Types of Archery Releases

In archery, the release is a crucial part of the shooting process that determines how an archer lets go of the bowstring to launch an arrow. There are mainly two types of archery releases: finger release and mechanical releases. Each type has its own advantages and considerations. Let’s explore the general differences between these release methods:

Finger Releases:

Finger releases involve using the archer’s fingers to directly release the bowstring. There are a few variations within this category:
Barebow Release: In barebow shooting, the archer uses their fingers to directly grip the bowstring. This method requires a high level of skill to consistently achieve accuracy, as it heavily relies on the archer’s finger strength and technique.
Split-Finger Release: This is a common technique where the index finger is placed above the arrow nock and the middle finger below it. The ring and little fingers are tucked against the palm. The release is executed by relaxing the fingers, allowing the string to slip off.
Three-Finger Under Release: In this method, the index, middle, and ring fingers are placed under the arrow nock, while the thumb and little finger are against the bow. The release is achieved by slightly rotating the fingers and relaxing them to release the string.

Mechanical Releases:

Mechanical releases are handheld devices that provide a more consistent and controlled way to release the bowstring. They typically feature a trigger that the archer can squeeze to activate the release. These are commonly used in compound archery, where the higher draw weights can make it more challenging to use a finger release consistently.
Index Finger Release: This is the most common type of mechanical release. The archer places their index finger on the trigger and squeezes it to release the bowstring. There are variations in trigger sensitivity and design to accommodate individual preferences.
Thumb Trigger Release: This type of release is activated by the thumb, and the trigger is often attached to a wrist strap. Archers using a thumb trigger release use a different hand position compared to finger releases, and it requires a unique technique to achieve accuracy.
Back Tension Release: This type of release doesn’t have a traditional trigger. Instead, it relies on the archer’s back muscles to create tension and activate the release. Back tension releases are often used by experienced archers seeking to minimize the influence of the hand and achieve a more consistent shot.


Archery users using a recurve or long bow will likely utilize a finger method. Remember, finger releases rely on the archer’s finger strength and as your technique advances, it will require a high level of skill for consistent accuracy. Archers using a compound bow will want to use a mechanical release for more control and consistency and are commonly used in compound archery due to the higher draw weights involved. The choice between these releases depends on factors such as the archer’s skill level, shooting style, and the type of archery they’re engaged in.

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