A compound bow release for a while now has been an essential and absolutely necessary item for almost any archer to achieve accurate and precision shooting results. From the standpoint of a beginner, it can be quite difficult to decide which type of compound bow release is the most beneficial. Many experts and seasoned compound bow users alike swear by one type or another, but it can be confusing to decide which type of compound bow release is right for you. If you are indeed considering a compound bow release, as you should, take a minute, and familiarize yourself with the four basic types: the caliper release, the back tension or hinge release, the thumb release and finally the simple finger release. Mastering each can take time, but with a little knowledge you can start your search off on the right foot.
1. The Caliper Release
Simple & Easy – A caliper or “jaw” releases the string when the trigger is pulled.
Affordable – Caliper releases are generally more affordable for beginners.
Hunting – Popular with bow hunters for its ease of use.
Anticipation – Triggers can cause anticipation and flinch in beginners.
Form – Trigger releases can cause problems in pulling form.
Target Panic – Reported as a more common occurrence with caliper releases.
Anchor Variability – The consistency of the wrist strap affects your anchor point.
2. The Back Tension Release
Form – The design forces archers to use correct form.
Aiming – Lack of trigger allows you to focus on your aim and not the release.
Anticipation – Reduced flinch as form improves. Considered the most natural.
Learning Curve – Requires more practice than a caliper release.
Price – Can be more expensive than caliper releases. Think crème de la crème.
Premature Release – Can occur easily if untrained.
3. The Thumb Release
Functionality – Basically the same premise as index finger release.
Target Panic – Archers report an easier time conquering target panic.
Anticipation – Reduced flinch, as the thumb trip is more natural with good form.
Comfort – Easier to anchor.
Price – Can be more expensive than its index finger cousin.
Learning Curve – More difficult than index finger triggers.
4. The Finger Release
Price – No extra money required.
Traditional – Traditionalist swear by it.
Time – To become good at the finger release requires lots of time.
Error – The hardest to master, and the most room for error.
Nerve Damage – Potential long-term use can cause nerve damage in fingers.
In summary, let me remind you that each release comes with its own unique set of advantages and disadvantages, and finding the best bow release for you may require a little experimentation based on your current experience level. Many stores allow customers to try the different releases at indoor target areas, and of course, nothing is as quick and simple as a trip with your bow to your own backyard target. Shooting a friend’s release that he or she happens to prefer is also a great way to get your feet wet while saving you money. Research each type, and be opened minded to trying them all, and it’s a guarantee you’ll discover one that makes your bow sing.