|Bow Length||Draw Weight||Recommended Age||Hand|
|Bear 1st Shot Youth Bow|
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|36"||8-12 lbs.||3-7 years||Left & Right|
- Includes everything your youth needs to get started
- Ambidextrous design
- Included arrows have stiff plastic fletchings that should be replaced
Welcome to my review of Bear Archery’s First Shot youth bow. This bow set is the perfect way to introduce your 4- to 7-year-old to archery, since it comes with almost everything you need to get started. Each package delivered by includes the following items:
- The Bear Archery First Shot 36” bow
- 2 Safetyglass arrows
- Finger Tab
Assembling The Bow
There is no assembly required for this bow, as it comes out of the packaging pre-assembled. All you have to do is carefully unpack the bow and accessories, being sure you do not accidentally nick the bowstring if you use a knife or scissors to open the packaging. Then you are ready to take your little one out to the back yard or archery range for some training and practice.
How Powerful and Accurate is the Bow?
Since this bow is designed for young children, it is not very powerful at all. The draw weight is only 8 to 12 pounds, heavy enough to be a bit of a challenge for children but not so heavy as to be impossible for them to draw.
The included arrows have very stiff plastic fletchings that do not “give” as the arrow tries to fly past the bow handle. The result was that the arrows would tilt sideways enough to prevent going into the target. I re-fletched the arrows with feathers, and this solved the problem completely.
With the proper arrows, the bow is very accurate, allowing beginning archers to learn the wonders of archery with a very forgiving style. I was able to maintain 1” groupings with this bow from 30 yards, and the young children I supervised learning on the bow were quickly able to build their skill up to 5” groupings or better at the same range. This is impressive for a group of kids who had never shot a bow before.
Is The Bow Suitable For Hunting?
This bow is far too underpowered for hunting, but that is simply because hunting is not the intended purpose of the bow. This bow is designed to introduce children to archery so they can have fun with the sport and build up their skill. When they are ready for hunting, they will be ready for a more powerful bow.
Is The Bow Suitable For Beginners?
The Bear Archery First Shot bow itself is absolutely perfect for beginners, because it has the perfect balance of challenge and ease of use. Whether your young archer is a precocious 4-year-old or a wizened 7-year-old, they can learn the basics of archery on this bow before they build up to a more powerful bow.
My recommendation is to either replace the arrows with feathered fletchings, or re-fletch the included arrows with feathers instead of plastic vanes. Otherwise, your young archer is going to be continuously frustrated by the tendency of the arrows to bounce off the target rather than going into the target.
Does This Recurve Accept Accessories?
Since this is a beginner’s bow intended only to introduce youth to archery, it is not drilled or tapped for any accessories. I would not advise trying to have the bow drilled, either, because it is so lightweight that extra holes might damage the structural integrity of the riser or limbs.
Arrows For The Bear Archery First Shot
The Bear Archery First Shot comes with 2 27” Safetyglass arrows with plastic vanes. If you replace the arrows, make sure you purchase 27” arrows and ensure the arrows have feather fletchings instead of the plastic vanes. If you stick with the arrows that come with the bow, re-fletch the arrows with feathers to make the arrows fly true off the bow.
Is This Bow Comfortable To Hold?
For me, no, this bow is too small to hold comfortably. I am not the intended user of the bow, though, so I turned to the youth I was supervising and asked them. Granted, the enthusiasm of children with bows in their hands is often unmatched by even the most excitable small dog upon the return of his master after a long day at work, but the kids said they loved shooting the bow. Most of them shot arrows for several hours, and nobody complained about sore arms or hands, and no blisters were evident after the shooting session.
Materials And Durability (Riser, Limbs)
The Bear Archery First Shot youth bow is made of durable composite limbs with a plastic riser. Measuring 36” in overall length, the bow seems very sturdy and can withstand many hours of archery in the hands of small children, who are known for their roughness.
The bow has a 14” to 16” draw length, with 8 to 12 lbs. of draw weight. The design is ambidextrous, so right-handed and left-handed children alike should have no problems with this bow.
What String Fits The Bear Archery First Shot?
Any regular Dacron string will work fine with the First Shot, but Bear Archery does sell a replacement string specifically for the First Shot. I would not recommend even trying to put a Flemish twist string on this bow or a Fastflight; the limb tips are not reinforced and the bow would probably not stand up to the strength of a string that fast.
Is the Bear Archery First Shot a Heavy Bow?
No, this bow is naturally quite light, since it is intended for young children. It is, however, quite sturdy and easy for young children to shoot. The children I supervised with this bow ranged in age from 4 to 6, and none of them had any problem holding the bow for a moderate amount of time.
Bow Review – Summary
Thanks for reading our review of Bear Archery’s First Shot youth bow set. This is a very nice archery kit simply because it includes everything your child needs to get started in archery. The only caveat is in the included arrows, which will bounce off the target repeatedly because of the stiffness of the vanes. Remember, though, that this bow is not a toy and you should always properly supervise your youth whenever they are using the bow.
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