What’s the Best Starter Compound Bow?

So you’re thinking about getting a compound bow.

Hunter or target shooter. Good choice.

I’m going to assume you’re an adult or an older youth aged 13+ because the process of choosing a good youth compound for younger kids is different to choosing your first adult size compound bow.

Compounds are popular with hunters and target shooters for their power and let-off.

There’s a lot of choice out there on the market. Let’s quickly run through our picks before we get into the detail….

Our Picks

The second iteration of the infinite edge is innovative, extremely versatile and adjustable, offers 310 fps, 80% let off and normally comes in a package that is well priced. This bow can be adjusted to suit any beginner from youth to adult. This is our pick for price/performance.

Bear is always a good choice, this one matches the Diamond on nearly all fronts including adjustability and also has a G2 and Lite version which are slightly higher and lower respectively in price than our RTH pick which is going to be the most popular of these 3 Bears.

Best on a budget the SAS Rage is a great bow, whilst it can’t quite match the Bear or the Edge on specs it normally beats them hands down on price. Sorry lefties this is a right hand only model.

Note: Our individual reviews are below, but you can click any of the links above to check current prices on Amazon.

Before you can effectively choose your first compound bow there’s a few things you need to know.

Which handedness of bow you need…

If you don’t already know this, here’s a quick recap.

Which way round do you shoot? Which hand picks up the bow and which draws the string? If you know which is your dominant eye and your dominant hand then use our guide to figure that out.

The hand you’d use to draw back the bowstring IS the handedness of bow. So…

  • Right handed bows are held in the left hand and the string is pulled back in the right hand.
  • Left handed bows are held in the right hand and the string is pulled back with the left hand.

Compound bows are made for either the right hand or the left hand. Some are only made for right handers (sorry lefties), but if you’re a leftie that sometimes will limit your choices, but not too much so don’t sweat it.

Bow Size Specs, ATA, Brace Height and Draw Length

Measure a compound bow from “Axle To Axle” (one cam to the other) and you’ll get the ATA measurement. This is usually specified on bows and lets you know how large they are.

It can help with choosing good case or backpack to suit the bow but other than that, unless you’re shooting long distances regularly (say 60 yards) then a shorter bow will be lighter and will be just as accurate as a longer bow.

Modern compounds have a brace height that’s set by the manufacturer. Brace height is the distance from the bowstring to the back of the bow grip.

The longer the brace height, the less time the string is in contact with the arrow after release and conventional wisdom would have you believe that this makes a bow more forgiving. With today’s fast bows you’d be okay to ignore conventional wisdom and go for any brace height you like. Longer brace heights sometimes make for slower bows but they certainly make for an easier draw cycle.

Finally your draw length is something you can figure out pretty easily using the armspan method, but there are other methods (see our guide). 

Hold your your arms to your side, measure the span from middle finger to middle finger tip and divide it by 2.5. Round-up to the nearest cm or ½ inch and this is your draw length.

A little about IBO speeds and FPS

IBO speed is measured in feet per second (FPS) and is measured using a standard weight of arrow and a standard draw weight and draw length. It doesn’t tell you exactly how fast your bow will shoot, but it DOES give you a relative yardstick you can use to compare different bows.

310 fps for example would be considered a pretty fast bow.

What you can safely use that speed for is dependent on the weight of your arrow and the type of arrow-head you’ll use.

With a 310 fps bow and an arrow equipped with the right broadhead weighing 500 grains you’d be safe to hunt pretty much any game animal on the planet.

Draw Weight and Let-Off Percentage

With a compound bow you get the benefit of lef-off. To draw a 70 lbs compound as you pull back the string through the full cycle, at some point in that draw you will have to pull through 70 lbs of weight.

At full draw however you’ll only be holding back the draw weight minus the let-off percentage.

For example a 70 lbs draw bow with 80% let off will only require you to hold back 14 lbs at full draw whilst aiming

That let-off makes aiming for extended periods much easier with a compound.

Adjustability

The ideal type of starter bow needs is adjustable. Adjustable for BOTH draw weight and draw length.

Fortunately most compounds bows can be easily adjusted, but some more than others.

Starting out you want a light weight on the draw that allows you attain proper form.

As your technique improves you’ll want to increase the weight of your draw because you’re muscles will be able to handle more weight and keep that form.

You’ll also find that as you shoot more and use your tendons and muscles you’ll naturally stretch and find yourself wanting to draw further.

If you happen to be a youth, you’ll also benefit from the ability to adjust draw length and weight as you grow.

RTH Packages and Accessories

Lots of compounds come RTH (ready to hunt) out of the box. That’s going to mean you’ll get a sight, stabilizer, silencers, bow-sling and sometimes other extras alongside the bare bow. This type of package is a good idea for a starter compound as you’ll save money vs purchasing them individually and you’ll be pretty much guaranteed to get piece of kit that you know will work well together.

The Price/Performance Ratio

As with many things, you can pay top dollar if you want to and can afford it. That’s not where our recommendations will lie. Pay 5x the price of a ‘regular’ item, you won’t be guaranteed to get 5x the quality or performance. Too far up the scale and you’re throwing money at things you won’t ever appreciate, we call that the price/performance ratio.

Our starter bow picks sit well in that range of gear that’s not too expensive but provides a good level of performance that a beginner will be more than happy with.

Our Picks In Detail

Diamond Infinite Edge Pro

“versatility and performance and a great price

Diamond Archery Infinite Edge Pro Bow Package

The second generation of the Infinite Edge is something most people will never outshoot. This has been an incredibly popular bow for Diamond and with the level of versatility and performance it shows for a reasonable price point it isn’t hard to see why.

You can adjust the draw weight from 5-70 lbs, the length from 13-31”. This has what some might say is the ‘ideal’ brace height of 7” and sets out the stall at 310 fps on the IBO speed rating front coupled with an 80% let-off.

People rave about the Diamond and they have been doing so for years, it’s been their best selling bow of all time. Checkout our full review here.


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Pros

  • Adjustability and Versatility
  • 3 Color Choices
  • Solid Back Wall
  • Lifetime Warranty

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Cons

  • If anything you could say the grip was a little ‘square’, but aftermarket grips are available if this bothers you.

Bear Cruzer RTH

“bear bows are always a good choice

Bear Archery Cruzer Ready to Hunt Compound Bow Package 70lb RH A5CZ21007R

More than enough to hunt big game and versatile enough to grow with a new archer learning the basics. Bear bows are some of our favorites and the Cruzer offers a wide range of adjustments. 310 fps is the IBO speed you get from a bow that will adjust from 5 to 70 lbs of draw weight and 12-30” of draw length. Couple that with a 75% let-off and the only thing you may be left wondering about is why you’d ever choose the Cruzer G2 or the Cruzer Lite instead of the RTH..

Well if you’re of a smaller frame and don’t need all the power the Lite might suit you better, whilst if you’re a more experienced shooter who wants ALL the performance and weight reduction they can muster the G2 is where you’ll sit. For the beginner though, the RTH fits just fine.

This bow has a smooth draw, a lifetime warranty and this particular version is an RTH package with stabilizer, sling, sight and quiver. Also read our full review and our Bear vs Diamond ‘bow-off’ article.


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Pros

  • Versatil
  • Smooth draw
  • Lifetime warranth
  • L&R Handers
  • 3 Color Choices

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Cons

  • Sloppy back-wall
  • Slightly heavier than the Diamond

SAS Rage

“the affordable alternative

SAS Rage 70 Lbs 30'' Compound Bow

SAS make bows that are affordable and don’t compromise too much on the quality. They’ve got a good range of kit that comes in the lower end of the price spectrum. The Rage isn’t as powerful as the Diamond or the Cruzer, it only gives you 270 fps with 70% let-off and a lower adjustability range, 30-55” on the draw and 55-70 lbs on the weight, it’s also a heavier bow overall.

If you’re looking for something to get started with that offers ‘some’ easy adjustment and don’t want to break the bank, this might be the right choice for you.

A standard deer and turkey hunter or range target shooter would be fine using this bow even though the top end FPS figure can’t match the Diamond or the Edge. Our review.


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Pros

  • Price!
  • Long A2A (35 inches)
  • 3 Color Choices

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Cons

  • Heavy
  • Noisy

If you enjoyed this roundup, please take a second to share it on your favorite social media channel using the sharing tool bar, also if you have any feedback or questions, please leave a comment below!

The post What’s the Best Starter Compound Bow? appeared first on Target Crazy.

Bear Wild Compound Bow Review

Summary 

The Bear Wild is a great bow for an archer looking to hit the hunting woods. Although it doesn’t have top level performance, it would be more than adequate for the typical hunting scenario. What’s more, the Wild comes with Bear’s limited lifetime warranty and Bear’s reputation for making quality bows for the past half century. If you are looking to get your hands on a bow that won’t blow you away, but can stack up arrows in the bull, this bow might warrant a closer look.



8.4/10
Bear quality!

Bear Archery Wild

Intro

The wild places of this world call to some louder than others. While some feel most at home in the canyons our city streets have become, others feel most at home with a view of the stars and the smell of a campfire.

If you feel most at home in the wild lands, and enjoy pursuing the ultimate challenge of bowhunting, you may find the Bear Wild is a good tool to have in hand. This bow’s rugged design makes it ideal for hunters looking to tag out and lay some meat in the freezer without breaking the bank. If you are looking for a bow that can stand up to the conditions of the hunt, the Wild may just fit the bill.

Scores

Riser 4/5
Grip 4.5/5
Cams 4/5
Limbs 4/5
Styling 4.5/5
Shooting 4/5

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Pros

  • Rugged and simple construction
  • Accurate
  • 5 color choices

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Cons

  • IBO Speed
  • Limited draw weight range

Bear Wild Specifications

IBO Speed Rating (fps):

310

Bow Weight (lbs)

4

Brace Height (inches):

7.25

Axle-To-Axle (inches):

32.25

Draw Length Range:

24-31″

Let-Off:

80%

Draw Weight Range:

50-70

Riser Construction Material:

Aluminium

Limb Construction Material:

Composite

Price Range:

Low-Mid

Handedness Availability:

Both Left and Right Hand

Warranty:

Compound Comparison Tables

All the bows we review (and some we haven’t yet) get added to our comparison tables alongside a guide that helps you understand what features and specifications actually mean. They’re a great place to get a quick overview of what’s on the market, and find something that fits with your requirements.​

Videos

Here is the promotional video Bear released in 2016 featuring the Bear Wild.

In-Depth Review


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Riser

The riser of the Bear Wild is about what you’d expect from this mid-level bow. It is machined from a solid piece of aluminum, which makes it strong and fairly light. This feature makes it ideal for someone looking for a rugged bow that isn’t looking for anything special. The riser also includes a single string stop on the belly, which is a good way to quiet the bow down upon the shot.

Finally, the cable slide on this system is the same system Bear has been using for years. While some would scoff at this old system, others would appreciate its track record of dependability.


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Grip

The grip on this bow has been integrated right into the riser itself. This is very common design for Bear bows and makes a slim grip that is comfortable in the hand. Designers also tried to cut the riser in a way that would allow you to address the bow the same way every time. Having a grip that you can grab the same every time is very important for developing good accuracy.


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Cam System

The S7 cam system on the Wild is a smooth drawing single cam system. Single cams bows tend to have less performance than dual cam bows, but also tend to be more accurate (outdoornews.com). Another benefit you may enjoy from the single cam system is the simplicity of the tuning process. While cams on dual cam bows can fall out of time, with a single cam bow you don’t have that issue.

What’s more is the valley on this bow gives comfortable room for the shooter to relax at full draw. A large valley in the draw cycle is appealing to many shooters, but ideal for those who are inexperienced. If you aren’t looking for a speed demon, but rather want a bow that is comfortable to draw and easy to maintain, the Wild might be a good option.


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Draw Length and Draw Weight Adjustment

Like many bows these days the Bear Wild is easy to adjust all by yourself with the help of a few allen wrenches. You can adjust the draw weight within a 10 pound range by simply twisting the limb bolts. This feature is good for folks who have a general sense of what poundage they like to shoot and don’t need a wide range of choice.

In order to adjust the draw length you have to remove a few allen bolts within the cam itself. You’ll need to reference the owner’s manual to see what the module setting needs to be, but it can easily be adjusted from 24”-31” in draw length without the use of a bow press. This is ideal for folks who like to tinker and fine tune their equipment on their own.


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Limbs

The split limbs on this bow are a good set of limbs that can get the job done. They come in 50-60 pound models and 60-70 pound models. Again, this is best for folks who have a general sense of what poundage they like to shoot. Bear also went the extra mile with these limbs by installing the Bear Trap limb pocket. These metal limb pockets are designed to last, once again making this a good bow for rugged use.


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Styling

In the style department the Bear Wild is pretty average. It has standard waffling and branding common on other Bear bows. For the archer that wants to stand out, this bow may still have what you are looking for in terms of color choice. Bear produces the Wild in 5 color choices including RealTree, shadow, olive, sand, and orange. Being able to customize your bow may not affect the function, but might be a nice perk you are looking for.


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Shooting

In terms of shootability the Bear Wild is a great bow for the average archer. Since the bow has a 32.25” axle to axle and a 7.25” brace height, this bow will be more forgiving than some other bows on the market. This feature is beneficial for an archer who doesn’t have that many arrows under their belt. Another nice feature of this bow is the 80% let off. At 80% you should be able to hold this bow for extended periods of time while shooting targets or on a hunt. One strike against this bow is the absence of a truly solid back wall. Solid back walls are generally preferred, but not something an average archer will notice. Although this bow does have a stop, there seems to be some slop while holding at full draw.

“How does it compare?”

Bear Escape

a faster flagship

BEAR ARCHERY Escape Compound Bow, RH 45-60, Realtree Xtra Green (A6ES20006R)

If the Wild doesn’t have quite the performance you are looking for, the Bear Escape might be a better choice for you. The Escape is one of Bear’s flagship models and can zip arrows downrange at 350 feet per second.

This sort of speed not only helps the arrow close the gap quicker, but also allows the bow to shoot extremely flat. Those are two reasons why some hunters prefer to use a fast, and flat shooting, bow.

Bear also went all out with the Escape by installing their hinge cable guard and new limb pockets. If you are looking for Bear’s cutting edge design the Escape is a good choice.

PSE Brute Force

more performance, bow madness cams and more draw weight range

PSE Brute Force Black 70# 25-31' Right hand

Another bow that compares to the Wild is the PSE Brute Force. This middle of the road compound bow outperforms the Wild in terms of speed, sending arrows downrange at 332 fps.

Again, if you are looking to hunt skittish whitetails the extra speed might be the edge you need. Secondly, the PSE is a dual cam bow, and uses the same cams on their flagship Bow Madness lineup. These cams have earned a reputation for being smooth, yet have performance.

If you don’t mind the extra issues a twin cam bow may cause, the Brute cams are a popular option. Finally, this PSE bow offers more range in draw weight and has the ability to adjust within a 20 pound range. The extra range is great for shooters who like to experiment with different setups, or who aren’t as sure about what draw weight they can handle.

Diamond Infinite Edge Pro

extreme versatility

Diamond Archery Infinite Edge Pro Bow Package

Another bow that might be worth a look if you want a super adaptable bow is the Diamond Infinite Edge Pro. The whole Edge series is exceptionally versatile, and the Pro is the most recent release.

This bow’s draw weight can adjust from a chipmunk scaring 5 pounds clear up to an elk hunting 70 pounds. There are lots of shooters who can appreciate the wide range of benefits that versatility offers. In addition to having a range of draw weight, the draw length on this bow can be adjusted from 13”-31”. This is an exceptional advantage for a growing shooter, who would otherwise outgrow a bow in just a year or two.

If you enjoyed this review, please take a second to share it on your favorite social media channel using the sharing tool bar, also if you have any feedback or questions, please leave a comment below!

The post Bear Wild Compound Bow Review appeared first on Target Crazy.

Bear Attitude Compound Bow Review

Summary 

Overall the Bear Attitude is a serviceable hunting and shooting bow. It has all the attributes you need to be competitive in 3-D tournaments or put meat in the freezer. While inexperienced shooters may find this bow a bit touchy, folks who know their way around compound bows shouldn’t have a hard time hitting 10 rings with it. Overall the Attitude is a solid bow, from a great company, for an reasonable price.

Bear Archery Attitude Compound Bow RTH Realtree RH 70lb A4AT11007R

Intro

We all need to have a little attitude once in awhile. Attitude can give us the little chip on our shoulder we need to fight through adversity and confidence to be successful. In 2014 Bear Archery release the Bear Attitude that can provide the same boost to your archery pursuits. The Attitude is a bow capable of hunting and target shooting and one experienced shooters will really enjoy. If you are looking to employ a little attitude in your archery setup, browsing the specs on the Bear Attitude is worth your time.

Scores

Riser 5/5
Grip 4/5
Cams 5/5
Limbs 4.5/5
Styling 4/5
Shooting 4.5/5

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Pros

  • Comfortable to shoot
  • Adequate hunting performance
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty

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Cons

  • Slightly Unforgiving
  • Single Color Options

Bear Attitude Specifications

IBO Speed Rating (fps):

310

Bow Weight (lbs)

3.7

Brace Height (inches):

7.25

Axle-To-Axle (inches):

31

Draw Length Range:

25-32″

Let-Off:

80%

Draw Weight Range:

40-70

Riser Construction Material:

Aluminium

Limb Construction Material:

Composite

Price Range:

Low-Mid

Handedness Availability:

Both Left and Right Hand

Warranty:

Compound Comparison Tables

All the bows we review (and some we haven’t yet) get added to our comparison tables alongside a guide that helps you understand what features and specifications actually mean. They’re a great place to get a quick overview of what’s on the market, and find something that fits with your requirements.​

Videos

Bear shows off the Attitude when it was released in 2014 and gives you a chance to look at some of the features up close.

Watch one Youtuber breakdown his experience with his Bear Attitude.

In-Depth Review


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Riser

The riser of the Bear Attitude is made from machined aluminum, designed with standard cutouts throughout. Aluminum is the most popular riser material out there today due to the fact it is light and durable. At 3.7 pounds, the Attitude is considered a lightweight bow ideal for someone walking into the backcountry. Not only is the Attitude light, but the riser has the accessories you would expect from a bow produced by Bear. Like most bows, you can mount a stabilizer on the bow. Stabilizers can improve balance and reduce noise on the shot. The Attitude also has a nice string suppressor and traditional cable guide. Both of these attributes are standards on many bows that improve the performance of the bow.


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Grip

The grip on this bow is similar to many Bear grips. The slim grip is integrated right into the riser itself. These grips are proven to be comfortable for a wide range of shooters and help the archer repeat their grip time after time. Repeatability in a grip is important because it will help increase an archer’s accuracy. Bear also included a few nameplates on either side of the grip. These nameplates may help shooters feel the grip better, but seem to be more about branding than anything. 


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Cam System

The cam on the Bear Attitude is the EZ3 single cam system. Single cams are ideal for shooters who want a low-maintenance bow. Single cams tend to stay in time better and still offer good performance. The Attitude is no exception, and the 310 fps is testament to that. Although will not win speed contests, this type of speed is more than capable in a hunting situation. The EZ3 cam system also has a comfortable draw cycle and an 80% let off. Having a high let off helps shooters steady the shot and hold the draw longer in hunting situations. It should also be noted the cam system can easily be adjusted from 25-32 inches without the use of a bowpress. This is important for people who like to tinker on their bow in their basement or may still be maturing.


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Draw Length and Draw Weight Adjustment

Like many bows these days the Bear Attitude has the ability to be adjusted easily in your basement. With an allen wrench you can adjust the draw weight with a simple turn of the limb bolts. Again, each set of limbs has a 10 pound range. Similarly the cams can be adjusted from 25” to 32” by loosening allen bolts in the cam and readjusting them. Having this adaptability is a definite bonus for people who want to tinker on their own bow and tune it perfectly to their needs.


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Limbs

The quad composite limbs on the Attitude reflect the current trend in archery today. Quad limbs have proven to be durable yet provide good energy returns to the bow. When looking at the limbs the biggest attribute that stands out is their ability for adjustment. The limbs come in 50, 60, and 70 pound models and can be adjusted as mentioned. Adjustability is always a good attribute, and helps shooters find the right weight for them.


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Styling

This bow comes as Realtree Xtra Green camo riser and black limbs. While there are not many color options, the bow is dipped like Bear flagship bows. Folks who like their bow to maintain a nice finish this would be a good selling point.


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Shooting

The Bear Attitude performs adequately where it counts; in the shootability department. One major point to consider is the relatively short axle to axle measurement. Hunters have been asking for short axle to axle bow that help them hunt in tight situations. The downside is that as the measurement gets shorter, bows tend to become harder to shoot accurately.

Experienced shooters shouldn’t have too much difficulty finding their rhythm with this bow, but first time shooters might not be as successful with it.

Another design feature that helps to balance out the short axle to axle is brace height. A brace height of 7.25 isn’t really high, but it is higher than some. A higher brace height tends to increase accuracy due to the fact the arrow isn’t traveling on the string as long. Combine the two measurements together and average shooters with a little experience might find this bow satisfactory in the shooting department.

“How does it compare?”

Bowtech Carbon Knight

lighter and nicer to hold

Bowtech Carbon Knight 70# RH Mossy Oak Infinity Camo R.A.K.

One bow that offers a different shooting experience is Bowtech’s Carbon Knight. The Carbon Knight name comes from the carbon riser this bow features. Carbon risers have a few advantages over aluminum risers. For one they tend not to weigh as much. This proves true in this comparison and the Knight weighs in at a full half pound lighter than the Attitude. This might not be a huge difference for most shooters, but for those looking to really decrease their overall weight it might be something to look at.

Carbon also doesn’t hold temperature as much as aluminum does. For folks who are hunting in cold weather the carbon riser of the Knight might be a very appealing attribute and help make those cold winter stands bearable. On the downside carbon bows tend to be more expensive than aluminum bows and this proves true in this comparison as well. Read our full review here.

Bear Cruzer

unsurpassed adjustability, similar performance

Bear Archery Cruzer Ready to Hunt Compound Bow Package 70lb RH A5CZ21007R

If you are looking for a bow that offers more adjustability than the Attitude you might take a closer look at the Bear Cruzer. These bows offer unsurpassed adjustability in both draw length and draw weight. In the draw length department the Cruzer adjusts from 12”-30”, making it ideal for someone who is still growing, or just likes to experiment with adjustments. 

When you first look at the draw weight adjustments, you may not believe what your eyes are telling you. That’s because the Cruzer has the ability to adjust from a scant 5 pound draw weight to an elk slaying 70 pounds without changing limbs. It would be hard to say this adjustability would not be beneficial for anyone involved in archery. Although it is easy to classify these bows as youth bows, in reality it performs right up there with the Attitude and shouldn’t be overlooked by mature shooters.

SAS Rage

performance on a budget

SAS Rage 70 Lbs 30'' Compound Bow

If you find the price of the above mentioned bows prohibitive, you might take a look at the SAS Rage compound bow. This is a bargain bow, and for the relatively low price you get an effective bow. Compared to the Bear Attitude the Rage doesn’t have the same performance. It shoots 270 feet per second compared to 310 fps from the attitude.

That being said, the Rage has some strong points as well. For starters, the long 35” axle to axle measurement and 7” brace height make this bow more forgiving. It also has adequate performance, and although it is outperformed by many bows, it can still be an acceptable hunting rig. The bargain price is also something worth considering.

If you enjoyed this review, please take a second to share it on your favorite social media channel using the sharing tool bar, also if you have any feedback or questions, please leave a comment below!

The post Bear Attitude Compound Bow Review appeared first on Target Crazy.

Bear Authority Compound Bow Review

Summary 

All in all the Bear Authority is a great compound bow with everything you would expect from a Bear bow. Although it will not top any performance lists, this bow has a smooth draw and is a good shooter. Add on Bear’s reputation for quality, and a lifetime warranty, and you have yourself quite a package to hit the woods with.

Bear Archery Authority RTH 70lb RH

Intro

Archery, and all shooting sports, seem to be a blue collar addiction. That’s not say that white collar folks don’t enjoy them, but most the folks I see in the woods and at shoots are as blue collar as they come. If you tend to see yourself in that regard, or are looking for those qualities in a bow, the Bear Authority might be a good fit. This bow certainly won’t blow anyone away, but it can show up and get the job done. It has good performance, is a solid shooting bow, and has several nice features hunters and tournament shooters may appreciate.

Scores

Riser 5/5
Grip 4/5
Cams 5/5
Limbs 4.5/5
Styling 4/5
Shooting 4.5/5

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Pros

  • Shootability
  • EZ3 Cam System
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty

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Cons

  • Slightly Unforgiving
  • Limited Color Options

Bear Authority Specifications

IBO Speed Rating (fps):

315

Bow Weight (lbs)

4

Brace Height (inches):

6.75

Axle-To-Axle (inches):

31

Draw Length Range:

24.5-31.5″

Let-Off:

80%

Draw Weight Range:

50,60,70

Riser Construction Material:

Aluminium

Limb Construction Material:

Composite

Price Range:

Low-Mid

Handedness Availability:

Both Left and Right Hand

Warranty:

Compound Comparison Tables

All the bows we review (and some we haven’t yet) get added to our comparison tables alongside a guide that helps you understand what features and specifications actually mean. They’re a great place to get a quick overview of what’s on the market, and find something that fits with your requirements.​

Videos

Here’s the promotional video released by Bear about the Authority.

In-Depth Review


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Riser

Like most bows available today, the riser of this bow is made of an aluminum alloy. Aluminum is light, durable, and can easily withstand the forces being applied to it. This riser has standard waffling cutouts that add to the bows appearance, but also help reduce the overall weight of the bow. Most often the people who appreciate a light bow are hunters who often trek for miles and miles.


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Grip

The grip featured on the Bear Authority is similar to many bows that Bear engineers. Engineers have integrated the slim grip into the riser itself. This feature makes the bow comfortable to draw and hold while shooting. It also has been designed to encourage your hand to grip the bow the same way every time. Repeating your grip is essential for developing accuracy. While the grip is comfortable, it does have the downside of being mostly aluminum. When hunting in cold weather the aluminum riser will hold in the cold. This makes the grip much colder to hold while out on your hunt.


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Cam System

Bear opted to use the EZ3 cam system on this particular bow. These cams were designed with comfort and shootability in mind, rather than speed. You can expect the Authority to have a comfortable draw cycle and break away nicely to its 80% letoff. For people who shoot lots of arrows the ease of the draw can help extend your practice sessions. Finally, one nice feature of this cam system is the ability to adjust the draw length without the use of a bowpress. This feature is not only advantageous for growing archers, but if you like to tweak with your setup, or are new to archery, this feature could be one worth considering.


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Draw Length and Draw Weight Adjustment

To adjust the draw weight of the Bear Authority, all you need is a set of allen wrenches and about 10 minutes. These cams have a rotating module that is secured with a few allen bolts. By undoing the bolts and aligning the module to your owner’s manual you can adjust the draw length from 24.5” to 31.5” in no time.

In addition to the ability to easily adjust the draw length, the draw weight can be adjusted up to 10 pounds by twisting the limb bolts of the bow. Once again, this ability to tinker with your bow in your basement is a nice feature everyone can enjoy.


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Limbs

Engineers at Bear decided to equip this bow with a pair of split parallel limbs. These limbs reflect a current trend in archery today, and have proven to be durable and provide pinpoint accuracy. The major benefit of split limbs is to reduce the overall mass of the bow.


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Styling

In the style department, the Authority comes across as a fairly utilitarian bow. Nothing really makes this bow pop out and grab your attention. It comes in one color option, Realtree camo riser with black limbs, so if you are looking to blow your buddies away with a bow that looks like it should be on the runway, this may not be the bow for you. On the other hand, if you want a bow that can perform, and don’t get to worried about looks, the simple style of this bow could be for you.


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Shooting

The real question to ask when buying any bow is about the shootability. In this department the Bear Authority should meet the expectations of experienced archers. It can reach arrow speeds of up to 315 feet per second. For hunters, this speed is more than adequate to take with you to the woods. As previously mentioned this bow also has a smooth draw due to the EZ3 cams that many people will appreciate. There are a few design features that contribute to this bow’s shootability you’ll want to consider.

First off, the bows 31” ATA is fairly short. Shorter bows tend to be more difficult to shoot because any torque of the bow will have magnified effects. Secondly, the 6.75” brace height is partially responsible for the good speed of the bow, but also can make the bow more difficult to shoot. The reason? Since the arrow travels on the string longer during the shot, there is an increased chance your bow arm will move prior to the arrow release. Both of the measurements don’t make this bow hard to shoot well, but they reveal that this bow may be better suited in the hands of an archer with some experience. That being said, this bow could easily be a first-bow and one that teaches an inexperienced shooter about their mistakes.

“How does it compare?”

Bear Cruzer G2

tremendous versatility, without a bowpress in sight

Bear Archery Cruzer G2 Compound Bow, Camo

Speaking of versatility, if you are looking for a bow that has tremendous versatility, the Bear Cruzer G2 is about as versatile as they come. The G2 is capable of being adjusted from a mere 5 pounds of draw weight, all the way to 70 pounds. What’s more, this is all done without the use of a bowpress. In addition to being able to adjust the draw weight, you can adjust the draw length from 12” to 30” just as easily. That type of versatility is great for young and mature shooters alike. Finally, you won’t give up anything in terms of arrow speed, as the Bear Cruzer G2 hits 315 fps just like the Bear Authority.

PSE Brute Force

flagship quality without flagship price

PSE Brute Force Black 70# 25-31' Right hand

Compared to the Bear Authority the PSE Brute Force (review here) has a few key differences. First off, at 332 fps the arrow speed from the Brute is noticeably faster. If you are hunting skittish whitetails or hogs, this might tip the odds in your favor.

Also, if you are looking for a dual cam bow, this PSE bow has you covered. In fact the cams on the PSE are regarded as some of the finest shooting cams out there. Finally, the PSE Brute Force also comes in 50,60,and 70 pound models, but offers a 20 pound max weight range. That means that a 50 pound bow could be let off to only 30 pounds, and the 70 pound model could drop to 50 pounds. If that sort of versatility is appealing to you, the Brute Force may be worth a closer look.

SAS Rage

performance on a budget

SAS Rage 70 Lbs 30'' Compound Bow

If you are looking for a bow that has some performance, but falls into the category of “budget bow”, you might take a look at the SAS Rage. Compared to the Authority, the Rage has a few noticeable strikes against it. For one, the arrow speed is only 270 fps. While this is still fast enough to hunt with, the slower speed will make hunting more difficult. Secondly, this bow only comes in right handed models and has a limited 3 year warranty. That being said, the SAS Rage could still be a steal for the right shooter. It has a long axle to axle measurement and a higher brace height. These two measurements make this bow more forgiving to shoot. Secondly, although it is heavier, that may be a benefit as heavier bows tend to be quieter than light bows. Read our review here.

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The post Bear Authority Compound Bow Review appeared first on Target Crazy.

Bear Escape Compound Bow Review

Summary 

If you are looking to get your hands on a true flagship bow, the Bear Escape is worth a look. Not only does it have the top end speed and accuracy you would expect from a top bow, but it has the style to match. Experienced shooters should find this bow a pleasure to shoot and plenty quiet as well.



9.8/10

A true flagship!

BEAR ARCHERY Escape Compound Bow, RH 45-60, Realtree Xtra Green (A6ES20006R)

Intro

One of the more enjoyable aspects of archery is the escape it provides. Archery offers us the escape from the worries of life, and the hustle and bustle it can become. In 2016 Bear released a flagship bow that might help you enjoy your escape on the range. The Bear Escape is a top of the line bow that boasts some serious performance. This bow is well suited for anyone who is looking to see just how far they can push their skills.

Scores

Riser 5/5
Grip 5/5
Cams 5/5
Limbs 5/5
Styling 5/5
Shooting 4.5/5

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Pros

  • Speed
  • Styling
  • Versatility

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Cons

  • Short axle to axle
  • Short brace height

Bear Escape Specifications

IBO Speed Rating (fps):

350

Bow Weight (lbs)

4

Brace Height (inches):

6

Axle-To-Axle (inches):

32

Draw Length Range:

25.5-30″

Let-Off:

75%

Draw Weight Range:

45-70

Riser Construction Material:

Aluminium

Limb Construction Material:

Composite

Price Range:

High

Handedness Availability:

Both Left and Right Hand

Warranty:

Compound Comparison Tables

All the bows we review (and some we haven’t yet) get added to our comparison tables alongside a guide that helps you understand what features and specifications actually mean. They’re a great place to get a quick overview of what’s on the market, and find something that fits with your requirements.​

Videos

Here’s the promotional video released by Bear about the Escape.

In-Depth Review


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Riser

This machined aluminum riser of the Bear Escape is a quality riser, and has a few features worth discussing. First off, the riser has been tapped so it is capable of accepting any accessory you want. This is a nice feature and will allow you to get your stabilizers, quivers, and sights on without a problem. Secondly, the riser sports a few string stoppers on the belly of the bow. These string stoppers are located at the top and bottom of the bow, and really contribute to the quietness of the shot. Finally, the Bear Escape comes with a unique cable guard called the Bear Hinge Guard. This system has been designed to reduce the lateral torque on the bow, which would help increase the overall accuracy of the bow.


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Grip

The grip on the Bear Escape is a point where the engineers made a point to make this bow different. Like many other bows in the Bear lineup, this bow offers an integrated grip right on the riser. Unlike their other bows though, the Escape comes with a rubber grip you can add if you are looking for a different feel. This versatility is great and should help make the bow the most comfortable in your hand.


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Cam System

Engineers at Bear opted to affix their H15 cam system to the Escape. This dual cam system is mostly responsible for the blazing 350 fps arrow speeds the bow is capable of. Fast bows appeal to many shooters for a variety of reasons. Not only will fast arrow will close the distance between a hunter and their quarry quicker, but they shoot flatter as well which makes aiming easier. Like the grip of the bow, the cams of the Escape offer some adjustability. Not only can you adjust the draw length by easily rotating the modules, but you can adjust between a cable stop and a limb stop. The adjustment allows you to choose between a softer back wall as a cable stop, and a harder back wall with the limb stop, making it great for fine tuning.


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Draw Length and Draw Weight Adjustment

Like many bows on the market, the draw weight can be adjusted by twisting the limb bolts of the bow. Unlike other bows though, the Escape offers 15 pound weight adjustments. This gives the Escape more range than most other bows, which will appeal to shooters who are looking for that range. The draw length can also be easily adjusted by rotating the modules on the cams. This chore can be taken care of without a bowpress, which can help you tinker on the bow in your own shop.


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Limbs

These split limbs have a few nice touches that were new to Bear bows when they were released. For one, Bear redesigned the limb pockets on the bow. This not only was supposed to increase the accuracy of the bow, but changed up the style as well. Secondly, Bear installed a few dampeners on the limbs that contribute to the quiet nature of the bow. This would be helpful for hunters in the field.


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Styling

The Bear Escape is a good looking bow that certainly does have some style. The style on this bow begins with the waffling design the bow uses. Although waffling is certainly par for the course these days, Bear gave this bow some longer cutouts, that really give this bow a unique look overall. If you are the type that likes to have your bow standout at a shoot, this might be a good option for you. Secondly, the Escape comes in 4 color options including RealTree, olive, sand, and shadow. The olive and sand are unique and could provide you with a one of a kind bow. In terms of branding this bow has a little more branding than other Bear bows, but still not over the top. It has the Bear logo on each limb, on the riser, and on the grip. It also has a small “B” on the limb pockets, something other Bear bows don’t include. All told, if you are looking for a unique Bear bow, the Escape is a good choice.


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Shooting

How does the Bear Escape perform where it counts? Well, in the shootability department, this bow certainly excels for several reasons. This bow has really earned its reputation for being a quiet shooter. Quiet bows are a must for folks looking to hit the woods and do some hunting. Not only is it quiet, but the Escape is also an accurate bow as well for an experienced shooter. The 32” axle to axle and 6” brace height both make this a touchy shooter. If you are an experienced archer, who has a clean release and good follow through, the Escape likely won’t give you any troubles.

“How does it compare?”

Bowtech Carbon Knight

an alternative, lighter flagship

Bowtech Carbon Knight 70# RH Mossy Oak Infinity Camo R.A.K.

If you don’t think the Bear Escape is quite right for you, you may consider looking at another flagship bow; the Bowtech Carbon Knight. This carbon riser bow is a dandy as well. The carbon riser not only makes this bow awful light (3.2 pounds), it also also makes the bow much easier to handle in cold weather.

In terms of shootability this bow is comparable to the Escape. It is an inch shorter in the axle to axle measurement, but an in longer in the brace height measurement. These measurements also make the Knight a good bow for the experienced archer. Finally, you will take a bit of a speed reduction if you choose the Knight over the Escape. The Knight still zips plenty fast through the chronograph at 335 feet per second.

PSE Brute Force

flagship quality without flagship price

PSE Brute Force Black 70# 25-31' Right hand

If you are looking for flagship quality, but can’t afford flagship price, you might consider taking a look at the PSE Brute Force (our review is here). This popular bow from PSE is a good shooting bow and is more versatile than the Bear Escape in draw weight.

The Brute comes with #50, #60, or #70 limbs, and these limbs have a 20 pound weight range. That would be ideal for someone who is either new to shooting, or coming off an injury. Another ideal aspect of the Brute Force is the cams. The cams are the same exact cams that are used on the ultra popular PSE Bow Madness lineup.

These cams have earned a reputation as being fast, but still very smooth to draw. On the downside, the Brute does clock in at 330 feet per second, which is 20 fps slower than the Escape.

Diamond Infinite Edge Pro

extremely versatile and adjustable

Diamond by Bowtech Infinite Edge RH 5-70# 13-30' Mossy Oak Pink Camo with Package

If you are looking for a totally different shooting experience you may consider taking a look at the Diamond Infinite Edge Pro (our review is here). The Edge Pro is not only designed to meet the needs of mature shooters, but also is a perfect bow for the up and coming archer. Several factors contribute to this reputation. First, this bow has a draw weight range from 5 to 70 pounds. This incredible range is ideal for a youngster who is looking to grow with a bow.

On the plus side, it also packs more than enough punch for a serious bowhunter. Not only does the draw weight adjust easily, but the draw length adjusts from 13” to 31”. This not only gives the bow much more range on the bottom end, but it also adds an extra inch of draw length for long armed shooters. Although this bow is a solid investment, it can’t stack up against the Escape in terms of arrow speed or accuracy.

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The post Bear Escape Compound Bow Review appeared first on Target Crazy.