Bear’s new-for-2016 crossbow, the Bruzer FFL—one of four models in Bear Archery’s entourage—has unique and significant features that are turning heads. Most notably, it has Forward Facing Limbs, and that alone puts it on the A-list. Let’s begin with the Bruzer by describing what it has in common with most mid- to top-end crossbows, including a machined aluminum barrel supported by a polymer frame and skeletonized buttstock. The Bruzer’s forend features safety wings. In front of the wings and beneath the forend of the crossbow is a small Picatinny rail for attaching its perpendicular quiver and other accessories.

The Bear X Bruzer FFL’s metal fire-control unit also sports a Picatinny rail for its Trophy Ridge 4-power, 5-crosshair scope and features an anti-dryfire device with an automatic, ambidextrous safety. The riser is made from machined aluminum, and anchors the tremendous energy transfer of its wickedly long split limbs. Like many other crossbows, the Bruzer comes dressed in all tactical black.

With its 125-pound draw, the Bruzer is about as lightweight as serious crossbows come. Even so, its technology unleashes great speed and power. The buzz at the 2016 ATA show during the Bruzer FFL’s debut was all about its FFL (Forward Facing Limb) technology which represents a better mousetrap in most areas of performance over typical crossbow designs. Namely, it delivers the benefits of a long 14-inch powerstroke, which means more speed and power.

A significant byproduct of the Bruzer is that when drawing the crossbow, that parallel orientation moves the limbs closer together, thereby decreasing the Bruzer’s total width by 3 inches. This crossbow delivers 400-grain arrows at 335 fps.

Bear engineers designed the Bruzer’s stirrup by devising an open configuration that not only provides an anchor point for the foot while cocking, but also serves as a hanger. This is a huge feature in a treestand because most crossbows weigh twice as much as vertical bows, and can strain or break cheap bow hooks.

The Bruzer’s high-quality, orange bow string handles tremendous forces during each shot, which can cause weaker strings to stretch, and metal or plastic to flex. Bear engineers extended two metal support beams to the riser just before the limb pocket. The beams anchor to the buttstock, creating a “PowerV” design that increases strength and rigidity, and improves the Bruzer’s accuracy and structural integrity. The Bruzer’s 3XS trigger adjusts with a recessed thumb screw on the rear tang of the fire-control housing. My tests revealed a pull weight ranging from 4.5 pounds and to 3.10.

The crossbow’s brush-style arrow holder is quieter and less likely to break than a common metal spring. The buttstock is skeletonized to offer multiple grip points while reducing weight. It features a built-in cheekpiece that raises your head and eye to the scope’s height.

Bear’s Powerlink cam system extends the limbs so a yoke can be used and still clear the cams’ rotation, improving accuracy by delivering superior cam sync and, therefore, accuracy. I recorded an informal decibel reading of 96, while the average crossbow range is 92 to 106.

To learn more please visit Bear Archery’s website.