|Model||Draw Weight||Stroke||Velocity||Suggested Arrow Length||Crossbow Length / Weight|
|Bear Archery Fortus Crossbow|
Check price on Amazon.com
|180 lbs.||13.75"||350 FPS|
Crossbow Academy: ballistics, sighting, tuning
|20"||37.5" / 7.8 lbs.|
- Inexpensive intermediate-level crossbow
- Fast and powerful
- Compact width makes it easy to maneuver in tree stands or ground blinds
- Stock is far from ergonomic
- Front-heavy (but most traditional crossbows are)
- Sloppy trigger pull
|Small Game Hunting?|
|Deer, Elk Hunting?|
|Moose, Bear Hunting?|
|Today's Online Prices:||Compare Prices|
Welcome to my review of the Bear Archery Fortus crossbow. I’m a big fan of Bear’s bows, so I looked on with keen interest when the company began manufacturing crossbows. The fact that Bear Archery spent two years designing the Fortus impressed me, so I was anxious to see how the x-bow performed. Let’s find out.
What Comes With In the Box?
- The Bear Archery Fortus crossbow
itself, including riser and stock
- Assembly hardware and tools
- Trophy Ridge XF425 Scope
- 3 Trophy Ridge X-Ray 20″ arrows with field tips
- Picatinny-mount quiver
- Rope cocking device
- Owner’s manual
- Warranty card
I’ve used the XF425 scope before with good results, but it just doesn’t get along with this crossbow for some reason. More on that later. The rest of the included accessories are excellent quality, and make for a well-rounded package that will get you started in crossbow hunting.
Once you’ve unboxed everything, it’s time to put your new toy together and get shooting.
Is the Fortus Easy to Assemble?
The included owner’s manual gives fantastic direction on assembling your crossbow, so just take your time and be patient as you work through the process. The good news is that it’s really just a matter of guiding the cable savers into the right place, since the riser is already strung for you. Once you’ve got everything assembled and mounted your scope, it’s time to start loosing some arrows.
How Powerful and Accurate is the X-bow?
The Fortus slams arrows into the target at blistering speeds of 350 fps, so you can expect it to deliver at least 95 foot-pounds of kinetic energy into whatever you’re shooting. In terms of my compressed foam target placed 40 yards away, that means knocking the whole kit and caboodle over, slamming the arrow clean through the foam, and delivering the bolt deep into my haybale backstop.
Let me say that I had to test the accuracy of this crossbow with a different scope than the one included, simply because the Trophy Ridge XF425 wouldn’t properly sight in for this crossbow. I actually tried two of the same scope, and neither would allow for enough windage adjustment to get on target. With my Nikon Bolt XR, though, I was able to maintain 1.5″ patterns from 30 yards and 2-inch patterns from 40 yards. With the proper scope, this is a highly accurate tool that lives up to Bear’s name.Use our arrow ballistics calculator for more valuable information.
Ballistic Data For The Bear Archery Fortus
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 Fortus?
When it comes to raw power, the Fortus has it to spare. It’s beefy enough to take on any legal game in North America, including Cape buffalo and grizzly bears. It’s well-suited for hunting from a power and accuracy standpoint, but that’s not all there is to the equation.
The good news is that this crossbow is compact and average weight. It won’t bog you down too much when you’re trekking through the bush, and its 17.625-inch width when fully cocked makes it easily maneuverable in a tree stand or ground blind.
The trouble with the Fortus is the ergonomics of the stock. This x-bow is just downright uncomfortable to hold at a firing position. It’s front-heavy, which is of course to be expected for a traditional crossbow, but it’s also boxy and blocky in the design. The grip is squared off, uncomfortable, and awkward.
How Difficult Is It to Cock?
With a draw weight of 180 pounds, you won’t be pulling this puppy back by hand. Not only is that inadvisable, but it’s unnecessary, because Bear Archery includes a rope cocking device. Using the rope cocker, the x-bow is easy to draw, smooth as butter, with little to no stacking.
What’s the Included Scope Like?
I’ve used the Trophy Ridge XF425 on other crossbows successfully, such as the Bear Archery Bruzer, but it just doesn’t work well with the Fortus. The windage adjustment simply won’t allow for enough change to bring your arrows into the bull’s eye.See our detailed guide on how to sight-in your crossbow
What Kind of Bolts Should I Buy?
The package includes three Trophy Ridge X-Ray arrows, 20“ bolts with field tips. To really shine in your hunting game, though, I’d recommend a good set of third-party 20” carbon bolts with broadheads, with a total weight of 400 to 425 grain. You can get more information on arrow selection from our guide, and be sure to also check out our article on broadhead recommendations.
How’s the Safety and Design?
I’ve already touched on the lack of ergonomics in the design of this crossbow, but let’s talk about safety. Bear uses their “3 Times Safe” trigger, which means that the safety will always be set when you cock the crossbow, even if it was in Fire when you pulled the string back. There’s also an anti dry-fire mechanism that operates flawlessly.
The trigger is adjustable, but it has some serious issues that you may not like. Basically, it feels like a two-stage trigger, and a sloppy one at that. There’s far too much play before the breaking point, and I was never able to get used to how far the trigger pull was before the arrow was released.
What Kind of Warranty Backs This Crossbow?
Bear Archery covers its crossbows with a limited lifetime warranty for the original owner. Customer service is outstanding, with extremely helpful and knowledgeable personnel ready to answer any questions you might have about your crossbow.
Crossbow Review – Summary
Thanks for reading this review of the Bear Archery Fortus. I’m sure some of you out there might find this to be the perfect crossbow, but it just isn’t there for me. The lack of a comfortable, ergonomic design coupled with the trigger pull and an included scope that won’t sight in puts the Fortus at the bottom of my list of recommendations.
Make sure to check today’s Amazon.com price on the Bear Archery Fortus Crossbow if you’re interested.