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» Trad Gang.com » Main Forums » Trad History/Collecting » Bear Kodiak Specials 1955-1967 Identification Guide (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Bear Kodiak Specials 1955-1967 Identification Guide
Wade Phillips
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Hopefully this draft list satisfies several collectors' requests for information about identifying Kodiak Specials. If clarification or corrections are needed, let me know... undoubtedly there are some errors/typos in this initial draft… Gaps between lengths were inserted to align text.

1955 - 60”, 64”,……. 68”,….… – Gray glass back, brown glass belly, decal logos
1956 - 60”, 64”,……. 68”,.…… – Gray glass back, brown glass belly, silk screen logos
1957 - 62”, 64”, 66, 68”, 70” – Tan glass, 2-color tombstone sight window
1958 - 62”, 64”, 66, 68”, 70” – Tan glass, rosewood sight window
1959 - 62”, 64”, 66, 68”, 70” – Gray glass back, white glass belly, flared riser inset over belly glass
1960 - 62”, 64”, 66, 68”, 70” – Gray glass back, white glass belly, crescent riser inset under belly glass

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Bear introduced the Kodiak Special in 1955. The identical bow was produced in 1956. Because Bear changed from water transfer decals to silk screens at some point from 1955-56, collectors use the cosmetic features, decals vs silk screens, to satisfy our anal retentive need to define these two identical bows into two separate years.

Other cosmetic features such coins, serial numbers, overlays, underlays, etc are unreliable in dating Kodiak Specials. These cosmetic features should be avoided in dating Kodiak Specials.

Countless legitimate variations of the 1955-1960 Kodiak Special are in existence, e.g., in 1959 and 1960 numerous laminated wood combinations were used in the risers. Also many experimental Kodiak Specials were produced as well as many bows that transitioned features from one year to the next. Note: some of these lengths were not advertised, but were actually produced.

The Kodiak Special DeLuxe

1960 - 62”, 64”, 66, 68”, 70” – Clear glass over Zebrawood veneer laminations, flared riser inset under glass

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The Kodiak Special DeLuxe was offered only in 1960. Like the 1959 and 1960 Kodiak Specials, numerous laminated wood combinations were used in the risers.

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"Real Sportsmanship is Fair Play" - Art Young

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Wade Phillips
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1961 – 1967 Kodiak Specials listed in Bear Catalogs

1961 – 63”, 66”, 69” – Soft Green glass, Zebrawood Riser
1962 – 63”, 66”, 69” – Soft Green glass, Brazilian Rosewood Riser
1963 – 63”, 66”, 69” – White glass, Rosewood Caps, Bubinga Riser, Shelf in front of Caps
1964 – 63”, 66”, 69” – White glass, Rosewood Caps, Bengal Wood Riser, Rounded Sight Window Corner
1965 – ……. 66”, 69” – White glass, Brazilian Rosewood Caps, Brazilian Bubinga Riser, Scalloped Sight Window Corner
1966 – ……. 66”, 69” – White glass, Golden Rosewood Riser, Brazilian Rosewood Strip along belly
1967 – ……. 66”, 69” – White glass, Zebrawood Riser, Angled Black Phenolic Inset

66" bows are shown below...

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Countless legitimate variations of the 1961-1967 Kodiak Special are in existence, e.g., in …in 1966, handle sizes were offered in small, standard, large, in both regular or pistol grip, making a total of 6 handle variations.

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"Real Sportsmanship is Fair Play" - Art Young

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Wade Phillips
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Thought we might see more activity on this thread in compiling of our list 1959 Kodiak Specials so moved this list from the thread… “Val's 1959 Kodiak Special 62" “

As of 2-22-2010 we have over 50 recorded 1959 Kodiak Specials and some trends are beginning to show up...

Updated 10-19-2016

1959 62", 42# - VA040 - underlays - Bjorn
1959 62", 59# - VA105 - underlays - BowDoc to Tom to Bill
1959 62", 27# - VA161R - Tom
1959 62", 46# - VA 228 - underlays - Chuck
1959 62", 50# - Display - underlays - Wade
1959 62", 50# - VA467L - no underlays - Wade
1959 62", 50# - VA558L - no underlays - Trap
1959 62", 48# - VA611L - no underlays - Hoof
1959 62", 55# - VA612L - no underlays - Wade
1959 62", 40-45# - 17HX12 - no underlays - Chuck


1959 64", 52# - WA139 - underlays - Wade
1959 64", 32# - WA728 - underlays - Mike
1959 64", 52# - WA749 - underlays - BowDoc
1959 64", 50# - WB083 - underlays - LH - Norm
1959 64", 45# - WB448 - underlays - Bob (ser # mismarked during refinish)
1959 64", 48# - WB504 - underlays - Trap
1959 64", 28# - WB934 – no underlays - Bill
1959 64", 45# - WB998 - no underlays - minnesota_hunter
1959 64", 45# - WC020 - underlays - Chuck
1959 64", 53# - WC061 - no underlays - Jeremy
1959 64", 34# - WC191 - jr1959
1959 64", 47# - WC365L - no underlays – Wade
1959 64", 48# - WC613L - no underlays - warpedarrow
1959 64", 40# - WC839 - no underlays - Auction 8-30-09
1959 64", 50# - WD438 - no underlays - Hoof
1959 64", 50# - ?????? - no underlays – Wade
1959 64", 52# - WL197 - no underlays - Bjorn
1959 64", 50# - WL570 - no underlays - Jack Shanks
1959 64", 41# - 30HX1R - no underlays - Wade sold


1959 66", 42# - XA411 - underlays - ****
1959 66", 55# - XA523 - underlays - Hoof
1959 66", 40# - XA591 - no underlays - Auction 8-22-2009
1959 66", 28# - XA844 - underlays - Wade
1959 66", 43# - XA969 - underlay - Bjorn
1959 66", 37# - XB05 - underlays - Dennis
1959 66", 40# - XB62 - Auction 2-8-2010
1959 66", 42# - XB084 - underlays - Auction
1959 66", 42# - XB348 - underlays - Auction 2-14-2010
1959 66", 40# - XB626 - Auction 8-30-2009
1959 66", 42# - XC412 - no underlays - Chris
1959 66", 44# - XD049 - no underlays - Scott
1959 66", 48# - XD119 - no overlays - Trap
1959 66", 49# - XD178 - no underlays - Bjorn
1959 66", 40# - XE403L - no underlays - seboomook
1959 66", 49# - XE593L - no underlays - warpedarrow
1959 66", 47# - XE685 – no underlays - Dennis
1959 66", 49# - XE683 - no underlays - Jack Shanks
1959 66", 50# - XE697 - no underlays - ****
1959 66", 40# - XE904 - no underlays - Jack
1959 66", 42# - XF074 - no underlays - minnesota_hunter
1959 66", 40# - XF086 - no underlays - Larry M
1959 66", 39# - XF090 – no underlays - Chuck
1959 66", 40# - XF790 - Auction 2-13-2010
1959 66", 40# - XF877R - no underlays - Chuck

1959 68", 50# - YA097 - underlays - Hobow
1959 68", 37# - YA309 - underlays - warpedarrow
1959 68", 45#@29" - YA349 - underlays - Dennis
1959 68", 45# - YA367 - underlays - Wade
1959 68", 42# - YA419 - underlays - Shandor
1959 68", 39# - YA456 - underlays - 2-26-2008 Auction
1959 68”, 32# - YB499A - no underlays – Chuck
1959 68", 55# - YA540 - Auction 2-8-2010
1959 68", 44# - YA869 - no underlays - warpedarrow
1959 68", 50#@30" - YB364L - no underlays - Lon
1959 68", 47# - YB626L - no underlays - Jeff
1959 68", 38# - YB965 - no underlays - Wade
1959 68", 39# - YC039 - no underlays - Trap
1959 68", 55# - 9YX29 - no underlays - Bjorn
1959 68", 58# - 19RX33 - no underlays - MarkG


1959 70", 40#@29 ZA067 - underlays - Minnesota hunter
1959 70", 40# - ZA110 - underlays - Chuck
1959 70", 47# - ZA488 - no underlays - Auction
1959 70", 38# - ?????? - underlays removed - Wade
1959 70", 50# - 5VX26 - no underlays - Trap


On 1959 Kodiak Specials, factory underlays are a layer of black marcata that was added to the belly side of the last 4" of the limb tips of some bows as shown below. The term, "underlays", is collector jargon to describe this cosmetic feature in a single word. The purpose of this list is to determine the order and frequency of this cosmetic feature.

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"Real Sportsmanship is Fair Play" - Art Young

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Wade Phillips
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1960 Kodiak Special Deluxe, Top 5 Bows
1960 Kodiak Special, Middle 5 Bows
1959 Kodiak Specials, Bottom 5 Bows

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Below
1958 Kodiak Specials, Top 5 Bows, 70", 68", 66", 64", 62"
1957 Kodiak Specials, Bottom 6 Bows, 70", 68", 66", 64", 62", 62” (bottom 62" has unusual sight window)

 -

Below
1956 Kodiak Specials, Top 3 Bows, 68", 64", 60"
1955 Kodiak Specials, Bottom 5 Bows, 68", 68", 64", 64", 60" (duplicate lengths, have unusual sight windows)

Note different limb and riser shape of 60” bows…

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Will get more photographs loaded later...

[ March 01, 2009, 04:38 PM: Message edited by: Wade Phillips ]

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"Real Sportsmanship is Fair Play" - Art Young

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Bjorn
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Wow Wade! We will be spoiled for sure!
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Wade Phillips
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Bjorn - After we worked on the static Grizzly ID, I got several questions on Kodiak Specials. Figure we might as well just get the information on one thread so we will all have a good reference.

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"Real Sportsmanship is Fair Play" - Art Young

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Bjorn
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some more for the 1959 list:
1959 KS 62" 42# VA040 underlay
1959 KS 64" 52# WL197
1959 KS 66" 43# XA969 underlay
1959 KS 66" 49# XD178
1959 KS 68" 55# 9YX29

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Rick Enos
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Wade,I have a KSD 70" long--Ser# TA-o78#40---This bow has a nickel silver coin...I've always been kinda wondering if its the correct one.Rick...
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Wade Phillips
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Bjorn - Thanks for sending the data on you 59 KS. Looks like you have been hoarding them too...

I added them to the list which is shown on the third post from the top.

We now have 34 1959 KS on the list... it is getting more interesting. Would like to see at least 50 before we start to analyze the data.

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cacciatore
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Wade, hat off to you

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1993 PBS Regular
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Wade Phillips
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Rick - I don't put much store in coins being proper for the year, especially for 1959 and 1960. I know some guys do put a lot of store in dating bows by the coins.

Frankly any coin, could have been put in any bow, at any time, by any one, any where, in the world.

According to the "Coin Experts", 1959 is supposed to be copper and 1960 is supposed to be aluminum.

I have owned more 1960 Kodiaks with copper coins then aluminum.

I have owned more 1960 Kodiak Specials with aluminum coins rather then copper.

I have owned more 1960 Kodiak Special DeLuxes with Copper rather then aluminum.

If I owned your KSD, I would leave it just like it is provided that the coin has a flat surface. The coin is a little too small in the photograph to see the surface clearly.

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"Real Sportsmanship is Fair Play" - Art Young

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KYArcher
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Wade I have one for your 59 list.
59 KS 66" 44# XD049 no underlays
....Scott

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Rick Enos
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Thanks Wade.I took it to K-zoo about 5 years ago to find something out about it & a couple of guys almost came to blows arguing about the coin.Is the Zebra-wood KS anything special...
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Wade Phillips
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Scott - Thanks for posting the data for your 59 KS. I just edited the list, we now have 35...

Rick - Cosmetic features such as coins are not reliable methods for dating bows.

Your Zebrawood KS is a 1961. The 66" is the most common length of KS for that year. Fairly common bow. The 70" KSD is far less common and worth more as a collectible.

[ March 02, 2009, 06:33 AM: Message edited by: Wade Phillips ]

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"Real Sportsmanship is Fair Play" - Art Young

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TimZeigler
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Heres my 56'. A fine shooting bow. 68" 48@28. I'm guessing it has the original Rug and Strikeplate. I left it as is. Might eventually have it refinished as it has the unsitely finish issues at the tips.

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This water transfer was on it when I got it.
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