By Brad Fenson
I have to admit that I’m extremely fussy when it comes to which mechanical release to use with my bow. I believe it comes from my long-held affinity for marksmanship values stemming from my years of hunting and shooting rifles. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind—the better the trigger, the more accurate and consistent the shot.
A release is an interesting device, capable of holding back extreme weight with a simple hook or caliper. Releasing that weight smoothly and consistently is paramount to anyone being a good archer. The release is likely one of the biggest advancements in archery, as anyone that used to shoot fingers can attest.
When I was at the Archery Trade Association show earlier this year I checked out some new releases and used them to shoot a variety of bows. I learned a few things and have now become even fussier about what I’ll use.
If you’re looking for a new release, try to compare an open-hook with a caliper or jaw-design release. The best way to narrow down your preference is to look at the options.
The TRUGLO Detonator is streamlined, fast and accurate. It uses an open-hook single-jaw design for fast and easy loading, especially with string loops. Shooting the release, I found it easy to attach to the string loop without even looking, which could save time and reduce movement when hunting. The trigger was sweet and broke clean and crisp. The shooter does have the ability to adjust the trigger pull to make it extremely lightweight.
The release just felt good in the hand, which is one of the biggest considerations. The forward trigger position adds safety and draw advantages. Plus, the release is made to last with stainless steel wear-free jaws and firing mechanism, and the head itself rotates fully to ensure there is never torque on the string.
My favorite feature of any TRUGLO release is the BOA technology in the release strap. A dial and wire system increases tension on the strap to hold it in place. You simply pop the dial up to release the tension to take the release off or reposition it. The wrist strap itself is easy to adjust with the BOA system, and will fit everyone from junior shooters to people with large wrists. The BOA system was designed for comfort and allows for unlimited adjustment to accommodate different custom fits for clothing or changing conditions—especially in the colder months.
One of the features I liked best on the Detonator was the one-inch of adjustment in the connection rod, allowing you to custom fit the release to your exacting standards. The adjustment increments—six holes spaced at 3/16th of an inch—are extremely fine, allowing for an easy fit your hand, shooting style, and trigger finger.
The rod on the Detonator is notably superior to many other brands, which often offer no adjustment, limited adjustment, or require threading or cutting to shorten the rod-to-trigger length.
When you are glassing, traveling, or just want the release out of the way, there is pivot that locks the release up or down, keeping it out of the way when doing anything besides shooting. Simply click it into the center position when you want to shoot.
Any seasoned archer will immediately see the quality and engineering in the NITRUS line of releases. They are similar looking to the Detonator line, but have a dual caliper jaw design for smooth consistent release from the string or D-loop.
The NITRUS is also available with the BOA or Velcro versions. As described in the Detonator line, this Cadillac of releases comes with the same rod/yoke adjustments.
If you’ve been looking for an upgrade to your current release, the NITRUS is the one you’ll want to check out. It is the top of the line, and is worth a look.
SPEED•SHOT XS BOA
The Speed Shot XS BOA has the dual-jaw design that also works great on D-loops. Like the Detonator, there is over one inch of length adjustment to custom fit the release for any sized shooter and five color matching covers. They also offer the Speed Shot XS BOA in a junior model with specialized wrist strap to accommodate smaller shooters.
The BOA system has been a favorite of mine for many years, as it allows me to keep the release at the perfect length no matter what the conditions.
The caliper or dual-jaw release itself is compact and easy to attach. Simply pull the trigger to open the jaws and grab the D-loop or string.
The Speed Shot XS BOA is an economical option for those looking for a mechanical release. ThSpeed Shot XS BOA is a great entry-level release or one for a junior shooter that might want to look at different options as they grow.