Bear Kodiak Magnum Review – a Recurve Bow Inspection


LengthBow WeightDraw WeightTakedown?
Bear Kodiak Magnum Recurve Bow

Bear Kodiak Magnum Recurve Bow

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52 inches1.35 lbs

How to: choose arrows, draw weight, and tune your recurve
40 to 55 lbs.No
- Powerful, accurate, fast-shooting bow
- Extremely durable, manufactured using Bear Archery’s FutureWood technology
- Almost perfect arrow shelf and rest included with bow
- Not ideal for beginners
- No bowstringer included
- Not equipped to accept accessories
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Greetings, and welcome to this review of the Bear Kodiak Magnum bow. This 52-inch AMO length recurve features a single-piece green maple riser, capped with green and white fiberglass. The limbs are overlaid clear maple cores, backed and faced with high-strength “Grayling Green” fiberglass. The bow is manufactured using Bear Archery’s FutureWood technology, which I’ll talk more about in a bit.

What’s Included In The Box?

Bear-Kodiak-Magnum-Recurve-BowLet’s get down to the nitty gritty of what you should find when you unpackage your new Kodiak Magnum. In the box, you’ll find the following:

  • The Bear Archery Kodiak Magnum riser and limbs (fully assembled, with no ability to take down the bow)
  • A Dynaflight 97 Flemish Twist string (red and black)
  • A Bear hair arrow rest and leather side plate
  • Owner’s manual
  • Warranty card

Unfortunately, you won’t find a bowstringer in the box. Make sure you purchase one, if you don’t already have it, because this particular accessory will become your best friend when it comes to assembling and keeping your new archery equipment in perfect working order.

Is The Bear Archery Kodiak Magnum Challenging To Assemble?

Even if you’ve never strung a bow before, this recurve should be fairly easy to assemble as long as you have a stringer. The arrow rest and sideplate come preinstalled, and this isn’t a takedown bow, so all you have to do is string it.

What Accessories Can I Use With This Bow?

Unfortunately, Bear Archery does not drill inserts for accessories like stabilizers, sights, or Berger buttons on the Kodiak Magnum. This is a real shame, because the 52-inch length of this model would make it perfect for bowfishing, if it could only accept a reel. As it is, if you want to install accessories, you’ll need to have a bow technician customize the equipment for you.

You can, and should, install your nocking point and possibly string silencers, as well as carrying out the other tasks involved in giving your new “toy” a proper tune-up. Head on over to our guide on tuning a recurve bow for more help with this.

Is The Kodiak Magnum Accurate And Powerful?

When it comes to power, Bear Archery definitely has you covered with this particular bow. The recurve is available in draw weights from 40# to 55#, in five-pound increments, and the included Flemish Twist string gives you plenty of speed along with the power. If you’re unsure how much bow you can handle, be sure to read our guide on selecting the right draw weight for your ability and needs.

I’m a huge fan of the crowned, cut-on center arrow shelf, especially with the bear hair rest and accompanying leather sideplate. This signature assembly included on almost all of Bear Archery’s finest models makes instinctive shooting a true joy, and helps keep your accuracy dialed in. I can readily shoot 3-inch groupings from 45 yards using the Kodiak Magnum, which is surprising for such a short-limbed recurve.

Can I Use This Recurve Bow For Hunting?

The Kodiak Magnum was first introduced back in 1961 as “a bow hunter’s dream,” because it’s short and easy to maneuver. There are certainly some drawbacks to the short limb length, but once you acclimatize yourself to it, this recurve will really show its capability to tackle deer, turkey, or other game. With draw weights from 40# to 55#, you can handily get a model capable of bagging almost any legal game in North America. What’s more, this lightweight archery equipment is easy to pack in and out of the bush, and you won’t have to worry about long limbs getting in the way from your tree stand or ground blind.

Will Beginners Be Able To Learn On The Bear Archery Kodiak Magnum?

Make no mistake, this recurve is not designed for beginners. Its short limb length makes accuracy rely heavily on skill and technique, and the bow is not forgiving of poorly-trained or untrained amateurs. My recommendation is to build up your archery skills with a different, more appropriate recurve, and then “graduate” to the Kodiak Magnum.

What Are The Best Arrows To Use With The Bow?

People always ask me what arrows they should buy to go along with their new bow, and I’m always tempted to just flippantly reply “It depends.” Honestly, though, that would be a truthful (if curt) answer. Arrow selection depends on your draw length, your bow’s capabilities, and what you’re shooting. For a more comprehensive answer to this burning, important question, be sure to check out our guide on arrow selection.

How Durable Are The Limbs And Riser On The Recurve?

Since 2013, Bear Archery has used its FutureWood technology, which dates back to the 1970s, in the Kodiak Magnum. This manufacturing process gives completely new physical properties to the wood in the riser, making it virtually impossible to warp, check, or crack. Even with this extreme durability, the grain and original beauty of the natural wood remain intact.

The limbs on the Kodiak Magnum are also very durable and rugged, without much tendency towards limb twist. This assumes, of course, that you properly care for your recurve and unstring it when you’re done with it for the day.

What Strings Will Fit This Recurve Bow?

The limb tips are reinforced, and the Kodiak Magnum ships with a Dynaflight 97 Flemish Twist string. You can readily change this string out for Fastflight or other Flemish strings, as you prefer.

Is It Heavy?

At a mere 1.35 pounds, the Bear Archery Kodiak Magnum is one of the lightest recurves I’ve handled. It’s a breeze to handle on the range or in the field, light enough that it won’t burden you when you have to hold it or carry it for long periods.

How Quiet Is The Bow?

No recurve bow is silent, but the Kodiak Magnum gets pretty darned close. Once you’ve properly installed string silencers and tuned your bow, you shouldn’t notice much vibration, string slap, or other noise that might startle off your prey. I’ve used this particular recurve on several successful hunts, even bagging a buck from just 10 yards away without a hint of the beast string-jumping on me.

Bear Archery Kodiak Magnum Recurve Bow Summary

Thanks for taking the time to read this recurve review. Bear Archery’s Kodiak Magnum is one of the finest hunting bows available, even though it doesn’t accept accessories. It’s hard-hitting, well-balanced, and shoots very accurately once you get used to the short length. It may not be right for a beginner, but a serious bow hunter can hardly go wrong with this baby, as long as they’ve already built up the archery skills to handle it.

Take a look at current price on the Bear Kodiak Magnum Recurve Bow if you’re interested in buying.

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