Bear Archery Bruzer FFL Review – Compound Crossbow

ModelDraw WeightStrokeVelocitySuggested Arrow LengthCrossbow Length / Weight
Bear Archery Bruzer FFL

Bear Archery Bruzer FFL Crossbow Review

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125 lbs.14"335 FPS

Crossbow Academy: ballistics, sighting, tuning
20"34.5" / 9 lbs.

Pros:
- Light draw weight for the amount of power it packs
- Forward-facing limbs for better balance
- Compact for excellent maneuverability


Cons:
- Quite heavy to carry around
- Trigger pull is too long
- Included scope is not illuminated
Small Game Hunting?yes2
Deer, Elk Hunting?yes2
Moose, Bear Hunting?yes2
Target Shooting?yes2
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Howdy, and welcome to my review of Bear Archery’s Bruzer FFL Crossbow. This model features forward-facing limbs to provide for excellent balance and almost no front-heaviness, but how well does it perform in the field? Let’s take a look.

What Comes With the X-Bow?

First of all, you’ll want to know what you get for your money. Bear Archery includes the following items in the packaging:

  • Bear Archery Bruzer FFL Crossbow
  • Trophy Ridge XF425 Scope
  • 3 20-inch Trophy Ridge Insidious bolts
  • Picatinny-mount quiver
  • Cocking sled
  • Rail lube
  • Owner’s manual
  • Warranty card

Once you’ve taken everything out of the packaging, it’s time to put it all together.

How Difficult Is It to Assemble the Bruzer FFL?

Bear Archery Bruzer FFL Crossbow ReviewThe included owner’s manual gives excellent instructions on assembling the Bruzer, but x-bows with forward facing limbs can be a bit of a challenge to properly assemble. Luckily, Bear Archery is very user-friendly, and have made this one a snap. Once you’ve properly routed the cables and affixed the riser to the stock, you mount your scope and quiver and you’re ready to rock and roll.

Is It Accurate and Powerful?

This isn’t the fastest model I’ve come across, but for a x-bow with a draw weight of just 125 pounds, it’s pretty respectable. The Bruzer slams arrows into the target at 335 fps, with 99.3 foot-pounds of kinetic energy. With my compressed foam target block 40 yards away, this crossbow can send the 20-inch bolts all the way through and into my haybale backstop.

Once sighted in, which is a quick and easy process that I’ll detail in a bit, you can begin working on your accuracy. I love firing x-bows with forward-facing limbs, because the balance achieved makes them a dream to shoot. I was able to maintain 1-inch patterns from 30 yards, and 1.5-inch patterns from 40 yards. This is a highly accurate weapon that definitely lives up to Bear Archery’s reputation in archery.

Use our arrow ballistics calculator for more valuable information.

Ballistic Data For The Bear Archery Bruzer FFL

Your actual results will vary slightly depending on weather, and significantly with arrow weight change. See our Crossbow Ballistics Guides section for a complete understanding of how we conducted our tests and why this data matters.

Will Hunters Enjoy the Bear Archery Bruzer FFL?

The Bruzer is powerful enough to take on even the largest game, delivering 99.3 foot-pounds of kinetic energy. That makes it very well-suited for hunting, except for one thing: the weight. At nine pounds, this is one of the heaviest crossbows I’ve ever come across. If you don’t have far to hike to your favorite hunting spot, it’s not so bad, but if you have to trek several miles you’ll surely suffer some fatigue.

Once you get to your hunting spot, though, this baby really shines. It’s compact and easily maneuverable in tree stands or ground blinds, and it’s extremely quiet and vibration-free. I’ve used the Bruzer to bag a Cape buffalo, and even got brave enough to use it to bag a grizzly bear once.

How Difficult Is It to Cock?

With a draw weight of just 125 pounds, this model is very easy to cock. You could readily pull the string back by hand, but why? The included cocking sled makes it even easier, and ensures a smooth, even draw.

What’s the Included Scope Like?

Bear Archery includes the Trophy Ridge XF425 scope with the Bruzer, and it’s a decent enough scope. It sights in within just a few shots, and holds zero almost indefinitely. Unfortunately, it’s not illuminated, so you’ll end up replacing it if you do much hunting during low-light conditions.

See our detailed guide on how to sight-in your crossbow

What Kind of Bolts Do I Need?

You get a trio of 20-inch Trophy Ridge Insidious bolts with your purchase, and they’re pretty good arrows. If you want to really beef up your game, though, you can match your favorite carbon arrows with the crossbow, as long as they’re 20 inches long and have a weight of around 400 to 425 grain. If you want some extra help choosing your shooting accessories, check out our guides on bolt selection and broadhead recommendations.

How’s the Safety and Design?

Bear Archery has built this crossbow with what they call the “3 Times Safe trigger.” Basically, this means it doesn’t matter if you have the safety in safe or fire position when you cock the crossbow; it will always be set to safe as soon as you pull the string back all the way. The anti-dry fire mechanism works flawlessly, and the safety is intuitive to use.

Unfortunately, the trigger has its challenges. It basically feels like a two-stage trigger, with far too much pull before you hit the sweet spot and release your arrow. You eventually get used to it, but it does extend the learning curve of getting your muscle memory in place for fully accurate shot placement.

To improve stress distribution, Bear has utilized a “Power-V” riser that extneds behind the trigger, helping provide the crossbow with outstanding efficiency. The PowerLink cable routing hangers extend the limbs slightly, allowing the cables to clear the rotation of the cams, which makes for the best possible bow tune you can find. Finally, the uniquely-designed foot stirrup doubles as a hook that can allow you to hang your x-bow just about anywhere.

What Kind of Warranty Backs This Crossbow?

Bear Archery backs its crossbows with a limited lifetime warranty for the original owner, and their customer service is fantastic.

Bear Archery Bruzer FFL Crossbow Review – Summary

Thanks for reading this crossbow review. Bear Archery’s Bruzer FFL is a compact, powerful crossbow that has excellent potential for hunters. It’s too bad they couldn’t bring the weight down on the x-bow, though, because this puppy is a real bear to haul through the woods, if you’ll pardon the pun.

Make sure to check today’s Amazon.com price on the Bear Archery Bruzer FFL Crossbow if you’re interested.

5 Comments

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  1. The bear crossbows are extremely heavy compared to other models out there! I am really disappointed in Bear. They had an opportunity to come out of the gate swinging home runs and they blew it. My local shop has a Bruzer FFL hanging and collecting dust, no one wants to pay that kind of money for something that bulky and awkward. Hopefully they can get their act together for 2017.

    1. The word “extremely” is a huge exaggeration. So it weights a couple more pounds. Also, “bulky and awkward” cannot be further from the truth. The Bruzer FFL is compact and easy to maneuver in the woods and in my tree stand. Yes, it is heavier than other reverse limbs but it is a great addition to my hunting gear. It is accurate, easy to load, I can even do it with my bear hands, and it really carries a punch. I killed a buck at 30 yards and the 150lbs buck ran 15 yards before collapsing dead. I love this crossbow.

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