows chrono’d 311 fps so I’m sure the 315 fps that Parker rates this crossbow is accurate.
Machined Aluminum riser
32” length not including foot stirrup and 37.5” total
21.2” axle to axle width
7.5 lb physical weight (crossbow only)
OK, with that behind us let’s get to the shooting:
My first shooting session verified that the Red Hot scope is calibrated for a 20/30/40/50-yard sight-in on the 315fps Hornet Extreme. Shot noise, with no dampeners, is in the range of most other compound crossbows I’ve tested during the last 12 months, and the Hornet Extreme is certainly not the loudest. The G2 trigger action is quite good and the trigger shape is curved with a very nice feel. I like the safety location and action. There are no loud clicks when moving the safety lever from safe to fire position. I noticed, when cocking the crossbow the first few times, a clunking noise at mid cocking stroke. I determined it was the cable slide which has quite a bit of surface contact with the barrel track. It was sticking at certain points. I then added quite a bit of lube in the slide contact area and it smoothed out after about 20 shots and has been quiet since.
A pet peeve of mine with crossbows is quiver orientation, especially with the newer and narrower crossbows. Parker (and other manufacturers), please mount the quiver parallel to the barrel.
Shooting sessions, since the initial one, have been non eventful, which is a good thing. I’ve experienced no problems with the crossbow, no undue rattles and nothing loosening, even with lots of shooting. The crossbow is accurate and easy to cock, even for me with recent shoulder surgery.
The center serving wear is what I would describe as normal with some flattening of the serving on the bottom side of the string where it contacts the deck surface. No center serving separation has appeared after about 100 shots.
Listed below are some of the warnings and notices included in Parker’s comprehensive Crossbow Owner’s Manual:
~~ WARNING! Without proper alignment of bolt and nock, a dry-fire could occur.
~~ Use ONLY Red Hot or Parker Hunter Arrows in Parker Crossbows.
~~ Use Moon Nocks or Capture Nocks ONLY.
~~ Load Arrow Correctly - Proper Nock Alignment
and Full Contact with String Cock Vane should be in a downward vertical position in the track Nock groove should be horizontal with the string.
~~ Use 400-grain MINIMUM Arrows
~~ Inspect Arrow and Nock for damage BEFORE each
~~ Avoid ALL obstructions when shooting.
The Hornet Extreme is a no-nonsense, solid crossbow that should offer years of dependable service and it is backed by Parker’s lifetime warranty, not to mention Parker’s exceptional product support.