Bear LS4 Review
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The Bear Legend Series for 2017 has some solid heritage backing being named after the great Fred Bear. In order to live up to the founder of bow hunting, the LS 4 must be a high-quality, great valued option. For starters, the LS 4 is a pretty decent 32.25-inch axel-to-axel measurement. This allows shooters to benefit from the slightly longer axel-to-axel measurement while still keeping it classified as a compact model. The bow weighs in at the 4-pound bare bow mark, which is the sweet spot many like their aluminum riser bows to scale in around. The brace height also measures a bit longer than 6-inches, which is a pretty good combination of 330 feet per second speed while still meeting the forgiveness mark many like having over a 6-inch brace height, with an 80% let off. The LS 4 is sold as a factory package option, topped with some really nice Trophy Ridge accessories to get shooters out in the woods as quickly as possible without having to get lost in the archery accessory world. The LS 4 is only offered as a right-handed package, and only comes with Realtree Xtra Green camo.
Ready to Hunt PackageThe Ready to Hunt package has some nice accessories included straight from the factory. There is no option to purchase the LS 4 as a bare bow, which may not be ideal for shooters already owning accessories they want to use, or for those wanting to outfit their bow by piecing it together. However, many archers, especially newer to archery, will appreciate the higher end equipment that comes standard because they can start shooting right away for a much cheaper price than buying everything separately. Included in the Ready to Hunt package is a Trophy Ridge HX drop away arrow rest, a Trophy Ridge React 5-pin sight, a Trophy Ridge Lite 1-piece five arrow quiver, a Trophy Ridge stabilizer, a D-loop, wrist sling, and peep sight. Aside from arrows and a release, everything else shooters need to start shooting right away is included.
FinishBear created this bow as a budget friendly model, which is more than likely going to appeal to newer bow hunters, or those on a budget. For Bear to only offer one camo option makes sense from a production stand point because there is only one model for dealers to stock. However, from a consumer's perspective, it would be nice to see at least a black option. Even the Bear flagship models do not feature a ton of choices, but it would be nice to see something more than the Realtree Xtra Green offered. With that being said, the pattern does look nice, is well applied to the aluminum riser, and should blend in in just about every hunting situation it will be used for. The Bear name is proudly displayed on the grip, and the limb graphics are simple and non-distracting. Overall, the single finish option is justified and looks nice, but it would be nice to have some different patterns to choose from.
RiserWhen compared to some of the other Legend Series models, the LS 4 looks a bit different. Bear still incorporates the dual offset RockStop string suppressors on the top and bottom of the riser, but the cutouts are more rounded off and less aggressive looking. The riser can still be grouped in with the rest of the Bear lineup, but the differences are noticeable. The rounded cutouts do a nice job keeping the bow fairly lightweight coming in at the 4-pound bare bow weight many shooters expect out of an aluminum riser. The features of the riser are standard issue for the 2017 compound bow market. There is a front mounting stabilizer hole, which comes loaded from the factory with a six-inch, six-ounce Trophy Ridge stabilizer. The string stop system also has a beefed up stance to help strengthen the riser and keep the vibration as dead as possible. The cable containment system is not too fancy either. It is a standard cable slide system, without a roller, hinge, or flexible slide. Although there is nothing wrong with the design or function, there are better designs on the market, and within Bear Archery technology. The reflexed riser design also creates a 6.25-inch brace height. For some shooters, anything 6-inches and under is too short for their particular preference. The added quarter of an inch brace height gets shooters closer to what many prefer with a 7-inch brace height, while still helping add the most speed possible. Overall, the riser on the LS 4 is highly functional, but it does not include any Earth shattering technology, or ground breaking new technology that is going to take the industry by storm. It does everything well, but it does not introduce anything brand new.
GripBear has a few different grips in production for 2017, and even in the LS lineup itself. The LS 4 gets the older style grip, which is an integrated part of the riser design. It does feature some rubber side plates, but they do not have any real function aside from displaying the Bear name. The grip is going to get chilly in colder sits because it is made from aluminum. The grip is fairly narrow and feels pretty consistent from the top of the handle to the bottom of the grip area. The edges are slightly rounded, which some shooters will find more comfortable than a grip with defined edges. The size of the grip is nice, but it would be nice to have the flatback design of the Narogrip used on other Bear bows on the LS 4 as well. That grip seems to be a better feeling option for most shooters.
LimbsBear has used a split limb design for a long time on their compound rigs, and the LS 4 is no different. Bear has outfitted the LS 4 with EnduraFiber Quad limbs, which again are functional, but not too fancy. The limbs are offered in maximum draw weights of 60 and 70-pounds, and store the energy created by the cams very well. The graphics on the limbs are not super fancy, and do not take away from the design of the bow at all. The limbs are also dipped in the Realtree Xtra Green pattern to match the riser. The BearTrap limb pockets keep the limbs fastened to the riser and eliminates any movement as the bow is drawn. From the factory, the split limbs do not get any dampeners pre-installed. The bow is pretty tame after the shot, and the noise is minimal, but shooters wanting to add some aftermarket dampeners can easily do so if they want a more quiet shot.
Eccentric SystemThe ES hybrid cams are the choice for the LS 4. They feature five-inches of draw length adjustment ranging from 25-30-inches using the DrawDial modular system, which does not require using a bow press to make the half-inch adjustments. Bear has used single cams on some of their previous year budget friendly models, so for them to use a hybrid system is a welcomed change. The additional performance the hybrid cams offer, while still being a smooth drawing system is a nice design upgrade. The cams shoot IBO speeds rated up to 330 feet per second according to Bear, and features 80% let off. So shooters are getting the high let off many hunters are wanting for 2017, without losing much speed higher let off systems typically have.
Draw Cycle/ShootabilityThe ES hybrid cam system has a pleasurable shooting experience overall. The 330 feet per second is not fast by today's standards, but it is well within the acceptable speed rating for hunting bows. The draw cycle is smooth from the start of the draw cycle to the end, which is pretty characteristic of bows in 2017. After the peak draw weight is felt, the draw gets easier into the let off and rests well on the solid back wall. Shooters interested in a factory accessory package, at this particular price point, are more often than not newer to archery. In order to be marketable for this type of shooter, the draw must be easy to manage and the LS 4 is. The back wall is solid, feels great with 80% let off, and allows shooters to hold on target without much pin float. The valley feels nice as well, and although shooters want to pull into the back wall, there is some ability to let up a bit without wanting to jump forward too much. The grip is pretty comfortable, but the curved back takes some getting used to in order to get a repeatable hand position. The size of the grip is pretty great though. After the shot, the bow is pretty quiet and there is not much vibration felt in the hand. Overall, the LS 4 gives shooters a nice platform, manageable draw cycle, and easy aiming rivaling bows more expensive than its MSRP price tag.
Usage ScenariosShooters looking to buy a bow for the first time, or getting an upgrade from their first ever bow may be more drawn to the LS 4 than shooters that have been shooting for a long time. The packaged deal straight from the factory makes this bow pretty enticing for those not sure if they want to stick with archery hunting, or those without a ton of extra money laying around to get started. The LS 4 is a hunting bow, which performs as well as models much more expensive, and the accessory options are pretty good for anyone. The bow meets just about every shooters needs, is budget friendly, and helps shooters get out shooting as quickly as possible.
Bear LS 4 vs. Bear Moment
|Bow||Bear LS4||Bear Moment|
|Brace Height||6.25 "||6 "|
|AtA Length||32.25 "||31 "|
|Draw Length||25 " - 30 "||25 " - 30 "|
|Draw Weight||50 lbs - 70 lbs||45 lbs - 70 lbs|
|IBO Speed||330 fps||340 fps|
|Weight||4 lbs||4.0 lbs|
|Where to buy|
Best prices online
|compare more bows|
The 2017 Bear lineup is a good one in regards to offering a little something for everyone no matter what their preference in a bow is. The LS 4 and the Bear Moment are both similar in performance and are both included in the compact bow category. The LS 4 is a bit longer than the Moment with a 32.25-inch axel-to-axel measurement. For shooters wanting a great deal on an outfitted bow, the LS 4 is hard to beat. For shooters wanting a more compact bow with all the technology advances offered by Bear Archery, the Moment is a clear winner. With any decision in the archery world, the final choice comes down to personal preferences. Both rigs will perform well, it just depends on what is more important in the eyes of the person making the purchase.