Bear Legion Review
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Editors' reviewThe 2012 Bear Legion is a great value bow. You get a lot for your money in terms of quality, options, speed, and smoothness. Bear engineering has impressed the past few years by making a come back in the high end archery market, which also trickles down to their more economic bows, like the Legion. The Legion continues to improve and takes the place of the Srike. The company claims, and puts a lot of stress on how they are taking into account customers' requests and recommendations for bow engineering. Although most of the attention from Bear is focused on the new Anarchy, the rest of their line is still under-rated by most. This bow is smooth, quick, quiet, and has a light feeling draw.
FinishDifferent color choices are not available for the Legion, and the only color available is Realtree APG. It appears to have a semi-gloss finish, although does not glare, and is sturdy. The color can be best described as falling somewhere between glossy and matte. There have been no complaints about the finish cracking. Although there is only one color choice for the Legion, it will still impress.
Riser/LimbsThe Riser on the Legion measures 30.5" axel to axel. It is short and compact while only weighing in at 4 lbs. The riser has that classic bear look to it which is uniform and solid with nice looking cut outs. The dual offset string suppressers are integrated into the riser which is an upgrade from last year's Strike. It has a stainless steel stabilizer bushing.
The limbs are connected with the Zero Tolerance Limb Pockets. These pockets lock the limbs to the riser yet they can move and pivot independently. This helps to eliminate vibration. The riser and limbs on the Legion create a 7" brace height. This bow produces a nice shot especially for being as compact as it is. Although it can be a little less forgiving that some of the longer ATA bows it is a trade off for it being short and easy to maneuver. It does have some noticeable recoil.
GripThe grip on the Legion has a thin neck, complete with side panels. It is a simple concept that is found on all of Bear's more economic bows. However, it has changed in shape from the Stride and now has less torque. There isn't much for hand warmth when it comes to hunting in colder weather. It feels sturdy in hand and has decent balance.
String SuppressersThe dual string suppressers on Bear bows are unique in nature and are very efficient. The Dual Arc Offset String Suppressers that exist on the Legion have vibration dampening boots on the ends where the string makes contact with them. It does lack the set of rubber vibration dampening boots where they attach to the riser like the Anarchy has. These dual string suppressers not only help to silent and eliminate vibration, but they have a mean look which is another update from last years Strike.
Eccentric SystemThe cam on the Bear Legion is not definite, and allows for an accommodating draw length with .5" increments from 26" to 31". Similar to the Anarchy, the Legion has 80% let off and is available in 50, 60, and 70 lb. draw weights. The Rotating Modular E2-Cam is faster that the Strike's E2 cam and also has a lighter feel. It does not require a bow press or any additional modules to change the draw length, making it very convenient. The idler wheel has dual stainless steel bearings. It comes equipped with Contra-Band strings and cables. The published IBO speed is 318 fps. This seems a little higher than the actual speed as most other Bear bows, but very close. It has decent speed for a single cam bow.
Draw Cycle/Shoot AbilityThe overall draw on this bow is smooth, with a bit of a hump before the valley. It is harmonized at full draw with some recoil at the shot. The Legion has an extensive valley at full draw, probably 1/4" to 1/2", with additional room to creep without a surprise. The back wall is sturdy and easy to hold. A stabilizer would improve the balance on this bow, but it is already very quiet without one. However, stabilizers never hurt on any bow. The dual string suppressers are fantastic at reducing vibration. This bow uses a slide type cable guard system which does what it is intended for; however, it is not nearly as smooth as newer roller guard systems. It does well at keeping the cables out of the way.
Silencing PackageGiven its price range, this bow is especially quiet. The dual string suppressers work perfectly in order to deaden the sound and vibration. The string contains no add-ons, and will not slow it down. The limb pockets have two functions, in that they allow independent pivoting, and also serve to silence this bow.
|Bow||Bear Legion||Bear Encounter|
|Brace Height||7 "||7.75 "|
|AtA Length||30.5 "||30.5 "|
|Draw Length||26 " - 31 "||27 " - 32 "|
|Draw Weight||40 lbs - 70 lbs||40 lbs - 70 lbs|
|IBO Speed||318 fps||310 fps|
|Weight||4.0 lbs||3.7 lbs|
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The Bear Legion is a step above the Bear Encounter in their line of bows. The major difference is the riser. The Legion riser is equipped with the Dual Arc Offset String Suppressors, while the Encounter uses the standard single string suppressor on the bottom half. The brace height is .75" shorter on the Legion, but has an IBO of 8fps faster. The Encounter is .3lbs lighter at 3.7lbs, but the ATA is the same. Most of the other options on these two bows are nearly the same. The Encounter has a MSRP of $100 less, but doesn't have as good of a look and is a little slower.