Heading into the field on the next hunting trip is a jubilation that each of us that pursues wild things is very familiar with. Visions of trophy critters and epic deeds of great cunning and courage dominate our thoughts as we head for our destinations, fired up with all of the anticipation that can only be meted out by the thrill of a hunt in wilderness, wherever that wilderness might be. In recent years, however, one more facet of added excitement for this aging writer has been included in my personal recipe for adventure. With the onset of each new hunt, I have another make and model of crossbow to put through its paces and evaluate in the field. The objective of that task is to become familiar enough with the bow so that I have a thorough understanding of it and will then be able to write a review, answer specific questions about it and share my personal thoughts about that particular bow with our readers when they call to ask my opinion.
On our recent annual pilgrimage to the Rio Bonito Ranch, I went armed with Parker Crossbow’s Tornado. Right out of the box I was impressed with the engineering and overall appearance of this particular model. It is unlike any bow that I had ever used in the way that it is assembled. Six little screws, instead of one big one at the front, attach along the rail making assembly a bit of a longer process, but the end result is rock-solid connection.
Even as I assembled the Tornado, I was struck by its compactness (34 ½ inches long and 21 ¾ from axel to axel) and its attractive Next G-1 Vista SOFT TOUCH Finish, which gives the bow a warm, nonslip surface and is also extremely pleasing to the eye. When I hefted it to my shoulder for the first time, again I was impressed by its compactness and overall total mass weight of just a hair over eight pounds. The minimal weight proved to be a tremendous benefit while in the field as the bow transported easily and comfortably with the assistance of a sling. It also was a critical factor during the long hours that I spent holding the bow in the ready position with the use of my constant shooting companion, the KneePod.
When I settled into my first session on the range with the Tornado, the bow and I really became working partners. As comfortable in my arms as my darling Karen, the bow fit into my natural grasp like it was made especially for me. I used Parkers RED HOT Roller Rope Cocker to cock the bow and even with that aid there is no doubt that you are working with a great deal of power. I would strongly recommend using rope mechanism because of the acute angle between string and rail that creates “finger traps” and its use will also assist you in achieving a consistent and perfect cock on each and every draw.
The 165 pound draw weight and the 12/ ½” power stroke produces an unbelievable 334 feet/second from my Tornado shooting a 410 grain arrow with the assistance of Parker’s unique inverted cam. The result of each trigger pull was a very crisp and accurate shot that left no doubt you were hefting a very serious hunting crossbow. Parker’s G2 trigger has to be one of the smoothest and most tightly crafted in the entire industry. There is no play and when pressure is applied the release is quick and clean every time.
The Tornado automatically goes on safe when cocked, has an ambidextrous safety release along with one of my favorite features, an Anti Dry-Fire device to prevent one simple mistake from putting your bow out of commission for a week or more. With the kind of confined power you have bundled up in the Tornado, this is an extremely important benefit, but one still has to make sure that your arrow is properly seated so that the mechanism will operate properly preventing disabling damage to your bow.
The vented forearm of the Tornado was another surprising bonus with this very special bow as its design works ideally with a KneePod. The bow balances perfectly while resting in the KneePod so that little if any hand-effort is required for the bow to rest there. Fingers from either hand slip through the slot enabling the shooter to sit comfortably anchoring the bow to the KneePod. At the proper moment, all the hunter need do is lean forward into the stock and instantly he is ready to make his shot. It is almost as though the Tornado was made exclusively for use with the KneePod as they fit and work so well together. This unique combination allows one to make a bench-solid shot every time the trigger is pulled.
Another feature of the Tornado is a Thumb-hole Pistol Grip Design that creates a comfortable and solid grip. And Parker guarantees that there is no thumb too large, regardless of what kind of glove you have on, that will prevent you from using the thumb hole on this bow. It is a grand bow that is easy to get a firm and comfortable grip on when you are ready to shoot or just meandering through the bush.
When the entire package is assembled with bow, sling, quiver and Red Hot Arrows you not only have a combination that is ready to go into action tackling the most dangerous game anywhere, but you are carrying one of the most attractive crossbow packages in the industry. This bow is eye candy that will bring a smug smile of satisfaction to the face of any crossbow hunter that picks up a Tornado crossbow package. It is destined to be included in my personal list of crossbow favorites. Parker has come a long way in the past three or four years. They are definitely a company to be included in the list of the very best.
The Tornado comes in two distinct packages. The Outfitter package includes you choice of a 3 Dot Red/Green Scope, an Illuminated Multi-Reticle Scope or Pin Point Scope and quiver for $699.95-$899.95 depending on which scope you chose. The Perfect Storm Package includes a 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 all for a package price of $999.95
For more information about the Tornado Crossbow visit the Parker website at http://parkerbows.com or give them a call at 852-482-9313.
`Tornado2058-A: The Tornado and I quickly became working partners on the range.
`Tornado2514: The vented Forearm of the Tornado worked perfectly with my KneePod shooting rest.
`Tornado2517: Parker guarantees that there is no thumb too large, regardless of what kind of glove you have on.
`Tornado2932: The Next G-1 Vista SOFT TOUCH Finish gives the bow a warm, nonslip surface and is extremely pleasing to the eye.
`Tornado2948A: A victim of the Tornado, this very quick Texas Jack Rabbit didn’t stand a chance.
`Tornado3048: When the entire package is assembled you are carrying one of the most attractive crossbow packages in the industry.