* Alternate loadouts are rangefinders in the head (because you're a spotter first, not a damage sponge), and support weapons to add to your melee mayhem. Keep JJ if possible, they are great for DFA and getting behind mechs to fire on their backs and then melee if your lance is keep pressure up front.
* It's a great training mech for late game spotter/damage sponge/melee brawler + indirect fire support lances. Also, because it's a brawler and good SRM boat, it also makes a good training rig for Guts/Tactics mechwarriors who will be VERY important in late game when you need the initiative boost and bulwark will effectively double the armor on your assault mechs! This means the Shadow Hawk doesn't multi-target and this build doesn't suffer from it.
** Because it's a walking target, don't assign your main character to this mech otherwise the AI will really single it out.