Parker StingRay Review – Compound Crossbow

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ModelDraw WeightStrokeVelocitySuggested Arrow LengthCrossbow Length / Weight Parker StingRay Check price on Amazon.com 100-125 lbs.11″135-150 FPS Crossbow Academy: ballistics, sighting, tuning20″34.25″ / 7.5 lbs.

What Comes in the Box?

Welcome to our review of the Parker StingRay bowfishing crossbow. Each package delivered by Parker includes the following items:

  • The Parker Stingray crossbow
  • Open sight
  • Assembly hardware and tools
  • AMS Retriever Pro Bowfishing Reel
  • 200 feet of Hi-Vis Braided Dacron Line
  • 2 AMS Safety Slide kits
  • 1 Bowfishing Arrow
  • Muzzy Gator Getter 1600-gr broadhead
  • Owner’s manual
  • Warranty card

Crossbow Assembly

parker1Putting the StingRay together is amazingly simple for such a complex hunting package. The riser, or what Parker calls the front-end assembly, attaches to the stock once you’ve installed the cable slide. If your Stingray comes with a scope, it will be premounted for you, so there is no work to be done to get the scope onto the crossbow. Once you’ve attached the riser to the stock, you attach the AMS Retriever Pro Bowfishing Reel, which includes an integrated arrow quiver for storing your bowfishing arrow.

After putting your bow together, you should set the draw weight to whatever you want it to be, between 100# and 125#. The beauty of this design is that you don’t need any special tools or a bow press to set the draw weight. Once the assembly and tuning is complete, you’re ready to move on to sighting in your crossbow.

Accuracy And Power

Whether you have the open sight or the 1X scope with your x-bow, you’ll want to sight in your bow before you hit the water. I was able to have my open sights fine-tuned within a couple of shots, and then I tested the accuracy of the Stingray. The Stingray delivers arrows between 135fps and 150fps, depending on the draw weight you have set. Mine is set to the maximum 125 pounds, so the 1600-gr bowfishing arrow was hitting the target at 150 fps with almost 80 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy.

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From 25 yards, I was able to maintain a 1/2″ grouping with this crossbow, and held the same grouping from 35 yards. From 50 yards, I could hold a pattern just 1-1/2” in diameter, which is more than accurate enough for serious bowfishing. With the Stingray sighted in and tested, I was ready to hit the water.

Will Hunters Enjoy the Parker Stingray?

This x-bow is designed for bowfishing, so you won’t take this up against a deer. With that said, it has the stopping power for a deer, but the speed of the arrows is probably too slow to account for the tendency of deer to string jump. I didn’t even try this bow land hunting, using it instead for what it was designed for—bowfishing.

For fishing purposes, this is an excellent crossbow. You can easily penetrate and nab the largest fish, whether you’re in fresh water or salt water. The reel works flawlessly, and the included 200 feet of high visibility line makes it easy to see where your arrow has gone. An illuminated nock will also help tremendously.

What was really exciting about this crossbow was the inclusion of the Muzzy Gator Getter arrow point. I had the good fortune of getting in on an alligator hunt, and chose the Stingray as my tool of choice for hunting gator. During my gator hunt, I was able to fill my limit of gator easily, with the Stingray performing exactly as I expected it to on this once-in-a-lifetime hunting opportunity.

Cocking The Stingray

The Stingray has an adjustable draw weight of 100 lbs. to 125 lbs., and the adjustment can be made without any special tools or a bow press. For some, this light draw weight might mean hand-cocking the crossbow, but I definitely would not recommend this. While it’s easy enough to draw by hand, using a rope cocking device makes your draw much more even and consistent, helping your accuracy considerably. Unfortunately, Parker does not include a rope cocking device with the Stingray, so I would recommend picking one up at your local archery shop when you get your Stingray.

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The Crossbow Scope

Parker delivers this crossbow with either an open sight or a 1X scope. I chose the open sight, but I’ve also used the 1X scope in the past. This scope is very good quality, with coated optics for fog-resistance, and excellent light gathering capabilities for use in dark swampy areas. It sights in easily and quickly, and holds true almost indefinitely.

Bolts

Your purchase of the Parker Stingray will net you one bowfishing arrow, which many will say is all that you need. That’s probably true, because the hassle of switching your retrieval line from one arrow to another is more trouble than just pulling your arrow back in and reusing it, but you may want to invest in additional arrows in case yours becomes damaged. Parker recommends 1600-grain arrows for use with the Stingray, and attempting to use a lighter arrow than that could result in some serious problems and injuries for you and your crossbow.

Safety and Design

The Stingray is designed with boat fishing in mind, so it is small and compact. It is also lightweight, and almost perfectly balanced. It features a G2 Bull-Pup trigger with an auto-engaging ambidextrous safety and auto-engaging anti-dry fire mechanism, both of which operate reliably for each and every shot. The vented forearm’s safety finger flange is perfectly sized and positioned to keep you safe when firing your x-bow.

The AMS Retriever Pro bowfishing reel that comes with the Stingray is set up with a right-side crank, so if you are left-handed you may struggle with the retriever reel. It works perfectly, though, and serves wonderfully for reeling in that big catch when you nail it.

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Warranty

All Parker crossbows are covered by a 5-year limited warranty, and Parker’s customer service representatives are easy to work with, friendly, and knowledgeable. Make sure to register your warranty within 15 days of your purchase, though, or your warranty may not be valid.

What Crossbow Case Fits the Parker StingRay?

If you use a smaller scope, the Carbon Express Deluxe Case is a nice soft carrycase for $66. If your StingRay is equipped with a bigger scope, opt for the Allen Company case. It is a $30, soft carrycase which offers more space.

Crossbow Review – Summary

Thanks for reading my review of the Parker Stingray. This is an exciting crossbow with excellent potential for hunting alligators and use in bowfishing. If you want to get involved in bowfishing, but would rather use a crossbow than a bow, the Stingray is the crossbow for you. Take a look at today’s amazon.com price on this crossbow and check out our top 10 crossbows rankings for more.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>