Best Bow Release

best bow release

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Is There A “Best”

When searching for the best bow release, the options can seem endless, and every manufacturer is promoting their release as being the “best” – that their release is ergonomically superior and will allow you to shoot tighter groups than ever before. But as we know, it can be next to impossible in a pool of any type of gear-related items to find one that stands above all others. This holds especially true with regards to a compound bow release, as everyone’s hands are slightly different in form and size. You also have to take into account the style of release that works best for your shooting applications.

So, to help you on your way to figuring out which release you need, I’ve compiled a short list of great releases in different styles, alleviating the headache of wading through the sea of releases that the rest of the internet has to offer. Remember, it’s not the end of the world if you try one out and aren’t totally in love with it. Many bowhunters and archers alike have multiple releases because the only way to find the one that works best for you is to just throw down some cash and try one. So, where do we start? How about with the most basic style and the one that most bowhunters and new archers use – the wrist strap/index-style release.

Wrist Strap Releases

Trophy Ridge 10 Ring

We’ll start off with one of the most popular styles and most popular brands in all of bowhunting. The Trophy Ridge 10 Ring wrist strap, dual caliper release. Trophy Ridge is owned by legendary Bear Archery, so you know it’s going to be high quality. I actually own a 10 Ring and have used it for 2 years with no issues whatsoever. And I hunt hard. It was designed with the bowhunter in mind, featuring a ball joint connection to a 360-degree swiveling arm that can be locked into four positions, which is an invaluable feature. You can throw it on your wrist at the truck, swivel it 180 degrees to be resting on your forearm, pointed at your elbow, and not have to worry about it getting in the way or clanking against other gear while walking in or climbing the tree. The length can be adjusted up to 1″ and the trigger travel is adjustable as well. The leather wrist strap is super high quality and durable. It’s been a great release and it’s super affordable.

Tru-Fire Edge Buckle Foldback

The next release we’ll look at is the Tru-Fire Edge Buckle Foldback. This release has been very well-received by the bowhunting community. Like the Trophy Ridge 10 Ring, it boasts a 1″ length adjustment. The Edge utilizes a linear motion bearing, which delivers an extremely smooth trigger feel. Pull the trigger back to open the jaws, and let up on the trigger to close the jaws. Also on the Edge is a lockdown set screw for your length adjustment. Once you have the correct length, simply tighten the set screw and the length will be locked in place. Perhaps one of the higher points of this release, aside from the quality and feel, is the fact that it’s made in the good ol’ US of A. That means a lot to us here at Southeastern Bowhunting, and to the bowhunting community as a whole.

T.R.U. Ball Beast XT 2

The T.R.U. Ball Beast XT 2 offers a hook style jaw, offering super quiet operation and an increase in accuracy from a traditional dual-caliper design. Some bowhunters may find it hard to make the switch from a closed-caliper design to an open hook, but the benefits are hard to beat. The Beast XT 2 offers a great feel that pulls inline through the draw, is extremely easy to operate, and features a relaxed, swept-back trigger for comfortable operation on every shot. The no-torque, Globo-swivel connection between the release and strap moves easily and offers 360 degrees of rotation for proper alignment before the shot. The solid rod connector makes draw length adjustment fast and easy with multiple screw-in settings for a comfortable fit. And a single travel adjustment screw and lock screw make it easy to lock in your preferred setting. The fold back strap connection lets you tuck the release safely back into your sleeve while moving or climbing to prevent accidental noise. And last, but certainly not least, this release is also Made in the USA.

Thumb-Activated Releases

B3 Archery Exit

First in line here is the Exit, made by B3, which is a thumb-activated release. If you haven’t heard of B3 Archery, you will soon. They’re quickly making a name for themselves because they’ve done it before and know the formula for success firsthand. The story is that the owner of B3 was the previous owner of Scott Archery, which has always been a quality company. When they sold, there was some time before they were able to begin making archery equipment. That time has passed. Enter the B3 Archery Exit. The Exit is a three finger design with a hand-polished, hardened stainless steel hook. All internal sears are machined of 100% high-grade stainless steel, which speaks to the quality and durability of this release. With the simplicity of their lock-and-load design, you don’t have to push a cocking button to attach the hook to your string. Just close the hook onto the string and you’re ready to fire. The only screw you need to adjust on this release is inside the thumb barrel when choosing your desired thumb barrel location. If you’re looking for a thumb-activated release and aren’t trying to break the bank, give the Exit a try. Oh, and did I forget to mention it’s also Made in the USA?

Tru-Fire Synapse Hammer Throw

Tru-Fire has been a name you can trust in the bowhunting and archery world for a long time. Their quality is made abundantly transparent in the Synapse Hammer Throw, which is another thumb-activated release. This release, available in different colors and made with hardened and polished stainless steel components inside, delivers a high level of accuracy and performance. Its dual sear-activated design features an infinitely adjustable thumb barrel and independent trigger travel, as well as tension adjustment to help you find that perfect, customized release point. That’s something to scream about. Not really. Keep your voice down. Anyways, the Throw’s full loop capture holds the release to your bow’s D-loop and helps ensure a crisp, uninterrupted string release. Its weighted brass handle features 2 finger extensions to allow you to set this release up in a 3- or 4-finger configuration. Trigger tension adjustments can be made from 1.25 oz. up to 20 oz. and it’s, of course, an ambidextrous design. It’s not cheap, but if you’ve got the means and are looking to take your accuracy to the next level, this release is the one for you.

Scott Archery Pursuit

The Scott Archery Pursuit, another thumb-activated release, has been very well-received by bowhunters and archers alike. To get a bowhunter’s seal of approval, a release needs to be two things – high quality and reliable. Both of those have been found in the Pursuit. Its design comes with extensions for a 3- or 4-finger setup, with a rope connected to its buckle wrist strap, offering infinite length adjustment to give any archer the perfect release point. Trigger travel adjustability is important, which the Pursuit has, but a fully adjustable trigger position takes the cake. Its thumb barrel trigger is crisp, thanks to Scott’s target-inspired multi-sear technology. All-in-all, this release offers a lot of bang for your buck.

Back Tension Releases

Tru-Fire Sear

The Sear is available in different colors and comes with loads of adjustment options, giving you a hinge-style release with lots of versatility. It’s a great release for competitive target and 3D archery, as well as hunting. Levi Morgan has spoken adamantly about the benefits of using a back tension release in hunting situations. With a heavy brass handle, the Sear features a versatile end piece that adjusts up to 45 degrees, so you can set it up as a 3- or 4-finger release. The 4-sided sear offers 4 click options, letting you choose between no click, light, medium, or heavy click to match your preference. It also has an adjustable hot/cold setting. The thumb peg has 3-position adjustability, so you can dial it in to your exact liking. As far as back tension releases go, Tru-Fire knocked it out of the park with the Sear.

Scott Archery Longhorn Pro Micro

Scott Archery has been a trusted name in archery for a long time, creating quality products to compete with the best on the market. The Longhorn Pro Micro is one such product. The Micro doesn’t get its name from its size, but from its micro adjustability – a plus when fine-tuning your shot. A great choice for hunting and competitive 3D archery, the Longhorn Pro Micro is a back tension release that gives you a smooth, accurate release every shot. Its 3-finger design combines a hand-polished brass body with a stainless steel yoke and precision ground hook with return for long-lasting durability. This release offers micro-adjustable travel with 3 interchangeable moons to give you the option for a hot click, cold click, or no click at all. And for added grip, the thumb peg comes knurled.

Don’t Overthink It

Yes, there are a lot of things to think about when choosing a release, and yes, there are a lot of options out there. But hopefully the list of great options above has made it a little easier on you. Each hunter/archer needs something a little different, so you may have to try a few out to find the style/brand/fit that’s right for you. Just go with your gut and give one a go. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did. I know I was.


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