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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.
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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.
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.
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. 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.
Lists of compound bow makers are found at websites such as Hunter's Friend.
My son recently started bowhunting and purchased a used Matthews Switchback bow.
My problem is that I cannot find a serial number for the bow anywhere on the bow.
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.
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.