Bear Grizzly Recurve Bow – A classic recurve bow without compromises

In archery circles, few names are better known than Fred Bear, and I like to think that his real brainchild was the Grizzly which he spent over a decade perfecting. The Bear Grizzly Recurve Bow, which is compact, lightweight, and fast, was a turning point for Bear Archery.

The Bear Grizzly Recurve Bow is a classicly designed recurve bow that comes in various draw weights and can take most games in North America.

  • Length: 58″
  • Weight: 3.2 lbs
  • Draw Length: 28″
  • Draw Weight: 30 to 60 lbs

Made since the 1950s, the Grizzly holds a special place in traditional archery circles to this day, and while it may not be the Cadillac of bows, it is an upstanding example of what modern materials can do!

Keep reading this Bear Grizzly Recurve Bow review to see how it held up when we reviewed it.

Who should be Interested in the Bear Grizzly Recurve Bow?

In a market where bows go into the thousands of dollars, the Grizzly is still a fairly budget option with very few compromises. It should appeal readily to those hunters, outdoorsmen, and bow fanatics looking to get back to the simpler roots of archery rather than the mechanical ugliness of compound bows.

The Grizzly may seem a bit pricey for those just getting into archery, especially when adding in the cost of arrows and the rest of the kit. But if your budget allows, the Grizzly is a beautiful bow that functions well and will stand the test of time. The Grizzly in my collection was built in 1968, and I still shoot it today.

If you’re looking for a long-term survival bow for the homestead or bug-out location, this is the one for you. This isn’t the bow for someone looking for a bow to toss in a bug-out bag.

If you’re still unsure about which survival bow you should choose, read How to Choose the Best Survival Bow to find out more.

Bear Archery AFT2086155 Grizzly Recurve 55#, Brown Maple, RH 55
  • Limbs overlaid with clear maple and backed and faced with high-strength black fiberglass
  • Crowned, cut-on center arrow shelf
  • Comes with leather side plate and bear hair arrow rest
  • Darcon string
  • Tips handcrafted and layered with black and white fiberglass

Features

Starting with numbers, the Bear Grizzly is only 58″ with an optimal draw length of 28.” For a bow that short, I would not recommend a draw length greater than 28″. It is available in draw weights from 30 to 60 pounds and gets decent performance from draw lengths down to about 25″ with little loss of power.

The bow has a one-piece hard maple riser stained a deep brownish-red with black fiberglass laminates. It is a comfortable bow that weighs in at just over three pounds with fine shaping and contouring. The Grizzly is bare bones with no attachment points, giving it a clean, classic look.

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Bear Grizzly Recurve Bow
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Bear Archery AFT2086155 Grizzly Recurve 55#, Brown Maple, RH 55
Samick Sage Archery Takedown Recurve Bow 62 inch- Right & Left Handed - 25-60lb.
Weight
3.2 lbs
3.5 lbs
Draw Weight
30 to 60 lbs
20 - 60 lbs
Draw Length
28″
29"
Left or Right Handed
Both Available
Both Available
Prime
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Amazon Prime
Product
Bear Grizzly Recurve Bow
Preview
Bear Archery AFT2086155 Grizzly Recurve 55#, Brown Maple, RH 55
Weight
3.2 lbs
Draw Weight
30 to 60 lbs
Draw Length
28″
Left or Right Handed
Both Available
Prime
Amazon Prime
Best Choice
Product
Samick Sage Takedown Bow
Preview
Samick Sage Archery Takedown Recurve Bow 62 inch- Right & Left Handed - 25-60lb.
Weight
3.5 lbs
Draw Weight
20 - 60 lbs
Draw Length
29"
Left or Right Handed
Both Available
Prime
Amazon Prime

Pros

One of the most notable features of the Bear Grizzly Recurve Bow is its one-piece fiberglass back that will prevent peeling or delamination and last a lifetime or more! This is a bow you will pass down to your kids and your grandkids with a little care.

A bow pulling 45 lbs at 28″ can launch arrows over 185fps, which translates to a lot of penetration if you use the bow for hunting. This bow has brought down every big game animal in North America at some point in its 70-year history. Talk about tried and true!

The Grizzly is one piece, so it eliminates any notable points of failure and is well-shaped with a handle that settles nicely into the hand and keeps the bow secure throughout the draw and shot. The dark coloration blends well in the woodlands to prevent spooking animals during the draw and looks good enough to show off at the target range.

Both the draw and release of the bow are smooth and consistent throughout. There is no hand shock, just pleasurable feedback as the arrow launches.

Cons

The Bear Grizzly Bow isn’t exactly cheap at $400.00. You get a lot of bow for that price, but the cost may be a big setback if you are on a budget. First-time bow buyers may be hesitant to make such an investment if they are unsure archery is something they want to pursue.

The shorter length and faster arrow speed can be an asset but make the bow more challenging to shoot. It is an unforgiving bow where each little mistake can throw you off target. If this is your first bow, it may be frustrating to lock down proper form.

The lack of a takedown option limits how the bow can be stored and transported, and the lack of attachment points limits how the bow can be used. Additionally, this bow is designed to use a Dacron string with some stretch, and could be a limiting factor if times get tough.

The ergonomics are generally fine, and the bow is fairly comfortable to shoot, but I find the front of the grip to be a little too square for my liking. The size is close to perfect, but even with no hand shock, the corners get annoying if you shoot repetitively.

Conclusion

The Bear Grizzly Recurve Bow is beautiful with a styling reminiscent of traditional archery’s prime. Though there are some slight issues, shooting is pleasurable.

Though there are many negatives against this bow, don’t be fooled into thinking it’s not good. This is one of the best bows I have shot, and I will continue to love it as long as I can draw the string.

If you are getting into archery and want a bow that you can learn on and continue to use throughout your life, this would be a great choice. It will do all you need to do, from target shooting to hunting, and will do it well as long as you take the time to learn. Be cautious that this can be a gateway into the world of Bear Archery, which can get pretty costly.

This is the classic recurve bow style we recommend for many survival situations.

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