What is a mechanical release, and how is it used in archery? A mechanical release, or, as some may call it, a release aid, is a helpful device to help you release the arrows more accurately by using a trigger to release the bowstring instead of using the shooter's fingers. Through the history of archery, many types of bows have been designed with the purpose of making it easier for archers to use.
A mechanical release aid for archery is a basic imitation of the trigger mechanism on a rifle. You basically hook the mechanical release aid onto the bowstring - either directly to the bowstring or to a rope loop that is attached to the bowstring.
You then have a release mechanism, similar to that of a rifle trigger, that releases the bowstring from the hook, consequently releasing the arrow towards the target. There are different types of mechanical release aids available that attach to the bowstring in different ways.
There are also different ways to attach the mechanical release aid to the archer's wrist, with a strap, or it can be held in the hand. To really explain what a mechanical release aid for archery is, you will have to take a look at the various types of mechanical release aids for archery to see how they work.
Mostly, the mechanical release aids are used by compound bow archers, and the compound bows are designed with that in mind. So, let's have a look at the most common mechanical release aids for archery in use today.
What is a mechanical release in archery?
These are the most frequently used types of mechanical archery release aids in use today:
The wrist strap index finger release type
The wrist strap index finger release type mechanical release aid is very popular among bow hunters due to the increased accuracy and consistency. The index trigger release aid is attached to a strap that is attached to the wrist. The archer hooks it to the bowstring and then uses the index finger to activate the release.
Some advantages of the index finger release are that it is attached to your hand so you can not lose it, and you can control it a little bit easier, meaning you can dictate when it will be released.
There are different hooking methods used for hooking the string. Some index finger type release triggers use a caliper to hook the string or to hook the rope loop attached to the string.
The handheld thumb trigger release type
The thumb trigger release aid is held in the hand where your fingers fit into the grooves when closing the hand. The thumb trigger release aid works in much the same way as the index finger release aid, but it is activated using the thumb.
The archer hooks the bowstring over the hook, then closes the hook to keep it secure until release. The best way to use the thumb trigger release type is for the archer to rest his thumb on the trigger barrel and slowly add tension to the trigger until it releases the bowstring and fires the arrow.
The advantages of the thumb trigger release are the reputable anchor point and the fact that it can be shot at the controlled point.
Handheld hinge or back tension release
The back tension style trigger release operates without using a trigger. Instead, it releases the string using rotation. The mechanical release aid is operated by rotating the release from the index finger towards the pinky. It then releases the bowstring, firing the arrow.
There are many other types of mechanical release aids for archery, but these types are the most commonly used in archery today.
The types mentioned here are also the most frequently used among compound bow users. Other bow type archers may occasionally use the mechanical release aids with re-curved bows, but that does not happen very often.
The biggest thing among mechanical release aid archers is that it makes it easier for the bow users to fire arrows at the target with more consistency and more accuracy.
This is crucial for archers, especially if you are out hunting live game, which will almost always mean you are firing at moving targets.
Just like with most other things that use advanced methods, this item allows you to concentrate on more important things, such as the hunt itself. To answer the question of what a mechanical release aid for archery is, it is simply something that helps the archer to be more accurate and consistent.