Bear Threat Review
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Editors' reviewThe Bear Threat is a wonderful bow that combines solid performance, technology, and affordability all in one nicely priced package. The Threat is not necessarily considered an entry-level bow, but with a $599 MSRP price tag, it does appeal to shooters of all budget types and skills. Those wanting a Ready to Hunt (RTH) package can also choose to have the bow fully rigged from the factory for an additional $100, which is a nice deal for those just getting started. Bear has a total of five different finish options for the Threat and it is available at several large chain stores, making it very accessible to consumers without having to go to a dedicated Bear Archery shop. Perhaps a downside to the Threat is the 330 feet per second IBO speed rating with a 6 1/4-inch brace height. Typically, bows sporting a sub seven brace boast a bit faster speed ratings. With that being said, the smooth draw cycle may be a bonus for shooters without an interest in the speed and performance game.
Ready To Hunt PackageThe Threat is offered as a bare bow, or with a RTH hunt package installed from the factory. This package does not include top of the line accessories, but they are sufficient for shooters of all skill levels, especially those just starting out not entirely sure of what they want yet. The package includes: a Trophy Taker Whisker Biscuit, a Trophy Ridge 4-pin sight, a Trophy Ridge stabilizer and sling, a peep sight, and a nock look. All of this is an additional $100. Shooters will have to buy arrows and a release, and they are set to hit the field.
FinishThe Threat is a nice looking bow, and has a few finish choices shooters have an opportunity to choose between. Of course, Realtree X-Tra Green is the standby camo pattern, which seems to be universal across the entire Bear line up. Shooters wanting something a little less like a hunting bow, or just wanting a different look can also choose between Shadow, Sand, Olive, or Orange. For the Realtree option, the limbs will match the riser, but for the other four, the limbs will remain black and feature the Threat and Bear Archery logos. There is nothing overly fancy with the Bear finish and design. It is done well, and looks nice, but there is not a whole lot to report since it is a standard dipping process applying the finish to the aluminum risers. The cutouts are well covered, and the finish appears very nice in definition and appearance.
RiserThe aluminum riser on the Threat has a similar look and design to the rest of the higher end Bear models. With the dual string stop systems integrated into the riser, Bear engineers beefed up the design in those areas to add some stability and some cool looking design features. The cutouts are well done, and help add to the cool design of the bow as well. Overall, it is noticeably a Bear bow, which some shooters will love. To help keep the overall noise and vibration down, the Threat has dual string stops at the top and bottom of the riser, which deflects the vibrations away from the shooter's hand by absorbing into the rubber dampeners. There is a bit of adjustment on these dampeners, but they should not require too much adjusting from the factory settings right out of the box. The riser also has sight-mounting holes, a berger hole for the rest to mount, and a front mounting stabilizer hole for those wanting to add their own, or use the RTH package Trophy Ridge stabilizer. The riser also features a traditional straight rod cable slide system. Bear's top of the line models have a roller system, but to help reduce cost, the Threat is equipped differently. However, this is a technology carried over from years of shooting, so it is a tested and proven to work technology.
GripThe Threat Advanced Grip is built into the riser and has side plates with the Bear name stamped on each side. The grip area of the riser is fairly skinny, but it does have a nice feel while resting in the shooter's hand at rest, and at full draw. The think grip is fairly popular among shooters, and should help with a more consistent placement on the bow, hopefully leading to improved accuracy on the range and at longer distances. Having the ability to repeat where shooters place their hand on the grip is a definite bonus, and the advanced grip from Bear allows this to happen. With the grip being integrated into the riser, it is going to be chilly in hand because it is primarily aluminum. The rubber side plates are pretty small, and do will not add much in regards to warmth.
LimbsBear has chosen to offer the Threat Flare Quad limbs in two separate configurations. The first is a 50-60-pound option, and the second is 60-70-pounds. It would be nice to see this bow also have a 40-50-pound choice, to open it up to a few more shooters. The ten-pound increment is standard though, and the two configurations offered should meet what most shooters are looking for. To pair with the split limb technology, Bear is utilizing zero tolerance limb pockets for locked in positioning with the riser. Shooters opting for the Realtree pattern will also love the pockets have the camo pattern. The Threat does not come from the factory with installed dampeners either. Some split limb bows will have dampeners straight out of the box, but the Threat is not that way. There are plenty of dampening options for split limb bows in the aftermarket though if shooters are interested in looking at that as an option after buying the bow. It is pretty quiet as is, so it is possible not many shooters will have an interest in adding them.
Eccentric SystemThe Bear Threat comes with the Bear ES cam, which has draw length adjustments from 25-30-inches in half-inch increments. The hybrid cam system also features a rotating module for adjusting within the given range, which is a nice feature for both shooters and dealers. Shooters will not have to purchase new modules or cams, and dealers do not have to store a bunch of inventory for additional cams and modules. The cams also feature an 80% let-off, which shooters enjoying a higher let off will really appreciate. The IBO rated speeds are acceptable coming in at 330 feet per second, but that is with a shorter 6 1/4-inch brace height, making the speed rating a little misleading at first glance.
Draw Cycle/ShootabilityThe ES cam system is great for shooters that want high let off and a pretty smooth draw force curve. The draw cycle starts off easily and as the weight approaches peak weight, the gradual weight increase is easily managed and never feels too overbearing. The transition into the valley is pretty pleasant, but 80% let off does drastically reduce the holding weight, so to say the transition to the let off is not noticeable would not be entirely true. It is not a difficult transition to manage, but there is a noticeable difference between 70-pound peak weight and 14-pounds of holding weight is a pretty big difference. The axel-to-axel measurement coming in at 32 1/4-inches feels pretty stable while holding on target, but it is also not too long that it becomes a burden in a ground blind or tree stand. The 4-pound bare bow weight is the sweet spot between being heavy or light, but the Threat balances so well the weight really is a non-issue. The pin float down range is pretty minimal, which can be caused by a few different things. As the arrow is released, the bow has a bit of a tilt off target, but makes its way back pretty effortlessly. The arrow speeds away from the bow pretty quickly, despite 330 feet per second really not being blazing fast. The arrow release is quiet and the vibration is very minimal as well. Overall, the Threat is surprisingly pleasant for a bow under $600. It really will offer buyers a great shooting bow for a relatively cheap price point.
Usage ScenariosThe Threat is similar to the rest of the Bear Archery lineup in that it is a designed hunting bow. It has some nice features that would be useful for 3D as well, and fun shoots with buddies will not be an issue. For the serious competitor looking to end up on the podium at every shoot, there may be some better options.
Bear BR Threat vs. Bear BR33
|Bow||Bear Threat||Bear BR 33|
|Brace Height||6.25 "||7 "|
|AtA Length||32.5 "||33.25 "|
|Draw Length||25 " - 30 "||27 " - 32 "|
|Draw Weight||50 lbs - 70 lbs||45 lbs - 70 lbs|
|IBO Speed||330 fps||330 fps|
|Weight||4.0 lbs||4.2 lbs|
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These two bows have a lot in common, and will appeal to the same shooters wanting a smooth drawing bow instead of a speed demon. The technologies are pretty close to the same, but the Bear BR 33 does have a few features being the flagship bow the threat goes without. However, for some shooters, the $300 price tag will not be enough to justify going with the BR 33 flagship model over the more budget friendly Threat.