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Thread: pros and cons of the different releases for target shooting

  1. #1
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    pros and cons of the different releases for target shooting

    Ok so I read the thread on wrist straps or hand helds for hunting. I'm kinda wondering the same for target shooting. I have been paper punching for about 3 and a half years and always shot a trigger. I have been shooting a scott itty bitty goose for a couple years and this last year I also switched between my scott sabertooth witch I am shooting now. I shoot them using back tension. So I see quite a few people using thumb releases and true back tension releases around here. My hubby, a couple years ago, bought a true fire 4 finger thumb release and then a few days later a 3 finger true ball back tension. At that time I tried the thumb release and didn't like it. It's been sitting around for a couple years now and has hardly any shots on it. I decided that I need to up my game for this year with x count and yesterday I tried the thumb release again and also the back tension. I did fine with them both. I also shot the thumb release as a 2 finger. I'm going to play for a couple more weeks but for all of you who made the switch, did you do it to up your score or only for comfort/feel or both? I seem to be comfortable with both. Is one more accurate than the other? I have one more I'm thinking about trying but I'm a little chicken because it doesn't have a safety. Of course I'll try it on the practice rope first though. I didn't keep score yesterday but I didn't seem to be shooting worse than normal.



  2. #2
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    When deciding about your strengths and weakness with a release
    The hand held is controlled by finger tips strength
    The wrist strap is controlled by the back/shoulder muscles but can have a disconnect with pressures on the release (all muscles in the forearm not used)
    A concho style (simple cord w/rubber hose) atached to your favorite trigger can give you a powerful control atachment from your hand to your shoulders that can be stronger throughout the longest event and have less variations when you get used to the natural centerline it creates when fingers can relax through execution
    For many years the concho was the most dominate release among champs (yes this was in simpler times but they work and created very high scores that stand competitive today)
    Just some things to consider when strength is so important
    Good shoot'n

    Cec

  3. #3
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    Releases are definitely one of those things that are very personal. However, having been taught how to shoot a thumb trigger properly by GRIV I'd always recommend that for target shooting. My scores went up by about 50 points, on average, for a FITA. I shot a Carter Evo for a while to get rid of target panic, then moved to a Sensation to keep the same feel. Executing the shot like GRIV teaches (not much trigger travel, high tension, pull hard then relax the fingers to shoot - this relaxation puts slightly more tension on your thumb and triggers the release) works every time, it's only when I don't do it right that my shots aren't perfect!
    Cheers,
    Linda

  4. #4
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    I am 2 years invested in back tension shooting and I am finding that I can shoot any of them using the techniques that I have learned. What is really opening my eyes to how personal a release really is to how well you will shoot with it is putting one down for a couple of months and simply shooting one release to see what it is all about. I picked my stans micro 3 to shoot for the last month or so because it feels really good, it has no click just a smooth moon and I have really enjoyed it and have shot 58 or 59x with it every time I have shot a full round. Last night I went ahead and brought my ultrasweetspot 2 just to shoot it a little and the difference is huge when I come to anchor and start aiming. I am just stinking more solid and have way less float and it is instant from the time I come to anchor to the shot happening, something about that release just causes my whole system to be better. My bernies knuckle under does the same thing as the ultrasweetspot but I shoot the bernies with a click so it isn't a rythm shooting hinge like the smooth moon releases. Both the bernies and the ultrasweetspot are beefy releases where the stans is a skinny hinge that bites into your skin differently.

    I am to the point where I have tiller tuned and also tuned my stabs to decrease my float to improve my aiming and it is at a all time low which is allowing me to shoot 58 or above all the time in practice so just being able to shoot a hinge isn't the only thing to consider because I can shoot them all just fine but when a hinge also reduces my float then it is one more thing to consider.

  5. #5
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    There is nothing wrong with changing between releases, I have a thumb and a hinge in my quiver at most shoots; but I put in the time to learn each release fully. I just picked up a new release last week, so far I've shot it 3 times. I know I can shoot 325+ with it, but I'm not going to rush into things and develop habits that are hard to break.
    Jacob Hemstock
    '11 VE+ '14 PCE XL
    I shoot for: GT, Axcel/Truball, Viscosity strings, FV
    "put your dot in the middle and shoot your shot, they'll tell you if you won later"

  6. #6
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    The ultrasweetspot 2 release is a interesting creature because being able to draw with it and simply have no wasted mental focus making sure it doesn't go off is really nice, your focus can be somewhere else. I am finding that indoor is really mentally tough when you have to focus for so long during warmup and through a complete round so not having to use any focus during the drawing portion is really nice and flipping the safety happens before I start aiming so it isn't a issue. One thing I really like about the sweetspot is it is really consistant and not as critical that your hand is exactly the same every time you draw because it resets itself every time you flip the safety and doesn't care where it is at when you flip the safety. When you flip it you get the preset amount of movement before it goes off every time. With a hinge and a smooth moon if you hole it differently or slightly have a different hand or finger position it can go off early or later with the same amount of effort and the sweetspot simply won't do that.

    The safety of the sweetspot is more than a safety it completly disconnects the hinge and when you flip the safety it connects the handle to the moon so the preset amount of travel is now given to you, I am finding that this makes it really easy to make a sweetspot a good rythm shooting release because it is so consistant but still a surprise.

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    Thanks everyone. There are so many out there to try, it would be nice to be able to use them for a few weeks and then purchase! Anyway, I'm trying to get my anchor right from the wrist to the hand held. I know it is supposed to be the same and I am wondering why it doesn't feel that way. In other words it's a sight problem. I am going to get a lesson in the next day or 2 but until then.... It seems like my peep needs to be moved. I have to anchor a bit lower to get the same sight picture but I am hitting the same as with my trigger. I went back to the trigger and checked everything with the anchor and was just fine. I anchor in the same place with either hand held and I can't see through my peep but if I move a half of my skinny finger width down I see fine. I also shoot at least as well. I know, I might have to either practice more or take some pics of myself or both! So, aside from that, overall which is going to be the better to shoot with in the long run assuming I want to advance in target archery?

    Oh and what is this concho and the advantages to that? Anyone use one?

  8. #8
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    For sure there is no problem with my peep. Moving it did not help. Still gonna get the coaching with the hand held but I moved my anchor down just a hair and pulled my draw arm a squish straighter and my sight picture was perfect and I am stuffing arrow holes in my basement. I do that with the trigger too so it's still a toss up on the consistency. One thing, I am much more comfortable with the thumb release then I was when I first tried it 2 years ago.

    There is nothing wrong with changing between releases, I have a thumb and a hinge in my quiver at most shoots; but I put in the time to learn each release fully. I just picked up a new release last week, so far I've shot it 3 times. I know I can shoot 325+ with it, but I'm not going to rush into things and develop habits that are hard to break.
    So then are you going back and forth between the new one and your old one? Do you exclusively shoot the new one to give it a good 2 week or more trial before deciding on if it is going to work for you or not? I am going back and forth right now between doing laundry (my range is in my laundry room), shooting and typing lol! I currently have my trigger on my wrist and the thumb release in my pocket. It's a 4 finger but I am also shooting it with 2 fingers.

  9. #9
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    I'm biased, but I'd say thumb trigger. There are some world class target archers who shoot wrist releases, but they are few and far between. Just my opinion, but it's too easy to punch with a wrist release, plus more difficult to overcome target panic or flinching. You can see Hernandez (El Salvador) flinch when he's shooting - he's so good that he can overcome that, but a lot of people can't. Learn how to shoot back tension or thumb release properly and shot execution under pressure becomes easier.
    I'm sure plenty of people will have their own take on this, so find what works for you and work hard on it. I'll stick with GRIV's method as it's done me good so far.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stubby'smom View Post
    So then are you going back and forth between the new one and your old one? Do you exclusively shoot the new one to give it a good 2 week or more trial before deciding on if it is going to work for you or not? I am going back and forth right now between doing laundry (my range is in my laundry room), shooting and typing lol! I currently have my trigger on my wrist and the thumb release in my pocket. It's a 4 finger but I am also shooting it with 2 fingers.
    When i go back and forth between releases, if they are different styles the switching back and forth happens after learning both releases separately. Right now i'm shooting an ht pro, got it this summer and started this season fresh on a new release; this has been both good and has caused problems. Going to the new release got rid of all the problems i had with my old release, but i didn't spend the time to learn the release before shot it and shot comp with it. When i went to work with Griv, it was easier to apply the changes he made to my form because i was fresh to this release relatively speaking. The other release i have is a stan shootoff 3 finger, i picked it up in GA while working with griv; i could have switched and started shooting it the same day i got it if i wanted, but that would be self defeating, i wouldn't get the release learned and would develop habits that are hard to break.

    when i'm deciding between hinges like i was earlier this season with my ht pro and my pro advantage; i shot games with one release, kept targets and plotted scores and i shot games with the other release doing the same thing. For me the choice was easy between the two, even after modifying the scott i was never comfortable with it so i passed it on to a different shooter. The scores were almost identical on x count, but the overall scores were much closer with the truball and thats the one i kept. depending on what your looking for in the new release you can sometimes see it after a week or two of shooting, but usually it comes after spending the time learning a new release that the benefits really pay off. I have in the past taken 5 different releases(bt gold ultra 3, sweet spot ultra 3, tru tension 3, absolute set for pinky, and little xtreme) and shot one arrow per release at a blue face ending up with a 5x end- out of the 5 releases i only shot 3 of them for comp and only the bt gold for a full season... so just because a release may shoot good, doesn't mean it will be the best bet.

    I'm not a fan of a sweet spot because of the safety, it adds an unnecessary step to shot process in addition to adding inconsistencies to the shot because the release is not always in the same position when the safety is taken off. with any hinge, if you have your hand position slightly different you will notice a difference in the speed of the release or even the point of impact of the arrow. the sweet spot feels great in the hand, but won't be as consistent for learning on as a true hinge release.
    Jacob Hemstock
    '11 VE+ '14 PCE XL
    I shoot for: GT, Axcel/Truball, Viscosity strings, FV
    "put your dot in the middle and shoot your shot, they'll tell you if you won later"

  11. #11
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    Yeah, one of the reasons I have considered trying a hand held is that so many of the top archers use them. Also one of the reasons I have been reluctant is because the way I release my trigger is one of the most solid parts of my shooting form. I have other shortfalls but I have learned to execute my release really well using back tension. I am thinking that I could learn to execute other kinds of releases really well also and if I can do both well, which method will be the best? Obviously it's personal just like everything else archery but I like to hear people's take on it.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by N7709K View Post
    When i go back and forth between releases, if they are different styles the switching back and forth happens after learning both releases separately. Right now i'm shooting an ht pro, got it this summer and started this season fresh on a new release; this has been both good and has caused problems. Going to the new release got rid of all the problems i had with my old release, but i didn't spend the time to learn the release before shot it and shot comp with it. When i went to work with Griv, it was easier to apply the changes he made to my form because i was fresh to this release relatively speaking. The other release i have is a stan shootoff 3 finger, i picked it up in GA while working with griv; i could have switched and started shooting it the same day i got it if i wanted, but that would be self defeating, i wouldn't get the release learned and would develop habits that are hard to break.

    when i'm deciding between hinges like i was earlier this season with my ht pro and my pro advantage; i shot games with one release, kept targets and plotted scores and i shot games with the other release doing the same thing. For me the choice was easy between the two, even after modifying the scott i was never comfortable with it so i passed it on to a different shooter. The scores were almost identical on x count, but the overall scores were much closer with the truball and thats the one i kept. depending on what your looking for in the new release you can sometimes see it after a week or two of shooting, but usually it comes after spending the time learning a new release that the benefits really pay off. I have in the past taken 5 different releases(bt gold ultra 3, sweet spot ultra 3, tru tension 3, absolute set for pinky, and little xtreme) and shot one arrow per release at a blue face ending up with a 5x end- out of the 5 releases i only shot 3 of them for comp and only the bt gold for a full season... so just because a release may shoot good, doesn't mean it will be the best bet.

    I'm not a fan of a sweet spot because of the safety, it adds an unnecessary step to shot process in addition to adding inconsistencies to the shot because the release is not always in the same position when the safety is taken off. with any hinge, if you have your hand position slightly different you will notice a difference in the speed of the release or even the point of impact of the arrow. the sweet spot feels great in the hand, but won't be as consistent for learning on as a true hinge release.
    Yeah, I planned on plotting scores and keep targets. I do that when I change arrows and other stuff too. I can see your point about the safety, I had thought about that too. I'm just a little nervous to try one without a safety.

  13. #13
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    from watching you shoot, in my opinion you would see a decent improvement in scores if you went to a hinge and thumb trigger combo(hinge indoors/calm conditions, trigger in the wind). The catch is that it takes a good deal of time to learn a hinge correctly, and even longer to become comfortable with one in all conditions/competition settings. Realistically you are looking at 2 years to be comfortable shooting an hinge no matter what and working all the kinks out; i've shot a hinge for 4 years, with only two competition seasons on a hinge (last year being the first full season i shot with one). in that two years, the first season will be about par to the scores your shooting now, and the second year will be x% better and continue until you reach the peak of your shooting.



    i will say as shooter, pro, and coach DO NOT do something because a pro or better shooter does. I'm not saying don't go to a hinge or a button, but don't go to one solely because a better shooter shoots one. This goes for anything archery related; sometimes the line becomes blurred (jesse mount for stabilizers is an example) but don't take too much stock in what top shooters use when it comes to what is best for you.
    Jacob Hemstock
    '11 VE+ '14 PCE XL
    I shoot for: GT, Axcel/Truball, Viscosity strings, FV
    "put your dot in the middle and shoot your shot, they'll tell you if you won later"

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stubby'smom View Post
    Thanks everyone.

    Oh and what is this concho and the advantages to that? Anyone use one?
    http://www.bowhunterssuperstore.com/...ase-p-255.html

    Not trying to sell a release----this is one of the most sucssesful releases ever made----but the sear is way out of date--I was speaking of the hand grip (concho style )
    It is simply a no stretch cord pulled through a pic of rubber hose with a plastic washer ---adjusted with the knot---very simple---you could tie it to your scott that hooks to a cord and take a little time to get it adjusted to you
    If you try this grip you find it very strong and will like the tension shot with it
    I always have one in my quiver---I shoot a just cuz very well but my hands are getting old as I am but when my groups loosen up I can take out my concho w/scott std caliper and bring them back in cuz it is so strong
    They are really simple if you want to make one up--say hey if you need help
    Cec

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by N7709K View Post
    from watching you shoot, in my opinion you would see a decent improvement in scores if you went to a hinge and thumb trigger combo(hinge indoors/calm conditions, trigger in the wind). The catch is that it takes a good deal of time to learn a hinge correctly, and even longer to become comfortable with one in all conditions/competition settings. Realistically you are looking at 2 years to be comfortable shooting an hinge no matter what and working all the kinks out; i've shot a hinge for 4 years, with only two competition seasons on a hinge (last year being the first full season i shot with one). in that two years, the first season will be about par to the scores your shooting now, and the second year will be x% better and continue until you reach the peak of your shooting.



    i will say as shooter, pro, and coach DO NOT do something because a pro or better shooter does. I'm not saying don't go to a hinge or a button, but don't go to one solely because a better shooter shoots one. This goes for anything archery related; sometimes the line becomes blurred (jesse mount for stabilizers is an example) but don't take too much stock in what top shooters use when it comes to what is best for you.
    How much did you see me shoot this summer? I started a slump at the beginning of the summer, didn't realize it right away, picked up some bad habits, ingrained them, finally figured out what I was doing and now working the kinks out and 3/4 of my way back. I tried my hubby's hinge which has a safety and I did ok with it except I didn't like the way the safety touched my face when I put it on fire. I could rotate my hand but not really wanting to do that right now. I guess I will just ask people if I can try theirs over the winter and see if I can find one I'm comfortable with before I buy one. In the mean time I can put the time in on the thumb release. I am willing to put in the time if it will benefit me but I don't want to waste time on something that's not going to help when I am positive there are other things I can work on. I try to work on one thing at a time!

  16. #16
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    For women a Carter Target three is excellant choice.

    Very popular and quick sale here if you didnt like it.

    DB
    Archery is an addiction is for me. Vortex Binos, Trophy Taker Rest, Vapor Trail strings, OK-Archery DST 40, Eilte Z28 Bow, Carter/Scott releases, CBE sights, Goldtip arrows, B Stingers Stabilizers, Lancasters Archery, Slick Tricks, Vanetec Vanes, Elite Pulse

  17. #17
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    this summer, the only shoot was the state 900; but even going back to indoors last year and the year prior from what i have seen you would benefit from going to a hinge, button, or both.

    If you are going to commit to learning a new release, you need to accept that the season following will have scores that are going to be lower than previous years but it can also have new personal bests. a button will be easier to learn on, and time it takes to get scores back to/above what you were shooting is going to be less. with a hinge, its going to take much longer(if you went to one today, iowa would be the first tourney that you would want to shoot; and thats if everything is flowing smoothly, if not, shoot the tourney but not with a hinge). depending on how you want to proceed, i have a few diff hinges that aren't being used and could send one or two your way.
    Jacob Hemstock
    '11 VE+ '14 PCE XL
    I shoot for: GT, Axcel/Truball, Viscosity strings, FV
    "put your dot in the middle and shoot your shot, they'll tell you if you won later"

  18. #18
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    Oh that would be very cool!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Boone View Post
    For women a Carter Target three is excellant choice.

    Very popular and quick sale here if you didnt like it.

    DB
    Thanks! I will go look it up. Have you shot it and what are some benefits and drawbacks?

  20. #20
    Hey Linda can u pm me for further discussion of grips methods.....do u mean pull hard with the fingers won't this give more motion to the float Steve nyc

  21. #21
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    Sometimes, like me for instance, when you learn back tension on a certain release, it is hard to move away from that style. I shoot a hinge style release. Day in, day out. Calm, windy, indoor, outdoor, rain or shine. Heck, I even bring it up in the tree with me when I'm hunting. Because of how I learned to shoot a hinge, self-taught, I leave my thumb on the peg thru my whole shot process, it is very hard for me to shoot a thumb release because I can't quite get the hand tension correct.

    Always always always try to find something different that may help you improve your scores. But, always remember what you know works.
    You never know who will be watching you as you compete for your dreams - so always act like a Champion, win or lose. Because at the end of the day, the people you meet and inspire will mean more than the trophies that gather dust on your mantle.

  22. #22
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    Thanks for the advise!
    Hey Linda can u pm me for further discussion of grips methods.....do u mean pull hard with the fingers won't this give more motion to the float Steve nyc
    Did you mean griv's methods or grips? We can discuss either in this thread if you want.

  23. #23
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    The more pull into the release, assuming correct bow setup, will steady the sight picture.
    Jacob Hemstock
    '11 VE+ '14 PCE XL
    I shoot for: GT, Axcel/Truball, Viscosity strings, FV
    "put your dot in the middle and shoot your shot, they'll tell you if you won later"

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by N7709K View Post
    The more pull into the release, assuming correct bow setup, will steady the sight picture.
    If I pull a little stronger than just holding on the wall, it steadies up but if I pull more than that the sight picture gets worse. Does that mean something needs to be changed on bow setup?

    Can't remember who right off, maybe Cousins, but one of the pros pulls so strongly his arm flies way behind his head on release. I'd start wobbling real bad if I pulled that hard.

  25. #25
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    You don't need to pull too hard, just into a solid anchor and enough to put back tension on. Then the aim should be steady. Instead of then adding a sudden amount of tension by pulling on the thumb trigger (which can introduce movement) make sure the trigger has some pressure on but not enough to set it off - this needs a stiff trigger. Then relax the fingers (not thumb) slightly and the trigger should activate. This doesn't introduce sideways movement and gives a smooth shot. It takes a lot of practice, two months on a trainer for me to get used to it, but the results are great. The trouble if you pull too hard is that it tends to put pressure on your grip, introducing torque, so it's important that the bow hand is nice and relaxed. In effect it's similar to shooting a hinge.
    Sorry, I can't explain it as well as Griv, if you go to his shop or a seminar he runs you'll get it much better. However, he ran a class in the UK two years ago and since then two of the archers who attended have made international teams and several others have improved beyond recognition.
    However, as with most things in archery it's a personal choice and what fits for you is important. Find a technique you're comfortable with and work hard to perfect it.
    Cheers,
    Linda

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