Bow Release Types 101: Everything You Need to Know

| Last Updated May 29, 2021

If you are into archery or are just beginning with it, it is important to know some basics fundamentals. Bow releases are an imperative component of archery, and there are a variety of types on the market.

It is essential first to understand and identify the differences between these bow release types before you can go ahead and make a purchase.

We hope you find this article informative and helpful in differentiating between bow releases and understanding their various benefits and limitations.

Perks of Investing in a Great Bow Release

Before we can go ahead and look at the various options on the market, it is necessary first to understand their role in archery. While many people think of bow releases as optional equipment in archery and many don’t even prefer using it, it is to be mentioned that these can be extremely beneficial. Here is how: 


If you are a beginner in archery, you would understand the importance of gaining maximum experience. A bow release is a great way to get started with that. It will add a more professional touch to your archery experience and will help you grasp the skill faster and better. 

Complete Your Archery Set Up

One could say that the most important thing in archery is the equipment and set up you own. This is because, without the equipment, archery simply cannot be done. Bow releases are an essential component of that equipment if you aspire to reach a professional level of archery. We strongly recommend that you devote yourself to your research before making a decision in regard to this investment. 

Better Performance 

Shooting with just fingers can be painful and can also hinder your performance. With a bow release, there will be greater safety and support, whether you are target practicing or hunting. Therefore, if you want to improve your performance, then investing in a high-quality release is the way to go.

Types of Bow Releases

Now that we've looked at how a good bow release can benefit you, let’s move on to the different varieties that exist, all of which come with their own unique pros and cons. So, to decide wisely, you need to understand the key differences between each type. 

Index Finger and Thumb Trigger Releases

In traditional archery, people only used fingers to shoot. Nowadays, with advancing technology and innovation, there are several other techniques used. Fingers shooting is also still used by some today as well.

The most popular type used in the present day has to be the index finger trigger release. This uses the index finger to pull the trigger and release the bow. They are highly convenient for hunters since they come with a strap for the shooting hand. This allows the equipment to be safely wrapped around you.

They also use calipers, sometimes even 2 calipers. These improve accuracy and ultimately, your performance too. 

4 Finger Releases

The 4 finger bow release uses the same mechanism as the thumb release. However, it replaces the use of the thumb with the four other fingers. Also, a 4 finger bow model requires your hand to be positioned inwardly. It is one of the most comfortable types since your whole hand is holding down the trigger. However, there may be some issues with the accuracy reported in 4-finger bow releases.

Hinge Releases

Hinge bow releases are also commonly referred to as back tension releases, and they work by mechanical means, namely the hinge principle, which requires the person shooting to rotate the release then press a trigger.

Once the release is rotated and the hinge is moved to a pivoting point, it releases the bow. It is a great option for professionals and hunters. It is beneficial for tournament shooters. However, these may have the risks of causing more accidents in which shooters often get themselves injured.

Finger Tab Releases

Finger tab releases are widely popular for their smooth and accurate use. They are usually made up of cordovan or leather; both are sturdy materials and do not wear off easily. However, before buying such a model, make sure that it is made with real leather and not synthetic leather. Finger tab releases come with various extra features, such as extra cushioning to support and provide comfort to the hand.

Resistance Activated Releases

The resistance activated release is also called the tension activated release. These work similar to the back tension release of the hinge release, except that this does not use a hinge and rather uses a trigger. The release itself is a trigger.

The benefit of this type is that it can be used by hunters and professionals for surprise releases. The release requires the shooter to use a manual mechanism for safety; therefore, we recommend these for experienced and professional archers.


To sum it up, it is fair to say that investing in a good quality bow release will certainly up your game with the bow and arrow. At a beginner or professional level, it can be useful in improving accuracy and performance. So, to complete your archery set up, do not forget to research some of the best archery equipment and make a careful decision.

My name is Caleb and I am obsessed with hunting, fishing, and foraging. To be successful, you have to think like your prey. You have to get into the mind of your target - and understand Big Game Logic. If you have any questions, or just want chat about your latest hunting score or big catch, you can reach me at Read more about Big Game Logic.