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» Trad Gang.com » Main Forums » Trad History/Collecting » 1959 Kodiaks - the Rarest Model ??? (Page 5)

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Author Topic: 1959 Kodiaks - the Rarest Model ???
mangonboat
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"I saw that. someone really wanted that Kodiak."

Close inspection of the photos of that bow, the serial number especially, suggested that was the third MSW 64" made in 1959. A rare beauty, but I'm not THAT sentimental.

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mangonboat

I've adopted too many bows that needed a good home.

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mangonboat
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This is one that got away from me this morning but is now a confirmed sighting.

1959 overlays, very slender grip that never saw a leather wrap, coin location drilled but coin missing. I-beam could be bubinga, could be rosewood, cant tell from the avilable photos.One slab appears to be rosewood, the other looks like it could be rosewood, could be purpleheart, 64", 58?#, SN EXP B
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mangonboat

I've adopted too many bows that needed a good home.

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mangonboat
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The multiple maple laminations suggest 4 thin lams in the limbs, but no photos of the limbs from the side.
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The seller says he picked it up at an auction in Janesville, WI, for re-sale , very dirty and the only bow there. No other info or history.

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mangonboat

I've adopted too many bows that needed a good home.

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crazynate
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So jealous of all your bowsbyou guys have lol. The 59 kodiak is one I haven't owned yet. Can't bring myself to pay that kind of money. (In other words my wife would kill me). Someday it will happen though.cool bows
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Pack animal
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Welll....
Mangonboat I can provide some better pictures now.
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Pack animal
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Pack animal
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I think both slabs are Rosewood and the Ibeam is purpleheart. the poundage is 38#. And yes the grip is small and thin
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TRAP
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Neat bow!!!!!!!

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"If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less" Gen. Eric Shinsheki

"If you laugh, and you think, and you cry, that's a full day, that's a heck of a day." Jim Valvano.

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mangonboat
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Good on you, Bruce! She cleaned up nicely! It'd be fun to know the story behind that one.

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mangonboat

I've adopted too many bows that needed a good home.

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Pack animal
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Thanks
Once I finish cleaning it up I will start a new thread with several pictures. One thing occurred to me, the serial number "EXP-B" implies there is at least a probability of there being a bow "EXP-A"...

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Wade Phillips
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Bruce -

Great photographs of a very interestingly inscribed 1959 Kodiak.

Remember seeing at least one EXP inscribed 1959 kodiak about 20 years ago, but at the time did not understand the reason it was marked EXP.

With purpleheart SW, would guess the bow did not precede the initial 64" maple SW production, which some might assume. Would guess the bow was produced much later in the production and marked EXP for a non standard production reason.

The bow also has the three lamination riser overlays, clearly indicating that it was produced much later in the production cycle the the initial bows which had much more ornate/elaborate tip & riser overlays.

Your images show that the bow has two thin maple maple laminations on the back and belly and 4 thin maple limb laminations at the tip. This is twice the usual number of one lamination on the back and belly for a total of two at the tip. The 4 laminations exceeds the usual 2 and sometimes 3 laminations in the 18# to 80# 1959 Kodiaks here at the Arsenal.

As I have posted in the past, even lamination variations was a reason to designate a bow EXP.

mangonboat -

The story behind the EXP inscription may not be as fun or interesting as some may have envisioned.

The whole story may simply be a change in the thickness and number of limb laminations.

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"Real Sportsmanship is Fair Play" - Art Young

"Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects." - Will Rogers

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Brock
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experimental..prototype bow?

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Keep em sharp,

Ron Herman
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Backcountry Hunters & Anglers
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mangonboat
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Wade, I lean in favor of your thinking..this bow probably was a mid-production experiment with different laminations, although that very slim grip makes me think it was an early -run experiment.

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mangonboat

I've adopted too many bows that needed a good home.

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johnnyrazorhead
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I have had bows marked EXP but looked every bit like a factor production bow.Only difference on one Grizzly I had was a piece of masking tape with the name of a glue written on it.A former employee of the bow dept. told me it was probably a new glue they were trying out,hence the EXP marking.Nothing visible to the naked eye otherwise.If not for the masking tape on the bow you never would have known.
I also have a 1956 Kodiak that is marked EXP.The bow has a compass mounted in the grip like a 1954 KII or Compass Kodiak and I have seen other post '54 Bear bows with what appear to be factory inlaid compasses in them so I don't think the compass was experimental in 1956.To this day I wonder why the bow is marked EXP.
Strange things going on at Bear back then.

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Wade Phillips
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Brock -

Some less than the most serious collectors, incorrectly (and likely unknowingly), use the terms experimental and prototype interchangeably.

There is a distinct difference in the meaning of these two words, especially for the most serious collectors.

Prototype - the original model of something.

Experimental - an item made to discover, test or demonstrate something.

The meaning of these terms becomes even more blurred for the average person when they see Bear bows that are obviously a prototype, but are marked EXP. It is also important to note that some obvious vintage Bear prototypes are not marked.

Although I have seen many vintage Bear bows that were undoubtedly prototype bows, not sure that I have ever seen a vintage Bear bow marked "Prototype" or "Proto".

In the case of the EXP 1959 Kodiak, using the facts offered in my earlier post clearly prove that it is not a prototype.

mangonboat -

I agree with your suggestion that the bow was likely made later in the thin grip run. However, it is important to note that a thick grip could be easily sanded or routed down to be a thin grip at the factory.

The purpleheart SW likely places the EXP 1959 after the initial run of 64" maple SW bows of approximately 1,000.

John -

I believe in years past that we had a thread that pictured Kodiaks with a factory compass in the handle from each year from 1953 to 1959. I personally have a total of 15 different Kodiaks in the collection with factory compasses in the handle from 1953, 1954, 1954-1/2, 1958, 1959. Would not be surprised to learn of others.

In addition to a change in glue being responsible for designating a bow as EXP, other significant factors such as change in supplier or makeup of glass fibers, change in temperature, pressure, or cycle time in the press (plus countless other variations), could have been responsible for an EXP designation.

Like many factories, lots of variables did change over the course of an entire production year. To me, Bear seems like a typical small factory environment of the era.

Don't really think "Strange things were going on at Bear back then" as you suggest. They were simply trying to make money by producing archery tackle as opposed to documenting every detail of every bow in anticipation that 50 or 60 years later a group of anal retentive collectors might not have sufficient investigative skills to be able to figure out every detail of every bow produced by Bear in that era.

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"Real Sportsmanship is Fair Play" - Art Young

"Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects." - Will Rogers

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