Bear Archery Carnage Bow Review

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A few months ago we took a closer look at Bear Archery's entry level bow, the Charge, which we were rather impressed with, considering it an overall good value. Having taken a look at Bear's baseline bow, we thought it would be worthwhile to take a look at their current flagship compound bow, the Carnage.

2011 Bear Carnage Bow

The Carnage is offered in 50, 60, and 70 pound peak limb weights and the draw weight can be reduced by up to 10 pounds from the peak. The Carnage also sports Bear's new Skeleton cam system that uses modules to adjust from 25.5 to 30.5 inches of draw length. The module system is necessary to keep the bow's speed up and the Carnage doesn't disappoint with an IBO speed of 345 with 70 pound draw weight.

The new Skeleton cam uses modules to adjust draw length.

If you have seen Bear's Attack bow, that has been on the market for a few years, the Carnage at first looks quite similar and it's important to view the Carnage as an improved Attack. The overall look of the bow is similar, but Bear has enhanced the bow in several areas. Most noticeable is the "4x4" cable roller system that uses four aluminum wheels (two ball bearings per wheel for an eight ball bearing system total) that smoothly guides the control cable through draw and release.

The "4x4" control cable roller system.

The Carnage is slightly longer axle-to-axle at 32 inches versus the 31 inches of the Attack, plus the Carnage has an additional quarter inch of brace height coming in at 7.25 inches. The increased length and brace height makes the bow a little more forgiving than the Attack. Finally the Carnage is also slightly lighter than the Attack by a fifth of a pound, not much but impressive none-the-less given that the Carnage is actually longer.

What remains the same are the dual string suppressors and the heavily curved pre-load limbs from the Attack. The limb loading and the dual string suppressors are nice because they really make the bow smooth and quiet. The pre-load limbs deflect some under full draw but not much, which makes for a nearly constant draw weight with little stacking before hitting the 80% left off.

The Carnage uses split limbs that are pre-loaded and highly curved.

The Carnage is equipped with 2 string silencers that rest against the string at rest.

Currently the Carnage is offered in either Realtree APG or Shadow Black. Our only real complaint with the bow is that our review model had a few minor imperfections in the camo dip. These would show through as white where the camo had not completely covered the underlying riser or limb pocket. Overall the imperfections were rather minor and it is difficult to find a perfect camo dip job on a bow or firearm.

Overall the Carnage is an impressive offering and comes in at $849 which is exactly $100 more than the older Attack. However for the additional $100 you're getting a bow that is faster and more forgiving because of the longer axle-to-axle distance and brace height, and still retains the smooth draw of the Attack. The Carnage is worth considering if you're in the market for a premium bow, which like the Charge, offers a good value for the money spent.

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numbnutz's picture

I actually shot one of these

I actually shot one of these bows a few months ago at my local dealer. I was impressed with the bow overall. It was light weight, smooth, fast, and comfortable. I like how Bear has the built in string stops so there is no need to buy an after market one. In the review it said they had an issue with the camo dip. The one that I handled was perfect or atleast as perfect gets. I was considering buying the Bear carnage for my next bow but I'm sold on a Hoyt at this point that may change in the next few months before I buy my ne wbow. But I will keep Bear in mind. Thanks for the great review.

GooseHunter Jr's picture

Bear Archery does make some

Bear Archery does make some real nice bows and that are top quality.  Would not hesitate to buy one.

Ca_Vermonster's picture

Well, that sure is a purdy

Well, that sure is a purdy bow!!!! Wink

I haven't used a Bear Archery product in years.  My Dad's first compound bow he bought, back in the late 80's maybe, was a Bear.  However, other than shooting that a few times, i have never used one.

It looks nice, sounds pretty good.  However, I kinda like any of the new bows I see.  I think the most important thing to do is shoot alot of different bows and see what fits you best.  I should be in line to get a new bow in another 2 years or so, and after reading reviews like this, I wouldn't mind trying out one of the Bear Archery compound bows.