Bear Apprentice 3 Review
Where to buy
content from YouTube
Editors' reviewThe new Bear Apprentice III for 2014 is an improvement to the already great Apprentice II. With the large range of adjustments in draw length and weights it can grow with any youngster. This makes it nearly perfect to use throughout the childhood and adolescence of about anyone. It can be used to hunt large game with at some point when the user is mature enough to do so. The bow is well built and, as with all Bear products, their customer service is amazing to work with on any issues that could occur. It has adequate speed for a youth bow and feels good to shoot. This bow is simple to adjust and it doesn't take long to do so with growth or a change in users.
FinishThere are two color options available on the Apprentice III. It comes in either Realtree APG or pink camouflage. Both colors look great and should satisfy most youths. They both have a flat finish with no shine at all. Each option has been durable and have not had any peeling or chipping of the paint. The strength of the finish is important in youth bows when they usually get a little more beat up by kids.
Riser/LimbsThis bow is nice and short for a child at 27.5" axel to axel. It is perfect for shorter kids and is fine for any of the taller ones too. Another benefit for younger kids is the light weight of this bow of only 2.9lbs. There are some stronger kids that may feel more steady with additional weight in a bow which can be added with a variety of stabilizers. The new riser on the Apprentice III looks great. It has a more tubular look with the edges being a lot more rounded. The riser has a similar look with the rest of Bear's bows. A stabilizer bushing is secured in the riser. Another new feature is the integrated string stop that now comes standard on the Apprentice. This is an attractive improvement that cuts vibration and noise.
The Bear Flared Quad Limbs are split limbs that do an amazing job. They help to produce a brace height of 6". This combination creates plenty of energy for a youth bow at every draw length. The Zero Tolerance Limb Pockets connect the limbs to the riser and help reduce shock. The small amount of hand shock that this bow does have a stabilizer would improve.
GripThe improved grip design has eliminated hand torque improving accuracy. It only has a couple of narrow side plats on the grip of the riser and "Bear" is written on them. The width and angle of the grip is perfect. It feels comfortable and well proportioned in hand. It is thin and ideal for small hands. With it being bare metal it may get a little cold on the hand on cold hunting days.
String SuppressersThis Apprentice now has a new string suppression system with a standard string stop that cuts vibration and noise. This helps a ton when the bow is set at the higher draw weights and it doesn't hurt when set at a lower weight either.
Eccentric SystemThe cam system is great on this bow and highly adjustable in draw length. Bear's new dual G3 "growth cams" are third generation on Apprentice bows and are now adjustable in .5" increments. They will adjust from 15" to 27" in draw length. This huge range can find a way to fit nearly any child that would be able to shoot a bow as well as teenagers. It is very simple to adjust and there is no need for a bow press or additional modules to purchase to change the draw length. This user-friendly feature will be great for parents or other owners to work on as children mature. The Apprentice III has 70% let off and helps young archers get the feel of shooting bigger bows. There is a 20lb. to 60lb. adjustment in draw weight. It should also be noted that the draw weights can increase and decrease more with longer or shorter draw lengths. At 27" of draw, 60lbs. of draw weight, and shooting a 300 grain arrow the bow has an IBO speed of 265fps
Draw Cycle/Shoot AbilityThe Apprentice III has a very good feeling draw cycle with most of the weight at the front. There is only a slight amount of recoil, but when at full draw this bow feels like it is fastened to the back and comfortable. This feeling is ideal for a youngster shooting a compound bow. The back wall is isn't spongy or rock solid, but just about right. A stabilizer would reduce the little bit of recoil there is and could improve the balance even more if it isn't too heavy for a smaller child. A carbon rod has a slide type cable guard that works fine for this type of bow. It isn't as smooth as roller guards, but it one minor thing that helps to keep the cost down on a youth bow.
Silencing PackageWith the addition of the new string stop this bow is now one of the quietest in its' class. There are no other silencers on this bow, but it doesn't seem to need any. The new string stop dampens vibration and noise both.
|Bow||Bear Apprentice 3||Bear Apprentice 2|
|Brace Height||6 "||6.125 "|
|AtA Length||27.5 "||27.5 "|
|Draw Length||15 " - 27 "||15 " - 27 "|
|Draw Weight||15 lbs - 60 lbs||15 lbs - 60 lbs|
|IBO Speed||265 fps||265 fps|
|Weight||2.9 lbs||2.9 lbs|
| Where to buy |
Best prices online
|compare more bows|
The Bear Apprentice 3 has obviously made some positive improvements from the Bear Apprentice 2. Although there are still many similarities the III is draw length adjustable in .5" increments instead of 1". The grip design has changed slightly to decrease any hand torque. The Apprentice III has also added a new string suppressor system with the addition of a string stop integrated into the riser. This is probably the best improvement from the II. The III is also available in 15 to 50lb. draw weight or 20 to 60lbs where the II just had one weight range of 15 to 60lbs. The most noticeable change in this bow is the change in looks of the riser. It has a more modern looking and rounded or tubular look to it. It looks pretty sweet and most kids will probably think the same.