Bear bows are recognizable at a glance with their long risers, short, parallel, or past parallel limbs, roller guards, and dual arc string suppressors. The new Anarchy is distinguishable from Bear’s previous designs in several ways, beginning with the trend-defying 351⁄4-inch axle-to-axle length. That’s a long bow by modern standards. 

A little less obvious in terms of appearance, but radically different in concept, is Bear’s new Flat Top Cam. It’s a single perimeter weighted cam, and about 20 percent of the perimeter is, well, flat. In theory, the result is a very efficient, but smooth draw.

Bear Archery 2012Finally, the grip on the Anarchy is newly designed for 2012. It features two options: an overmolded grip and a side-panel grip. Both are slim and low profile—in fact, the side-panel grip is about as close to no grip as possible. That’s a welcome feature to many shooters, who prefer a very narrow grip. The overmolded grip, on the other hand, is softer to the touch, not to mention warmer, without adding a lot of torque-inducing bulk.

Not new, but certainly contributing to the feel and performance of the Anarchy, are Bear’s preloaded quad limbs, 4×4 roller guard, dual arc string suppressors, and Zero Tolerance Limb Cups.

Draw weight is adjusted by loosening a limb bolt lockdown screw under the limb pockets, then turning the limb bolt, then retightening the lockdown screws. Draw length on the Anarchy covers the gamut from 25.5 to 30.5 inches in half-inch increments, and adjustments can be made without pressing the bow. (Bear is very particular about the types of presses that can be used on its bows.) Adjustments are module-specific, though, as is true with many single-cam bows, so changing draw length requires a new module.

Shooting The Bow

Longer axle-to-axle bows provide easier shooting and longer draw lengths for basketball players, but they offer some additional advantages that any bowhunter can appreciate. Many shooters feel that longer bows are better balanced, for one, and a little less subject to torque. They’re also easier to shoot without canting slightly, which makes only a small difference at close range, but a significant difference in hunting situations at longer ranges. Hunters concerned about the weight of longer bows will discover that at 3.8 pounds, the Anarchy is lighter than many short bows.

Bear touts its bows for smooth-drawing and shooting capabilities, and I did find this bow to be smooth-drawing, as borne out by the draw force curve. The flat-top cam led me to expect a bump or two in the draw cycle, but it didn’t happen. Shooters familiar with the highly successful Carnage will find it a little smoother even than that bow. Any shooter with experience shooting single-cam bows will find the feel of this bow familiar. It struck me as among the quietest of the compound bows I’ve shot in recent years, and the decibel meter agrees with me, registering a super-quiet 57.4 dBA. Hand shock and vibration are minimal.

The bow I tested came with the overmolded grip, which I ended up removing. I can imagine appreciating it on a cold day, but found it somewhat “sticky.” That’s a pet peeve, perhaps; I’m inclined to think that a slick grip is more likely to slide into the same spot on my hand each time I draw a bow and less inclined to torque. The grip is optional, though, so anyone preferring a narrower (or slicker) grip can opt for the side-panel version.

At around $900 MSRP, the Anarchy is Bear’s new flagship and its most expensive bow. The new features and the overall quality of the Anarchy justify the price tag and represent a significant step forward from a bowmaker that charted a new course a few years ago and has in the interim produced some innovative, high-quality products.

Bear Archery 2012

Peak Draw Weight: 63 lbs.

Full Draw Hold Weight: 13.8 lbs.

Arrow Weights: 385 grains

Arrow Speed: 284 feet per second

Kinetic Energy: 68.97 foot-pounds

Sound Level: 57.4 decibels

Specs

Letoff: 80%

Brace Height: 7.25 inches

Weight: 3.8 lbs.

Axle-To-Axle Length: 35.25 inches

Options: Draw Length 25 to 31.5 inches. Draw Weights 50, 60, 70 pounds. Overmolded or side panel grips. Two finishes, Realtree APG or Shadow Series.