AtA Length / Weight
|Bear Archery Apprentice 2 (Limitless)|
See Today's Price on Cabelas
|20 - 60 lbs. (adjustable)||15" - 27"||6.125"|
How To Choose Arrows
|265 FPS||70%||27 5/8" / 2.9 lbs.|
- The best compound bow for young archers
- Very wide range of adjustability
- Surprisingly vibration-free
- Great value for the money
- Dynaflight Fast Flight string included
- Not for people with a long draw length
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The Bear Archery Apprentice 2 At a Glance
Welcome to our Bear Archery Apprentice 2 review. This is a perfect compound bow for children, youth, females, and males with a smaller frame (5’6″ and below). Draw length and draw weight can be very easily adjusted across a very wide range, so it will be years before you need to upgrade to a more powerful bow. The draw cycle is as smooth as it can get, and arrow clearance is excellent regardless of the bow’s settings. Highly recommended, especially considering the price.
The Apprentice 2 is sold as a Ready-To-Shoot package only. My package, ordered online, came with these items:
- Bear Apprentice 2 compound bow (riser, limbs, cam system, cables, string)
- Trophy Ridge Whisker Biscuit
- Trophy Ridge 3-pin bow sight
- Trophy Ridge quiver (four arrows)
- Peep sight
- Nock loop
- Printed manual
- Warranty card
Assembling The Apprentice 2
This compound bow comes fully assembled and ready to shoot. No need to screw in or attach anything. The included manual will show you exactly how to change the draw length and how to turn the limb bolts to adjust draw weight.
The Apprentice 2 Eccentric System (cams)
The Bear Archery Apprentice 2 comes with a Twin cam system, comprised of two perfectly round wheels. The cams are synchronized together for perfectly symmetrical motion, meaning the arrow nock will always travel in a perfectly straight line, helping achieve maximum accuracy and even force distribution.
Twin Cam systems are particularly popular in youth compound bows, since their design geometry makes it easy to provide for a wide range of setting adjustments. The draw length on the Apprentice 2 can bet set to anywhere between 15″ and 27″, in 1″ increments, making it perfect for children/youth and small-framed adults.If you are taller however, your draw length will most likely be 28″ or higher, in which case this bow would not be a good choice.
The Draw weight on the Apprentice 2 can be set to anywhere between 20 and 60 lbs., which is an improvement over the older Apprentice model. Changing the draw weight is as easy as turning the limb bolts in the appropriate direction – a very easy procedure that is explained in detail within the manual.
As mentioned earlier in this review, the advertised maximum speed for the Apprentice 2 is 265 Feet Per Second. This speed is only achievable with highest bow settings in place (27″ draw length, 60 lbs. draw weight), and using a 350 grain arrow. If the arrow is heavier, or the draw length/draw weight are set to a lower setting, shooting speed will be significantly lower.
Important note: beginner youth/child/small-framed adult archers, for whom this bow is made, should not concern themselves with shooting speed. The Apprentice 2 was never designed to be a speed monster. Rather, its purpose is to help you improve your shooting skills and accuracy, will providing for enough draw weight and draw length adjustability to accustom the shooter as they grow in both skill and size.
Kinetic Energy (KE) Of The Bear Apprentice 2 Compound Bow
At the highest settings (60 lbs. and 27″ draw length), a 350 grain arrow will deliver approximately 54 ft-lbs of kinetic energy at point blank range (subtract ~1.5 ft-lbs for every 10 yards the arrow travels). Conversely, a 425 grain arrow with the same bow settings would deliver approximately 57 ft-lbs of KE at point blank range.
The above numbers will be significantly lower the more you lower the settings (draw weight / draw length) of the Apprentice 2. For instance, if the bow is set to 23″ draw length and 30 draw weight, a 425 grain arrow will carry less than 20 ft-lbs of KE at point blank range.
The Bow’s Draw Cycle
As you’d expect from a compound bow made specifically for beginner youth shooters, the Apprentice 2 has an extremely smooth draw cycle without any humps or sudden ramp up’s in resistance. The Valley is very generous allowing for well over 0.5″ of creeping. Since the Apprentice 2 was not designed with monstrous speed and power in mind, it was possible for the engineers to design the eccentric system to provide as smooth of a draw cycle as possible, without having to worry about a slight loss in the limbs energy storage potential as a result.
Noise Levels And Vibration
When shooting the bow naked, it can be relatively loud. Install some whisker silencers on the string and maybe a string stopper however, and it becomes extremely quiet. Even without these extra accessories though, the noise levels are still far from being annoying.
Despite the Apprentice 2 being so small in size and light-weight, vibration levels are quite low and there is pretty much zero hand-shock even without any accessories being installed. I believe this can be attributed to two features:
- The shape of the cams (perfectly round) minimizes the build-up of residual energy as the bow is drawn.
- The use of Bear’s Zero Tolerance Limb Pockets provides for extra cushioning and vibration reduction upon releasing the string
Using The Bear Apprentice 2 For Hunting
Keep in mind the Apprentice 2 was not designed to be an ideal hunting tool. Most archers who opt to buy it will be using relatively low settings (draw weight and draw length), which means the bow will not be capable of delivering nearly enough kinetic energy to make it suitable for hunting purposes. Take a look at Easton’s Kinetic Energy chart below and see for yourself:
|Kinetic Energy:||You Can Hunt:|
|< 25 ft-lbs||Small Game (groundhog, rabbit, wild turkey)|
|25-41 ft-lbs||Medium Game (Antelope, Whitetail deer)|
|42-65 ft-lbs||Large Game (black bear, wild boar, elk)|
|> 65 ft-lbs||Largest Game (Grizzly bear, Cape buffalo, Musk Ox, African elephant)|
At medium settings, you’ll be lucky if you can take down small game with the Apprentice 2. Once the young archer grows in size however, and once their form and strength improves to a point where using 50 or 60 lbs. of draw weight is no longer a problem, this compound bow can be used to successfully take down even large game (black bear and elk included). Refer to our “Kinetic Energy of the Apprentice 2” section above for some example numbers.
Limbs And Riser
The split limbs on the Apprentice 2 attach to the machined aluminum riser using Zero Tolerance Limb Pockets. A proprietary technology developed at Bear Archery, these pockets keep the limbs firmly in place, but also provide for a bit of wiggle room uppon shooting, which helps reduce energy transfer to the riser (and hence vibration) without negatively impacting accuracy or performance.
The grip is very comfortable and should feel just right in both small and medium-sized palms. This is however definitely not the grip for very large hands.
Value For The Money
The Apprentice 2 delivers great value for the money. You’d be hard-pressed to find a compound bow that offers such excellent adjustability, while maintaining high performance regarding of settings. You can’t go wrong with this bow, as long as you read our review fully and understand the purposes of this bow.
Bear Archery Apprentice 2 Compound Bow Review – Summary
Thanks for going through our Bear Archery Apprentice 2 review. An excellent compound for children and small-to-medium sized adults as well. Dedicated to beginner archers, the price tag makes it an absolutely fantastic purchase. If you’re looking for a bow that will grow alongside your kid’s experience level, look no further. See Cabela's current price and customer reviews on the Bear Archery Apprentice 2 if you have a second. And if you have any questions, post them in the comments below.