Traditional Archery Discussions on the Leatherwall


Bear..quality

Messages posted to thread:
sheepdogreno 13-Aug-19
2 bears 13-Aug-19
grizz 13-Aug-19
Dale Rohrbeck 13-Aug-19
Thumper 13-Aug-19
sheepdogreno 13-Aug-19
Bushytail 14-Aug-19
Brad Young 14-Aug-19
Brad Lehmann 14-Aug-19
Nemophilist 14-Aug-19
TGbow 14-Aug-19
BigJim 14-Aug-19
Bassman 14-Aug-19
George D. Stout 14-Aug-19
NY Yankee 14-Aug-19
Supernaut 14-Aug-19
2 bears 14-Aug-19
barebo2 14-Aug-19
allegheny 14-Aug-19
sake3 14-Aug-19
Daven 14-Aug-19
Tom McCool 14-Aug-19
stykshooter 14-Aug-19
babysaph 14-Aug-19
deerfly 14-Aug-19
rusty 14-Aug-19
David Mitchell 14-Aug-19
4nolz@work 14-Aug-19
Elderly OCR 14-Aug-19
Dad 14-Aug-19
Riverwolf 14-Aug-19
rusty 14-Aug-19
Dale Rohrbeck 14-Aug-19
sheepdogreno 14-Aug-19
BigJim 15-Aug-19
4nolz@work 15-Aug-19
Carcajou 15-Aug-19
Bud B. 15-Aug-19
KyPhil 15-Aug-19
2 bears 15-Aug-19
BigJim 15-Aug-19
Orion 15-Aug-19
Ghostman 16-Aug-19
Nemophilist 16-Aug-19
HUMPY 16-Aug-19
2 bears 16-Aug-19
camodave 16-Aug-19
RobInOnt 16-Aug-19
swampwalker 16-Aug-19
fdp 16-Aug-19
sheepdogreno 16-Aug-19
From: sheepdogreno
Date: 13-Aug-19

sheepdogreno's embedded Photo



I received a new bear super Kodiak today from 3R...first off fast shipping I got it in a couple days. Secondly...this bow is near flawless! Gorgeous woods and all the lines are perfect. Small fast tips! String was a surprise it was great not the typical bear string. There are some light light lines in the black glass but I’m not sure none is possible nowadays..smooth to shoot and a rocket!!! Grip is absolutely fantastic!!! Don’t give up on Gainesville bear everyone! They make a fine bow!!!

From: 2 bears
Date: 13-Aug-19




Glad you got a good one. I have seen many that were not. Seems like all the older Bears have stress cracks. I have a Kodiak for a lamp (busted limb) The worst one, a Kodiak Deluxe had a place where the planer had dug in near the end of the riser. Another pass would have cleaned it up but it had a high gloss finish on the tear out. I wish they had a quality control person to just look at them after each operation. At least before and after finishing. I would not buy a Bear without looking it over first. >>>>----> Ken

From: grizz
Date: 13-Aug-19




I've never gotten one that wasn't a great bow.

From: Dale Rohrbeck
Date: 13-Aug-19




They are doing good things down in Gainesville, just like they used to up in Grayling. It almost seems fashionable to beat up on Bear Archery. Darron, I too think they build a fine bow, and if there ever is a problem, I have always heard good things about their customer service. Enjoy your new Super K.

From: Thumper Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 13-Aug-19




You seem surprised that you got one in good shape?

From: sheepdogreno
Date: 13-Aug-19




No thumper in the last several years I’ve bought more than one new bear with no issues other than a busted takedown limb which bear handled immediately. I posted this almost as a stab at those who think new bears are junk...they aren’t even close to junk . Everyone wants to bash Gainesville bear but has no experience

From: Bushytail Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 14-Aug-19




I had a few newer style Super Kodiaks. And some other models. The only problem I had was the Bear medallion came off of a Montana & a Super Kodiak. And the quiver inserts pulled out on 2 differant Super Kodiaks. Other than that I had no problems with them and enjoyed shooting them.

From: Brad Young
Date: 14-Aug-19




I just picked up a newer custom Kodiak takedown on TG. B riser with Bubinga and Phenolic. This one also has the compass which I really like.All I can say is I got a beauty and it seems very fast and shoots where I look. Have way too many bows but this one performs with the best.Now I know why this bow has been so popular and will continue to be.

From: Brad Lehmann
Date: 14-Aug-19




They are pretty. I've heard so many horror stories about the finiish crazing on the limbs that I'm afraid to buy one. I don't mind refinishing a sixty year old bow, but would have a problem with doing a new one.

From: Nemophilist
Date: 14-Aug-19




With the volume of bows Bear Archery makes I'm sure a few with defects are going to get by quality control. I have fifteen Bear bows made from 1969 to 2017 and haven't had a problem with any of them. When ever I called Bear Archery about anything I always got great service be it to buy something or just to ask a question. And if there is a problem and Bear Archery takes care of the problem what else can you ask for.

From: TGbow
Date: 14-Aug-19




The new Bears seem to be nice from what I've seen. Lord willing I will be hunting with a mid 70s model Grizzly this year.

From: BigJim Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 14-Aug-19
BigJim is a Stickbow.com Sponsor - Website




You know... it doesn't matter who you deal with, things happen! I sell a lot of their bows, including one year were I sold as many of their trad bows as anyone in the country...maybe more.

The one thing is constant and that is their great customer service. Also when issues arise, they dive in to find out what the problem is and work to make corrections. Sometimes fixing issues isn't a quick process. First one has to figure out the issue, then to find a suitable solution.

BigJim

From: Bassman Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member
Date: 14-Aug-19




Bear ,and Martin haven,t been around for as long as they have making sub par products.I like vintage bows, and their prices better than new ones.Many guys like to buy new, and that is fine.Yes, their is going to be some bows that come from the factory with flaws.That happens, but as Nemo says if they back the product it,s all good. Bringing old bows back from the dead,and giving them new life is one of the most satisfying things for me to do no matter the make.Bear has been ,and will continue to be a monster in the world of bows including compounds, and crossbows.

From: George D. Stout Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 14-Aug-19




Grayling bows were know for crazing and stress lines...it's not a new thing. You can nitpick anything if you look hard enough. Overall Bear is doing a great job and getting better each year. The whiners will always whine about two bows out of a hundred that had issues. I would say that's on par with the way it used to be.

From: NY Yankee
Date: 14-Aug-19




I'm sure the OP was surprised because on the Leatherwall, all you read about is how so-and-so got a "bad" one and Bear is dragging their feet etc, etc. You never see posts of the good ones like today.

From: Supernaut
Date: 14-Aug-19




sheepdogreno, Thanks for your post about your satisfaction with your new Bear bow. It's refreshing to see someone actually give accolades and credit where credit is due. I hope you enjoy it for many years to come!

From: 2 bears
Date: 14-Aug-19




Big Jim I would be very interested to hear which do you have the most complaints or come backs. The bows you build or Bear's since you sell a lot of both. Thanks ken

From: barebo2
Date: 14-Aug-19




A few years ago, I bought a green glass Super Kodiak from the big auction site and was the second owner. It was flawless except for one pin head sized white fleck in the glass. The glue lines and all transitions were perfect. It was 64"- 50# I sold it and the new owner loves it. I'm back to a 1965 Kodiak that is 60" and 45# and it's all good.

You'd think that craftsman (Bowyers) take pride in their work and want to produce quality pieces. I believe that is the philosophy Bear is practicing currently.

From: allegheny
Date: 14-Aug-19




I just bought a new phenolic and Bubinga B riser. It's beautiful and shoots awesome. A lot of the reason I bought it was because of all the good stories about Bear service when/if there is a problem. Some of these cases were bows that were purchased used and/or well past the factory warranty.

From: sake3
Date: 14-Aug-19




The Bear Sonoma is inexpensive ,shoots well and looks pretty good.It ain't perfect,but for some of us no diamond is perfect.

From: Daven
Date: 14-Aug-19




Made in the USA, still.

From: Tom McCool
Date: 14-Aug-19




My newest Bear bow is 2013; perfect finish then and now.

From: stykshooter Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member
Date: 14-Aug-19




"I've never gotten one that wasn't a great bow." Ditto

and I currently have six of the T/D's and three '59's. All made within the past 5-6 years.

From: babysaph Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member
Date: 14-Aug-19




I agree George. I had people complain about dental restorations that came out after 30 years. General Motors only warranties a 60K Cadillac for 12 months. LOL

From: deerfly
Date: 14-Aug-19




I bought a 59 reproduction new last Oct. Bow is flawless and shoots great.

From: rusty
Date: 14-Aug-19

rusty's embedded Photo



pictures of new 59 kodiak i reciently recieved

From: David Mitchell
Date: 14-Aug-19




2bears, you seem to love to bash Bear every time a thread comes up about Bear. I have owned any number of custom recurves from many well known makers. The only ones on my rack now are Bears and I could not be happier with them. Beautiful and excellent performers. It appears that I am not alone in my appreciation for the Bear Archery company. They have an excellent reputation for customer service for those who may need an issues resolved.

And Rusty, I could show you some bad pics of some expensive customs, but I would not in any way want to drag the names of fine bow makers through the mud to do so. I have had excellent customer service from the many builders I have dealt with in my 35 years of buying custom and manufactured bows.

And you forgot to mention what you posted on another forum...."well my new 59 kodiak showed up today, i would say rather fast service , the new bow looks great , just one thing bear forgot to include a string with it, i called them , they are sending me one". I am glad Bear took care of you. I expected no less when you first made known your problem.

From: 4nolz@work
Date: 14-Aug-19




Dang Rusty that's inexcusable

From: Elderly OCR
Date: 14-Aug-19




Did they send a litle bottle of loctite with it?

From: Dad
Date: 14-Aug-19




I just bought a Super Kodiak on 8-10-19. The workmanship is Great and the bow is smooth. Its a Gainsville bow and I very happy with it. Any manufacture can have fail, Bear take care of it. I would have no problem buying another or recommending them to others.

From: Riverwolf
Date: 14-Aug-19

Riverwolf's embedded Photo



Old or New ....Love them all ;^)

From: rusty
Date: 14-Aug-19




david, i didn't forget to mention anything , i posted a couple pictures of a new bow i got, i could of mentioned i got a new bow in a month but that wouldn't have changed the photos , i also could have mentioned that it came with no string and that the feather rest fell apart in a few days. i didn't bash bear archery , i merely showed what i recieved,, and as far as getting a replacement bow in a month i think that was the least they could have done, since they had my money the whole time i was without a bow

From: Dale Rohrbeck
Date: 14-Aug-19




Rusty, glad you got that bow replaced. Do you think your bow could have been damaged during shipping? From the picture, it looks like that bow was used as a pry bar. Just wondering.

From: sheepdogreno
Date: 14-Aug-19




I didn’t mean to start a harsh discussion about bear. I just wanted to share my pleasure with the company. I’ve owned several new and old bears and have always been very pleased. I had an issue one time with a new bear limb and bear went above and beyond for me and the experience was very pleasant. My bow was the 182nd super k bow as of May when it was built. And if you search hard enough you may find a post of two about someone who was not happy that’s the thing with internet and social media today it’s so easy to broadcast displeasure but not always do we see positive stuff. Bear has a rich history and I was happy to spend my hard earned money on one of their bows and so far I couldn’t be more happy!

From: BigJim Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 15-Aug-19
BigJim is a Stickbow.com Sponsor - Website




2Bears, with as many Bears as I sell, I find a few issues or hear from the ocasional customer. Unfortunately, the vast majority it seems still don't know enough about Traditional to properlly treat their bows. I'm amazed at how many guys are still shooting arrows that can cause dammage to their bows (too light). When you point it out, they get defensive... " It never hurt my "**" bow" or whatever.

I suspect that is where a lot of damage comes from on the Bear bows.. new age with lighter carbon arrows. They don't know how to weight them up. Had a customer call to complain that the string pullued down through the limb at the tip on a 80 lb bow I just built for him. Come to find out that he new nothing of minimum arrow weight even though it was written right on the warranty sheet enclosed in the box. He had apparently been shooting about 5.7 gpp out of it for a couple months. Or the guy that ordered a 60 lb bow from me to return for refund because there were 5 or 6 things wrong with it and he couldn't belive I would send out something like that! My 2 very experienced shop guys and everyone in the office examined that bow and couldn't find a thing wrong with it.. I expect he couldn't draw it.

However, we make regular mistakes but mostly they are caught immediately. They are more due to confusion as we get constant changes... texts, messages, emails, phone calls. It can be imposible to keep up with and that is with all aspects of our archery business. I will say that the public gives us more curtosy than they do Bear... at least when speaking with us directly.

Having said that, we still have to deal with exceptionally rude people... at least the girls/guy in the office do. They never seem to be so vile when I have to diffuse the issue. You would be surprised how many people order custom fletched arrows to be built and shipped on Tuesday and want them by Friday because they are competing in this big tournament that was scheduled a year in advance! Or how we glued the carbon nocks on wrong! .. "ah Sir, there not glued in... you can twist them how you like."

And then I get.. on rare occasion "just build it the way you would for yourself. I've never seen a bow of yours I didn't like"

Only to get " it's a beautiful bow, but I wish you had used (insert anything here)"

Have to say that my candle is getting short, BIgJim

From: 4nolz@work
Date: 15-Aug-19




rusty's picture looks like a bandsaw cut not a crack

From: Carcajou
Date: 15-Aug-19




Big Jim, SPOT ON. Thanks for the Analogy.

From: Bud B.
Date: 15-Aug-19

Bud B.'s embedded Photo



I recently sent back to Gainesville my A handle LES I got from Big Jim. It took about three weeks but they resolved the issue.

I recently restored an old A Mag riser. In the process of disassembling the latches a screw wrung off one latch. I wrote Bear via Facebook messenger. They sent me two replacement screws without hesitation. No charge. I have zero issues with Bear Archery today, or from the past. The restore went great!

From: KyPhil
Date: 15-Aug-19




Thats a nice paint job Bud.

From: 2 bears
Date: 15-Aug-19




I love it when folks use my name or handle. I feel free to respond in kind. David I don't love to bash Bear Bows. I have four and shoot them regular. I just wish Bear would at least get someone to look at them before finish is applied and again before shipping. Big Jim you might follow along here too. The planner gouge out of a deluxe riser with a high gloss finish over it is not a misuse problem. I am looking at a 59 reproduction now. How old a bow is that? The glue lines are deplorable. From hard to detect near the fade out to near a 1/32 wide in the re- curves. Guess what it has a delamination in the re- curve. Was the owner using shafts to light? I don't know but I can see the glue lines just like I could see the snipe in the deluxe riser. Snipe is the woodworkers term for a planner grabbing and tearing out a chunk near the end of a board. It happens. You cut that section off the board or run the riser through again. At the least spend a few minutes on a sander or don't ship it. See the picture above of a new 59. Because some like or insist on quality the name callers refer to them as whiners or bashers.

Sorry Big Jim that was a tough question. I fully understand the problems and & complaints dealing with the public. In carefully reading your honest response. I believe you infer more complaints from Bear bows than yours. You do build beautiful bows. I am shooting a Thunderchild now. I don't believe any of the name callers have seen where I bashed a Big Jim bow.

Not only is my view of quality different from others so is my view of customer service. When something is shown to them that could cause injury if not corrected ( spots of dry glue joints & excessively wide glue joints) even though a bow is out of warranty. There is a problem in the press at glue up. They blew me off because I had a broken bow out of warranty. They still don't seem to have done anything to correct the problems. I want American Bowyers to do well.I want them to be competitive. This new 59 Bear can't hold its own with a Mandarin Duck Black hunter purchased for $109. The hunter has better glue lines and is super quiet. Now I only have one and perhaps it is just an exception. The shelf is radius-ed as is the site window. The shelf is chamfered/relieved for fletch clearance. The Bear, both are flat. One simple machine cut to make both.

I doubt one in 10 have read this far. It is far easier to just call names. I will continue to try to get them to improve. This should not be. They could hire a Vet to look at the bows. Things happen but they should not ship and then berate some one for pointing it out. I have much more but this is getting longer than most folks will read. Take care. >>>>-----> Ken

From: BigJim Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 15-Aug-19
BigJim is a Stickbow.com Sponsor - Website




4nolz, definately a crack. Bear doesn't use a bandsaw anywhere near that location... plus if you look close, the crack extends in to the purple heart.

BigJim

From: Orion Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 15-Aug-19




Regarding quiver inserts that pull out. I've seen this on a lot of bows, and it's usually caused by operator error.

If the inserts are mounted below the surface of the riser, tightening the screws very tightly will pull the inserts out.

That shouldn't happen if the inserts are installed flush or proud of the riser, but it still can if bolts/screws that are too long are used. They bottom out and push the insert out of the riser.

Maybe that's why Black Widow installs quiver inserts that are both flanged and closed on the end. It addresses both of the above issues.

From: Ghostman
Date: 16-Aug-19




My 1st recurve bow 50 years ago was a Bear. Since then I've owned close to 75 recurves and longbows, 98% being customs. In those 50 years I've only owned 1 additional Bear recurve which was given to me. The fascination or allure of the Bear brand never hit me.

IMO the quality and performance doesn't justify the cost, especially for a production bow. To each their own but if I'm going to spend $900 for a TD recurve you can bet it wont have the Bear name on it.

From: Nemophilist
Date: 16-Aug-19




Orion X2.

From: HUMPY
Date: 16-Aug-19




IMO the quality and performance doesn't justify the cost, especially for a production bow. To each their own but if I'm going to spend $900 for a TD recurve you can bet it wont have the Bear name on it. I agree also !

From: 2 bears
Date: 16-Aug-19




Yes it is a crack & there have been too many of them as well as the dreaded stress cracks in most of the older Bear bows and even some newer ones. I could post a library of pictures of stress cracks. It was not my intention of bashing Bear bows regardless of what some think. I pointed out something then took exception to the name calling. My email account posted 20 some odd messages with Bear just on the last exchange before they blocked me. They refer to it as" Bear Care " yeah right. Yes I did take it up with Bear first. No ill will, no name calling, kept it polite. You just can't suggest to some folks in high positions they have a problem.Oh well so it goes. Have a nice day. >>>>-----> Ken

From: camodave
Date: 16-Aug-19




59 Kodiaks were made 60 years ago.

The new Kodiak, patterned after both the 59 and 60 bows (1959 Kodiaks had micarta tips and overlays), is simply that, a Kodiak from whatever year it was produced.

From: RobInOnt
Date: 16-Aug-19




Bought a new ‘59 kodiak 3 years ago, it began to craze as soon as I started using it. Bear replaced it, but the replacement also crazed up. I didn’t try another return. Still have the replacement. Shoots great, looks like doo-doo. Won’t really affect me till I try to sell it I guess. I do love Bear bows. I have 6 of them. The 59er and a Patriot are the only Gainesville bows.

From: swampwalker
Date: 16-Aug-19




2 bears, I appreciate your honesty. Sometimes I think some fellows think Ole Fred can hear and nod solemnly with every defense. Wrong! He'd roll over in his grave wondering what's happened with his beloved company. It's sad really. Have a pair of '62 Kodiaks that are in my top 5-6 favorite shooters. They're beautiful. Not the same company. You're just fooling yourselves.

From: fdp
Date: 16-Aug-19




Looks like the Purpleheart had a pinky spot inside the grain. You would never seen it unless you were to cut across the grain at that particular spot. I look at lots of bows, and the new Bears I have seen are as nice as any.

From: sheepdogreno
Date: 16-Aug-19




I don’t get the $900 argument...I’ve owned several customs valued 600-$1200 and I can’t say because they were “custom” they shot better than a bear production bow...if you think so then that’s just your justification for spending so much money. It’s a hard pill to swallow that something that cost half as much can perform just as well as a high dollar custom.





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