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Bear Bow Models, Older Models sorted by Year

This list is mostly for my personal reference, with respect to dating old Bear bows. They are sorted by the years released. If you know of additional old models, and know what years they were released, please post a comment about the model type and what years they were available and I shall update the list. Also if you spot any errors, please feel free to comment and help keep the list accurate.

Grizzly Static Recurve 1949-1957
Kodiak Static Recurve 1950-1953
Kodiak Recurve 1954-1966
Kodiak Special 1955-1967
Polar (recurve) 1957-1970
Grizzly Recurve 1958-1978
Alaskan (leather grip semi-recurve) 1959-1961
Kodiak Magnum 52" 1961-1977
Tamerlane 1962-1968
Bearcat 1964-1971
Tigercat 1964-1978
Tamerlane HC-30 1965-1967
Little Bear 1965-1978
Alaskan (recurve) 1966-1970
Super Magnum 48 1966-1976
Super Kodiak 1967-1976
Kodiak Hunter 58" and 60" 1967-1977
Temujin 1968-1970
Tamerlane HC-300 1968-1972
Tarter 1968-1972
Wood Handle Take-Down 1969-1972
Magnesium Handle Take-Down A-B-C 1971-1978
Victor 1972
Black Bear 1972-1978
Wood C-Riser Victor Custom 1973-1975
Victor Patriot 1973-1977
Polar (compound) 1976-77


Bear Polar Compound Bow circa 1977


Notes regarding dating Bear bows:

#1. Check the Serial Number.

From 1964 and earlier the serial numbers were reset every month, making them very tricky to date.

Bear bows from 1965-1969 are dated with with last digit of the year being the first number of the serial number.

Starting in 1970 the first part of the serial number was a letter. 1970 = K.

#2. Check the Coin Medallion.

Starting in 1959 all Bear bows came with a coin medallion inset in the bow.
  • Copper Coin – 1959
  • Aluminum - 1960-1961
  • Pewter – 1962
  • Brass - 1963 – 1970
  • Nickel-Silver - 1971-1972
Until 1972 all coins were flush with the wood. In Autumn 1972 the coin was raised above the surface of the bow.

#3. Check the Patent Mark.

Many of the early Bear bows had a patent mark on it. eg. CANADA 1953. It doesn't mean the bow was made that year however, merely that it was patented in that year. It does help to narrow down the age however.

#4. Check the Decal.

Prior to 1959 many Bear bows had a decal stamped on the bow.

1948 was a small Running Bear decal.
1953 (Summer/Autumn) to 1955 was the Standing Bear decal, usually with the words "Glass Powered Bow" under the decal.
1956 to 1978, silk screening was used instead.


#5. Check for Wood Laminations

If the wood is all one piece, then it is older than 1949, which is the year Bear started mass production. After 1949 all wooden bows were laminated.

If it is all wood and has "Bear Products" stamped on it, then it is from 1940 to 1945.

If it is all wood and has "Bear Archery" stamped on it, then it from 1946 to 1948.

If is all wood and has the Running Bear decal, then it is definitely from 1948.

#6. Check for a Leather Grip.

All Bear bows made prior to 1959 came with a leather grip.

#7 Check for Gainesville, Florida.

In 1978 Bear moved all manufacturing and offices to Gainesville, Florida. If it has that location stamped on the bow, it was made after 1978.

If it says Grayling, Michigan then it was made prior to 1978.


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