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Kodiak Magnum

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Kodiak Magnum

Postby kcbrown » Mon May 17, 2010 6:48 am

I picked this magnum up recently and just wondered when it was new based on the serial number. My dad has one that was made in I am guess the late 60s. The thing looks orginal as far as I can tell. Any help would be appreciated Thanks.

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Re: Kodiak Magnum

Postby BK in TEXAS » Mon May 17, 2010 6:55 am

KC...I'm just going of this info, so I could be mistaken: http://www.neoreality.com/archery/goodole.htm

Aluminum coin would be '61, pewter '62
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Re: Kodiak Magnum

Postby trapperDave » Mon May 17, 2010 6:57 am

Im not a Bear guy...but I saved this off the net a while back, maybe it will help.


Dating Your Fred Bear Bow

There are several features and changes that were made to the bear bows over the years that will help narrow the age of your bow or your potential investment.


1. The Serial Number: These bows usually have, what appears to be a hand inscription on one of the limbs that gives a serial number along with the length and pull weight of the bow. This serial number works very well for dating Bear Bows from 1965-1969 when the first digit of the serial number is the year of manufacture.

For example, a serial number of 5L212 would be a 1965 Bow.

Prior to 1965, the serial numbers for all Bear bows were started over every month, making these bows almost impossible to date by serial number alone. The "K" series of serial numbers (for example KZ9672) were started in 1970.


2. Patent Mark: Most of the BEAR Bows we have sold have the logo and the US Patents printed on it along with the date of CANADA 1953. This date that is printed on all bows made between 1953 and 1972 is simply the date of the patent for a working recurve limb and has nothing to do with the actual model year.


3. Decals & Silkscreening: In 1948 the small Running Bear decal was first and then was replaced by the large Standing Bear decal in mid-1953. The large Standing Bear decal also has the words "Glass Powered Bow" under the Standing Bear.

The large Standing Bear decal was used until 1955 when it was replaced with silk-screening the identification on the bows. By 1956 the silk-screening appeared on all bows.


4. All Wood vs Laminate: If your bow is ALL wood (no laminations of any kind) then your bow had to be made before the mass productions beginning in 1949.

If the ALL wood bow has a stamp that reads "Bear Products" in some form it would have been made before the early to mid 40's.
If it is stamped "Bear Archery" it would have been made AFTER the early-mid 40's and BEFORE 1949.
Also wooden bows with a small "Running Bear" decal can be dated to 1948


5. The Leather Grip: ALL Bear bows had leather grips until 1959. In 1959, the Kodiak Special removed the leather grip and in 1961 the Kodiak did the same, as well as the Grizzly in 1964.


6. The Coin Medallion: Beginning in 1959 all Bear bows had a coin medallion of one type of metal or another. Below are the approx date ranges for the type of coin used.

Copper Coin – 1959
Aluminum - 1960-1961
Pewter – 1962
Brass - 1963 – 1970
Nickel-Silver - 1971-1972

ALL coins were flush with the wood until 1972. In late 1972 the coin was raised above the surface of the bow and came in both gold and chrome covered plastic and are still used in Bear bows today.


7. Manufacturer Location: in 1978 Bear moved all manufacturing and offices to Gainesville, Florida. If your bow shows Gainesville on it then it was made after 1978


8. Model Of The Bow: Check the Model of the bow. Below is a yearly production chart for the most popular Bear Bows.

Wood Handle Take-Down 1969-1972
Wood C-Riser Victor Custom 1973-1975
Magnesium Handle Take-Down A-B-C 1971-1978
Kodiak Static Recurve 1950-1953
Kodiak Recurve 1954-1966
Super Kodiak 1967-1976
Grizzly Static Recurve 1949-1957
Grizzly Recurve 1958-1978
Super Magnum 48 1966-1976
Kodiak Magnum 52" 1961-1977
Kodiak Hunter 58" and 60" 1967-1977
Tamerlane 1962-1968
Tamerlane HC-30 1965-1967
Tamerlane HC-300 1968-1972
Kodiak Special 1955-1967
Temujin 1968-1970
Tarter 1968-1972
Victor Patriot 1973-1977
Victor 1972
Polar (recurve) 1957-1970
Alaskan (leather grip semi-recurve) 1959-1961
Alaskan (recurve) 1966-1970
Tigercat 1964-1978
Bearcat 1964-1971
Black Bear 1972-1978
Little Bear 1965-1978
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Re: Kodiak Magnum

Postby kcbrown » Mon May 17, 2010 7:58 am

So based on this information there is noting to the serial number starting with a 2. Now depending if that is aluminum or pewter in the coin would make it a 61 or 62. Looks like aluminum to me. This thing does have a lower grip than mine and dads magnums. Thanks guys
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Re: Kodiak Magnum

Postby Raineman » Mon May 17, 2010 12:44 pm

That is a 1962 K-Mag.

Dating with medallions (coins) is an unreliable method.

Dating with the serial number digit only works for bows between 1965-1969, so you need to know what those years models looked like to accurately know if you can use the first digit method.

In your case, the "2" means nothing as far as dating the bow. The important facts to date your bow are the profile (non-dogleg model), style of numbering (Pre-'65), materials used (Brazilian rosewood with Arctic Gray glass), and years the models with all the matching "signs" were made. Add all that up and "wa-la", you have a '62.
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Re: Kodiak Magnum

Postby kcbrown » Mon May 17, 2010 2:04 pm

Ok, I guess you will have to explain the dogleg to me. I am going to take a picture of this bow and dads old Kodiak for comparison of the profiles.
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Re: Kodiak Magnum

Postby kcbrown » Mon May 17, 2010 2:58 pm

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Re: Kodiak Magnum

Postby kcbrown » Mon May 17, 2010 3:01 pm

The heal on dads flairs out about 3/8" more than the other one. The bow in question does not flair much at all.
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Re: Kodiak Magnum

Postby BK in TEXAS » Mon May 17, 2010 3:35 pm

Raineman wrote:....materials used (Brazilian rosewood with Arctic Gray glass), and years the models with all the matching "signs" were made. Add all that up and "wa-la", you have a '62.


Wow...lots of knowledge. Where do you find info on the woods & other matching signs?
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Re: Kodiak Magnum

Postby Raineman » Mon May 17, 2010 6:25 pm

Old catalogs, time spent studying, collecting them, that sort of thing. I have also been very lucky to have a bunch of extremely knowledgeable collectors as very good friends, so a lot of it is osmosis. What I know would fit in a thimble compared to their knowledge.

Also, it is "bark gray" not "arctic gray" as I had stated for the '62 model shown. The glass is kind of hard to see in the pics, but the faded grain screams Brazilian rosewood. The '61 used African rosewood and had what hey called Grayling green glass which was lighter than what I can see of the limbs. The African rosewood was typically more "blah" and plain than the Brazilian and usually looked faded from the get go. The Brazilian when restored is erotic. The African when restored is still plain. They both did sport the same looking medallion with the blackened background.

The '63 "Doglegs" are a whole 'nother conversation, but there is plenty of research on the web to get started with.

The bow you show as your Dad's is definitely a '65. This is one of those times when you can use the serial number identification. It has Bubinga and Brazilian rosewood riser with an olive gray limb glass. The lighter Bubinga you see in that riser is what you would see on a '61. If it were a '64 it would have the same riser woods, but a different color "bark gray" glass, and it would have a serial number style like "14BJ434" instead of the "5H6335" type you have.
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