Product Review of Bear Code by Mark Burrows
The Code looks impressive from the start. The Realtree Hardwoods design camo is excellent and the forest green limb pockets, cam, and idler wheel top off an impressive finish. The bow is 34 inches axle to axle with a 7.38 inch brace height. It has a relatively long riser machined from 6061-T6 aluminium with 11 triangular cut outs to keep the weight down to 4.4 pounds, with a sight window approximately 7 inches long.
The Code is of parallel split limb design with carbon fibre compression moulded quad limbs, these come factory fitted with Sims Vibration dampeners. The limb pockets are also 6061-T6 aluminium with polycarbonate spacers to ensure tight tolerances and to help dampen vibration. The grip is two piece timber with a leather overlay on the riser. The carbon cable guard is about midway in the sight window and has a Teflon cable slide. The Code is fitted with Bears new perimeter weighted single cam, which is elliptical in design and has a half inch plus or minus draw adjustment built in. Major draw length adjustment is done by modules. The 70 pounds 29 inch draw bow I tested comes standard when purchased with modules for both 28 and 30 inch draw. The opposite end of the Code is fitted with a six spoke 4 inch diameter sealed ball bearing idler wheel.
The string and cables are made from BCY in Tech Twist green and brown material and are factory fitted with Sims string leeches. The bow is smooth to draw coming back to a very solid wall at its 80% let off and is rated at 310 fps IBO.
I set the bow up with a NAP drop away rest, Toxonics sight and Shockwave stabiliser. Draw length was adjusted to my 28.5 inches before adding a .75 inch D-loop. All testing was done at 68 pounds with a Carter release. I chronographed two sets of arrows. The 400 LightSpeeds, set up with 1.5 inch Blazer vanes and 90 grain points came in at 293 fps average. The LightSpeeds were right on the limit of 5 grains per pound of bow weight and I would expect that the bow would do its claimed 310 fps at the IBO's testing draw length of 30 inches and 70 pounds. The 340 Axis shafts, set up with 2 inch Blazer vanes and 125 grain points averaged 262 fps. As I hunt with the Axis and target with the LightSpeeds I was keen to see what they would do. Both arrows grouped very well although there was a little bit of bow noise at the shot with the LightSpeeds, it vanished altogether with the heavier Axis shafts. I did find the handle of the Code to be a little large for my personal liking so I removed the timber side plates and got into some serious target stuff with the LightSpeeds. I finished the session off with 6 arrows at thirty metres putting all six into the 5 ring on an indoor face and robin hooding one of my arrows in the process. I was impressed.
I found the Bear Code to be an excellent bow to shoot. It held steady in the hand, came to draw smooth and easy and sat solid against the wall. On this bow the 80% let off didn't seem too much for target work and my release came away clean and crisp. Again I guess it's that solid wall I could hold into. And for hunting, that 80% is a bonus. Although I found the grip a little large with the side plates on, that could be more of a positive than a negative. For a hunting bow the larger surface could be an advantage for hot sweaty hands or cold gloved hands and if you want to use the bow for serious target work or just don't like a wider grip, take the timber side plates off. I shot 100 or more arrows without the grips and found the Code very comfortable to shoot. This bow is what I would call a mid price bow by todays standards with a lot of features that you will only find on bows in the higher end bracket. The Bear Code is well worth a look.
View the range at Fred Bear Code
Mark Burrows hails from country Victoria and has a list of target and bowhunting achievements that would make most archers pale. He has achieved Master Bowhunter at branch level 10 times; has numerous Best of Species awards; at a national level, he has achieved either Bowhunter or Trophy Bowhunter every year for the last 10 years; a Best of Species each year for the last 5 years; holds the current Australian record for Sambar deer bringing to 5 different Species in the Australian Bowhunters Association's (ABA's) top 10 list, being Sambar, Hog deer, Chital deer, Boar and Shark; he has been the Australian Champion Bowhunter for the last 2 years; he was the first ABA member to claim the then 14 claimable species of game and when this was extended to 19 species, Mark was the first to have all 19 claimable species of game; 1st at the 2007 National Safari in Bowhunter Unlimited and also won the 2007 Australian Champion Bowhunter which is understood to be the first time that both these titles have been won by the same person and in the same year. Mark has numerous awards (possibly in excess of 250 trophies) to his name and is active at branch and national level in his sport in ABA, IFAA and 3D. He has ventured onto the world stage with a 1st in his class at the 2002 World IFAA titles in Scotland. His eye for detail is a rare gift. His achievements go on and he does give gladly of his time with articles he writes, contributions to the ABA board and his work at branch level and amongst all these archery activities, he runs a busy commercial venture in his home town. We trust you will enjoy the article.