Bear Archery released a couple of new crossbows for the 2020 hunting season, the Bear X Intense CD crossbow is one of them. The Bear X Intense CD is an entry-level crossbow. It’s a very cheap but very accurate crossbow.
Bear Archery manufactures anything archery related and they’re located in Florida. They sell anything from archery carts and targets to (youth) bows and crossbows. They’re owned by Escalade Sports and they specialize in outdoor sporting goods and athletic equipment.
Bear Archery is known to produce high-quality crossbows for a relatively cheap price. The Bear X Intense is a crossbow that falls in the less than $400 category.
We already got our hands on the Bear X Intense a couple of months ago, but due to a faulty string we couldn’t really test the crossbow. Bear offered amazing customer service and replaced the string free of charge! We’re finally able to fully test and review the Bear X Intense CD crossbow.
This crossbow comes as a ready-to-hunt package and you’ll be getting the following included with your crossbow: Foot Stirrup, Illuminated Scope, 4-Arrow Quiver, 3x Bear X TrueX Arrows, Rail Lube and some string wax.
Bear X Intense Crossbow Features
The Bear X Intense isn’t a “special” bow. It doesn’t have premium features like a TenPoint crossbow but it’s made to be durable and easy to operate.
One of the features that Bear installed on the Intense CD crossbow and we really like is the finger guard. The finger guard protects your fingers from getting in between the string when you shoot this crossbow. The finger guard protection has become a standard feature for most modern crossbows. This finger guard is double-sided and placed over the forearm grip.
Even though it’s a very basic stock, the Bear X Intense CD crossbow feels surprisingly comfortable to hold. The finger grips and forearm grips on the Bear X Intense are well made.
Design and Durability
Bear designed the Bear X Intense CD to be a narrow crossbow for “tight quarters”. The Bear X Intense CD comes in at 14 inches wide uncocked, 10 inches wide when cocked, and a total weight of 8 pounds.
Without adjusting the buttstock of the Bear X Intense CD, this crossbow comes in at a total length of 36.5 inches. By having an adjustable buttstock, this crossbow is highly adjustable to anyone’s preference of liking.
Bear designed this bow almost completely out of plastic. It doesn’t look cheap at all though. If you pick up the Bear X Intense, you’ll definitely notice it is hard plastic and feels very durable. It’s also one of the reasons why the Bear X Intense is a fairly “cheap” crossbow.
This Bear X Intense CD crossbow also features an anti-dry fire mechanism. This also has become a standard feature for most modern crossbows and for us an absolute deal-breaker if a crossbow doesn’t have one. It’s one of the main features to keep a crossbow as safe as possible, especially for beginner and youth crossbow hunters/shooters.
The Bear X Intense CD is an entry-level crossbow and doesn’t have a “premium” scope. Even though it is one of the cheaper crossbows from bear, it still features a 4x32 illuminated scope. This 4x32 multi-reticle illuminated scope Bear provides with this crossbow is actually quite nice.
Bear mounted a standard illuminated scope with a 3-dot reticle on the Bear X Intense CD crossbow. This scope is fog- and waterproof, crystal clear and very accurate once properly sighted in.
Noise Reducing Features
Bear released 2 different versions of the Intense, the Bear X Intense CD and the Bear X Intense CDX. The Intense CDX has a feature that the Intense CD doesn’t have; a Dual-mount string recoil suppressor system. The string recoil suppressor system quiets the crossbow down a lot.
You can also buy a kit dampen the noise of the limbs and the strings for the Intense CD. Check out our recommended accessories.
Bear included a rope cocking device with the Bear X Intense CD crossbow. You’ll need to rope-cock about 185 lbs. If you’re not used to rope-cocking a crossbow, this can be quite a task.
Unfortunately, it’s not possible to install a crank-cocking device on this crossbow. Bear doesn’t offer a crank-cocking device for this crossbow and they didn’t plan to release one for this crossbow either.
Assembling and Disassembling
The Bear X Intense CD crossbows is a ready-to-hunt crossbow. Usually this means that the only things you need to assemble yourself are the quiver, foot-stirrup and scope.
You’ll have to install the quiver, foot-stirrup and scope yourself on the Bear X Intense. It’s quite easy to do and shouldn’t take you more than a couple minutes.
As Bear markets this as a ready-to-hunt crossbow, the scope should already be properly sighted in. During transport or reinstalling the scope on the scope, it may not be fully zeroed in. If you have the chance, make sure to sight it in yourself as well. My shots were actually 1 inch off and it only took a single adjustment to get 5 arrows in the X-ring.
Bear Archery produces their own arrows. They include three 370-grain Bear X TrueX Arrows with the Bear X Intense crossbow. These Bear x TrueX arrows are actually really good arrows. They measure 20 inches in length and feature TrueX Nock technology. These Bear X TrueX arrows feature 100-grain field points.
Bear created these custom arrows for consistent and accurate arrow flight. The nocks on these arrows are deeper than other nocks on arrows. It’s highly recommended to stick with these arrows as the nocks are totally different than other arrows. This makes sure that the string has more grip on the arrow for a better and more consistent flight path.
After sighting in the Bear X Intense CD, I managed to get really tight groups at 50 yards distances. Shooting a few arrows over the chronograph gave exactly an average of 400 feet per second, getting 399, 401, and 400 feet per second.
Arrows & Broadheads
Bear created these custom arrows for consistent and accurate arrow flight. The nocks on these arrows are deeper than other nocks on arrows. It’s highly recommended to stick with these arrows as the nocks are totally different than other arrows. You can seriously injure yourself if you do try to shoot arrows not designed for this crossbow.
A pack of 6 of these Bear X TrueX Arrows doesn’t cost much on Amazon either.
If you’re looking for different arrows, I’ve been testing these Reegox arrows with the Bear X Intense CD for our upcoming best arrows for crossbows post. These Reegox arrows come in at a total weight of 425 grains, with a 125-grain field tip. This will give the arrows deeper penetration so be sure your target can handle this extra kinetic energy before you shoot through your target!
As this is a crossbow for hunters on a smaller budget, I’d recommend using the cheap Sinbadteck broadheads. They’re very good for that money and a great entry broadhead.
We just tested more than a hundred different broadheads and made a shortlist of the best Broadheads for crossbows. You can also check that list for a different broadhead to use with your crossbow.
Storage and Transportation
Currently Bear Archery doesn’t offer any cases for their crossbows, but you can hang the crossbow on a foot-stirrup or find a crossbow case that fits.
If you’re looking for a crossbow case that fits the Bear X Intense CD, I’d recommend getting a universal crossbow case on Amazon.
As mentioned in the review, the Bear X Intense CD is quite a noisy crossbow. If you want to quiet down this crossbow, I highly recommend using TenPoint’s Universal Crossbow Limb Dampening Kit. Just reducing the noise that the limbs generate will be enough to quiet it down to an acceptable level. No string dampeners are needed.
Note: Installing a limb dampening kit can reduce the speed of the crossbow. This isn’t a significant number, but beware about a 5 feet per second loss.
Bear X Intense CD 400 Quick Overview
- 400 FPS
- Very Accurate
- Cheap Entry-level Crossbow
- Stock Scope is really nice
- Without string/limb dampeners this crossbow is really noisy.
- Rope-Cocking 185 pounds can be difficult
- Bit heavy at 8 pounds
Without premium features, but including all the basic features like anti-dry fire, finger guards and a very good stock scope, it’s basically a no-brainer for a crossbow that falls into the below $400 category.
Bear Archery created this crossbow to be an entry-level crossbow, therefore this crossbow doesn’t have any premium features. This doesn’t mean that this crossbow isn’t any good, quite the opposite even. It’s a durable compound crossbow with all the basic features and anything a beginner crossbow hunter might need.
- Measures 10” wide cocked and 14” wide uncocked
- Delivers intensely powerful performance in a compact platform
- 12.7” power stroke delivers hard hitting power at 400 feet per second
- Anti-dry fire mechanism helps prevents dry firing
- This ready-to-hunt crossbow package includes 3 Bear X TrueX arrows, scope, 4-arrow quiver, cocking rope, and rail lube / string wax
If you’re looking for a crossbow with more features, we recommend you to take a look at the Bear X Constrictor crossbow.