Parker BlackHawk EZ Draw Review

Parker BlackHawk EZ Draw

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Pros

  • Easily adjustable
  • Good speed
  • Versatile; Good for hunting and 3D
  • Smooth, accurate, and forgiving

Cons

  • Can only be purchased as a used bow; came out in 2009
  • Some vibration
  • Needs additional components to reduce noise

Editors' review

The Parker Blackhawk EZ was the flagship bow in the Parker lineup in 2009. The aluminum riser provided a solid platform to build the rest of the bow around. With the Cross Vent cutouts strategically placed in the riser, it was light-weight and strong, and was the foundation for a solid bow that had good speed and was accurate. With the addition of the Sims silencing system embedded in the limbs and the riser, vibration was drastically reduced. With a 32" ATA, 7 1/4" brace height, and an IBO of 325 this was a top-of-the-line bow in 2009.

Finish

This bow comes decked out in the Next G-1 film-dipped camo finish that is sure to blend into the background when in a hunting stand.

Risers/Limb

The foundation of this bow is the one-piece machined aluminum riser. It is light-weight and very sturdy. The riser has a Cross Vent design that not only lightens the bow, but provides maximum strength. In the name of safety, the riser also has a bolted-on machined aluminum arrow shelf. The arrow shelf looks like it is a part of the riser and not a bolt-on. At each end of the riser the shooter will find a pair of vented limb pockets. These pockets secure the limbs in place and keep them there to ensure a quality shot.The limbs on this rig are Parker's Extreme Parallel limbs. These are single-piece composite limbs and have Sims limbsavers embedded into them and eliminate virtually any hand shock. The limbs, combined with the EZ Cam binary cam system combine for a smooth drawing bow that has very little, if any vibration. The limbs come in 60# and 70# peak weights. The draw weight can be adjusted by using the limb bolts in approximately 10# ranges. During some testing, this limb/cam system produced up to 330 fps, but that was with an extremely lightweight arrow (5.5 gpi), and averaged in the 289 fps range with arrows ranging from 7.4 gpi - 10.3 gpi.

Other Components

The Parker Blackhawk EZ does come with a few extras. The tunable string suppression system, Sims vibration suppression system, EZ Draw Cams, vented broadhead shelf, carbon cable guard, and a two-piece grip are only a few.

Eccentric System

The Blackhawk uses Parker's EZ Cam System...a one-cam binary system that provides the shooter a smooth draw and is easy to let down if needed, or a Hi ARC Performance cam for additional speed and power. This cam system also provides considerable arrow speed for the shooter. The cam also holds the module for draw length adjustment. There are two sets of modules, one for short draw (25" - 27") and long draw (28" - 30"). The modules can be changed out by removing the two set screws that hold them in, then changed and the screws put back in. The draw length can be adjusted in half-inch increments by removing the three screws that hold the module in place, rotating the module to the appropriate setting, and re-tightening the screws. This bow DOES require a press to change the modules.Let-off on this bow is at 75 percent and is smooth at transition, but is very short. Although the shooter ends at a firm back wall, it is within a very short valley. The shooter must be careful of string creep in order to maintain control of the bow at full draw.

Silencing Package

In order to reduce noise and vibration on this bow, Parker has added a string stop, integrated Sims limb and riser vibration dampeners, and string dampeners. Although Sims is a known name in the field of vibration dampening, this bow is only average in terms of being quiet out of the box. The shooter will be well advised to add additional string leaches and a quality stabilizer with very good dampening qualities.

Comparisons

Bow Parker BlackHawk EZ Draw Bowtech Equalizer
Version 2011 2008 (Binary Cam)
Picture Parker BlackHawk EZ Draw Bowtech Equalizer
Brace Height 7.38 " 7.25 "
AtA Length 32 " 33.25 "
Draw Length 25 " - 30 " 24 " - 27.5 "
Draw Weight 50 lbs - 70 lbs 19 lbs - 60 lbs
IBO Speed 290 fps 300 fps - 308 fps
Weight 3.9 lbs 3.7 lbs
Let-Off 80% 65% - 80%
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The Parker Blackhawk EZ Draw is similar to the Bowtech Equalizer for shootability and physical size. The Equalizer is 1.25" longer ATA, yet brace height is virtually the same with only 1/16" difference. The Blackhawk has longer draw length adjustability, and is capable of up to 70# draw weight. The Equalizer is capable of lower draw weights as limbs can be ordered in 40# and 50# peak weights.Both bows are smooth and accurate. The Equalizer has an IBO of 308 fps, while the Blackhawk claims a 325 fps IBO. Testing has been done using varying arrow weights for the Blackhawk and speed range from 260 fps - 330 fps. Anyone purchasing the Blackhawk with hopes of the 330 fps shot should be warned that this speed was achieved with an arrow weighing only 5.5 gpi and was done in a controlled test environment. It is not recommended to use an arrow of this weight when shooting a 70# draw. When testing with average weighted hunting arrows, the Blackhawk did produce speeds in the 280 fps range.Each of these bows are shootable, smooth, and accurate. Since both are older bows, they can be found at comparable prices. The primary difference in these two bows is that the Equalizer is primarily designed for shorter draw length shooters, which is something to consider if you are looking at making this purchase.

Usage Scenarios

This rig is versatile and can fit into any archery scenarios. It is a good bow for the 3D course, and can be good for hunting with a few noise suppression investments. The bow weighs in at under four pounds, has an ATA of 32" and a brace height of 7.4" making it a good fit in a treestand or a blind.

Value

This bow listed for around $700 when it was in the Parker lineup. The bow can be found today on the used markets for as little as $350. For someone on a budget looking for a good bow, this definitely would be worth looking at. In most cases, you will get a bow ready to hunt, that will require very little fine tuning to the shooter. This would save a lot of money on the additional accessories to set it up.

Summary

The Parker Blackhawk EZ Draw was the flagship bow for Parker in 2009. This bow was chock-full of new technologies when it was initially put on the market. At the time, many archers that had shot the Blackhawk described it as the "best bow that Parker has ever put on the market." With the EZ Draw cams, the one-piece composite limbs, and the machined aluminum riser, this is good bow for anyone on a budget looking a good rig. With a couple of additions to assist in silencing this bow, it can be very quiet with almost no hand shock. It will work well in a treestand, a ground blind, or on the 3D/target range. This bow was good enough as a compound bow that Parker later on came out with the Blackhawk as a crossbow.




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