Bear Paradox HC Review

Bear Paradox HC

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Pros

  • Amazing bow for a budget friendly price of only $499
  • Has a factory accessory package for only $100
  • Has specifications directly comparable to every flagship model on the market in 2020

Cons

  • Not many finish options to choose from
  • A bit of hand shock after the arrow is released

Video

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Editors' review

The Bear Paradox HC is a budget friendly bow from the Legend Series, which has extremely comparable specifications to flagship hunting bows on the market in 2020. The hybrid cam system shoots speeds up to 340 feet per second, with a 6-inch brace height and an axle to axle measurement of 32-inches. The Paradox HC accommodates shooters with draw lengths of 25-30-inches and draw weights from 55-70-pounds. All this comes with a suggested retail price of only $499, with an option to come fully rigged out with a factory Ready to Hunt Package for another $100. The finish options are limited to only three choices, and there is some felt vibration after the shot with the included factory accessories, but all things considered, the Paradox HC is potentially one of the best values in the entire archery world for 2020. For shooters just starting out in the exciting world of compound archery, or for those simply wanting a new rig without breaking the bank, the Paradox HC is worth a serious look for anyone able to pull 45-pounds or more.

Finish

Bear is not able to deliver greatness in all aspects of the Paradox HC, and the finish options are an area where Bear makes some cuts. The finish looks perfect, and is done the same way the rest of the Bear lineup is, but the number of options has been reduced in an attempt to keep the cost as low as possible. Bear does not offer a ton of finish options to begin with, but the Paradox HC's three choices seems to underwhelm most shooters. The three patterns include Realtree Edge, Veil Stoke, and Veil Alpine. As a Bear Legend Series bow, it seems like they should have offered the Fred Bear pattern as a fourth option. Again, the patterns available look nice, and the application is sure to last, but it would be nice to see more than four choices, or at least the camo honoring the Legend himself.

Riser

The riser is fairly characteristic of the rest of the Bear lineup, and it is clear upon first glance the Paradox HC is a Bear bow. It does only have one rear mounted string stop system, in the standard lower mounting area whereas the higher end Bear models have a string stop system on the top and bottom of the riser. The Paradox HC also features a standard cable containment system with a tried and true cable slide system. Although there are a lot of different renditions of the cable containment system on the market today, the cable slide still performs great even though it is not the latest and greatest technology. The riser has the standard cutouts and mounting holes, and has a front stabilizer mounting hole. The entire RTH package weighs 5.9-pounds with all the accessories mounted to the bow, which is a great weight for a hunting rig fully loaded. A 32-inch axle to axle bow is about perfect for a hunting bow because it is compact enough to maneuver around most hunting situations without ever being bulky, and it is long enough to still have the stability and comfort shooters need in order to be accurate in the heat of the moment. Just like other components of the Paradox HC, there is nothing outstanding with the riser design, and it does not have the most innovative technology, but everything functions well, and works flawlessly even if it is older technology being used.

Grip

The Bear grip feels like the rest of the lineup. The grip is integrated into the riser, which means it is going to be cold in hunting situations. There is a name badge screwed into each side of the grip, but this does not add anything to the overall feel of the grip, and may only add just a bit of tackiness for the grip to sit where it should in the shooter's hand. The grip is pretty slim, and has some contours built in to make it comfortable in the shooter's hand. Grip preference is a really personal choice, but the size and shape of the grip are fairly standard to other bows on the market today. Although added one-piece composite grips often make the bow look a bit cheaper, it would have been nice to see Bear offer a composite grip over the grip that is there now to give shooters a couple choices. However, this is a budget bow, and hoping for multiple grip options, when some flagship models do not even have that choice is asking for a lot. The Paradox HC grip is nothing fancy, but will get the job done, feels pretty comfortable, and will allow shooters to easily transition to other Bear grips in the future if they choose to upgrade to another bow within the Bear lineup down the road.

Limbs

Bear offers two limb configurations on the Paradox HC, with maximum draw weights of 60 and 70-pounds. Bear offers their limbs in 15-pound increments, which is a bit different than the 10-pound industry standard, but this does give shooters the ability to make more adjustments to get the perfect draw weight comfortability. The 60 pounders go from 45-60, and the 70 pounders go from 55-70-pounds. The split limbs also have a pretty unique design, which taper and get thicker as the limbs enter the pockets versus where the cams connect. These limbs are sure to withstand the tough conditions hunters are going to demand from their bows, and will last a long time under standard shooting conditions as shooters perfect their form and accuracy during the course of the year preparing for hunting season. The pockets hold the limbs perfectly in place, and attaches to the riser keeping everything as secure as possible. Limbs are often the weak link in a compound bow, but shooters should buy with confidence knowing their Bear Paradox HC is built to last.

Eccentric System

The hybrid cam system on the Paradox HC is familiar for those following Bear the last couple years. This cam features a rotating draw length module, which allows shooters to adjust the draw length without the need for a bow press. Shooters wanting to adjust their draw length, in half-inch increments to best fit them can do so very easily, without having to purchase a module or new cam, and will not need a bow press in order to make any of these adjustments. The Paradox HC accommodates shooters with draw lengths ranging from 25-30-inches with half-inch increments available throughout the entire draw length range. The let-off is set at 75%, and the IBO speed rating for the Paradox HC is 340 feet per second with a 6-inch brace height. Although it has been noted a few times already, this bow, with this price point really is appealing. These specifications are extremely comparable to the highest end hunting bows on the market in 2020, and for half the price fully rigged out, the Paradox HC is going to make a lot of customers really happy!

Draw Cycle/Shootability

The Paradox HC sports a hybrid cam system, which was designed to incorporate the best characteristics of a single cam and a dual cam bow. The Paradox HC draws really smoothly, has a great feeling back wall with 75% let-off, and holds on target really easily. The arrow speeds are acceptable, and the 32-inch axle-to-axle measurement is a perfect mix of maneuverability and stable. After the shot, the bow does have a slight vibration in the hand, but nothing that would make a shooter uncomfortable or not wanting to purchase the bow. If shooters were not set on the Ready to Hunt package, an aftermarket stabilizer would be the way to go in all but eliminating what very little vibration is left in the bow after the arrow is released. For a budget bow, it is really hard to find anything wrong with how this bow feels.

Usage Scenarios

Bear Archery has been strategic in bringing the best hunting bows they possibly can to the 2020 lineup, and the Paradox HC is no exception. Aside from being exactly what many shooters demand from a hunting rig, the inexpensive $499 price tag is almost too good to be true. This bow will be a great shooting rig for absolutely anyone, but with the budget-friendly price point, and Ready to Hunt package, this model is marketed towards newer shooters in the archery hunting world. This model will be used at 3D shoots and backyard gatherings amongst friends, but the main purpose is getting people out in the great outdoors and enjoying the sport of bow hunting.

Ready To Hunt (RTH)

The Bear Paradox HC comes from the factory with a ready to hunt package for only $100. For shooters wanting everything theory need minus arrows, broadheads, and a release, the ready to hunt package will remove all the guesswork out of choosing the best accessories to get archers in the woods as quickly as possible. Archery accessories can get a bit confusing, especially for newer shooters, and the price points are vastly different for equipment ranging from starter accessories all the way to high level equipment with a massive price tag. For $100, shooters get a Trophy Ridge Fix 5 pin sight, a Whisker Biscuit arrow rest, a Trophy Ridge 5 arrow quiver, a 6-inch Static stabilizer, a no tie peep, and a D Loop. The offered accessories are a bit more premium than some of the other Bear RTH packages, and gives shooters a great starting spot, which will allow them to upgrade later on as each individual shooter sees fit. Those with accessories they can swap over will more than likely not benefit from the RTH package. However, shooters just getting started, or those on a budget will be thrilled to know they can get everything needed to start right away from only $100.

Summary

For a strictly designed hunting bow, there is a lot to get excited about with the Bear Paradox HC. Potentially at the top of the list of things to love about the bow is the price tag of only $499, with the Ready to Hunt package only being an additional $100. For those just starting out, or shooters needing to watch their budget, it is really hard to find a better value in the archery world today. Bear has done a great job offering a very shootable bow at an affordable price, to get shooters into the amazing sport of compound archery. Bear Archery maintains all these high level options in a rig that is part of the Legend Series, honoring the godfather of modern day bow hunting himself, Fred Bear. This bow is extremely well thought out for a modern day hunting rig, has some really amazing specifications and features, and for only $499, the Paradox HC is really difficult to beat.

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