Best Bow Release

A good and clean release is what all archers strive for as it goes a long way when shooting the bow. Regardless of the type of bow you’re using, whether it is a compound, a recurve, or a longbow, with the help of a bow release you can more easily deliver the perfect shot that you’re trying to achieve so badly. In the following, we will present you with the best releases on the market at the moment, so stick with us if you want to notice a major improvement in your archery game.

Top 5 Bow Releases Comparison

Photo Bow Releases Price
Tru-Fire Hardcore 4 Finger Revolution Image

1. Tru-Fire Hardcore 4 Finger Revolution

  • Adjustable trigger tension
  • Adjustable trigger travel
  • Over 1” length adjustment
  • Swept back trigger
  • Suited for left and right-handed archers
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Tru-Fire MX-HDBF Hardcore Buckle Foldback Image

2. Tru-Fire MX-HDBF Hardcore Buckle Foldback

  • Adjustable trigger tension from 3 to 16 ounces
  • Trigger travel is fully adjustable
  • Length adjustment exceeds 5/8”
  • Forward trigger design
  • Perfect for left and right-handed archers
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Tru-Fire MX-HDBBLKF Hardcore Buckle Foldback Image

3. Tru-Fire MX-HDBBLKF Hardcore Buckle Foldback

  • Trigger tension can be adjusted from 3 to 16 ounces
  • Fully adjustable trigger travel
  • Over 5/8” length adjustment
  • Swept back trigger style
  • Compatible with left and right-handed users
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Hot Shot 5450 Vapor 4 Image

4. Hot Shot 5450 Vapor 4

  • Trigger tension adjustability – full
  • Trigger travel can be adjusted
  • Length adjustment of over 1”
  • Swept back trigger
  • Can be used by left and right-handed archers
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Scott Archery Shark Double Caliper Image

5. Scott Archery Shark Double Caliper

  • Trigger tension is adjustable
  • Trigger travel is fully adjustable
  • Length adjustment – 4-position
  • Forward-positioned knurled-trigger
  • Perfect for left and right-handed archers
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Reviews of the Top Bow Releases

Tru-Fire Hardcore 4 Finger Revolution

The Hardcore 4 Finger Revolution allows you to adjust the release exactly as you like. It’s expertly crafted using only the highest quality materials, as all releases manufactured by Tru-Fire. The 360-degree head rotation is certainly one of its biggest highlights, allowing you to lock it into any position that you desire. For a smooth and easy rotation of the head, this release features a system with 11 ball bearings. For convenience in use and for a truly increased accuracy, the trigger tension as well as the trigger travel can be adjusted independently by simply turning a separate set screw. It comes with a lanyard that is adjustable and that allows you to keep the release on at all time is that is what you want. The loop retainer can be removed easy and quick. Additionally, it is designed to be used by left-handed as well as right-handed archers.

PROS

CONS

Separate trigger tension adjustment for each level
Features 11 ball bearing that help with the rotation
Head rotates to 360 degrees
16-position trigger
Loop retainer can be removed
Adjustable lanyard bolts to the release

Tru-Fire MX-HDBF Hardcore Buckle Foldback

The features that the MX-HDBF bow release from Tru-Fire comes with make it one of the best options for hardcore archery hunters. For superior comfort in use and to guarantee that you will be able to shoot arrows for hours on end without feeling the slightest fatigue, it features the Evolution II buckle strap that boasts extra padding and conveniently rolled edges. In order to allow you to fine tune the release as you desire it offers you the possibility to adjust the trigger tension from 3 to 16 ounces. For increased accuracy when shooting with the bow, it features a pivoting head that prevents unwanted torque. Due to the deep jaw design of the release, you are ensured of the fact that there’s no possibility for it to slip off of the loop. Also, to provide added convenience in use, the head can be folded back.

PROS

CONS

Deep jaw design ensures it won’t slip off loops
Super plush strap for a comfortable use
Head folds back for convenience in use
String torque reduced by head centering feature
Quick and easy loop engagement due to open jay design

Tru-Fire MX-HDBBLKF Hardcore Buckle Foldback

The third entry in our top comes from Tru-Fire as well, the MX-HDBBLKF as well as the other two releases that we have talked about being proof of the manufacturer’s reliability and seriousness. In order to guarantee complete comfort in use, this product features the plush Evolution II buckle that has a thick padding and wide rolled edges. By simply turning a screw, you can quickly and easily adjust the trigger pressure from 3 ounces to as much as 16 ounces. The swept back trigger allows an over 5/8-inch length adjustment for the complete customization of the archery experience. Due to the fact that it features the innovative center technology, you will enjoy a head that can pivot to 20 degrees. Additionally, this release is designed to not slip off of loops, thus guaranteeing a smooth and pleasant experience when using it.

PROS

CONS

Superior comfort provided by plush buckle strap It sometimes has problems with the opening of the hook
Fold back head ensures convenience in use
Doesn’t slip off of loops
Open jaw design allows for a quick loop engagement
Head centering feature reduces string torque

Hot Shot 5450 Vapor 4

The 5450 Vapor 4 is one of the most sought after products on this market due to the fact that it delivers a stable and convenience handheld release. Although it boasts a rather simple design, it delivers a superior trigger crispness and silence. It boasts an automatic close hook, without having a complicated cocking mechanism. Another highlight of the release is the fact that it features a cat’s eye hook design that guarantees a torque-free release when departing the D-loop. When using it, you are able to basically adjust it as you like due to the multi-axis thumb barrel rotation that it comes with. To ensure that finger fatigue won’t be an issue no matter for how long you are going to use the bow, it delivers an additional surface area at the fingers. In addition, it comes at a rather affordable price that makes it more easily accessible to those who don’t have a big budget set aside.

PROS

CONS

Automatic close hook Can be easily knocked off of the string
Complete silence during the shot
Helps improve accuracy due to superior trigger crispness
Torque-free release ensured by the cat’s eye hook design
Multi-axis thumb barrel rotation
Finger fatigue-free due to additional surface area

Scott Archery Shark Double Caliper

Another dependable release that you can go with and that is guaranteed to help boost your accuracy when shooting arrows is the Shark Double Caliper model from Scott Archery. What we first noticed when reviewing the product was the innovative compact design that it boasts and the fact that despite its small size, it features a wide roller sear. This interesting detail shows that it delivers a smooth trigger pull. For the highest performance possible, it features a perfect four-position length adjustment and a forward trigger design. The compact, dual-jaw design doesn’t only help enhance your capabilities due it ensures a smooth performance as well. To guarantee a maximum draw length, the knurled trigger is forward-positioned. Additionally, despite the excellent design, manufacturing, and capabilities, it comes at a rather affordable and appealing price.

PROS

CONS

Dual caliper release
Wide roller-sear offers a smooth trigger pull
Helps maximize draw length
Pivoting head provides accuracy and consistency

Important Info that You Should Know

In archery, the release aid is used as additional help when firing arrows in order to gain a bigger precision. The release of the bowstring is much quicker with this effective aid, and the amount of torque that is put onto the bowstring from the fingers is reduced as well. The release attaches to the bowstring, at the D-loop or below the nocking point, allowing the archer to release the string with the help of a special trigger.

Attaching the release to the D-loop is the more popular choice as it causes the least amount of torque on the bowstring. A small piece of nylon cord is tied to the string of the bow with the help of two reverse facing hitch knots that result in a “D” shape. The other method to attach the release is below the nocking point. This style puts a lot of stress on the bow as well as on the arrow on top, but it’s still preferred by many archers, especially veterans, who haven’t adopted the D-loop.

The reason why this archery accessory is so sought after when it comes to those who use compound bows is that it drastically decreases the chance of dry firing, thus reducing the chances for the bow to be damaged or for the user to be injured. Also, it makes it easier for the archer to group arrows tighter together due to the consistent release that is put on the string every time. It’s a small accessory that doesn’t actually take up much space in the bag and the benefits that it provides definitely make it a worthy investment for any archer.

Styles of Releases in Archery


There are six different types of releases that are used in archery, more precisely the fingers, the finger tabs, gloves, back tension-hinge release, index finger trigger release, and thumb trigger release. Deciding what is the style that suits you best will help you take a decision regarding investing in a release aid or not, and what type of aid is best for you specifically. But we don’t recommend that you avoid purchasing and using a release aid and stick with your fingers as the accuracy and consistency of your shots will be considerably enhanced by the small accessory. Thus, you will be more precise when shooting arrows and the flaws in your game will be dramatically decreased.

  • Fingers

  • There’s no need for intricate explanations when it comes to using your fingers as this is the classic way to shoot the bow. It’s an inexpensive method to use as you won’t actually purchase anything, it’s very easy as it basically comes naturally to you, and it’s mostly based on instinct. What you must do when using your fingers is to put the index finger over the nocking point, and the middle finger and the ring finger under the nock, bending the thumb and the little finger when doing the motion. Unfortunately, the downsides to this inexpensive style of release are major as repetitive shots will inevitably put a lot of stress on your fingers, leading to short-term discomfort and even nerve damage in the finger if you use it on the long-term.

  • Finger Tabs

  • Finger tabs, as opposed to gloves, for example, provide a better feel of the string as there are no finger creases to interfere with your interaction with the bow when shooting. But this can be considered a major disadvantage as well due to the fact that the fingertips are exposed and you might end up with nerve damage because of the repetitive shots that put stress of the fingertips. Finger tabs can be manufactured from leather or cordovan. Cordovan tabs are a lot tougher, thus being more durable and dependable. On the other hand, leather tabs are quite resistant as well, but they boast the added benefit of delivering a superior smoothness to the shots.

  • Gloves

  • In archery, there are two types of gloves that you can use for the release, each having their own purpose – bow hand gloves, and bow string hand gloves. Bow hand gloves actually hold the bow grip, while bow string hand gloves recreate the natural way of using the fingers when pulling and releasing the string. These gloves can be made from leather, waterproof coating materials, and so on, and they have the role of protecting your hands from being injured. Unfortunately, the major disadvantage with this style of release is the fact that in summer you won’t feel comfortable wearing them, they wear out pretty fast, and you don’t actually get to feel the string very well.

  • Back Tension Release

  • Back tension or hinge releases are mechanical releases that are preferred by many archers as they keep a great follow-thru, they are ideal for target panic, and they are quite intuitive to use due to the fact that they operate exactly like a hinge. Some of these mechanical releases make click sounds when ready to fire so that you anticipate the shot, not suffering any lack in performance as you won’t be caught off-guard. It might be a rather noisy feature but it’s one that ultimately helps improve the quality of your game, which makes it completely worth the hassle. Of course, there are some downsides to this style, more precisely that there isn’t an actual timing on the aim and that the axle to axle length might need adjustments.

  • Index Finger Trigger Release

  • The index finger release can either work with a trigger or with back tension if you’re skilled enough. The index finger trigger release generally comes with a caliper or a strap. It attaches to the wrist with a buckle strap or a Velcro in either a “V strap or a continuous round strap. High-end models allow for strap adjustability, and this is what we recommend you go for to feel as comfortable as possible when wearing the release aid. As with all products, there are downsides to the index finger release, more precisely that the models that feature the Velcro wrist strap are quite noisy, which can affect your focus and concentration, and there might be a need to adjust the axle to axle length of the bow.

  • Thumb Trigger Release

  • Just like index finger releases, thumb finger releases work with a trigger or with back tension in case you’re skilled enough. One of the main highlights of this release style is the fact that the trigger tension can be adjusted from sensitive to heavy, according to your own preference. Basically, with high-end models of this kind you have the possibility to adjust and customize many elements of the release for it to be exactly how you want it, elements such as the trigger angle, the size, the position, and more.

Advantages of Using a Quality Release


Regardless of how skilled you are, there’s still need for improvement in archery as there is a great level of focus and precision needed to take the best shots possible at all times. The bow release aid can play the ultimate role in the accuracy and smoothness of your shots, which makes the accessory mandatory rather than optional, especially for those who aren’t too great at aiming perfect shots yet. If you want to learn more about the advantages that a quality release aid offers to archers, read this section of the article. There’s more than meets the eye when it comes to this compact accessory, and you will find out everything there is to know about it immediately.

  • Decreased Chances of Dry Firing

  • When using a compound bow, there are quite a few chances that you might dry fire it. This won’t be the case if you’re using a release aid, dry firing having drastically reduced chances of occurring. Thus, the quality of your hunting game and your overall archery skills will see a major improvement as you won’t go through any mishaps anymore. Additionally, the fact that there won’t be any dry firing ensures that the bow won’t be damaged and that you won’t be in danger of hurting yourself either.

  • Consistent Release

  • Another highlight of using the archery release is the fact that it provides a consistent release put on the bowstring every time you shoot an arrow. This consistency is preserved even when grouping arrows together, which isn’t achievable if you use your fingers, for example. Instead of using the finger muscles for the release, you will use the strength of your arms, so you will replicate the consistency without a problem.

  • Archery Becomes Less Tiring

  • As we have previously mentioned, when using a release aid with a wrist strap, you actually use the strength in your arm muscles instead of putting all the tension on your fingers. Therefore, you are less likely to feel any type of discomfort, you won’t get tired as easily, and you won’t put any body part in actual danger, so you will be able to shoot arrows for a long time without a problem.

  • Safer for Your Fingers

  • Mechanical release aids reduce the contact of your fingers with the bowstring, which means that you won’t suffer nerve damage to the fingers. This is good news as you need your fingers to feel as comfortable as possible and to not get damaged if you’re practicing archery. Therefore, using the release aid actually guarantees that you will be able to practice this sport for as long as you want as there won’t be any health issues stopping you.

  • Required for Modern Compound Bows

  • Last but not least, there are a lot of modern compound bows that are actually specifically designed to be shot using this bow accessory. These models feature solid limb stops and fine planes of motion, making it impossible for the bowstring to not jump off the cams if you’re using your finger instead of a release.

How to Make the Right Purchase


With various different types of release aids out there, it becomes quite tricky to settle on buying a certain product off of this market. We have written this section of the article with the intention of helping you reach the best decision possible so that you won’t only feel comfortable with the release that you are going to use but to ensure that it will serve you well for as long as possible. If you’re in need of some useful guidelines for when you go shopping, make sure to check out the following lines.

  • Grip Type

  • When it comes to the grip type that the release aid features, there are two options that you can choose between, more precisely handheld and wrist/caliper. Handheld models are easy to operate and they are quite light, so it will be a cinch for you to handle them. It’s usually the grip type that professional archers at 3D competitions prefer as it offers the freedom they are looking for when taking the shots. As a beginner, it will take you some time to adjust to the trigger mechanism featured by handheld devices as they generally aren’t pulled with the index finger. Wrist/caliper style models are the most popular choices among archers as these release aids allow for a superior adjustment, providing higher levels of accuracy and consistency. Additionally, these grip types draw the weight to the wrist, making it easy to hold back the bow during a full draw. Make your choice depending on what you personally prefer, of course, but if it were to give you a clear piece of advice, we would recommend that you go with a wrist/caliper grip model.

  • Adjustability

  • Adjustability is another element that you have to look into when making the purchase. First of all, look at the method used to lock the wrist strap into place. For amateurs and beginners, Velcro is the most popular option as it can easily be adjusted to fit the user’s hand, while buckles are the preferred choice of experienced hunters as they offer a more consistent fit. Other adjustability aspects to take into consideration when you make the choice are the capability to adjust the trigger sensitivity and the length.

  • Noise

  • If the mechanism is noisy, you might find yourself in the awkward position of ruining a shot just because you got distracted. Therefore, you need to take into consideration the level of noise produced by the accessory as well. What you should do is to check the jaw locking mechanism to see how loud the “snap” sound that it produces is. If you find it to be too distracting, then opt for another model.

  • Hook-Up Speed

  • During an intense hunt or a competition, the hook-up speed of the release aid is one of the most important elements to take into consideration. Unfortunately, there’s no clear way of saying what type of jaw design offers the best speed as both open and closed-jaw models are similar in speed. What you should do is to try out as many models as possible before making a purchase or checking to see the opinions of other people who have purchased the model that you’re interested in to figure out if it scores well in this rating category.

  • Material

  • The wrist straps of archery releases can be made from a variety of materials, including nylon, leather, and neoprene. The reason why the type of material used in the manufacturing of the wrist strap is important is that it determines the durability of the accessory as well as the level of comfort in use. From this point of view, we recommend that you test to see what type of material feels most comfortable for you to use in order to obtain the best results precision-wise when shooting arrows.

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