By Jace Bauserman
Excellence breeds excellence. It’s an undeniable fact, and Bear Archery is proof of it. Bear Archery is a company on fire. With an ongoing focus on building quality bows, Bear is satisfying the needs of bowhunters.
A true stunner, the 2011 Bear Carnage was coveted by bowhunters. The Carnage was the complete bowhunting package—balanced, accurate, fast and quiet. Its innovative 4x4 Roller Guard greatly reduced cable friction, giving the bow a particularly smooth draw, and its distinctive Dual Arc Offset String Suppressors were anything but run of the mill.
Bear's 2012 bow line is nothing short of spectacular. For years, Bear has produced bows for every archer at every price range without compromising performance, and this year is no different. The company is introducing six new bows with one very important thing in common—they all boast incredible technology.
Bear’s 2012 flagship bow is the Anarchy. The Anarchy’s 35.25-inch axle-to-axle length coupled with its 7.25-inch brace height makes the bow accurate and ultra-forgiving. And the Anarchy ushers in a number of other advantages as well. The 2012 Bear Anarchy is simply expectional.
The Flat Top
While “Flat Top” sounds like a military haircut, in this case it’s a high-tech cam. Airy and light, the Flat Top Cam is a heater. It's amazing that with only a Skeleton Idler Wheel and the single Flat Top Cam, the Anarchy can produce such sizzling speed. This is just another shining example of Bear's relentless pursuit of excellence.
A breed unto itself, the Flat Top Cam provides an ultra-smooth draw and a solid, reassuring back wall. In addition, the cam is very light and eliminates nock travel. This “zero” nock travel was evident from the first arrow I popped through the paper-tuner to the hundreds of others shot on the range. Like the Skeleton Cam, the Flat Top sports a Tungsten weight to increase cam recovery and arrow speed.
Also impressive was how quiet the Flat Top Cam was throughout the draw cycle and at the shot. Deer won’t be ducking an arrow powered by the Anarchy. And it's conveniently adjustable for draw lengths from 25 inches all the way up to 31.5 inches without affecting peak draw weight. Adjustments are easily made by changing the draw-length module on the lower cam. No bow press is required. All you need to do is move the square draw-stop peg on the cam to a setting that corresponds with the size of the new module.
How is it possible that a bow this long weighs so little? At a feather-light 3.8 pounds, the Anarchy takes on the weight rating of significantly shorter axle-to-axle bows. Typically, a longer riser means more balance and stability, but it also means increased weight. With the Anarchy you can have your cake and eat it too. The Anarchy's riser is as balanced as they come.
It’s also very light. Because of this double whammy, the Anarchy is the perfect bow for the treestand or for spot-and-stalk adventures.
Completely astonishing is how unwavering the riser felt at full draw. Mass weight has been moved out toward the two ends of this aircraft-grade aluminum riser, creating an ultra-stable shooting platform. It's almost like the Anarchy's riser has a mind of its own. It doesn't want to tip. It just wants to stay glued to the target.
Bowhunters loved the One-Piece Slim Grip, but Bear wanted to give bowhunters something new to marvel over. The all-new Bear Over-Molded Grip and Side Panel Grip mark a significant leap forward in grip design, and I can truly say the grips offer the best of all worlds. The Over-Molded Grip feels perfect in the hand. It is thin and perfectly angled, and it really supports the palm-swell area. But wait—there's more. The Over-Molded Grip can be removed by simply taking out four screws with an Allen wrench. Underneath is the Side Panel Grip. Featuring two Bear-branded side plates, this grip sports an ultra-thin circumference and flat-out feels great in the hand.
So Crisp, So Quiet
The effectiveness of the 4x4 Roller Guard is undeniable. Housed inside the ultra-trim cable guard are eight sealed ball bearings, which harness cable-system friction and deliver a particularly smooth draw. Couple this innovative roller guard with the all-new Flat Top Cam, and you get a draw that brings a smile to your face.
Like the popular Bear Attack and Carnage, the 2012 Anarchy boasts Bear's racy, space-age Dual Arc Offset String Suppressors. The suppressors get a facelift for 2012, sporting a smaller circumference and featuring a rubber-dampening boot leading into the riser. Curving toward the bowstring from the upper and lower areas of the riser, the Dual Arc Offset String Suppressors hush residual bowstring oscillation and vibration. In addition, the system ensures arrows leave the bow in a crisp, clean manner. Since arrows leave the bow with such precision, they recover faster in flight, increasing overall accuracy. This was evident throughout my testing. The Bear Anarchy is a nail-driver.
Power in the Limbs
Watching the Hooter Shooter draw the Anarchy back was something of a marvel. I felt like I could see the energy and power building in the Max Pre-Load Quad Limbs. Sweeping back with precision and stealth, the Max Pre-Load Quad Limbs are ready to deliver at the squeeze of the trigger.
Drawn beyond the parallel position, these innovative limbs control shot noise and vibration with ease. At the shot, the top limb on the Anarchy rebounds upward while the bottom limb rebounds downward, eliminating noise and vibration.
Bowhunters often overlook limb-pocket design, but it’s pivotal to a bow’s overall performance. Think of bicycle. You hear about the gears, frame, crank arm, chain and the shock absorbers, but little is mentioned about the pedals. A rider’s weight and energy is put onto the pedals. If the pedals are faulty, they will break away from the crank arm and the ride is over. The same is true for a bow’s limbs. Loads of energy is transferred in and around the limb pocket. If the riser-to-pocket connection isn't snug, the bow will be noisy and full of vibration, and a faulty pocket system can ruin a hunt quickly.
With the new Anarchy, you don’t need to worry about a frustrating hunt. Bear's Zero Tolerance Limb Cups maintain a tight limb-to-pocket-to-riser fit regardless of draw-weight adjustment. And the all-new limb cups are lighter than those on the 2011 Carnage. Utilizing a new limb screw that sits flush with the cups, the redesigned Zero Tolerance Limb Cups are simply phenomenal.
One Great Shot
Proper paper-tuning is an integral part of setting up a bow. While lesser bows can make this process a nightmare, the Anarchy handled it with ease. Because the Flat Top Cam is a single-cam, there are no synchronization issues. After pulling the bow from the press and making some minor modifications, I shot a bare shaft through the paper. The result was a perfect bullet hole. This got me from the bow press to the range to the woods quickly.
Shooting the Anarchy was a joy. The riser is awesome. It is sturdy, light and, with the custom grip, feels absolutely incredible in the hand. The balance of the bow's riser was undeniable and much welcomed. Regardless of what angle or position my body was in, accurate shooting was the result. But this sturdy platform really shone in windy conditions, which often accompany a bowhunt. Even when faced with hard gusts, I was able to remain steady on my targets.
The Anarchy draws with a silky smoothness, and transition to letoff is pleasant. As the Flat Top Cam rotates, its square draw-stop peg contacts the bow's inner cable. This firm point of contact provided a consistent draw length and reassuring back wall. Shot-to-shot consistency like this not only boosted my confidence, but tightened my groups as well. And yet there's another feature that impressed me—the Flat Top's controlled letdown. Letdown happens in the bowhunting woods. Sometimes a bowhunter draws too soon, while other times the animal refuses to provide an ethical shot. Whatever the reason, a harsh letdown can affect concentration and add to an already stressful situation.
At the shot, the 2012 Bear Anarchy is very quiet. The arrow is speeding toward its target while the bow hovers in tranquil silence. No shock or vibration is transmitted to the bow arm, meaning I can better focus on my aiming points and execute proper follow-through.
It's no doubt Bear has developed another top-of-the-line bow ready to heed the call of the bowhunting community. The only question is: What will they think of next?
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