A bow release is a critical piece of equipment for shooting a compound bow. It saves your fingers from having to pull back the bow manually and more importantly mechanize is the release and makes for a precise consistent release of the arrow each and every time you shoot.
There’s a ton of different releases available on the market from a few different companies. They all seem to be the exact same, a metal pair of pincer like mechanisms that require the pull the trigger to release the arrow.
While it may have a trigger, choosing a good release for your archery set up is nothing like judging the triggers on a firearm. If you are just getting into archery consider going to an outfitter where you can try as many quality bow releases as you possibly can. That way you get a good idea of what a good release feels like and what a bad one feels like in your hand. You’ll find that the five releases listed here are some of the best bow release you can get your hands on.
Table of Contents
Best Bow Release - Comparison Table
Velcro or Buckle
Manual or Spring Loaded
Trigger vs Target Release
The common design of almost all bow releases is the traditional trigger release. Whether they have a caliper or a hook the basic idea is that you will use a trigger to release the arrow when the moment of truth comes. This is an efficient and easy design to work with and feels natural when adjusting correctly in your hand.
This does, however, lead to a few problems and bad habits if you don’t learn to shoot properly. Slapping the trigger or jerking it prematurely is a common problem with new archers or when people get Buck Fever and get nervous on the stand. Another type of release, quality target or handheld release is a good option for people who want to squeeze the maximum accuracy from their bow or have a problem with anticipating the shot and jerking the trigger
Many of these target releases can be adjusted to go off when you pull back words against the back wall of your bow’s draw. Effectively eliminating the need for any motion other than the actual drawing, and making falling through the target extremely easy. Make absolutely sure though, you practice as much as possible before you go in the field. It always pays to be prepared with the best broadheads for elk.
If you don’t know what you’re doing with one of these releases they can prove to be downright deadly and an arrow slipping off the rest as your surprised when your bow goes off is a recipe to take out your hand!
Best Bow Release Reviews
1. TruFire Patriot Archery Compound Bow Release
Many people won’t consider this to be a real bow release. It is not by any means most polished on the market but it is inexpensive enough that anyone can afford one, and being from the name brand true fire it works extremely well compared to the other cut rate budget minded models. Certainly better than most things you’ll find at Walmart or from the no-name companies online.
You get an inexpensive and comfortable fee strap designed wrist release with this model. It is Velcro, so be careful how you take it on and off and when you choose to adjust it, and it has a manual closure. Meaning, once you shoot the release it does not automatically Spring closed again. You have to move the trigger forward to lock the calibers.
This is an extra step for shooting, and if you’re not careful can spell disaster if you try to draw back on a game animal and find that your caliber isn’t locked. The best application of this budget minded release is as a backup. Or as a training tool. A release is a critical piece of equipment for a client if you are using a compound bow. If you forget it in the truck, your hunt is ruined until you walk back and get the release.
Anyone can afford a second release with them being this cheap, just to throw in your pack and practice make sure that you’re never stranded with a broken one or leave it on your tool bench after a session.
- V-strap design
- Manual closure
- Single sided trigger
2. Cobra Bravo All Adjust Release
This model is a budget oriented design from a cobra that is a caliper wrist release and is perfect for people who want a high-quality backup or just getting the archery and are on a tight budget.
Overall you can count on this caliper release but it does have some drawbacks. It is a standard V cut wrist release that is comfortable to shoot with but does lack padding for extended use.
It is automatic and spring shot when you pull back to you don’t have to worry about making sure the caliper is engaged once you clip it, but the hardware on this release is mostly plastic.
You can get consistent shot placement out of this release with practice provided you don’t abuse it. The plastic hardware along the Buckle has been known to break from time to time. Inspect your release each and every time you’re going to use it to avoid accidentally having a negligent release with your bow.
If you’re looking for a release that is budget oriented but has all the features of the higher and models, and can live with the plastic hardware this is an excellent option. Especially for people who are just getting into archery to hunt the extra season and won’t be shooting nearly as much, or throughout the entire hunting season, this is a great option.
- Padded wrist strap
- Caliper design
- Consistent shot placement
- Small strap
- Plastic hardware
3. TruFire Smoke Adjustable Bow Release
This model has everything you expect from TruFire including automatic caliber release an excellent trigger system you won’t have any problems with durability or comfort while using this model. Everything about it is fully adjustable including the trigger and wrist strap.
This model from TruFire special because it provides a way to fold the release backward on your wrist so that you can make use of a GPS or cell phone and not have the release in your way.
This best bow release for accuracy is perfect for backcountry hunters or hunters who will mainly stop spot and stalk for their game. You often have to do more than one thing like use binoculars, work calls, or check your navigation over the course of a hunt and you don’t necessarily want to take your release off to do this. This is a great solution for that situation.
Be careful when you flick the release backwards however, it does make a metallic paying that could give off your location to gain nearby. Overall is an excellent release and you can depend on it for years with little maintenance and no warranty issues.
- Folds back for comfortable use
- Padded wrist strap
- Has a metallic sound when adjusting or flipping it back
4. TruFire Hurricane Extreme
This model of bow release from true fire is a hurricane extreme and represents one of the best overall wrist bow releases you can have. It is a comfortable design with a double thick wrist strap, specially cut for shooting, and feels good even after very long practice sessions. It has an all metal durable buckle that is coded to prevent rust and is tight enough that it doesn’t make a lot of noise when adjusting it in the woods or while moving.
By far, however, one of the best things about this release is the adjustable trigger travel. If you have extra long or small knuckles you’ll have trouble manipulating the trigger travel on regular bow releases. This model has fully adjustable trigger travel is that you can dial in your release for precisely the length you want. The mechanism itself is extremely clean as a predictable break each and every time you use it.
The only downside of this model is that it’s bulky on your wrist. Sitting in a tree stand for several hours with this on your wrist is going to get old. However, if you are hunting in the late-season snow on the ground and are wearing bulky equipment anyway, you’ll appreciate the extra long wrist strap and won’t notice the bulkiness beneath the layers of clothing.
- Durable buckle
- Adjustable trigger travel
- Bulky on your wrist
5. Tru-Fire Edge 4-Finger Hand Held
The handheld archery release market has been exploding for hunters in recent years. Once relegated to target shooting these releases offer a ton of benefits to shooters, especially archers that are looking to really hone in on their equipment and step up their game.
This model from true fire is a forefinger handheld model that is designed after the sorts of target releases used in the Olympics and by professional archers. There is a multitude of benefits of using this sort of release but this best handheld release for hunting model, in particular, is a solid rugged piece of equipment that you can depend on even in the worst conditions.
It is totally enclosed, so you don’t have to worry about ice or debris getting in the way and preventing your release from operating. If you can afford the cost of a high-quality target release like this, practice with it often because it is different than using a traditional wrist release and you’ll realize the potential of these have in the field. As a note, however, make sure you don’t drop it. Many hunters drop these while in their tree stand and ruin their hunt!
- Target design
- More consistent shot placement
- Comfortable handle
- Easy to drop
- Smooth design is hard to grip with gloves
Velcro vs Buckle
Many of the best bow releases on the market are going to be made with the Buckle. This is because animals can hear Buckle being taken on and off. Velcro as a whole host of problems being noisy is just one of them. They get clogged the sand, degrade faster, and are harder to put on and take off with one hand. If you can avoid it, don’t buy a release with Velcro. They do however make a good option for a young hunter or as a backup because they are cheaper and can often be adjusted smaller than other models made with a buckle. Small details like this make the difference between OK gear like quivers with foam and the best hunting quivers you can get your hands on.
That’s not to say that models made the Buckle are completely maintenance free. You have to make sure that you keep them well-oiled and covered in a scent free rust protectant, to keep them from breaking down you also have to be careful about how you adjust them and whether or not you bang them on any part of your bow making noise before you draw. The added complication of clinking metal can ruin your hunt!
If you’re going to be heading in the field with a compound bow having a good bow release is a requirement. You will be able to effectively use your equipment without this vital piece. Make sure you get one that will stand up to the rigors of your hunting and all the practice shots that you are going to take. If you have to, buy two. Not only will it help you in the field by having a backup stash in your pack no matter what. You could have a practice release that gets sweaty and dirty and smelly, and have a fresh scent free release, the opening day when it counts.
No matter what though, give the best bow release you can get your hands on, and get in the field. It does you no good sitting on your shelf or hanging off the bowstring, even if it’s the best release in the world!