Meridian Star


March 28, 2014

Archery Addicts Anonymous — Lesson 014 Archery 101: Choosing a Release Aid

MERIDIAN —     There are four basic kinds of release aids (hundreds of variations) for the compound bow shooter: wrist strap caliper, hand held thumb, hand held back tension, and hand held breakaway. Even though there may be four kinds of release aids, the back tension method should be used with each one.

    The primary consideration for selecting one of the four basic kinds of release aids is the anchor point. Choose a release aid that gives the most comfortable anchor point under the ear and against the jawbone.

    There are advantages and disadvantages with every kind of release. Most hunters and many competition archers use the wrist strap caliper. Many hunters prefer a release  strapped to the wrist and not easily misplaced or dropped from a tree stand.

    However, there is no one-size-fits-all wrist strap caliper release. (1) A release should have a comfortable and adjustable wrist strap (buckle or velcro). Wear the strap comfortably snug. (2) The connection between the wrist strap and the release body should be micro-adjustable. (3) The trigger poundage should also be micro-adjustable. Just because a product advertisement claims an “adjustable trigger” does not mean that the poundage is adjustable; it usually means that the angle of the trigger is adjustable. Depending on the shooters strength, the trigger poundage should be set with more poundage (2-3 pounds or more). Never shoot a “hair trigger” with the “back tension” method.

    The only non-adjustable part of a caliper release is the distance between the trigger and opening in the release jaw for the D-Loop. This measurement is a major consideration because it is not adjustable and may vary as much as a quarter inch to three quarters of an inch. If the release jaw is too short, hooking the D-Loop will be extremely difficult. Ideally, both the D-Loop and the release jaw should be kept as short as possible.

     My recommendation is the Jim Fletcher style caliper release. The Fletcher release is infinitely adjustable from a “hair trigger” to a monster trigger. Probably no one can shoot it when it is maxed out at eight pounds. One disadvantage of the Fletcher release is that if it is not precisely adjusted to fit the shooter’s hand, it is sloppy and just about impossible to shoot. Consequently, it is not a release that others may share. It is a one person release.

    Address questions to:  Cell # 601-604-0913

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